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Old 10-07-2002, 02:22 PM   #41
the_logos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Scorpcrys @ Oct. 07 2002,04:50 am)
But now, as i see it, if a MUD wants to offer incentives and bug the hell outta players to vote, fine. It must drive the players nuts, but it's likely they don't wanna lose their bonus so don't complain about it. In the end i'd say that players will just get annoyed with it, find the game less fun, and in the end, hurt the game more than help it.

If Simutronics ever did something like Achaea did, to force votes, players would leave. No doubt about it. The *one* IG announcement that the button had be put up caused ALOT of complaints. In fact, there were players upset that they even meantioned it in the news section. Just imagine what a daily IG nagging message would do.
If it bugs DR players that's fine and the perogative of their players, but all I have to look at is our playerbase really, which has voiced no problem with it (I've heard exactly two complaints about it from our players, and gotten tons of messages of the "thanks for doing this!" tone), and which encourages each other to vote aside from our once-a-day (if you get xp that day) reminder. Before Friday we had never broken 340 players online at once. On Friday we hit 500 during an event, and yesterday with nothing going on we were hovering around 370.

So, if Achaea's playerbase finds the practice yucky, they a) aren't saying anything and b) are playing more, not less than when we started doing it. I wouldn't claim there's a casual link of course, but it I would claim it's had no serious "annoyance" effect on the playerbase.

--matt
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:22 PM   #42
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I can't imagine leaving DR, but I am checking out three new muds that I would not have known about if I had not come to this site. I know other DR players that are checking out games too. It isn't that we don't like the game that we play. It's that visiting the site generated curiousity about other games.

In my own case I am looking for a game for my daughter and her friends who will not be able to afford to pay to play. I also want it to be RP intensive because she doesn't have the time to powerplay and because I think it is the fantasy/make-believe aspect that she is most attracted to. I don't want too much PkP. Sure I am looking at the rankings but there are much more important factors.

Perusing the site, reading threads, it seems to me that the message boards are very useful. They look generally friendly and mature. I see admin, coders, builders, sharing information. I see posters answering questions about their muds, some joking around.

Boards are to a large extent what the posters make them. Admin can only do so much to control the mood of the boards even if outright flaming can be controlled.

On the one hand most people seem to be saying the rankings don't really matter, being number one shouldn't be any big deal, but on the other hand they are also expressing resentment towards the one game offering incentives, and also some hostility towards all commercial games. Can't have it both ways.

I believe that if Matt were told it is now against the rules to offer incentives, he would stop. On the other hand I agree with Synozeer that there are so many games out there it would be difficult to catch those who have more subtle incentives to vote.

I thought about it last night and it is really about game loyalty. I have been voting like mad for DR and I do love the game and think it is great, but I have never played any other game so it isn't like voting for say, a politian, where I am comparing several canditates and casting a vote for one of them.

It would be sleazy to offer incentives if it were against the policy of the site, or if it were done secretly, but that isn't the case. I mentioned the factors I considered first while looking for a mud for my daughter. After checking out some sites I realized another primary criteria. Ease of introduction and use. The commercial sites seem to do a much better job of that.

Some of the non-commercial sites offer explanations on what roleplaying is to completely inexperienced players, but they still let their first experience be through telnet. It's almost impossible to just learn as you go. They seem much more suited to players who already know the ropes, know how to choose and download a client, have a good general idea of how to play and only need to know the general rules and premise of the game. Either that, or have a friend who plays and can ease their entry.

I don't much care about the fighting mechanics as long as it is rp intensive, but on the other hand I also have to consider "adult" content. I am fairly free thinking on that score but at 13 my daughter's friends parents could definitely flip out if their daughter ends up rp raped. As I know rp games I will ensure that my daughter knows what to do if someone tries to involve her in rping a scenario she is not interested in. Parents that are not familar with rp games and are familiar with all the net stalking stories are much more likely to flip out and possibly blame either my daughter or me for exposing them to it.

It's a lot tougher to find an appropriate venue then it seems at first glance especially for completely inexperienced players.

Over the years at DR I have become very emotional over some issues one of which was the multi-tier accounts though that is not the only issue which I felt strongly about. Other players have become equally excited over various issues. After five years, I am calmer <grin>. I am still passionate about the game but I have a better sense of humor and I am better able to put things into perspective.

The issue of incentives is a tempest in a teapot. I could see from early on that the games with the highest number of players would be at the top of the list. Anyone looking to try out new muds, experienced or inexperienced, is going to be looking at the features and is going to click on more than one site to try to figure out what the differences are. Most are going to check out the boards too. I didn't just look at the top 20 either. I looked farther down on the list as well.

I think the reason that the commercial muds have so many more players is that they provide ease of entry to completely inexperienced players. Having the most players isn't as important an issue for the free muds as is having players who
are capable roleplayers and will contribute to the story.

The only thing this list ever represented was the game that most likely had the largest population. It isn't even divided by genre. Nothing underhanded or dishonest is happening on this site. It still seems to be operating as intended, a site for creators and players to find out about various muds and exchange information. The ratings never represented the "best" mud because there is no "best" mud only different kinds of muds.

As long as it is within the rules, there is nothing sleazy about offering incentives. I think it is much more important for games to be clear about whether or not they charge, or offer extra benefits for those who pay.

I am leaning towards Achaea for my daughter and friends because of ease of entry. Matt is correct to make a distinction between games with a monthy fee and games in which you can pay for extras but don't have to. I am glad the system suggested which I have been promoting wasn't in place because I wouldn't have even looked at it if it looked like one had to pay to play.

I may sway back towards another game because a friend pointed me to a free telnet client that might help. She already started a character in Feudal Realms but so did I later so I could help them get started, and I had a great deal of trouble getting around. Only one map, blank pages under FAQ with "coming soon", no player developed websites with information that I could find. It's just too hard.

Given that my daughter just wants to play "make-believe" and won't be a power player the ease of entry offered at Achaea will probably serve our purposes better. My first choice would be the Dragonrealms Platinum server but that is way too expensive for my pocketbook. Achaea is providing a valuable niche. It is spanning the divide between the free muds that demand a lot more effort to get started, and the pay to play which require a monthly fee. I didn't choose it because it is number one on the list.

I am getting the feeling that some posters are angry that any commercial muds are here at all. As though regardless of whether or not they offer incentives they are tainting the list. They aren't. The most damaging behavior for any focused site is flaming. That is what will drive away potential players not being offered a wide variety of different styles of muds including ones that charge or offer benefits for cash.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:23 PM   #43
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[quote]What I find a little irritating I guess is that you took such a better-than-thou attitude, claiming you told your players not to vote more than once every 24 hours and so on

I don't think Solomon asked us to vote once a day because of any sort of 'better-than-thou' attitude, but in respect for the webmaster.  The day DR was first submitted to the list the site got so many hits so fast that if I'm not mistaken, the site went down because of the traffic.  Once the initial voting rush was over and it was clear that there was no danger of repeating that result, there wasn't any further point in limiting the voting to half as often as the rest of the games.  If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me.
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:56 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I believe that if Matt were told it is now against the rules to offer incentives, he would stop.  On the other hand I agree with Synozeer that there are so many games out there it would be difficult to catch those who have more subtle incentives to vote.
Yep, if it were against the rules, we'd immediately stop. We've got no interest in breaking the rules, despite what a couple people on the list would have you believe. On the other hand, I also agree with Adam that is would be virtually impossible to police a system where no incentives at all were allowed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by
Ease of introduction and use.  The commercial sites seem to do a much better job of that.  
That's probably generally (I wouldn't want to say always, as obviously I haven't played every free text MUD out there) true, and it extends beyond just MUDs. Look at linux for instance. Great server OS, but a joke from a user-perspective for a desktop OS. My mother can set up Windows XP and use it fine, but I tried giving her the latest Redhat once, just to see where she had trouble, and she couldn't even get past the setup process (what kind of freaky OS makes you find out the refresh rate of your monitor? Talk about user-unfriendly.)

I think this is a fact of life because while implementing features is often quite fun (again, look at linux. Great set of features.), making them useable is tedious and doesn't seem to arouse the same passion in people that creating the features does. Same goes for documentation generally.



Quote:
Originally Posted by
The only thing this list ever represented was the game that most likely had the largest population.  It isn't even divided by genre.  Nothing underhanded or dishonest is happening on this site.  It still seems to be operating as intended, a site for creators and players to find out about various muds and exchange information.  The ratings never represented the "best" mud because there is no "best" mud only different kinds of muds.
Yep. Someone claimed that unsuspecting web surfers are being duped by the list, because we offer incentives, but then, if they are expecting it to be some authoritative list of the "best" MUDs, then they were always being duped, as it never measured quality, only quantity and frequency of visitors sent here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by
am leaning towards Achaea for my daughter and friends because of ease of entry.  Matt is correct to make a distinction between games with a monthy fee and games in which you can pay for extras but don't have to.  I am glad the system suggested which I have been promoting wasn't in place because I wouldn't have even looked at it if it looked like one had to pay to play.
I will point out that if your daughter is 13, she might be a little young for Achaea unless she's exceptionally well-spoken for someone her age. Achaea's a VERY community-oriented game, and there are certain points in a character's life that requires basically the approval of people in your community to advance. Some guilds (not all) require small essays on why you should be permitted to be part of them, and so on. Achaea also has a lot of player-killing, though we're pretty strict about enforcing the rule that unless you've done something to someone, that person can't touch you.

You know, you should have your daughter check out Furcadia (www.furcadia.com). It's got isometric graphics, is free to play, has no player-killing at all (it's not really a 'game' in the sense that most MUDs are), and seems to have the sort of environment your daughter and her friends might really enjoy. It's also really easy to get into as a newbie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I am getting the feeling that some posters are angry that any commercial muds are here at all.  As though regardless of whether or not they offer incentives they are tainting the list.  They aren't.  The most damaging behavior for any focused site is flaming.  That is what will drive away potential players not being offered a wide variety of different styles of muds including ones that charge or offer benefits for cash.
I certainly agree here. The quality of a site or mailing list is usually inversely proportional to the amount of flaming that goes on, as flaming usually indicates a mind that hasn't matured yet, or a failure who is bitter about life generally. I'm just waiting for one of these people here on TMS to start calling someone a Nazi or a fascist. Flamers inevitably do.

--matt
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Old 10-07-2002, 04:45 PM   #45
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I also agree with Adam that is would be virtually impossible to police a system where no incentives at all were allowed.
Only if people claimed there were incentives being offered.

I think it would be quite simple for the people in charge of the various games to agree to not offer incentives and go from there. It would be quite easy if everyone kept their word and then no one would be having this conversation.
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Old 10-07-2002, 04:56 PM   #46
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Wink

I mentioned before a type of mud that can't really offer any IG rewards for OOC actions.  There are several on the site right now.

For the record, and I've seen this come up a few times, I -don't- care about being #1.  What I care about is something resembling a true and honest vote for the #1 spot.  I -never- plan to be #1 because I honestly don't want a mud of 500 players a day.  I want something more intimate.  That doesn't make me less ambitious, I just want something else for my mud.

Can anyone name me a type of mud that will be hurt if voting incentives -aren't- allowed?
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Old 10-07-2002, 11:03 PM   #47
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Quote:
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I mentioned before a type of mud that can't really offer any IG rewards for OOC actions. There are several on the site right now.
I would guess that if not the majority certainly a very significant number of muds would not be able to offer incentives without contravening their main premise. That is, absolutely no crossover between IC and OOC.

Quote:
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I want something more intimate. That doesn't make me less ambitious, I just want something else for my mud.
Absolutely. Quality and quantity are not one and the same, and quantity in this case can even negatively impact quality. I am assuming that while many of the free muds may want to increase their player base that doesn't mean they want them coming in in huge numbers.

Quote:
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Can anyone name me a type of mud that will be hurt if voting incentives -aren't- allowed?
Non-issue. I agree that "enforcement" need not be an issue, the call is Synozeer's. Aside from the incentive issue the muds at the top of the list are basically those with the greatest number of players.

Are the kinds of players the smaller muds want the kind that are going to be attracted the games at the top of the list?
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Old 10-07-2002, 11:11 PM   #48
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Ah, but it is an issue, Seraphina.

A mud with a fraction of the other MUDs players that are on the top list is staying on the top simply because of that incentive.

Achaea would, without incentive, be right where RoD is in the listings right now.

-D
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Old 10-07-2002, 11:34 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Alaire @ Oct. 07 2002,4:56 pm)
For the record, and I've seen this come up a few times, I -don't- care about being #1.  What I care about is something resembling a true and honest vote for the #1 spot.  I -never- plan to be #1 because I honestly don't want a mud of 500 players a day.  I want something more intimate.  That doesn't make me less ambitious, I just want something else for my mud.
Look, this has been said multiple times by me, and now by Synozeer. This site is a form of a banner exchange. Banner exchanges rightly reward the sites that help them the most, as measured, in the case of TMS, in the form of how much of an audience you reach, and how frequently you can get them here. Placing rules on the 'motivations' of the traffic that is sent here is contrary to the purpose of the banner exchange itself. The more traffic that comes, and the more frequently, the better the exchange serves its purpose. All this hubbub is, from my point of view, a little naive, and please don't take offence at that, as it's not meant as an insult in any way. I just think a few posters on the list need to gain an understanding of what the site is, instead of pretending it is something it isn't.

--matt
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:39 AM   #50
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The purpose of this site is to get me bubble g... no, wait... the purpose of this site is the promotion of MUD websites, and that sentiment is taken from one of Synozeer's earlier, and by earlier I mean 'an ancient post somewhere other than this thread,' posts. I don't know if the purpose has changed... but if so, it is definitely for the worse... because it doesn't help me get my bubble gum. And as we all know, bubble gum is the cureall for the worlds problems. Including this one.

So, while the above-mentioned 'purpose' sounds 'noble,' which is literally translated from the latin 'nob' and 'le' meaning 'sounds really good' and 'in print,' I don't really see the point, unless it gets me some bubble gum, of creating a site to shove people to sites that already get enough traffic as it is. And, by 'shove people to' I mean 'direct them blindly into the maw of.' I'm sure all those who are most vocal against being rid of voting incentives, most of whom have the name the_logos and post here... a lot... and I mean a lot, will think this is a stupid idea. But, until I get some bubble gum, I really don't care. And I mean that with a complete and utter lack of sincerity.

In all honesty, I think bubble gum is good. But, more to the point, it really is good. I also think the best solution to all the world's problems, all of which involve the words 'voting' and 'incentives' in that order in the title, would be to reverse the ranking order. In other words, flip it over really quick like it was on a roller coaster... you know, the kind that makes it clear why the back of a coaster is never directly under the front when the front is at the top of the loop. If you can't figure it out, it's because those who are at the back would get the bubble gum someone swallowed earlier in their lap. But, back to my point... I really wish I had some bubble gum. But, back to my OTHER point... put the lowest ranked sites, also known as the 'sites that don't get much traffic because others like to be the dominant cow,' on the front page, and the highest ranked, also known as 'the sites that are highly bloated like my family after thanksgiving,' on the last page. That'd solve everything except the most important point. I still wouldn't have bubble gum. :\ If you want to offer voting incentives for more votes to get yourself on the last page of the site... then give me some bubble gum, damnit! But, let's just see how many people do it then... probably none, because there is a conspiracy to keep the bubble gum away from me.

But, that's just my opinion... or so I'm told.
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:43 AM   #51
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You didn't receive your free pack of bubble gum with your 175th post?

I thought that was a rule?
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:48 AM   #52
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Sadly, no... no bubble gum for me. As I said. It's a conspiracy by all th voting incentive lovers. They're evil, I say!
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Old 10-08-2002, 12:56 AM   #53
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Once again, I have to be the one to point out the obvious. I'll try to go slowly, so everyone can keep up.

Obviously, there is no problem here with people offering experience for voting, there is no problem with people not offering experience for voting, and there is no problem people paying, or not paying, to play the mud of their choice.

The problem lies in the fact that the voting system is not, and can never be, an accurate assessment of anything related to the quality or number of players in any game. Trying to equate the number of votes on a site which nearly no one knows about, and even less people care about, is going to cause nothing but insults, hurt feelings, and all-around idiocy (as evidenced earlier in this thread).

Clearly this can't go on much longer.

Clearly there has to be a better way.

Clearly you need me to explain it to you.

The obvious solution is to put each mud through rigorous variety of scientific tests, performed by a panel of highly qualified judges. However, since this is a matter of uptmost urgency to the condition of the modern world, we cannot have just any panel of judges; we need the most prominent figures in the intellectual world of philosphy, politics, and religion: Karl Marx, Nicolo Machiavelli, and Jesus Christ.

However, when trying to contact them for comment, it became apparent to me that they were all very, very dead. Therefore, in the interests of the scientific community, it fell upon me to do the tests myself. I have since spent many a sleepless night pondering the range and scope of these tests, and the implications they might have on civilization as a whole.

Since I was unable to procure such prestigious figures Jesus, Marx, and Machiavelli, I had to improvise. I was, however, able to procure the next best thing: a trained chimpanzee, a Klondike bar, tape of sports bloopers. I decided to test only the two muds in question, Archea and Dragonrealms

Test One: The Chimpanzee

In this test I allowed the chimpanzee to play each game for 24 hours straight, and recorded the results with the most advanced scientific equipment available.

   Dragonrealms:

The chimpanzee managed to join the thieves guild, find the message boards, and complain about how everyone hates him. The chimpanzee then flung his feces out the window at passersby for the remaining 21 hours.

Quite an accomplishment, and shows the ease of use of the Dragonrealms mentor and help systems.

   Archea:

In this test, the chimpanzee was provided with a rotating chair, which he spun around on until he vomited. He then fell off the chair and fell asleep.

While this does not say much about Archea, it does remind us of the fact that chimpanzees are lovable and hilarious.

Test Two: The Klondike Bar

In this test I asked each game what they would do for a Klondike bar.

   Dragonrealms:

Dragonrealms claimed they would give me increased storage space, increased customer service relations, and access to more areas of the game for a Klondike bar. They would not, however, bark like a dog or sing "I'm a Little Teapot."

   Archea:

Archea claimed they would give me increased experience, items, and levels for a Klondike bar. They would also jump through flaming hoops and wrestle bears. They would not, however, jump through flaming bears.

Test Three: The Sports Bloopers Tape

In this test I got drunk and watched sports bloopers. People getting hurt will always be entertaining.

The evidence clearly shows Dragonrealms to be the superior mud. As you cannot possibly argue with the plethora of scientific evidence I have provided, there is no need to continue this thread, except to congratulate me on my accomplishments.
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