[MUD-Dev] In defense of "soloability"

Coyote Coyote at TimeofDarkness.com
Mon Jun 3 09:09:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Sunday, June 02, 2002 at 6:08 AM, AdamM wrote:
> On Wed, May 29, 2002 at 01:43:50PM -0500, Ron Gabbard wrote:

>> Why do MUD gamers play MUDs vs. traditional client-based RPGs
>> when the traditional RPGs often have... better/deeper storylines
>> written specifically for the individual player, their own fan
>> sites and player communities, module/dungeon creation tools where
>> players can create and share content with each other resulting in
>> almost infinite content, fewer technical problems/no Internet
>> latency, no griefers, no TOS or 'name police', a plot where the
>> player is the 'hero' and not just 'another joe', no running to a
>> dungeon to find all the content 'camped', cheat codes where the
>> players can be 'God' if they desire without being banned for
>> exploiting, no 'nerfs', no having to share loot from kills, no
>> getting disconnected only to come back dead and suffering the
>> 'death penalty', no dependence on other people for fun
>> whatsoever, convenient 'save' options so the player can lower
>> their risk before dangerous encounters if they desire, no server
>> downtime for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance and patches, a
>> lower time commitment required to experience all the content, no
>> monthly subscription fee, and a higher level of convenience in
>> terms of booting up, playing, then quitting out?

>> Traditional RPGs would seem to be superior to MUDs in every way.

> Quick thought: there are some online games I play *only* because I
> know I can't cheat in them - I have too much experience of hacking
> save files to resist the urge to cheat once a certain class of
> game has irritated me enough (generally by killing me several
> times, causing character to lose everything, merely because of a
> game or UI bug!).

> Having a (trusted) third party run the server, such that yourself,
> and those you play with, cannot cheat is- I suspect - a plus point
> in many people's view.

> Lots of games players are weak ;) - and know they need to put the
> power to cheat out of their hands.

One of the biggest reasons I think that people do play muds concerns
that you AREN'T the only person doing it. So you kill that amazingly
tough dragon in a single player game, who are you going to tell? Its
just part of the game. In a MUD, you have friends you tell it
to. Part of it is that you don't HAVE to go kill the dragon on a
mud, where its very likely that you do to complete the single player

This brings up another question of whether or not winning is a goal
you have. Most MUDs don't have any particuliar point that you 'win'
the game.  You may win a Immortal run quest, for which you get a
special prize, but the game continues on. In single player games,
there's usually that point that you reach where there is no
more. You can go back across the realm, collecting more treasure,
fighting the random monster, but there's nothing really else to
gain. Even with player generated content, there's a point that you
beat the add on, and once again need to look for someone else's add
on to play, or make your own.

Given that there are other people on MUDs, you still have
competition.  Perhaps you go the route of PKing, in which there's
always someone that wants that special quest item you got, and
almost always someone that has that special piece of equipment that
you want. If PKing isn't for you (and the mud you play supports it),
you can start (if you didn't do it from the beginning) RPing with
people. Its surprising the stories and fun that can be generated by
a group of people that a computer, no matter how powerful, can

True, the chance for player-generated content is much less,
especially on the larger, corprate MMORGS, but there's usually some
way that you can get in on that. Prove yourself to the immortals
running it, and there's a chance you can build new areas to your
heart's content on most of the smaller, personally owned MUDs. Or,
if you don't want to work on someone else's, start your own! You can
get MUD hosting for about that same $10 a month if you want, and
make your own world.

The biggest thing goes back to the social interaction between
people.  The farther you distance yourself from other's, the less
your accomplishments mean, since you can't share them, in my
opinion.Of course, there's always the chance that you DON'T want to
be around other people, or want to show off that shield made from
the scales of the dragon. If not, then single player games are

The people that play Online games are generally people that want the
social interaction. Want the chance to show off when they accomplish
things.  They put up with griefers, campers, and technical problems
because of this, that they can interact with some people that aren't


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