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Old 04-29-2008, 07:59 AM   #1
Xerihae
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Fact VS Opinion

I'll be honest, this thread is partly born out of my recent... frustration... with certain peoples attitude on here, although I do think it's part of a bigger trend in humans.

Why is it, exactly, we're so averse to admitting that our opinions are just that, opinions? Especially when it comes to the kind of MUDs, films, books, activities we enjoy and why we enjoy them. Someone who has a different opinion is inherently "wrong" in our mind, when in actual fact they're not wrong, just different. Game mechanics are NOT a science. Programming them is a science, but whether they're any good or not is completely down to opinion. We can point to certain mechanics that the majority seem to enjoy, but that once again doesn't inherently make them "correct". It just means more people enjoy them. If someone enjoys a mechanic that only a minority of people do, that doesn't make them wrong. It just means they enjoy something different to you.

By the way, before anyone starts crying HYPOCRITE I'm well aware of my limitations and I do my best to try and recognise when I'm stating opinion and when I'm stating fact. Sometimes I fail, other times I succeed even if it just means not contributing to a discussion any more because I disagree with someone and realise we're both on opposite sides of the fence.

What I'm basically getting at is that if someone on here says "Game mechanic A is awesome!" and you disagree, the correct response is "I disagree, because I don't like it. Here's why..." and NOT "You're wrong, and I'm going to prove to you why you're wrong." That's where a lot of the petty arguments on here stem from. The other person is NOT wrong, they just have a different opinion, and no matter how much you might wish to you're probably not going to change their mind if it's something they enjoy. Insulting them, calling them names, questioning their experience with lines like "if you were more experienced you'd agree with me because I'm right" is pointless and counter-productive.

I don't know whether this will make anyone sit back and think a little before replying on here, but I hope it at least provides some food for thought.

END RANT!
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Good try, Xerihae. When you've got discussions centered around a term that basically boils down to opinion and a deliberate attempt to create an "us vs. them" situation where either "us" or "them"'s choices are declared inferior by some, you're basically going to get a big nasty mess. The entirity of the argument is based on the opinion that something is "better" than something else but it's been disguised as fact, so unless the entire discussion is dropped, I think your attempts of making the world a better place is going to be much like peeing into the wind.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:17 AM   #3
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Quote:
Good try, Xerihae. When you've got discussions centered around a term that basically boils down to opinion...
It doesn't have to though. If people would simply leave their opinion out of the equation and examine facts, a lot of the problems seen in some of the discussions could be avoided.

Quote:
...a deliberate attempt to create an "us vs. them" situation where either "us" or "them"'s choices are declared inferior by some...
The problem is that this isn't true. It's an opinion. To state that someone else's intention is a "deliberate attempt" without proof is part of the problem. You can't know someone else's motivations other than your own.

Quote:
The entirity of the argument is based on the opinion that something is "better" than something else...
That's not the entirety of the argument. Some individuals may hold that position but not all. To claim "entirety" is not a fact, it's an opinion. The argument started over use of a term in a context that continually varies from the origin of the term. Instead of looking at the facts and analyzing them to try and discern a definition, people began applying their own interpretation of the term, some in agreement with the facts and others in opposition. Straw man arguments, gross stereotyping, sarcasm, and insult began to seep in (or pour in depending on the individuals involved) and that just led to frustration, bitterness, and anger by all.

Your own statement above that "the entirety of the argument is based on the opinion that something is 'better' than something else" is one such example of how the points brought up were not discussed, merely turned into arguments regarding intent of the individual rather than the merit of the points themselves. While some may have very well based their arguments on a "something is 'better'" opinion, not everything said was the result of this method.

I noticed there was a distinct lack of rational response to my own analysis and attempt to determine a core set of features to which the term RPI applied to. The only real response was claims that it was "my preference" when it was nothing of the sort. It was a list of shared features found on the first MUDs to which the term RPI was applied. The data was verifiable if anyone had bothered to verify it. Not many appeared to do so. Instead there were claims merely to the affect of what I prefered, something that barring an uncanny telepathic ability can not be achieved (and even if it could, they'd have discovered that my preferences extend to other features not found on that list).

I'd like to see the discussion continue without the unnecessary bull****. Whether or not others feel the same, I can not say. All I can speak for in that regard is myself.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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The problem is that this isn't true. It's an opinion. To state that someone else's intention is a "deliberate attempt" without proof is part of the problem. You can't know someone else's motivations other than your own.
Prof, I find that the problem is that if I make an observation about someone who shares your opinion but don't name names, you take it on as a criticism of you. If I do name names, then it becomes a personal attack. As much as you might like to be, you are not the only representative of a certain feature set. There are other people involved, and since they have blatantly stated what their motivation is on this matter, I can definitely say "deliberate". It might not be a deliberate attempt on your part.

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That's not the entirety of the argument. Some individuals may hold that position but not all. To claim "entirety" is not a fact, it's an opinion. The argument started over use of a term in a context that continually varies from the origin of the term. Instead of looking at the facts and analyzing them to try and discern a definition, people began applying their own interpretation of the term, some in agreement with the facts and others in opposition. Straw man arguments, gross stereotyping, sarcasm, and insult began to seep in (or pour in depending on the individuals involved) and that just led to frustration, bitterness, and anger by all.
It is the entirety of the argument. If even one person holds that position and creates the argument and that's what is being argued, it doesn't matter if you don't hold that position. It's not all about you. There are other people participating. You don't get to represent them all just because they enjoy the same feature set as you. The definition of RPI or AFS or whatever you want to call it is not a "fact", it's heavily up to interpretation which has been made obvious by these discussions. It's even worse if you read RPImud.com where permadeath is not even a required factor to be listed there (as stated by one of the staff members). So, you see, your "fact" is merely an opinion that's been voiced loudly over and over. Just because you wish for people to define RPIs like you do, many, many people don't for all the problems that have been discussed. These are real problems shared by many including the RPI community itself. Turning a blind eye to the situation and taking the flaws to be personal attacks don't solve it.

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Your own statement above that "the entirety of the argument is based on the opinion that something is 'better' than something else" is one such example of how the points brought up were not discussed, merely turned into arguments regarding intent of the individual rather than the merit of the points themselves. While some may have very well based their arguments on a "something is 'better'" opinion, not everything said was the result of this method.
Again, if even one person stated that it was something better or implied that it was something better as fact, then it doesn't really matter what your personal stance is. I'll state again that your opinion or posts are not the only ones that count. You could post everything perfectly and be the nicest guy possible (and you really haven't been but neither have a lot of people, myself included), if someone else creates the situation, it's still there rather you intended for it to be or not. You've partaken in these discussions as much as I have. You've seen the people who have blatantly posted that the feature set you prefer is superior to other roleplaying out there. This forces others to defend their roleplayers and their own games because those statements are stated as fact, not opinion. Why do we have to do that? Because by leaving that opinion un-opposed, we are tacitly admitting that the roleplay is better on a specific type of game. Some representatives of those games cannot leave it as "It's a choice that appeals to different players." They try to force the opinion that it's inherently superior rather than they like it better.

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
I noticed there was a distinct lack of rational response to my own analysis and attempt to determine a core set of features to which the term RPI applied to. The only real response was claims that it was "my preference" when it was nothing of the sort. It was a list of shared features found on the first MUDs to which the term RPI was applied. The data was verifiable if anyone had bothered to verify it. Not many appeared to do so. Instead there were claims merely to the affect of what I prefered, something that barring an uncanny telepathic ability can not be achieved (and even if it could, they'd have discovered that my preferences extend to other features not found on that list).
No, you haven't been reading then and, thus, adding to the problem. The feature list itself is a preference set no matter how much history you want to dig up on it, and there are many things out there that confuse the issue even more that are beyond my control or your control. They are not your personal preferences, but they are a list of preference that actually has to be memorized and have had to recently been agreed upon. It is not intuitive, and it does not encompass enough players or games to make it mainstream. It has to be constantly defined and explained to keep it as you owuld like for people to understand it. Secondly, while the feature set has finally been hammered out, the ambiguous acronym of roleplay-intensive is a secondary problem. Again, this problem exists regardless of your personal preference or mine. Lots of players and people who do not partake in these forums (and even some who do) interpret it for what it seems to mean: "roleplay intensive" equals intense roleplay. RPImud.com's definition of the RPI muds seems to support the alternate interpretation as does the forums. The constant fight against the evolution of this term is what, to many of us, necessitates the change. I am not, however, insisting that you use my term, just as if you wanted to call MUDs online text games (OTG), I wouldn't be offended or take it personally.

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I'd like to see the discussion continue without the unnecessary bull****. Whether or not others feel the same, I can not say. All I can speak for in that regard is myself.
Refrain from personal attacks on people's families, muds, and personal roleplaying abilities then? If you can't do that, put the people you can't stop flaming or hate so much you can't type straight on ignore. When I realized I was stooping to responding to flame bait and such, that's what I did. I acknowledge there are some personalities that I simply can't handle, and they bring out the worst in me.

Last edited by Milawe : 04-29-2008 at 11:35 AM. Reason: typo again
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:01 PM   #5
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
I noticed there was a distinct lack of rational response to my own analysis and attempt to determine a core set of features to which the term RPI applied to. The only real response was claims that it was "my preference" when it was nothing of the sort. It was a list of shared features found on the first MUDs to which the term RPI was applied.
As has been pointed out though, this has little relevance to the meaning of the term RPI, just as the core featureset of the original MUD(s) has little to the meaning of the term MUD today.

--matt
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Great post Xerihae. Opinion has been the crux of most of the argument over roleplay and intensity.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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It doesn't have to though. If people would simply leave their opinion out of the equation and examine facts, a lot of the problems seen in some of the discussions could be avoided.

I agree. The basic problem with the whole RPI thing is, whether roleplay is 'intensive' or not is highly subjective. What enables and/or defines 'intensive' roleplay will vary from person to person. Therefore, the label RPI(Role Play Intensive) is an opinion, not a fact. This will lead to countless arguements as people try to establish it as a label for a certain feature set, no matter what that feature set is. If I go around telling people that my sexiness is more intense than theirs because I'm six feet tall, have long dark hair, and blue eyes, shouldn't I expect for all the sexy people with red hair and green eyes to either write me off as an arrogant idiot or argue against the IS(Intensely Sexy) label I give to myself and people like me?

AFS, at first glance, seems to be a more reasonable label, as it's actually fact as far as I can tell. People saw a bunch of features they liked in Armageddon, and they started using them to make other muds that they liked. That says alot about the quality of Armageddon I think, and they deserve the kudos that they'd get via people using the AFS label.

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Old 04-29-2008, 03:21 PM   #8
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
I
Why is it, exactly, we're so averse to admitting that our opinions are just that, opinions? Especially when it comes to the kind of MUDs, films, books, activities we enjoy and why we enjoy them.
Man... good question, and I also boggle at this. And then there is the corollary to this, when someone actually thinks they zing you by saying "That's just your opinion." Well, no (bleep) Sherlock. Of course it is my opinion.

Or when someone says in a thread "please refrain from posting opinions." Well um.... what the heck is the point of a discussion if people are not allowed to post their opinions?

Opinions are interesting. Opinions from knowledgeable parties (and most of the posters here are knowledgeable about muds) are even more interesting. We should delight in opinions and revel in them. Not deny they are opinions or demean them for being opinions.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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AFS, at first glance, seems to be a more reasonable label, as it's actually fact as far as I can tell. People saw a bunch of features they liked in Armageddon, and they started using them to make other muds that they liked. That says alot about the quality of Armageddon I think, and they deserve the kudos that they'd get via people using the AFS label.
I agree, and attribution of that sort is a polite acknowledgment of those who inspired you. (Armageddon has inspired a lot of games, but there is obviously a subset that they have more heavily influenced.) I don't know the full history of the feature sets, but if Armageddon was the first MUD to successfully push in that direction, it's appropriate to credit them.

By comparison, we're based off of DIKU/ROM. The percentage of our code that is still identical 14 years later to any version of DIKU/ROM is vanishingly small, but we're happy to disclose their role in helping us build our game.

Quote:
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I noticed there was a distinct lack of rational response to my own analysis and attempt to determine a core set of features to which the term RPI applied to. ... I'd like to see the discussion continue without the unnecessary bull****.
When you dismiss with a broad brush the opinions of others as irrational, you probably aren't going to get the style of feedback you claim to desire.

You're making the case that the acronym RPI has commonly been applied to games with features similar to Armageddon. I don't think anyone's disputing that, in a historical sense. What is being more commonly disputed is if "Role-Play Intensive" is limited to only games which resemble that style. (And, to a lesser extent, who gets to make that decision.)

"Armageddon Feature Set" is less ambiguous. It would be silly for a roleplaying game with vastly different code to call themselves that. But they may well have a legitimate claim of "intense roleplaying", and it's not clear where you (or they) could derive the authority of denying others the use of that term.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

If I saw that a game was an "Armageddon Feature Set," I would expect to find a game based loosely, or partly, on the Dark Sun campaign, in a Dune setting, where magic existed but was feared/hated by the general populace. I would expect permanent death, a semi-automated combat and crafting system, roleplay not -needed- to be enforced because it was assumed, instead, where the average player age was over 20, where metal was rare. A game where the helpfiles were available both in the game and on the website, where there was no "newbie school" or stock areas, where there was no "exp points" or levels visible to the players, where damage during combat didn't echo in the number of HPs lost. A game where there existed an emote system more complex than simple "verb lists" or "social lists," and a game where color was not a standard part of the text return. I'd expect a game with templars, and where dwarves are bald, not bearded. Where desert elves were thieves, where all elves took pride in their cleverness and ability to outwit or steal in one way or another and were not trusted by the general non-elven populace. And definitely - without exception, a game involving secret, scary psionics.

Funny though, I don't know of ANY other games with all of that, or even most of that. Half isn't enough to fulfill the requirements of someone looking for what they are *told* is an "Armageddon Feature Set." So it is even more ambiguous than RPI, because at least with RPI, all the games that belong to the initial group, share a large number of similar features, of which one is enforced/assumed roleplay. Only one of those games has the features that someone looking for an "Armageddon Feature Set" would be looking for, and that is Armageddon.

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Old 04-29-2008, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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Funny though, I don't know of ANY other games with all of that, or even most of that. Half isn't enough to fulfill the requirements of someone looking for what they are *told* is an "Armageddon Feature Set." So it is even more ambiguous than RPI, because at least with RPI, all the games that belong to the initial group, share a large number of similar features, of which one is enforced/assumed roleplay. Only one of those games has the features that someone looking for an "Armageddon Feature Set" would be looking for, and that is Armageddon.
This classification seems strange to me too. Unless I have personal reasons for not wanting to play Armageddon, why would I want to try something advertised as "Armageddon feature set" vs just playing Armageddon? As a new user unaware of all this history, that would make me think "This Armageddon is so good that other muds advertise being similar to it? Well, then I might as well just play that".

So, unless you're advertising "Armaggedon feature set but better than them!" which will bring around a whole new set of flames, why bother?
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:00 PM   #12
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Angry Re: Fact VS Opinion

Oi! Now we are getting into the whether or not AFS is the right thing to use. *bangs head on desk*

Instead of just parroting myself over and over.. I'm just going to point to the other thread in which I posted my reasons for having coined the AFS term. It was merely an example to illustrate a point.

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ad...aning-rpi.html
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:06 PM   #13
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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If I saw that a game was an "Armageddon Feature Set," I would expect to find a game based loosely, or partly, on the Dark Sun campaign, in a Dune setting
The campaign world is not the feature set. That is why AFS does not imply Dark Sun. It does accurately imply all the other features that are common to the less aptly named "RPI" type muds: permadeath, character approval, and all sorts of other features.

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Unless I have personal reasons for not wanting to play Armageddon, why would I want to try something advertised as "Armageddon feature set" vs just playing Armageddon?
Why would people play (Insert Codebase here) muds other than the actual (Insert Codebase Creator) MUD?

For that matter, why do people play any MUD other than the MUD?

A classification based on historical relationship does not imply that the originator is the best.

Last edited by Threshold : 04-29-2008 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:54 PM   #14
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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Why do people play God Wars muds other than the actual God Wars MUD?
Because the actual God Wars MUD shut down in early 1996.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:56 PM   #15
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

I really really don't see why people are bickering over the definition of "Armageddon Feature Set" and "Role-Play Intensive". Their vague terms, as they should be. There's no reason to try and define "Role-Play Intensive" muds as being those with specific features. A RPI is a mud that is roleplay is a fundamental part of the game, plain and simple. What some people may consider to be intensive may not be all that intensive to others. Does that mean that the mud is an RPI? No. Does it mean the mud isn't an RPI? No. Does it mean anything? No, other than that people can agree to disagree.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:01 PM   #16
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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I really really don't see why people are bickering over the definition of "Armageddon Feature Set" and "Role-Play Intensive". Their vague terms, as they should be. There's no reason to try and define "Role-Play Intensive" muds as being those with specific features. A RPI is a mud that is roleplay is a fundamental part of the game, plain and simple. What some people may consider to be intensive may not be all that intensive to others. Does that mean that the mud is an RPI? No. Does it mean the mud isn't an RPI? No. Does it mean anything? No, other than that people can agree to disagree.
Been trying to say that for weeks.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:06 AM   #17
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
If I saw that a game was an "Armageddon Feature Set," I would expect to find a game based loosely, or partly, on the Dark Sun campaign, in a Dune setting, where magic existed but was feared/hated by the general populace. I would expect permanent death, a semi-automated combat and crafting system, roleplay not -needed- to be enforced because it was assumed, instead, where the average player age was over 20, where metal was rare. A game where the helpfiles were available both in the game and on the website, where there was no "newbie school" or stock areas, where there was no "exp points" or levels visible to the players, where damage during combat didn't echo in the number of HPs lost. A game where there existed an emote system more complex than simple "verb lists" or "social lists," and a game where color was not a standard part of the text return. I'd expect a game with templars, and where dwarves are bald, not bearded. Where desert elves were thieves, where all elves took pride in their cleverness and ability to outwit or steal in one way or another and were not trusted by the general non-elven populace. And definitely - without exception, a game involving secret, scary psionics.

Funny though, I don't know of ANY other games with all of that, or even most of that. Half isn't enough to fulfill the requirements of someone looking for what they are *told* is an "Armageddon Feature Set." So it is even more ambiguous than RPI, because at least with RPI, all the games that belong to the initial group, share a large number of similar features, of which one is enforced/assumed roleplay. Only one of those games has the features that someone looking for an "Armageddon Feature Set" would be looking for, and that is Armageddon.
Exactly. Armageddon had many features not found on the other RPIs. Likewise, those games had and have many features not found on Armageddon. The original application of the term did not relate to a single game but to more than one that shared similarities. Citing Armageddon as the "feature type" is creating an identification with one game and its features when those features are not universal to all RPIs. Some of them are, but not all.

For example...

Armageddon features ranged weapons. Ranged weapons were not found in Harshlands.

Armageddon features accounts. Harshlands did not.

etc.

This is the same problem one would face if it were called the Shadows of Isildur feature set. Not all RPIs have literacy code, swim code, hands in place of an inventory, etc. Even while Shadows of Isildur's code is the basis for over three-quarters of the RPIs open or in development right now, it doesn't encompass all of them.

Likewise, how Armageddon achieves some of the similarities common to RPIs is also different.

For example...

Armageddon displays skills without any assessment of aptitude. Harshlands utilized a three (later four) term scale. Both kept precise assessment of skill aptitude vague through though.

Armageddon used account systems to differentiate players. Harshlands (originally) used email addresses alone. Both identified players and limited them to a single character at a time however.

Describing RPIs through the use of "Armageddon feature set" could lead to all of Armageddon's features being considered. As Jazuela pointed out, there's only one game with that set. Likewise, someone who is not familiar with Armageddon would have no greater understanding of what the term meant than if one simply said RPI, though at least with that term they would have the basic motivating philosophy that underlines feature and policy implementation: role-play.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:55 PM   #18
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

How many threads do we really need for the RPI debate? Perhaps a new forum be could added for RPI-specific discussion.

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Old 05-01-2008, 01:31 AM   #19
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Oh crap, I can't believe I'm getting involved, but I just can't help myself..

The problem is RPI endangers mud playerbases all around the world. So in their fear that they are going to lose players they simply argue against any evidence that the roleplay system, and in essence the roleplay itself will greatly outdo their own.

I am on a mission to prove this point and I shall soon. I'm tired of arguing my point on forums and getting no where.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:47 AM   #20
Xerihae
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Re: Fact VS Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delerak View Post
The problem is RPI endangers mud playerbases all around the world. So in their fear that they are going to lose players they simply argue against any evidence that the roleplay system, and in essence the roleplay itself will greatly outdo their own.
I find it oh-so-ironic that you choose to post this particular observation in a thread dedicated to Fact vs Opinion, unless you should really have included the good old [SARCASM] tags.

If I was running a MUD, I wouldn't feel threatened in the slightest. Why? Because in my opinion, your favourite games (or at least the three you mention a lot) do not espouse the "best" roleplay out there. Firstly, what is the best is entirely an opinion, and last I checked no-one had the right to define what is the best roleplay. Secondly, I don't enjoy permadeath in the way you like it, nor do I like certain other features in that set, so to me it's not the best roleplay because it detracts from my enjoyment of roleplay and I wouldn't want to play there. Thirdly, as a MUD admin I would be far more interested in attracting players who enjoy the same type of RP as myself and not the kind who enjoy the type found on the games you enjoy. And lastly, I'm fairly certain people can enjoy more than one feature set. I've enjoyed plenty of different games in both the MUD world and other games despite wildly varying features. I also enjoy different types of roleplay depending on what kinds of mood I'm in, which would indicate for me that not only is the "best" roleplay opinion-based but also circumstance-based.

Once again I have to mention this fact, as it seems to be an almost constant basis for those who enjoy so-called RolePlay Intensive MUDs: What constitutes good RP does not have to equal what most accurately reflects real life! I find it amazing how many people make this error. Yes, for you, that's what is the best RP, but realistic does not automatically equal best! It's your opinion, nothing more. You enjoy RP on games where the mechanics accurately reflect the mechanics of real life. I don't enjoy RP with some of those features. Both of us are right, because it's all based on our opinion.

There are no facts to state that your preferred style of RP is the best, or that your preferred game mechanics make for the best RP.
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