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Old 08-05-2003, 04:19 PM   #1
imported_Synozeer
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Thanks to Dave (aka Dorrin on Feudal Realms) for this excellent article. He talks about turning your hack and slash MUD into a great Role-Play Intensive MUD.

You can read the article in the Articles section or by clicking here.

Synozeer
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Old 08-05-2003, 06:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Synozeer @ Aug. 05 2003,15:19)
Thanks to Dave (aka Dorrin on Feudal Realms) for this excellent article. He talks about turning your hack and slash MUD into a great Role-Play Intensive MUD.

You can read the article in the Articles section or by clicking here.

Synozeer
I find this claim, found in the article, baffling, and directly contrary to reality: "A MUD either evolves or stays at a minimal Pbase, as the fun and interactiveness of the game is shallow at best. With only so far as you can go before becoming pointless."

Tell that to the 450,000 people playing Everquest, in which roleplaying is a dirty word.
--matt
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Old 08-05-2003, 07:35 PM   #3
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Hi Author of the article here.
I dont, and never will, consider Everquest, DAoC, or any other MMORPG a MUD. I've actually played Everquest, and despite contrary beliefs, it is a 'role-playing game'. Not in the base terms where: Your playing a role, so its a role-playing game. But by the definitive precedents set by other games that can be called 'role-playing games' of the video-game variety.

Like its hard to compare a MUD and say... Final Fantasy X, or Everquest, etc. These are pretty different. MUDs are text-based, with a lot of limitations based on this. Now to address your claim...

My view:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
"A MUD either evolves or stays at a minimal Pbase, as the fun and interactiveness of the game is shallow at best. With only so far as you can go before becoming pointless."
Your statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Tell that to the 450,000 people playing Everquest, in which roleplaying is a dirty word.
Interactiveness on Everquest isn't minimal because of its setting and all sorts of things. There is a vast world to explore, kill, and collect treasure in. Lots of peopel to interact with, and all other things. And then its also visually appealing.

A text-based game can't really thrive on the killing and collecting of treasure and exploring a world, because it lacks many of the visual elements, and they hardly expand as fast as a game with 450,000 people. You eventually see everything, have collected everything, and basically done everything.

These MUDs might -survive- yes, I'm sure many of them do. Some maybe even with 100 people. But its a superficial pbase. I consider a player-base actual players, regulars, contributers. Anyways... yeah.

And my final defense, it was taken out of context.
The statement was in reference to MUDs that are neither no role-play, and the encouraged/enforced people. They merely allow it. The full statement that you butchered:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
*Roleplay-Allowed:

Roleplaying is allowed, but not really encouraged via a story line, plots between characters, a well-developed world, or any of a number of things. Usually role-players in a role-playing allowed MUD are eventually snuffed out by the people that simply cannot. A MUD either evolves or stays at a minimal Pbase, as the fun and interactiveness of the game is shallow at best. With only so far as you can go before becoming pointless.
And I'll fully stand behind my statement. If a game lacks a developed world, any type of story-line, intrigue, unique code, etc, it -WILL- fail.

Everquest probably won't fail because it was both original for its time, had a developed world, lots to see and do, a semblance of a game-world concept, unique features, etc.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I dont, and never will, consider Everquest, DAoC, or any other MMORPG a MUD. I've actually played Everquest, and despite contrary beliefs, it is a 'role-playing game'. Not in the base terms where: Your playing a role, so its a role-playing game. But by the definitive precedents set by other games that can be called 'role-playing games' of the video-game variety
MMORPGs are a sub-set of MUDs generally. That's from the mouth of the inventor of MUDs, in fact. That doesn't mean you have to agree, of course, but all the professional designers I know would disagree with you, and most of them worked on text muds before graphical ones. My favorite quote on it was from Raph Koster (LegendMUD, Ultima Online, Star Wars: Galaxies) who said, "They're the same animal [muds and mmorpgs] as long as you allow for the differences between a poodle and a great dane." (I may have gotten the animals wrong.)  


Quote:
Originally Posted by
And I'll fully stand behind my statement. If a game lacks a developed world, any type of story-line, intrigue, unique code, etc, it -WILL- fail.

Everquest probably won't fail because it was both original for its time, had a developed world, lots to see and do, a semblance of a game-world concept, unique features, etc.
Well, if it lacks all features, yeah, it's going to fail. Hard to argue with that!

Everquest is already a raging success though, and would still be considered one if it fell apart tomorrow. It's made back its development costs many, many times over.
--matt
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Old 08-05-2003, 08:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by
A text-based game can't really thrive on the killing and collecting of treasure and exploring a world, because it lacks many of the visual elements, and they hardly expand as fast as a game with 450,000 people. You eventually see everything, have collected everything, and basically done everything.
What? Text games can expand WAY faster than graphical games. Content in text is dirt-cheap. Graphics are extremely expensive and slow to produce. I can describe a monster in a text game along with all its attacks, etc etc in half an hour, max. A finished model of a complex monster in SW:G, for instance, will take up to 40 hours to. Why do you think all of the big graphical muds use the same models over and over, with different colors or textures applied to them? "Orc", "Black Hand Orc", "Warrior Orc",etc.

You see everything, have collected everything, and basically done everything at some point in all the major graphical muds. Like all muds (text or graphical) though, the other players are the entertainment. There's no doubt that the so-called "elder game" has to be about the other players, as there's no known method of producing content faster than the players can consume it, assuming you have a decent-sized playerbase.

--matt
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 05 2003,17:47)
I find this claim, found in the article, baffling, and directly contrary to reality: "A MUD either evolves or stays at a minimal Pbase, as the fun and interactiveness of the game is shallow at best. With only so far as you can go before becoming pointless."

Tell that to the 450,000 people playing Everquest, in which roleplaying is a dirty word.
--matt
I'd suggest writing your own articles, so that you can tell us how it really is, rather than attack people who took the time and effort to contribute to this community.
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Old 08-06-2003, 12:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Wik @ Aug. 05 2003,22:50)
I'd suggest writing your own articles, so that you can tell us how it really is, rather than attack people who took the time and effort to contribute to this community.
Do you ever actually post anything on topic, or do you spend your time just attacking people? Granted, I have been on vacation for the last 8 days, but the last post I saw from you before I left was a post attacking someone too. Both times, posts irrelevant to the subject matter of the thread.

In any case, I didn't attack anyone. I offered criticism on an article submitted for public review. I'm pretty sure the author is an adult and understands the difference between criticism of an idea and criticism of a person. On the chance he doesn't, he shouldn't be posting public editorials without the expectation that his ideas and assertions may be challenged. It's called "discussion."

As for writing articles, why don't you check out an article that Gamasutra, one of the top game developer's site, paid me to write at: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20.../mihaly_01.htm

Feel free to criticize the ideas therein. I know I have lots of criticism of some of them due to the increased experience I have gained since I wrote it. Still, Bartle felt it was good enough to spend 3 pages of his book talking specifically about that article. You can also hear me speak at various games conferences like the Game Developer's Conference (www.gdconf.com) if you care to. Telling me I'm not out there talking about text muds and putting forth my own ideas is just silly.

--matt
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Old 08-06-2003, 01:50 AM   #8
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Overall a good article. I applaude your efforts to promote role-play encouraged MUDs out there.

However, I disagree with you that numbers are the difficult thing to tackle. The method you discussed in your article is a fine example of how to do it, and for the most part is a simple conversion.

The real meat and potatoes, so to speak, of a well made role-play MUD is a quality environment. The histories, the rooms, the culture all has to be well thought out and well written. These, I think, are what distinguish something like a numberless diku from a quality MUD.

-Ryan
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (malaclypse @ Aug. 06 2003,00:50)
The real meat and potatoes, so to speak, of a well made role-play MUD is a quality environment. The histories, the rooms, the culture all has to be well thought out and well written. These, I think, are what distinguish something like a numberless diku from a quality MUD.
Definitely. And don't forget administration. The administration of a mud can go a long ways towards nudging (not directing) players into certain patterns of behavior. In this respect, free muds are at an advantage. They're able to impose much tighter constraints on player behavior because they don't need players to survive. How I'd sometimes love to be able to force players to fill out applications to play.

--matt
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:37 AM   #10
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I actually find myself agreeing with the_logos on this one. In fact I thoroughly disagree with most of the points made in the article, particularly the suggestion that you either change to an RPI or stay at a minimal Pbase - in my experience, the HnS muds are the ones that have the really large player bases.

IMO the article provides a fairly good basic overview of how to change a HnS mud into an RPI, but the perspective from which it does this is extremely biased towards RP muds. I'm sure you'd be pretty offended if I suggested that there were only three categories of mud - "Pure PK", "limited PK" and "non-PK", then wrote an article describing how you could turn your "boring talker" into a "proper PK mud".
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Old 08-06-2003, 10:05 AM   #11
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the_logos said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
As for writing articles, why don't you check out an article that Gamasutra, one of the top game developer's site, paid me to write at: [url=http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20000309/mihaly_01.htm[/url]
You got paid to write that, which is fantastic. Jenred didn't. The columns that are contributed to Top MUD Sites are done for free by the authors in exchange for the attention and small perks that come with it.

That said: I agree with logos and KaVir about how the column could be perceived, but I disagree that Jenred needs to turn his worldview upside down to make non-RPers happy. When George Will writes about issues, he doesn't color it to keep liberals happy. There's a significant difference between a straight news article and an opinion column. Jenred's is pretty clearly an opinion, and it's his to make and support.

But, because it is an opinion, it is absolutely open to challenge and debate - so I don't think pointing out these things, as logos and KaVir have done, is wrong. It goes with the territory, and is the other side of the coin for writing any sort of public missive.
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Old 08-06-2003, 01:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
But because it is an opnion, it is absolutely open to challenge and debate
It's sad this (obviously) correct statement has to be pointed out to -anyone- on a discussion site.

--matt
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Old 08-06-2003, 08:28 PM   #13
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With this article I definitely see where Jenred is coming from, and I can understand the comment about the "Evolve or stay with a minimal pbase".

The big HnS MUDs are few compared to the total number of HnS MUDs in existance. Just doing a search here on TMS, for Roleplaying Allowed, and the 'None' option for Roleplaying returned 367 matches. Of the top 20 (Big Pbase or big voting, since they are top 20) there are ten 'Encouraged', nine 'Mandatory', and one 'Accepted'. And the one that's 'Accepted' is at the bottom of the Top 20. Looking at that, Jenred seems right. I can't pretend to have played many of the Top 20, but from how they describe themselves, these MUDs have moved towards the roleplaying aspect, and are therefore getting bigger pbases and voting turnouts. Oh yeah, this is just in reference to our Text MUDs, not the subrace of MMORPGs.

As far as the rest of the article, I agree, numbers, names, levels, channels. Is all that going on in Feudal Realms too? Thusfar I've only seen one MUD that does all of that. (Like I said, I don't get around much)
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:00 PM   #14
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This would all depend on what your expectations and definition of roleplaying is. Because most of the muds that say Roleplaying Enforced are like Porn Actors, and the select few that can at least back up their claim of being a roleplaying mud with excellent room descriptions, monochrome colors and a solid application system have low pbases and too many newbies, so the majority of pcs you get to interact with are too new to realize the world around them and respond realistically, so again it all depends on those factors. Anyways I think that had to be said for any discussion involving "Roleplay muds"
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:29 PM   #15
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Of the biggest muds in terms of player base, few if any are RPI. Gemstone III, Dragonrealms, Achaea, Medievia, etc. None of them are RPI. Intensive roleplaying is really not particularly popular as a playing style.

--matt
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:24 AM   #16
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Ahh, you're right Logos, like I said I haven't frequented many of the other MUDs, though I did completely miss DR's claim of 1000+ on prime time ;->

Though now that I think about it, my argument made less sense than I thought. I believe I was going for the ratio of successful vs. unsuccessful for HnS and RPI. Where I was thinking about... 1:300 as opposed to probably 1:20.

And now that I think more, those numbers still suck, but I still agree with Jenred. Assuming Evolving only meant evolving into something more instead of simply into a roleplaying MUD (Trying to save face... failed)
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ( @ --)
And now that I think more, those numbers still suck, but I still agree with Jenr
If you remove the evolving into a roleplaying-intensive mud and simply mean evolving, then yeah, definitely. A sense of progression is crucial for the elder players in particular.

--matt (helpin' you out with the face savin' biz)
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Old 08-07-2003, 01:06 PM   #18
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I don't nescessarily mean the game has to be an RPI. But from most of the perspectives I got before writing it, people would rather play a well-developed, smooth, clean game with some form of storyline that they might be able to interact with and effectively change, then a stagnant world with 1000 levels and free pk, built from the same stock areas as all the other 1000 level open-pk muds out there.

So I was saying that those types of games probably won't do great in the long-run. Sure people might stop by for the 'check-out' factor, see what it is, but never really retain people. However if they took some steps in my conversion chain, (develop a story-line maybe, encourage role-playing through original areas, quests, reduction of ooc factors, etc.) it might actually start to retain players because they find something new, and fun in it as opposed to another game.

And yes they are just my opinions, open for discussion and criticism. Im not saying 'this is the way it is, and thats final.'. And there are ALWAYS exceptions to any statement. I'm sure there are more then a couple large pools of stagnant unoriginality with not even an ounce role-play in them that manage 100+ players.
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I don't nescessarily mean the game has to be an RPI. But from most of the perspectives I got before writing it, people would rather play a well-developed, smooth, clean game with some form of storyline that they might be able to interact with and effectively change, then a stagnant world with 1000 levels and free pk, built from the same stock areas as all the other 1000 level open-pk muds out there.
The problem is you are lumping unrelated things together in order to try and prove a point. Yes, I'm sure people would rather play a well-developed, smooth, clean game with a storyline than a stagnant world with 1000 levels, free pk and stock areas. But that is no different from someone trying to promote PK muds by saying that most people would rather play a well-developed, smooth, clean game with an intricate PK system than a stagnent world with 1000 levels, free RP and stock areas.

It is desirable to have a well developed mud.

It is desirable to have a smooth, clean game.

It is desirable for many players to have no levels.

It is desirable to have an original and consistant world.

But those points are just as valid for HnS muds as for RP muds. As it stands, you're trying to compare a well designed mud which happens to also be an RP mud against a poorly designed mud which doesn't.
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:43 PM   #20
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Once again my point either seems to be missed, or I'm just thinking it sounds right it my head and it just doesn't come out from my fingers correctly.

A Full PK, no-RP MUD, regardless of how smooth, clean, original world, etc. Is still shallow at best. What's the purpose of having an original world if the limit of interaction is to kill other players, kill creatures for better items, etc.?

Anyways, a game can be both a hack and slash game, and an RP encouraged game. For example: Diablo II. It is a hack-and-slash in the very essence of the word. You go around and hack and slash and beat up things. But its also a role-playing game. You can't beat the game unless you play out the role in which you were designed, and thats the savior of the world type character that has to go beat Diablo and Baal and all that great stuff.

So in that example, take away things that make it a role-playing game. The interactivity with NPCs, a storyline, etc, and your left with a pretty and original world, with neat monsters to kill for items, but that makes for a shallow experinece at best. You don't do anything, you can't go anywhere, your actions have no impact on an environment. People might play, for as I said above, for the 'oo' factor, go take a look, but then they do everything there is and leave.

MUDs, especially those that encourge roleplaying through storylines, original worlds, in-depth character development, a BELIEVABLE simulation of the environment they are portraying, actually maintain players for upwards of 10 years. I know people that have played the same game for 15 years, and got married from meeting on that game.

I find it hard to say that the same dedication can be offered for a game that's highest interactive moment is the killing of another player or some mob. A game needs RP-elements to survive. Even if they arn't alot. But I'm not saying that JUST because they have these elements that they will survive. There are still other things like staff, chance, etc. Otherwise you have a very shallow, and while possibly visually appealing, doesn't really have anything else to keep you there.

Like back to Everquest used up above. Its Role-playing Encouraged, maybe even considered Enforced by some. There is a world, a role to play, etc. You don't go around as your real-life person. They encourage role-play through NPCs, adventures, interactive and original locales, and all that.

If they instead used a Midgaard area that you had seen before, the same classes as every other game you had played, and had gross colors, you probably wouldn't be too encouraged to role-play.

But I will concede that the message of the article came off a little bit skewed, but those were my opinions at the time, and there are at least some good elements to help people possibly transform their muds in it.
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