[MUD-Dev] Death among Friends

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Fri Aug 3 02:34:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Wed, 1 Aug 2001, Jon Morrow wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Matt Mihaly
>> If you think fighting a bunch of NPCs is exciting, try fighting a
>> bunch of real people whom you've loathed for a long time

> I have.  Some of my first MUD memories are of teaming up with a
> platoon of marines at a nearby base to wage war against the
> owner's overpowered brother.  Became nearly as crazy as one of the
> marines, but thoroughly enjoyed wiping the floor with the little
> brat...multiple times. :)

Sounds like a great time. =)

> I think there's an important difference between fighting NPCs and
> players though.  When I die to an NPC, I may lose some items or
> have to gain back some experience.  But when I die to another
> player, I suffer a much larger loss of dignity.  I remember it
> being significant enough for high turnover among players and the
> alienation of many talented people.  I believe there's a large
> niche of players that prefer relative safety, which includes
> avoiding public embarrassment and feelings of guilt for doing
> something normally unacceptable in real life.

Yep, I agree. The stakes are far higher in PvP once you're
emotionally involved in the world. That's why I, personally, like
it. Hardcore PvP does not make for the basis of a game with wide
appeal though, as you point out. Myself, I'd be into a game where
each participant was hooked up to an irremoveable device that
induced varying degrees of pain depending on how badly your opponent
is beating you. Not crippling pain, but enough so that you would be
_very_ motivated to concentrate and there would be a very
undesirable cost of loss. I do realize most people wouldn't be into

For the same reasons, though, PvP can allow you to get much more
emotionally involved. I love the feeling of rallying together to
fight against a hated enemy. And only another human being or group
of them will do. If I don't hate them, it's not nearly as much fun.

> Of course, the entire argument comes down to the type of gamer you
> are targeting.  Then again, the masses loved Tetris, and I don't
> recall being able to lose against anyone but the computer.  So,
> from a commercial standpoint, maybe a jump "backward" can provide
> a breath of fresh air.  I'd love to hear more about your opinions
> on PK though.

Yeah. Even I like some single player games. I am a big fan of
platformers and Zelda for instance. In a multiplayer world though, I
doubt I'd stick around long at all if the capacity to express power
through personal ability didn't exist (whether that ability be
reflexes, strategy, persuasion, whatever. I just want to compete.)


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