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Old 02-18-2005, 12:09 AM   #1
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First off, let me say that I've never been involved in the making of a MUD, just in playing one. Now, though, I'm sort of considering making my own MUD, so I'd like to hear some of your opinions on this subject(I'm sorry if I'm repeating another topic but to the best of my ability I couldn't find one).

Well, I'll try and phrase this question as best I can. How do you implement realistic elements without just making them an inconvenience? By 'realistic elements' I mean things like permanent character death and other such things that are generally good for RP but potentially annoying for players. I would especially like to point out 'channels', or other means of player communication without a believable IC justification. I can see how decisions for these things would be tricky considering that roleplaying and convenience are two elements that need to be balanced for a good player experience.

Another thing I've noticed that can cause problems is a system in which killing mobs is the only reliable means of gaining experience and power. I recall in Achaea (the only MUD I play) not too long ago, many adventurers were accused by visitors from another plane of hunting innocent villagers. It was a bit difficult to roleplay since nearly everyone hunted one group of mobs or another. (By the way, I don't mean to accuse you of anything, the_logos) But then again, since I haven't really played any other MUDs for very long at all, I don't know how other systems of advancing in power have worked and whether or not they've been successful.

Well, I hope my question was clear enough, and I'll be grateful to hear the opinions of any of you.
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:14 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by (Jaregarde @ Feb. 18 2005,00:10)
By the way, I don't mean to accuse you of anything, the_logos
Don't worry. You are safe here. He cannot harm you here. Besides we'll think of something to accuse him of. ;-)
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by (Jaregarde @ Feb. 18 2005,00[img[/img]9)]I recall in Achaea (the only MUD I play) not too long ago, many adventurers were accused by visitors from another plane of hunting innocent villagers. It was a bit difficult to roleplay since nearly everyone hunted one group of mobs or another. (By the way, I don't mean to accuse you of anything, the_logos)
That whole situation with the Vertani is still on-going, in fact. Hingar, the ambassador from the Vertani has called for a major summit on Saturday involving all the leaders of the player-cities as well as the leaders of the NPC villagers to see if there is a way to co-exist peacefully. Should be interesting.

So the thing about what you mention is that we were careful not to have NPCs vilify people for simply playing the game. Note that it's really only the 'civilized' humanoid settlements that were really included in that accusation. It's also worth noting that one of the player-cities, Shallam (the biggest of the player cities in fact), does a remarkably effective job of educating its citizens about the rights (IC rights, obviously. NPCs don't have OOC rights.) of the innocent citizens of the various NPC villages around the land. Their citizens alone of the player-run cities almost universally refrain from killing the NPC villagers, on principle. So I mean, it is possible to do (there's plenty of stuff to bash that doesn't involve civilized-seeming humanoids). It just means you have to take the roleplaying somewhat seriously.

Given that some of the villages and cities are forming formal alliances, I'm really looking forward to what's going to happen. To support the way the players have taken the plot, we stuck in a way for citizens of allied cities to lead the soldiers of the NPC villages against the enemies of the NPC villages. There's a-gonna be some serious conflict, I think, unless this summit turns out to be productive. The city of Ashtan, for instance, recently made the unprecedented move of paying the NPC village of Thera 5 million gold in reparations for past crimes against the Therans, and pledged their protection of the villagers against those who would prey on them. The city of Mhaldor, Ashtan's ally against the Vertani, quickly joined in the protection of Thera, although Thera's mayor rejected alliance with Mhaldor on the basis that it's ruled by the God of Evil, and they don't want to be involved with that.

Anyway, the players have actually reacted really well to this and suddenly a LOT more of them are treating NPCs as if they were player characters with rights. Not just the Shallamese anymore.

And no offence taken! This is by far the most ambitious plot we've ever attempted and have had to put in multiple new hardcoded systems to support it. Everything has definitely not gone right, and one thing that we're constantly watching for is making sure we're not messing too badly with the people who are mainly interested in just getting that next level, as opposed to the people who immerse themselves in the politics, drama, and plots.

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Old 02-18-2005, 09:08 PM   #4
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Hmm, true, I did notice the Vertani really only accused people who attacked innocent villagers, but another thing I noticed is that I can't really think of an IC reason why I would kill even an evil mob. I mean even though they are 'evil' and my character is good, I can't think of a reason why I would go to the mob's home and slay him/her, especially since there are virtually no mobs in Achaea that will attack adventurers unless the adventurers actually CHOOSE to go to dangerous places. But then again, I can see it must be balanced, for people would be pretty upset, I think, if vampires and goblins actually marched out of their dungeons and starting slaying innocent players.

But yes, I think the Vertani thing you're doing is pretty cool, especially since its forcing players, like you said, to think about their actions towards mobs and and to consider alliances with the villages. The new systems that have been added are nice too. The only other thing that I would worry about though is how many newbies were probably killed when the Vertani marched on Mhaldor and Ashtan...and it must have been frustrating also that totems and other player skills don't work on the Vertani(since they're mobs, technically)...but I think that if you want the Vertani to act as if they're real players then they should have the same vulnerabilities.
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:34 PM   #5
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It would be a daunting task to code a reaction to every possible player skill in a game as complex as Achaea, with a bazillion skills and thousands of different combinations, mobs would either be too easy to kill, to hard to kill, and some poor innocent coder would be spending his entire life constantly tweaking every possible reaction a mob could have from a player attack, defense, movement, etc.

It is nearly impossible for the hardcore PvP players to keep up with player attacks, let alone coding a system that would make all the mobs in the game react in a beliveable way. Not to mention unique way, in order to keep 'bashing' unpredictable.

Personally I think it would totally rock, but in 'reality' coding anything beyond a basic system is a massive task.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:25 PM   #6
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Yes, that's true...but I had been under the impression that many of them were being controlled by a real person when they were fighting...of course that can't be true for all of them since there are 400 or so...but it would be nice if at least totems would be effective against them because without them, the cities essentially have no working city defences against them.
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