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Old 05-13-2006, 10:29 AM   #1
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Having played RPI MUDs on and off for roughly five years, I've grown fond of the emphasis on character development, but often wondered whether more diverse varieties of gameplay, like strategy gaming and economic sims, were available; so far, I haven't been able to find any, other than Assault (with its rather cumbersome ruleset) and Federation II, which seems to focus more on eve online's repetitive style of play rather than a more involving, fluid economic structure.

Plenty of gameplay variants have the potential to be used in MUDs, from that of a primitive colony arising in the wilderness to that of animals surviving in a virtual ecosystem, but it seems most games don't even bother with crafting and weather scripts, let alone complex simulations.

Likewise, I've yet to see a great deal of originality in terms of races, skills and settings - most games either employ a host of pointy-eared dandies and midgets, or go the furry route and offer cat-people and fae incarnations, none of which have any significant backstory or "feel" to them; you're very unlikely to find Githzerai, Ctholian elder things and the like anywhere (unless someone decides to write them in as mobs for the hell of it), and even flying or amphibian races seem sparse. While Armageddon does come close to the original Darksun feel, and several other games strive to create a more exciting background for RP or H&S, I've yet to see truly unique environments, the kind that make you want to play simply to wonder at the sights you might encounter.

Given how difficult it is to find exotic games, where novel gameplay elements or interesting environments are to be had, I thought I'd ask the regulars here to share a few titles with me. Is there anything truly original or special out there, or should I contend with the high-quality, albeit standard RPIs I'm playing?
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
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Never played it, but it seems to fit the bill.  I noticed it while perusing the Genesis mud hosting site. I would be interested in hearing from a more pk oriented gamer as to how well this mud plays.

Wow, almost missed a chance to plug my favorite mud.  Flying and amphibious races, and indeed a plethora of races that are planned that would be original as well, can be found at Accursed Lands.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #3
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As far as original races go, I think it is because most players want to play one of the races they are familiar with. Heck, half the time I log into a new mud I just pick a borin' ol' human until I learn a bit about the game. Original races are cool, I may add some to my game someday, but people also like the old favorites (although I have notice that not many people play humans, dwarves, elves, and giants much on my game).
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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In my limited experience, those coming to a game that offers a truly unique "racial" concept will ultimately change the concept to fit their own agenda.

So it ends up being an exercise in futility, in many situations. An example:

One game had a small, winged humanoid. Small being around 3 feet, not several inches. The culture of the race was such that they were sexually playful, but that they took serious matters seriously. This was completely thrown to the wind by the players, who decided this race was the ultimate mudsex race. With very specific exceptions of players who really "got" what the race was about, the majority spent the bulk of their time mudsexing, or prowling for it, or talking about it, or planning for it.

Conversely, the same game had a semi-humanoid race, created from stone as a gift from the goddess to the world. This creature was incapable of common human emotion. It could experience and express curiosity, caution, and respect, but not love, hate, anger, joy. It was an amazingly difficult race to play, and the few who took the plunge either did an amazingly wonderful job of it, or rerolled once they realized they weren't up to the task.

So, in my experience, it looks like when players get ahold of these unique opportunities, they either kill the concept and utterly destroy the integrity of the race by changing it to fit what THEY want out of it, or there are just so few people willing to take on the challenge that the race isn't represented by enough that the rest of the playerbase would get a really good look at it.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:32 PM   #5
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Whenever I play a non-RPI game for too long (and that includes certain CRPGs), I wind up forgetting the character's gender and race for some reason - most likely because they don't matter. So long as the game itself doesn't acknowledge these traits, either by integrating them into the code or by enforcing proper RP on everyone's part, they may as well be treated as the inessential scraps of text they are.

RPI MUDs don't usually have any problems handling intricate race concepts. Armageddon has thri'kreen and darksun-style halflings, for instance, though last I heard, the former were unplayable. Granted, it takes a lot of effort on the player's part to get such characters approved, which is one of the reasons why you'll find few half-giants around, but this actually works for the game's benefit, ensuring that players are all the more careful when playing a "special" race.

If you want to emphasize part of a race's ethos, the easiest (though least applicable) way to do so involves using code. Is a certain race telepathic and constantly displaying thoughts? Tinker with the "think" command so it displays the input string to every other member of the race within the room. Does one race thrive on desecration? Require its members to feed not simply on food, but also the life force of sentient beings, aging them permanently in order to sustain themselves. Those who wished to play 'repentant' members of this race would simply watch their characters die off due to starvation. Want a certain creature to possess a strict schedule by nature? Have it lose health and fatigue when staying outdoors at night. And so on.

By the way, Shane, I tried connecting to the dinosaur MUD, as well as Jungle MUD, but couldn't manage it. The latter seems to be down, perhaps permanently, but the former, well... It's got an active forum, so I have no idea what's wrong.
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