[MUD-Dev] FedExing

Jesus Lopez jelorol at yahoo.es
Thu Jan 22 10:13:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


--- Alistair Riddoch <alriddoch at zepler.org> escribió:

> It is possible that the very negative view of FedEx-ing that
> dominates this thread is itself heavily influenced by the era in
> which we live.  Travel is to us mundane, and often boring. Many of
> us deal regularly with stressful long journeys to work on
> congested travel networks.  Long distance air travel is almost
> universally dreaded by those who have experienced it before, which
> would almost certainly seem incredible to people living only a few
> decades ago.

> By contrast, in a pre-technological culture travel can be viewed
> very differently. It would almost certainly be much more
> dangerous, and certain types of traveller would have status
> associated with their travels. Even in fairly recent times, the
> simple task of delivering mail to frontier areas was extremely
> dangerous, and those who succeeded in delivering important mail in
> extreme circumstances were regarded as heroes[1].

> Creating a quest as a simple delivery job may at first seem easy,
> and unoriginal, but it does not in itself remove the possibility
> of originality from the quest. Frodo's simple delivery job ends up
> taking 3 large volumes in which he encounters the various expected
> and unexpected barriers to completing his task.  Perhaps then the
> key to original quests is not in the top level task, but in the
> middle level subtasks associated with completing the quest?

You pointed out something interesting. In fact, most of the tasks a
character can pursue/achieve are related more to the way it is
completed, rather than the act of completing the task on itself.

Some examples, like defeating a demon, gaining access to a
brotherhood, reaching a skill level...even fedexing, all show us
that the entertainment value is mostly related to the path the
player follows (finding the enemy + getting the magic axe + receive
the blessing from your God, etc).

In short: What matters is the way you do something, not just doing
it.

The main problem I see with fedexing is that the player feels he/she
is doing the same thing over and over again, because he/she can
clasify the tasks as "fedexing quests", not because they really mean
that the player repeats the gaming experience. Probably a subtle
makeup of the quests would do the work most of the times (e.g: if an
alchemist requires the character to retrieve a dragon tooth in order
to prepare a potion, why not ask directly the character to prepare
the potion, so the fedexing quest becomes embedded in the main
quest?)
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