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Old 09-14-2010, 10:24 AM   #101
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
No offense to anyone but if you're not a veteran of RPIs, why reply to this thread?
Because we can.

No offense to anyone, but perhaps future RPI threads should include 'Snobs Only' in the title?
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:34 AM   #102
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
if you're not a veteran of RPIs, why reply to this thread?
For the rest of the existence of the internet, the thread title has been a subject, not a participation restriction.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #103
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

To be fair to Prof1515. I'm inclined to agree with him in principle. While anyone can and should comment on any thread they feel the need to, I originally made this thread specifically to get comments and feedback from former/veteran RPI/ARM style gamers.

When the thread went off topic, like many do, is when others (including myself) began to voice opinion.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:48 PM   #104
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Hey, I don't supposed you'd go into a little detail about what mechanics and theories those are? I'm rather curious.
Sorry I missed this post, CP!

I've listed some of the major disagreements, but please keep in mind that I am not an RPI player. I may represent some of the conflicts incorrectly. RPI, as I am currently using it, represents muds that use the RPI engine or an engine modeled after this one. This does not include all muds that may be considered RPI. RPE represents muds that are roleplay enforced with nothing really in common other than being roleplay enforced. Thus, this list is a massive generalization.
  • Permadeath (RPI) vs. Character Permanence (RPE)
  • Out of game OOC chat only (RPI) vs. In-game chat channels that allow only OOC (RPE)
  • Class and level system (RPE) vs. Classless/Level-less system (RPI)
  • IC Channels Present (RPE) vs. No IC Channels (RPI)
  • Skill by use (RPI) vs. Train and use (RPE)

Again, this is a very general list, and I tried to present them as the design mechanics rather than make the arguments. Ultimately, the truth is that each type of game needs to be designed with what works in that game and with a particular audience in mind. We still get into arguments over why we chose one or the other.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:49 PM   #105
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
I've been very sporadic at looking in on this thread because it's meandered too much from the original topic.
Is it really because it meandered?
Or is it because it became mud-slinging about an argument that we've seen many times before?

The internet is full of meandering, successful, useful threads. We've build some very useful techniques for dealing with them, such as starting new threads to discuss a tangent when it becomes more than two or three posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
The original post was inquiring about the views of veterans of Role-Play Intensive MUDs.
Mmmm, yes. But it was put in the top mud sites forum, where there are many non-RPI participants. And, as chaosprime said...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosprime View Post
For the rest of the existence of the internet, the thread title has been a subject, not a participation restriction.
I might not run an RPI (using your definition) but I'd run a game that has what I'd consider to be "intensive role-play" - therefore I was interested in the topic. And being - I hope - a member of this forum community, I (amongst others) posted follow-up questions.

Yes, those questions did create tangents. But they didn't kill the thread. Nothing is stopping someone making a post saying: "I'm an RPI Veteran, and my opinion is..."
In fact, it's the lack of those posts that feeds the discussion on the tangents.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
It wasn't about what constitutes "hard" fantasy.
Really? Considering the original post was about potential declining quality of the roleplay, and "hard" fantasy appears to be about building the believability of the game world, which will have a significant impact on good roleplayers... it seems related to me.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
It wasn't about whether or not one likes OOC channels.
Really? Still considering the OP was about potential declining quality of RP, the discussion of OOC channels seems relevant. Specifically because the discussion was about how those channels influence RP, and how with more ubiquitous IM availability everyone has access to OOC channels. Could it be possible that their greater access to OOC channels impacts their RP? ... it seems related to me.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
It wasn't about any of that crap.
What other crap? The two things listed above are pretty relevant, and neither was presented in a way that would stop anyone responding with new opinions about RPIs, or the related quality.

You yourself discussed hack & slash vs roleplay in this thread. Is that any less tangental? I'd say it was a valid part of the discussion, especially since it referenced RPIs, but I'm finding it pretty hard to distinguish between what is "crap" and what is "useful on-topic discussion"

The only "crap" I've seen in this thread was the unnecessary insult-slinging.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
The reason the thread began to have problems is because it diverged from the topic about which it was posted and people who weren't veterans of Role-Play Intensive MUDs decided to toss their views in. No offense to anyone but if you're not a veteran of RPIs, why reply to this thread?
Only a veteran of RPIs could give a "yes/no" answer to the original topic of whether the RP has been degrading. I agree with that.

But is it not possible that non-veterans could still participate in the discussion about *why* the RP has (or has not) been degrading. Again, using the above example of chat channels, RPIs - by definition - have no OOC chat channels. If that could be a factor in RP degradation, and therefore a relevant part of the discussion, wouldn't opinions from both sides of the fence be useful? There is a wider context in which RPIs exist, it seems arrogant to exclude participants from that context, where their expertise is actually relevant.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Want to keep threads from turning into flame wars? Here's a simple bit of advice:

YouTube - Stay on Target!

Saw what happened to them? That's what happens to too many threads when people don't take Gold Leader's advice.
I'd argue differently.
Want to keep threads from turning into flame wars? Then show respect and consideration for the other participants. Build an environment where we discuss differences of opinion without insulting the debaters. Build an environment where we segregate conversations that have happened before to their own threads, allowing the other participants to still provide their input (and part of that respect is that they will move the discussion to the new thread.)

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
To be fair to Prof1515. I'm inclined to agree with him in principle. While anyone can and should comment on any thread they feel the need to, I originally made this thread specifically to get comments and feedback from former/veteran RPI/ARM style gamers.
I'll agree and accept that. I understand the intention, which is what interested me in this thread.

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
When the thread went off topic, like many do, is when others (including myself) began to voice opinion.
I don't think opinions are bad, or the problem, as long as they are expressed respectfully.

By Prof's reasoning, the thread went off topic when you asked Scandum what "soft fiction" is. I was then guilty for following that with a longer post about hard/soft fiction. I'm often guilty of rambling.

But I also see relevant discussion, comments about soft vs hard fiction being more useful in RP mandatory muds, mention of how Atonement fits into those classifications.

So was the feedback from that tangent really that far off-topic?

Maybe it was. It's just... hard, on the internet, to know the intention. It could be that tangents are useful and desired. They could be undesired. But they'll keep happening, unless there is some etiquette in place.

So my suggestion is that if someone feels a tangent isn't productive to the original thread, they do exactly what Newworlds did. Create a new thread, say "Following from the discussion here <link>" and make a post in the original thread saying "Creating a new discussion about the IC vs OOC chat channels tangent here <link>"

Then everyone gets what they want. The thread can return to track, nobody is excluded from the discussion, and everyone benefits from a broader context.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:32 PM   #106
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Maybe it was. It's just... hard, on the internet, to know the intention. It could be that tangents are useful and desired. They could be undesired. But they'll keep happening, unless there is some etiquette in place.

So my suggestion is that if someone feels a tangent isn't productive to the original thread, they do exactly what Newworlds did. Create a new thread, say "Following from the discussion here <link>" and make a post in the original thread saying "Creating a new discussion about the IC vs OOC chat channels tangent here <link>"

Then everyone gets what they want. The thread can return to track, nobody is excluded from the discussion, and everyone benefits from a broader context.
Good final words Silvarilon. Unfortunately I was lax in taking the new topic of ooc vs ic in game and didn't create a new topic. Oh well, I hope it's all discussed out now.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:09 AM   #107
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
Is it really because it meandered? Or is it because it became mud-slinging about an argument that we've seen many times before?
It's because it digressed off the topic. I couldn't give a rat's ass about "hard" fantasy versus "soft" fantasy and even if I did, it just distracts the topic from original subject. I only pop in every now for a couple seconds to scan the forums and when I do I don't take the time to wade through threads where 75% of the posts are irrelevant to the discussion topic in search of the few that are relevant. Hence I usually just see a couple off-topic posts and move on. Only when I stick around long enough to actually comb through the thread do I respond (which is why this response is so late in coming). I know several other people who do the same thing.

Quote:
We've build some very useful techniques for dealing with them, such as starting new threads to discuss a tangent when it becomes more than two or three posts.
Then a new thread should have been started.

Quote:
But it was put in the top mud sites forum, where there are many non-RPI participants.
But it was not directed at everyone. It was specifically asking for the views of a particular group. When someone asks a question about coding, people who don't know how to code shouldn't toss out random bull**** that doesn't answer the question. It's irrelevant and if they have no idea how to code it's also worthless.

Quote:
I might not run an RPI (using your definition)...
It's not my definition; it's a definition derived by analyzing the original context of the term before it was misused by a variety of games which did not meet those characteristics.

Quote:
...but I'd run a game that has what I'd consider to be "intensive role-play"...
As has been demonstrated before "Role-Play Intensive" and "intensive role-play" do not mean the same thing. Basic English dictates that the order of words influences their meaning.

Quote:
In fact, it's the lack of those posts that feeds the discussion on the tangents.
As my first response pointed out, soliciting opinions from RPI veterans who've walked away isn't likely to produce many replies because RPI players have notoriously not been avid participants on these forums and players who walk away from MUDding are even less likely to start than those who are still playing.

Quote:
Really? Considering the original post was about potential declining quality of the roleplay, and "hard" fantasy appears to be about building the believability of the game world, which will have a significant impact on good roleplayers... it seems related to me.
The original post was in regard to a comment I made. Soft or hard fantasy really has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Quote:
...considering the OP was about potential declining quality of RP, the discussion of OOC channels seems relevant. Specifically because the discussion was about how those channels influence RP, and how with more ubiquitous IM availability everyone has access to OOC channels. Could it be possible that their greater access to OOC channels impacts their RP? ... it seems related to me.
The original post was in response to a remark I made about RPI MUDs. RPI MUDs have never had global OOC channels hence that couldn't be a factor in their decline since it was a feature during their glory days as well. It's a constant and a change would be dependent upon variables. Hence a discussion of OOC channels is irrelevant.

Quote:
But is it not possible that non-veterans could still participate in the discussion about *why* the RP has (or has not) been degrading.
Without any data from which to draw a comparison of a before and after picture, their contributions would likely be little more than blind guesses.

Again, using the above example of chat channels, RPIs - by definition - have no OOC chat channels. If that could be a factor in RP degradation, and therefore a relevant part of the discussion, wouldn't opinions from both sides of the fence be useful?[/quote]

Again, the lack of global OOC channels is not something new. It was a constant through the rise of the RPIs and now in their arguable decline. Veterans played before when there were no OOC channels. Many do not and not all leave on account of life pulling them away. Through both periods, the lack of global OOC channels was a constant but the results changed. Thus other factors must have been the cause.

Quote:
There is a wider context in which RPIs exist, it seems arrogant to exclude participants from that context, where their expertise is actually relevant.
If they have no data or experience upon which to draw conclusions their "expertise" is non-existent.

[quote]Want to keep threads from turning into flame wars? Then show respect and consideration for the other participants. Build an environment where we discuss differences of opinion without insulting the debaters.

Quote:
Build an environment where we segregate conversations that have happened before to their own threads, allowing the other participants to still provide their input...
The conversations that happened before were irrelevant to this discussion and had no business even being brought up. They added nothing to the original post's inquiry from RPI veterans because they were not made by RPI veterans. It was like a doctor asking a patient how they feel and some stranger walking by answering. It's neither relevent nor useful.

Quote:
So my suggestion is that if someone feels a tangent isn't productive to the original thread, they do exactly what Newworlds did. Create a new thread....
Which wasn't done, hence my last reply about staying on target.

Jason
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:40 AM   #108
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
It's not my definition; it's a definition derived by analyzing the original context of the term before it was misused by a variety of games which did not meet those characteristics.
I dunno, dude. It sounds kinda like somebody created a marketing term, failed to register and enforce a trademark on it, and is now upset that other people are using it freely. The question kinda becomes, what the hell did you expect?

Last edited by chaosprime : 09-22-2010 at 03:40 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:42 AM   #109
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by Milawe View Post
  • Permadeath (RPI) vs. Character Permanence (RPE)
  • Out of game OOC chat only (RPI) vs. In-game chat channels that allow only OOC (RPE)
  • Class and level system (RPE) vs. Classless/Level-less system (RPI)
  • IC Channels Present (RPE) vs. No IC Channels (RPI)
  • Skill by use (RPI) vs. Train and use (RPE)
Interesting. Thanks for the summary. I generally feel that the nuts and bolts of contention are the most revealing part of a controversy.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:53 AM   #110
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Originally Posted by chaosprime View Post
I dunno, dude. It sounds kinda like somebody created a marketing term, failed to register and enforce a trademark on it, and is now upset that other people are using it freely. The question kinda becomes, what the hell did you expect?
Trademarks are really intended for commercial goods and services - I'm not sure if a pure hobbyist mud could register one even if they could afford it.

But that aside, it was my understanding that the term "RPI" was coined by the players of such games, rather than by the owner of one specific mud. As a term used for multiple games, I'm not sure that a trademark would be appropriate anyway - would you really want people trademarking things like "PK" and "HnS"?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:25 AM   #111
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Trademarks are really intended for commercial goods and services - I'm not sure if a pure hobbyist mud could register one even if they could afford it.
I don't think that would be an obstacle. There's a service being provided (which I suppose makes the relevant IP entity a service mark, not a trademark, but close enough), and if the lack of a fee for it made IP law not apply, we would've heard about it in a considerable uproar around a considerable number of Web sites, by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
But that aside, it was my understanding that the term "RPI" was coined by the players of such games, rather than by the owner of one specific mud. As a term used for multiple games, I'm not sure that a trademark would be appropriate anyway - would you really want people trademarking things like "PK" and "HnS"?
The usual thing there would be to have the mark owned by an industry association that sets the standards for who can use it -- I think an example would be how the "Real" milk symbol thing is handled. The RPIMUD Network went 90% of the way on this, creating the affiliative body and standards definition, they just bobbled the part that involves making their standards enforceable by means other than whingeing. Then, of course, they imploded, but never mind.

The way I see it, the problem is that a term was invented to evangelize and mark as superior (let's not temporize, RPIMUD people have a reputation for snotty elitism because they earned it) a particular style of game, and moreover a specific group of games. The term was rather well chosen in how it communicates to the market the message "this game is the next step in awesome from anything you're used to". So naturally other people wanted to take advantage of this marketing device as well, because "roleplaying intensive" sounded just like their game to them, and these supposed standards for what RPI meant seemed awfully arbitrary (I seem to recall you deconstructing them thoroughly, and I could do the same). But the people who invented the term only meant it to provide marketing advantage to their games, so they get in an uproar, but all they can do is keep trying to lock down the definition to arbitrary criteria that really mean "our games and not yours", with no way of enforcing anything, so it just goes back and forth.

I sound kinda down on RPI here, and that's kinda a shame, because I can really relate to its ideals, especially the way that its values exalt simulation design over game design (which is always market suicide, and exactly the way I like things). If even someone as into its ideals as me can be annoyed by the pitch of self-congratulatory evangelism associated with it, though, that part really may have gone too far.

As far as an IP grab on "PK" or "HnS" goes, I don't think there's any question of being able to trademark/service mark a term that's already in broad use, which is why it's probably considerably too late for RPI. The time when the iron was hot, there, would have been when nobody had heard of it, before the evangelism wave.

Last edited by chaosprime : 09-22-2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: expand
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #112
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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I don't think that would be an obstacle. There's a service being provided (which I suppose makes the relevant IP entity a service mark, not a trademark, but close enough), and if the lack of a fee for it made IP law not apply, we would've heard about it in a considerable uproar around a considerable number of Web sites, by now.
Well "Use in Commerce" is a pretty important part of Trademark law. But even if it were possible, the cost of registering and defending a trademark would also be difficult for many hobbyists.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:33 PM   #113
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Well "Use in Commerce" is a pretty important part of Trademark law. But even if it were possible, the cost of registering and defending a trademark would also be difficult for many hobbyists.
Yeah, no question. Something resembling commerce could probably be trumped up, but yeah, the cost would be pretty rough. If you want to control the way other people use language, though, that doesn't happen by happy thoughts and good intentions.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #114
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

I propose that somebody who's into this sort of thing immediately form a certifying body for Simulationist Multi-User Games (SMUG). smugnet.com is available. Act now.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:05 PM   #115
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

By the way, if you want to try for a definition of RPI that isn't just going to get completely blown off as self-serving wank, you might want to just go with the one where it's a roleplaying-enforced game with crunchy mechanics -- i.e. a relatively heavily computer-modeled game world, as opposed to one like a typical MU* where there's lots of pretty descriptions but none of it means anything without a human to decide on and engineer consequences.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #116
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Chaos...you are following your namesake and taking this thread to complete chaotic ends...to quote Porkins from Star Wars A New Hope, "Stay on target...stay on target!"
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:33 PM   #117
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Chaos...you are following your namesake and taking this thread to complete chaotic ends...to quote Porkins from Star Wars A New Hope, "Stay on target...stay on target!"
Who, me? Here I thought I was getting back on target by coming around to the topic of RPI definition!
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:42 PM   #118
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

I've said it elsewhere, put I'll push my thoughts on the matter here as well.

The vast majority of recently self-labeled "RPIs" make use of the RPI Engine, which like SMAUG and many other open-source "MUD codebases", is a derivative of DIKU. They all tend to have similar features, which makes sense as they were developed based on a codebase that was written for folks who liked the features of games that labeled themselves as "RPIs".

Sure, ARM predates the RPI Engine, but the vast majority of games which sport similar gameplay/features since then have used the open-source RPI Engine released by Shadows of Isildur.

I could create a MUSH focused on the Viking myth of Ragnarok and call it "Godwars: Ragnarok", and there couldn't be anyone to stop me. However, for the players who recognize "Godwars" to refer to a specific open-source codebase, it would be confusing. I believe most players of RPIs that are leery towards other games using the term out-of-context, feel that way because they see it as misleading. I, too, think that it is misleading - though I don't really care much what other folks call their games.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:23 AM   #119
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

Yeah, I'm with Donathinfrye on this one....

When someone says "RPI", I think permadeath.... Heavily-enforced roleplay demands, no levels, no experience points, no gold coins to be looted from freshly-killed wildlife....

And that's the way it really should be, in my opinion.

If your MUD is roleplay-enforced, but it's not up to RPI standards, then just say it's roleplay-enforced.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:29 AM   #120
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Re: Veterans of Roleplay Intensive MUDs

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Yeah, I'm with Donathinfrye on this one....

When someone says "RPI", I think permadeath.... Heavily-enforced roleplay demands, no levels, no experience points, no gold coins to be looted from freshly-killed wildlife.....
Well, that's not actually what Donatinfrye is saying. He seems to be saying that it should now be defined mainly in terms of the RPI Engine codebase, which seems pretty retroactive and cheese to me, but whatevs.

I entirely get what you're saying about no levels, no xp, no deer carrying gold coins -- things that are basically ridiculous and "gamey" in any context. Permadeath is one of those really arbitrary political statements, though. Whether it's realistic or not depends on your setting, and it's brain-damaged to assign it a realism value in a vacuum.
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