[MUD-Dev] Re: The Future of MMOGs... what's next? (fwd)

John Robert Arras johna at wam.umd.edu
Tue Jun 11 14:48:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


<snip forwarded message by "Talanithus Hotmail" talanithus at hotmail.com>

I read this a couple of days ago over on the IGDA forums. I think he
missed the point of MUDs. There's so much in the letter that I don't
agree with, that I can't respond to it all. Instead, I will try to
be brief and maybe post more later as I think about it more.

I don't think his model of letting people make their own minizones
will work within a MUD. The level of cheating possible is almost
beyond description (see Diablo I).

An FPS, RTS, or CRPG like NWN have many common characteristics. The
main point is that when you're playing, you're in a little
sandbox. What you do this hour doesn't affect what you will do the
next hour. I can't imagine people letting other people transfer
characters from one NWN minigame to another without a lot of
checking or knowing the person behind the character. I can't imagine
Bioware letting people play characters in their own little modules
and then play them in some central game.

This is not to say that I am opposed to players creating
things. It's just that you can't let people make their own little
worlds to play in and then let them return to the main game.

That means these little worlds must be totally separate from the
main world since nothing can return from them. That's no different
than people playing on a MUD and then deciding to take some time out
to play some Q3A or AoK.

He talks about meta-communities forming, but that happens somewhat
in the MUD world already where people have their own little games
and then go to message boards and websites (or IMC) to interact
outside of their own games. However, these are still separate
games. If you ran a MUD, would you let someone bring characters into
your game from another MUD, even if the codebases were exactly the
same? Me either.

Maybe I was reading his post wrong, but my reaction to reading this
article is that he doesn't get the difference between "one long-term
world for everyone", and "many short-term worlds for small groups"
and how you can't apply the same methods of creation to both types.

I am all for player creation. Let them build houses and hire
pets/guards. Let them run shops. Let them create their own clothing
and equipment and modify things that they find. Let them band
together to build castles and cities with armies. Let them take over
other nations and control large pieces of the countryside. In fact,
license the game engine and let people make their own MUDs. That's a
fine idea, but it's not the same as being a part of a single MUD,
and it shouldn't be used to let people make their own MUDs and use
these MUDs to run characters for use in the central "real" MUD.


John

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