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

John Robert Arras johna at wam.umd.edu
Wed Jun 12 22:43:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Amanda Walker wrote:
> On 6/11/02 2:48 PM, John Robert Arras <johna at wam.umd.edu> wrote:

>> 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.
> Why not?  There are a number of hidden assumptions here that I
> think are not at all given.  Examples:
> - Game play can affect player abilities ("levelling").  Easy to
> fix, toss out the ideas of levels and experience points.  I've had
> problems with the whole concept from the days of D&D onward, and
> even in paper RPGs the groups I played with never paid much
> attention to it.  I don't think there's anything that *requires*
> the whole xp/ability cycle to make a game fun.

I want points of some kind or I feel like I am just chatting. If
players get access to powerful building tools such as those used by
the original creators to make the world, then they will be able to
game the system. These points could be items or badges saying that
you completed certain quests.

I want to compete against other people in a game. If I go online to
play chess, I want to play against someone, not with someone against
an AI. I also want a record of my competitions, which leads to some
kind of points.

I can imagine games where people submit puzzles and solve them, and
you avoid competition, but I want a MUD to be a world rather than a
game or a small facet of a world. I don't think that a MUD like this
would keep my attenting and grab me as much as one where I could
actually affect the world over time.

> - Items/objects from a private world will unbalance the main one.
> Why?  Who says that ray guns have to work against dragons?  A user
> may create a piece of content where their assumptions do apply,
> but nothing says that they have to apply in the areas that you (or
> anyone else) control.  You could even make this a feature:
> consider a plot device similar to Zelazny's "Amber" books: "dang,
> I forgot that gunpowder doesn't work in this dimension."

I consider this to be "not bringing anything back". If there is an
actual game with some kind of competition or mechanics, and you
don't bring anything back that gives you an advantage in the main
world, then you haven't really brought anything back. You have an "I
went to MiniQuestWorld and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"
T-shirt, and that's fine by me. It's the equivalent of a restring to

> If MUD admins can let other people be wizards who can create
> content, thus making that MUD more fun and engaging, I see no
> reason the same can't be true for MMO games.

Most MUDs don't let any old person have the ability to create any
kind of content from the get-go. There is usually a period where
trust is built up and the person gets more and more abilities as
they are deemed trustworthy and competent. I doubt that a giant MUD
could just allow anyone to build any old thing and connect it to the
main world without seriously checking things first. I don't see how
to get around this problem without essentially hiring players to do
the checking through a voting or player review process.


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