[MUD-Dev] Proposed Law

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 20 11:10:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
> On Thu, 18 Oct 2001, Adam Martin wrote:

>> I think the point is that if you *do* destroy content as part of
>> your gameplay, then you have a major problem, which is typically
>> solved in say EQ by the grossly disbelievable system of
>> respawning. Yeah, the basic noughts and ones still exist, on the
>> server somewhere as a mob template (or whatever), but you've got
>> to come up with reasons why these things keep coming back to life
>> (or do as 90% of the stuff out there does and not even bother
>> trying to explain what is possibly the most [obviously - like a
>> sore thumb] unrealistic part of the games).

> It's no more grossly disbelievable than any system of magic I've
> ever seen. It's no more grossly disebelivable than the fact that
> you have to eat in many of these worlds, but never have to
> defecate or urinate.

> Is it believable in chess that the queen rather than, say, the
> knight is the most powerful piece? No, and it doesn't
> matter. Internal consistency matters, and the queen is more
> powerful in chess. In most MUDs, mobiles come back to life. So do
> players, for that matter. It happens every time, or nearly every
> time, and that's really what matters.

I think you're being more than a little unfair with your analogy:
Chess is a game of strategy; most MMORPGs seem to be games of
immersion to a strong extent (otherwise why on earth bother with FPS
3D, for a start? Why bother with room descriptions at all - just
have a world filled with "Room 345", "Room 6653" etc?). It does no
harm to rename the chess pieces (at least given the number of
"alternative" chess-piece sets that people are happy to play with
this seems the case)

I agree that lack of defecation is, the moment you stop to think
about it, grossly unbelievable. But it's unbelievable by omission,
and out of site does truly tend to be out of mind; monsters that die
and then re-appear unharmed to start again are very much an
in-your-face situation. To be honest, I generally stop engaging with
a game once I see things like a respawn point...at that point I just
switch to GoP and find it hard if not impossible to resume
suspension of disbelief.

I'm reminded of the FarSide cartoon, where a cow stands up and says
"Hey, this is GRASS! We've been eating grass for all these years!" 
having just realised that there are much better things to be eating
than grass. The fact that "In most MUDs, mobiles come back to life"
doesn't AFAICS affect whether they should or not.

Adam M
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