[MUD-Dev] Re: The Future of MMOGs... what's next?
John Robert Arras
johna at wam.umd.edu
Sat Jun 15 19:03:31 New Zealand Standard Time 2002
On Thu, Jun 13 2002, Amanda Walker <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:
> I don't think of MUDs in general as being competitive at all, at
> least in the RPG sense. I realize that many MUDs exist as a
> medium for playing RPGs, and that I may be unusual in thinking of
> MMORPGs as just one example of a more general category (MMOVEs,
> I'm going to show my age here...
> For context, my first encounter with MUDs was tinymud, and my most
> in-depth experience was LambdaMOO. LambdaMOO was great--lots of
> fascinating content (both areas and objects) created by
> participants, interesting people to talk to, places to explore
> ... not an xp in sight. I didn't "play" LambdaMOO so much as
> "spend time there". It was more of a "place" than a "game".
I like to explore worlds and spend time there, but I also like a
game and I like to have something going on that "counts".
> To me, user-generated content is part of what makes a MUD a MUD.
I agree with you, but I want to use computers as computers, not as
word processors. "Building" to me means recording a story that you
make up, then letting people experience the story as they move
through the world. I used to like building like this, but now I
don't like it as much. I want to use a computer as a computer. This
is related to a lot of the simulation stuff I've been trying to work
out over the past year. It is now boring to me to experience static
worlds, since I realize on some level that it doesn't really matter
what I do there.
I want to abstract what it means to create content, and let the
computer deal with the details. It means letting players affect an
extremely dynamic world, not letting them plop things into the world
that they've made with an external editor.
I don't want to see people making a zone where they set up some orc
mobs that attack some elf mobs once in a while and where the elves
ask the players to do various quests for them.
I want a simulation where there happen to be a collection of orcs
and a collection of elves near each other, and if the players walk
into that part of the world, they might get attacked by the orcs. If
they run into elves, the elves might ask them to find things for
them, of they might ask the players to send messages to other
elves. However, these "quests" wouldn't be created by someone
thinking up quests, they would be created because the elves the
players are talking to have goals and they need something done and
they're asking for help.
The content generation that the players do is to decide if they want
to help the orcs or the elves and based on their actions, one side
or the other might win. That way players can affect the world, but
the world moves on consistently and folds their actions into its
history. I also have no problems with things like letting players
build cities from within the game, just externally grafted on. I
think MUDs can and will be so much more than that (someday :)).
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