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Old 08-01-2006, 05:53 PM   #1
Malifax
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If you enjoy roleplay, complex, balanced mechanics and a large world with a detailed history, Inferno is for you. Weekly GM-run events. Auctions. Gladitorial games. Costume balls. Large-scale story arcs and live epic quests. Want to own your own house or place of business? How about a wedding? It's all in-character and it's all free. There are no hidden costs or perks to pay for. Just high-quality role-play all the time.

Play Now!
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:49 AM   #2
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Any relation to the late pay-to-play mud of the same name?
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:51 AM   #3
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Yeah. It's the same game with new history (pushed forward 100 years to reflect the war and its effects). We shut down for a year anda half or so because I burned out. Now we're back up up and 100% free.

Donathin suggested that I should try to affiliate Inferno with the RPI sector of the community. The game IS role-play intensive. But we don't disallow PvP as it'sa natural part of RP. No permadeath either, and levels are unlimited. After 10 years, we had a couple characters pushing level 500.

Anyway...
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:42 PM   #4
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I played Inferno for a few years, and it was a lot of fun. But, it isn't even remotely an RPI (according to the "usual definition" accepted and acknowledged here in this forum).

It is now free, so that's awesome and I really urge anyone who wants a refreshing change from the usual hack-n-slash, or something less hard-core than an RPI, to give it a try.

It isn't permadeath. It has levels, and experience, and builds (similar to some extent to training points). The emote system is extremely limited. Last time I played they had -just- added the ability to talk -to- someone specific, instead of just "saying" to no one in particular. They have an ENORMOUS "verb list" which, to most folks, are socials, which most players use instead of emotes, so after the 200th "wave at Sue" it gets a bit stale. They also default with the numbers showing in combat - the dice rolls. Those can be briefed though, so you can hunt without seeing all those numbers. There are no sdescs - people read your name on their monitor, just as in most non-RPIs. However unlike most non-RPIs, it is assumed you haven't actually learned someone's name, unless you've heard it mentioned either in introduction or in passing. They also have a global chat channel, but that is also expected to be roleplayed as IC.

One nice thing that I loved about it was the OOC area of the game, which is where all account-holders "show up" before stepping through an arch, and into the game itself. There, you can yap about stuff with each other, meet a staff member for help, have OOC meetings, etc. etc. etc. All of that occurs while you are your "account name" and *not* as your character.

So - according to the very strict criteria of an RPI, it isn't. At all. It misses the mark on every criteria except one: roleplay is required and expected.

I think Inferno might appeal most to people who normally play RPIs, but are looking for a "distraction" from the intensity that an RPI demands. It would also appeal greatly to people who are accustomed to most of the current popular pay-to-play text games, especially now since Inferno is free.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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Forgive my ignorance. I've played pay games for 20 years so never really tried MUDS. As such, I don't know what the criteria are for qualification as an RPI (Don just mentioned it). I just know that when you're in Inferno you're in-character all the time. We demand it. Our players demand it. It's a world based on conflict where people face decisions every day. There's no hand-holding. You screw up, you pay. The good guys don't always win. So I guess I don't understand where RP gets more intense, unless numbers in your combat and skills turns you off. I see where permadeath would add intensity to the experience, but Inferno mechanics and economics are built for long-term play (levels are limitless). We'd lose a lot of players if they spent years building a character to have it lost during an event.

RP in Inferno is superb, constant, and at times extremely intense (and maybe we're talking about different types of intensity).

But I think Inferno comes from a different place than "RPI" MUDs. Inferno began as a commercial venture by a group of guys who were fed up with the pay games they'd been playing. They wanted a place with clean, complex, balanced mechanics, a world with extensive context, and superb role-play all the time. And they achieved it all. Unfortunately, playing a game you run isn't easy because of  perceived integrity issues, whether they exist or not. Like I say, I've never been a MUDder, so I don't know what an RPI game is like. The qualifications for being an RPI MUD, mechanics-wise, may be missing from Inferno, but I can't imagine the RP is any better anywhere else.

I suspect the difference is that Inferno, mechanically, is a game built in the mode of GS III and Legends of Futures past with the addition of a detailed history and ultra-high role-play demands, whereas RPI MUDs are built without numbers and include more mechanics tailored specifically for RP. I would be very, very interested in hearing about the emote systems found in RPI's and anything short of taking out levels and stuff that we could do to help bring the level of role-play in Inferno nearer to that evidently found in RPI's. Jazuela, and any one else, I am really interested in anything you have to say. We're always looking to improve.

Thanks in advance.

-Mal

PS: What's an "sdesc?" I've played games where you don't know someone's name before you "meet" them, and we considered it as a feature, but to me it was more annoying and just as unrealistic in a lot of ways than just role-playing that you don't know someone until you've been introduced.

(Edit: Ok. A friend explained "RPI" to me. We want great role-play but we don't want to go to that extreme. Still, I'd like to hear about the emote systems Jezuela mentioned, or anything else we could tailor and add to Inferno to make it better.   )
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:48 AM   #6
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What makes an RPI an RPI? Who knows, we could argue on forever about it. I did suggest, though, that he consider looking into joining Wade's www.rpimud.com network if Wade'd go for it(since he has a more forgiving definition than some of what can constitute as an RPI).

If not, it's understandable, and either way - good luck to Inferno. It's looking nice.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ Aug. 03 2006,05:12)
Forgive my ignorance. I've played pay games for 20 years so never really tried MUDS.
Inferno, Gemstone, Avalon, etc - they are all classified as MUDs, just like Diku, MUSH, GodWars, Ilyrias, EverQuest, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:37 AM   #8
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Hi again Mal. I've played 2 of the three RPIs that are considered "the big three" in MUDdom - Armageddon, and Shadows of Isildur. Harshlands is the third. The emoting system I'm referring to is similar to your "act" verb, with dynamic interaction. So you can target people and things with it, and in fact, you can do so without your character's name being the first word in the sentence. And no default parenthasis that you have to turn off

A few examples:

Basic emote:

emote raises a slender arm and fans her face with a gloved hand.

That's the basic, just like the act verb in Inferno.

Adding complexity:

emote raises a slender arm, ~sleeves billowing out from the hot wind, and fans her face with a gloved hand.

returns:

The green-eyed lass raises a slender arm, her blue-striped sandcloth sleeves billowing out (etc. etc).

More complex:

emote Raising her slender arm, ~sleeves billowing out from the hot wind, @ fans her face with a gloved hand.

returns:

Raising her slender arm, her blue-striped sleeves billowing out from the hot wind, the green-eyed lass fans her face with a gloved hand.

Even more complex:

emote Fanning her face with a gloved hand, @ glances across to %andy prone form and shakes her head with dismay.

returns:

Fanning her face with a gloved hand, the green-eyed lass glances across to the dreadlocked man's prone form and shakes her head with dismay.

(and Andy would see "your prone form")

There are symbols to replace nouns with pronouns, so you can use the same thing multiple times without it looking silly...

emote looks across the dune to ~andy, waving to !andy as she approaches.

returns:

The green-eyed lass looks across the dune to the dreadlocked man, waving to him as she approaches.

(and Andy would see looks across the dune to you, waving to you as she approaches)

Those are considered "dynamic emotes" which as you can see are far more immersive than the usual "socials" or "verbs."

I have no idea how they'd be coded with LambdaMOO or its derivs; both SoL and Armageddon are based in Diku. I don't know about Harshlands since I've never played it so I can't comment on their code or implementation or their emoting system.

Edited to add: This style of emoting is available in regular "standing up in the middle of a room" play, and at "talking tables." And - you can even do it while your character is passed out, or sleeping, which really helps someone passing by know that the sleeping character isn't link-dead. It can also help the characters get a sense of the sleeping/passedout person's experience -

emote Groaning loudly, @ rolls to her side, her leg askew at an odd angle and a piece of bone sticking straight out of her thigh.

or

emote clutches ~backpack tightly to her chest and mumbles something intelligible, before settling back and snoring softly.

(that lets a would-be thief know it probably isn't very realistic to steal your character's pack - maybe he might try your boots instead since you're not clutching them tightly to your chest )
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:15 AM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification, KaVir. It just goes to show what I know about the gaming world of which I've been part for more than two decades. I guess I've been kind of a snob, insisting that the professionally built games that I played were "text RPGs" and not "MUDs." I'm an experienced gamer. I know how to build the things. But when it comes to the MUDing community, I've been out of the loop for 20 years. I'm ignorant, but I'm learning.

Jaz: Your explanation of RPI emoting is MOOCHO appreciated. The sdesc/name thing aside, though, I don't see a huge advantage of dynamic emotes over a simple act command (other than the fact that dynamic markers make emoting a little quicker). In fact, I would contend that in some ways, "act" is more flexible and "dynamic" than coded dynamics. There's really nothing you can do with dynamic emotion that you can't do with a simple act.

For example:

emote raises a slender arm, ~sleeves billowing out from the hot wind, and fans her face with a gloved hand...

...could be performed by...

act raises a slender arm, her blue-striped sandcloth sleeves billowing....

The only difference is that "act" gives you a name to begin the pose instead of an sdesc (the faults or merits of which we could debate forever).

Another example:

emote looks across the dune to ~andy, waving to !andy as she approaches...

...translates to...

act looks across the dune to the dreadlocked man, waving to him as she approaches.

The one thing we currently can't do is emote without the line beginning with a name. We did this on purpose to avoid abuse. But you have me reconsidering now. I think I'll post a poll and see what the players think. It'd take one line of code and ten seconds to implement. Could always just jerk it back out if it causes problems.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the replies. I'll definitely be adding some stuff.

-Mal
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by
Thanks for the clarification, KaVir. It just goes to show what I know about the gaming world of which I've been part for more than two decades. I guess I've been kind of a snob, insisting that the professionally built games that I played were "text RPGs" and not "MUDs."
Yet many (most?) of todays commercial MUDs started off as hobbyest MUDs - not many people can afford to dedicate themselves full-time to a mud for a few years, with no other income, until such time that that their MUD starts paying for itself.

And if you're applying that classification to MUDs which have later turned commercial, that would mean that MUD (the game from which the entire genre draws its name) wouldn't be classified as a MUD :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by
emote looks across the dune to ~andy, waving to !andy as she approaches...

...translates to...

act looks across the dune to the dreadlocked man, waving to him as she approaches.
My approach is:

emote @andy looks across the dune to you, waving to you as she approaches

Which would show me:

Your character looks across the dune to Andy, waving to him as she approaches.

Without specifying a target, it'd work the same as your 'act'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The one thing we currently can't do is emote without the line beginning with a name. We did this on purpose to avoid abuse.
I made the same decision.  Without that, people could make it look like someone else had performed the emote.  You could colour the emoter's name differently, or place it in brackets after the emote, or do something similar, but IMO that makes the emote look ugly.

Like many things, I guess it really comes down to personal preference - where do you draw the line between added flexibility and potential abuse?  Personally I don't even let players write their own descriptions, but I know most people wouldn't take it that far...
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I don't even let players write their own descriptions, but I know most people wouldn't take it that far...
We let people write them but we clean them up before they're applied. You choose descriptors for eye/hair/skin color, hair length, etc, at character creation, and then when you make echelon two in your guild (because we aren't going to spend that ammt of time on someone who will quit tomorrow), you can get a four-line custom desc.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:39 PM   #12
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Thumbs up

Interesting chargen, but the interface seemed a little confusing to me.

Hoping to play more tonight, but looks good so far. Inferno always seemed solid to me, but I never bothered before, since it was pay to play.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:01 PM   #13
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There was a time in Clandestine's ancient history, where it had a lot more of a roleplaying feel. During this time, they set up a system of various ways to edit how you say things, how you look in a room, and even afforded characters the ability to use linebreaks to further the "narrative abilities" of roleplay.

As a young player, I pretty much abused that system to the point of no return - using emotes and linebreaks to make it look like I had dispelled spells that I hadn't, heal when I hadn't, left the room when I hadn't, died when I hadn't, and always to abuse the triggers of other players in order to force them into a trap and die(this was before the typical wise PKer would use unabusable trigger scripts).

After I did this for about six months, cumulating in me abusing a dormant "pursue" script on one of the coders to make him reincarnate, they decided to put in some changes. Now, looking at it from the standpoint of one who is trying to help positively effect the gameplay of the MUD(years later, and a few years calmer for the most part), I would say that many tools used by various MUDs for roleplaying are actually very abusable by those who are crafty enough to do so. I still use the emote system to "fake PKers out" to this day, on nearly every MUD I PK on - I just don't have access to linebreaks on Clandestine anymore, so it requires a little more work.

My guess is that RPIs would certainly not let this kind of behavior fly, since they are so focused on protecting the roleplay of the MUD - and therefor trust that their players will not abuse such things.
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:06 PM   #14
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The problem with using "act" as it's written in Inferno (and no I'm not bashing Inferno at all, it's an awesome game) and dozens of other similarly coded games, is that when you "act waves to Andy" then Andy also sees "Sue waves to Andy" and he doesn't see "Sue waves to you." The "wave verb" solves that problem, but there's no way to modify the wave. It's the exact same wave, whether you're waving Andy over to the table, or waving him away, or waving frantically to point out that his pants are on fire, or waving a friendly greeting. And - what makes it more "stale" is that everyone's wave to everyone else is the exact same wave.

So you revert back to the act verb, which removes "Andy from the roleplay and forces him to become his own "third person," being "Andy" and not "you." Which is awkward, at best.

As far as putting the first person anywhere within the action, it's a matter of trust. How much trust do you have in your player base? How much trust do you -want- to have in your player base? How much trust does your playerbase prove themselves worthy of? In the more massively populated text games (such as Gemstone) you really can't put a lot of trust into the players, because you're catering to every possible spectrum of player types, and when you do that, you reduce the accountability to the "lowest common denominator." That means you have to trust no more, or less, than the least trustworthy of them.

In a narrower niche (such as Inferno, or any of the RPIs), you are catering to a different standard of playerbase (not higher, because some hack-n-slash games have high standards for THEIR genre too). And so, you can experiment with trust issues more, because you have players who -want- and -earn- more trust. You -can- keep an eye on people more efficiently, and the players know that, so you are less likely to actually -need- to keep an eye on them

In any case, I still recommend Inferno to players who want a more intense RP experience, but with a more relaxed code system where you don't -have- to emote everything out and can use the kajillion verbs available. It's also especially terrific for roleplayers who are dead-set against (pun intended) permanent death.
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