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Old 01-28-2005, 01:27 AM   #1
SirTank
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Ok, so here is the scenario. I have a pretty well running free hack and slash mud, but that's really all it is. We have a few big hardcoded quests and some assembly progs, but in essence noone really does them. I want to move into incorporating the requirement of completing quests. I know there are systems out there so I don't want this to be a "how to add quests", but more of how to go about successfully moving and motivating players to do quests.

We end up with a lot of high level players that don't know jack about the mud and haven't been to 75% of the world. I want to use quests as a method of introducing them to the most basic of commands to exploring some of the harder zones. I was thinking of doing this by requiring a completion of a quest before the advancement of each level (150), or maybe every 5 or 10 levels.

To do this sounds like a lot of work. I know there are admins, coders and builders, but are there quest makers out there who specifically look for places to implement quests?

Has anyone attempted such a new thing to users and what was the result?

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Old 01-28-2005, 03:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (SirTank @ Jan. 28 2005,01:27)
Ok, so here is the scenario. I have a pretty well running free hack and slash mud, but that's really all it is. We have a few big hardcoded quests and some assembly progs, but in essence noone really does them. I want to move into incorporating the requirement of completing quests. I know there are systems out there so I don't want this to be a "how to add quests", but more of how to go about successfully moving and motivating players to do quests.

We end up with a lot of high level players that don't know jack about the mud and haven't been to 75% of the world. I want to use quests as a method of introducing them to the most basic of commands to exploring some of the harder zones. I was thinking of doing this by requiring a completion of a quest before the advancement of each level (150), or maybe every 5 or 10 levels.

To do this sounds like a lot of work. I know there are admins, coders and builders, but are there quest makers out there who specifically look for places to implement quests?

Has anyone attempted such a new thing to users and what was the result?

Tanks
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Look at Worlds of Warcraft. It's 100% hack and slash, xp treadmill game, but they disguise a lot of that with quests that make you feel like you're hack and slashing for a reason.

Beyond that, just make the quests as or more efficient a way to gain <whatever> than bashing is and people will use them.

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Old 01-28-2005, 04:07 AM   #3
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I was thinking of doing this by requiring a completion of a quest before the advancement of each level (150), or maybe every 5 or 10 levels.
I don't believe in forcing players to do things, it detracts from the fun. There should always be a free choice about what to do in a Mud.

That said, implementing a lot of quests is a superb way to keep the players' interest up. Our mud started out as pure hack'n'slash, but is now full of Quests and puzzles, and even the more hardcore killers end up questing, because that is the way to get all the most desireable stuff in the mud.

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To do this sounds like a lot of work. I know there are admins, coders and builders, but are there quest makers out there who specifically look for places to implement quests?
It IS a lot of work, and there are no shortcuts.

A good Quest needs to be well thought out, well designed, and above all balanced, to fit the hardness of the zone and the reward you get from it.  It should also be reasonably 'cheat-proof' (perhaps the hardest part of the design). Another thing you need to decide is whether the Quest should be repeatable or on-time only. Quite often you need special code support for it, although most Quests are run by scripts (mob-progs). Quests should also be IC with the general theme of the mud and the theme of the specific zone they are in. They should have  a meaning, or they just look stupid. Apart from that they can range between simple fetch-and-carry missions and complex 10-step quests to 'save the world'.

In our Mud the Builders make the quests, so they are all integrated with the zones. To make the players aware of them, we often announce a new big quest on th boards. We also have about 100 Questcards, where you get small hints about available Quests. And perhaps the most important of all; we have a Quest Academy on top of our Mud School, where new players are taught the noble art of questing. Among other things that they learn there is that it often gives you more benefits to speak to the mobs than to slaughter them.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Jan. 28 2005,04:07)
I don't believe in forcing players to do things, it detracts from the fun. There should always be a free choice about what to do in a Mud.
If you require anything to get anything else, you're "forcing" them to do something. If you use an xp level system, you're forcing them to get xp in order to level. If things in the game cost a currency (gold, whatever), you're forcing them to get gold to get those things.

He's not suggesting anything fundamentally different from that.

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Old 01-28-2005, 06:52 AM   #5
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A mud I used to play some time ago had such a fetch-and-carry quest system built in to the leveling system. for every 3rd level above 10th (there were 50 levels AFAIR), you had to bring an item to your guildmaster to be able to level.

The items were generally trash objects put all over the mud, with a nodrop flag (to prevent the items from getting hoarded and sold, passed on to alts, etc.), and fit into the environment of the place it could be found. The quest itself was a riddle, specific to the class - and perhaps race - of the character trying to level up.

The system worked well. It made an interesting diversion from hacking away at mobs, or rather, it gave another incentive, besides just the exp. It also gave quite a chatter over the OOC channels, when people discovered a new riddle.
At the same time the system prevented powerleveling. Of course, a player who knew the mud would have no difficulty in levelling faster than a player who only knew his way around and between the major towns. I believe this is exactly what SirTank is trying to achieve.
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 28 2005,10:34)
If you require anything to get anything else, you're "forcing" them to do something.
But that doesn't mean you can't give them a choice as to what they do.

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If you use an xp level system, you're forcing them to get xp in order to level.
The gathering of exp isn't an activity in its own right - its a reward for an activity. If the only way to earn exp is to kill monsters, then you're forcing players to kill monsters in order to progress. But if they can also earn exp through other means (crafting, roleplaying, exploring, etc) then you're giving them a choice.

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If things in the game cost a currency (gold, whatever), you're forcing them to get gold to get those things.
Once again, the earning of gold isn't an activity in its own right - its the side effect of something else. If the only way to earn gold is to kill monsters, then you're forcing players to kill monsters. But if gold can also be earned through missions, quests, contests, trading, etc, you're giving players a choice.

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He's not suggesting anything fundamentally different from that.
The original poster suggested "requiring a completion of a quest before the advancement of each level". That results in a lack of choice; players are forced to perform the quests, or they cannot advance. Molly is proposing the opposite - allowing the player to choose their own form of advancement. If player X doesn't like quests, then he can stick to killing monsters. If player Y doesn't like killing or exploring, she can advance through roleplaying. And so on.

This issue has been discussed many times on MUD-DEV, and is obviously a good idea from a game development point of view, as it allows each player to play the game the way they want to play it - and I think most people who've played games like Deus Ex would agree that it also adds a lot of replay value. It's certainly something worth considering for anyone who wishes to create a mud that appeals to a wide audience.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:59 AM   #7
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If you require anything to get anything else, you're "forcing" them to do something. If you use an xp level system, you're forcing them to get xp in order to level. If things in the game cost a currency (gold, whatever), you're forcing them to get gold to get those things.
Well, KaVir beat me to my response on this, but since I had it all written down already, I'll comment anyhow.

Most Muds define player advancement by xp, level or both. Even level-less muds usually have some equivalent to xp that defines advancement, although the nature of it may be hidden from the mortals for RP reasons.

Not all players like to kill a large number of mobs just to advance. And not all players like to solve Quests either; they may not have the inclination, patience, intelligence, language skills etc. for it.

But if you offer a variety of options to advance your char, you also give the players a free choice what they want to get good at and spend their time on. In our Mud for instance you get xp not only from killing but also from fishing, farming, gardening, lumberjacking, mining, golddigging, gemcutting, tinkering, archaeology, collecting, trading, and questing.

You can also convey exp or training points into gold or Quest tokens and the other way around.

That is what I mean by presenting a free choice.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:08 PM   #8
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The gathering of exp isn't an activity in its own right - its a reward for an activity. If the only way to earn exp is to kill monsters, then you're forcing players to kill monsters in order to progress. But if they can also earn exp through other means (crafting, roleplaying, exploring, etc) then you're giving them a choice.
Similarly, you're free to give them the choice of which quests to do. This isn't a black and white issue. It's a matter of range. Developers are constantly 'forcing' players to do things by virtue of what they choose to include as possible and what they choose not to include as possible. On a very basic level, most games force players to choose a race, for instance.

Similarly, some VERY popular MUDs (Everquest, for instance) require that you do a specific quest or kill a specific monster in order to get a specific piece of equipment. They're "forcing" you to do a single activity in order to get that piece of equipment.

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This issue has been discussed many times on MUD-DEV, and is obviously a good idea from a game development point of view, as it allows each player to play the game the way they want to play it - and I think most people who've played games like Deus Ex would agree that it also adds a lot of replay value. It's certainly something worth considering for anyone who wishes to create a mud that appeals to a wide audience.
And yet the most popular MUDs out there (Legends of Mir, Worlds of Warcraft, Lineage II, etc) are some of the most restrictive in terms of what you can do. None of them really reward you for any playstyle other than "hack and slash."

I mean I agree that it seems intuitive that you'd want to appeal to a wide range of playstyles, but experience shows it's not necessary.

Further, all I was taking issue with was Molly's claim that "forcing players to do things...detracts from the fun." I think the RPIs that force people to roleplay (which is an activity, albeit it a very broad one), for instance, would certainly disagree with that. Or take another random example: City of Heroes. 150,000 subscribers or so. They force you to do certain quests at the beginning of the game in order to continue to play.

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Old 01-28-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
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I just wanted to expand on my reply since this is an interesting topic.

First, it's clear that what's fun differs dramatically from person to person. It is rarely to never possible to accurately say "Design X isn't fun" or "Design X is fun" without the added implication that what you're really saying is, "It's fun/not fun for person/group Y."

Choice is fun to some people. Many people (myself included) adored Morrowind in the single player realm because of the relatively expansive range of choice the developers chose to grant the players. On the other hand, one of the most successful arcade games of the 80s was Dragon's Lair, in which your -only- choice was which way to press the joystick, and if you didn't do it in precisely the right order and with the right timing, your game was over. A completely linear game that forces you to do things in exactly one way, but which was fun to many, many people.

To say that increasing the range of choices is an inherently good thing in terms of pleasing an ever-widening range of people is a viewpoint that doesn't seem to hold up under the light of reality. Indeed, the games that probably have the most choice (heavy roleplaying games with as little hardcode as possible) also appeal to very very few people. That's not to say that kind of game design isn't fun; just that it's not fun to most people.

But on the other hand, look at the most popular PC game ever: The Sims. Fairly free-form and provides lots of choice, though with certain major areas of typical gameplay totally cut off (killing for instance).

In summary, what choice does is create wider gameplay possibilities. This, however, has little, inherently, to do with fun. Many gamers do not want a ton of options thrown at them: They want a directed, focused experience. In the MUD arena, it's the Lineage philosophy vs. the Ultima Online philosophy. Ultima Online throws tons of choices at you. Lineage throws very few. Lineage, on the other hand, was an order of magnitude more popular.

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Old 01-28-2005, 06:04 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 28 2005,15:55)
But on the other hand, look at the most popular...
First, it's hard to compare muds using the popularity yardstick across media. Even horribly done graphical muds attract more players than your best text muds.

Second, marketing and advertising can be a significant factor in the popularity of a game as well. Many have noted that one's first mud experience tend to set expectations and perceptions, particularly if one enjoys that first mud experience. Those who can capture the attention of the newbie mudder determine perceptions and expectations.

No money spent on advertising a game dooms it to the status of Smith's soap versus Ivory soap. I bet You've never heard of Smith's soap, but you have heard of Ivory soap. Which is better? Who knows?
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Jan. 28 2005,18[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]4)]First, it's hard to compare muds using the popularity yardstick across media. Even horribly done graphical muds attract more players than your best text muds.

Second, marketing and advertising can be a significant factor in the popularity of a game as well. Many have noted that one's first mud experience tend to set expectations and perceptions, particularly if one enjoys that first mud experience. Those who can capture the attention of the newbie mudder determine perceptions and expectations.

No money spent on advertising a game dooms it to the status of Smith's soap versus Ivory soap. I bet You've never heard of Smith's soap, but you have heard of Ivory soap. Which is better? Who knows?
It's true that you cannot isolate game design in a game's success. But pick a category (major graphical muds, text muds, hobbyist text muds) and you'll still find that the ones that offer the most freedom to do what you want (relatively light-on-coded-systems roleplaying text muds in my opinion) are definitely not the most popular, by a long shot.

But none of this is really the point. The point is that saying "X isn't fun" isn't really a valid statement unless you include an "X isn't fun to most people', which is fine. You may be doing X and trying to appeal to the people it IS fun to. That is, after all, what text MUDs are doing to begin with. A text interface is certainly not superior to a graphical one to the vast majority of people but that doesn't make text MUDs any less fun. It just makes them fun to less people.

--matt
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:28 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 28 2005,19:11)
It's true that you cannot isolate game design in a game's success. But pick a category (major graphical muds, text muds, hobbyist text muds) and you'll still find that the ones that offer the most freedom to do what you want (relatively light-on-coded-systems roleplaying text muds in my opinion) are definitely not the most popular, by a long shot.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to compare something like AmberMush to Artic either, it's like comparing finger-painting to football. The easy way to get to your conclusion is to compare similar games with relatively equal exposure. Checkers is more popular than chess. Hearts is more popular than bridge. It's not the conclusion I question but how you get there.

Of course the less is more principle isn't really going to help the OP, considering those expectations have already been set. When you're stuck with a particular game design, there's not a whole lot you can do short of a complete overhaul and rewrite to dramatically change the audience, make it a lot more appealing, or extend the average player lifetime. That's not to say that Diku-style games couldn't do with a massive interface facelift and polishing, but there doesn't seem to be much interest in that from those creating derivatives. They seem to prefer 'hey let's add more stuff' approach.

But to go further afield, I think someone using the less is more principle coupled with an onion or russian doll style unfolding game might be able to stake out a nice sweet spot in text muds.
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:37 AM   #13
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Thumbs up

We on DuneMUD implemented quests as a mean to advance your character beyond normal limits. For example, if your Knives and Daggers skill maximum is at 100%, doing a certain quest allows you to advance this skill over 100%. Another example is increasing your base stats permanently by a few points.

Players should not be forced to do anything, but they should know that if they don't do an activity (quests, in this example), they will be less powerful.

Another example is a quest where you can receive a very powerful weapon if you complete it.

I believe that forcing players to do quests to advance levels or anything of that sort will kill the MUD. Under any circumstances the player should not be forced to do anything, there are other ways of making players doing things, like rewards.

I am not talking about restrictions such X amount of stats per level or something like that, of course, those are balance issues.

Iolai.

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Old 01-30-2005, 02:38 PM   #14
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As Tyche points out, it's not really something that you can easily compare, as popularity has far more to do with other factors.  Are Deus Ex, GTA3 and Morrowwind popular because they are non-linear, or because of their marketting campaigns (although on the flip side, I can't recall ever seeing a game promoting itself by offering 'very linear gameplay').

However in the case of this thread it's much more straightforward.  We have a fairly well-established mud in which players can only progress through killing monsters.  The original poster wants to change it so that, beyond a certain point, players can only progress by completing quests.

Is it this going to make the mud more popular?  Or are players more likely to prefer having the choice between killing monsters or completing quests?  In my opinion, the latter is almost certainly the case.  If the OP wants to encourage people to explore more then he can certainly offer incentives, but forcing (rather than encouraging) an established playerbase to change their playing style is generally a bad idea.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:50 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 30 2005,14:38)
As Tyche points out, it's not really something that you can easily compare, as popularity has far more to do with other factors. Are Deus Ex, GTA3 and Morrowwind popular because they are non-linear, or because of their marketting campaigns (although on the flip side, I can't recall ever seeing a game promoting itself by offering 'very linear gameplay&#39.

However in the case of this thread it's much more straightforward. We have a fairly well-established mud in which players can only progress through killing monsters. The original poster wants to change it so that, beyond a certain point, players can only progress by completing quests.

Is it this going to make the mud more popular? Or are players more likely to prefer having the choice between killing monsters or completing quests? In my opinion, the latter is almost certainly the case. If the OP wants to encourage people to explore more then he can certainly offer incentives, but forcing (rather than encouraging) an established playerbase to change their playing style is generally a bad idea.
Here's one I think measurably more traumatic:

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From this day forward we are a roleplaying mud. You must think, act and talk like dwarves, hobbits, elves, wizards, warrior and what not. We'll be watching you. Thanks, The Management.
But yeah you can't screw with expectations that are set. The must quest to level does that. How traumatic that is...well I wouldn't venture to guess. If you have 10 players does it really matter as much as if you have 75. Thinking you will attract a new audience I think is unreasonable, especiially because it doesn't change the dynamics of that audience which is fixed by the set expectations of the same game. You are just exchanging player preferences and borrowing players, not expanding the audience. Keegan's ancient piece in JOMR laments that. He doesn't get his finger right on it. And I won't pretend to either.

The other problem when implementing the choice of advancement option (quest or level-grind) is the goal stays the same (stuck with the initial game design). The reason that's a problem is invariably either one or the other will be the shorter path to the cheese. Your achievers will figure that out in very short order and if the new way is shorter... well you've shortened the the player experience time of your game. Achievers wil become explorers in the sense that they are "exploring", but not in the sense that they are real explorers. Someone (can't remember who) suggested explorers really don't exist anyway. I found it semi-convincing, but not at the gut level. One might conclude then that making the new way harder is better. Well... I believe that many HnS games are flush with achievers, and that would in my view make the quest feature little used. Perfect balance then? Maybe.

Do nothing? No, a static mud is no fun. From the staff's view who likely pursue it at their pleasure and from a long time players view it isn't either. I think you are stuck with the initial game design and to have a living dynamic game, you have to resort to content creation, expansion packs(?) - new stuff, additional levels -remorting - subclassing - specialization. New races and classes are different as they represent opportunities to screw up as they aren't extensions to the goal path but represent potential shortcuts to the cheese.

I think the above is an important question: Is a feature an extension of the path, or is it another way on the same path?

Odd as it may be, I think adding 10 levels to your game and the content go along with it is far better for the game than adding a new race or class.

Or even better... experimentation with sub games with DIFFERENT GOALS. Not subgames that feed back into the reach the hero level goal, but present new goals. You can certainly do that with questing. There is no reason questing need feed directly into the reach hero goal. And that's potentially more interesting.
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:14 AM   #16
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The other problem when implementing the choice of advancement option (quest or level-grind) is the goal stays the same (stuck with the initial game design). The reason that's a problem is invariably either one or the other will be the shorter path to the cheese.
I think that depends on the game design - as you say, the initial design may well limit you, but if designed properly I don't see why you couldn't provide a choice of advancement.

Take a game like Fable, for example (a very linear game, but it does provide a reasonable amount of choice as to how you reach the end goal). You can complete each mission through either magic, combat (melee) or skill (ranged/stealth). Each of those three categories then earns its own set of exp which can be spent (along with general exp) to improve your abilities.

Fable is actually pretty well balanced - I found all three skill categories useful, although each tends to be better in certain situations. However the approach of "use what you want to be good at" could easily extend to muds (actually many skill-based muds already do this).

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Your achievers will figure that out in very short order and if the new way is shorter... well you've shortened the the player experience time of your game.
Well obviously it needs to be balanced against other methods of advancement - pretty much any feature can break a game if implemented poorly.

However I don't see a problem with shortening certain goals for different approaches, as long as there are pros and cons for each form of advancement. Most muds have this already to a certain point - player skill, willingness to take risks, time investment and (in some cases) financial investment are all things that speed up your character advancement over a period of X days.

Of course you can fiddle around with the value of each of the above depending on what you're trying to achieve. If your goal is to make money from the mud, then you'd make it so that cash gave the biggest advantage. If you wanted people to invest time into grinding, then you'd make playing time the biggest factor. If you wanted the mud to be focused on playing skill, then you'd likely have quick (but difficult) challenges that players could complete in order to progress very quickly (so that skilled players could advance much faster than unskilled players).

In the case of quests, you'd have to ask yourself what the purpose was in having them. The original poster really wants players to learn how to navigate their way around the world, so he'd probably place a high value on questing - maybe 1.5 to 2 times as fast as killing mobs. That would strongly encourage people to complete the quests, without forcing them - from a players perspective there's a big difference between telling them "You must now change your playing style to do X" and saying "You can now advance much quicker by doing Y".

For most muds I imagine you'd want both approaches to be considered equally viable alternatives, and IMO the best way to do that (aside from balancing it as best you can) is to make each approach give something different. If the goal is "reach level 50", it doesn't mean that every level 50 character has to have the same powers. And I can assure you, even if a "level 50 wombat slayer" is equally balanced with the other classes, making it extra difficult (or time consuming) to reach that goal will make many of the players want it all the more, for the status symbol if nothing else.

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I think you are stuck with the initial game design and to have a living dynamic game, you have to resort to content creation, expansion packs(?) - new stuff, additional levels -remorting - subclassing - specialization. New races and classes are different as they represent opportunities to screw up as they aren't extensions to the goal path but represent potential shortcuts to the cheese.
Well remorting isn't really any different to new races/classes - they both rely on replay value rather than extended play.

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I think the above is an important question: Is a feature an extension of the path, or is it another way on the same path?

Odd as it may be, I think adding 10 levels to your game and the content go along with it is far better for the game than adding a new race or class.
I think it depends. If your game requires 100 hours to complete, then adding 10 levels might give your players an extra 10 hours of play - but an extra class would give them an extra 100 hours of replay. Of course if they then have to do exactly the same things with their new character, they're likely to get bored - but if they have the choice of playing the game in a completely different way, you're effectively giving them a completely new game to try.
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Old 02-01-2005, 12:01 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone, you all hve definitely helped me out a lot. I guess I should have given more background on the MUD as far as logistics go. The only way to gain levels is through killing. We have quests to obtain superior items and character enhancements and special skills. In fact I made one that is probably more difficult and complex than 95% of the quests I foud available on EverQuest. Only one or two players have even attempted it, and the other 99% don't even know where to begin. I think that's sad.

My goal or want is not to provide them with an alternative means of gaining levels, but to build the skills necessary to attempt, and maybe complete some of the harder quests that exist in the game, and ones that will be added later. By not forcing them into a quest scenario, I am afraid that 99% will continue to glaze over the questing aspect in the ever lengthy struggle to achieve the top level.

I am also not a fan of power leveling. I see quests as a way to regulate the advancement of characters. I want this in the hopes that what they achieve is earned through a desire to have fun and play the MUD to it's fullest capability, and to be proud of what they have accomplished. I mean really, if they just want a super mob/player slayer, they will goto a godwars MUD. I would rather have 100 players that care about all the work and effort that was put into the mud, and enjoy as much of it as possible, compared to 100,000 drones running around mindlessly hacking away, and my server agrees ;-).

I think what I was not recognizing was placing a higher importance on questing. To not force them to quest, but try and equal the quest reward to mob slaying. experience wise. Maybe even make it more heavy towards questing since it is a minority of my players that quest. Bu that's a big undertaking, and I was looking for a smaller solution to adding more of a questing theme.

Ideally I want to cater to all 3 groups, the hack-n-slash, total questers and the ones that like both. But that is way down
the road and the transition doesn't look easy. I suppose I will
start off the incentivized way, if they complete certain quests,
they will get a bonus to gaining exp, or money or something
that would definitely help them along their hack-n-slash journey if they so choose, and what moron doesn't choose to expedite that process

thanks
Tank
www.lordtrox.com
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (SirTank @ Feb. 01 2005,06:01)
I see quests as a way to regulate the advancement of characters. I want this in the hopes that what they achieve is earned through a desire to have fun and play the MUD to it's fullest capability
For many people, playing the mud to its fullest capability won't be fun.

Much like many snowboarders wouldn't find it fun to use a skii slope to its fullest capability - they'd rather stick to snowboarding than have to share their time between snowboarding, skiing and sledging.
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Old 02-01-2005, 03:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Feb. 01 2005,08:05)
For many people, playing the mud to its fullest capability won't be fun.

Much like many snowboarders wouldn't find it fun to use a skii slope to its fullest capability - they'd rather stick to snowboarding than have to share their time between snowboarding, skiing and sledging.
well, then they can go play somewhere else. If someone wants to play a specialized mud they can, if all they want is hack/slash or quests or roleplaying, or any other niche marketed place, they should. But I don't want to run a place like that. Like I said before I would rather have 100 players that respect more than just one dimension to mudding than 100,000 that are only loking for 1 thing. Right now we are 1 dimensional and it's a shame because a lot of people have put a lot of effort into the place to make it multidimensional and it's being glazed over, and then at the end, underutilized because they players aren't prepared to handle what is there to keep them interested after the highest level.

I need a safe and friendly way to intruduce questing as a part, or optional part of game life, so when we run big quest s or intruduce new permanent quests, the players won't fail like they do now because they will know more about the place.

thanks
Tank
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:58 PM   #20
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I'm only a player, but I play a HnS MUD that has implemented questing very well, for my particular tastes.

Questing is not required, per se. You can level up by pure killing if that is your bag.

However, my wise wizards decided that to encourage questing:

1) "Avatar" status, (super-player, extra tweaks) can only be attained if a character completes a certain percentage of the available hard-coded quests. Becoming an Avatar is not 'necessary' to play the game at all... but I as a player am cooler if I am one. ;>

2) XP gain is affected by a 'Quest Bonus' system. This system is based in part on quest completion, but is also affected by the pure exploration of the character. There is something in the code that, when my char does something in a room for the first time (maybe just walks into it, maybe keys a syntax, I don't know how, I'm a player) that the Game keeps track of. These 'exploration points' are totaled, and every time i kill a mob, the amount of XP I gain from that kill is adjusted upward from the kill's base XP amount in accordance with the amount of bonus I have. (i.e. kill would normally give 100 xp to a char with no bonus at all. With a small bonus, maybe you get 105 xp. With a maximum bonus, maybe you get 125 xp. I don't actually know, my MUD doesn't show XP numbers.)

The bonus is also relative to the player character's size... it is much easier for a 50% character to be achieving the maximum possible quest bonus than it is for a 150% character to achieve a maximum bonus for its level. A small character is expected to only have entered 'so many' rooms, perhaps, 2000. A larger character is expected to have *many* more rooms under their belt in order to have a maximum bonus... say, maybe 16,000. A larger character probably has done more syntaxes, opened more locked doors, found hidden things... i suspect all these things (stuff that might give Role Playing points on other muds) affect our quest bonus.

I wish I could explain this better. I understand on a 'gut' level how it works, but have never seen the actual code. All I know is, these two things *really* encourage questing on the MUD I play. All of us players, especially the old, top end players, work to try and keep our bonus up. It encourages us to explore the MUD, rather than just sticking to the same ol' patterns and runs that we've been doing for years. It also frustrates us, because there are rooms we CAN'T FIND! AUGH! But.... we wanna. ;>

And we keep looking for them.

3) There is a finite exploration point system. There are only so many available points with which to increase your bonus. Players can check the relative percentage of points they have gained by the syntax 'done' in the quest tome room, and that command will show the relative amount of points in each domain that the character has accrued. This lets the player know... "Gee, I really need to explore Underground some more, but I'm pretty good in Callis!"

I think the main thing that makes a difference is the exploration bonus along with just questing. In a large, growing HnS mud, getting people into your cool new areas is what you want to do. It is better if the Wizards don't have to say to some player "Hey...there is a HUGE stat bonus out in that new area, why don't you go play it??"

These exploration/ quest bonuses really encourage us to explore and push ourselves. They are just another very nice goal... and nobody's forcing us. We get the mob's base XP even if we have *no* quest bonus. It is merely to our *advantage* to have the bonus. ;> You always catch more flies with honey than vinegar, the Wizzes on my MUD have dangled a lot of carrots in front of us to get us out there. These are ones that actually work.

Best of Luck with your quest implementation! Getting HnS players out of their ruts is... taxing. ;> I know, I am one, and I *love* my standard kill routine. But my wizzes even got *me* to quest... so, it CAN be done. ;>
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