[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev Digest, Vol 7, Issue 9
pschwanz at comcast.net
Thu Jan 8 19:15:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004
Freeman, Jeff wrote:
> From: Paul Schwanz [mailto:pschwanz at comcast.net]
>> I'm still not sure why we have it in for camping when players so
>> obviously like to camp. Or why we have it in for farming when
>> players seem to prefer to farm. Why don't these facts cause us
>> instead to come up with better ways to help players enjoy camping
>> and farming?
> Plus it's not very epic or heroic. I think the immersion-spoiling
> "bad fiction" aspect of it is one of the things they complain
> about more than the actual activity.
> Farming in MUDs is pretty enjoyable for some folk (actual farming,
> that is: Plant seeds, watch them grow, harvest the crops), all
> things considered.
> The thing that would make killing monsters epic and heroic in
> relation to (literal) farming would be an added "... and defend
> the crops from ravenous hoards or orcs and/or revenuers..."-step.
> Players farm dragons for gold and loot because it's a great way to
> get gold and loot, but that could be engineered so that mining for
> gold and setting up mystical forges to produce magic items was the
> better method: With the dragon popping in to disrupt the farming,
> rather than the dragon being the thing that the player is farming.
> End result is about the same (and I agree the players do enjoy the
> gathering/farming/camping/ranching aspect of the activity), but I
> think the fictional trapping could be improved.
> So the play is the same: You kill monsters in a dungeon and get
> loot (which players enjoy). But fictionally, in the one case
> you're just killing monsters for the loot. In the other case,
> you're killing monsters to prevent them from getting the loot.
[Please ignore my email, Jeff. The more I thought about it the
more I realized I did have some things I wanted to add to this.]
I absolutely agree with the sort of approach you are talking about
here. It seems to me that you pointed out a couple of reasons that
this approach may be better than the current one.
1. Some players actually do like activities like literal
Actually, I think that these sorts of activities are the ones
that are likely to end up as much more attractive to all those
people who play cards or other low-committment games on the
2. The current approach is immersion-spoiling and the fictional
trapping could be improved.
I'd like to point out a few other things that I think recommend this
approach over the current one.
3. It provides for many points of interaction and potential
relationship-building between the low-risk producers and the
monster bashers. (Although, to be fair, many players will
probably adopt a role as both producer and monster basher.)
4. Monster bashing can become more quest-driven, which I believe
will help it feel more purposeful. However, these quests do not
require paid content creators since they are player-generated
quests. For some reason, it makes a really big difference to me
whether I'm killing critters because they truly are a nuisance to
my friend Bubba or I'm killing them because NPC shopkeeper#571
says they are a nuisance to him, but I really know that it makes
no difference to him or the gameworld whether I kill the critters
or not. But I suppose this could be getting back into fictional
trappings being improved.
5. You could implement a system with more interesting monster
spawing schemes (eg. surplus food and shelter cause monster
birthings or new lairs) without as much concern about players
totally wiping out a population in order to harvest resources from
them. In wild areas away from farms/mines/ranches, some really
scary sorts might end up growing, one day spilling out into
civilization and causing a crisis. Or perhaps civilization spills
into the wild area.
6. The ability to avoid or shun monsters becomes more of a valid
playstyle since you don't have to kill them in order to harvest
resources. The skill of being able to hide from monsters as you
go into the monster-infested mine to get gold adds a natural
thief-type playstyle that doesn't have to be married with a
devastating backstab in order to be valid.
7. To the non-RPG player, I think the approach you proposed would
be much more intuitive than the current one.
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