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Old 01-07-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
ck1
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Achieving a balance?

I played my first MUD in the mid-1990s, and after a year quit (for a few reasons) and didn't try again until late last year.

My first foray was into a couple of the IRE MUDs, eventually settling on Midkemia Online. I enjoyed it for a while, but left after a few weeks. I liked the concept behind the MUD, but there were a number of problems, the most significant being that it just failed to hold my interest -- there wasn't very much to do, other than grinding for levels in a tiny number of areas. I also find the "pay for credits" system extremely flawed, as it basically lets people buy their way to power in a very direct way. But I really liked the RP and the fact that the game seemed to make sense as a cohesive whole.

I then tried a number of other MUDs, and eventually settled on Aardwolf. I've been playing that for a couple of weeks and enjoy it as a "lighter" alternative. It's extremely well programmed and full-featured, clearly with a lot of effort put into it. The problem with this MUD, for me anyway, is the opposite of what I experienced on the IRE MUDs: there are tons of areas and there are plenty of things to do, but the game is "unserious" to the point of being silly. There's no rhyme or reason to the areas, I find myself fighting silly things like pieces of fruit. Also, while the game has a sophisticated and well-done system for leveling many times using multiple characters, but aside from leveling I am not sure what else there is -- there is no "in game story" to command one's attention.

What I'm really after is a MUD that strikes a balance between these extremes. I want there to be lots of things to do, and a combat system that is more than just grinding. But I also want the world I am in to make sense, with areas that are part of a consistent theme. I'd like to feel like I am part of a team or a side in a conflict, the way I did in Midkemia, that I am leveling for a reason.

I also want something that is reasonably easy to use and understand. I tried about 10 other MUDs after I left IRE but many of them I eventually ruled out because they didn't have any mapping features whatsoever. This is meant to be a leisure activity and I don't want to spend all of my time lost or trying to figure out where I am using offline maps.

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear if there are any suggestions for a MUD with these basic characteristics:
- Large enough to hold my interest for more than a couple of weeks.
- Decent-sized player base (don't need hundreds but I don't want to be one of only 20 players either).
- Good combat system especially for PvM as I am not a big PvPer.
- Functional mapping system.
- Coherent, sensible world, preferably with RP but not to the point of people freaking out if you say something OOC.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #2
cherubpath
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Re: Achieving a balance?

You and me both! I'm having the exact some problem you are..I feel like the only options are patched together chaotic hack-and-slash madness or RPI that seems bent on making new players feel intimidated. I enjoy RP and embracing the likeness of my character but I definitely want the option to chat OOC in a tell or a specified channel without someone freaking out and pretending it ruined their day. I remember older MUDS having better balance with this but unfortunately the playerbases aren't there anymore and I too am spoiled by new mapping features as well as color customization options.

I really like the design approach of IRE muds and I'm willing to pay for what I play but from the research I've done it seems that they are really only about PK in the end and most of that appears to be done by a 'system script.' I like PK as an option but it's never my main focus or goal in a MUD. I'd love an IRE mud that still allowed for an intricate PK system but also focused more on exploration, denizen/monster group combat, quests, item collection etc. The engine they use has such great capability but it seems from what I've read that each game is the same format just in a slightly different world. The only one I've played for more than a spell is Achaea, can anyone confirm if Lusternia, Imperian or Midkemia offer more on the adventuring side?

Any MUDS out there with modern features, a decent playerbase and a balance somewhere between Aardwolf and RPI? Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #3
Will
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Re: Achieving a balance?

I hear you. This is exactly the type of game I enjoy.

To this end, I've been building a game based on the concepts you describe: fast and furious combat that makes advancement an adventure instead of a chore, a world with context that encourages serious RP, lots of geography to explore and tons of stuff to do beyond leveling. It includes an interwoven economy of resources with skills that allow players to obtain materials and craft them into items of use and power. Buying and selling among players is important in my book, and the only way to make that happen lies through allowing characters to create interesting stuff that's a lot more than just fluff.

I have a narrative fleshed out which I believe will foster role-play. When it comes to RP and world context, I believe in two foundational elements: 1) History with enough depth and complexity to inspire spontaneous stories without rigidly defining character roles, and 2) Player character initiated and driven plots. If I, as gamemaster, have to determine the course of events and the direction of history, I might as well type the stories up and send 'em out in email.

Anyway, I hope you find what you're looking for. I'm always looking too.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ck1 View Post
I played my first MUD in the mid-1990s, and after a year quit (for a few reasons) and didn't try again until late last year.

My first foray was into a couple of the IRE MUDs, eventually settling on Midkemia Online. I enjoyed it for a while, but left after a few weeks. I liked the concept behind the MUD, but there were a number of problems, the most significant being that it just failed to hold my interest -- there wasn't very much to do, other than grinding for levels in a tiny number of areas. I also find the "pay for credits" system extremely flawed, as it basically lets people buy their way to power in a very direct way. But I really liked the RP and the fact that the game seemed to make sense as a cohesive whole.

I then tried a number of other MUDs, and eventually settled on Aardwolf. I've been playing that for a couple of weeks and enjoy it as a "lighter" alternative. It's extremely well programmed and full-featured, clearly with a lot of effort put into it. The problem with this MUD, for me anyway, is the opposite of what I experienced on the IRE MUDs: there are tons of areas and there are plenty of things to do, but the game is "unserious" to the point of being silly. There's no rhyme or reason to the areas, I find myself fighting silly things like pieces of fruit. Also, while the game has a sophisticated and well-done system for leveling many times using multiple characters, but aside from leveling I am not sure what else there is -- there is no "in game story" to command one's attention.

What I'm really after is a MUD that strikes a balance between these extremes. I want there to be lots of things to do, and a combat system that is more than just grinding. But I also want the world I am in to make sense, with areas that are part of a consistent theme. I'd like to feel like I am part of a team or a side in a conflict, the way I did in Midkemia, that I am leveling for a reason.

I also want something that is reasonably easy to use and understand. I tried about 10 other MUDs after I left IRE but many of them I eventually ruled out because they didn't have any mapping features whatsoever. This is meant to be a leisure activity and I don't want to spend all of my time lost or trying to figure out where I am using offline maps.

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear if there are any suggestions for a MUD with these basic characteristics:
- Large enough to hold my interest for more than a couple of weeks.
- Decent-sized player base (don't need hundreds but I don't want to be one of only 20 players either).
- Good combat system especially for PvM as I am not a big PvPer.
- Functional mapping system.
- Coherent, sensible world, preferably with RP but not to the point of people freaking out if you say something OOC.

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
Ghorin
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Re: Achieving a balance?

You may want to try The Two Towers; we strive to create a MUD that is focused on exploration, and at the same time stays true enough to Tolkien's works to encourage an environment for roleplaying. We have many of the features you've asked for:
  • Huge world (80k rooms if you count the main maps, ~12k if you count unique rooms), filled with hundreds of quests.
  • Decent playerbase: on average you will find 30-40 players online; the number fluctuates from about 15 to 60 through the day.
  • Fun combat system: while the combat is automated and may be very simple if you wish it so, we do have a lot of special abilities and "cool" items with special combat usage that can make it much more interesting.
  • Overhead "map" command that displays your surroundings while you are on the main map to help you find your way back to town.
  • Coherent world: we have strict theme rules to make the world consistent with Tolkien's work.
  • Roleplay is encouraged, which means we do not penalize anyone, on any channel, for not doing so. Instead, we provide incentives and tools for players to create roleplaying environment on their own. There are groups of players who like to roleplay and they will certainly be welcoming to new members!
  • Modern features: The Two Towers uses MXP - we have clickable links for exits, popup menus for items, HP gauges, and fully customizable output: you can choose colors, background colors and event fonts and font sizes for all the message types. Customization can be done either from text menus or from our custom web client's Javascript-based GUI.
The Two Towers
telnet: t2tmud.org 9999
Web page: http://t2tmud.org
Web client: http://t2tmud.org/client
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
ck1
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Thanks for the replies.

Ghorin, I'll check out The Two Towers.

cherubpath: I was very unimpressed with my IRE experiences. I tried both Achaea and Midkemia. I was having fun with Achaea until I realized I was going to be grinding for an eternity with a boring PvE system and never having even a remote chance of reaching the levels of power of those who had been there for years and/or spent thousands of dollars on credits (not joking). I finally left after I was forced to take an "admissions test" in my guild that involved two hours of nitpicking questions and answers recited from help scrolls. If I need that sort of "fun" I'll do my taxes.

Midkemia was fun for a while but suffered from the same boring PvE system and people buying their way to power. Even worse is that the game is overrun with a clique of griefers who make other players' lives miserable and then try to justify their behavior as "roleplaying". I actually signed up as a paying member there and canceled less than a month in.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
Freela
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Midkemia is a well conceived and executed Mud (Raptor code) with many code-integrated and encouraged opportunities for in depth Role-Play. Unfortunately, good RP’ers are not always good PK’ers as well, and the whole Mud is a PK zone with not one safe room (that I could discern). While PK’ing newbies is frowned on, once you are safely past level 31, you become fair game for anyone who wants to try their hand at you, without warning and with little or no provocation. This tends to put a serious cramp in one’s enjoyment of the other aspects of the Mud. In the 2 weeks that I played there, I was attacked 7 times, only 2 of them RP justified. And even those, were by players who had previously attacked me gratuitously.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:53 AM   #7
dentin
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Re: Achieving a balance?

You just necro'd a three year old thread.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
DarkOzma
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Oh no, the dreaded necro. Someone call the police!
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
shevegen
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Re: Achieving a balance?

"necro" does not exist - the commenter added valuable insights into statements made at an earlier time which were not entirely accurate.

If you were to label that as "necro", why are old posts kept available? Why is it possible to write to old threads?

Because the forum admins did not seem it a problem as other people.

So I think Freela did not "necro" at all, rather the opposite - Freela resurrected a valuable post and enhanced it with new information.

Now to the problem at hand - I don't think there exists a "perfect" MUD. All of them have shortcomings, or different points to focus on.

The statement that good RPers are not always good PKers are very, very true. Some RPers don't care about PK. They dont want to aggro-play, they just want to have interesting storylines (PKers can add to this, but sometimes they can also destroy good storylines; it's not a simple topic).

Even MUDs without any "levels" do have PK of "newbies" depending on the behaviour of said newbies. Such as, a newbie turning evil as soon as possible, killing NPCs, and then being surprised or whiney when the established heroes bring down that newbie. It's very annoying when such "newbies" start to whine out of character when they started such actions before they ragequit.

What partially worked was that other NPCs tried to help defend against random-PKers, but that can also get out of hand because if you have NPCs become as useful, there is little need for PC-PC interaction.

To the original threadstarter - "I don't want to be one of only 20 players either"

Many MUDs are rather smallish and would desperately need new players. If people are not willing to increase the amount of players, then these MUDs can not grow. And many MUDs with +100 players are pure hack and slay without any real roleplay...
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:24 PM   #10
DarkOzma
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Re: Achieving a balance?

I hope you realize that dentin is now calling the internet police on you and you should receive a notice about your wrongdoings very soon. I hope you don't go to jail for this but I'm sure it'll happen, necroing is a very serious offense and you should be ashamed for having the balls to speak up against the someone as powerful and mighty as dentin.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:53 PM   #11
Freela
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Shevegen, Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my post (I never heard the term necro before but I sort of figured it out from the context).
My mudding experience is quite limited. In the late 90's I was introduced to a very big and original one with very involved coders that kept tinkering and improving it all the time. I stayed there for several years until I found myself disagreeing with too many of the changes. Then I switched to a Pay-to-Play mud which was extremely well conceived and fairly well balanced in the areas of RP, PK and money. I quit that one after a year because the sysops (gods) thought it was ok to help their friends, thereby cheating against the other players. Didn't seem fair to me when they were charging us a fee to play there.
Then I quit mudding for ten years and recently decided to try it again in Midkemia.

In comparing these three muds and a couple more I visited briefly just to see what they were like, I have the following philosophical musings on mudding in general.

The creators of Muds work hard and spend a lot of their time and ingenuity creating fun games for people to play. So it is only right that they try to make a bit of money from their intellectual property. It is therefore quite common to sell, for Real World money, either credits, gear or other types of in-game advantages to people who can afford it. Understandable from the point of view of the coders. Very unfortunate from the point of view of the players because, in my opinion, it seriously unbalances the entertainment value of the game itself. At least for people who are too young/poor or otherwise unable to put hundreds and even thousands of real dollars into their gaming. Because the people who CAN afford the buff-stuff then become bad-ass far beyond the capabilities of the others and can then, if they choose, ruin the game for the poorer players. It also undermines a regular player's enthusiasm for becoming adept in the game, because he/she knows that no matter how skilled they become In-Game, they will NEVER be able to compete with the Real-Money gamers. The coders, noticing a lack of balance in the game, then start to introduce things like taxes and regulations and other "fixes" which just make everybody go "Yuck, what a drag!"

In my limited experience, I think there are two possible solutions to this dilemma. One, make two "Planes" within the mud. People who never buy ANY Real world items get to play in Plane One and can then excel as much as they want. People who just have to have the latest and bestest stuff, get to pay money and play in Plane Two. And neither Plane can enter the other, except by buying stuff and moving to the rich plane.

The second solution would be to make the mud Pay-To-Play but not offer ANY extra items for real world money. This way people can test themselves against the games parameters to the utmost and have the satisfaction of knowing they are beating the game or the other players fairly, on their own merits.

As to PK that's a whole other thing, and needs to be treated separately.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:52 PM   #12
Freela
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Actually, I only "necro'ed" an old thread because I cold not figure out how to start a new one. And the old one was kind of on the right topic
So there
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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Re: Achieving a balance?

I only noted the age because it seemed like you were new, and might not have realized how old some of these threads are. I've certainly done it before.

-dentin

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Old 01-19-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
dentin
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Oh DarkOzma, how I have missed your tender embrace and biting sarcasm. It is good to know that the 'dentin sucks, down with dentin' fan club is still active and protecting the innocent from my evil clutches.

-dentin

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Old 01-19-2014, 10:15 PM   #15
DarkOzma
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Re: Achieving a balance?

Is it that obvious that I can't stand you?
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:44 PM   #16
dentin
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Re: Achieving a balance?

DarkOzma: Funny enough, I don't have any real problem with you at all, and you've often had interesting things to say in the past. I suppose the vitriol will have to remain one-sided for now.

-dentin

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