[MUD-Dev] Mud Evolution

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Fri Aug 4 02:20:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at verant.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] The Player Wimping Guidebook

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu
> > [mailto:mud-dev-admin at kanga.nu]On Behalf Of
> > Greg Underwood
> >
> > [snip] IMHO, most MUDs suffer from the philosophy of "constant
> > evolution is a good thing."
> Yep. It's an admin-centric view. Just like "it's mymud, not the players'."
> :)
    Actually, I think that 'evolution is a good thing' is also a
player-centric view. Some examples from Retromud: Originally, combat only
handled melee. It evolved to handle ranged weapons such as slings, bows and
crossbows. But players wanted to throw daggers and axes [Thieves and
Reavers]. So it evolved to handle throwing weapons too. Example 2: after
finishing up the mage guild, all mages were essentially the same in power,
regardless of other levels. Players wanted something to distinguish a level
70 mage from a level 30 mage, aside from stats, and some other minor
abilities. So a whole series of specializations were added. A cryomancer
became a lot more powerful with related spells, as did a pyromancer. And
each gained extra spells dealing with their specialization. Extra power in
the form of more damage, reduced casting time, greater chance to get a
Critical on the spell, reduced casting costs, etc were also added, in an
ordered level of progression. Now a mage can specialize, gaining power in a
specific element, and losing power in the opposing element. A level 70
<element>mage is different than a level 30 mage. And the mages can now
follow different element paths too. These sorts of evolutions are created by
the wiz staff, however based on players. The players were the ones
suggesting areas of the game that stagnated and needed improvement,
differentiation, in essence, evolution. This is being carried over into
specializing in weapon types, in various chi/oriental element styles for
abjuration and monk styles, in the psionic pathway, and more.

    Now, Retromud isn't in beta. The mud has been around for 6 years. We're
constantly expanding the game, evolving it, adding more features, or
revamping features. I daresay we wouldn't have the playerbase we have
nowadays if we'd stopped doing anything but areas 3 years ago. Many muds
don't have the luxury of a development cycle, where everything for the game
can be planned out, it can be coded up, and then opened to the public. And
even games that do that can use being changed. This is in the form of
expansions, such as the mentions Ruins of K. Or in terms of other games,
it's called sequels. Take Age of Empires, and then Age of Empires II. That's
a discontinuous evolution process. Expansion packs, updates, and patches
make up the spaces in between.

    In the end, I am a believer in the necessity of evolution. Consider me a
Mud-Darwin. I haven't seen a model where nothing evolves and yet it


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