[MUD-Dev] [DSN] Why Permadeath is Irrelevant

Daniel Bendiksen spamreceiver at smalltowncomputers.com
Sat Sep 8 03:11:55 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

> From: Paul Schwanz

> Admittedly so.  I suppose I tried to allude to this with my
> "...those who play MUDs as 'games'..." comment.  Maybe it would
> have been more correct to just say 'achievers' and avoid any
> debates over what exactly is entailed by a game.  In a sense,
> perhaps I sometimes think of killers, socializers, and explorers
> as playing meta-games, while the achiever is playing the game.
> (Now where did I put that nomex suit.)  Seriously, I imagine that
> my own approach to the game undermines my ability to see it as
> others do.  I don't mean to give offense, only my own perspective.

I'm only responding to one small piece of your well written
message... That said,

Arcade games are different from role-playing games.

  #1 If the MUD is fee based, you've paid your dues just to play!

  #2 In an arcade, you are 100% unlikely to invest months building
  up your game character. The investment of time to get a level xxx
  hero in a MUD is considerably higher than to run the gambit of
  fights in StreetFighter.

    Note: I freely admit that arcades have a secondary
    investment... You must practice (sometimes for months) to learn
    the game well enough to either beat the game or make a single
    quarter turn into hours of play.

    Note2: Arcades also do another thing... Their games often scale
    up as you go, until they have scaled the game to such a
    difficulty that nobody can win it. Example: StreetFighter begins
    to hit you with punches that does more damage than your punches
    or the game speeds up till you simply can't keep up with the
    pace (Asteroids, Galaxian, etc).

  #3 It's ok to offer permadeath in a MUD, but it's wise to be sure
  the player knows what they are getting into BEFORE they are
  deleted. In any arcade game, you know exactly what to
  expect... You get "x" lives, and when you run out of lives, your
  game ends (unless you add more lives via inserting
  quarters). That's well known and accepted. If you don't make the
  truly deadly areas well marked, you will have frustrated and irate
  players. Last I checked, that's not healthy for any game.

  #4 I've heard it mentioned that you should have great rewards
  offered in balance of permadeath. I don't agree 100% with
  that... You could offer permadeath as part and parcel of being a
  very advanced player. Of course, the natural result of that is
  self-evident: it discourages people from being very advanced
  players (except those who are driven to excel).

I've got to admit, if I've worked hard to achieve a certain
position, I hate having it removed from me. After just a few times
of that, I would probably quit the game and seek greener pastures.

My opinions... MINE ALL MINE! hehe

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