[MUD-Dev] Wilderness

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Sat Aug 4 19:10:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Thu, 2 Aug 2001, John Buehler wrote:

> I think that choosing to adopt the attitude that wilderness is the
> stuff between points of interest is a major mistake.  You've
> immediately relegated wilderness to something that is not of
> interest.  As a result, it only exists to separate points of
> interest.  From an entertainment standpoint, that makes no sense.
> If you're going to put it into the game world, it has to be
> inherently entertaining.  If it's not entertaining, don't put it
> in.  EverQuest understood this to an extent, but then still put in
> the Plains of Karana, which were, in a word, BORING.

I used to think that too, but I was wrong. Well, I never thought
that things that aren't fun shouldn't be in the world, because it's
not just a game, it's a life. Life doesn't have to be a constant

I did believe that large 'useless' areas full of nothingness were,
in fact, useless, but I've gotten a lot of complaints from Achaea
players lately saying that they want more large barren wildernesses
where they can go to to be by themselves and just feel isolated. I
have always enjoyed that sort of thing in worlds, but had thought
there weren't many who felt similarly. I believe I was wrong.
I think the difference here is one of how we envision a virtual
> If the wilderness really is just filler, then you're going to have
> to put in teleportation, fast travel, offline travel or some such
> thing that negates the very existence of the wilderness.  If you
> put something out in the middle of nowhere and require players to
> reach it via conventional travel, it will only bore them to tears
> because you're forcing them to engage in something that you quite
> consciously accept as being unentertaining.

This is definitely not true, at least if it is a blanket
statement. Consider the modern world. Today, it's fairly easy to get
to any major city. I've got a couple friends in Spain right now,
walking pilgrimage route hundreds of miles long to get to Santiago
(where James, the brother of Jesus, is said to have been
buried). It's a traditional pilgrimage route. Why do it these days
though? You COULD just catch a flight or rent a car. By my friends'
own admissions, the route is long, arduous, and really not
particularly exciting. Yet I'm sure they will look back 10 years
from now and not at all regret that they didn't just rent a car or
hop a flight.

Teleportation is NOT fun. Finding that place on the other side of
the Mongo Huge Desert is fun (well, for me and many other people at
least). If the big boring desert was there, I wouldn't value finding
what's on the other side.
> The entertainment of the wilderness is going to be derived from
> whatever it is that tree huggers like.  They like the views, they
> like the wildlife, the foraging, the diving off cliffs into lakes,
> the fishing, and so on.

I like those things. I also like totally flat deserts. They all have
their charms. The point, though, is that boring wilderness (boring
if you don't enjoy it) is an obstacle to overcome and, in my
opinion, provides for a more real-feeling world, rather than a
Disneyland packed full of "entertainment."

> The wilderness must be entertaining.  If it's not, don't put it
> into > the game.

Yeah, difference in perception. It's a world with SOME game-like
aspects. (at least the ones I'm interested in are)


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