[MUD-Dev] Boredom

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Sat May 25 09:07:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Ben Chambers wrote on Friday, May 24, 2002 9:58 PM

> What do you do to prevent players getting bored?  It is inevitable
> that at some point they will become so good that the areas and
> monsters you have made just don't challenge them... Generated
> quests just won't be difficult enough, and you won't be able to
> churn out new areas to explore and new scripted/programmed quests
> to do.  How do you keep a player like that entertained?

Boredom of this sort is due to sticking too closely to a standard
paradigm: the players get together, find a threat, destroy the
threat, return to home base and are completely safe.

Want to make it entertaining?  There must be a random element that
breaks up this comfort zone.  GOPers hate it.  They hate it because
it means they can't exactly time, control, and otherwise plan for
the monster threats.

RetroMUD has random events.  These random events include everything
from thieves raiding castles, to pests appearing in the castles, to
angels and demons teleporting around the game harassing evil or good
respectively.  In short, sometimes we bring the monsters to THEM.
Even the most powerful PC must stay on his guard.

Additionally, various worlds have their own hazards.  On Perdow, the
world of chaos, bandits run rampant and routinely attack people on
their way to their homes.  On Sosel, dinosaurs try to eat just about
everybody.

There are of course means to defend against this.  Players can
shield their castles, teleport around rather than walk, etc.
Newbies are immune to most ambush events.

But the dangers are intentionally unpredictable.  Some may walk in
while PCs are having a conversation.  But at no point in time can a
PC simply assume that he's safe all the time.  You can't make a
script for these situations.

Bring the challenge to the players, mix up their comfort zones, turn
their worlds upside down every once in awhile and they'll curse you
for it -- but keep coming back for more.

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


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