[MUD-Dev] Boys and Girls - was (Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs)

mystran at ltv.cx mystran at ltv.cx
Tue Apr 9 14:55:52 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


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Original message: http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2002Q1/msg00005.php


This is a rather old post I am replying to but I felt it was
necessary.

On Thu,  3 Jan 2002 14:59:48 -0800 (PST)
"Sellers, Mike" <msellers at origin.ea.com> wrote:
 
> So how does this apply to MUDs?  At first blush, it would seem
> that online worlds provide a great context, and plenty of
> opportunity for relationship-building and meaning.  Unfortunately,
> this is mainly an illusory promise extended to the players and
> then rudely jerked away.  In most game-worlds nothing you do will
> really make any difference to the world.  You can kill the Big Bad
> Guy, but he'll respawn in twenty minutes.  This pretty much
> deflates any real meaning it has to kill him (other than from a
> purely goal-oriented, "I did this" POV).  You can solve the big
> mystery, but it'll reset in a day or so.  You can have social
> relationships with other players (but not with NPCs), but the
> relationship is typically no deeper than a consensual game of
> "make believe."  As soon as someone disagrees, the relationship
> immediately devolves to a "got you!"/"did not!"  childish level.

There is an old game Ultima 8: Pagan, that I and at least one other
I know (let's call him X) found different.

It is a singleplayer roleplaying game, horribly buggy even after
patching.  But there is one thing that makes it different.

You can move any item. There are number of books in the game with
real content, and you even get a house at a later point of game.
You need to collect reagents to make magic items that you can cast
spells with and so on.

Now, what X did, was to completely decorate his house again.  This
had no effect to the plot. He searched for a copy of every book in
the game to have a full library. He moved his bed to another room,
placed one book to the table near it, went to do some fishing, and
placed them into one of the barrels he had found, he even had a
supply of psychedelic mushrooms (makes the colors of the game rotate
for some time when eaten) locked in a chest so that "the guards
won't notice I'm addicted".

You could go to a pub, and throw darts.

Mobs do respawn. But after all, you can change the worlds
permanently quite a lot. I did something like this too, but to a
lesser extend.  Mostly collected things like book with description
of all the potions and so on, but X actually played the game just
finishing his house like twice the time it took him to complete
it. And that's not to count the time he spend doing unnecessary
stuff WHEN playing the plot first time.

I haven't seen this kind of freedom (apart from to a lesser degree
in other ultimas) in any other game. And even if it's the buggiest
piece of code I've completed and runs awful on a 486, I'd say it was
the most fun.

Ultima Online has some of that, but not all. Maybe the problem with
it is mainly that the "great plot" can't slowly drift on, because
that would affect other players experience too much.

I'm actually planning on a MUD (with a possible 3d client later)
that will (if ever finished) make it possible to use every single
item included in the game, and move them anywhere you want if you
just can carry them (not too heavy). On plan list is also characters
that are born, live and die if not by a sword the by age. Experience
will be so slow to earn (if not there at all) that to be a better
player means that you have a lot of friends and possibly are
carrying (the one and only copy of) an ancient artifact that was
forged by a player character blacksmith now dead for ages.

We'll see if it ever works, but it should be fun to make, and play.
Ah, and no, you will not lose your character on death. Not if you
have a son or daughter that you can start playing, -grin-

 - Mystran the Dark-Elf

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