[MUD-Dev] Design: Episodic MMOG's (not expansionistic)

Caliban Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Fri Feb 10 11:44:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mud-dev-bounces+caliban=darklock.com at kanga.nu 
> [mailto:mud-dev-bounces+caliban=darklock.com at kanga.nu] On 
> Behalf Of Sean Howard
> Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 2:21 PM
> To: Discussion of MUD system design, development,and implementation
> Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Design: Episodic MMOG's (not expansionistic)
> They don't want to lose progress, and they don't ever want 
> to hit a brick wall where they can't progress anymore,
> especially when player ability is that wall (makes them feel 
> feeble). That spiral upwards thing is what brings in the 
> subscriptions. I mean, if the game essentially reset every 
> month or two, why would somebody subscribe for four years 
> straight? 

I think you have some assumptions here. 

Assumption number one is that the world resets at arbitrary intervals
assigned by the developers. If the world could be reset by a player in
the normal course of the game, that might be a different matter.

Assumption number two is that when the world resets, the characters
reset with it. It ain't necessarily so. You could, in fact, reset the
game world and drop player avatars into some suitable respawn location.
It is conceivable that you might handle this the same way your game
handles character death.

Assumption number three is that when a character is reset, the player
loses abilities. In Quake deathmatch, your abilities rest with you. If
you get killed, you lose what you are carrying - nothing more. You
remain every bit as good (or bad) at the game as you were already.

I would propose something like this. At some difficult-to-reach location
(which changes), there is a button that resets the game under some
plausible in-game rationale. When a character gets there, he gets to
choose whether or not to hit the button. If he does, the game world
resets and people are thrown around the world semi-randomly, but without
losing any experience or abilities. If he doesn't, it reappears
elsewhere in the game until someone else finds it. 

Comments? Criticism?

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