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Old 11-13-2010, 08:18 PM   #1
Justin534
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YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

So, it seems threads tend to pop up from time to time what makes for and RPI MUD. The debate goes something like this: All RPI Muds must meet these qualifications....but xyz MUD is clearly RPI but doesnt meet all qualifications...Ok so qualification #2 and 5 don't have to be included for MUD to be considered RPI....But no! #2 and 5 are paramount to most RPIs....(Flame war begins)

So after glancing over a few of these threads the answer seems obvious to me there is not simply a broad header that you can fit all RPI MUDs in. Rather RPI is a genre of MUDs with different attributes associated with MUDs in the genre. For example one attribute might be RPI Realism where focus is on realism of the roleplay experience i.e. permanent death no numbers visible to players when it comes to stats and skills, etc. Another attribute might be RPI IC Only, where there are no OOC forms of communication, in the same vein RPI IC Strong might be an attribute denoting that OOC messaging in the MUD is very limited (perhaps only a global newbie channel exists).

But, at its core an RPI MUD must have only one base attribute that it is RP Enforced and other attributes only act to further define just what type of RPI MUD it is, but not whether or not it actually is an RPI MUD.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by Justin534 : 11-13-2010 at 08:19 PM. Reason: adding poll
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
What do you guys think?
I think you created an account to start another flame war on the term. Because this has been done so many times and is a poor and tired argument, I think very little about it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

No I didn't start this thread to start another flame war. I have recently gotten into RPI's myself and after stumbling across a few of the other threads it just seemed to me the animosity has stemmed from the fact that many individuals are trying to define and RPI MUD as a single entity where in reality they seem to be multiple entities of a group. The analogy might be something like RPI MUD is to Animal as RPI MUD X is to cat and RPI MUD Y is to dog, etc.

Please don't accuse me of creating an account to try and start a flame war, that was not my intention and if you can't contribute to the topic, but only your judgement on the topic's author I would appreciate it if you could refrain from posting.

Again this is not intended to start a flame war but to discuss whether or not an RPI is best defined as a single entity or a class in which only a very minimum number of qualifications are necessary to be a member of said class.

Thank you and best wishes.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
So, it seems threads tend to pop up from time to time what makes for and RPI MUD. The debate goes something like this: All RPI Muds must meet these qualifications....but xyz MUD is clearly RPI but doesnt meet all qualifications...Ok so qualification #2 and 5 don't have to be included for MUD to be considered RPI....But no! #2 and 5 are paramount to most RPIs....(Flame war begins)

So after glancing over a few of these threads the answer seems obvious to me there is not simply a broad header that you can fit all RPI MUDs in.

Rather RPI is a genre of MUDs with different attributes associated with MUDs in the genre. For example one attribute might be RPI Realism where focus is on realism of the roleplay experience i.e. permanent death no numbers visible to players when it comes to stats and skills, etc. Another attribute might be RPI IC Only, where there are no OOC forms of communication, in the same vein RPI IC Strong might be an attribute denoting that OOC messaging in the MUD is very limited (perhaps only a global newbie channel exists).

But, at its core an RPI MUD must have only one base attribute that it is RP Enforced and other attributes only act to further define just what type of RPI MUD it is, but not whether or not it actually is an RPI MUD.

What do you guys think?
I think you're confusing RP and RPI and that, as Newworlds said, this thread serves no useful purpose as it's been discussed/debated/argued before.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

I think that your argument makes sense, but isn't worth having.

It'll go like this:
RPI's have criteria XYZ
What about MUD A?
RPI's have MOST of the criteria XYZ
<comment from someone who runs a non-RPI mud>
You aren't included in this discussion, non-RPIer
Question about criteria X and whether it adds to more RP
Comment about how RPI doesn't mean "more intensive roleplay"
Other comments that show RPIers do feel that their muds have "more intensive roleplay" despite RPI not meaning that
Flame wars due to a lack of clarity, since every participant is talking about a subtly different thing. Some are talking about mud system design, others are talking about the RPI feature list, others are talking about "intensive roleplay muds", and so on.

At the end of the day, RPI is just a term. Like FPS. Or MUD. It might have a specific meaning, but right now it just means "Those muds that go under the banner of RPI"

I don't see any need to relax the criteria on an RPI mud, even though my mud is close to "qualifiying", but misses on a few points.

I don't see the need to discuss what adds to more "intensive" roleplay. The points my MUD doesn't qualify as RPI are all conscious decisions on my part, since I believe these changes actually *add* to the RP. But, hey, every mud SHOULD have a different flavor, and I don't believe my choices are any more valid than the standard RPI feature list. I understand why they prefer the choices they made.

And I don't see the need to include more muds under the term RPI - we've already got a term for roleplay muds. RPMUD. Or "roleplay mud" - pretty clear to me. I'm happy with my roleplay mud. I'm comfortable that I can attract players by running a really fun game, without needing to shoehorn it into another category.

I hate the fact that when I want to find music, the shops all have it under the wrong categories. I'm a music snob, I know the difference between acid jazz and free jazz. I know the difference between rock and pop and punk and grunge. And it bothers me that the music industry can't just put the CDs into the right category. But, of course, they can - they just choose not to. They know what categories the buyers are looking at, so they put the bands into those categories, regardless of the music. So I might have to look in R&B for my jazz music, because hip young people don't check out the jazz section (and, as long as you have a vocal track, that makes it R&B. Right?) - and pretty much everything is thrown into Pop.
All so that when the baggy-jean-wearing customers walk straight to the Pop section, they'll find the bands.

If you look at the genres that the Blink182 albums supposedly are part of, you'll find that they range from pop-punk to rock-alternative. Are their albums really so different that two of them should be in entirely different genres with no overlap? (Bearing in mind we're listing two genres for each album)

You can probably guess, I don't agree with that sentiment. It defeats the point of having genres. And, as such, while I might agree with much of what you have to say... I'm inclined to say: Just leave the RPI guys with their term. Let them define a sub-genre of mudding.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
I think you're confusing RP and RPI and that, as Newworlds said, this thread serves no useful purpose as it's been discussed/debated/argued before.
I may be confusing the two I was under the impression that there was 1. Roleplay Encouraged MUDs and 2. RPI

Hence, the reason I was saying RPI MUDs should have the very basic description of being roleplay enforced and ammended with various attributes as I talked about below. But, perhaps my MUDding vocabulary isn't that great yet.

But I do think this thread does have a very useful purpose - to identify different attributes that RP MUDs (Ok a little confused on which acronym to use now) may possess.

Quote:
...
Other comments that show RPIers do feel that their muds have "more intensive roleplay" despite RPI not meaning that
Flame wars due to a lack of clarity, since every participant is talking about a subtly different thing. Some are talking about mud system design, others are talking about the RPI feature list, others are talking about "intensive roleplay muds", and so on.
But, thats the whole point of this thread is to enhance clarity by identifying various attributes that seem to be associated with with RP MUDs... this could be of great use for categorizing, creating a directory, and helping people find MUDs with specific RP related features.

Quote:
At the end of the day, RPI is just a term. Like FPS. Or MUD. It might have a specific meaning, but right now it just means "Those muds that go under the banner of RPI"
Yes, but people like to play a specific breed of FPS and MUDs. So to say at the end of the day it is just a term that doesn't need to be elaborated on is like saying the term MUD doesn't have to be elaborated on, or categorized into its different types.

Quote:
I don't see any need to relax the criteria on an RPI mud, even though my mud is close to "qualifiying", but misses on a few points.
I had no idea there was any agreed upon criteria of what makes an RPI MUD, you might have to forgive my ignorance on this one.

Quote:
I don't see the need to discuss what adds to more "intensive" roleplay. The points my MUD doesn't qualify as RPI are all conscious decisions on my part, since I believe these changes actually *add* to the RP. But, hey, every mud SHOULD have a different flavor, and I don't believe my choices are any more valid than the standard RPI feature list. I understand why they prefer the choices they made.
I couldn't agree with you more, but my point wasn't to discuss what makes a MUD more "intensive" in terms of roleplay, but rather to discuss the idea of having different "RP MUD/RPI (Ok now I really dont know which acronym I should use ) related attributes" and leave it up to the individual to decide whether or not it adds to roleplay and is something they want.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
I may be confusing the two I was under the impression that there was 1. Roleplay Encouraged MUDs and 2. RPI
Role-Play MUDs, where the emphasis is on Role-Play instead of merely an option choice not shared by most, can be broken down into the following:

Role-Play Encouraged/Accepted, where it's an option but not a requirement to role-play. Debatable if these can be considered RP MUDs since it's entirely possible to find no one deciding to RP. As a result some, including The RPMUD Network, do not include these in discussions of RP MUDs.

Role-Play Enforced (RPE), which includes any RP MUD where the role-play is required. Some MUDs only require RP on things like PKs so in general I tend to lump these with the Encouraged group since the rest of the time there is no such enforcement.

Role-Play Oriented (RPO), a term I coined in 2006 to denote RPEs which didn't fit into a single definition of features but which had many specialized variations similar to RPIs.

Role-Play Intensive (RPI), a term dating to the early 1990s which refers to a shared set of characteristics. To date, myself and several others have managed to identify 19 such characteristics.

Quote:
Hence, the reason I was saying RPI MUDs should have the very basic description of being roleplay enforced and ammended with various attributes as I talked about below. But, perhaps my MUDding vocabulary isn't that great yet.
It's not necessarily your fault. The community is divided on the subject and due to several MUDs abusing terminology for the last half decade (the earliest misuse of the term RPI dates to a MUD in 2002) there is considerable confusion over the terms.

Quote:
But I do think this thread does have a very useful purpose - to identify different attributes that RP MUDs (Ok a little confused on which acronym to use now) may possess.
It's hard to nail down any feature set utilized by more than one or two MUDs outside of the RPIs which span some 30+ games using 3 (soon to be 4) different code lineages (yet all possessing those 19 characteristics).

Quote:
But, thats the whole point of this thread is to enhance clarity by identifying various attributes that seem to be associated with with RP MUDs... this could be of great use for categorizing, creating a directory, and helping people find MUDs with specific RP related features.
The RPMUD Network, of which I'm a part, did a bit of this primarily to ensure that our Operating Committee had a diverse range of views regarding RP MUDs.
About RPMUD Network

Quote:
Yes, but people like to play a specific breed of FPS and MUDs. So to say at the end of the day it is just a term that doesn't need to be elaborated on is like saying the term MUD doesn't have to be elaborated on, or categorized into its different types.
Like I said before, outside of the RPIs, there isn't a general consensus of shared characteristics between most RP MUDs. Each has their own mix of features and the like.

Quote:
I had no idea there was any agreed upon criteria of what makes an RPI MUD, you might have to forgive my ignorance on this one.
Even in the RPI community there is confusion primarily because while we all knew what were looking for when we said RPI, none of us took the time to clearly analyze and define the term until a few of us started around 2006 by examining the original RPIs and determining what they had in common that spawned the general acceptance of the term as a means of identifying themselves. The result was a list of 17 characteristics though further examination has revealed two more over the years leading to a list of the 19 characteristics you'll find in that link above.

Quote:
I couldn't agree with you more, but my point wasn't to discuss what makes a MUD more "intensive" in terms of roleplay, but rather to discuss the idea of having different "RP MUD/RPI (Ok now I really dont know which acronym I should use ) related attributes" and leave it up to the individual to decide whether or not it adds to roleplay and is something they want.
It's slow-going as RL is kicking everyone's arse but The RPMUD Network hopes to have a database listing the various characteristics of every RP-enforced MUD which is also searchable for and excluding each.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Quote:
It's slow-going as RL is kicking everyone's arse but The RPMUD Network hopes to have a database listing the various characteristics of every RP-enforced MUD which is also searchable for and excluding each.
I would definitely love to see something like this. I went to the site...but there doesn't seem to be anything there?
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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I would definitely love to see something like this. I went to the site...but there doesn't seem to be anything there?
We've got a new site in preparation and have some data collected on EVERY open RPE/I/O MUD there is but we're still no where near to being ready. Families, jobs, school and health to say nothing of our own MUD projects mean our time is rather thin. We have half the material for our first edition of Emote but not enough yet for the minimum per issue we agreed upon. I'm presently doing discreet observation and testing of two different MUDs for reviews and working on a couple articles but I can't speak for everyone else regarding their progress. Like I said, everyone's got a full plate and they have to prioritize things like familes, jobs, school and health first.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #10
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Well if its not too much of a hassle, perhaps you guys could just add a simple forum for now in the community section??
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:55 PM   #11
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Well if its not too much of a hassle, perhaps you guys could just add a simple forum for now in the community section??
We've debated if we'll add forums and what forums we'll add if we do and for the most part came to the conclusion that there's little reason to do so. The site's purpose is to provide objective, independent third-party gathered information about RP-enforced MUDs as well as provide a professional, ie. scholarly-style, journal offering articles on RP and RP MUDs as well as third-party reviews of such MUDs. I don't recall the vote off-hand but it was very much in favor of offering at best forums only for the purpose of advertising staff openings; anything else was outside the established purpose of The RPMUD Network. We had toyed with the idea of a social lounge but that was nixed 4-1-1 by a vote of the committee last year (I remember the vote count on that one because I was the no vote and the guy who'd done all the work on coding the lounge was the abstention, hence the abstention since anything else would constitute a conflict of interest on his part). As a result, the Community section will likely not appear on the final version of the site.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:13 AM   #12
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Anybody who approaches categorization of such an abstract thing as Role Playing is asking for a silly debate. In the end it's probably best to just allow MUDs to define what category they fall in and allow players who visit to decide if they agree or not. I've been to "RPI" MUDs that enforce nothing, RP Enforced MUDs where beyond the vast majority of players had excellent RP, and all sorts of other combinations. RP on a MUD isn't something that is set in stone, like code mechanics can be, because it all really depends on player activity. So why can't we just let it rest that, if I say my MUD is an RPI MUD, then it is, and if you disagree then write a review to let people who care about such before logging on know about it.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Categorizing MUDs is perfectly logical and something that should be done to help people find the MUD they are looking for before investing and perhaps wasting their time in chargen and possibly a few days.

Some excellent attributes that can be associated with RP related MUDs in my opinion includes things like permanent death, IC only communication, limited OOC communication, IC and OOC communication, Staff active in roleplay.

I do agree that some of these shouldn't be set by the administrators though. Something like Staff active in roleplay might be something that needs to be voted on (yes/no) and then represented on a 1 to 10 scale determined by the voting.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:26 AM   #14
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Heh. I made the same mistake, when I first arrived and saw the term "RPI" I assumed it could be used interchangeably with "RP Enforced"

I've, since, been schooled at length on my error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Categorizing MUDs is perfectly logical and something that should be done to help people find the MUD they are looking for before investing and perhaps wasting their time in chargen and possibly a few days.
Sure. But here we're talking more about feature sets than genres.
I think it's certainly useful to formalize the feature sets that we typically see, and record them in game databases.

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Some excellent attributes that can be associated with RP related MUDs in my opinion includes things like permanent death, IC only communication, limited OOC communication, IC and OOC communication, Staff active in roleplay.
I agree. I'd love to be able to search for a game using those criteria.

The two things I found was:
1 - games lied about things like this.
2 - definitions varied. Is "staff active in RP" valid if they run one event a week? Do they have to be on every day? Do they have to be *roleplaying* or is an NPC that says "Someone find my dog by fighting those orcs!" enough? For example, would it be valid for me to say my game has permanent death? The church can, and does, bring people back from the dead, but they won't do that to any criminals that have been executed, or to any people that have been excommunicated. Which means if someone stabs your character in the street, they will be resurrected, but if they get convicted (or framed!) for a crime, they get permanently killed. Making it very possible to permanently die. If I say it's not permanent death, someone looking for a risk-free game where they don't have to take those risks will be disappointed. If I say it is permanent death, people wanting the risk might enjoy it. But others might feel disappointed when they discover they can't kill off rivals by just stabbing them (and instead have to be more political)

However, you address these problems when you say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
I do agree that some of these shouldn't be set by the administrators though. Something like Staff active in roleplay might be something that needs to be voted on (yes/no) and then represented on a 1 to 10 scale determined by the voting.
Yup. Although that doesn't necessarily give useful data.
Don't forget... crap roleplayers on a game where they think that using the in-character names instead of the player names still think that they are roleplaying. And players specifically looking for roleplaying wouldn't stay on that game (and thus wouldn't be voting it as low-roleplaying)

What I'd be inclined to do is... get your list of criteria, and instead of having the players rate each criteria (where the zealous players can rank ALL criteria as 10) instead have them rank which criteria they feel the game displays.

So a player that is proud of the RP on their game can rank it 1st, if they are pleased with staff running events, they can rank that high. A player pleased with the combat, but not with the RP can rank them differently. That way we don't have to make distinctions between whether the RP is enforced or not. The games with good roleplay will be ranked appropriately. The games with bad roleplay would probably have their players rank things like combat higher. And as a player, I can now search for what I care to a finer degree, such as "Show me games with good roleplay, good combat, but I don't care about staff run events, and I don't care about permadeath, but I do want a game that has "serious consequences for actions" rated high."
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:13 AM   #15
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Quote:
Heh. I made the same mistake, when I first arrived and saw the term "RPI" I assumed it could be used interchangeably with "RP Enforced"

I've, since, been schooled at length on my error.
Well I appreciate you guys being so much more cordial about it

Quote:
Yup. Although that doesn't necessarily give useful data.
Don't forget... crap roleplayers on a game where they think that using the in-character names instead of the player names still think that they are roleplaying. And players specifically looking for roleplaying wouldn't stay on that game (and thus wouldn't be voting it as low-roleplaying)

What I'd be inclined to do is... get your list of criteria, and instead of having the players rate each criteria (where the zealous players can rank ALL criteria as 10) instead have them rank which criteria they feel the game displays.

So a player that is proud of the RP on their game can rank it 1st, if they are pleased with staff running events, they can rank that high. A player pleased with the combat, but not with the RP can rank them differently. That way we don't have to make distinctions between whether the RP is enforced or not. The games with good roleplay will be ranked appropriately. The games with bad roleplay would probably have their players rank things like combat higher. And as a player, I can now search for what I care to a finer degree, such as "Show me games with good roleplay, good combat, but I don't care about staff run events, and I don't care about permadeath, but I do want a game that has "serious consequences for actions" rated high."
I think it gives useful data but maybe not perfect data, you raise a lot of good points though and good ideas too.

You mentioned though people looking for roleplaying wouldn't stay on in a very poor roleplaying environment, and therefore wouldn't vote it as low-roleplaying...why wouldn't they? If I were looking for a heavy roleplaying game, and found one listed advertising this and then found out the roleplaying was very poor, I would definitely vote it down to save others the headache. Also I wasnt thinking of allowing people to vote 10 on a given criteria, but maybe more along the lines of giving it a +1 or -1 vote. Perhaps, there would be a certain period where any given advertised criteria would be un-rated until say something like 10 votes had been cast. And as an example lets say 20 votes were made for permanent death, 15 were in agreement and 5 were against. Having 15 (75% of total) and 5 negative votes (25% of total) would give an overall rating on permanent death of 7.5 on a 0 to 10 scale. Of course, a possibility that might arise could be that the people who didn't enjoy the MUD would only vote once and people who stayed would vote multiple times, which maybe that is what you were alluding to?

Quote:
That way we don't have to make distinctions between whether the RP is enforced or not.
Thats interesting I kind of like where you were going with that.

Another option to all this or perhaps in combination would be to allow users to comment on certain attributes, instead of writing full fledged reviews. For example if something is listed as having permanent death people could comment on it. Example: Permanent death listed as a feature and next to it is something like "Comments(3)" indicating there were 3 comments made in regards to it, you click and then are able to read the comments citing things like you stated above i.e. "This MUD doesn't quite have a permanent death system, churches can revive certain people", etc.

I kind of wish I could rename my thread topic to 'Categorizing MU*s' now
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:05 AM   #16
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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You mentioned though people looking for roleplaying wouldn't stay on in a very poor roleplaying environment, and therefore wouldn't vote it as low-roleplaying...why wouldn't they?
Lack of motivation.
If I'm reading through a mud list, visiting the games looking for somewhere to play I'm going to be jumping into the game, spending a few hours to see if I can start having fun.

And if I'm after RP, and I get some, I'll keep roleplaying there, and maybe stay (and therefore not go back to the listing to vote for it just yet) or maybe stay while I keep searching for something better.

If I log in and find nobody online, or run into someone who doesn't RP, well, I'm not going to vote it as low roleplay. Maybe I met a jerk, who is going to be banned tomorrow. Maybe I logged on during dead time, and the game is normally bustling. Maybe I walked east when there was an event to the west where all the players are found. Roleplaying is such a hit-or-miss sort of thing that I can't judge the RP until I've been involved in it. And even then, I can only judge based on my experience.

I've seen people talk about the high quality of roleplaying on WoW. Excuse me if I'm skeptical, I suspect we've got different expectations of "high quality" roleplaying. Similarly, someone who hasn't been playing a RP mud for long enough that their character is established in the society isn't going to be able to judge the quality of the RP fairly.

And what motivates them to go back to the listing and "vote it down"? Probably nothing. Unless they had a *really* bad (or good) experience. In which case we're only really hearing from the outliers.

Instead, what I'm thinking is that you design a system that encourages current players to basically "vote up" their current mud. But design it so the number of players doesn't make much impact, but the way they describe the mud does. So a player who feels their mud is superior in combat would vote up combat, while a player who feels their mud is superior in RP would vote up RP. That way all MUDs appear to be "equally cool" but with their emphasis in different areas. With maybe some minimum number of monthly votes needed to maintain the standing (something like 5 maybe? So it's easy for a small MUD to maintain it, but an abandoned mud would quickly drop down the list until it becomes active again - that also gives muds an incentive to encourage their players to vote it, giving us a wider spread of what the players think rather than just what the mud admins think)

So the real motivation to rate the mud would come from the players loyalty to their own mud. And they wouldn't be much motivated to rate muds they don't play.

Obviously, there are exceptions. Some people just love categorizing things They would still be free to do so.

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
If I were looking for a heavy roleplaying game, and found one listed advertising this and then found out the roleplaying was very poor, I would definitely vote it down to save others the headache.
Sure. But it would probably have to be very poor before you do so.
If I log in to a RP mud, and I see names like "SirHottie" and "SexyGal" then I'm definitely voting the RP quality down. Or if I find the characters, who are all saying things like "Yo, bitches! I pwned that dragon!" then I'm voting it down.
But if I log in, find the controls clumsy, and my level of character customization too low for my personal preferences... I'm probably leaving without making any votes about the quality of the RP.
Or if I log in to find the players staying in-character, but the actual things they are roleplaying might not be interesting... I'm probably not voting it down. Even if I find it bland and move on to the next MUD.

So, you're right, the extreme cases would certainly get voted up or down. But the middling cases would probably just hang around in limbo.

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Also I wasnt thinking of allowing people to vote 10 on a given criteria, but maybe more along the lines of giving it a +1 or -1 vote. Perhaps, there would be a certain period where any given advertised criteria would be un-rated until say something like 10 votes had been cast. And as an example lets say 20 votes were made for permanent death, 15 were in agreement and 5 were against. Having 15 (75% of total) and 5 negative votes (25% of total) would give an overall rating on permanent death of 7.5 on a 0 to 10 scale.
Yep, that would work fine. And give a good rating of what people think for yes/no questions. It's fairly clear in your example that the hypothetical mud has permanent death, but with some wiggle room (maybe you have to consent before you can die, but won't return. Or maybe there are possibilities of returning from death, such as becoming a zombie) - so that works well.

But something like "Good RP" - well, assuming the players of the mud are more motivated to vote than the non-players, and the players are biased towards their own mud, they're likely to vote RP up, giving it a good rating. And the ratio of players voting RP up for all RP muds would probably be approximately equal across the board.

That's why I'd suggest the ranking system, so it's not "Does this MUD have good RP?" (where, of course, on a RP mud the players feel it does. Or they wouldn't be there.)
Instead, it becomes "Which is more important to this mud? RP or Combat?" where different players might have different opinions.

So it gives more useful information when you're looking for a mud. If you love combat, but also want RP, you'd look for a RPE with a high ranking for combat. And you'd know that, although this MUD has "good RP" listed high, the emphasis is more strongly on combat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Of course, a possibility that might arise could be that the people who didn't enjoy the MUD would only vote once and people who stayed would vote multiple times, which maybe that is what you were alluding to?
Correct.
I suspect players who didn't enjoy the mud would usually not vote, and only occasionally vote once.
Players who stay would vote more regularly.
Players who stay, and then leave while having a tantrum would return daily to vote the mud down, for a period of time (and then loose interest) - often, the *better* the mud, the worse these players will be, and the worse they will vote. This is because on a better mud the players have stronger emotions when things don't go their way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Another option to all this or perhaps in combination would be to allow users to comment on certain attributes, instead of writing full fledged reviews. For example if something is listed as having permanent death people could comment on it. Example: Permanent death listed as a feature and next to it is something like "Comments(3)" indicating there were 3 comments made in regards to it, you click and then are able to read the comments citing things like you stated above i.e. "This MUD doesn't quite have a permanent death system, churches can revive certain people", etc.
Yeah, I agree. That sounds very useful.
Heck, maybe players could even vote on the comments themselves. So there could be 3 comments about permanent death, but the highest voted comment gets displayed.
That way there can still be lots of comments, while highlighting for the players the "important information" they need, and giving the option to read more if they want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
I kind of wish I could rename my thread topic to 'Categorizing MU*s' now
Heh. Start a new thread, and put a link back to this one. Then we can continue the discussion there.

Got a question, though. Are you discussing this just from idle interest, or are you planning to do something with it? Such as create a mud listing website or something?
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:18 AM   #17
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

Honestly I have a lot of time on my hands right now and have found the options available in terms of searching for MUDs on Mud Connector and Top Mud Sites to be quite lacking and am toying with the idea of starting a MUD directory. I should emphasize 'toying with the idea' though.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:44 AM   #18
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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Originally Posted by silvarilon View Post
And what motivates them to go back to the listing and "vote it down"? Probably nothing. Unless they had a *really* bad (or good) experience. In which case we're only really hearing from the outliers.
I've seen two different mud sites that allowed negative voting, and both had exactly the same outcome. Players (and sometimes even staff) would vote up their favourite mud and vote down everyone else - as soon as one person did it, others would respond in kind.

This created a sort of wave effect - a load of muds would appear in the top 10, then after a day or two they'd all have voted each other off the list, and the next "wave" of 10 muds would replace them. Rince and repeat.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:30 AM   #19
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

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Originally Posted by Justin534 View Post
Honestly I have a lot of time on my hands right now and have found the options available in terms of searching for MUDs on Mud Connector and Top Mud Sites to be quite lacking and am toying with the idea of starting a MUD directory. I should emphasize 'toying with the idea' though.
You should look into utilizing MSSP if you're planning to create a MUD listing.

The protocol allows for mud listings to extend the variable set, so you could create an extended variable set to further categorize roleplaying muds. For the best results you'd want community feedback, be prepared for drama and a subsequent headache if you do so, but it will give the best final result.

One variable I've been thinking of adding to the main set is the ERA variable with a list of clear eras to choose from, such as Dark Ages, Medieval, Renaissance, Contemporary, Near Future, Distant Future, Various, and None.

For roleplaying it might also be useful to distinguish between low and high fiction, and hard and soft fiction. The biggest challenge here is finding variable names, and that most mud developers are unfamiliar with the terms and their meaning. SCIENTIFIC RIGOR Low/Medium/High and HISTORICAL RIGOR Low/Medium/High come to mind as self explanatory terms.

I can provide a MSSP crawler for anyone who's interested in creating a directory and doesn't want to write one from scratch.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #20
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Re: YART (Yet Another RPI Thread)

That MSSP info you gave me is quite interesting, especially for getting accurate numbers on how many players are onine. The only down side is that it has to be implemented on the server, and if I were to create a requirement that the MUD has to support MSSP I may severely limit the amount of MU*s in the directory. However, I could always just leave it open as an option and tag listings that use MSSP so perhaps they stick out more...perhaps something like the number of average players on a MU* could say next to in verified or unverified, depending on if the server is using MSSP.

I also do like the fact that certain things would be dynamic in the listing and not necessary for the admin to have to manage on the directory site itself, such as hiring builders/coders. Can I assume Areas, Helpfiles, mobiles, objects, rooms are pulled directly from the MUD database itself and are not numbers set my the MUD administrator?
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