[MUD-Dev] Building a \\\'Deeper\\\' M MOG

Paul Schwanz paul.schwanz at east.sun.com
Sun Jun 30 21:46:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "Brian Lindahl" <lindahlb at hotmail.com>
> From: Yannick.Jean at csst.qc.ca

>> about. Maybe achievement has been badly implemented in MMORPG so
>> far (as in often mindless and repetitive), but this is no reasons
>> to say that kind of play is any "shallower" than any others.

> I think you're seeing deeper in terms of better again. Playing for
> achievement isn't better, it's simply different. However, it
> doesn't require as much thought and, thus, it isn't as deep of an
> experience. You put more thought into the creation of your
> character because the character's actions must follow within the
> personality of the character. Playing for achievement means that
> your character's actions follow in suit of obtaining 'things', be
> it levels, items, gold, etc. This pursuit is much more direct and
> doesn't require the deep involvement of the first, roleplaying.

Yah, if you define achievement in shallow terms and then design that
into your MUD, it will be shallow.  In life, achievement might mean
becoming president of a nation, CEO of a corporation, leading a
mission to Mars, starting a spiritual revolution, or any of a number
of other interesting and deep pursuits that might have nothing to do
with 'levels, items, or gold.'  I see no reason that achievement in
a game cannot be just as interesting and deep.

Do you really believe that guiding a community from a small city to
an empire, fending off rivals while trying to put forward a coherent
vision for progress, managing people to see that needed resources
are aquired and put to proper use, all while defending that
community from outside forces that would like to see it fail--do you
really believe that all of this is so much less interesting and deep
than merely acting like you are doing all of these things?

I'm with the original poster.  Let's not confuse a very small range
of implementations for achievement with the sum total of all that it
is possible for achievement to bring to a game.  I just don't buy
that a game about being the head of a nation must be more shallow
than one about acting like you are the head of a nation.  I'll
accept that the theme (nation-building in this case) is very
important to the success, but I reject the notion that roleplay is
the only, the best, or the deepest method for implementing that
theme.  For me, a simulation is more likely to build a coherent
theme than is having others act in a particular manner.  I don't
claim to be the universal game player in this regard, but I don't
think I'm way out on the fring of game players either.


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