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Old 05-25-2003, 06:40 AM   #1
Taniquetil
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Unhappy

So three years ago, myself and a friend started joking around how we would create a MUD, since most MUDs just have some aspects of what you're looking for, you all heard the story I'm sure. A few sleepless nights, and we suddenly had something we could agree on.

We did like most, the same mistake of going way to big when outlining our "world". Accordning to me afterwards, even using the word "world" is a big mistake. During these three years we put much effort into our ideas, ran through lines of builders etc and realised that we are going smaller and smaller. First we wanted a high quality RP-encourage MUD with a downtoned fantasy feeling (that rings a bell just about anywhere doesn't it). Now we something completly different, a pure RP MUD, with high demands on quality and realism, and that most important thing: A MUCH smaller setting (note:not world). We quickly realised, aiming too big is going to ####, lets concentrate on something much smaller and try to situate that within a advance plot.

We decided on a Capitol city, the scenario, seige.
So smaller here simply means restricting the actually area where player play, but still the Capitol is going to be around 5000 rooms, which is averange of most MUDs.

So my questions really is, how large are you aiming for, any against/pros of a smaller world?
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Old 05-25-2003, 03:00 PM   #2
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Here is the way I see it. You should always start small, and with the area that will be the primary focus of the mud throughout the mud's existence, as far as you can perceive.  First look to making the existing setting deeper/richer.  Sooner or later you will reach a point where deepening the setting will add no value.  Only then expand the setting to include new areas of the world.  Always deepen those areas fully before expanding more.  Finally, you may reach a point where there are no longer significant network effects in terms of areas (that is, the value of each old area no longer increases because of your adding a new area).  At this point, I think you should diversify into two different muds; for example, you could RP it as the splitting of alternate realities.

There is still the issue of setting size vs. the number of rooms.  For instance, you could choose between a fifteen-thousand-room continent and a fifteen-thousand-room town.  As a rule of thumb, I would choose the smallest setting to have an agreeable proportion of high-traffic rooms to low-traffic rooms; that way your RP could realistically tend toward personal relationships.  I would then adapt the theme of the mud to that setting, so that the long-term opportunities and risks available would be exciting.
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:22 AM   #3
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I had the good fortune of joining a world with one decent sized continent and another bare-bones one. Granted, a large part was heavily modified stock and public domain items, but it was an established environment. From those meager beginnings 6 years ago, we've been expanding to the point where we've created a third continent and laying out the foundations for the areas surrounding the main city of the new one. Our plans are to allow choices of hometown city creation (9 cities of 300-1000 rooms) based on character and race selections by players (each is diff theme). Our goal is eventually make a totally round world.

My point is this was an established environment that was fairly small. With planning, reasonable oversight to guide expansion and a staff dedicated to the vision can make even a single city turn into a full world faster than you expect. This may sound like school but decide on a goal, make an outline, use milestones, plan dates and in general just follow those plans.

How big should we be? I dunno, we're teasing 20k (no autogenerated) rooms and it's going to get as big as it gets because we want a reasonable 'round' world. Start small as experience has shown you and work your way up with carefully designed additions.
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:28 AM   #4
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PS

Size only really matters to those who are way too use to it.
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Old 05-26-2003, 04:27 AM   #5
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I think this is vastly a question on what type of mud you run. If your mud is very intense on RP, small is better, since you may have got rid of the global channels and you want the players to have a chance of finding each other. So a very large world would be contraproductive here.

If you are more set on exploring, hunting, fighting and doing Quests; big is better. The same goes for if you are set on creating a 'REALISTIC' world, where the geography and ecology at least has some credibility, even if they are under different laws of nature than the Real World.

As for depth, this is equally important for all types of muds, but it would probably be a waste of effort to make ALL rooms totally fleshed out with extra descs for everything, because it is a fact that most players - roleplayers OR hack'n'slashers -never bother to even look for those descs. Also many rooms are more or less just transport areas, leading from one place to another. The rooms you need to concentrate on are the 'meeting places' and other places where players tend to stay for longer periods, i.e. cities in general, and inns, squares, marketplaces, castles etc. in particular.

I think Illuvatar and I run pretty similar types of muds, since we usually seem to agree on ideas. We too are aiming at having a very large and consistent world. And we are constantly expanding it, with a large, talented and dedicated staff of Builders. Actually having good Builders seems to attract more good Builders, and then they inspire and try to surpass each other, so it's a nice spiral.

As for the players, they always get very excited when a new zone is announced, and more or less trample each other down in their eagerness to be the first one to explore it fully.
After that first rush, some of the zones retain their popularity among the players, while others more or less sink into oblivion...
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Old 05-26-2003, 12:18 PM   #6
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The mud we run started with tons and tons of stock (ok all of it) but now we are down to about 25 areas (out of 130) that are stock. The world has grown from 4-5000 rooms to over 9247 (it will probably grow faster once we have all of the stock areas gone ) and we are still on our first continent (although its getting full). We are roleplay encouraged mud (not intensive) and we are aiming for a large world.

While we are always trying to expand our world, one of the main concerns is maintaining common locations where people can actually run into one another. Lack of a sufficiently sized playerbase is the reason we have not expanded to use hometowns and base all temples/player houses/clans in the main city.

I think the number of players makes a great deal of difference as to what we can pull off size wise for roleplay. Type of roleplay and style of mud also affect any decisions that we make regarding size of the world. I guess I am just echoing other posts so I will stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by
. Actually having good Builders seems to attract more good Builders, and then they inspire and try to surpass each other, so it's a nice spiral.
It took about 2 years of work and hiring lots and lots of builders to get a few builders to stick around and actually build consistently....after that our staff has just grown as the playerbase has grown - its a GREAT thing that talent attracts more talent.

Oh and Hi Molly, its been a while,
Y
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:49 AM   #7
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In my mind, the ultimate mud would include several countries spread over various continents, with each country containing various cities and villages and castles and so on. Various places would have their own religions and customs and laws, and certain items would be more easily attainable in some places because of how many resources of various types they have near enough to them to be useful. One country could decide to take over part of some other country's territory. In this type of mud you could experience a northern "barbarian" country with shamans who use methods of magic considered vulgar elsewhere, a country where slavery is common and you can even get involved in it yourself, and a society that has a caste system and if you even TALK to a high-ranking citizen you get punished. Countries whose religions differ might even start up holy wars against each other.

The problem with all this is players. Even with no experience in coding or building, it's easy to tell that you'd probably need at least a few thousand total players (though not all on at the same time of course) to make an idea like this work. Yet most RP muds I know of don't have even half the player base this idea would need. And even if you could somehow get enough people to play this hypothetical mud, half of them would probably not know how to RP and your quality would suffer no matter how big and complex and cool your world is.
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:18 PM   #8
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I would have to agree with Molly. A mud without global channels does need to push players closer together. Many RP muds have made the mistake of making too large a start town or gameworld, to see their playerbase split and divided between all sorts of locations. There's just something about most builders that has to have big, bloated areas (I'm guilty of this too) -- on an RP mud that can be seriously detrimental.

But more than that, one must also be careful not to divide the players within the town into clans with few or no members.

Caris, SciallaMud
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Old 06-04-2003, 04:54 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Wonderful discussion folks.
Lead me to beleave I've made the right dicision with my RP MUD, cool
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Old 06-04-2003, 05:20 AM   #10
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Details, details! How big is your mud and what kind of pbase are you looking at?

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Old 06-04-2003, 10:36 AM   #11
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Hmm, we have 5 seperate landmasses of significent size (+ a floating island in the air) although one of those is still in testing and not open to players yet. The landmasses vary in size but most are full continents, with multiple cities, quests, and so forth.

As has previously been said, for a less RP intensive mud bigger is better. It gives more areas for players to explore, more places for legends to run around xping without wiping out everything, etc.
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