[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Derek Licciardi kressilac at insightbb.com
Sun Apr 13 21:41:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: Paul Schwanz

> It isn't that the MUD offers more complex gameplay, but that it
> has a much more complex problem to solve.

This assumes that the problem being solved roughly equates to
replicating the tabletop experience in a more massive scale.  I
believe the complexity is even greater than that because limiting
MMOs to the tabletop RPG function set, ignores the more complex
abilities the MMO medium is just beginning to show.

In the next few years, I think we will see some of the major issues
in the industry ironed out as we approach significantly complex
worlds, player-generated content, and player-owned worlds.  Large
scale group coordination and communication were never the province
of the ruleset for tabletop RPGs, though it should be a major design
to any community-based MMO game.  My point is that it is unfair to
both D&D and MMOs to compare their systems in anything but the
simplest of ways.  In reality the mediums are so very different.

D&D wasn't created to manage large scale political systems with
thousands of players.  It was built to handle small party
experiences and is completely cumbersome when dealing with armies
and other such mechanics.  MMOs routinely handle large groups of
people coordinated to a specific goal.  IMHO the two systems have in
common only the facts that they have mechanics for swinging a sword
and casting a spell.  Both have things that can be learned from but
you need to look elsewhere to truly take advantage of one or the
other.  I guess that's why I don't get what all of the fuss is about
on the list about D&D vs MMOs.  In my mind its comparing apples to
oranges.

Derek



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