[MUD-Dev] Reward system for social gaming?

Arnau Josep Rosselló Castelló arossello at atmsa.org
Mon Dec 26 09:51:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


18/10/2005 10:07 +0000, cruise wrote:

> Arguably, if combat, crafting or magic-casting becomes
> sufficiently intricate then even those skills can be naturally
> occurring within the player. Beat 'em ups have no need for
> skill-based stats ("Zangief attempts to peform a spinning
> piledriver, but rolls a 4 and fumbles!") since the skill is in the
> hands holding the controller.

In the computer game industry roleplaying game is a code phrase for
"game in which the player avatar perfects or gains new abilities" as
opposed to simply "you advance in the game as you learn to play
better".

Of course simply watching your avatar get better at crushing
things(a la Progress Quest) is pretty boring, so you have to provide
some entertainment in the form of compelling narrative, complex
strategic options, or some substitute of the twitch/skill things
that your avatar is doing for you now.

That last point has been implemented too many times as "your avatar
gets a new ability, you get a new button to use", where the
complexity is always to hit the right button from the many you have,
as fast as possible.

I think a better way to do this is to rely again on the player
ability, but make the avatar skill affect the information or the
difficulty of the action; for example in deus ex using the scope of
the sniping gun made the aim wobble a bit, but higher levels of the
"sniping" ability progressively remove it. In many MUDs when some
player talks to you you get his text with 100-skill_in_her_tongue%
letters garbled. I always thought with the great sky implementation
you had in Morrowind, why there wasn't any quest that involved going
in the direction of some constellation or waiting for the moons to
get in a certain position.

I guess I'd like to ask now why nothing like that is done on
comercial MORPRLGS. All you can usually find there is on the "find a
pixel" category or "click buttons on your ui in the right
order". Text MUDs, which are much more limited by it's interface,
have gone to great lengths to give the maximum variety in this
aspect, so why is the graphical MUD stuck on the basics?
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