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Old 08-18-2008, 01:22 AM   #1
svarnmarn
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Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

Hello there, I'd like to talk about a problem I've seen when starting play on an unfamiliar mud. There's nothing quite as frustrating as rolling up a character, playing for several hours, and then discovering that a choice made at char gen (such as an attribute choice or race/class combination) is far less than optimal. Equally discomfitting is learning (after the fact) about unwritten rules that experience players know; for example, an experience player might know that maxing wisdom is very important in the early levels to maximise your skill practices; to not do so would leave a character at a mechanical disadvantage.

Let's take the above examples as examples - I'm aware they are pretty system specific but the message remains clear - some MUDs have a learning curve that can really screw over new players. When I join a new MUD I don't want to have to reroll after several hours having learnt the intricacies of the system - I want my new character to have a fair chance.

Two ways this could be achieved are better documentation (if a high wis is important for my fighter - let me know about it) and better systems (allow players to retrain or simply not have a system that can penalize lack of knowledge - have skill points based on level, not on attributes - train through usage as opposed to practices, etc).

Have you experienced this problem before?
Have you seen MUDs that suffer from these problems or perhaps MUDs that avoid them well?

Let me know.
Svarn.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:41 AM   #2
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

First off Svarn welcome to TMS. Good topic.

I'm going to play devil's advocate here a bit and say that MUDs in a sense are designed for you to fail. Much of the fun of playing a long-form game like a MUD is learning its intricacies, and in a large sense that means you'll need to lose before you win.

I admit there is a genuine problem that most muds don't make losing very interesting, so that when you do lose it feels more like punishment than what it is -- a step on your road to winning.

There are some muds that have taken positive steps in easing the game for new players, for example those that allow you to reroll or redesign your character in play, such as God Wars II and Legends of Karinth (last time I checked). I think Blood Dusk lets you shuffle skill slots as well. There probably are other muds like this, hopefully a few more will come up in the thread.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

As was stated before, welcome to Top Mud Sites.

Learning the mechanics of any game can be a bit rough. Sometimes it is best to drop by a game's forums and discuss the intricacies with the current players. Often, you may get varied opinions on how to min/max a character (if that is what you are looking to do) from those that are mechanics-explorers. There are people that actually love to figure out the hows-and-whys of the code.

I can fully understand the "wisdom is king" dilemma used by most DIKU MUDs. It never fully made sense to me that wisdom and intelligence should be so highly prized in training a melee class. In the code I have been working on the practices/trains gained depend on the prime used (often the main attack, except in the case of artisans) statistics for the class.

Strangely, just tonight I had updated our code to change the maximum that a skill could be "practiced" with a teacher. It does use the base charisma, intelligence and wisdom of the teacher, and the intelligence of the student to define a max % for practice, within a minimum of 40% and a maximum of 90% range.

In a case like this I posted the change in our "Changes" thread and started a thread under the "Idea" folder (on our forums) so that players could discuss the changes with staff and others. I also changed the in-game help file (which is also available on the website) on practice to reflect the change.

I agree that proper documentation is key, but on some games it is a guide rather then a hard and fast character setup system. However. the onus is often on the new player to read the available documentation, and ask questions, before they have invested a large amount of time into a character.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

Yes I know about the Diku style WIS/CON max when making a char. Lets you stockpile pracs and hps early on. Later you raise the rest of your stats to maximum as well. The solution is to just make a new char once you learned this trick. These are easy muds and it's no hardship to zoom to level 50. On the other side are LP muds where stats are generally not rolled and also not as important. You could try them instead although some are programmed with some fairly elaborate character generation routines too so you might have to try a few LP's.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

Personally I'm of the opinion that linking stats to skill acquisition isn't the optimal way to go. It's slightly counter-intuitive and works out to be an arbitrary and cruel way to punish new players for not knowing things experienced players do.

Players tend to become attached to the characters they create, and can become very disheartened if told they have to re-create them in order to get all the skills they need.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:51 AM   #6
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Personally I'm of the opinion that linking stats to skill acquisition isn't the optimal way to go. It's slightly counter-intuitive and works out to be an arbitrary and cruel way to punish new players for not knowing things experienced players do.
There's no reason why you could make each stat equally useful, even for skill acquisition (eg split abilities into 'strength skills', 'dexterity skills', etc) - but that's only one symptom of the underlying problem.

More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation. But the more decisions you can make, the more likely you are to make a bad one, and players will make mistakes. Furthermore, particularly for games that are still in heavy development, the relative strength of different abilities will be in a state of flux. It's bad enough forcing players to restart because they made a mistake, but forcing a top player to restart because his carefully optimised character has just been nerfed is really unfair.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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There's no reason why you could make each stat equally useful, even for skill acquisition (eg split abilities into 'strength skills', 'dexterity skills', etc) - but that's only one symptom of the underlying problem.

More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation. But the more decisions you can make, the more likely you are to make a bad one, and players will make mistakes. Furthermore, particularly for games that are still in heavy development, the relative strength of different abilities will be in a state of flux. It's bad enough forcing players to restart because they made a mistake, but forcing a top player to restart because his carefully optimised character has just been nerfed is really unfair.
Funny you should mention top players and stat changes nerfing... MUME had just such a situation and they resolved it by allowing players to change their stats (slowly over time) and in a few cases they allowed instant rerolls.

Of course those "optimizing" players did come in for some derision and heckling by those who thought them unable to play whatever was available. :-)

Myself I started out loving the tweaking and tuning of stats but I think over the years I've garnered some wisdom and started to see the POV of those who thought it a tad silly and perhaps OCD. <grin>
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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There's no reason why you could make each stat equally useful, even for skill acquisition (eg split abilities into 'strength skills', 'dexterity skills', etc) - but that's only one symptom of the underlying problem.

More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation. But the more decisions you can make, the more likely you are to make a bad one, and players will make mistakes. Furthermore, particularly for games that are still in heavy development, the relative strength of different abilities will be in a state of flux. It's bad enough forcing players to restart because they made a mistake, but forcing a top player to restart because his carefully optimised character has just been nerfed is really unfair.
I agree completely.

I would also add that I should not have to read your forums before I play your game (not talking to anyone specific here) and my character shouldn't be permanently penalized for my not having done so. That doesn't mean that you can't have customization choices that are stupid. A caster with maxed out strength and no intelligence shouldn't be effective. However, if for whatever reason a new player did choose to max out their wizards weight lifting stats, they should be able to fix that error at a later date, once the error of their ways becomes apparent, and to do so without having to remake their character from scratch.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #9
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Myself I started out loving the tweaking and tuning of stats but I think over the years I've garnered some wisdom and started to see the POV of those who thought it a tad silly and perhaps OCD. <grin>
It depends on the kind of mud you're designing, and on your target audience. Some players lack the skill, patience and/or desire to fully customise a character. But on the other hand, some players love tweaking and adjusting their characters, and will quickly become bored with cookie-cutter builds.

It's not an "either or" scenario though. There's no reason why you can't provide off-the-shelf starting packages as well as the option for fully customised ones. I even provide an entire class for newbies and players who don't like tweaking and optimising - but in my experience, most competitive players enjoy the opportunity to customise, and it gives the game considerably more replay value.

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I would also add that I should not have to read your forums before I play your game (not talking to anyone specific here) and my character shouldn't be permanently penalized for my not having done so.
Agreed, I'm not a fan of permanent penalties. I've tried some games where you really do have to search through their forums before you play, pick one of the recommended builds, and start working on it right from the start - otherwise you end up with a sub-par character. That might be okay for a roleplaying game, but I find it unacceptable for competitive PvP.

Last edited by KaVir : 05-18-2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Added a second reply
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

Ive never really understood this but then again the mud i play dosent set much in stats in the first place... they play a role bit not massivle...

basic idea is that if you want to play a fighter type go for str dex and con over the others
if you want to play a casting type go for int wis and cha (charisma/luck)
crafting types can be almost anything but int wis and con are a good selection....

the mins and maxes are also race limited, it would be rare to see a trolack with INT above 10! but with str below 15
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:01 PM   #11
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Talking Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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I've never really understood this but then again the mud I play doesn't set much in stats in the first place... they play a role bit not massive...
Try GateWay all your stats start at 1! <grin> Stats do have an effect there of course but they develop with your character (there is no training of stats) and depend on how you play, what experiences you have, what class/guild you choose to join and of course what race you picked. Elves start out with all stats at 1 like all other races for example but their maximum stats at level 100 are STR, CON, CHA: 90 and INT, WIS, DEX: 110. They tend to gain more stats in those attributes with higher maximums of course. But if one joins a warrior Guild like the Lost Knights for example they would gain more STR and CON. So even though some races might look to be better suited for certain Guilds that can be compensated for by joining the Guild you like early so that the stats you need get increased preferentially. Of course forget about joining the Vikings if yer a "pansy" Elf. <mutters to himself about brainless Vikes>
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:26 PM   #12
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

I think you should go into each and every new mud you try and say to yourself "My first character is going to suck." Because it is...each and every time.

You shouldn't know all the in's and out's at your first char gen for your new mud. I doubt many of the experienced players there did either. These are things you'll learn over time.

Play...if you enjoy the game, the players, the atmosphere...recreate and make a better character.

On the flipside of that: If it is a dealbreaker for you to not know whether or not you should max WIS at your first ever char gen at this brand new mud, then you're in for some less than stellar MUDding. Something like that should not ruin your experience at a new MUD.

If it does, then you'll have to search out a mud where they explain a lot of that stuff in the beginning. In my experience, those MUDs are not the best to play.

The best ones are the ones where you actually have to take time to learn and grow. They are the most rewarding experiences in MUDing.

Good luck to you! I hope you find what you're looking for!
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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I think you should go into each and every new mud you try and say to yourself "My first character is going to suck." Because it is...each and every time.
That doesn't mean you should be forced to restart from scratch. See Ide's post earlier in the thread:

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There are some muds that have taken positive steps in easing the game for new players, for example those that allow you to reroll or redesign your character in play, such as God Wars II and Legends of Karinth (last time I checked). I think Blood Dusk lets you shuffle skill slots as well. There probably are other muds like this, hopefully a few more will come up in the thread.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:54 PM   #14
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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That doesn't mean you should be forced to restart from scratch.

Why not? There's no way you're going to learn everything that'll make for a great character at your first ever char gen. If a player joins a mud and enjoys it, 9 time out of 10 they'll make a new character anyway. No matter how many helpful tips any MUD offers at gen, your first character will NEVER be as good as your second.

As a MUD owner, it's a sign of player dedication (and in some ways, a good game), if a MUD is not a pick-up-and-go game and requires effort to learn. If it was easy and they gave you all the answers in the beginning, I think you'd see more of a revolving door of players. If it required thought and dedication, you'll see players stay and play a long time, creating new characters, new roleplay, etc.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:26 AM   #15
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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That doesn't mean you should be forced to restart from scratch. See Ide's post earlier in the thread:
Why not? There's no way you're going to learn everything that'll make for a great character at your first ever char gen.
That's exactly why not. I don't like the idea of players being permanently penalised for making poor or uninformed decisions.

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If a player joins a mud and enjoys it, 9 time out of 10 they'll make a new character anyway. No matter how many helpful tips any MUD offers at gen, your first character will NEVER be as good as your second.
I disagree. This is the "helpful tip" I offer during character creation:

If this is your first visit, we strongly recommended that you choose one of the above two options, as they have been carefully optimised. You can redesign all aspects of your character (except name) whenever you like, so don't worry about any long term impact - your initial setup is just to help you get started.

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As a MUD owner, it's a sign of player dedication (and in some ways, a good game), if a MUD is not a pick-up-and-go game and requires effort to learn.
The more effort it requires to learn, the greater the number of mistakes the players will make. As I said in my earlier post, "...the more decisions you can make, the more likely you are to make a bad one, and players will make mistakes. Furthermore, particularly for games that are still in heavy development, the relative strength of different abilities will be in a state of flux. It's bad enough forcing players to restart because they made a mistake, but forcing a top player to restart because his carefully optimised character has just been nerfed is really unfair."
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:50 AM   #16
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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That's exactly why not. I don't like the idea of players being permanently penalised for making poor or uninformed decisions.
And that's where we differ, Kavir. How could anything in character creation be a "penalty?" The majority of it is personal preference utilizing knowledge you've gained from playing other MUDs or it's so radically different that that knowledge doesn't apply (different codebase, for example) or you're brand spankin new to MUDding altogether so it doesn't matter what you do.

And if the MUD you're playing is a helpful MUD, which it would be if you created a character and somebody tells you "Hey, you should max out WIS at creation"...then how difficult is it, if you're level 1 or 2 or just new if it's a leveless mud...to delete and do it again in 30 seconds?

Now if you're level 40 in a 100 level MUD, you may or may not quit and do over. But I'm willing to bet that if you're dedicated enough to progress to level 40, that you actually enjoy the game. Which, to me means, you're making another character anyway. If you rolled a 15 WIS instead of an 18? You may gain 4 pracs instead of 5...and when gained and converted, does not add up to a lot extra HP in most MUDs. That's just as an example, anyway. If you are more unhappy with your 15 WIS then you are happy playing the game, you probably shouldn't be playing there...the whole environment, all the building, RP, storylines in place, etc...don't mean anything if you not maxing out one stat at char gen can ruin the whole thing for you. That's just neurotic!

As for your MUD and changing anything but your name whenever you want, that's unique. The larger majority of MUDs don't offer such a generous bonus. If I was a PK'er (don't know how your system works), hell, I'd change my stats according to what class I wanted to PK. If I see I'm going up against a mage, and the INT stat gives me good saves, I'd change it on a whim to raise my INT and go kick the crap out of the mage.

Quote:
Furthermore, particularly for games that are still in heavy development, the relative strength of different abilities will be in a state of flux.
Yes, that's true. Heavy development means that they are either not even in beta or just barely in beta phase. And every game I've ever played in beta had a disclaimer that it's in beta and things will be constantly changing...which is the point of beta...so you wouldn't stick with the character you created during a testing stage most likely...or there will be a p-wipe prior to official opening...or both...

Quote:
It's bad enough forcing players to restart because they made a mistake, but forcing a top player to restart because his carefully optimised character has just been nerfed is really unfair.
Well, two things on this:
One, nobody is forcing anyone to restart. Again, that is all personal preference. Either you can live with it or without it. And it honestly can't be a mistake if you don't know anything about the game. That's the whole point of creating a character and playing for the first time...to see if you like the game. I know you disagreed with me, but I'll say it again...your first character will never, ever, ever in the history of MUDding be as good as your second character...no matter how many tips you give at creation. UNLESS...you offer a step-by-step guide of what stats to take for what class, where to level, where not to level, what areas are traps and will cause you lose EXP, what MOBs are vulnerable to what weapons, how to get these weapons, etc...a walkthrough, if you will. At which point, it's not a game anymore. And then, and only then, can it be called a mistake...because you ignored the "walkthrough' given at char gen.

Two, I wasn't speaking about seasoned players. Changes that nerf seasoned players suck and I agree with you on that point. A MUD administrator shouldn't base his leveling system on such things as, say the higher the DEX you have, the less you'll be hit...and then changes it so DEX doesn't really affect anything anymore. Then we have the thief who max'ed out DEX 2 years ago saying WTF? At which point, that wasn't a mistake either, because the thief knew to MAX out DEX and the Admin just royally screwed him.

Last edited by Vesper : 06-10-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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That's exactly why not. I don't like the idea of players being permanently penalised for making poor or uninformed decisions.
And that's where we differ, Kavir. How could anything in character creation be a "penalty?"
By being inferior to other choices. If you make a bad choice early on, and it's irreversible, your only options will be to either restart or play an inferior character. In a highly competitive game like mine, the latter isn't really any option at all - and because of the number of character options, mistakes are unavoidable.

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And if the MUD you're playing is a helpful MUD, which it would be if you created a character and somebody tells you "Hey, you should max out WIS at creation"...then how difficult is it, if you're level 1 or 2 or just new if it's a leveless mud...to delete and do it again in 30 seconds?
It's not difficult, but neither is it necessary, and every second of progress you'd made up until that point would be thrown away. I'd far rather just let the newbie fix the mistake.

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Now if you're level 40 in a 100 level MUD, you may or may not quit and do over. But I'm willing to bet that if you're dedicated enough to progress to level 40, that you actually enjoy the game.
There are quite a few games I enjoy, but (for those that require a substantial time investment) I certainly wouldn't enjoy replaying them from the start every time I made a mistake.

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As for your MUD and changing anything but your name whenever you want, that's unique. The larger majority of MUDs don't offer such a generous bonus.
Not on that scale perhaps. But most muds allow you to add and remove equipment on a whim, which (from a pure number-crunching perspective) is much the same concept. How would you feel about a mud that didn't let you ever remove equipment? You could put on armour, wield weapons, etc, but once you'd made your choice you'd be stuck with them - if you wielded a rubbish sword, the only way around it would be to delete and restart from level 1.

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If I was a PK'er (don't know how your system works), hell, I'd change my stats according to what class I wanted to PK. If I see I'm going up against a mage, and the INT stat gives me good saves, I'd change it on a whim to raise my INT and go kick the crap out of the mage.
In much the same way you might put on your anti-magic helmet and wield your magebane greatsword in a regular mud.

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Yes, that's true. Heavy development means that they are either not even in beta or just barely in beta phase. And every game I've ever played in beta had a disclaimer that it's in beta and things will be constantly changing...which is the point of beta...so you wouldn't stick with the character you created during a testing stage most likely...or there will be a p-wipe prior to official opening...or both...
Or neither, in my case, as there's no need. Most muds are continually introducing new features even after they come out of beta, so there's always going to be the risk of impacting existing characters.

Some time ago I ran a "nerf week" where I nerfed several of the most popular options over the space of a few days. The response from the players was overwhelmingly positive, and they immediately redesigned their characters to see what new setups had become viable.

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One, nobody is forcing anyone to restart. Again, that is all personal preference. Either you can live with it or without it. And it honestly can't be a mistake if you don't know anything about the game.
In a competitive game, a poor choice can wreck your character. Just because you're not aware of your mistake, it doesn't mean you didn't make one.

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That's the whole point of creating a character and playing for the first time...to see if you like the game. I know you disagreed with me, but I'll say it again...your first character will never, ever, ever in the history of MUDding be as good as your second character...no matter how many tips you give at creation.
I disagreed because that statement is simply not true in my mud. If you make a poor choice, you can just change it.

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Two, I wasn't speaking about seasoned players. Changes that nerf seasoned players suck and I agree with you on that point. A MUD administrator shouldn't base his leveling system on such things as, say the higher the DEX you have, the less you'll be hit...and then changes it so DEX doesn't really affect anything anymore. Then we have the thief who max'ed out DEX 2 years ago saying WTF? At which point, that wasn't a mistake either, because the thief knew to MAX out DEX and the Admin just royally screwed him.
However as I pointed out earlier, an active mud may well introduce changes that disrupt the balance of established characters. If you look around I'm sure you can find plenty of examples of players complaining about new changes ruining their characters.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:40 PM   #18
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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and because of the number of character options, mistakes are unavoidable.
Then why have options at all? Why not make "classes" where everything is predetermined? Why have any customization? Let them choose hair and eye color...if they pick druid, let the char gen process naturally max out their wis and int, instead of the player.

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I'd far rather just let the newbie fix the mistake.
If "mistakes" can be made, again I ask why even have the option to make them? If I make a warrior, don't give me the option to train/roll stats at char gen. Max out my CON and my STR and just put me in the newbie school automatically. No "mistakes" can be made. So what if I want to max out my INT at creation, thus costing me fewer practices and learning my skills faster so I can convert extra prac's to trains to HP. Don't give me that option...it might be a "mistake" for a newbie.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
There are quite a few games I enjoy, but (for those that require a substantial time investment) I certainly wouldn't enjoy replaying them from the start every time I made a mistake.
So you want your MUDding to made as easy as possible. That's fine, just say that though instead of hiding behind the ludicrous argument that you can/should be able to make a legendary character your first time ever making one on a brand new MUD. Essentially, what I've gathered from your points so far, is that you think it should make sense for a brand new player to a MUD to make a character, say a cleric, for the first time, at creation, that will rival another cleric made by another player who's been on that MUD for 5 years. My newbie cleric should be just as great as the seasoned players cleric. That just doesn't make any sense to me.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Not on that scale perhaps. But most muds allow you to add and remove equipment on a whim, which (from a pure number-crunching perspective) is much the same concept. How would you feel about a mud that didn't let you ever remove equipment? You could put on armour, wield weapons, etc, but once you'd made your choice you'd be stuck with them - if you wielded a rubbish sword, the only way around it would be to delete and restart from level 1.
This argument I don't follow. Equipment, clothing, armor, etc...is something you put on and take off. Your wisdom, your intelligence, your strength...that's something you're "born with," so to speak. I take my pants off in real life, I take my pantaloons off in a MUD. I lift weights IRL to gain strength, I "train" my STR in the MUD. I've found that EQ in MUDs has attributes to make up for what you aren't "born with." Hell, so what if you didn't max out WIS at char gen...there's usually EQ that will max it for you anyway. That's why the attributes are there. The numbers are the same, but are inherently gained in different ways. The attributes to EQ is just gravy.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
In much the same way you might put on your anti-magic helmet and wield your magebane greatsword in a regular mud.
Yes...but again, in most MUDs, I cannot simply change my stats on a whim and ADD to the attributes that the EQ gives me. The ability to find a mage you want to PK, redo your stats so that they are beneficial to PK that mage, add on the EQ you already have that help against magic-users and then go on to slaughter that mage...yes, that is unique. The challenge in most MUD's is to train your attributes as you see fit and then find/use EQ that helps you in areas you may be lacking AND only the EQ can be interchanged to fit the situation you're in. The fact you can just up and change your attributes ON TOP of EQ-given attributes is unique and less challenging.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Or neither, in my case, as there's no need. Most muds are continually introducing new features even after they come out of beta, so there's always going to be the risk of impacting existing characters.
Yes...but you said "heavy development", not out of beta. And out of beta...I agreed with you, that admins screw over the veterans. I was talking about brand new at char creation. This is a seperate topic for discussion.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Some time ago I ran a "nerf week" where I nerfed several of the most popular options over the space of a few days. The response from the players was overwhelmingly positive, and they immediately redesigned their characters to see what new setups had become viable.
Which would be their right, given that you can change things on a whim where you MUD. The majority of MUDs out there do not allow you to change the basic attributes of a character without cashing in trains, practices, etc...things you could otherwise put towards HP, Mana, etc...which, again, would be a matter of personal preference and make for total character customization.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
In a competitive game, a poor choice can wreck your character. Just because you're not aware of your mistake, it doesn't mean you didn't make one.
But it's still a matter of personal preference. If you're making a character to PK and you didn't max out CON, that's not necessarily a mistake if you max'ed out WIS instead and gained more practices per level as opposed to HP...which can then be converted into trains and then into HP. Again, I fail to see how it can be a mistake if you're given options in the first place. If MUD owners are afraid of "mistakes," the options wouldn't be there or a walkthrough would be included in creation.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
I disagreed because that statement is simply not true in my mud. If you make a poor choice, you can just change it.
That's fine, seems like you would have a lot of cookie-cutter characters running around, at least stat-wise, depending on who they were trying to kill. But if your MUD is a PK-focused MUD, I'd do the same thing.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
However as I pointed out earlier, an active mud may well introduce changes that disrupt the balance of established characters. If you look around I'm sure you can find plenty of examples of players complaining about new changes ruining their characters.
Didn't I agree with you on this...? And I thought the topic was new players at character creation on a new mud...?
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
Then why have options at all? Why not make "classes" where everything is predetermined? Why have any customization?
Because, as I said in my first post, "More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation".

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
If "mistakes" can be made, again I ask why even have the option to make them?
They are an unavoidable consequence of allowing players to make choices and customise their characters. But what isn't unavoidable is making those mistakes irrevocable.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
There are quite a few games I enjoy, but (for those that require a substantial time investment) I certainly wouldn't enjoy replaying them from the start every time I made a mistake.
So you want your MUDding to made as easy as possible.
Being forced to replay the exact same content again and again every time you make a mistake is not "challenging". It's boring, it's repetitive, and in a long-term game like a mud it strongly suggests a flawed design.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
Essentially, what I've gathered from your points so far, is that you think it should make sense for a brand new player to a MUD to make a character, say a cleric, for the first time, at creation, that will rival another cleric made by another player who's been on that MUD for 5 years.
No, I'm saying that that cleric who's been playing for 5 years should still be playing the same character he started out with, instead of having to delete and start again every time he made a mistake. That means he'll have spent those 5 years facing new challenges and improving his skills, instead of grinding over the easy stuff again and again.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
This argument I don't follow. Equipment, clothing, armor, etc...is something you put on and take off.
You need to look past the cosmetic fluff at the mechanics underneath. Equipment, clothing, skills, spells, tattoos, implants, etc, these terms are just pretty wrapping used by game designers to distract the players. As I said before, when you look at them "from a pure number-crunching perspective" they are all much the same thing.

You want some abilities that people can switch around and trade? Let's call them "equipment"! You want some other abilities that are locked to the player and can't be changed? Let's call them "skills"! And players, please pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
The fact you can just up and change your attributes ON TOP of EQ-given attributes is unique and less challenging.
My mud has quite a few hurdles for new players, but "unchallenging" certainly isn't one of them :P

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
That's fine, seems like you would have a lot of cookie-cutter characters running around, at least stat-wise, depending on who they were trying to kill.
Nope, it's nearly impossible to have two identical characters post-classing, and even similar characters are pretty unusual. Designing a character is a bit like trying to build a MtG deck.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:34 PM   #20
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Because, as I said in my first post, "More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation".
But if there is only one "correct, mistake-free way"...why bother?

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
They are an unavoidable consequence of allowing players to make choices and customise their characters. But what isn't unavoidable is making those mistakes irrevocable.
It's not unavoidable. Either they can customize to their liking, or not. If they customize a character more suited for roleplay, and they were looking for a character more for PK...then the "unavoidable consequence" is actually having to play the game and learn it like everyone else...I can see going maybe 10 levels and getting a chance to change stuff after newbie school, but after that, you'll have to explore, learn, ask questions, etc...like many games are designed to be played.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Being forced to replay the exact same content again and again every time you make a mistake is not "challenging". It's boring, it's repetitive, and in a long-term game like a mud it strongly suggests a flawed design.
Which is very similiar to changing attributes when it suits you. If I'm fighting a warrior, I'll just change my attributes with a trigger/macro, whatever, everytime I encounter I warrior. I'll have one setup for every single class I meet. That's boring and repetitive, too. What isn't boring or repetitive is meeting a warrior one day who is purely a melee offensive fighter and has stats set that way...and the next day, finding a warrior who may have stats set purely for defense and my spells won't land at all. At least I know I'm not going up against a cookie-cutter warrior again and the combat can be somewhat interesting.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
No, I'm saying that that cleric who's been playing for 5 years should still be playing the same character he started out with, instead of having to delete and start again every time he made a mistake. That means he'll have spent those 5 years facing new challenges and improving his skills, instead of grinding over the easy stuff again and again.
I'm not saying they were playing 5 years as a cleric. What I'm saying is an experienced player decides to make a cleric. They know the game better. At creation, they should make a better cleric then me. There should not be even ground between Joe Newbie First-Day-Ever-Playing-This-MUD and the player who's been there 5 years.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You need to look past the cosmetic fluff at the mechanics underneath. Equipment, clothing, skills, spells, tattoos, implants, etc, these terms are just pretty wrapping used by game designers to distract the players. As I said before, when you look at them "from a pure number-crunching perspective" they are all much the same thing.
Yes, I said the numbers were the same. But it's entirely different aspect to your character, not a "distraction"...I have my base character, stats as they are. I, however, want to go hunting for equipment that makes up for the areas in which I lack. Equipment is a very important part of many, many, MUDs. Equipment is cherished by players! Quests are distractions, not equipment. There's a lot of meat n' potatoes in equipment.

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
You want some abilities that people can switch around and trade? Let's call them "equipment"! You want some other abilities that are locked to the player and can't be changed? Let's call them "skills"! And players, please pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Skills and stats are two different things and vary a lot depending on what kind of MUD you play. Equipment isn't an "ability" either...equipment simply gives better AC, improves attributes, adds HP, etc...
Skills are what is assigned to your class...if you are playing a class-based MUD, yeah, they're gonna be locked, with maybe a multiclassing system thrown in. *shrug* Don't see a problem here. Obviously, this is a none issue in classless MUDs.


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
My mud has quite a few hurdles for new players, but "unchallenging" certainly isn't one of them :P
I apologize for the 'unchallenging' comment. But what I'm gathering is...the big part of your MUD is PK. Well, if that's the case, the most important thing to me are attributes. So if I can just change them with a macro or trigger or something for when I'm fighting a certain class (Here comes a cleric, let me hit my cleric macro!)...that is kind of generic...


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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Nope, it's nearly impossible to have two identical characters post-classing, and even similar characters are pretty unusual. Designing a character is a bit like trying to build a MtG deck.
I don't know enough about your MUD to comment. Again, I only know what's important when it comes to PK and fighting MOB's...and that's attributes. And the extra push that EQ gives to those attributes! Which you can change however you'd like over at your MUD as the situation demands...so...what else could even be important to make it like a MtG deck?
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