[MUD-Dev] Where are we now?

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Mon Apr 30 07:43:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Sat, 28 Apr 2001, Greg Munt wrote:

> I think I just got plain bored re-re-rewriting a core. Or maybe I
> got disillusioned by the "quality" of players that any mud ends up
> attracting.  Hatred and lust seem to win out every time. I hate to
> sound arrogant (no, really!), but the intelligence of the average
> player seems to verge on zero.

Hmmm.

We had a player recently who all the Gods respected, including
myself. I had met him at last summer's Achaea 2000 meet, and really
liked him. Very sound guy. Best roleplayer in Achaea. He also
complained quite a bit about the lack of intelligence and integrity in
the average player.

Recently I turned him into a shrub because I discovered that his
literature entry, which won our monthly contest, in February, was
heavily plagiarized from a collection of essays by Pulitzer-winning
author, Andre Dubus. He was caught because one of our other players
happened to recognize the essay he adapted his essay from.

He sent me a long e-mail confessing and trying (while seeming not to
try) to excuse himself by talking about how he tried to deceive
himself into thinking it was ok because he could do so much more with
the credits he won than some other loser, etc. What he failed to
realize, and what the point of this is, is that while you - and
probably everybody else on this list - is more intelligent and more
educated than the average, that doesn't make everybody around you
stupid. Underestimating a playerbase is a serious mistake. He wasn't
the only guy out there reading Dubus.

It's also instructive to notice that it's quite likely that 90% of the
other players share your view of the playerbase. In their eyes, you're
probably an "idiot" also. Being an idiot is a subjective thing in many
ways.

 
> I returned to DevMUD yesterday. It was pointed out that this is a
> relic of the ever-increasing sizes of the groups that players
> form. It was even suggested/implied that humans weren't *meant* to
> be in groups of much over 100 - cf human tribes, etc. Look what the
> 'large groups' who visited north america did to the native
> population a couple of hundred years ago.

Well, meant implies some sort of intention to creation, which I have
an issue with. I'm sure you can guess the general lines of my
objection though, so there's no reason to go into it. Regardless
though, from the standpoint of the success of a species, mankind is
_extremely_ successful in large groups. North America now is far far
more populated by humans than the Native Americans managed to get
it. In that sense, I'd say people are extremely successful in large
groups.

 
> Do large groups vanquish our humanity? Are commercial muds catering
> for the selfish, mindless, destructive throng that is caused by
> simply having so many users? Are the perpetually small free muds
> actually a Better Thing?

I'd say large groups are a part of our humanity. The selfish,
mindless, destructive throng IS humanity. Of course, the introspective
creator of beauty is also humanity. People are better than other
animals, in my opinion, solely in that regard. They are simply capable
of a larger range of expression and action than other animals, and so
are more interesting than, say, a dog (at least to me. I'm sure there
are some people who prefer the company of animals.)


> wholly populated by moronic imbeciles looking for their next
> cyberorgasm. In a place where you are welcomed - not rejected, hated
> and despised.

Well, that's our fault mainly, as designers. Look at the games we MUD
designers have created and who they appeal to. 95% of MUDs are like
Quake clones. What do you do in them? You go out, you kill things, you
get their loot, so you can go out and kill bigger things. Not exactly
aiming at an intellectual crowd there.

Even having said that, surely you don't expect that sex won't be one
of if not the biggest motivator in almost any community that isn't
highly focused? Sex is fundamental to human nature, and to expect
people not to look for it is just going to lead you to
disappointment. Why not celebrate it instead?

It's much easier to design to meet the needs and desires of the
customers than it is to try and change their needs and desires to meet
your expectations.

You know, if you just want a place without the idiots, go find a place
that makes you apply to create a character. They have very few
players, but they do tend to be higher caliber.

 
> And no, the glass isn't half-empty. There isn't even a glass :-)

Oh come now. Don't be one of those people who thinks the world is
always getting worse. Listen relatively few people in the physical
world standout above the masses. It's no different in the virtual
world. In my opinion, it's incumbent on us to try to identify those
players and enable them to make the world a better place for the other
players.

--matt

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