[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Mon May 7 14:55:20 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Travis Nixon writes:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Brian Hook" <bwh at wksoftware.com>
> To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
> Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 2:28 AM
> Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

>> So let's take EQ and "fix" all its problems -- and don't get me
>> wrong, lots of it does need fixing -- such as the camping, named
>> items, named mobs, repeatable quests, etc.  There's no longer a
>> Dvinn or Emperor Crush or ghoul assassin to talk about back at the
>> ranch, there's only "Dark Elf Ambassador #2" or, even worse, some
>> random encounter that randomly dropped a randomly created item that
>> might be useful.

>>   "Hey, Athamayn, what's that you got?"  "It's a +4 Dagger, +2
>>   Backstab" "Where'd you get it?"  "Dropped off a DE rogue in the
>>   woods near Kelethin" "Oh.  I got a +1 longsword off a pop in that
>>   same area...hmm."

>> The personality kinda gets sucked out of it.

> Being such a big believer in automatically generated content, I'm
> very surprised to find myself agreeing with you here.  It does kinda
> suck the personality out of it, and if the problems in EQ were
> solved this way, it would, in fact, be worse.  Much worse.

> Fine.  So don't generate random content with no personality.
> Generate content that has personality.  Sounds simple enough, right? 
> :)

Let the players establish the personality of your content, where you
assist through the structure of your world systems.

For example, consider that there is a goblin camp nearby.  The world
systems are structured such that they defend their territory until
their casualties get too high and then they pull up stakes and move to
a new spot.  Further, the world systems don't result in goblins
falling on players' swords.  Further, the goblins are easily a match
for the players in one-on-one scenarios.  So the players have a
challenge on their hands.  Lastly, assume that combat is surviveable.
It doesn't always have a kill or be killed ending.  Characters can
disengage from combat and escape.  Now assume that goblins are
recognizeable in some way.  No floating name billboards, please.  Have
it be by them wearing certain visible colors or patterns that set them
apart.  Perhaps the high guard of the goblin group wears a blue sash
and all the regular warriors do not.  Beyond that, there may be belts
on some, breastplates on others, etc.  Each goblin is an individual,
and the game takes steps to ensure that killing even one goblin is

Given this setup, and the theory that it's possible to survive
conflicts with goblins and for them to survive conflicts with players,
personalities develop organically.  If a player keeps encountering the
same goblin or goblins over and over again, they can start to talk
about them.  It's not necessary to have a name.  Players will assign
names to the goblins that are presented as noteworthy.  It gives them
more things to talk about amongst themselves.  Who are these guys with
the blue sashes anyway?

There are other ways of permitting a goblin to be recognized.  An
introduction system that includes NPCs would permit a player to tag a
given goblin as "Public Enemy #1" so that he knows that he really
doesn't like that particular goblin.


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