[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Thu Jul 26 02:48:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Wed, 25 Jul 2001 21:16:53 -0700, J C Lawrence <claw at 2wire.com> wrote:

>   If a bear roleplays in the woods, does anybody notice?

> Or perhaps more significantly:

>   What value are RP points to a character who doesn't observably
>   RP in the presence of others?

That depends on the system. On most WoD MUDs, RP experience is the
*only* experience, and a common theme is the rise of a formerly
wronged individual after many years to seek revenge. The general
pattern is:

  People humiliate Bob in public, but he is too weak to retaliate.
  Bob becomes angry and disappears.
  Bob spends many years studying kung-fu or something.
  Everyone eventually forgets about Bob.
  Bob returns. No one recognises him. 
  Bob secretly and systematically hunts down his former enemies.

Without Bob's disappearance, the plan cannot work.  Without a way to
reward "solo" RP, the plan also cannot work.

There is, of course, one exception: Bob can impress an admin with
his devious plan, and convince the admin to give him special
consideration.  That's how it's *normally* done on WoD MUDs, and
those of us who actually try to achieve the same sort of thing
through slow and careful effort are often frustrated by a system
that looks suspiciously on anyone who remains low-profile in the
game and still manages to pile up RP points from dozens of
players. (Logging in at odd times and RPing with a wide array of
"unpopular" players -- preferably from northern European countries
like Sweden and Norway, as they tend to be less outgoing for some
reason -- helps.) Maybe I'm biased, but after a three-year
investment in playing a MUD, I think it's an awful shame when I
decide it's not fun anymore because my perfectly legitimate plans
are being blocked by the admins for no good reason except "we don't
like to give that level of power to players". Especially when I've
been working through the proper channels for over a year; a year of
active play on a single MUD is effectively an eternity.

> Does the fact that you have a saintly soul or are in fact a chess
> genius have any relevant value if that fact is never revealed or
> detectable?

Not to you. But "true" roleplayers don't roleplay for *you*
anyway. ;)

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