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Old 08-10-2003, 03:20 AM   #1
prof1515
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What I'm interested in knowing is the reason that many MUDs go through the trouble of creating an RP MUD, working out many of the details, writing nice room descriptions, and setting up an otherwise realistic atmosphere only to leave levels and experience in place? If the point is to create a realistic feel to a game, why leave obvious elements of the game mechanics in place?

Almost nothing ruins the feel of an RP MUD like seeing "level 2" or "2486 exp" or "108 hp". Those things are fine on a hack-and-slash, but those MUDs aren't about role-playing. They have more in common with Super Mario Brothers than role-playing. But an RP MUD isn't supposed to be about those things, it's supposed to be about creating a character personality and living it within the fictional world of the MUD. So why not make that world to the same standards as expected from those that play it: realistic.

I've tried out over 800 MUDs and have found only a handful (I believe I can easily count them on two hands, if not one) of MUDs that don't destroy the atmosphere they want to create by leaving such elements in. Needless to say, those are the MUDs I play. The others, well, I wouldn't recommend them to people I don't like much less my friends.

Just interested in seeing some perspectives on this.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 08-10-2003, 03:43 AM   #2
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It's important to remember that, for the majority of players, it's still a game. As a result, there's a desire to see progress, a score of some kind to quantify their devotion to the game.

Sadly, it's not always enough to just offer quality roleplaying to keep people coming back - and coming back in larger crowds. So, yes, it can be seen as catering to a lowest-common denominator - but, it works if done right.

Quite a few RP games have this but don't hurl it in your face all the time - you have to look it up using special commands. That helps prevent the break in immersion and realism.
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Old 08-10-2003, 09:24 AM   #3
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Almost nothing ruins the feel of an RP MUD like seeing "level 2" or "2486 exp" or "108 hp".  [...]  But an RP MUD isn't supposed to be about those things, it's supposed to be about creating a character personality and living it within the fictional world of the MUD.
Oh.. you want to play a MUSH ? Go ahead. After all that's where you'll find non-combat oriented RP possibilities.
Most muds are games, based on tabletop RPGs. This means they have a means of advancement (exp/levels), and a means to obtain this advancement (RP/killing of monsters). There's nothing uncommon in playing a tabletop RPG, and having precise knowledge of your characters' stats. In fact, in D&D (and AD&D, Call of Cthulhu - which are the games I've played myself), stats are said out loud often during a session.
Even in a live RP situation, stats are obvious to the player.

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So why not make that world to the same standards as expected from those that play it:  realistic.
About realism: If, in a battle oriented game (be it with RP in focus or not) you can't see if your opponent is substantially larger than you, you have no way of
a. acting out RP (since you can't tell by the name if 'A large bull, grazing by the barn' is easy or hard to subdue).
b. brag to your friends about the fantastic deed (emote just killed a huge slabbergast.)
c. making strategic decisions.

Many 'strong RP' muds outthere go about it another way, by hiding the numbers from the players. Instead they give the user some feedback in text form ("You ARE mad!" comes to mind).
This works in the beginning, but at a point, people will learn just how much damage they're doing (ie. barely hit = 4-7 dam, extremely hard hit = 20-24). And then it's back to the drawing board...
The thing is, that since MUD is a battleoriented environment, you can't take away all the battlerelated information. Some has to stay. And obscuring the numbers only works for a while.
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Old 08-10-2003, 10:30 AM   #4
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I'm not sure what MUDs you've had experience with, Welcor, but the systems you described are disgustingly primitive.
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:10 AM   #5
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I'm not sure what MUDs you've had experience with, Welcor, but the systems you described are disgustingly primitive.
Indeed. I meant it as examples. I've seen examples of muds using several different schemes to hide the numbers from the players. The examples I chose were meant to illustrate my point, rather than be ideas for future development.

Some MUDs have a full database of substitutions of a particular number/situation. As far as I can tell, this is for two reasons: to avoid mud clients which can quickly figure out the damage done be able to trigger on the line first time it's used and of course for diversity.

There's not much difference (code-wise) in stating 'You are not hurt, and as far as you can tell you have no ailments', 'hp:Fine, no affections' or even 'hp:120/120, no spells'.
It depends what kind of players you wish to attract. Only a few muds outthere seem to wish to attract prof1515. Perhaps the others are better at dealing with the information they get (ie. ignore what they don't care about/differentiate between character and player knowledge, what have you.).

If one is really annoyed by numbers, one should go to a mud (or mush) that doesn't use them - which it seems that prof1515 has done. I still suggest playing a mush or two, just to try it out. After all, they don't have the game mechanics in the open in the same way.
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:24 PM   #6
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I've been playing DM a long time, and none of the players have ever known how many hp they have. (With the possible exception of this one guy who used to code there.) Some of us can take a stab at guessing what numerical value our stats are, because we know that 300 is the highest stat value a mortal can have, but most people are too new to know that, and even those of us who know that don't care about the actual numbers.

When you come up against something you wanna kill, you really have no way of knowing how hard it is, unless you've killed similar things before, or unless it's something everybody KNOWS is hard like Guido (and the uber-hard things generally have something in their descs that would influence you not to try fighting them unless you're REALLY good). When advising a fighter about a particular opponent, the typical tactic is to say well if your skills are worse than blahblah, don't try it, or if you can't kill a such and such, don't try it. HP never comes into it at all really. And damage messages don't equate to a certain amount of hp damage, but to a certain % of the critter's hp. Maybe you just hit that landshark for the same amount you hit a mouse for earlier, but you killed the mouse whereas the landshark only gets damaged barely.

The only problem with DM and numbers is that most players know the number of improves you need to get to the next skill level. (Skill levels are expressed in words too, but people make "imp counters" and so on so it's not really as numberless as it might be.)
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Aug. 10 2003,01:20)
What I'm interested in knowing is the reason that many MUDs go through the trouble of creating an RP MUD ... only to leave levels and experience in place?
I think that the most important thing to remember is that there are different types of players.  I agree with a Brody in that this is a game - that has at it's roots Tabletop RPG's.  That might not mean anything to people, but in my experience (here comes the match to the fuse) some of the best RPers are experienced "Pen and Paper" or "Tabletop" RPGers.  That's because they are used to knowing out-of-game information about their character, but are still able to Role-play the character very well.

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If the point is to create a realistic feel to a game, why leave obvious elements of the game mechanics in place?  Almost nothing ruins the feel of an RP MUD like seeing "level 2" or "2486 exp" or "108 hp".  Those things are fine on a hack-and-slash, but those MUDs aren't about role-playing.
Although I tend to agree that leaving in this information will attrack players that are more inclined for H&S, I don't think it always has to be like that.  I feel an RP atmosphere is a total experience.  It's about all the elements in the game.  If you go the distance to build a great RP atmosphere in all aspects, and leave in the stats for your game - in whatever way you want, real numbers or phrases as Welcor suggested - I think you will attrack players that are able to handle the information.

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 They have more in common with Super Mario Brothers than role-playing.  But an RP MUD isn't supposed to be about those things ... I've tried out over 800 MUDs ...
I hate to say it Jason, but I think you might have formed a biased opinion about certain characteristics of MUDs and then went out and accused all MUDs who have those characteristics of being "non-RP"!  800 MUDs is a lot.  Even for a player and non-admin type MUDer.  I have been playing MUDs for 11 going on 12 years now, and I haven't even tried half that many.  And, as an admin of my own MUD, I try and go out to see what other places are like, to see what the competition is like.
There are many MUDs guilty of what you accuse, but not all.  I would suggest not instantly leaving MUDs who have numbers or phrases, and instead maybe try them a little more.  You might find some good RP MUDs even though they don't have all your qualifications.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:15 PM   #8
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I've been playing DM a long time,and none of the players have ever known how many hp they have. [...] those of us who know [the max stat] don't care about the actual numbers.
It seems you've managed to pull it off, then

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[...]When advising a fighter about a particular opponent,the typical tactic is to say well if your skills are worse than blahblah, don't try it, or if you can't kill a such and such, don't try it.[...]
A good way of doing it. However, what happens if the fighter in question has never encountered a 'such and such' (or don't know what it is)?

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[...]most players know the number of improves you need to get to the next skill level. (Skill levels are expressed in words too, but people make "imp counters" and so on so it's not really as numberless as it might be.)
This is actually the point I tried to reach. One day, however much the admin tries to hide the numbers, people will notice the pattern, and might even post their findings to a website, so everyone knows. In your case, it's simply the 'improves vs. skill level increase' people have figured out. Luckily it's not (this is a guess) a big deal.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:33 PM   #9
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Exactly, Welcor. It's human nature, and ultimately no matter how cute you get at trying to hide the numbers, players will find them. They're like water, finding its level.

As Richard Bartle writes in his great new book, Designing Virtual Worlds - get it from Amazon.com if you haven't already! - he basically says that it makes little sense to try to hide such things from players.

And players really do love numbers and statistics, as a whole.
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Old 08-10-2003, 07:00 PM   #10
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This is actually the point I tried to reach. One day, however much the admin tries to hide the numbers, people will notice the pattern, and might even post their findings to a website, so everyone knows. In your case, it's simply the 'improves vs. skill level increase' people have figured out. Luckily it's not (this is a guess) a big deal.
We leave this in intentionally for lack of a better way to provide effective feedback (DM's head admin has a chart of improves -> skill level description posted on his website). The method of training that a player uses under a given set of specific circumstances affects a players' rate of learning dramatically. Without providing some sort of objective way to evaluate ones progress, DM would be far too frustrating. In other words, this is, as far as we know, the most effective user interface for this particular aspect of the game.

With respect to combat and "hp", however, raw numerical data is actually quite inferior at conveying complete information in a complex system. How do you quickly evaluate what kind of damage a 789hp hit to the head of a creature when the creature's head has 9875hp, the attack does "splash damage" to the tune of 32-54% primary damage to the 3 nearest limbs, and the overall health of the creature is tied to the head's health such that it is also reduced based on a logarithmic function of the damage done to the head (similar functions associated with each limb)? It's much easier to have a smart parsing engine turn that into a reasonably terse English description than to try to figure out what exactly you just did by looking at a list of numbers. Also, if we decide to tweak the granularity of health, we can arbitrarily scale the number of units of health up and players wouldn't even notice. The same applies to stat values (Onyxflame is mistaken in that 300 is most definitely not the maximum value for a given stat for mortals, though it once was).

Our philosophy is simply to try to design the most effective user interface possible without sacrificing critical feedback. We have found that raw numerical feedback is only useful if the associated game systems are so simplistic that a player can interpret their meaning in a useful way in realtime. Pen and Paper RPGs (which I also enjoy, btw) are obviously bound by this limitation as players do all the calculations themselves. MUDs, on the other hand, need not be.

In short, what I meant by saying "the systems you described are disgustingly primitive" is that the numberless interface in your example is actually a hinderance, and an inferior UI to raw numerical data. If, however, the interface is superior to raw numerical data, players won't even care what kind of numbers are being thrown around in the backend, much less try to figure them out.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:54 AM   #11
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“…a MUSH…that's where you'll find non-combat oriented RP possibilities.”--Welcor

Not true, as I said, I play several MUDs without a combat emphasis.

“Most muds are games, based on tabletop RPGs. This means they have a means of advancement (exp/levels), and a means to obtain this advancement (RP/killing of monsters).”--Welcor

I’ve personally found most tabletop RPGs to be inferior due to the limitations you describe. MUDs free the player from those confines by eliminating the mechanics of the game from sight, thus increasing the ability to suspend disbelief.

“If, in a battle oriented game (be it with RP in focus or not)…”--Welcor

I’m not discussing battle-oriented games, I’m discussing RP. While I realize that combat can and is an element of role-play, if you make it the significant part without reason (an exception might be setting the MUD in the trenches of WWI or something, but even then, you‘re not fighting all the time), it’s not very different than the example I gave in my earlier post: Super Mario Brothers.

“ … you have no way of
a. acting out RP (since you can't tell by the name if 'A large bull, grazing by the barn' is easy or hard to subdue).
b. brag to your friends about the fantastic deed (emote just killed a huge slabbergast.)
c. making strategic decisions.”--Welcor

First of all, what reason do you have to subdue a bull (or are we stepping into the realm of a personal question best left unasked ). Seriously, would you really take on a bull armed with a sword? Only if you were a matador perhaps, and even then, you’d go about fighting it in a manner unlike combat dependant upon your strength (they wear them down, not rush in and kill them). If you’re butchering it for meat, I can understand killing it (again, the circumstances would not be combat). But for most people, it just doesn’t make sense.

More to the point, what you’re describing doesn’t really sound like role-playing. Instead, it sounds like hack-and-slash.

“Many 'strong RP' muds outthere go about it another way, by hiding the numbers from the players. Instead they give the user some feedback in text form....”--Welcor

That’s my point. “Strong RP” MUDs find ways to hide the mechanics. Unfortunately, that makes games that don’t, by such terminology, “weak RP”. I doubt anyone would want to advertise their game like as "We're the best weak RP MUD out there...." Which brings me to my point again. Why leave the game mechanics in a RP MUD? Because that's part of role-play?

What defines a role-playing game then?

If we extend RP to include anything in which you assume a role, just about every game is RP. After all, in Super Mario Brothers, you assume the role of Mario. Your interaction with other characters is less (or absent completely), but you're still interacting with the game world and combat still exists. The same can be said of any game in which characters are present, whether they’re Sonic the Hedgehog or Telgar the innkeeper. But role-playing means more than just being a character (otherwise, SMB and STH would qualify as RPGs, which they do not).

“I hate to say it Jason, but I think you might have formed a biased opinion about certain characteristics of MUDs”--Lanthum

We’ve all got biases. I tend to prefer greater realism in all aspects of the game if I'm role-playing. On a hack-and-slash (which admittedly I rarely play anymore), I couldn't care less, even wanting the stats presented more clearly. Of course, in this discussion, I'm talking about RP, not H&S.

“You might find some good RP MUDs even though they don't have all your qualifications.”--Lanthum

Agreed, but like I said, nothing shatters the illusion like seeing levels and experience points. I, Jason, am not a definable level that I can increase by earning some sort of points. My skill at typing can improve, but really only through using them, not earning points killing something or someone.

“Exactly, Welcor. It's human nature, and ultimately no matter how cute you get at trying to hide the numbers, players will find them. They're like water, finding its level.”--Brody

Agreed, they will. On one of the RPI MUDs I play, I know my sword has a hidden skill bonus to it. However, I don’t use that weapon because I know that, I use it because of the RP built around it before I realized that. I’d been using it for nearly two years before I realized that it had a bonus. While pleasantly surprised, even if it had a negative attribute, I would have still used it because of the history behind that sword and its significance to my character.

I’ll end on a discussion regarding the realistic RP of combat. With a number system or without, many players probably push the boundaries of realism during combat (especially when numbers are right there for them to see). If you’re attacked in the woods by a wolf, your first instinct is either fight or flight. Now, most people don’t have first hand experience with this, myself being no exception. I was however once chased by two large dogs. Needless to say, I turned tail and ran (in defense of my courage, I was ten and wasn’t armored or carrying a sword ). Assuming your character’s rather courageous, we’ll say he fights. After taking a bite or two, he’s likely to make a decision again: flee now and maybe escape or fight to the death. After a third bite which inflicted damage, it’s probably all or nothing. Realistically, only a fanatic would stay and fight after taking wounds. Most players, given the resources of knowing point for point what their health is, fight until they’re down to a very low-level of health points. But how realistic is that? Assuming your character has 100 HP, fighting to 50 is halfway to death. How many people would fight until they’re half-dead? And if they did, would they really flee after that point?

Finally, combat isn’t what RP is about. The majority of people in any situation aren’t concerned only with combat (even in war, most people more time sitting and waiting then they do fighting). Realistically, while the history books record fighting, most people do something else.

So, to sum things up, the numbers really aren’t important because RP isn’t about combat, and even if it were, there are other role-playing factors more important to consider than simply the amount of health points one possesses. In an RP situation, those things matter more. So why do many RP MUDs still use them? This discussion isn’t long enough to get a lot of perspective so I won’t judge anything based off it yet, but from my perspective, it doesn’t look as though assisting role-playing has much to do with it.

Take care,

Jason

P.S.--As I reread this, I notice that some parts sound overly critical. Please don’t think I’m trying to be mean or anything. I’m just a cold-hearted, analytical b*****d.
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Old 08-11-2003, 07:54 AM   #12
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I'll use your wolf example to explain why numbers (or at least -some- reference to mechanics) are useful in a RPG:

The staff can't be there 24/7 to moderate every hit taken on every adventurer. So they add mechanics to do some of the work on their behalf.

So how about that fight with the wolf. You get one bite. "Realistically," if you were an elf.. oh wait. You can't be an elf realistically. Elves aren't real. So now we're back to "how do you know it's time to flee?"

Without mechanics, you don't. I'm not talking numbers, per se. But at least some reference to mechanics.. such as "You feel like crap" or "You are bleeding profusely and if you don't flee NOW you are gonna die."

We've got the screen scroll of the fight itself, then add into it any outside interference, such as other adventurers coming to your rescue, or the rest of the pack of wolves running into the frey.

And during all this, you're supposed to keep track of every message that appears on your screen in case you get that one message that reads, "Get the heck outta there!"

For the *player,* it's much easier to see a number in the middle of text scroll. Yes, it distracts from the RP. But in real life, we have a method of knowing when it's time to run. We HURT. We can feel our blood dripping down, we can taste the ripped cheek dangling on our lips. As players, we have no way of doing that in a text game. Except to read whatever it says on the screen.

I'd rather be interrupted by a quick number showing up, or a beep, or highlighted text in bright red, or the word *BLEEDING!* outlined with asterisks, than to have to wade through the regular screen scroll in the middle of a battle just to make sure I didn't miss something important.

Again, yes it does interrupt roleplay. But so does the fact that you're typing commands, reading text on a screen, dealing with your ISP lagging, or your cat jumping on your lap, or any of a thousand other things that interrupt roleplay. If I allowed all these outside interferences annoy me, I wouldn't be able to play RPGs at all.

The numbers, if they are done discretely and the player has the ability to squelch them if they so choose, is just another minor distraction that can be easily overcome, in my opinion.
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Old 08-11-2003, 09:00 AM   #13
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The numbers, if they are done discretely and the player has the ability to squelch them if they so choose, is just another minor distraction that can be easily overcome, in my opinion.
Exactly. And, the fact is, in a day and age when free-to-use client software easily edits out stuff *you* tell it to ignore, a player can eliminate everything from room descriptions they think are spammy to the very messages we've been talking about.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:02 PM   #14
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Jiles: Oh ####, here I am trying to sound all knowledgeable and stuff and then I find out they changed the stat limits while I wasn't looking. *snicker* But see guys, it just illustrates my point. We care so little about the numbers that we don't notice when they're changed.

Some other guy: Actually the number of imps is very important in some circumstances. Players have gone so far as to discover some of the formulas used in the code, therefore knowing their exact amount of imps enables them to use these formulas to their advantage when learning the skills.

General comment: Armageddon has some of the best RP I've ever seen, and yet it uses numbers for hp and some other stuff. Most people just tend to RP out what it feels like to lose 6hp vs. how it feels to lose 20. They at least do it right. (And I don't think you can ever raise your max hp during the game either since there's no actual levels.) In fact my main problem with Armageddon is that there's *too* much focus on RP...you can't really stand around talking ooc to some guy to get to know him as a person rather than a few lines of code.
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Old 08-13-2003, 08:27 AM   #15
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"Armageddon has some of the best RP I've ever seen, and yet it uses numbers for hp and some other stuff."--OnyxFlame

Yep, that's one of the seven non-level/non-exp RPI MUDs I was talking about. These MUDs, some of them no longer in existance, include:

1. Harshlands (HL): Based on the Harn gaming system, this was the first RPI MUD I ever encountered and still one of my two most favorite. Absolutely incredible game.
2. Shadows of Isildur (SoI): Based on Tolkien's works and uses coding similar to Harshlands. I'm already loving it. Slightly different coding makes it unique in many respects.
3. Forever's End (FEM): Uses Harshlands' style of code. No longer running (at least not for new players).
4. Forever Ends (FE2): Sequel to Forever's End, presently retooling.
5. Chronicles of Ritnarium: Looked great but was the victim of an unfortunate accident which led to its premature closing.
6. Armageddon: It's good but I just haven't gotten into it as much as those above.
7. Southlands: Another MUD that doesn't use levels and exp. Much like Armageddon, I haven't gotten into this one as much as the first few.

"...you can't really stand around talking ooc to some guy to get to know him as a person rather than a few lines of code."--OnyxFlame

Perhaps, but that's what AIM, YIM, MSNM, ICQ, etc. are for.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:52 PM   #16
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Although some people, including me, can have as much fun in taking their charecter out to buy some clothes as in killing the Imperially Mandated Zombie Kobold, most people who end up playing roleplaying MUDs enjoy something in between, where their charecter does engage in RP and politics and such, but also goes out and kills kobolds for little reason beyond seeing You have reached the illustrious level 6!. This, again, goes back to MUDs roots in tabletop RPGs. Role-playing games generally fall somewhere in between storytelling, where the main charecters are like charecters in a play, and door bashing, where the kill and loot and kill and loot and kill a little more. This is the same for MUDs.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:22 PM   #17
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I did the whole "RP your heart out but kill kobolds even though your character has absolutely no reason to kill them" type of thing.

Using magic spells in certain games is definitely a hoot, but the hoot gets old pretty fast and you start feeling like you HAVE to advance or the game stops being fun.

In the "rp-extreme" types of games, that lack of levels completely removes any "need" to advance. There are still goals you can meet, such as "branching" skills once you become good at other skills..

But hunting is generally only done by - hunters. People who kill things for food and skins and various body parts to either craft into equipment, or sell them to crafters.

The world is so much more 3-dimensional when you don't have to hunt, when it's merely a RP choice rather than a requirement in ordered to obtain an OOC goal of "advancement."

The more things become RP choices - rather than artificial needs, the easier it is to delve into the RP. Eventually it gets to the point where you look at the old games you used to play and wonder what the #### you were thinking

But even the old standards you're used to are good, because they're what got you involved in RPing in the first place.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:00 AM   #18
RikeDeJeanVonLe
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My first "home" MUD had levels, skill numbers, stat numbers, the whole nine yards (except, no exp).  Personally, this was fine.  The game had OOC channels that were available, took out tell (except for staff) and was very much an original world.  The beautiful thing was, after the first 5 levels or so (after you got out of the newbie phase) the game took on a whole new dynamic.  Those first levels were for new players to get oriented, and gain some abilities.  After crossing over, the hack'n'slash feature got old quickly (after level 7 it took an average of an hour to raise a skill up a point) and so RP became the next best thing.  There was a language barrier, and so emotes were used very often to deal with foreign players (although not the twelve line emotes passed off as proper use of the command).  The point of this being that RP is not dependant on existance or lack of game mechanics, numbers, OOC elements, or even storylines and dynamic elements (this was several years ago, and the biggest dynamic thing was that the sun went down and the sun came up which altered how well one could see, either too bright, too dark or just right).  RP is entirly dependant on the people in the game.  Personally, some of my more meaningful RP adventures centered around NPCs.  Quick example, I happened to walk into a town when another PC was taking out the citizens, and after chasing the char away, I started to act out a reconstruction scenario (fixing houses, mending wounds, funeral rites for the dead).  After about a quarter of an hour, a small group of players (mostly youngins) happend by the town and were very curious about what was going on.  I then spent another hour in the town before taking off with one of the other PCs (the one that spoke my IC language) and went to a nice tavern for some ale, where another scenario with a bard developed, but that's another story.  

When the Pbase is RPing with your NPCs, then you have an atmosphere condusive to RP.  On my longest running character, I only made it to level 11, but I spent many hours doing odd things in RP.  Hack'n'slash was a way to kill time or a good hook to get to know someone (vs standing around the well sipping muddy water).  If you can't start up an RP session because you see some numbers, then it is a personal problem, and not the fault of the code.
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:36 AM   #19
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"RP is entirly dependant on the people in the game."--RikeDeJeanVonLe

Agreed, but here's the problem. I'll use your example below as well.

"Quick example, I happened to walk into a town when another PC was taking out the citizens, and after chasing the char away, I started to act out a reconstruction scenario (fixing houses, mending wounds, funeral rites for the dead). After about a quarter of an hour, a small group of players (mostly youngins) happend by the town and were very curious about what was going on. I then spent another hour in the town before taking off with one of the other PCs (the one that spoke my IC language) and went to a nice tavern for some ale, where another scenario with a bard developed"--RikeDeJeanVonLe

Now, the RP of such a situation is indeed possible, but there are limits within a hack-and-slash that would ruin the RP of such a situation. Somebody kills the King of the Kingdom and fifteen minutes later, he reappears again like magic, standing in the same room as his corpse, only to be killed again. It becomes ludicrous to think that you can look at such a situation and not have difficulty maintaining a sense of realism.

Player 1: "Yeah, I and a group of four of my men arrived at the town to find all the citizens dead. The murderer was still there."
Player 2: "Did you capture him?"
Player 1: "No, he got away."
(After all, he was level 80 to each of our level 11s)
Player 2: "How many people did he kill?"
Player 1: "Over twenty people in the streets."

Now of course, it's not hard to just change the circumstances of the events to suit your RP, but let's go back to my original question, shall we? I personally don't expect anyone on a hack-and-slash MUD to RP. That's why they acquired the nickname of "hack-and-slash".

But I wasn't talking about hack-and-slash MUDs when I asked my original question. I asked why RP MUDs go through the trouble of creating a realistic world only to leave hack-and-slash style elements in.

"When the Pbase is RPing with your NPCs, then you have an atmosphere condusive to RP...."--RikeDeJeanVonLe

Very true, but let's say you're interacting with the NPCs and someone comes through and kills them while you are because they want to get to level 84 and the NPCs you were interacting with are easy kills with lots of exp.

Player 1 (to NPC citizen) says, "Lovely day, isn't it? So peaceful and serene."
Player 2 arrives.
Player 2 slashes at a citizen, ripping open her chest.
You hear a citizen's death cry.
A citizen is dead.
Player 2 leaves east.

"If you can't start up an RP session because you see some numbers, then it is a personal problem, and not the fault of the code."--RikeDeJeanVonLe

No, it's the fault of the coder. They're the one that went through the trouble of creating a nice world to interact in but left in unrealistic elements. It's like throwing a magnificent dinner, asking everyone to attend in tuxedos and evening gowns, renting a French chateau to hold it in, and then serving McDonalds food.

Take care and avoid the fast food,

Jason
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:37 AM   #20
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"Perhaps, but that's what AIM, YIM, MSNM, ICQ, etc. are for."

I dunno about you, but I'm not gonna let someone add me to their list if I don't know them well enough to tell they're not an ass.

The main reason I like to be able to talk oocly in a RP mud without being frowned on is because let's face it, there's not ALWAYS something going on. During the times when nothing's happening, I like to reminisce about past events on the mud that one of my other chars experienced, or ask people what they think of some idea I have for my mud, or just talk about what it's like to live in NYC. To me, a mud that allows me to do that is rather relaxing, I'm not always hyped up on some emotion, reeling from one extreme to another. It gives me breathing space, and a chance to know the players better and thus be more relaxed with them, even if I can't stand their chars. Now most people don't separate ic/ooc very well, but done right it can add a lot to the mudding experience. For instance, the other day when we were telling each other how to fix our comp problems that the RPC vulnerability gave us...
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