[MUD-Dev] Secondary characters as a mechanic

Thiago Moraes darienlkane at netzero.com
Wed Feb 12 07:11:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[Paul Schwanz]

>> I've considered something similar to this idea with the addition
>> that the extra characters would be family members.  I think that
>> having the same surname is a nice IC convention for explaining
>> *why* faction is carried at the account level.

> The family premise is attractive for the problem of players who
> get themselves killed in-game, then make a new character to
> retaliate.

> But having an excuse for this is not REALLY necessary. After all,
> whoever thought it was egregiously silly that players could create
> new characters and pursue old campaigns will probably not be
> impressed by the week-long saga of a player who produced 30
> generations to assault a single living enemy, for example. Not to
> say that the idea is not feasible and cool, but it should not be
> done to make people happy that what happens in game has nothing to
> do with the players' desires. That is just a sisyphean task. The
> way I see it, characters can choose sides more or less
> arbitrarily. If two players wish to continuously battle with
> whatever game pieces they have I see no major problem. If they
> don't that's fine too. The problem occurs when the game is
> supposed to be about playing characters in some other way to begin
> with. Mechanically it is very well possible to slow this down and
> provide counter-incentives for not retaliating, if it's really all
> that important.

I agree, but the point of family linkage scratches on an almost
mechanical issue. Look at it from this angle: by switching
characters at will, you dodge most barriers that would prevent a
player from illicitly spying on a faction. If each of your, say,
four characters belonged to a powerful guild, you'd instantly gain
access to intel from four distinct organizations without moving a
finger to earn it.

UO's ghost system presented a similar quandary when players started
mapping dungeons whilst out-of-body. I guess neither of these cases
is really 'cheating', but they certainly warrant some form of
liability instead of being merely dismissed.

The family premise transcends the role of a cute fancy by providing
ways through which account identity can be researched ("I've been
told you are Lord Flaotf's cousin.. what exatly is your interest in
the Knights of the Hour?"). Otherwise, we might find ourselves a
step short from the disintegration of organized grouping.

Thiago "Darien Kane" Moraes
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