[MUD-Dev] MMORPGs & MUDs

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Sat Dec 22 10:37:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Jeff Freeman posted on Friday, December 21, 2001 2:15 AM

> Gamers are screaming and yelling about art versus entertainment?
> No, Mike, other than Jessica's rant about how bad PKs were in UO 3
> years ago, they are not.

> Or if they are, then they are doing it very, very, very quietly.

> 'Cause otherwise I would hear them, I think.

> Want to point me to a forum I've missed?

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Also, please note, these
are critiques of intent vs. playability, which I categorize as "art
vs. fun" -- when the players don't see or experience what the
development team promises:

  This fabulous poll (10/21/2001)
    http://www.voodooextreme.com/pollcomments.taf?pollid=93
  Kudos to the DaOC team, incidentally, they're winning.

  Thinking Virtually by Shannon Appelcline
  - #33: The Fun Factor
    http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/virtually26nov01.html

  Mu's Unbelievably Long and Disjointed Ramblings About RPG Design
  - The Grandfather Clause of Stupidity
    http://mu.ranter.net/theory/general.html#grandfather

  Foaming at the Mouth by Erich S. Arendall
  - Hanging Up the Dice Bag
    http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/spritefeb01.html
  - You're Doing What On-Line?
    http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/spritejan99.html
  - Computer RPGs and How Most Aren't
    http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/spritejan98.html

  Gamegrene.com's Rants
  - What's Wrong With RPG's? Part 1
    http://www.gamegrene.com/rants/whats_wrong_with_online_rpgs_part_1.shtml
  - What's Wrong With RPG's? Part 2
    http://www.gamegrene.com/rants/whats_wrong_with_online_rpgs_part_2.shtml
  - Click Me Baby One More Time
     http://www.gamegrene.com/rants/click_me_baby_one_more_time.shtml

  Ack! by Jeff Freeman
  - The One True Way to Roleplay
    http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/ackjul99.html
  "I haven’t played on a text MUD (or MUSH) since Ultima Online came
  out."

Did I mention that a lot of my feedback comes from disgruntled
players who quit MMORPGs and went back to MUDs?

Perhaps the issue is that the MMORPG forums are exactly the wrong
place to be listening for customer feedback.  Those aren't the
customers I'm talking about -- indeed, the customers I'm talking
about are disgusted long before they would engage in a forum, a
newsgroup, or a list.  These are the folks who play those "dead"
games -- tabletop RPGs, MUDs, among others.  If they simply bashed
the medium, I would agree that their opinion is irrelevant.  But
it's not irrelevant, because they paid, and then they stopped
paying.

They were lost as customers.

Fundamentally, this thread can't really go anywhere without
developing the concept of what the target customer is.  Obviously, I
believe everyone I just listed has a valid opinion, because they're
paying customers.  Conversely, one could argue they aren't the
target market.  But I'm of the opinion the target market is anyone
with a credit card.  In which case, just about every person's
opinion about the game is valid.

We can go round and round with this, but it won't mean much if we
can't define whose opinion SHOULD matter.  I'm curious as to what
the ideal player is -- the one that's SHOULD be playing MMORPGs.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org/talien

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