[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Chatterley matt at eldoops.co.uk
Fri Jun 7 00:12:48 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Thu, 6 Jun 2002 szii at sziisoft.com wrote:
> From: "Matt Chatterley" <matt at eldoops.co.uk>

> In reply:

>   1) Yes it's a problem.

>   2) Not so much of a problem.  You call in your guild/friends to
>   get them off.

Mike -- thanks for the succinct reply! ;)

I do agree with your assessment (it's very similar to my own basic
opinion, almost verbatim, actually). However, you tripped a few
thoughts in my brain, and I thought I'd spew them out to the list.

In answer (almost to myself!) to #1 -- Newbies being beaten up:

I don't know if I chose the right word by using 'problem' (I'm about
to nitpick, so hang on tight!). It's a bad thing -- new players (I
consider a newbie to be a player who is new to the game, not a new
character belonging to an old player) often face a steep enough
learning curve without some goit pounding them into dust while they
fumble with their keyboard trying to remember the commands to use.

The options which I've always favoured in the past have been
disallowing attacks on a player within a few days of their creation
(or a certain quantity of online time, or where appropriate, a
certain level), or having safe newbie areas where they cannot be
reached, much less attacked.

The latter no longer appeals to me -- I'm hoping to create a
dynamic, thriving game world which plays as if the player were
controlling a character in a book or movie, with the story unfolding
and twisting ahead of them. Separating Newbies and Oldbies from each
other is bad under this model (no scarred veterans to consult for
advice, and no mysterious characters lurking in the corners watching
the bold new crop of adventurers). The former (certainly in terms of
online time) does appeal as a hard-coded method to prevent new
players being abused.

The option I am likely to take with my latest project is probably to
place very few, maybe even no restrictions on this, however. The
model for game combat makes every fight a risk (albeit a small
one). Since all PCs are to be the heroes and villains of the world
(the Frodos, Gandalfs, Aragorns, Vimes, Rincewinds, etc), they are
all from the outset, more powerful than the average citizen. A lot
of a PCs power will come from the players ability to make use of the
powers and skills which the character has amassed.

Of course, this will still leave new players out gunned. The
solution?  It's strongly linked to issue #2 (originally -- is it a
problem that a player might be repeatedly crunched by another who
dislikes them -- Mike brought up the issue of guilds/clans).

By having strongly bound together and actively social clans, perhaps
it is possible to create an environment where the older members of
each guild/clan would look after their new recruits, showing them
around, and looking after them for a bit (they might even be
rewarded by the guild for this -- recruiting and ensuring the
membership of fresh blood).

It's an interesting issue to toss around, anyway.



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