[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Adam Martin amsm2 at cam.ac.uk
Mon May 7 14:16:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 8:12 AM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

> Greg Munt writes:

>> 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*.

But that is the kind of thing that e.g. Lionhead are aiming for in
Black & White - because it goes a long way to fulfilling the
"immersive" promise made by many games in their marketing briefs, by
making players actually care about their actions instead of "merely
playing a game, which isn't real anyway".

Adam M

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