[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Oct 19 22:54:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

John Buehler wrote:
> Ola Fosheim Grostad writes:

>> Not really sure what you mean here. Dying does not destroy
>> content?
> Huh?  Dying destroys content if dying eliminates an NPC from the
> game.

Depends on your NPC system I guess, I thought you also meant
players. (of course, being "knocked out" is where most games are at

The way spawning often is done, is silly from an artistic POV. It is
obviously possible to do it in more interesting ways. For example:
use AI to open "gateways" from hell in areas with few players (who
will run screaming), then direct these evil armies (tailored to the
type of players in the area) to temporarily disable goals
significant for the players (sources for various resources), let the
evil soldiers pick appropriate enemies. Or create a densely
populated hostile environment (masking spawns), require longer
fights, spend more time in preparation for a fight, move enemies in
groups. Yet another alternative is to have evil masters that spawn
"servants" from their own bodies, or evil untouchable ghosts that
turn matter into living... etc etc.

> Who is going to bother with creation in a game world where
> destruction is the focus of the game?  Certainly not me.  It's
> like making sand castles in the face of a rising tide.

If the garden is well protected (by code), why not?

> Okay, then consider destruction as poor leverage of content.  How
> long is destruction entertaining?  It's very one-dimensional.  It
> stopped being entertaining for me in the big three graphical games
> in very short order.  I only kept playing for social reasons.
> Which were complex enough to entertain me.  For a while.  Social
> interactions that only revolve around killing and accumulation of
> power wane after a while as well.

It should come as no surprise that I never liked it. I started out
and stayed on a graphical
-no-fighting-save-the-earth-and-be-nice kind of minimalist
constructive LP-MUD (Regenesis BSX) because I detested the silly
text based H&S MUDs and it was the only graphical MUD around.

But I have to say this, since M59 I've realized that the
_possibility_ of socially unacceptable playerkilling does add
something that is quite intense.  So I wouldn't dismiss even
hard-core destructive activities just like that, as long as they are
not the norm. Such destructive activities should be fairly easy to
prevent and escape from (run away) though. It should also primarily
be a matter of attention, not one of skill or power. The goal being
drama and social interaction, not points.

Heterogeneity is where one wants to go, but that is difficult under
a static global regime, so I've been in favour of having multiple
"playgrounds" with different rule sets, foci and hierarchies within
the same world for quite some time. That does require a decent
_design_ that is sound (i.e. amenable to semi-formal reasoning), a
large well managed team and financial stamina, so I doubt we'll see
it in the next few years...

> This illustrates the pinpoint focus of current developers and
> gamers alike.  Not all players need to achieve in order to be
> entertained.  Not all players need comparisons to be entertained.
> Not all players need to win to be entertained.  We're only
> exploring a tiny segment of the potential player population.

I agree, but a lot of the players you want are hanging around
playing free games on the web.  And those games are actually getting
quite good.  You need stamina to develop a casual co-operative large
scale MUD that requires subscription fees and installation of

Anyway, we probably share many of the same goals.

-- Ola - http://folk.uio.no/olag/

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