Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Dec 19 08:20:22 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Tue, 18 Dec 2001, Lee Sheldon wrote:
> From: Matt Mihaly
>> Well, they are inevitabilities even on a MUD Achaea's size, I
>> think. We just jump on it faster, and, more importantly, have
>> developed a culture that discourages it. I don't see any reason
>> the big MUDs can't jump on it just as fast, but I recognize that
>> creating a culture (well, a beneficial culture) is a lot harder
>> as you get more and more people, especially when, as in these
>> games, you need them more than they need you (unlike, say, a
>> corporation and a rank and file employee.)

> I'm a bit confused why you lump in giving away secrets like quest
> info with kill stealing and other griefing.  It seems to me that
> the former can actually be a positive for building community
> around a game.  It is an inevitability that I'd rather embrace
> than "jump on."  If you accept the fact that secrets will be
> shared, doesn't it make more sense to create quests where the
> experience is not so dependent on the secret, and therefore
> spoiled by its premature revelation?  Most good movies, even those
> dependent on surprise, are entertaining even when the surprise(s)
> are known.  Even those like "Psycho," "The Crying Game" or "The
> Sixth Sense" have pleasures beyond the initial surprise.  If the
> quest design focused players less on where events take place, and
> the (probably FedEx) details, and more on the entertainment to be
> derived from the encounters, surroundings, context, etc. then
> knowing the secret would simply allow players to skip through the
> puzzle elements (if they chose), and concentrate on story or other
> content elements, much the way some players used walkthroughs to
> move through an adventure game.

Well, you could say that about any inevitability really. It makes
sense to create systems that are beneficial around any inevitable
behavior, whether it is grief play or giving away quest secrets. I
don't actually look at giving away quest secrets are inherently bad,
except insofar as it does, perversely, seem to really upset a lot of
players. On the rare occasions players shout out asking how to do a
quest, they are immediately shouted down and told to figure it out
for themselves. On the other hand, I'm sure they tell their friends
and proteges how to do them all the time, which is great as far as
I'm concerned. Another reason for bonding with people.

I guess if I was being completely honest, I find websites with quest
info on them annoying on a gut level. I really would prefer players
learn them by talking directly to other players rather than going to
some impersonal website.


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