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Old 01-17-2003, 05:08 AM   #1
Cayn
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Question

Ok, first off I'm going to try very hard not to start a childish flamewar but I feel that a  recent review about our mud deserves a response. The review was by a former player who went by  the name of "Catta" on The Dragon's Den. If you like you can see the review itself by pasting  this link:

http://www.topmudsites.com/cgi-bin....um=1957

Anyhow it is my intention to simply rebuke Catta's review on the merits alone and not involve  personal thoughts or feelings about Catta.

1) This is a smaller mud with about 5k rooms.

Yes the size is approximately right. We do not open 200+ room areas. We open 10 - 50 room areas. We do this because we believe in making our areas dense, complex, and very in depth.

2) The (sic) are constantly changing the key elements of play.

I don't know exactly what her contention is or if it is a sweeping statement, but I will address a few things about changes. We do from time to time make changes to how the game is played. This is done for a few reasons. Balance, to correct obvious and large flaws, and sometimes just to throw a curve at the players. I'm certain that it is a difficult pill to swallow for a player when something like how quests are calaculated gets changed and you suddenly need more quest
points than you had before. Then is when we get the feedback about "this sucks", or "this is so unfair." But when we changed things and made experience much much easier to get there was nary a word said. Whatever she, or anyone has a problem with us having changed it should be addressed
with the wizards and gods of the mud that is the only way an issue like that gets taken under consideration.

3) The code is sloppy and some things do not work at all.

Well first off I'll assume that Catta refers to bugs since she had no access to the code itself. Any mud out there has bugs, more than we'd all like to admit to being there. Dragon's Den is certainly no exception. Now we could go through in a matter of a few hours and fix virtually every bug we have infecting our code, but it would be a patch and not a true fix to the problems. So rather than fixing every bug that gets reported up with a quick band-aid we make an attempt to
actually fully investigate and correct all levels of the code on some of the bugs, while other bugs we do apply "band-aids" to. It's a selective process and yes more often we should address bugs that we don't but we do address the ones that are most relevant, and not always relevant from a players point of view either.

3) The 4 guilds are highly flawed, and the promise for new ones has yet to be met.

Yes the guilds need work, or rather the mud is in dire need of new guilds. Those are being coded and tested. There has never been a promise of new ones delivered by any certain time, or even any timeframe. Where Catta got the idea that there was I have no idea. Also to address the four current guilds they are not highly flawed, but they are unbalanced. Over the years the rest of the mud has progressed, but the guilds have often been left behind. Rather than putting any
discernable effort into the current guilds we have choosen to focus on new ones, and new areas.

4) The realm is haphazardly placed together with no real geography.It is more a collection of free floating mini-areas.There are many dead ends on this mud.

Yes and no... this statement is partially true. Currently the muds realms, and domains are lacking cohesion, but as new areas are phased in to overtake the old a concerted effort is being made to "tighten" things up. This takes time, especially when you consider our areas sometimes take 3+ months to be approved for inclusion into the game. I am at a loss for what is meant by "There are many dead ends on this mud" so as much as I'd like to I can't begin to address that.

5) The admin. is distant and out of touch for the most part.

Being part of the staff I will only briefly address this issue and allow our players to engage it more fully if they see fit. Yes the admin and staff is probably more out of touch than we should be, but we are not distant or unfriendly. In fact we make every effort to engage the players on one level or another, but we do try our best to seperate our friendliness with players from their gameplay. This no doubt gives us an appearance of disregard for what happens and the way our
players feel about how things are done. Nothing could be further from the truth but we do not have a majority rules system in place. So just because 99% of the players complain about something does not mean we will change it to suit their tastes.

6) Dragon's Den can be a guessing game when it comes to finding the correct syntax for the command.

Yes it can be. This is by design. We've stripped out the all to common 'search' command (in fact we have totally banned its usage) that can be found on so many different muds. And we most certainly do go out of our way to make syntax difficult. This to is by design. Why? Because if you can stick with our syntax and do well then you are likely fairly intelligent. We openly seek this kind of player out.

7) The help files are out of date and not very well written.

The help files are being rewritten but it takes time. Keep in mind like other muds Dragon's Den has a volunteer staff and while we have built and maintain the mud for the players they do not take precidence in our lives.

8) Many users consider this a chat room with monsters.

Yes, many do. And if you are a hardcore roleplaying type I would suggest you look elsewhere for your mudding fix.

9) Unfortunatly this game falls flat and lifeless in the end.

I would be interested to hear exactly what Catta means by this statement. If she means that eventually you max out and have very few options left then yes she is correct in that assertion. That exact issue is being addressed by the new guilds. It is addressed by the constant influx of new areas and ideas. Dragon's Den has players that have been around and playing actively for 10+ years. They do not find it to be "lifeless and flat", though I'm sure there are those who do.

10) The best thing about this mud has been the players.

Seeing as that a mud is all about the players then this is quite a compliment. I realize the intention of this statement was to in effect say "The staff sucks, but the players are pretty cool" and if that is Catta's feeling on the issue then so be it. However I would say that she should take into consideration the role she played in her own self inflicted demise. I won't go
into the details but she often broke rules, abused newbies, and was just generally not a pleasant player to have on the game in many instances. She was well known for insulting fellow players and staff and for a long time getting away with it. When the issue was addressed she held out for a short time then suicided.

I apologize to anyone who saw this as a senseless rebuttal or anyone who might have been offended by it even being here, but it was something that had to be done. Of course Catta is more than welcome to reply but I do ask she keep it civil.

~cayn~ aka chaos@dden
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Old 01-17-2003, 08:11 AM   #2
Orion Elder
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While I understand the want to give a rebuttal to a review, your rebuttal is less of a rebuttal than it is a confirmation. You basically said 'Well, that's true, but...' to everything... and while your points may have been iron clad to you, to those reading this they're excuses.

We've all had to deal with annoying, angry players. But, confirming their statements isn't exactly the best way to prove a point. Furthermore, you claim to want intelligent players, but you post this rebuttal. Most of the idiots would be put off by such a review (just because they're simple minded enough to believe everything they read). But, your rebuttal basically proves that while you say you just want intelligent players, you really want every player you can get... idiot or not.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 01-17-2003, 09:31 AM   #3
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I totally disgree with Orion here.

In fact I think that Cayn's reply to that review is one of the best I have read so far. Instead of engaging in a flame war, or taking the easy way out and forbidding all player reviews, like too many muds have done, he/she calmly addresses all the points, and even has the civil courage to admit to the ones where there is some substance behind the complaints.

To me this leaves a lasting impression of a rather good mud, with level-headed Administration, in fact one that I'd like to try out myself - (that is, if I had the time, which I don't).

Yes, we all have disgruntled players. However, if a player after leaving a mud takes all the trouble of posting a negative review, this tells something about the player - and the mud. It tells that the player cared enough about the mud to actually take that time, and that in turn tells that they most likely once loved it, and didn't leave voluntarily. If it had been just another stock crap mud run by a Twink Admin, there most likely wouldn't have been any review at all.

A negative review is not necessarily negative for the Game.

Sidebar to Synozeer:
I still think that an option to comment directly to a review in the Review Section would be greatly appreciated by most actors here. It might even lead to more Mud Owners admitting reviews, which in the long run would be beneficial for the site.
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
and while your points may have been iron clad to you, to those reading this they're excuses.
Yes I realize that to be true, but in this instance it was felt that silence would be worse than making a few "iron clad excuses"

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Furthermore, you claim to want intelligent players, but you post this rebuttal. Most of the idiots would be put off by such a review (just because they're simple minded enough to believe everything they read). But, your rebuttal basically proves that while you say you just want intelligent players, you really want every player you can get... idiot or not.
Wow, you make a lot of assumptions here. Yes we want as many players as we can get, but time and again it is proven that the the intelligent, and mature ones seem to do the best and last the longest.

Two more things to add:

Thank you Molly for one. Secondly I second Molly's call for a method of commenting a review directly instead of having us the general forums. Even having a forum section strictly for review comments might be a good idea.

~cayn~
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re that last post... please forgive my inability to form a cohesive sentence. I just woke up
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Old 01-18-2003, 12:04 PM   #6
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Hang in there, Cayn!

All good games go through growing pains.
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Old 01-18-2003, 01:27 PM   #7
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<adds to list of muds not to try>
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Old 01-18-2003, 04:27 PM   #8
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Is this the same "The Dragon's Den" that is listed in the top 20 MUDs on TMS's main page?
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Old 01-18-2003, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
All good games go through growing pains.
Indeed they do. But not usually for 12 years...I must agree with Orion - I think Cayn would have been much better off just saying nothing at all. In particular, comments like "The help files are being rewritten but it takes time", "Currently the muds realms, and domains are lacking cohesion, but as new areas are phased in to overtake the old a concerted effort is being made to "tighten" things up" or "Yes the guilds need work, or rather the mud is in dire need of new guilds" really don't give me confidence in a game which should be pretty well established by now.

I'm all for honesty, but there's no need to actively volunteer information which will harm your game.
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Old 01-24-2003, 07:32 AM   #10
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Greetings all there!A post en passant to express most of the feelings I got from the glance,just a glance,on that Mud.I should say that if it hadn't been for the "No save equip and leaving room"(which stress on the influence of money to the point of buying levels and skills,next to exp) and,true,the very limited range of guilds,that Mud is the most lyrical,challenging and "finely carved" I found so far...A pity that the creators are restricted by the LP code....And Orion...You ve tried that mud?You've connected there?before spitting such means flames??Bah...A pity really....
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Old 01-24-2003, 09:27 AM   #11
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And Orion...You ve tried that mud?You've connected there?before spitting such means flames??Bah...A pity really....
I'm sorry... I must have read the wrong response. The response I read had them confirming everything said. Given that, I felt no need to connect. I must have been wrong, though. Would you point me to the post I should read, instead of the response where everything stated was confirmed? Thanks.

BTW, in case it wasn't noted... sarcasm was raining down in droves throughout that statement.

Furthermore, I didn't 'spit' any 'flames.' I made observations, based on what was said... flames imply insults. Please note the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
You're obviously a dimwitted, malcontent fool with a need to spout off quicker than your fingers can type. You need to learn to properly express yourself before you waste my time with that inane blather that explodes forth from that unsightly, gaping maw you call a mouth, you half-witted buffoon. Now, please, quit attempting to permanently lower my intelligence with this mindless chatter of yours, you simpering twit. I've seen six year olds who can better express themselves, and make more of an intelligible point than anything that comes from that walnut you call a brain.
That is a flame, a rather weak one albeit but a flame none the less. And no, this was not aimed at anyone, so before someone starts yelling foul, just don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Furthermore, you claim to want intelligent players, but you post this rebuttal. Most of the idiots would be put off by such a review (just because they're simple minded enough to believe everything they read). But, your rebuttal basically proves that while you say you just want intelligent players, you really want every player you can get... idiot or not.
That is an observation.

Do you see the difference, now?
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Old 01-24-2003, 09:41 AM   #12
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Nope,sorry man...no difference...You could call thoses FLAMES "observations" but then that was just offendings,insidious,groundless observations...Words got power you know?To state that only IDIOTS and SIMPLE-MINDED would agree with Cayn is first an insult to Cayn,and,as Molly said it,his decent defense,and,of course!an insult also to all thoses would-be IDIOTS(at least like Molly and me)...Then what gave you the right to IMPOSE,as an observation,that all he's wanting is players,wether IDIOTS or not...eh?When actually it rather seems to be a subtle and definite selection...As for my "sarcasms",if it sounded that way,I feel sorry.That was more intended as an objective view(but a glance,sure)of a deep,atmospherical Mud...At least I ve been there!
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Old 01-24-2003, 12:09 PM   #13
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I'm sorry, did you once go by the name of shao_long? Anyway, I'm done responding to someone who clearly can't even read what I posted. Good day to you.
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Old 01-24-2003, 12:36 PM   #14
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Cmon Orion...So low...so mean...Shao-long...Shao-long...From time to time,yep,could have been named that way...But then,you surely should have received the nick of Shallow-wimp!eh?!Good day to you as well,man...
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:43 PM   #15
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How about a bit of a comparison and contrast. Like say the mud I play.

Covering the same issues from mine>
1. Probably true of mine as well. Why? Because most new coders go through an apprenticeship. The areas they build are intentionally small and can be lead-ins to larger areas, but planning a 100 room, let alone 200 room, area takes time, the coding takes time, the QC takes time, etc. The result if there are 'any' new designers is a lot of small areas and very few big ones. Big surprise!

2. A lot of stuff undergoes changes in our mud. There have been reworks of problems ranging from minor to severe over the last year. The previous admin let them slide a bit longer than they should and it eventually led to the nukings of a number of players due to the bugs never getting fixed and those players refusing to believe that they would get caught abusing the same bugs they had been warned about over and over again. Then there are balance issues and the like as well. Put simply, unless you sit down and design every element of a mud with absolute certainty of how everything needs to work and then enforce it with an iron hand, things will get unbalanced. If you do what most do and take an existing base, modify it and take only minimal consideration of such issue at the start, the result is a lot of major rewriting later when they 'do' know what the problems are.

3. See the end of issue 2. This is again do to poor pre-planning or worse, someone that has an amazing idea but insufficient knowledge to code it properly. There are a couple of guilds on ours that no one wanted to touch the code in with a ten foot pole because of it. Thankfully they where some of the most stable and balanced ones as well. But there have been cases of entire guilds being removed from game until someone was available to properly fix them. Now with new coders coming in it is a case of 'if' anyone wants to fix them. lol

In any case we currently have 2-3 offline, 1-2 in the works, 3-4 going renovations while staying online and 12 actually in game. Yet we still get people screaming about how they wish there where more. These are of course people that have changed guilds about once a month are still level 50-60 in spite of playing longer than I have and not the ones like me that are level level 120+, have maxxed two guilds and plan to create and alt rather than reincarnate. I don't understand the people that 'need' to keep changing races and guilds, but... Needless to say they are the ones complaining about new guilds not miraculously appearing over night.

4. This thankfully isn't an issue on our mud. It was one of the few things they did plan resonably well.

5. Our new admin - from the player base, responsive, willing to listen most of the time. The old guard - burned out, more or less non-players, had heard every complaint 150 times before and tended to be less than responsive due to the feeling that they where recieving nothing but grief from player. Needless to say the new admin has improved the civility of things a bit.

6. This is a pet peeve of mine. I tested in grade school with a college level reading and comprehension (they had to send for a special test to make an assessment), but trying to guess the right combo out of 5-10 common words that may not even be in the command is a pain in the rear. It is one thing figuring out what to do, it is something else entirely if the command is 'twist statue left' and it refuses to accept 'turn statue left' as an alternative syntax. Such a silly mistake in the word used has nothing to do with intelligence imho. It gets even more fun if there isn't enough info to tell if it needs to be twisted, bent, knocked over, moved, lifted, etc. Such puzzles can even make smart people feel really stupid or extremely annoyed.

7. We are undergoing some serious modifications in this respect, mostly in the law files, since there have been a number of issues as to what some things mean, etc. But then the help file for the client I use has been out of date for the last 10+ versions for much the same reason, it is better to fix serious problems that effect game play than fiddle with help files. Eventually you do need to do something about it though.

8. So?? We have people that go idle for hours too. Most muds would kick them off. Of course since they are often the high level people that have ressurection, this would make life seriously complicated if they did get kicked off for idling. lol The real question is why should a player that doesn't want to chat care?

Some of the most interesting things I have done involved chat about some subject that eventually drifted into a heated exchange between the pro-fox killing people and all the Kitsune online or other interesting things. lol You never know where a conversation will lead. Basic rule: if you don't want to read it, tune out the channels.

9. ?? It is text based, takes a long time to code new things, may or may not have a consistent back story unless RP based and once it gets to where you need 35M to level and the stuff you can kill easy is only worth about 200k every 10 minutes... If you don't chat, it will get to be flat and lifeless. Again, big surprise. lol

10. This is the only thing said that wasn't an attack on things that every mud likely goes through at some point. However, if the players where all so great, what made Catta think any other mud with great players would be any different? The players make or break any mud. The admin will occationally forget this and start babbling things like, 'I would rather have 50 players that want to be here than 200 that complain all the time'. This can be a bad sign of course, but unless the mud and its admin are completely inflexable, it is the players that guide the direction things are going in. If you bail out without attempting to even point out the things that you think should change or you can't accept the direction all those other good players are letting it go...
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