[MUD-Dev] Secondary characters as a mechanic

Sasha Hart hart.s at attbi.com
Tue Feb 11 02:53:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[Damion Schubert]

>> These characters can be played simultaneously, but the game would
>> focus on the "party as character" and "primary as character".
>> For example, faction would be carried at the party level.

> I've considered this idea before.  Where I end up getting stuck is
> why anyone would join a group with another person if they could be
> this self-sufficient.

Consider that the player always has a 'game-body' of controlled
game- entities. Usually this is just one character, in this case it
would be multiple characters. What matters is not whether each
character has an interdependence relation with the others, but that
each player has an interdependence relation with the others (with
interdependence among one player's characters up to you) - because
ultimately what you want, however it's managed in game, is people
grouping with other people in some sense.

Alternatively, look at MANY games that work fine without any kind of
class system. I am like a broken record, but most games outside of
genre do not have warriors, thieves, mages and clerics. 'Grouping'
in the general sense of medium to long term social relationships
persists along all kinds of lines other than the aimless posse -
business relation, alliance, drinking-buddy, mercenary, boss,
mentor, and on and on. Anyway, in several high-profile games
grouping in the specific sense of ganging up to fight other enemies
is supported more by the inability to solo than any
warrior-thief-mage- cleric style lineup of reciprocal weaknesses and

> It does have the possibility of working in a more war-oriented
> game (like Shadowbane), but then again, one could argue that it
> already exists in the form of Nexon's MMORTS Shattered Galaxies.

Absolutely, the variations just haven't been all that well explored
(as others have mentioned). For example, I would assume that MMORTS
is generally going to involve a lot less personification in-game; in
RTS you are usually a floating intelligence more than anything else.
And the intermediate territory seems like something MUDs might
explore, since it is such a tradition in MUDs to emphasize taking up
a distinct role.

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