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Old 09-30-2003, 03:10 PM   #41
malaclypse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Sep. 30 2003,09:29)
Well, actually you are wrong about that. I don't have anything against commercial muds, as long as they charge their players per month or per hour or whatever - as long as it lets everyone start from the same platform.
The argument that has been posted to this board time and time again is that money is just another OOC commodity that can affect a mud. The other major one is time. Is it fair that in a diku the guy with nothing to do all day can beat the pants off a professional who can only log in the evenings? Not particularly.

And so it could be argued that by allowing more than one commodity to be used, it is actually more fair than your standard diku. Now the guy in his parents basement can play all day (giving back to the game community, thereby earning credits), and the professional can buy a few credits to save himself some time. They can both achieve.

Of course, if you're simply railing against capitalism, you wouldn't want it to be fair for the professional anyways. If thats the case (and the more you post the more it seems that way), then lets just agree to disagree.

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What I DO have a problem with is Muds that sell In-game benefits for RL money, because that DOES defeat the purpose of the game.
I'd like to see you try to qualify that statement.

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If the players didn't get actual benefits from it, they obviously would not pay good money for those credits.
Obviously they get benefits from their purchases. But, as Matt pointed out earlier in this thread, the point of the game is not to acquire the things the company sells, the point of the game is the interaction between the players.

- Ryan
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Old 09-30-2003, 03:51 PM   #42
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What I DO have a problem with is Muds that sell In-game benefits for RL money, because that DOES defeat the purpose of the game.
Wow, so, as far as I can tell, you've never spent any significant time in our games and yet you're already acquainted with the various purposes that players play the game for. Are you psychic?

If your idea of good mudding fun is item and skill acquisition then yes, you can buy success in our games. Can't say I know many players playing our games for whom that is true though and, in fact, our games would be awfully boring if you're playing for the purpose of getting skills or equipment.

You may have a difficult time processing this but all muds are not the same and all mud players aren't looking for the same thing.


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And that's what you are doing, regardless of the smokescreens you try to put out. If the players didn't get actual benefits from it, they obviously would not pay good money for those credits.
Of course they get benefits from buying credits. What's your point though? They buy those credits because it increases their enjoyment of the game, just like I might subscribe to a game because it's more fun than just looking at the website. I'm not sure what your problem is with that. Just don't buy them if you don't want them. *shrug*

--matt
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Old 09-30-2003, 03:54 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Sep. 30 2003,14:08)
Stilton that depends on your definition of success.  Making lots of money?  Sure.  A success in my eyes?  No, just a game that is making sales off poor saps who buy into it.  I can deduce that at least 70% of the people who play Achaea (I am hypothesizing here) are not older and mature gamers, most likely they are younger, teenage kids who use their parents money or their allowance to buy their "credits".  No it's not a fact, but it's just my guess, and that is why it is having 'success'.

-Delerak
Ahh, speculation in the absence of any information is wonderful isn't it?

The average age of our players is 24.

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Old 09-30-2003, 04:00 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by (John @ Sep. 30 2003,07:56)
Logos: Do all your muds have a strong political side to them? If so, how do you sustain a high political aspect without having RPIs?
Yep, they all do. I'm not sure if you want to call it roleplaying or not but it is definitely very immersive and players take the political aspects of the game -very- seriously. They write constitutions, sets of laws, have trials, elections, conspire to throw people out of office, etc. It's great fun if you're really involved in the political side, whether that's at the religious, guild, or city level.

So, if I'm a member of the Shamans guild, which is not getting along with the city it is chartered in (Hashan) and I have a guild meeting to formulate a strategy to stack the Hashan ruling class with either Shamans or people sympathetic to us, but mention that I saw last night's Daily Show and found it funny, am I RPing? That's what I mean when I say I don't know (or care) if it's what people consider "RP". I'm just happy to see players taking the world and their positions in it seriously.

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Old 09-30-2003, 04:02 PM   #45
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7-->
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Originally Posted by (John @ Sep. 30 2003,09[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]7)]You think 6 years isn't a realistic time frame? Besides, it'd be interesting to find out how long it took Iron Realms to gain a profit (I'm assuming it hasn't only just recently started gaining a profit).
We've been making a profit since 1998.

What's funny about this entire discussion is that every point the naysayers bring up seems to be based on either incorrect information or no information.

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Old 09-30-2003, 04:42 PM   #46
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I'm not a naysayer, I just personally don't like people who make money off of muds, something that was never meant to be a money-making business, yet it is turning into one sadly enough. Maybe I will slip my dungeon master a 20$ and he'll give my dwarven fighter 200 gold. Sounds good.

-Delerak
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Old 09-30-2003, 04:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Sep. 30 2003,15:42)
I'm not a naysayer, I just personally don't like people who make money off of muds, something that was never meant to be a money-making business, yet it is turning into one sadly enough.  Maybe I will slip my dungeon master a 20$ and he'll give my dwarven fighter 200 gold.  Sounds good.

-Delerak
Never meant to be? Funny how the inventor of muds turned his first mud into a commercial mud 20 years ago. Funny how the biggest muds since then have -always- been commercial. Funny how hobbyist muds as you know them didn't start until about 10 years after muds began.

And "turning into one"? The heyday of commercial text muds was 1995-1997. At least one text mud was making over 1 million/month during that time. No text muds make that much now.

Get your facts straight, yet again.

Of course, what it was "meant" to be is irrelevant. If by "meant to" you mean whatever the first mud did, then I wonder why you're not objecting to all muds that are not MUD I, since they are all doing things that, by your reckoning, were not "meant to be".

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Old 09-30-2003, 05:13 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Sep. 30 2003,12:42)
I'm not a naysayer, I just personally don't like people who make money off of muds, something that was never meant to be a money-making business, yet it is turning into one sadly enough.
Yes, you have a blind hatred of capitalism.  The worst part about that isn't that you perpetuate ad hominem threads. The worst part of it is that you undermine those who share your political views because rather than give intelligent, coherent arguments, you just throw out opinions and false numbers to back up your claims.

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Old 09-30-2003, 07:54 PM   #49
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My hatred for capitalism isn't blind. I know exactly why I hate capitalism.

-The poor stay poor.
-The rich stay rich.
-We grow up thinking we are gonna become something great and wonderufl, like rock stars and musical performers, well, you don't.
-The country is run by people with money, money - which is just paper with dead presidents faces on it, such a false sense of worth isn't it? And is the reason the rich stay rich.

No not all of these are facts, but they are true. I don't need facts to prove this, I know it's true, step outside of any of the richest city in America and take a look around at all the beggars, pollution, and morbid society that continues day in and day out with their capitalist lives. No matter if you are a construction worker, actually making the building for that CEO, or not, you are just a drone going about your capitalist life with no purpose but to acquire one thing: money, which is simply paper printed in a fancy way. That's why I don't like capitalism Malaclypse, it isn't a blind belief.

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Old 09-30-2003, 07:58 PM   #50
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I don't think Roy Trubshaw in the late 70s was thinking:
"Oh I have an idea, I will create a game that is complete text and it will sell and sell and sell and I will be a millionaire."
No I think he got inspiration for something and started working on it as a project. Here is some "facts" for you non-believing Achaea capitalists.

Roy's reasons for writing MUD were twofold: to make a multi-player adventure game; to write an interpreter for a database definition language. The language he developed was rather crude, and I had to hack it to get it to do a lot of the things I wanted to do. This was partly because Roy didn't know the kind of things that would be needed from a game-design perspective, and partly because the multi-user aspect came to dominate the project. However, the core of the database definition language (MUD definition language - MUDDL) was all Roy's. I didn't add it, I added TO it.


Do you see money anywhere? No. Go read on it here.

http://www.ibiblio.org/TH/mud.html

And tell me where money is mentioned logos.
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Old 09-30-2003, 09:13 PM   #51
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No I think he got inspiration for something and started working on it as a project.  Here is some "facts" for you non-believing Achaea capitalists.
Bah. As in the note by Richard Bartle, he explains that MUD was written by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at Essex university. So I believe it is safe to assume he had a position in the thought process as well. Let's just read the message.

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After I left Essex, I let them run MUD for two or three years for old time's sake, but after a while its code was adulterated by a new bunch of well-meaning undergrads, so I took it away; people were getting a false idea of what the game was meant to be like
Which obviously shows that Richard Bartle, 1) Had a sense of what MUD was meant to be like and 2) Had the power to change it if he didn't like it.

If he had a sense that it being commercial was not what it was supposed to be then it never would have been licensed, would it?

----------

I seriously doubt, given where it went from there that they sat there cooking up a MUD and thought: Hmm, hopefully people will someday make mud servers and disallow profits!


As to where it mentions money, it most explicitly states on the bottom that it was licensed to Compuserve, although to still your disbelief:

Quote from article by Alan Cox on Richard Bartle's web page:

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There are exceptions, most notably Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle's Essex Multi-User Dungeon. This has become a successfill commercial product in the USA, although success in this country is still limited by the lack of very cheap phone calls
Regardless, I also doubt that Roy Trubshaw had no say in the matter, so I don't believe your conclusion really has strong legs to stand on.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:09 PM   #52
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For me the purpose of entering a mud is to gain enjoyment from active playing, wherein new opportunities and pathways are opened up by the activity of actually playing. In my opinion this leads to a level playing field, some players may be able to devote more time to the game but the rewards received are always commensurate with their actions within the game. When development is opened up to monetary influence the total development potential of a character is taken away from the game and shared with the real world, it becomes a game of two worlds.

Within a cash free game the potential for character development is strictly governed by a players actions. They do they get, they don’t do they don’t get, the more they do the more they get, the less they do the less they get. Development is strictly tied to the potential opportunities presented by the game. Even role-playing opportunities are affected by the presence of cash bought progression, how could I hope to play a part in high level guild activities if all the current high level guild positions where occupied by players who had bought their positions with IRL currency. I could play my heart out and hope to pass them, but pound to a penny if they have the monetary reserves to attain the position in the first place then they have the resources to maintain it and stave off my valiant gaming efforts. Once IRL cash is introduced into a game it affects every part of the game - not just those associated with skills, equipment, and levels. If I can’t achieve something or attain something then how can I hope to realistically role-play a scenario around the deficient something?

In cash influenced games fair development is severely compromised by the open-ended availability of real life cash resources. The free mud approach is based around a meritocracy model while the cash fuelled mud submits to the doctrines of capitalism. In such a case the game ceases to be a largely secular environment, irrespective of minor IRL tariffs such as internet connectivity and hardware requirements, because it becomes tied to real life factors in a greatly exaggerated fashion.

A situation occurs where the player can use real life circumstances to override the majority of gaming factors. The gross inequality in the real world contaminates the game-play for all involved. This inequality is amplified in games where players are beholden to other players for progression, such as Achaea, a game wherein guild progression is governed by players. I wouldn’t feel as bad if my progression was in the hands of a player that had spent more time actively playing the game than if it where in the hands of someone that happened to earn more money than me in real life. It is hard to engage with a fantasy setting, or consider it a viable gaming challenge between player vs game or player vs player, when your conscience is being pricked by the background scribbling of a pen and the rustling of a cheque book. The IRL overtones are too strong to be denied.

Gaming equality aside, I don’t have a problem with commercial muds, if they choose to widen the gap of inequality within their mud by enlisting outside influences that is their concern - and the concern of their players. If someone wishes to pay 10K for a codebase, while paying continued royalties, possibly submitting any new developments to the parent game, directly competing with the parent game for limited players by virtue of world diversity – which could be usurped by the parent company, then that is their business decision. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable putting my balls so tightly in the grip of a franchise operator, but that’s just me.

My only problems with commercial muds are when they commit copyright theft and when they use their commercial might to increase growth by hogging resources, under the banner of equal provision.

The latter being the way mud sites continue to allocate them free advertising at the visibility expense of free muds, those that frequently contribute to the wider community. It’s a simple equation, increased visibility  = more players, more players = more voting and increased visibility in listings = even more players. A vicious circle leaving free muds victim to the monetary might of commercial muds. As the commercial muds gain more visibility they gain more players and the competitive gap between the two widens to a chasm. Without the monetary resources to get the initial ball rolling from paid advertising the majority of free muds are left for dead in the wake this unfair situation.

Such a situation is akin to expecting a charity soup kitchen to compete on equal terms with a commercial restaurant. They may both serve the same quality of food and offer the same extensive menus, but the playing fields both organisations operate in is entirely different. To bundle them together in the competitive arena, with visibility and corresponding growth the prize, is an injustice to the hard work and charitable contributions shown by free muds. I fully support the giving of free advertising opportunities to commercial muds but grouping the two distinct providers together in one listing is a blatant slap in the face to equality, they obviously aren’t equal in the strictest sense of the word.

------------------------------------------------------
Since someone brought it up – on capitalism

I’m an avid supporter of capitalism providing that equality is maintained and a respect for social movements shown. I do not feel that objecting to doctrines and features of capitalism detracts from my support, it only strengthens the integrity of the system. I may support free trade, but I don’t support unfair protectionism, such as developed economies actively using their established position to inhibit the opportunities for growth within developing countries.

Some of my best friends are capitalists, feel free to ask them about it, I'm certain I paid them enough to agree with me on this.
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:06 AM   #53
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My hatred for capitalism isn't blind. I know exactly why I hate capitalism.

-The poor stay poor.
I'll tell you a story. My dad was born in Transylvania. His family fled to Hungary after the Romanians (who got Transylvania after WWI) started performing genocide on the Hungarians in Transylvania (traditionally Hungarian). He then fought, at age 17, in the Hungarian Uprising in '56 where they kicked the filthy Soviets out of Budapest for 10 days until the Soviets realized the US was not going to come help Hungary (as had been promised by the US on Radio Free Europe). After being captured, tortured, and escaping, my dad crossed the border by throwing rocks ahead of him to blow up mines in a mine field. He came to Canada speaking no English whatsoever and receiving $5, a bar of soap, and a hand towel. Went and worked in the gold mines until saving enough and coming to the US where he went to San Francisco State for a couple years before managing to transfer to Cornell (an Ivy League). Never got a dime from the government for education. Worked 40-60 hour weeks and went to school full-time.

After graduation (age 27-30. I forget.) he worked for a few food service companies (hotel management major) before starting his own company. I didn't see him all that much during my childhood because he worked so much. He made out pretty #### well and has retired with my mom to a 130 acre ranch in the Sierras. This from a poor Eastern European immigrant who grew up with no electricity and spoke no English.

Don't tell me the poor can't better their station in life here, or in Western Europe generally (though America tends to be friendlier to entrepreneurs). America has many flaws and I bet I can speak more cogently on them than you can. But don't tell me that capitalism doesn't allow for the poor to become rich. It happens all the time and the opportunity provided by capitalism is the one great shining virtue of the Western world.


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-The country is run by people with money, money - which is just paper with dead presidents faces on it, such a false sense of worth isn't it? And is the reason the rich stay rich.
Show me a country in any system in which this isn't true, my man. The leaders are always better off.



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No not all of these are facts, but they are true. I don't need facts to prove this, I know it's true, step outside of any of the richest city in America and take a look around at all the beggars, pollution, and morbid society that continues day in and day out with their capitalist lives.
Let me guess: You've not done much traveling. Most of the so-called poor in America are much better off than most of the world's population. That holds true for Western Europe/Australasia/Japan/Canada too.

I've been to a lot of places and while some of America's inner cities are an absolute disgrace, people have things like "electricity" and "running water" there. Those are huge luxuries in many places in the world and not surprisingly the places where they are the biggest luxuries tend to be the places where capitalism is the weakest and some sort of autocratic government is the strongest. America pollutes more as a whole due to the # of automobiles here but there are -no places- in America that compare to the worst places in the rest of the world. None.


--matt
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:17 AM   #54
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The latter being the way mud sites continue to allocate them free advertising at the visibility expense of free muds, those that frequently contribute to the wider community. It’s a simple equation, increased visibility = more players, more players = more voting and increased visibility in listings = even more players. A vicious circle leaving free muds victim to the monetary might of commercial muds. As the commercial muds gain more visibility they gain more players and the competitive gap between the two widens to a chasm. Without the monetary resources to get the initial ball rolling from paid advertising the majority of free muds are left for dead in the wake this unfair situation.
Free muds are victims how exactly? The only ones expanding the market for text muds are commerical text muds. What do free muds lose, precisely?

The majority of free muds are left dead in the water because the vast majority of free muds are total garbage.

And incidentally, soup kitchens produce bad food. Free, but bad. You want the best food? Go pay for it. A lot for it. The analogy doesn't quite work in text muds anyway because while people may donate their labor, food costs are an inescapably huge cost in the restaurant business and text muds have no similar fixed cost per unit of "fun" or whatever.

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Old 10-01-2003, 04:19 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by (kaylus1 @ Sep. 30 2003,20:13)
Which obviously shows that Richard Bartle, 1) Had a sense of what MUD was meant to be like and 2) Had the power to change it if he didn't like it.
I know Richard Bartle. He's served on an advisory board of a company of mine. I've had meals with him. I co-edited his book.

Richard Bartle would tell Delerak, without saying it outright, that he's an idiot without a clue. (He's much more polite than I am.)

I'm off to Vegas with some of our volunteers in a few hours so this ridiculous discussion will have to continue without me.
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:23 AM   #56
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Stilton wrote:
I'm quite aware of many good bases to work from for a hobbyist.  As logos noted, none of these have a proven track record of years in a commercial environment supporting several hundred simultaneous users.  Am I missing something?
Diku II (aka VME), created in 1995.  Genesis (aka Cold), created in 1993.  DGD (an LPC driver), created in 1993 (although the LPmud legacy that it was developed from dates back to 1989).  There are plenty of others, but those are the only three I can think of off the top of my head that predate Rapture.

I'm not doubting that Rapture is a good mud engine, but it's certain not the only one with a proven track record of commercial use.

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However unless the mud owner plans to run a "stock Rapture" mud, they're still going to need to invest a huge amount of time and effort in order to turn it into a decent mud.

I don't believe that either of us has enough information to make that statement.  I believe that there are content development tools written in Rapture, and for all I or you know they're included.
As The_Logos has pointed out, Rapture is just an engine.  Therefore, regardless of development tools, it will still require a large amount of time and effort in order to produce a decent game.

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I respect a lot of your opinions, but now you're claiming "it'll never work" to someone (logos, not me) who HAS made it work, past tense, and shows every sign of continuing to make it work.
His situation was very different.  And I didn't claim "it'll never work", what I said was that I believe there is not the market to recover that sort of expenditure within any sort of realistic timeframe.  And that's an opinion I stick by, although obviously people like malaclypse are free to form their own opinions (it's their money, after all). I think Fharron has nicely summed up what pretty much amounts to my own opinion on the matter regarding the usage of the license.
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:44 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Oct. 01 2003,03:23)
[His situation was very different.  And I didn't claim "it'll never work", what I said was that I believe there is not the market to recover that sort of expenditure within any sort of realistic timeframe.  And that's an opinion I stick by, although obviously people like malaclypse are free to form their own opinions (it's their money, after all).  I think Fharron has nicely summed up what pretty much amounts to my own opinion on the matter regarding the usage of the license.
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Diku II (aka VME), created in 1995. Genesis (aka Cold), created in 1993. DGD (an LPC driver), created in 1993 (although the LPmud legacy that it was developed from dates back to 1989). There are plenty of others, but those are the only three I can think of off the top of my head that predate Rapture.
But what I said was that there are no licensable mud engines with better commercial track records. Where are the games more successful than ours, written in those engines? I don't know of any muds written in those engines that even approach us in terms of commercial success. If Simutronics was licensing we certainly couldn't make this claim.


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As The_Logos has pointed out, Rapture is just an engine. Therefore, regardless of development tools, it will still require a large amount of time and effort in order to produce a decent game.
Of course it will require a large amount of time and effort. Everything worthwhile does. If it was easy, there'd be a lot more commerical muds. Iron Realms has certainly required an enormous amount of time and effort. More of my life (and I'm just one of a group at this point) than I like to think about sometimes.



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[His situation was very different. And I didn't claim "it'll never work", what I said was that I believe there is not the market to recover that sort of expenditure within any sort of realistic timeframe. And that's an opinion I stick by, although obviously people like malaclypse are free to form their own opinions (it's their money, after all). I think Fharron has nicely summed up what pretty much amounts to my own opinion on the matter regarding the usage of the license.
My situation was different how? The only differences I see are that it's likely someone licensing Rapture today knows more about muds than I did when I started. I had no clue what I was getting myself into back then. I didn't even know how to code beyond some Basic and Pascal years earlier in high school.

We'll just keep making muds that lots of players like and be satisfied at that I guess. Hopefully Malaclypse will also be doing that.
--matt
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Old 10-01-2003, 05:59 AM   #58
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But what I said was that there are no licensable mud engines with better commercial track records.
Sorry - Stilton has a habit of misquoting, I should have double checked before replying.

However DGD, at least, has an excellent commercial track record. It was purchased by iChat (now Acuity) in 1995 and used to create a powerful chat server, which was licensed by Yahoo! and other well-known Internet companies. It is also used by Skotos Tech, the company which runs commercial muds such as Grendel's Revenge and The Eternal City - not to mention a couple of graphical muds (including Meridian 59, one of the earliest MMORPGs) and numerous online strategy games.

All three engines I listed have been used by numerous muds, some of which are as old as (or older than) Achaea. So while I don't doubt the success of your games, the situation is certainly not as clear cut as Stilton implied.
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:11 AM   #59
kaylus1
 
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[/quote]It is also used by Skotos Tech[quote]

To add to this:

Castle Marrach by Skotos Tech runs on DGD
The Eternal City by Skotos Tech runs on ColdC

Kaylus
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Old 10-01-2003, 01:18 PM   #60
Molly
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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Malaclypse wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Of course, if you're simply railing against capitalism, you wouldn't want it to be fair for the professional anyways. If thats the case (and the more you post the more it seems that way), then lets just agree to disagree.
Yes, it’s pretty obvious that we are never going to agree about this

Especially since we apparently are talking about two different things. I am not ‘railing against’ the evil of Capitalism here, and you cannot ward me off by trying to paint me out as some sort of Communist. I live in a capitalist society, I am fairly well off myself, and even though Capitalism may have its flaws, all history shows it to be a darned sight better system than Communism. But that is not the issue here.

What I am talking about is the quality of the Gameplay.

Pharron summed it all up in an admirable way, and I suggest y’all read his post carefully. I’ll just add one example to it. (And note that this example is just to illustrate the point further, I am in no way implying that any of the posters on this list are indulging in deplorable habits like this).

That said; here’s the example:

There is a certain type of Twink Mud, which I am pretty sure all serious Admin – (including Malaclypse and the_logos) would agree is a particularly bad sort. It’s the Mud with cheating Imms/Imps. You know, the type where the Staff members create ‘special’ weapons and equipment for their own mortal and those of their friends, leaving everybody else at a permanent disadvantage.

Now compare this Twink Mud to the practical effects of selling in-game benefits for RL money. To the players that go without, it doesn’t really matter whether the other party got their advantages from cheating imms or by paying $ for it – it still leaves them at a disadvantage. So, to them both systems are equally negative, (even though one is a bit more detrimental from the ethical point of view). Both will lead to exactly the same feelings of frustration and irritation among the players who prefer to play the game in what should be the ‘normal’ way – by achieving these things solely based on their own efforts and skills.

No matter what the purchased item or ability is, it always has a negative side effect. If what you buy is an unusually good weapon, equipment, certain skills/spells or even the ability to rest/sleep (as I’ve seen in another Mud that uses a similar system) it obviously gives the purchaser advantages in a combat situation. If it is a political or social position in the Mud, it’s negative for the Roleplayers. No matter how skilled a fighter you are, the Twink with the extra ‘feature’ will always have an advantage. No matter how good a Roleplayer you are, you’ll never reach the peak of your career, if someone already BOUGHT the top position – or the ability to appoint someone to it.

So, with this system, you cater for the masses, not the good players. And since for every really good player there are 10-50 Twinks who’d gladly pay $ for shortcuts, I don’t doubt that the pay-for-advantages system is popular among the majority of the players. But it is popular at the expense of the really good players, who will most likely leave in frustration sooner or later.

This is of course not necessarily a bad thing, if you have already made the choice of catering to the masses. If the main object of the Mud is for the owner to make as much money as possible, it wouldn’t mean much if a single player leaves, as long as there will always be 10 new Twinks ready to take his place. It probably doesn’t even matter to the owner, if the one that leaves is the potentially best player in the game, since happy Twinks are much less likely to criticize the game or make any demands of improvements than skilled players - and also much more likely to shell out some more $ for new features.

But don’t try to sell me the idea that paying $ for in-game advantages in any way makes for a better Game Quality, whether the main theme of the Mud is Hack’n’slash, Pkill, Exploring, Questing or Roleplaying.

This is actually one of the few advantages ‘Free’ Muds still have over the P2P. We don’t have to worry about profit. It doesn’t really matter to us if we have 20 players or 500 at peak time, so we can stay true to our vision. So if  ‘making muds that lots of players like’ is the goal of a commercial Mud owner, ‘making a quality game that attracts good players’ might be one of the goals for a free Mud owner.
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