[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sun May 6 00:12:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Greg Munt writes:
> From: Scion Altera <keeler at teleport.com>

>> Ditch the human built areas and go for generated ones. Seperate the
>> mobs from the areas entirely: create groups of mobs that go
>> together, for instance "a goblin village" and "a human
>> village". Then, your group of goblins can be loaded in a suitable
>> area chosen by the mud, and they can form a village.

>> The human village that happened to load nearby them should be full
>> of humans that have needs, such as money and food. The soldier mobs
>> form a group and walk over to the goblins, beat them up, steal
>> their money, eat their food, then return to the human village.

>> The goblins, fed up about being attacked and killed so much, check
>> out the humans and decide they are outmatched, so the village is
>> unloaded and the game picks another suitable location to put
>> it. Now.. this process could involve making the mobs actually pick
>> up their stuff and walk over to the new spot, or they could simply
>> teleport at a convenient time when no players were
>> watching. Doesn't matter too much on a grand scale.

> I think that this scenario is unrealistic. A community would not
> leave, unless they lived in mobile dwellings, or were constantly on
> the move, to follow their food supply. I would expect goblin
> communities to band together against their common enemy. I would
> expect a war to develop. Or terrorist attacks aimed at getting the
> humans to leave. You just don't leave your home that easily! I'd be
> interested in portraying goblins in a realistic way, too. Instead of
> the player-fodder token evil NPCs, they should be seen as simply
> another race of sentient intelligence. They should bear children,
> raise them, make demands on local resources, just as humans
> do. There should be some empathy.

While I completely agree that goblins should be defending their homes
or actively trying to push away competing populations, I disagree
about the whole empathy thing.  I believe that things that we kill
must either be non-sentient or they must be inherently and immutably
evil.  That means that they are not misguided beings just doing their
thing and that works out to be something that the player characters
don't like.  It means that they are soulless beings that exist in
order to destroy that which is good.

Why do this?  Because players should not be encouraged to kill things
that they are also encouraged to empathize with.  It's a recipe for
disaster.  Sure, it should produce some significant emotional
reactions as one group of players sides with the goblins, but those
aren't the sorts of emotions that I think we want in gameplay.  Do we
also go in and kill goblin children?  Hopefully, you see the effect
that I'm worried about.  To go to an extreme, do we want to produce
screams of children as they're killed?  I'm sure plenty of people
would empathize with *that*.


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