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Old 03-16-2008, 06:50 AM   #21
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
I still disagree, forcing any pace in a game is simply a crutch, period. If one's goal is to create the "illusion" of space and distance, so be it.

Your argument for not using levels is justifying WHY levels and structure ARE placed in any game; so that everyone is being judged/measured and set within the delineated structure in a "fair" relation to eachother (the other players) by an outside party (the implementors/game masters). The core argument here is whether levels and other numbers should be used (i.e. viewable to players) or not, so that immersion is maintained.
Forcing the pace is the whole point of keeping the game realistic, just because it's not lag-free doesn't mean it can't be fast-paced. There might be spells that can speed up your movement delay, and you can always change the speed of your character by either typing run (on armageddon), or by using other commands to get your character moving faster, so that the pace is faster, however there is more movement drain becasue of this. Again, it ties back into realism.

My arguement was pretty simple, the only reason we can gauge ourselves on a scale is because we have the self-knowledge as human beings to do so. The characters on a mud, most likely do not. Unless it's a cyberpunk/future/modern RPI, (which I have never seen), then I would agree, sure, they might have levels and have the in-character knowledge of mathematical genius to know how powerful they are, or where they stand in the of the universe. Characters on a fantasy based MUD would not have this knowledge, they simply practice and get good or they don't. Even so, the arguement that I know I'm good at this or that is still moot, can you give me mathematical numbers on how good mike tysons skills were in his fights and then give me mathematical numbers on how good buster douglas was or is? That's the great thing about fighting, and life in general, you never know what is going to happen, and numbers aren't always right.

It's that which makes levels an OOC concept, so using them on a mud where in-character immersion is the number one goal detracts from the overall gameplay. Typing score and seeing my level would be a total turn-off while I was roleplaying a character on an RPI. Whereas typing score and seeing basic info like my height/weight, name, my basic stats would be okay.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:03 AM   #22
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

If what you are saying is simply using a "descriptor" for one's abilities is the goal here, then technically levels are still being used. If a skill's proficiency advances in degree at all (unskilled, poor, skilled, advanced, master, etc.), levels are still being used, just not presented in a numerical values. I have published such table-top systems in the past, I understand the concept.

I think the issue here (for establishment on any list like this) isn't whether an RPI game should be without "levels," but that information regarding a game's mechanics should be PRESENTED as levelless and/or without so many numbers. When it comes down to it, everything behind the curtain in a mud is numbers; the point here is where the curtain should be drawn.

To state that a game has no levels is not the same as stating it has "descriptors."
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #23
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
If what you are saying is simply using a "descriptor" for one's abilities is the goal here, then technically levels are still being used. If a skill's proficiency advances in degree at all (unskilled, poor, skilled, advanced, master, etc.), levels are still being used, just not presented in a numerical values. I have published such table-top systems in the past, I understand the concept.

I think the issue here (for establishment on any list like this) isn't whether an RPI game should be without "levels," but that information regarding a game's mechanics should be PRESENTED as levelless and/or without so many numbers. When it comes down to it, everything behind the curtain in a mud is numbers; the point here is where the curtain should be drawn.

To state that a game has no levels is not the same as stating it has "descriptors."
While what you're saying is technically true, within the MUD community, "levels" has a denoted meaning. Just take a look at your average DIKU or CircleMUD and you'll see clearly to what the term "levels" means in general usage. By contrast, the term "level-less" has been used in many MUDs (TMC even has a category for it if I recall correctly) and although you're right in saying that there is some measurement of skill occurring behind the scenes, the term "level-less" is a reference to the lack of numeric indicators denoting specific tiers of advancement. The lack of this system is also a characteristic of RPI MUDs.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:38 AM   #24
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
If what you are saying is simply using a "descriptor" for one's abilities is the goal here, then technically levels are still being used. If a skill's proficiency advances in degree at all (unskilled, poor, skilled, advanced, master, etc.), levels are still being used, just not presented in a numerical values. I have published such table-top systems in the past, I understand the concept.

I think the issue here (for establishment on any list like this) isn't whether an RPI game should be without "levels," but that information regarding a game's mechanics should be PRESENTED as levelless and/or without so many numbers. When it comes down to it, everything behind the curtain in a mud is numbers; the point here is where the curtain should be drawn.

To state that a game has no levels is not the same as stating it has "descriptors."
I agree, sure, numbers are everywhere, essentially if you break down a computer it's all binary. Zeroes and Ones. But the point of it is the concept of levels in muds. Yes levels are going to be used but for an RPI to function and immerse players as much as possible, I don't think levels in the traditional sense and RPI's can co-exist.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:56 AM   #25
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
The only comment I would make after some research and visiting the RPIMUD site is that it should be very clear that these Guidelines set forth in this thread are specifically Delerak's opinions. The RPIMUD site has several paragraphs of what some of the differences between a mud and rpimud are and how most RPIMUD's (from their site) are based on a DIKU modified code.

It is important to note this since alot of the definitions of RPIMUD are opinions of the creators and do not necessarily reflect easier roleplay or quality roleplay.

If anyone would like a new thread based solely on RPIMUD definitions taken directly from that site I would be happy to do so and give commentary on the same. If no one really cares, I'd rather not take the time to do such extensive work.

These comments above should in no way reflect a good or bad opinion of the Delerak's Guideline's only that his Guideline's are specifically his opinion.
I disagree.
While RPIMud might disagree with Delerek here, I think most players of RPIs would agree with his list. Including 5 and 10.

And what's important about the tag RPI is that you want something that lets players find the mud they're looking for. I was pretty appalled upon trying out many of the muds listed on RPIMud to find that they did not in any way conform to my idea of an rpi (See Delerek's list) and felt further that my time had been wasted.

I'm sorry that so many people feel excluded by the elitist values of the RPI community, but as it's a niche market it helps to have very distinct terms that help players find the muds that do conform. Not only does it help me find muds I do want to play, it helps those who don't like the qualities of an RPI avoid them, and saves them their precious time as well.

I was curious Mina why you objected to those two particular entries. While I think I will disagree with you, I am still interested in your thought
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #26
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

It is unfortunate, but it appears the term "RPI" is doomed to confusion in the MUD community for several reasons.

Every other classification of RPX in the mudding community is a classification that refers specifically to the type of roleplaying environment on the game - Encouraged, Enforced, Mandatory. What follows the "RP" directly describes the RP environment. From what I have read, those deep in the RPI community are saying that the "I" in RPI doesn't relate to the roleplaying specifically but a set of features that make the game world "intensive" and more "realistic".

When people know what the "I" stands for the assumption most likely will be that intense roleplay is the defining factor of these games. The most common definition of "intensive" is that it is "of or relating to intensity" or that it is characterized by "a high degree of intensity". Even the terms such as "labor-intensive" or "research-intensive" refer to a heightened degree of labor or research or as one dictionary entry states, "possessing or requiring to a high degree".

If you do a search on "RP intensive" with Goggle all the gaming entries refer to games, modules, or groups that have more enhanced RP.
From a thread on "Super Groups" on City of Heroes: "RP Level: RP-intensive. Because the basis of the group is in-character social interaction, base and VG channel are in character, unless indicated by some means e.g. ((OOC)): Words and stuff., (()), [], whatever."

Looking for coders: "Coders sought for original, RP intensive MURPG" - Hrielith is an ongoing project incorporating many innovative aspects of play and design, with a focus on novelty, creativity, and high RP.

Necromancer Games thread - "Most RP intensive modules." asking "I'm just wondering what adventures you guys think do the best job of encouraging roleplaying?"

On top of all of this some people assume that the "I" stands for "immersive" and refer to games that immerse an individual into RP. Place on top of that the mudding community misuses the terms we already have such as "RP Mandatory" and "RP Enforced".

"RPI" is an understandably confusing term to individuals. I am truly sorry to say if you don't change the designation it will always be misused for the reasons I've stated above. I would suggest the term

RPM-CR or Roleplay Mandatory - Coded Realism

I can't even suggest "RPE-CR" because we can't seem to agree if the "E" stands for "encouraged" or "enforced" in many cases.

You have a handful of these games in operation with more to come it sounds like. I truly wish you the best of luck on your expansion. If all of these games have RP mandatory environments I will be sure to take a look.

Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:34 PM   #27
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Fifi View Post
I was curious Mina why you objected to those two particular entries. While I think I will disagree with you, I am still interested in your thought
I'm not sure which entries we're talking about, but whenever making a list that defines something, I tend to remove anything that is subjective, applies opinion, or creates misunderstandings.

For example, something RPI players often cite is something like this:

"RPI mechanics support RP rather than having roleplay around the mechanics."

You can already see that lots of people disagree on what supports their RP. A better wording of what I *THINK* they're trying to convey would be something like this:

"An RPI's codebase is derived from a hack n' slash, non-RP-enforced game. Systems have been removed or introduced by the administrators to support a the roleplay enviornment."

I believe both of the wordings I objected to involved claims "our code enforces roleplay better". That's incredibly subjective. I think that it's my years of law school that make me try to word things in order to avoid less confusion and possible arguments from an opposing lawyer.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:49 PM   #28
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Skill based experience system rather than a level based experience system.

The goal in any RPI is realism and the skill based experience system does a better job of emulating that than a level based system and here is why.

In a skill based system you receive bonuses in a skill for actually practicing it as opposed to a level based system where you get boosts or the ability to learn skills from completely unrelated actions.

If you want to get stronger, you lift weights.
If you want to get better at a sword, you spar with a sword.
If you want to get better at pickpocketing, you actually practice pickpocketing people.

A lot, if not most MUDs already integrate a skill based and a level based system, RPIs just do away with the need for levels. Instead of focusing on an ultimately arbitrary level, they focus more on their IC accomplishments and goals.

As for the analogy of the use of ranks in everyday life, these are completely subjective ranks not given to you by how many smurfs you kill. I'm playing a leveless RPI right now in a military organization, and we just assign ranks ICly by merit and experience, not experience points. Infact, sometimes people who are less skilled than others can become higher ranks based on their ability as leaders rather than their hard coded stats.

The point here is while -yes- we as humans love to categorize and identify absolutely everything, these classifications should not have any bearing on stats of a PC. If Delerak is a level 10 PHP admnistrator he still might have less HP than a level 5 PHP administrator because ultimately it's an utterly superfluous distinction.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:56 PM   #29
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
I'm not sure which entries we're talking about, but whenever making a list that defines something, I tend to remove anything that is subjective, applies opinion, or creates misunderstandings.

For example, something RPI players often cite is something like this:

"RPI mechanics support RP rather than having roleplay around the mechanics."

You can already see that lots of people disagree on what supports their RP. A better wording of what I *THINK* they're trying to convey would be something like this:

"An RPI's codebase is derived from a hack n' slash, non-RP-enforced game. Systems have been removed or introduced by the administrators to support a the roleplay enviornment."

I believe both of the wordings I objected to involved claims "our code enforces roleplay better". That's incredibly subjective. I think that it's my years of law school that make me try to word things in order to avoid less confusion and possible arguments from an opposing lawyer.
Specifically I meant this one: . Extensive, player controlled emote system - Players may create open-ended, custom emotes and have commands to help create these emotes. Stock emotes are not present.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:57 PM   #30
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RP Kris View Post
It is unfortunate, but it appears the term "RPI" is doomed to confusion in the MUD community for several reasons.

Every other classification of RPX in the mudding community is a classification that refers specifically to the type of roleplaying environment on the game - Encouraged, Enforced, Mandatory. What follows the "RP" directly describes the RP environment. From what I have read, those deep in the RPI community are saying that the "I" in RPI doesn't relate to the roleplaying specifically but a set of features that make the game world "intensive" and more "realistic".

When people know what the "I" stands for the assumption most likely will be that intense roleplay is the defining factor of these games. The most common definition of "intensive" is that it is "of or relating to intensity" or that it is characterized by "a high degree of intensity". Even the terms such as "labor-intensive" or "research-intensive" refer to a heightened degree of labor or research or as one dictionary entry states, "possessing or requiring to a high degree".

If you do a search on "RP intensive" with Goggle all the gaming entries refer to games, modules, or groups that have more enhanced RP.
From a thread on "Super Groups" on City of Heroes: "RP Level: RP-intensive. Because the basis of the group is in-character social interaction, base and VG channel are in character, unless indicated by some means e.g. ((OOC)): Words and stuff., (()), [], whatever."

Looking for coders: "Coders sought for original, RP intensive MURPG" - Hrielith is an ongoing project incorporating many innovative aspects of play and design, with a focus on novelty, creativity, and high RP.

Necromancer Games thread - "Most RP intensive modules." asking "I'm just wondering what adventures you guys think do the best job of encouraging roleplaying?"

On top of all of this some people assume that the "I" stands for "immersive" and refer to games that immerse an individual into RP. Place on top of that the mudding community misuses the terms we already have such as "RP Mandatory" and "RP Enforced".

"RPI" is an understandably confusing term to individuals. I am truly sorry to say if you don't change the designation it will always be misused for the reasons I've stated above. I would suggest the term

RPM-CR or Roleplay Mandatory - Coded Realism

I can't even suggest "RPE-CR" because we can't seem to agree if the "E" stands for "encouraged" or "enforced" in many cases.

You have a handful of these games in operation with more to come it sounds like. I truly wish you the best of luck on your expansion. If all of these games have RP mandatory environments I will be sure to take a look.

Good luck!
Quoted for truth. Ultimately, people are going to go by what your initials stand for because that's supposed to give information quickly. You can see how even players don't know what they're looking for if you refer to Burrtyr's thread that sparked this all. Role Play Intensive (or immersive), if I was not heavily involved in the mudding community, would mean "lots of intense roleplay!" to me. Role Play Enforced would mean "players and admins enforce the roleplay". Role Play Optional would mean "roleplay is accepted but I don't HAVE to roleplay". Role Play Encouraged would mean "I don't have to roleplay but they want me to". People who are new to the mudding community or simply don't go outside their own mud's community cannot be expected to simply infer what Role Play Intensive means. And honestly, there are plenty of admins who aren't heavily involved in the community as well who probably use RPI thinking it means that the Roleplay is Intensive on our mud.

When I tell people that CoT stands for Center of Town, I really do mean the town's center with the short description Center of Town. No one has to really do research on what the center of town is before they understand it.

On the other hand, MUD stands for multi-user dungeon, but in reality, MUDs are mechanics-heavy, text games, etc. Still, no one really enforces it, and I'm not sure that anyone really cares to do so. MMORPG stands for Massively-Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They're basically just the graphical muds. The big differences in this situation is that MUDs encompass thousands of games. MMORPG encompasses millions of players. There's really just a handful of RPIs and a handful of players involved (compared to MUDs overall or MMORPGs). There's no critical mass.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:58 PM   #31
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifi View Post
Specifically I meant this one: . Extensive, player controlled emote system - Players may create open-ended, custom emotes and have commands to help create these emotes. Stock emotes are not present.
Oh, that's a confusion that's resulted from the fact that Delerak has updated his list. #5 was removed, I believe.

I don't have a probelm with that one. I wrote it.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:20 PM   #32
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

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Originally Posted by Voidrider View Post
To say that a game requires a "slower" pace is simply a crutch being used because a player can't type fast enough to react to a situation or the environment around them. It is a lot like being pumped up with painkillers and trying to deal with a conveyor belt. Does anyone think that a real life soldier under fire in a foxhole in Afghanistan is in a "slow" or "controlled" environment? Effective communication in any kind of environment is a skill in itself.
This isn't actually true. Threshold is roleplay enforced. I believe there's some extremely immersive and extensive roleplaying there. Our players do a great job. The roleplay that happens on Threshold is extremely fast-paced, though, and consists mostly of dialogue punctuated by emotes. If you spend too much time posing, you could be dead, have a jihad declared against you, or been kicked out of your guild by the time you're done with your beautiful and brilliant pose. That's simply the pace of the mud, and I believe NW is much the same way.

Whereas if you go the other extreme and say play on KushielMux, the standard is to often have 5-15 minutes of wait between player poses if you're roleplaying with one other person. People in the mud know this, and they don't have a problem with it. When you, however, stick a Thresh player in a KM setting, it's quite a jarring change.

I'm guessing the RPIs need to fall somewhere in the middle of this, and that's what they're trying to convey with this rule. In Threshold, unless you have two like-minded players, you have about 30 seconds to finish your emoting. Other players, however, may take 1-2 minutes to write elaborate emotes, but when it comes down to conflict, they will switch to the faster style of communication where most of the RP occurs in using the say command punctuated by short, fast emotes.
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Old 03-16-2008, 06:15 PM   #33
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Mina once again you provide a perfect analogy:
Quote:
MMORPG stands for Massively-Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They're basically just the graphical muds.
That is what MMORPG has come to mean, that is commonly accepted and acknowledged meaning. The vast majority of gamers won't have any problem with it.

However, there are games that are online, offer roleplaying, and are massively-multiplayer games, that are NOT graphical. Games such as Achaea and Gemstone, for example. And interestingly enough, MMORPGs as they are understood to be now, are also understood to be commercial. So are Achaea and Gemstone.

Why not change the term MMORPG and call them Graphical RPGs instead, to make them fit what they are known to be at the present time, to distinguish them from muds such as Achaea and Gemstone, which are most assuredly not graphical, but absolutely ARE MMORPGs, by definition of each word in the initials?

Why not? Because - the community as a whole has accepted that MMORPGs are graphical. There will always be a few individuals who reject the standard. There will also be the new member of the community who simply doesn't know any better, and will either accept the education or become one of the few who reject the standard. But the standard remains.

Just like the standard criteria of what constitutes an RPI remains, whether a few reject that standard, or don't know about the standard, or not.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:19 AM   #34
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ender View Post
The goal in any RPI is realism and the skill based experience system does a better job of emulating that than a level based system
Says who? Says you and people like you. That's it. Skill based systems are no better or worse of an abstraction than a level based system. It is nothing more than pure preference. Neither is more realistic or better than the other. You prefer skills over levels. GREAT! There's nothing wrong with that. But when you start declaring your preferences better than everyone else's, then there is a problem.

Quote:
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In a skill based system you receive bonuses in a skill for actually practicing it as opposed to a level based system where you get boosts or the ability to learn skills from completely unrelated actions.
And by practicing it, you mean standing with your face in a corner duplicating the action over and over again, right? Because that's what happens very often in pure skill based games - especially skilling up through use systems.

The point is: neither is more realistic as a concept. It is all about the implementation. One implementation can be more realistic than another, but skills or levels are both abstractions designed to adjudicate a result in a reasonable and believable way. That's it and that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ender View Post
Instead of focusing on an ultimately arbitrary level...
... they focus on an ultimately arbitrary skill level.

Yeah, we get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
Why not change the term MMORPG and call them Graphical RPGs instead
Well, I wager the main reason is because if someone decides to call their MUD an MMORPG, they aren't going to have their game unfairly bashed by an irrational, foaming at the mouth WoW fanatic.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:11 AM   #35
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
And by practicing it, you mean standing with your face in a corner duplicating the action over and over again, right? Because that's what happens very often in pure skill based games - especially skilling up through use systems.
Skill-based does not imply RPI. RPIs, as I've pointed out before, do not accept this kind of behavior and employ several methods to guard against it. As a last defense, you have staff like me who would notice players doing that, check the logs, discover they'd been doing it for some time, then adjust their skill level back down to eliminate the gains they had made through such behavior (if they were 95% of the way from "familiar" to "adroit" I'd reset them so they were just at the minimum for "familiar"...guess with all that sparring they pinched a nerve...so sad) . Then I'd fire off a friendly warning to them not to do that again.

Quote:
The point is: neither is more realistic as a concept. It is all about the implementation. One implementation can be more realistic than another, but skills or levels are both abstractions designed to adjudicate a result in a reasonable and believable way. That's it and that's all.
Not true. Using a skill to increase your ability with that skill is more realistic than being assessed points based on actions not related to that skill. Killing a wolf with a club should not allow you to increase your skill at weaving nor should being able to tell interesting stories in a pub all day allow you to become better at forging a horseshoe. These mechanical stat-based methods are employed by stat-based RPEs but NEVER by skill-based MUDs including RPIs. The result is a more realistic manner of skill development. Use can allow one to improve but only at the skill used (and in RPIs, the use of the skill does not guarantee it will always cause your skill to increase)

Jason
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:01 AM   #36
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Here's the distinction between standard level-based and skill based systems that I think RPI players are trying to make: (I say standard because I know of at least one mud that does it differently, and I think that's why Threshold is objecting.)

In a level-base system, a character gains the level and gains abilities based on acquiring a general knowledge ('experience') for that level. The reasoning is that your character has "progressed" far enough in his/her field to suddenly know this ability.

In a skill-based system, however it's implemented, your character "practices" the same skill over and over, and performing that skill enough "teaches" them something. So, in order to get certain abilities, you have to pick which skill to perform repeatedly before you move further down that chain.

The realism really comes with the players and the administrators not the system, but the system can help promote realism. It all depends on the game. On an RPI, you could get a player who decides he's going to min-max the system and start spamming the 4 different abilities in order to skill up what he believes is best for leveling his character and PKing his enemies. Whether or not he gets busted, the "unrealistic" factors of the mechanics have already been exposed. On the other hand, a roleplayer could go to a level-based system and spend his/her entire time roleplaying studies for the abilities he/she knows is going to come when he/she levels. The idea is that using all their previously learned abilities from previous levels expands their "general" knowledge and unlocks a new ability for them. There have been plenty of times when I've been coding when I have a "Eureka" moment, and I've truly understood something new. I liken this more to a level system than a skill system. I haven't been learning about call_outs over and over and over. I code entire projects, and thus, I gain more knowledge in the area of coding in general. That player just brought lots of realism into a level system, and if that becomes the norm on the mud, it's going to seem more "realistic" than a system that allows people to simply write a script to spam an ability over and over to raise a skill.

Arguing that one is more realistic than the other one, again, is completely subjective. They are both systems that are abstracts of real life, and both can be powerful and useful tools for roleplaying. RPIs chose to use a skill-based system. It's neither more realistic or promotes more roleplaying. It's simply a game feature that helps define an RPI.

In addition, many of us keep assuming that "realistic" is "better" for roleplaying and that somehow being realistic is more challenging. That's not necessarily true. Playing a role where you have no basis in realism, making it believable and coherent, and selling it to an audience can be argued to be quite more difficult than simply basing a character off the Marquis de Sade and sticking it in some random fantasy/sci-fi setting. Realism is often nice for roleplaying because it gives you a strict guide to follow, and it's easier to keep everyone on the same page. If you have a group of good enough roleplayers, though, realism matters little as long as there's enough details in the game for everyone to be on the same page and those details are consistent, has patterns that players can easily follow and grasp, and the world operates in a believable manner. The key is building or finding such a world.

Honestly, if I wanted realism, I know this game called real life and the graphics are totally awesome.

I think RPI players would be taken more seriously if they quit using such judgement calls as "this is BETTER for roleplaying" or "this is more realistic". That's probably a very inaccurate statement anyway and not really what you mean. RPIs have picked systems that are harder for irresponsible builders and players to mangle and easier to police. This allows them to spend less time tracking down infractions and spend more time nurturing the game world. I'll attempt to explain.

In a level-based system, builders/coders often simply think of a cool power and stick it in wherever there's space. Often, they find a justification for putting that power in just because it's coded, and many times, coders/builders have no real thought behind the skills they're developing for a class/skill tree because there's no linear progression or guidelines. You often learn in "chunks" or across several systems at once. It takes a lot of effort to maintain a believable progression. So, often, you get a hodge-podge of abilities, often seemingly unrelated, all in one class. The linear progression of a skill-based system may have many branches, but the abilities come in a straight line, much like Civ's tech tree. You learn A which progresses to B which progresses to C, and sometimes, if you have A and B, Y becomes unlocked as well. This is much less prone to sloppy design (even though some games still manage it) because you're forced to already think of "what's next". And as is the norm for anything linear, this system is much easier to organize and organize well.

I think saying that a skill-based system is more "realistic" is a simplified and inaccurate term for what you guys really mean.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:27 PM   #37
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Skill-based does not imply RPI.
Strawman. Please re-read my post. I did not say anything about RPIs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
RPIs, as I've pointed out before, do not accept this kind of behavior and employ several methods to guard against it.
That's nice. Like I said, that is why it is all about the implementation, not the concept. A level based RPI could take the same measures if someone was "levelling up" in a lame manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Not true. Using a skill to increase your ability with that skill is more realistic than being assessed points based on actions not related to that skill.
Really. So if I create 100 files with the following:

Code:
void create()
{
	return;
}
it is realistic that I will get better at coding?

Oh wait, no that isn't realistic at all. So like I have said all along, skills, levels, etc. are all just abstractions used by a game to codify a system of processing results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Killing a wolf with a club should not allow you to increase your skill at weaving nor should being able to tell interesting stories in a pub all day allow you to become better at forging a horseshoe.
Really? So cross training is a myth, huh? Going for a 10 mile jog every day will not make me a better soccer player? Lifting weights doesn't make someone a better football player? If I read a lot of books, that won't make me a better writer? Improving my typing skill doesn't make me a better programmer?

Personally, I find that I am a better programmer (in terms of both code output and how rapidly I can learn new concepts) when I make sure I get at least 1 hour of exercise per day. And those two acts are not even close to being related in a pure skill-based system.

In fact, it is incredibly UNREALISTIC that a skill system completely fails to represent the benefits of cross training. But you know what... who cares? That doesn't make it a bad method of designing a game. It just makes it different.

Neither skills nor levels are better or more realistic. They are both abstractions used by a game to create a codified method of determining the success/failure of actions. It is the height of arrogance to simply declare your preference "better" or "more realistic" when that is simply false. And furthermore, it never ceases to amaze me that people (and no surprise it often tends to be RPI types) feel it is important and worthwhile to argue and prove THEIR preference is the best. Why can't you folks just leave it at "I like this best"?

And you wonder why people think RPI-ers are elitist.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:46 PM   #38
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That's nice. Like I said, that is why it is all about the implementation, not the concept. A level based RPI could take the same measures if someone was "levelling up" in a lame manner.
That's my point exactly. It's much easier to say "Stop spamming the same ability over and over and roleplay!" rather than say, "Hey, you know, you're just making XP and not roleplaying enough to support your leveling." One form of leveling can be a lot easier to police than the other. It's understandable why RPIs have chosen to use the skill-based leveling system, but I don't believe that it's any more realistic. It's less prone to being mangled by sloppy builders, and it's easy to police such a system for players trying to mangle the roleplay intent behind these systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Really. So if I create 100 files with the following:

Code:
void create()
{
	return;
}
it is realistic that I will get better at coding?
No, but I wish it worked that way cause I'd be cutting and pasting my little heart out.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #39
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

The reason that skill based systems are better for rpis than level based is becausethe majority of us who play rpis prefer them.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:38 PM   #40
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Re: Guidelines for an RPI mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That's nice. Like I said, that is why it is all about the implementation, not the concept. A level based RPI could take the same measures if someone was "levelling up" in a lame manner.
RPI refers to both code and policy, as I stated earlier. You should lift more weights to cross-train your reading skill.

Quote:
Really? So cross training is a myth, huh? Going for a 10 mile jog every day will not make me a better soccer player? Lifting weights doesn't make someone a better football player? If I read a lot of books, that won't make me a better writer? Improving my typing skill doesn't make me a better programmer?

Personally, I find that I am a better programmer (in terms of both code output and how rapidly I can learn new concepts) when I make sure I get at least 1 hour of exercise per day. And those two acts are not even close to being related in a pure skill-based system.
It didn't improve your skill at it though. It may have made you more alert so that you reached your potential, but it did not improve your actual skill via the exercise. And "learn[ing] new concepts" is not something that would be defined by a skill in a skill-based system. That's represented by attributes like strength, intelligence, dexterity, not by skills like weaving or smithing.

Quote:
In fact, it is incredibly UNREALISTIC that a skill system completely fails to represent the benefits of cross training. But you know what... who cares? That doesn't make it a bad method of designing a game. It just makes it different.
Yes, it makes it different. And skill-based systems are part of what differentiates a RPI from other MUDs.

Quote:
Neither skills nor levels are better or more realistic. They are both abstractions used by a game to create a codified method of determining the success/failure of actions. It is the height of arrogance to simply declare your preference "better" or "more realistic" when that is simply false. And furthermore, it never ceases to amaze me that people (and no surprise it often tends to be RPI types) feel it is important and worthwhile to argue and prove THEIR preference is the best. Why can't you folks just leave it at "I like this best"?
I'm curious but are you bashing a lot of gophers with a baseball bat? You type so well that you must be gaining lots of experience points bashing gophers to train up your ability to type! "More realistic" doesn't have to imply "completely realistic" but compared to stat-based advancement, it is more realistic. Although being an artificial system it simply does not equal the complexities of reality. That's pretty much the case with any artificial system.

Quote:
And you wonder why people think RPI-ers are elitist.
I've never seen a player who started on RPIs leave and then state that other MUD types were better. I have seen players who started on other types of games try RPIs and go back to other types, citing (usually indirectly) their inability or unwillingness to accept the features of RPIs. I have also seen players who started on other kinds of MUDs leave those in favor of RPI. I, myself, fall into this category. Is it elitism that a greater number of players abandon other types of MUDs for RPI than the reverse? I guess it depends on which side of the move you're on. If you're the one who can lose players to RPI but can't lure them away, I guess it's elitism. If you're the game style that players would rather give up MUDs altogether than play something else, the perspective is something different. As someone who's staffed on both sides of the RPI/non-RPI difference and made the move to RPI-only, I can see why some might call RPI "elitist". But there's a green-eyed tint to that argument too.

Take care,

Jason
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