[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Sat Jun 8 05:12:49 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Fri, 7 Jun 2002, shren wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Jun 2002, Matt Mihaly wrote:
>> Ugh. This illustrates what is, to me, the singlest ugliest trend
>> in MUDs (whether graphical or text), which is the idea that thing
>> <X> -should- work like Y. To me, saying that something like
>> magic, which doesn't exist in the physical world, should have
>> properties Z and effects A, B, and C screams box-thinking. Surely
>> magic can be whatever a designer designs it to be. There's
>> nothing inherently good nor bad about magic doing damage, or not
>> doing damage. It's all dependent on your specific design. We have
>> enough people who can't or won't think beyond D&D as it is. Let's
>> not create new boxes.

> I think you're growling a little loud at us for just having an
> innocent discussion.  For all fantasy computer games I've played,
> all of them, the "magic users" have always had a way to blast the
> enemy, and this method was either used most of the time or not
> used at all because it was either more or less powerful than using
> weapons.  Generations of RPGs have had "balance issues" between
> magic and weapons, and usually balance them in the traditional
> way, some kind of meter on magic, despite the fact that fantasy
> mages from various sources seldom spend thier time counting mana
> and reagents like beans.

I just think it's incredibly boring to try to implement the same
game (D&D) over and over and over. There's absolutely nothing
inherent in magic that makes it a balancing problem. I mean, you
define the capability of every single thing in your game. Magic,
swords, bows and arrows, they're all the same thing. I don't see
that there's anything less magical about shooting a bow at someone
in a game than there is about casting a spell. Anyway, I probably
shouldn't get so annoyed, but when people don't preface these
sweeping statements with, "I think in a standard D&D-type RPG." as
it's easy to be led to believe that the person saying them actually
means them to apply to all games. Maybe such people do, I dunno.

> If you want to talk about boxes, you might measure the one you're
> in.  We haven't even got a working case of our box yet.

I'm sure I have my own box, but I doubt you'll hear me saying "Thief
backstab should always do at least 2x normal dirk damage." or "Magic
should always be like X." I really have a hard time even getting my
mind around what someone who says that means, given that the concept
"magic" is so ill-defined as to be nearly meaningless, or at least
endlessly morphable.


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