[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Thu Jul 26 12:54:58 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Thu, 26 Jul 2001 02:48:17 -0700 
Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com> wrote:
> 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.

Is there an effective difference between:having Bob actually go away
and practice Kung-Fu alone, or having Bob go away for a while and
not be played, and then return Bob to the game with the backdrop of
"He's secretly become a Kung-Fu master"?

  Does Bob actually need to go away and RP learning Kung-Fu in the
  woods where even the bears are blind?

  Is there value in Bob doing that?

  What loss is there if Bob just doesn't log on for a while, and
  then starts logging back in as a kung-fu master?

> There is, of course, one exception: Bob can impress an admin with
> his devious plan, and convince the admin to give him special
> consideration.  

What does that consideration amount to?

> 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.

Nothing like beating the system over the head with the system?

>> 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. ;)

Precisely.  That's the core of the internal and external
definitional difference.  The core of my argument is that the system
_AND_ other players perforce occupy an external viewpoint and
therefore can only apply the external definition of RP.  Ergo, the
internal definition of RP is not on distracting, its inapplicable to
attempts to design or implement a system of RP quantification based
on anything other than self-evaluation.

J C Lawrence                                    )\._.,--....,'``.	    
---------(*)                                   /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
claw at kanga.nu                                 `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/                     Oh Freddled Gruntbuggly
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