[MUD-Dev] Structured Social Play

Travis Nixon tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com
Mon Sep 10 13:31:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

From: "Marian Griffith" <gryphon at iaehv.nl>

> True, but is that not because players do not like to lose? It may
> be difficult to make smarter monsters on a mud, but surely it is
> not that hard to make it next to impossible for the human player
> to win?  I think that is not done because players would not like
> it. They want their 'fights' to be seemingly hard, but relatively
> safe for them.

I don't think it's that players don't like to lose, I think it's
that they like to have fun, winning or losing.

This is a tough subject.  I've been playing Multiplayer Battletech a
lot for the past few days, and I lose.  A lot.  And it doesn't
really bug me, in fact I'm having a lot of fun.  (If you're a
Mechwarrior fan, it's definately worth checking out the beta, btw.
I'm almost convinced that I'm going to pay for it when it goes live,
despite the fact that I truly despise anything EA right now)

The few battles I've had that I would consider "un-fun" have for the
most part been unfairly matched battles.  Both ways.  I don't
consider taking four 30 or 35 ton mechs and ganging up on a first
level pilot in his lowly 25 tonner newbie mech fun.

Hrmm.  Or maybe it's that they don't feel they should be penalized
heavily for fights that were "good fights".  (Defining what exactly
a good fight consists of is left as an exercise to the reader) Back
on the MPBT side (and yes, I know there's a severe difference
between human players and computer-controlled mobs, but that's what
this is about, isn't it?  Making those computer controlled entities
act more like humans?) if I were severely penalized for losing a
battle against an evenly matched team, I'd be more inclined to only
fight when the odds were in our favor.  Which makes for more boring
fights (at least to me).  And is almost exactly what happens for the
most part in a game like Everquest, where the death penalty is
fairly severe.

So maybe the issue isn't that players don't like to lose.  Maybe its
that they don't like to be called a screwup when they think they've
done relatively well, even if they couldn't quite pull it off in the
end.  And maybe they don't like being called a screwup when they had
absolutely no chance of winning in the first place.

Of course, I'm generalizing my own thoughts an opinions to the
general populace, which is very dangerous.  But hey, you never know.
Go through and replace "they" with "I" and you have my own opinion,
if nothing else. :)

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