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Old 10-10-2002, 01:27 PM   #1
Seraphina
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I read the following review of a P2P mud.

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For such an old MUD, I'm surprised at the coding. It is good at best (note the absence of the word great, and the usage of 'at best&#39 and lacking imagination. And to pay to play? Give me a break. There are tons of great MUDs out there whose owners are greedy money grubbers. MUDs are here for peoples' entertainment. Make them for the players, not the money. I would never recommend even the trial period to anyone I know. Go play a MUD that isn't trying to rip you off. There are plenty with better coding, better building, and a better environment.
The review above isn't a review at all. It is a rant by someone who wants a free ride. There is no useful information other than the mud in question charges which they are up front about. There is nothing indicating what the poster found lacking in the code, the building, or the environment.

So, what aspect of the code did you find lacking? How about the building and the environment? How easy or difficult was it for you to get a new character created and understand what steps you should take next? Lacking in imagination how? Give me an example.

The impression I get here is that only one kind of mud is valid. The kind that is free and that works the way the old muds do requiring that players be experienced in old style mud environments in order to try out new games. You have a limited insulated playerbase and a limited pool of builders and coders and all compete to get the same individuals to switch games and play/build for you instead.

This site from your perspective is supposed to be your personal playground for doing so. Anyone with an offering that doesn't fit your preconcieved ideas about how a mud is supposed to be set up is attacked.

My perception is that there is a definite prejudicial elitism going on here. If your games are so all fired great then you wouldn't have to put other people's games down in order to get players for your games.

Heck the fact that some games are FREE give them a huge advantage over commercial muds. People should be swarming to the free muds if on top of being free they are also so much better! When something is free, word of mouth advertising generally attracts a lot of people. After all, it's free.

The line that "well they can afford to advertise" doesn't fly. I am sure that does contribute to the fact that they have 10 thousand members, but free ought to be able to get you a hundred players which seems to be about what you can support anyway. Belonging to this list is "advertising" but instead of using it as such many of you come across as disgruntled creators with games so lousy you can't get enough players even though the games are free.

When I see the smaller free muds attacking the more popular muds, what I see is games that can't get players on the merits of their game so they have to slander others.

Top of the forum discussions are either about suggesting the P2P muds are unethical for daring to create commercial muds or threads about funny websides and word association which can be amusing but have nothing to do with mudding.

Look to yourselves for why you are having trouble attracting players. Insular elitism, referring, even in jest, to inexperienced people who want to try mudding as idiots isn't very inviting. To suggest that someone is lazy because they don't want to spend hours and hours trying to figure out how to get to the point where they can start playing is ridiculous.

I can see why free games would not want to take the trouble to create pre-configured clients, or have the patience to help new players OOC to grasp both the technical and theoretical aspects of roleplaying from scratch. But then don't turn around and whine that you can't get enough new players because of those nasty commercial muds. If your interface and introduction is aimed at experienced mudders, then that is all you will get.
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Old 10-10-2002, 01:36 PM   #2
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There are a few places where this post might have been better placed.  One is as a response to the message already left on the subject, one is the forum made for flames and one would be on your bulletin board at home.
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Old 10-10-2002, 01:52 PM   #3
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There are a few places where this post might have been better placed. One is as a response to the message already left on the subject, one is the forum made for flames and one would be on your bulletin board at home.
The only message when I created this thread was in reviews. It isn't a flame. It is a critique of the manner in which this forum is being used. As forum participants have seen fit to call into question the ethics of commercial muds I see nothing wrong in calling into question the ethics of the free muds.

There would be no reason to mention my observations on a bulletin board elsewhere as it has nothing to do with that board, it has to do with this one. *IF* the free muds are trying to attract new players then turning this forum into a place where free muds bash commercial muds is self-defeating and does nothing to give the impression that they are ethically or functionally superior in any way.
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:02 PM   #4
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I guess we have different ideas about what is insulting and what isn't.  I don't see how it's helpful to anyone to post a screen full of comments telling people what they think and what their motivations are or that playing a free game makes you some godawful person who is just out to stab the other guy in the back.

To tell the truth, I hope the moderator removes all the messages here by both of us, they really don't serve any purpose other than venting.
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:14 PM   #5
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I'm not sure how you can blame this on free muds unless the insinuation is that a free mud's administrator made the review you're speaking of?

Otherwise, it's just a player, voicing their opinion, isn't it?
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Alaire @ Oct. 10 2002,1:14 pm)
I'm not sure how you can blame this on free muds unless the insinuation is that a free mud's administrator made the review you're speaking of?

Otherwise, it's just a player, voicing their opinion, isn't it?
Yeah, I agree, it's not an indictment of free MUDs. It's just one idiot making a juvenile post. Plenty of idiots playing commercial MUDs too. I often pass the time by turning the biggest idiots into shrubs, that they might not annoy the rest of our players with their idiocy.

--matt
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:58 PM   #7
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or that playing a free game makes you some godawful person who is just out to stab the other guy in the back.
I don't think that at all, which is why I find it unfortunate that the focus seems to be on denigrating commercial muds rather than promoting free muds.

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I'm not sure how you can blame this on free muds unless the insinuation is that a free mud's administrator made the review you're speaking of?
I can see how you got that impression but no that was not my intent. It is possible but I have no reason to believe that it is so. I quoted that specific review but I was speaking generally on the perception I am getting. There are some admins as well as players who have been focusing on criticizing the ethics of games which accept monatary compensation in various forms.

From the perspective of players particularly people interested in trying muds for the first time the current attitude, (in my personal opinion) will not give a welcoming impression. Again, just my impression, but few seem interested in finding out how they could get more inexperienced players to give their muds a shots. Is it because nobody wants inexperienced players?
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:39 PM   #8
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I know I can only speak for my own mud here, but I personally welcome inexperienced players, so long as they have a certain level of maturity and obvious desire to play the game that already exists and aren't trying to walk into our game with the intent of changing it into something that we didn't and don't intend.
Also, as much as I welcome an inexperienced player, my first thought will always be for my current playerbase.  So if someone's just not going to fit in, I'm not going to let them stay and disrupt the game for my longterm, devoted players.

As for elitism, I have never claimed that my mud didn't have an elitest attitude (I can only speak for my mud afterall. ).  I'm not ashamed of it at all.  It's what makes my mud a great source of rp for those who enjoy the setting.  I'm not sure why someone should be ashamed of wanting only the best.

And as much as you might not think there is any nobility to running a free mud, I would have to disagree.  I put in at least 40 hours a week on something that I'm not getting paid for, I take crap from people who admit to not even playing my game but take issue with my stance on voting insentives here, I have demands placed on me by my players (which I welcome, but I admit that it can sometimes be overwhelming), and generally my only reward is people telling me they're having fun on something that I work hard on, which doesn't happen all that often in comparison to the complaints or needs.
So while you might not find nobility in those things, I do.  I feel like I've accomplished something good, without getting a dime for it.  Something P2P's cannot say.  Maybe it's a selfish kind of nobility because I am hoping to please people in the long run, but that's hardly the same thing.

What I do find odd is that you seem to think that people are all whining about not being able to get new players because of P2P muds.  I'm not sure that's what's happening here.  I think people had a different impression of this site because the've been contributing or reading for years to a community that really didn't include many p2p's and is suddenly dominated by them.  Certain things are becomming commonplace that weren't before that many of us find morally reprehensible.
This is all just my opinion, of course and it doesn't really matter since the voting link from my site has been removed, but it's my thoughts on what is going on here.
Thanks if you read.
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Old 10-10-2002, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
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This is all just my opinion, of course and it doesn't really matter since the voting link from my site has been removed, but it's my thoughts on what is going on here.
Thanks if you read.
Read and appreciated the trouble you took to communicate your thoughts. I am sorry you removed the voting link from your site, not sure why you would.

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As for elitism, I have never claimed that my mud didn't have an elitest attitude (I can only speak for my mud afterall. ). I'm not ashamed of it at all. It's what makes my mud a great source of rp for those who enjoy the setting. I'm not sure why someone should be ashamed of wanting only the best.
I don't think you should be ashamed at all from that perspective. I think one of the greatest strengths the free muds have is being able to focus on a specific type of player so creating a world where all players are basically on the same wavelength making it more enjoyable for all. That doesn't strike me as elitism.

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So if someone's just not going to fit in, I'm not going to let them stay and disrupt the game for my longterm, devoted players.
Yet another strength of free muds is to be able to ban players quickly without any other justification than in your view they don't fit the style of your mud. In the massive games the individual has to have broken specific rules and there is a review process. Commercial muds can't afford to ban players in large numbers so it probably takes longer to get rid of the disruptive ones.

Concerning the "nobility" aspect. I don't see any in it. I appreciate the fact that some people seem to enjoy creating RP worlds. Certainly I think players should take it into account and express their appreciation. Everyone, even if they are being paid to do a job, like to also feel appreciated for the effort they put in.

On the other hand these are games created by people for their own reasons not charitable activities such as volunteering time or money to causes. Nobility is a pretty strong word. I volunteer time at a shelter for battered women but I don't consider that nobel, just good citizenship. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, that's nobel.

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What I do find odd is that you seem to think that people are all whining about not being able to get new players because of P2P muds. I'm not sure that's what's happening here. I think people had a different impression of this site because the've been contributing or reading for years to a community that really didn't include many p2p's and is suddenly dominated by them. Certain things are becomming commonplace that weren't before that many of us find morally reprehensible.
I can relate to that. Change is hard. I hope that people will think about the function of this site, in the past, the present, and the future. Is it primarily a place for creators to communicate with each other? A place to attract new mudders? Other functions? What do the users want from this site?
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Old 10-10-2002, 04:20 PM   #10
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I agree with the original intent of this thread - don't knock a MUD 'til you (seriously) try it. And please, keep the disagreements civil; you'll have more fun that way.
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Old 10-10-2002, 04:28 PM   #11
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Post

You may be interested in the geneis of a pay-for-play "MUD" like GemStone III...

Long ago, in a galaxy far-far away there was a time before the Internet (as we know it today).  In those days to be online meant logging onto someone's Bulletin Board System (BBS).  People typically ran these in their homes and had a single phone line hooked up to it (if you had more than one, you got lots of envy).

I created my first free contribution in those days, a BBS named FRPBBS for the Commodore 64.  This was a BBS that was geared towards running message-based roleplaying events.   Lots of people used it.  A sequel, GEMBBS was almost, but never completed.

Increasing in popularity was the idea of online services.  They were becoming more commercial, but were still horribly expensive.  CompuServe was like $12/hour.  But they had games... multiplayer ones at that.  Kesmai (may they rest in peace) had MegaWars III and Island of Kesmai, to name a couple.  I was fascinated by these!

Providers of online games did not "charge" for their games, back then.  Not per-se.  Instead they got a royalty from the online revenue generated by them being there.  You payed CompuServe $12/hr to be online, and if at any time you were in Island of Kesmai, they'd pay Kesmai a small piece of that hourly charge.

I wrote GemStone as my first commercial online game.  GEnie, an up-and-coming online service at the time, bought into the concept.  Unfortuantely the code for GemStone, orginally written on an Amiga, would not port to GEnie's mainframes and proprietary operating system.  I had to start over, and hence was born GemStone II.

GEnie cost something like $6/hr to be online in the evening.  Since GEnie used spare resources of GEIS's business computing division, the daytime rates were astronomical ($35/hr).  Eventually the rates dropped to $3/hr and even prime-time (day) rates dropped over time.

During this time, GemStone made money through royalties.  The internet still didn't exist as we know it today, so there was no real concept of free MUDs except those that existed on BBSs.  If people complained about the cost it was the cost of GEnie, not GemStone II that was at issue.  They may have been mad that GSII crashed a lot, or that it was addictive (and thus their bills were high), but it wasn't *us* charging them.  We just got a royalty check every month.

GemStone III, the rewrite of GSII, was a smash success.  It drove to the top of GEnie's charts being their #1 cash maker.  Eventually as AOL became a serious competitor, we managed to get a contract to put GSIII and a new game DragonRealms on their online service.

This is when things got big.  AOL was such an amazing marketing powerhouse.  If they put one of those little icons on their front-page to promote use, it was a like a fire hose of users.  So much that we had to beg them to take it down once because the onslaught was crashing our systems.

But still, it was the online service, not us charging.  We got a royalty from AOL.  Same with GEnie; same with Prodigy.  Our games keep people online... like a hit TV show keeps people watching... and it made them a lot of money.  We saw a little of it in royalties... less than we deserved, IMHO, but it payed the bills.

Then things changed.  GEnie, AOL and eventually everyone went flat-rate.  Suddenly the economics changed dramatically.  The very thing that made a game like GemStone III great for business (the fact it keep people online for lots of hours) was now a horrible thing!  The best user to a flat-rate company like AOL was users who paid every month and never showed up... or did so minimally.  A game that sucked bandwidth and server costs, like GSIII, was suddenly a 'bad thing'.

As things progressed, our relationship with AOL ended and we were on our own.  Our company, and our employees who's livelihoods depending on this enterprise, were in jeopardy.  We had to create our own billing and customer service systems.  And transfer our customers from AOL and the other services to our web-based game.  And do it fast.

Long story short, we did it.  But of course in the process we then became the people billing for our games.  We stuck with flat-rate because that is what people came to expect.  Hourly just didn't work anymore, even though it makes a certain fiscal sense.  That's okay tho, because we knew that we could keep giving the players enough value to justify them coming back.  And, fortunately both server and bandwidth costs were coming down so it wasn't financially ruinous to provide a flat-rate service with products like this.

The real kicker has always been... why would someone pay for the "MUD" experience when you can find so much of it for free?  There are many good, fun, engaging and well supported MUDs out there that cost you nothing other than the access to the internet you already have.

The answer was that we had to provide a clearly superior product in one or more respects.  It had to be definitively worth what we charge.  You can't fake this… people won't pay for what they don't want.  The proof of quality is in the numbers.

For us, the good news is that we already had years and years of experience in continually improving and refining our products.  We did this originally to give people a reason to play more and more hours.  And now these skills came into play in order to convince people to pay month after month in the face of free competition for their MUD attention.

GemStone III, DragonRealms and our other products are serious business for us.  We work hard, every day, to make them as good as we can.  Not everyone is going to be happy… but it's not for a lack of effort and commitment.

The long road to where we are today is not something one could have planned for, but it has certainly been quite an experience.  We have some big things we're working on now.  We are investing quite heavily in them, and I think we’re going to add a whole new dimension to MUDing that people haven’t seen before.

-- David
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Old 10-10-2002, 04:45 PM   #12
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Oh, and one other little thing...

When questioning why one would want to pay for a MUD, one answer I can give is just that it provides for a tremendous amount of continuous game development and enhancement.

Look here for a sample of what we did in GemStone III and DR in just the few months of summer:

GSIII Enhancements

DR Enhancements

-- David
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Old 10-10-2002, 04:50 PM   #13
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Personally, I agree to an extent with the original post. The 'review' in question was not a review at all. Even the byline of the 'reviewer' reveals the agenda behind the uncalled for slam on the mud in question.

What I find interesting is that there seems to be more offense taken to the original post in this thread than there is to the tactics being used in the farce of a review that spawned the thread in the first place. Passing off tripe like that as a review is acceptable, yet voicing an objection to it is not?
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Old 10-10-2002, 05:43 PM   #14
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Question

I don't think that's the case at all, I simply was giving my reasons as to why p2p's are bound, on this site, at least for awhile, to see a bit of backlash.

I agree, the review sucked and should be axed.

At the same time, that's not all the first post said.
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Old 10-10-2002, 05:54 PM   #15
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It's obviously not that people are complaining about someone not approving of the review; I wrote my post about it first, and there weren't any of the negative comments there.

I think the problem comes when you make blanket statements about a group based on the actions of one person who may be a member of it.  I think almost everyone agrees that the review was inappropriate, with the possible exception of the one who wrote it.  I think it was just as inappropriate, however, to come here and insult the majority of the members with generalized accusations.
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