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