[MUD-Dev] Expectations of in-game reality

Eli Stevens listsub at wickedgrey.com
Thu Oct 25 16:54:18 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>

> So why are all of us (including myself) willing to accept
> fire-breathing dragons more quickly than respawning mobs as 'real'
> within the fiction of the world? Is it because fire-breathing
> dragons have a long tradition of being an element of 'fantasy'
> worlds?

> What about other, even more improbably things, not found in normal
> 'fantasy' worlds. For instance, Achaea has 'humgiis' that serve as
> garbage cans. They're cute little creatures that can eat anything,
> of any size. It makes no sense at all that something the size of a
> small dog (even with its big mouth) would eat, say, the corpse of
> an elephant. Yet, I've seen 'em do it, with my very own eyes, and
> didn't have any problem believing it.

> Anyway, I don't have time to think about it right now, but I'd be
> interested in hearing opinions as to why something like the humgii
> is believable yet something like mob-respawning is not. There's
> some perceived (it's not really a real distinction either, as both
> are ridiculous if thought of in context of the physical world)
> distinction between the two, and I can't put my finger any closer
> than, "I know it when I see it." (which is utterly unsatisfying).

Having only thought about it for a few minutes, I am not sure if
this is what I really think, but my first impression is that the
believability stems from the attempt to make the Humgii
quasi-logical.  Since the point of the Humgii is not that they eat
things (the point is that there is a way to get rid of trash), and
we have seen snakes eat things much larger than they (at least
before they got their jaws around the water buffalo), the Humgii is
an easy extension of what we know.  Why does trash go away?  Humgii
eat all of it, and players can watch them do this.

Explanation + perception...

Why do Orcs come back after you kill them?  Well, they just do.  I
think that if an Orc shaman did a little dance and opened up a
portal to whatever Orc-y hell the dead ones went to, and out popped
a newly living Orc, respawning would be a lot more believable.

Just my first thought.  :)


Honor is a crutch for those unable to wage war on an uneven battlefield.

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