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Old 07-13-2005, 10:46 AM   #1
Jeena
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What do you think about MuDs vs Graphicals? Muds obviously have more room to grow, have more variety and larger game areas because text is far easier to code and process, and requires less sophisticated hardware.
On the other hand, in this "hand it to me" society, graphic games have become very nearly works of art. But I hear that they are frequently limited in scope and adventure, far costlier than even pay MuDs are and after a few months of playing they lose their appeal.
I don't play graphical online games because my PC is just not up to the standard required to play 90 percent of them.
So what do you guys think?

Can MuD's compete with graphic games and if so, how do you get that across to people who have to have pictures for everything?
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:26 AM   #2
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The day they invent a graphical MUD with players who know what "roleplaying" is and has MUD features like weather nd decent quests, I will cheer. I'm not being sarcastic, I think that would be brilliant.
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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MUDs don't really have to compete with graphical MMORPGs. They're different animals. As long as there are high school/college-age kids with Internet hookups, client software and limited disposable income, MUDs will plug along nicely.

MUDs only compete with graphical MMORPGs in the same sense that they compete with movies, television shows, books, single-player computer games, and personal relationships.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:14 PM   #4
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So you would argue that a player who plays a MuD would not be lured away by a graphical game like and a player who plays Graphical would not be lured away by muds?
I would suggest that both types of games compete for people looking for cyber adventure/socialization through gaming. IF this is the case...how would you as a mud admin or a player entice your friends or other gamers to try out a text base game over graphicals?
I know what my arguments are for that. But I want to know what others in the community consider valid points and how you would go about it...
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:49 PM   #5
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Even I, as a MUD administrator, am enticed to play MMORPGs. I'm a huge World of Warcraft fan. But my point is: It's not necessarily an either/or proposition. Yes, MMORPGs may eat into the time players might invest in playing a MUD. But what MMORPGs have in graphics, they often lack in evolving storylines (which text games can implement far easier) and tight-knit, cohesive communities among players.
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:55 PM   #6
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My view on the subject is that the problem is there being no 'interum' system. Some muds employ highly limited pre-made images with MXP, but they are like stepping back to the era of the Apple II game, "Mystery Mansion", I think it was. I don't think it will be practical in the near future to make avatars you can "truely" customize, instead of just tweaking them based on known attributes. I do think that with the disk capacity and speed available, it may be possible to create text scripts, like used in POVRay, to generate more or less dynamic images. Less than two years ago, no computer would have been fast enough and the only alternative would have been OpenGL or DirectX, which would force the server to upload 100k of triangles, a dozen 10-100k images for textures, etc. and 'then' a file with lighting, effects, etc. And that is half a meg **per room**.

By comparison, a mud could provide a 'library' of maybe 300k or so including the entirely text based textures, colors, basic common objects, etc., then to produce a scene with 'maybe' a 10k upload of the room desciption. Want weather, lighting for time of day, etc. No problem. Either include it all in the base files and import it when needed, or generate the needed changes server side and you still have a 10k file. For most people this wouldn't even produce a hickup, and if used only when really needed, even dialup could get full 3D images, sans the ability to walk around in them, with no more storage cost server side than existing text descriptions + mobs, objects, etc. already use. (so, maybe 2x or at worst 3x the storage per each room that used it).

Frankly, I would have considered trying to desing a client for such and a mud, but a) I don't have the badnwidth/server to do so, b) the license for POVRay currently prevents using it as a plugin to a client (or otherwise using it at all where its not obvious POVRay is doing stuff) and c) its pretty hard to find other alternatives that support close to the same feature set, but are not OpenGL *and* 2-3 times slower than the newer version of POVRay. Finding one that is fast, but pretty useless = easy. One that has all the same features, but is slower = not quite as easy. And as I said, you can fake 'some' of it with OpenGL or DirectX, but you still need someone expert in editors for those to do anything. As good as stuff like Blender is, its still not the same as being able, like with POVRay, of FTPing the scene to your machine and hand editing the data using Notepad or even Emacs. lol

I don't think the two are incompatible or some in between realm isn't possible, but too many people in the MMORPG set are focused on complex, high maintainence, "you need graphics card X, 1GB ram and a T1 to use this", type stuff, instead of looking for something closer to mud development. Meanwhile, the mud end, when they think about it at all, think, "We should use something like a photo album and just give snapshots. Anything else just isn't practical." Wrong!! for both sides.

Try some of this using OpenGL or DirectX and the same sized data files:

http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourk...ay/scc3/final/

It is possible. I just don't have the skill to write a client to do it. A building 'might' be more complex, but not by like 1MB sizes, or even for simple stuff, 500kb. You can also introduce fog, night/day, rain, etc. with minimal increases in size.

Yeah, it won't move, you can't walk around in it, etc., but its still more than you get with MXP's <IMG "ftp:\\my.mud.de\I_worked_hours_on_this_and_it_sti ll_sucks.jpg"> lol
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:21 AM   #7
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Brody is right.  MUDs and MMOs are two totally different things.  What MUDs lack MMOs have, and what MMOs lack MUDs have.  Its like trying to see whether a tree is better than a flower, it's difficult to compare things that are so radically different from each other.  You can climb a tree, but you can't give it to a girl as a gift before a date, and you can smell a flower but you can't seek shelter under it when it rains.  They're too different.  Just look at the culture in MMOs compared to the culture in MUDs, it's like a bizzaro world.  Most of them are just a different type of people.  In the end, I would say that it all depends of personal preference, for instance: I can't play most MMOs because there is very little of a social element, but I can't play most MUDs because there is too much of a social element.
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ July 14 2005,01:21)
Just look at the culture in MMOs compared to the culture in MUDs, it's like a bizzaro world. Most of them are just a different type of people. In the end, I would say that it all depends of personal preference, for instance: I can't play most MMOs because there is very little of a social element, but I can't play most MUDs because there is too much of a social element.
You could say that about text MUDs too--cultures can be very different from MUD to MUD.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #9
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Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Strengths of a graphical MMORG
-Graphics (obviously) – This adds a whole new dimension of possibilities. Battle tactics especially benefit from this. There is simply no non-graphical comparison to freeform movement in battle.
-Major development studios backing them. This generally provides faster turnover for fixes and enhancements. It also means that things will (probably) be done more professionally.
-Massive playerbase, so you are often able to find friends to play with

Weaknesses of a graphical MMORG
-To date, vast majority focus primarily on fighting and less on RP
-Enhancements are a lot more involved with new art/very complex code to fix. This often makes games seem buggy when very small bugs appear in massive updates.
-Very little policing of in game policies to create environment. Even in supposed ‘RP’ servers in these games people pretty much say and do whatever they want and get away with it. Botting is also common in many of these games and is rarely caught.
-To date games have been designed with simplicity in their systems to appeal to a broader audience. This makes them a bit watered down by most MUD standards.


Now, looking at these, the primary cause of most of the weaknesses has to do with the scale of the project. MUDs strengths lie in their specificity. They can be designed for a much smaller audience with very defined tastes without losing money. Also, they require far less, resource wise, to develop and change. Remove wide audience appeal and complexity from development from a graphical MMORG and you essentially have a MUD as it stands today.

I think there is hope for MUD-Like MMORGs if a few enterprising folks build a set of free architecture and development tool that allows for non-professional coders to develop a MMORG without knowing the advanced technical items that go along with it. The largest drawback to this would be a lot of commonality between the art of various smaller MMORGs, but we see that in the MUD universe as well with stock areas etc.

However, the base question remains, how do I like MMORGs today compared to MUDs. Well I like them both just fine. It is very nice to have a huge and professional design studio pumping out content and beautiful graphics for a game that I play. It is also nice to be part of a large community that is very vocal about it’s hobby and to always find people to play with. However, conversely it is also nice to be part of a small community playing a game with very specific and complex systems that change more slowly but with more care. I do not ascribe to the ‘one-game-at-a-time’ theory in gaming, so I play and enjoy both for what the offer and when I get sick of what they do not, I play something else.
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:30 PM   #10
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That is like asking will movies replace books.

Personally, to me it is more about the story line.

If the mud has an interesting concept behind it and inspires the imagination, I would choose it any day over an eye-popping graphical with a lame story behind it.
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (parrotslave @ July 14 2005,14:30)
That is like asking will movies replace books.

Personally, to me it is more about the story line.

If the mud has an interesting concept behind it and inspires the imagination, I would choose it any day over an eye-popping graphical with a lame story behind it.
Good point. Books being replaced by movies is a much better idea than my "trees & flowers" thing. Some people would rather read a book, and some people would rather watch a movie. There are just different types of people who choose different types of things. Like Brody said before, MUD is a niche genre, they will always be people who enjoy MUDs, and while it may not rival graphical games, there is still a playerbase and there will always be people who enjoy the "book" over the "movie".
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Old 07-14-2005, 03:19 PM   #12
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I don't really think it is fair to imply that non-graphical MUDS = Storyline and Graphical MMMORGs = No Storyline. Bear in mind that there are only a small number of graphical MMORGs available and thousands upon thousands of MUDs.

Sure, some muds have story and RP. However, just doing a search on this very site proves that there are quite a lot (maybe even a majority) of MUDS that are all about hack and slash.

Basically what I am saying is that being graphical does not necessitate a lack of story or roleplay. I submit A Tale in the Desert as a good example (www.atitd.net). Nor does being non-graphical necessitate a rich storyline or roleplay (I submit almost all godwars MUDs as an example). Give the MMORG market a few more years to expand and grow and you will see more diversity and specificity.
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Slanted @ July 14 2005,18:01)
Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Strengths of a graphical MMORG
-Graphics (obviously) – This adds a whole new dimension of possibilities.  Battle tactics especially benefit from this.  There is simply no non-graphical comparison to freeform movement in battle.
There's not? What can a graphical mud do in this regard that a text-based mud can't?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
-Major development studios backing them. This generally provides faster turnover for fixes and enhancements. It also means that things will (probably) be done more professionally.
It also means that profit is the main objective, and therefore 'popular' features will be the most likely candidates for inclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
-Massive playerbase, so you are often able to find friends to play with
Often so large that you can't find your friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Weaknesses of a graphical MMORG
-To date, vast majority focus primarily on fighting and less on RP
I enjoy muds which focus on combat. If I want to RP, I invite some friends around and do it properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
-Very little policing of in game policies to create environment. Even in supposed ‘RP’ servers in these games people pretty much say and do whatever they want and get away with it. Botting is also common in many of these games and is rarely caught.
These things are better handled through code anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
-To date games have been designed with simplicity in their systems to appeal to a broader audience. This makes them a bit watered down by most MUD standards.
This goes back to your point about backing. I can't see a game receiving major commercial backing if it's only going to target a niche audience.
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:32 PM   #14
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Some considerations I was thinking of were:
Most graphic mmrpgs require top end pcs to play. Require far more outlay in cash to get started, updates to games will usually mean more cash to the player for updates to software. Most, if not all, also require a monthly or yearly fee.
Of course from admin side, the graphics themselves limit the size of the universe and adventure created, because of the size of the files and their complexity.

Muds can be played on almost any machine that can access the internet with the quality of machine effecting the play enviroment very little. For the player, most muds are cheap to free, with almost unlimited potential for adventure and social interaction.
From the admin side...MuDs can be run on most machines and require less bandwidth. Size of the environment is limited only by the imagination and the builders/coders who work the mud.

Does this sound about right?
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:33 AM   #15
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Hello, I just thought I would weigh in with some thoughts from my experience.

First, though, let me say hello and comment on what a pleasant discourse this has been so far, filled with some interesting ideas and points raised by several. Although I often follow these forums, I rarely post because I do not want to be slagged.

From my perspective, I don't see why a MUD can't be adapted to an in-between status, for the pleasure of a group who fall in the gray area between the MMORPG and MUD players... the game needn't be, in my outlook, an either-or.

There are, after all, older categories of graphical games, such as the side-scrollers, and the adventure game format of successive screens telling a story. These formats might be more appropriate for presenting the richer, more personally interactive content of a MUD.
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:15 PM   #16
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Actually.. I don't think the movies replacing books analogy is at all accurate. I don't consider MMORPGs to really 'be' muds, since they are no where near as flexible and get in the way of direct expression by players in many ways. Maybe they will get over that 'eventually'. No, I think the argument should be, "Why are we still using books with all words in them, when we could add pictures and if we can add pictures, why not ones that move?" Sure, some people hate books with pictures in them, but its not like everyone refuses to buy books with covers, but insists that all of them 'must' be blank with only the title on the cover and the binding. No, pictures can help convey what ten pages of words sometimes can't. Dynamic worlds demand dynamic pictures, that change as the circumstance requires. Yet, muds almost universally ignore this and the ones that do use it are almost non-existant.

MMORPGs are trying to be something that even the best do a less than steller job of, while requiring more computer resources than a sane person would want to buy to do so. Muds just shrug their collective shoulders and say, "Why would anyone need to add 'pictures' to the book?", so continue to fail in the one thing the MMORPGs don't. It would be kind of nice to see a serious attempt to create something in between the two.
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
MMORPGs are trying to be something that even the best do a less than steller job of, while requiring more computer resources than a sane person would want to buy to do so. Muds just shrug their collective shoulders and say, "Why would anyone need to add 'pictures' to the book?", so continue to fail in the one thing the MMORPGs don't. It would be kind of nice to see a serious attempt to create something in between the two.
http://www.aeonfalls.com/screenshots.shtml

I think we are on that track of creating a MUD with pictures and graphical interface.
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:37 PM   #18
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I gotta say Emil (it's okay to call you Emil instead of Hephos, right?), that MUD looks awesome.  What would you say is a good estimated date for that client on Aeon Falls?  If I'm not mistaken, Achaea is already implementing a system similar to that only in a trial run, but you'd have to ask Matt, I don't play that game.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:50 PM   #19
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What do you think about MuDs who introduce a form of graphic by creating their own fonts and symbols? For example, on Medievia fonts are used to create elaborate looking maps. Does this qualify as semi-graphical?

Hephos the screen shot looks very cool. The client that is being created for aeonfalls will be free?

Jeena
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Old 07-18-2005, 03:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ July 14 2005,18:23)
1-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Slanted @ July 14 2005,18[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]1)]Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Strengths of a graphical MMORG
-Graphics (obviously) – This adds a whole new dimension of possibilities.  Battle tactics especially benefit from this.  There is simply no non-graphical comparison to freeform movement in battle.
There's not?  What can a graphical mud do in this regard that a text-based mud can't?
[/quote]
See Puzzle Pirates' battle system. Couldn't be done without graphics. See also HJ's upcoming system whereby to, for instance, cast a wall of fire you literally draw a line on the ground indicating where you want that wall of fire to be.

There are things text can do that graphics can't (non-Euclidean space, text communication (obviously), etc), but there are also things graphics can do that text can't.

--matt
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