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Old 10-13-2005, 09:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Oct. 13 2005,05:44)
I think you'll find the attitude tends to be more scorn and pity rather than hate. Regardless of how often Soleil plugs her mud, the sad fact is that the one thing Medievia is best known for - and will most likely always be best known for - is ripping the credits and copyright notices out of a Diku derivative and claiming it as their own work.
Well, among the relatively small handful of MUD players (largely admins) who care about that kind of thing, I agree that's probably what they're best known for. However, I'd be willing to bet that the thousands or tens of thousands of players that remember them and think of them simply as a great MUD vastly outnumber the formerly mentioned group of people.

In the end, what mud admins think of your mud is pretty irrelevant in the face of being loved by thousands of players, as they're the ones you're making the MUD for.

--matt
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Oct. 13 2005,04:02)
A commercial operation has its own commercial health as a very clear, obvious, financial reason to continue to operate. Nothing in life is certain, but it is a lot easier to put one's faith in a business' financial self interest than the whims of a hobbyist who might get fed up or bored at any moment.

Also, a commercial game is more likely to be able to afford (and have the financial motivation to take care of) backups, redundancies, etc.
I think longevity is just as good of a predictor, however. Lots of new games with commercial goals go belly-up in the short term, even those backed by otherwise successful companies. They may have backed a sub-par product, had a poor business plan, etc. I'd trust a long-running free game with stable ownership over an upstart commercial product. They've obviously figured out how to keep their game running.
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:27 AM   #23
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What I think is incredibly funny is that I had almost the SAME post as Matt typed out and deleted it because I did not want to get "into it" again with KaVir. I even used the same wording 'small handful'. I think I had something to the effect of..

Yes it may matter to the small handful of mud admins and players who frequent this board and muconnector, but it doesn't matter at all to the millions of potential players we have that find us through other places besides these MUD websites.

I like to shoot for the top, millions instead of thousands Of course, thousands is much more realistic.
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
In the end, what mud admins think of your mud is pretty irrelevant in the face of being loved by thousands of players, as they're the ones you're making the MUD for.
So did you want to answer the original question? Or just further the whole KaVir vs Commercial Muds flame fest that appears to never end? I was hoping the former, I am curious what IRE thinks sets its products apart from the competition.
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ Oct. 13 2005,16:27)
Yes it may matter to the small handful of mud admins and players who frequent this board and muconnector, but it doesn't matter at all to the millions of potential players we have that find us through other places besides these MUD websites.  
But how many of those 'millions of players' actually know that your mud is a Diku/Merc with the credits stripped out?

Because every time this discussion came up on usenet in the past, your players would always rant and rave about how it was actually written from scratch...and then, later, after the evidence was presented, there would always be a number of them who would apologise, and state that they were leaving your mud (including at least two of your staff).

So if you think your players really don't care, why not tell them the truth and let them decide for themselves? That way you can prove me wrong for once.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:15 PM   #26
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So if you think your players really don't care, why not tell them the truth and let them decide for themselves? That way you can prove me wrong for once.
The ones who do know don't care or they wouldn't be playing anymore. If they care, they leave, nothing we can do about that.. And it's not like we hide the history of Medievia from our players, it's all very clear right here. So KaVir you are proven wrong. We have managed to keep an active playerbase of thousands of players despite all your "pity and scorn."
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:36 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Because every time this discussion came up on usenet in the past, your players would always rant and rave about how it was actually written from scratch...and then, later, after the evidence was presented, there would always be a number of them who would apologise, and state that they were leaving your mud (including at least two of your staff).

So if you think your players really don't care, why not tell them the truth and let them decide for themselves? That way you can prove me wrong for once.

You are a moderator on these forums, right? Stop jacking the frigging thread. If you are gonna complain about people following the rules for things, follow them yourself.

P.S. I also think Medievia is a code-stealing, license-ignoring MUD but man this isn't the thread for that stuff.
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:13 PM   #28
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Over the years I have played a vast variety of MuDS and even a few mushes.
Medievia is set apart by the sheer level of activity. There is almost no day, even hour that passes that you can't find something to do that is different from what you did the day before.
The level of new coding that keeps the game fresh and evolving is astounding.
New player help in the form of files, tutorials, and help staff is amazing, and also a necessity for Med is a complex game, not a simple one.
Truth be told, no matter what you make think of the origins of Med (and don't we all already know the vocal opinions by now?) Medievia is a continually fresh game.
I guess if I had to only one sentence to sum up why Medievia is a game apart from others, I'd have to say... Medievia has new ideas, great people, and an eye for detail that doesn't seem to me to be matched on any other game of its kind.
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ Oct. 13 2005,19:15)
The ones who do know don't care or they wouldn't be playing anymore.
I was referring to the "...millions of potential players we have that find us through other places besides these MUD websites".

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ Oct. 13 2005,19:15)
And it's not like we hide the history of Medievia from our players, it's all very clear right here.
I was referring to the true history, not the fictional one you post on your site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Shadowmaster @ Oct. 13 2005,19:36)
Stop jacking the frigging thread.
Topic drift is a fact of life - you don't 'own' a thread. Welcome to the internet.

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Originally Posted by (Shadowmaster @ Oct. 13 2005,19:36)
If you are gonna complain about people following the rules for things, follow them yourself.
I do.
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:37 PM   #30
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I think our MUD is most set apart by its sense of humor and unique personality. We have what most non-mandatory RP hack 'n' slash games have: lots of unique areas, unique monsters, multiple replayable guilds. However, most places don't have llama invasions, the Wheel of Chance, an Imp Porium of fun items, jello-throwing, trivia sessions and mudwide paintball tournaments.

We're smaller than we once were, due to massive revamping, but the major element that first drew our playerbase keeps them coming back: personality.
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:14 PM   #31
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Threshold:
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Originally Posted by
For myself, I have no interest in ever playing a non-commercial online game. I'm not interested in risking my gaming time to the whims of a hobbyist who can literally do anything with the game at a moment's notice (including shut it down).
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Originally Posted by
A commercial operation has its own commercial health as a very clear, obvious, financial reason to continue to operate. Nothing in life is certain, but it is a lot easier to put one's faith in a business' financial self interest than the whims of a hobbyist who might get fed up or bored at any moment.

Also, a commercial game is more likely to be able to afford (and have the financial motivation to take care of) backups, redundancies, etc.
That’s about the lamest and most illogical argument I ever saw. You blatantly overlook one crucial factor; the meaning of the word commercial. I run a small business myself, so I know what I am talking about. I think everyone who’s ever run a business knows what I am talking about. Threshold should know it too, so I can only assume that he chooses to disregard it, for reasons of his own, probably very sound commercial ones.
Because the meaning of the word commercial, folks, is just what it says. It means that you are running a business, and that this business has to make a profit, because it is what you and your family, and possibly a number of employees are living from. No business can survive for any length of time, unless it is making a profit (Unless of course you have some other and much larger source of income and run a loss business just to get some tax reduction. But somehow I don’t think that is the case here).

So let’s not kid ourselves; the commercial muds have to make a profit from what they are doing. They need a steady inflow of cash, to pay not only for little things like servers, computers and software, but also for the salaries of themselves and their employees, (if they have any). And the bigger the company is, in the context of paid staff, the more income it has to generate each month.
Consequently it is not enough for commercial muds to have a large playerbase, they also need their players to generate money for them continuously. And as far as I know there are only two main ways of doing this. Either you need to attract a sufficient number of _new_ players every month, or you need to squeeze as much money as possible out of the ones you already have.
Which in turn you can do in two main ways. Either by using a time based paying system (per month, or per hour logged on to the mud) or by persuading the players that they need to buy ever more gadgets in order to be successful in the game.

There is probably some formula for how many really _active_ players a mud needs to break even every month. It would be interesting to see those figures, but I doubt any of our commercial mud owners on this board would share them with us.
So again, let’s not kid ourselves that any commercial mud would stay open another day if they no longer make enough profit from the game.

And that day may come sooner than we think. Already the ever flashier graphic MMORPGs are taking their toll. The day they figure out a way to establish the RP atmosphere and sense of community, which so far has been some of the few advantages left to text muds, we’ll all be in big trouble. I have heard several muds complain about an unusually low activity this fall, has anyone else on this list noticed the same?
My own guess is that the big commercial text muds would be the first to fold, if this scenario becomes reality. The free hobbyist muds would last a bit longer for three reasons.
1. They don’t really need a lot of players, most of them operate with a very small but also very loyal playerbase, and have done so for many years.
2. The have very low costs, they often operate from free servers and are run by enthusiastic hobbyists who love what they are doing. And
3. They have one main competitive advantage against the rather costly Graphic muds, they are actually FREE.

That’s why I’d actually feel a lot more insecure if I ran or played a commercial mud than a free one.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:28 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ Oct. 13 2005,10:26)
I think longevity is just as good of a predictor, however.  Lots of new games with commercial goals go belly-up in the short term, even those backed by otherwise successful companies.  They may have backed a sub-par product, had a poor business plan, etc.  I'd trust a long-running free game with stable ownership over an upstart commercial product.  They've obviously figured out how to keep their game running.
I think that's a very fair point. Being commercial may provide a greater motivation for keeping a game running, but as people have pointed out, that motivation, depending on the company, may extend only so far as they can make money running the world. It's also easy to start a world and proclaim that you have commercial ambitions. It's a lot harder to actually pull it off, and the disappointment of finding out how hard it is may cause upstart commercial virtual worlds to quickly fail.

--matt
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:48 AM   #33
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No business can survive for any length of time, unless it is making a profit (Unless of course you have some other and much larger source of income and run a loss business just to get some tax reduction. But somehow I don’t think that is the case here).
Many businesses survive years and years of no profit. Some investors are willing to take a long-term view and sacrifice short-term results for potential long-term benefit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by

So again, let’s not kid ourselves that any commercial mud would stay open another day if they no longer make enough profit from the game.
Well, I'll tell you what. I run commercial MUDs. Four of them. And ours would stay open regardless of the profit. What would go would be the paid staff. There's no way we'd shut down our MUDs, as we're all quite emotionally attached to them and, if worst came to worst, would just convert them to hobbyist MUDs.

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Originally Posted by

And that day may come sooner than we think. Already the ever flashier graphic MMORPGs are taking their toll
Taking their toll on what or whom exactly, and what data are you basing this on?


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Originally Posted by
The day they figure out a way to establish the RP atmosphere and sense of community, which so far has been some of the few advantages left to text muds, we’ll all be in big trouble
Well, this is completely incorrect in my opinion, with all due respect.

First of all, there's an enormous sense of community in even World of Warcraft. It's just a different sense of community. It's guilds rather than everybody in the entire game knowing everyone else, like in small text MUDs. For instance, there's a whole community that's recently arisen as a result of the in-game (friendly) conflict between the PvP Online guilds and the Penny Arcade guilds.

As far as roleplay goes....people don't want it. Seriously. Go log into the most popular commercial MUDs/MMOs in the West: World of Warcraft and Runescape. The roleplay in WoW is pretty pathetic by text MUD standards, and there is none at all in Runescape as far as I can tell from playing it. I have yet to encounter a single person making any serious attempt at roleplay, for instance.  The situation in Asia (where MUDs/MMOS are far more popular than in the West) is similar.

Roleplaying is an extremely geeky (no offence, I'm a geek and I'm proud of it) past-time, and it's also an extremely hardcore past time insofar as it requires people to really give their imaginations a workout. That's not popular these days, unfortunately.


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Originally Posted by
. I have heard several muds complain about an unusually low activity this fall, has anyone else on this list noticed the same?
We had our best month ever in August, though I can't speak for anyone else.


--matt
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:00 AM   #34
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Moderator Edit: Enough with the back-and-forth with ShadowMaster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Oct. 14 2005,01:14)
So again, let’s not kid ourselves that any commercial mud would stay open another day if they no longer make enough profit from the game.

And that day may come sooner than we think. Already the ever flashier graphic MMORPGs are taking their toll.
The graphics are a double-edged sword, however - graphical muds tend to attract a lot of initial interest, but most people I know who play them will move on to something flashier when it comes along.  And graphics tend to become dated quite quickly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Oct. 14 2005,01:14)
I have heard several muds complain about an unusually low activity this fall, has anyone else on this list noticed the same?
No, although I know several of my friends who used to mud now play games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft.  On the flipside, several of my players have said they've just come back to mudding, having gotten tired of graphical muds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Oct. 14 2005,01:14)
My own guess is that the big commercial text muds would be the first to fold, if this scenario becomes reality. The free hobbyist muds would last a bit longer for three reasons.
1. They don’t really need a lot of players, most of them operate with a very small but also very loyal playerbase, and have done so for many years.
2. The have very low costs, they often operate from free servers and are run by enthusiastic hobbyists who love what they are doing. And
3. They have one main competitive advantage against the rather costly Graphic muds, they are actually FREE.
The first and second points also apply to commercial text-based muds to a lesser extent - the overhead of operating a text-based game is going to be lower, particularly in regard to generating new content.  In turn, a lower overhead means you need fewer players to break even (compare the number of players in a typical commercial text-based mud to that of a commercial graphical mud).

I'm not convinced about the third point, either - there are text-based muds that charge monthly fees at the same rate as the graphical muds.  There is also at least one graphical mud (Guild Wars) that uses the pay-for-perks model.  And I wouldn't be surprised to see hobbyist graphical muds in the future, either.

There are some things that I don't think a graphical mud will ever handle as well, and certain audiences (blind players, those mudding from school or university, etc) who are unable to play such games.  Sure, some mudders leave to play the graphical muds - but many return, and often bring friends with them who would never normally have encountered muds.  The rise of the large commercial graphical muds has actually provided a lot of publicity for text-based muds.

Graphical muds have been around since 1985, and yet text-based muds are still going strong.  I doubt you'll see much change in the foreseeable future.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:29 PM   #35
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0-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Oct. 14 2005,06[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]0)]I'm not convinced about the third point, either - there are text-based muds that charge monthly fees at the same rate as the graphical muds. There is also at least one graphical mud (Guild Wars) that uses the pay-for-perks model. And I wouldn't be surprised to see hobbyist graphical muds in the future, either.
Actually, there are tons of graphical muds that use pay-for-perks. Habbo Hotel, UO (where you can buy characters, though there's also a monthly fee), Second Life, Project Entropia, Puzzle Pirates, etc etc. I'm doing some consulting work at the moment for a large casual games company that wants to implement IRE's style of revenue model within an upcoming "casual MMO" they're developing. And in the East, there are dozens of graphical MUDs that use it, like the super popular Kart Rider, or Yulgang, which had nine million character registrations within 2 months of opening (Chinese game).

Incidentally though, Guild Wars doesn't use a pay-for-perks model. I wouldn't really consider them a MUD or MMO (as the only massively multiplayer parts of the game are small town areas that are effectively just graphical chat rooms where people meet up before venturing out into the 100% instanced world) anyway, but they sell a box and then intend to create recurring revenue by selling expansions. I suppose you might be able to call selling expansions "pay for perks" but I don't think it really fits. If it does, then all of the big graphical MUDs are integrating a pay for perks model.

It's also worth pointing out that whether or not the game developer/publisher uses a pay for perks model themselves is a bit irrelevant to a player. In all the big games, basically everything is for sale for real money already. Just hit go to "ige.com". These guys bring 9 figure (that's 100 million+) revenue a year from their trade in virtual goods.

--matt
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 14 2005,19:29)
Incidentally though, Guild Wars doesn't use a pay-for-perks model.
Well it's an opt-in payment scheme, and that was the general point I was trying to make within the context of my reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 14 2005,19:29)
I suppose you might be able to call selling expansions "pay for perks" but I don't think it really fits. If it does, then all of the big graphical MUDs are integrating a pay for perks model.
A valid point, but a mud which required payment to unlock new areas and classes would likely still be classified as a form of pay-for-perks.  Guild Wars stresses that their expansions provide more options rather than more power, but I still think its difficult to know where exactly to draw the line.  A mud which sold powerful equipment for $$$ would generally be considered pay-for-perks, but what if that equipment was balanced against existing gear so as to "provide more options rather than more power"?  Or to move the other direction, what if Guild Wars were to sell expansions that provided superior classes and skills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 14 2005,19:29)
It's also worth pointing out that whether or not the game developer/publisher uses a pay for perks model themselves is a bit irrelevant to a player. In all the big games, basically everything is for sale for real money already.
A hotly debated issue, but an important factor (for me at least) is that everything sold was originally earned through gameplay - if equipment sold to other players results in the purchaser becoming extremely powerful, then that's a flaw with the game design, and would occur just as quickly in situations where players helped out their friends, or even donated gear to random newbies.

But design issues aside, the reason I consider this an important factor is that if all equipment was originally earned through gameplay then that means I can get exactly the same gear as well, purely through playing the game.  Other people are taking short-cuts, but they're not buying anything that I can't earn.  However there are some pay-for-perks models (and no I'm not talking about any IRE games) which do not work this way - the top-of-the-range equipment can only be purchased from the mud owners, and cannot be exchanged or transferred.  This makes the issue very relevant to players, particularly within competitive environments (such as PK muds).

Moderator Scissors: *snip*
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:33 PM   #37
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Well it's an opt-in payment scheme, and that was the general point I was trying to make within the context of my reply.
Well, to the extent that Guild Wars is opt-in, so is every game that forces you to pay to play it. You have to opt-in to give them any money at all.

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A valid point, but a mud which required payment to unlock new areas and classes would likely still be classified as a form of pay-for-perks.
Absolutely. Pay-for-perks has nothing to do with what you're getting, in my opinion. It's the fact that you can pay for them that is the defining factor, not what you're paying for.


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Originally Posted by
A hotly debated issue, but an important factor (for me at least) is that everything sold was originally earned through gameplay - if equipment sold to other players results in the purchaser becoming extremely powerful, then that's a flaw with the game design, and would occur just as quickly in situations where players helped out their friends, or even donated gear to random newbies.
You don't have to buy individual equipment. You can just buy entire characters, with all that equipment.

I completely agree with you on the fact that the sort of situation we're talking about is indistinguishable from people helping friends or donating gear to random newbies. Richard Bartle, whose opinion on this stuff is completely wacky in my opinion, is always trying to dodge this issue. He has an almost religiously anti-RMT (real-money-transactions) mindset, but never explains how it impacts a player any differently than someone giving stuff away to his/her newbie friends.

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Originally Posted by
Other people are taking short-cuts, but they're not buying anything that I can't earn. However there are some pay-for-perks models (and no I'm not talking about any IRE games) which do not work this way - the top-of-the-range equipment can only be purchased from the mud owners, and cannot be exchanged or transferred. This makes the issue very relevant to players, particularly within competitive environments (such as PK muds).
Well, I personally agree with you, but since you can simply buy whole characters, it's kind of moot. It just makes transferring stuff more odious, not impossible by any means.

For instance, check out one of IGE's partners: http://www.memighty1.com/

Their whole business is buying and selling entire accounts, and they do a lot of it.

--matt
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:33 PM   #38
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Armageddon is the best because, well, Saturdays are the only days I get to spend away from the game. Since it is downtime and all. Though I really do want to play all day.

The RP is Immaculate, most of the time.
It is free. It is fun. Sanvean is a god. As are the rest of the staff, even if they are out to kill you through very web-like plots and twists. I can play anything I want, as long as I believe it is Ic to the game and it is approved through the application process, which is a godsend. Since I don't want to see any bearded dwarves, or insect riding elves that don't steal.

But most of all, it is the RP. Seriously.
I have been playing three years and I still havn't seen all there is to see. Despite the 8 or so chracters I have made to explore.

There is no Channel, besides a wish channel so Immortals can hear your plight. They even helped me do something that wasn't supported by code a few times, like breaking down a mud brick wall so that I could escape from my killer's (read Ex-bestfriend's) apartment.

I have cried when my characters have cried. I have gotten ****ed off when my Pc has been ****ed off. My blood gets pumping so hard sometimes when my Pc is lieing to a boss IC. And the Boss NPC, which an immortal controls, goes along with the story, despite me sending an email a day earlier telling the truth about the situation I was going to lie about the next day.

But Rp is what I drool over. This ain't no Mush. You wont wait ten #### minutes to move from screen to screen. You wont wait ten minutes for the other guy to get permission to kill you, (or vice versa) and most importantly, you can only play for 2 hours a day and still enjoy the #### out of the game.
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:53 PM   #39
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As far as roleplay goes....people don't want it. Seriously.
Also, in a graphical MMO, there is a conflict of expression - mediums grinding against each other. Pre-scripted emotes are limited, adaptive animations are generally stilted at best, and textual user-defined emotes conflict with the given graphical cues. Nothing hurts a shouting match more than two avatars staring at each other in bliss.

So, until adaptive systems get sufficiently awesome, I'd say this (largely irrelevant and obvious statement):

The greatest strength offered by muds as a medium - consistency. Use it, love it, improve it to the point that it "sets your mud apart".
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:19 AM   #40
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Just to belatedly answer the original question, in the case of the Wheel of Time I'd say it's the unrestricted nature of the very active race war, and the secondary fact that with good player #s you can just about always find some pk or some roleplay somewhere.
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