[MUD-Dev] UO rants

KevinL darius at bofh.net.au
Fri Aug 25 12:14:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


>>> "John Buehler" wrote
> There's a problem with citing board games and such in support of either
> PvP or PvE contexts.  That is one of time investment.
> 
> In Quake, I have no real investment in my character.  It takes me seconds
> to advance it as far as it can go and develop it as much as I can.  Death
> is a way of life, and when I die, I don't really lose much of anything
> except the equipment that I got and possibly the position I got myself
> into in the game world.

Sorry to interrupt, but this one's been bothering me for a while.  I have a 
friend here who used to be one of the better players in West Australia - I 
myself was responsible for setting up possibly the first public Quake server 
in .au, many moons ago.  I think Quake gets a bit of an unfair deal sometimes
in these discussions.

Take the time out to check some of the Quake clan boards, and communities - 
you'll find an incredibly strong community scene there, and people whose 
"characters" - their skill with Quake, their name, their clan, their favourite 
weapons, tactics, and maps - are known not just on the server they play on, but 
in fairly wide areas.  Take time to study the game itself, and you'll discover 
that while drop-in players just run around and shoot people, the hard-core 
players have specific trails they follow, specific tactics they use - that 
differ from person to person.  My friend here likens Quake at those levels 
more to a game of chess than a twitch game - once you've got the twitch under 
control, it becomes a game of predicting your opponents' moves, understanding 
the level layout and their behaviour in it, much more strategy than is often 
recognised.  The chess analogy is not an uncommon one amongst better Quake 
players.

There's a whole hell of a lot more to Quake than what happens within each 
single game - and even within a game, your standing in the community is 
constantly being judged and re-judged, based on your performance, attitude, 
behaviour.

Just because the community exists outside the bounds of the game itself, does 
not mean that the game is not responsible for that community, at least in part 
- you don't see the same community around other FPS games, for example.  This 
_is_ a persistant world, whether the server immediately supports such or not.  
People have a very definite investment in their character, in terms of time 
spent to build reputation.  I'd posit if it takes you seconds to advance as 
far as you can go, then it's just not a game you're good enough at to earn any 
decent standing in.  The same can be said for many players on many muds - we 
just hide the fact with levels and similar, and write off players who tinker 
at first level and then vanish.

That's not even mentioning the various tournament boards, or the fact that the 
two biggest modifications of all time to Quake (so much so that they now exist 
in every FPS I've seen, and the people originally responsible for them 
(community players, not employees) are now doing well themselves) are Team 
Fortress - where two teams (usually two clans) battle it out for control of 
territory (with people taking on different roles - some camp and defend, some 
direcly attack the target, some act as support for that, _much_ team 
cooperation and strategy involved) and Capture the Flag - which again is a 
team game.

I think Quake gets short shrift - it's one of the most vital gaming 
communities on the 'net, _ever_ - and it's still very strong, despite it's age 
and the continual release of "latest and greatest FPS games".  I think maybe 
there's lessons in the Quake community even the mud world should value.  I 
also think writing off the characters in there as "non-persistant" misses a 
lot of what goes on in the community itself.  IMNSHO.

KevinL




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