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Old 02-02-2012, 09:51 PM   #1
rosareven
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Hello from a lurker

Hello fellow mudders,

I'm a relatively new and casual mudder, who has been lurking between this forum and mudconnect since 2007. I finally decided to sign up on this forum because of this thread

I'm not (yet) devoted to any one particular mud. My playing schedule has been something like: logging on perhaps three times a week for about an hour each, while in between other games, other hobbies of mine, and the cruelty of work that keeps me fed IRL. That classifies me as a very casual player that no body really knows, anywhere.

I enjoy roleplay very much, and naturally RP mud is the category I look into. However after experiencing drama and disputes from pretty much every RP community that I walk into, I have, since last month, decided that I will have no more hardcore RP, ever again.

Sorry if that sounded off like bashing - that's absolutely not my intent. My intent of mentioning that is that I think I fall under the group of a minority breed, the group that falls in the grey zone of non-RP and hardcore, realistic RP. I've been searching for a RP mud that is just that, no stereotypical violence; conflict being only limited to obvious in-character malice; no highly exclusive lore which results into community arguements, just a generic world that people can RP whatever they like in mutual peace and fully understood consent/respect.

Apparently, that type of mud does not exist.

What I've been seeing from the mud community, when it comes to the topic of RP mud, is that either it is non-RP supported or highly involved RP that "you log on and be expected to devote as much time as you can for the RP community or don't RP at all". The mindset of the latter has been coming off to me as quite scary, but as a minority that I realised myself to be, I think I'll just have to continue to jump between muds from these two extreme categories.

I've also considered making my own mud that I've always wanted to play, but considering the time I spend on playing mud, I can't hope to make anything beyond a simple item.

Anyway, sorry for rambling my head off here. It's just something about muds and roleplay that I've always wanted to spill out. I'll continue to lurk the forums now and may be, just may be, you'll see me stopping by the mud you play for a few minutes =D
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Hey there!

I've recently come to a certain MUD that I feel has a pretty unique take on roleplay, character and player interaction and skills. It's pretty new, so far as most MUDs are considered, but you may want to give it a shot.

Arantha: The Realms of Valor -- Port 4000

Primarily, I find that it's still growing a lot which is something that appeals to me. I've had enough of MUDs where the admins aren't interested in player feedback anymore, so I'm in love with the idea of a game that's still really interested in seeing what its players want.

OR
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:15 AM   #3
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Re: Hello from a lurker

I understand that second mind-set perfectly. One of the things that annoyed me about a certain other MUD I ranted a bit on a while ago.

Unwritten legends is nice in that regard, I believe.

While participating a lot in RP is nice, you can also go and kill mobs all day searching for loot.

Most of the players are adults with jobs, lives, children. A lot of the important RP is scheduled by the players to handle these issues, and much of it ends up on the forum for catching up.

It's not the super fast paced kind of thing you run into a lot, either. Accelerated time, or major hourly events for example.

The lore is very well written, and set down in the large website.
There is more detailed lore (such as the believed properties of special stones), but it's not necessary to know, and is fun to learn about from more knowledgeable characters. (It's also written down in the Abbey if you care to find the book)

The crowd is small, maybe 10-15 on a busy time, and going down to 1-5 during the day.

People will probably respond to this post negatively.

EDIT: Oh right: Unwritten Legends
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostcat View Post
EDIT: Oh right: Unwritten Legends
Bah, nevermind what they say. What you like is what you like and who cares, otherwise? If you don't try, you'll never know. The MUD I mentioned previously only has a handful of players, it's only been released properly for a few months after all, but I've really taken to it and helping the admin to planning while enjoying playing, myself. I see a lot of potential and a flexibility other MUDs aren't prone to having -- others don't.

So, you just do what you do and don't worry about what they say. We'll punch people in the face together.

[Edit: Though, I do want to say, because I seem to become easily distracted: I aggressively get the roleplay sense. Being someone who is roleplay oriented puts me in the position of either having my roleplay judged -- Oh, she's HARDCORE at roleplay or WOW, her roleplay is not on par with MY ROLEPLAY -- or absolutely lacking. That's a pain in the butt, to me. Roleplay is whatever it is -- if it's greeting a person or involved in an epic dialogue with your arch foe.]

Last edited by Odd Raven : 02-03-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Just wanted to add- The intense RP still exits, and you're required to RP to some degree.

It's just that you can choose to simply hang around the crossroads, or a bar and chat with however comes in.

Or you can find a nice fishing spot and see if someone joins you.

Or you could hunt mobs in a group.

Or you could work your way up in the public view, and earn prestige positions with duties and pay and such.

You could become a mechanist and design fancy inventions.

A druid sculpting the plants of a grove.

A retainer to a noble house, loyally protecting your lord. (Or, if you really work for it, you could BE the lord)

A playwright or songwriter, striving towards fame and fortune.

etc.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Hey guys, thanks for your suggestions. I'll be sure to lurk both muds to at least check them out.

Ghostcat: relaxed RP like hanging out in town, a bit of group hunting and exploration are all I'm really after. My definition of hardcore RP was more referring to backstabby politics that affect the innocents, wars and faction conflicts that limit your chance to explore the world (true story: there was this world I RP in where orcs are mechanically overpowered and so they virtually own the entire world if they wanted. The mindset was "if you don't want to run into orcs then stay in your terriority", but the situation became so bad that the definition of our territory is just our major city alone. Even right outside the walls get you harassed by orcs.)

It pretty much comes down to "negative RP that I have nothing to do with and don't want to be involved". My character may never steal, never murder, just a middle class merchant that has a shop somewhere. And then bad things would happen to me that I shouldn't be involved with and then I'm told "**** happens, just like RL, deal with it", and then I'd think to myself excuse me, I'm already playing RL, I don't come here to play that again, and it goes on and on... Unfortunately the "**** happens to innocents" mindset seems to be the defacto standard in hardcore RP.

But ya, the kind of RP I really enjoy is the ability to have a harmless hang out without those bad surprises.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Re: Hello from a lurker

I know you're [sic: your] reply was pretty much to Ghostcat, but I like to dive on and comment where I can. One of the pretty sweet things about Arantha is something called 'valor'. That is to say, you're given valor which you can deem for experience, prizes, gold, so on. It's the reward for roleplaying -- DMs, admin or staff might see you or interact with you (both are quite common), you could be recommended for valor or even so far as I don't think they'd be opposed to you taking a copy of a log and being like, hey, look what I did. Hell, I'd do it. That roleplay can be just chilling in a tavern with another player -- or even an NPC -- or it can be a transaction between players on the battlefield or what have you. There's not a lot of bias as to what counts for roleplay, though it does seem like some emotes should take place.

[edit: So maybe I can't spell when I first wake up.]
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd Raven View Post
I know you're [sic: your] reply was pretty much to Ghostcat, but I like to dive on and comment where I can. One of the pretty sweet things about Arantha is something called 'valor'. That is to say, you're given valor which you can deem for experience, prizes, gold, so on. It's the reward for roleplaying -- DMs, admin or staff might see you or interact with you (both are quite common), you could be recommended for valor or even so far as I don't think they'd be opposed to you taking a copy of a log and being like, hey, look what I did. Hell, I'd do it. That roleplay can be just chilling in a tavern with another player -- or even an NPC -- or it can be a transaction between players on the battlefield or what have you. There's not a lot of bias as to what counts for roleplay, though it does seem like some emotes should take place.

[edit: So maybe I can't spell when I first wake up.]
It sounds good in theory, and in a perfect world role-play in a role-playing game would be rewarded at least as highly as anything else, but as an administrator I'd want no part of a system where the staff decides who deserves bumps for RP and who doesn't. Perceptions of favoritism are rampant enough as it is.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
It sounds good in theory, and in a perfect world role-play in a role-playing game would be rewarded at least as highly as anything else, but as an administrator I'd want no part of a system where the staff decides who deserves bumps for RP and who doesn't. Perceptions of favoritism are rampant enough as it is.
Right now, the collection of people is pretty small. I'm not really horribly worried about it, I suppose because at some point, you end up having to trust the admin no matter what you do. They, after all, get the final say in a free game. I haven't witnessed any favortism yet -- and rather feel like the administration feels like that would be detrimental to their players. You can't get people to play if your current 10-20 players are crying favortism, right?

[Edit: Though, hi! I appreciate your reply and your take on it. It was something that crossed my mind, too, but I liked the idea so much I just said to hell with it and ended up enjoying myself. Thank you for your feedback!]
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Quote:
You can't get people to play if your current 10-20 players are crying favortism, right?
People will complain about everything, even if it is not true.

On the other hand, sometimes they complain, and it is true.

I think the biggest question is whether a player is a team player or whether he/she tries to ruin the fun for other people. Admin included. What would you do with spoilsports who break rules and on top of that complain about being treated unfairly?

I could give several examples of the latter. I call these poisonous players. Sometimes, it is a question of attitude. A frustrated player will act differently than a happy player. But you can't make everyone happy all the time - a MUD should not be a kindergarten treating problems of people.

I found that people who are great roleplayers often get excluded by most MUDs because they are less interested in hack and slay and aggro-playing.

And of course lack of time is also a problem. Many many many players, who used to play a lot, stopped playing because of reallife constraints. Like work. Or Family.

You wrote that you can't afford more than ~3 hours a week.

I can understand you.

In my peak time mudding... 13 years ago, I played perhaps 5 hours a day, for a week.

I did this for perhaps one and a half year, then slowly I played less and less.
And eventually I became a casual player. A MUD will be very different to a casual player than it will be to an intense player.

It is hard to include all different playing styles in it. And let's face it, running a MUD just with casual players is VERY VERY hard. I'd almost say impossible. If a MUD only has casual players, then it will die.

You need a few key players, addicted players, to drive the MUD forward.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Actually, let me restate my view:

I completely agree that role-play should be the focus of a role-playing game and that it should be rewarded. Experience points, "valor," all that is ok, but to me, the best reward for role-play is role-play. In my opinion, a role-playing game should offer goals way beyond just more levels and higher skill, stuff that can only be obtained by playing an active part in the unraveling story of the world.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Shevegen - I don't run the MUD, so I'm not sure how we'll have to cope with those sorts of players. As far as I'm aware, we don't have any that I've noticed as of yet, but I'm sure the administration will tackle that when the time comes. When you create a count, there is a strand of rules you have to agree to and all that jazz, so hopefully that'll help address it, though I know those sorts get into nooks and crannies.

Will - I agree, absolutely! Valor has been explained to me as a way to allow people who don't want to 'bash' or whatever and just want to chill in town roleplaying, to level and obtain experience, gold, et cetera. So the games tries to cater to all walks of players -- mindless bashing, hardcore roleplay or the mixture of both, which tends to be a little close to where I fall. It's pretty nice, I think -- but I agree wholeheartedly about roleplaying in and of itself being the reward.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Hello Rosareven,

I don't log on here as much as I used to so this is a bit outdated, but I found your post refreshing as it smacked a bit of the player I used to be 10+ years ago when I starting Text Gaming. The difference for me was that I enjoyed the fierce and scary roleplay that came with conflict and intrigue. Evenso, I can understand your point in wanting a casual roleplay environment.

I personally believe you can find this in any non-enforced rp game. I don't think you should give that up and certainly not if that is your game of choice. I will warn you however, any serious roleplay game requires more than a couple hours a week if you want to be immersed. Otherwise it is more like popping in and catching up but never getting anywhere.

This is especially true in New Worlds Ateraan. Though you can be a casual player and not get involved in the excitement offered from many of the religions, guilds, cities, or secret groups, you will lose out on the immersive environment. However, I know of many players that pretty much roleplay with a few friends and don't get into conflict other than invasions or other global events that occur (which can also be avoided if you want).

Don't get me wrong, I don't recommend NWA as it is a hard core roleplaying environment, my point is, you are the leading player in any roleplaying game and the direction, quality, and environment is created mostly by you and your choices.

Try to keep that in mind as you seek out your home.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #14
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Will - I agree, absolutely! Valor has been explained to me as a way to allow people who don't want to 'bash' or whatever and just want to chill in town roleplaying, to level and obtain experience, gold, et cetera. So the games tries to cater to all walks of players -- mindless bashing, hardcore roleplay or the mixture of both, which tends to be a little close to where I fall. It's pretty nice, I think -- but I agree wholeheartedly about roleplaying in and of itself being the reward.[/quote]

Advancement almost has to involve repetition, but it doesn't have to be "mindless." I think often times designers focus on player vs player combat at the expense of the player vs mob experience. It's all about gameplay--flexible mechanics, challenge, risk and possible reward. Everybody has priorities!

Last edited by Will : 02-06-2012 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #15
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Muds are, by their nature, competitive. Even if a mud isn't a PK mud, you're still unofficially compared against other players based on how strong your character is, what it can accomplish, whether it knows any skills or spells that can help someone else, how well you know the ins and outs of the game, and even a little bit of out of character recognition (i.e., are you a cool person on the OOC channels, are you one of the "long-time" players).

This means that no matter what the mud, no matter what the system, there are going to be at least a few people who play all day long, reap whatever benefits they can from that, and set the bar for the rest of the players. Even in a "causal RP" mud, or a complete non-roleplaying mud, you're always going to be a second class citizen next to the play all day long crowd. That doesn't mean you can't log in a few times a week and have fun, but if you're a former hardcore mudder, it's a big transition to just mess around online for an hour or two, and not nearly as much fun. And you're never going to find a game where the casual versus hardcore delineation doesn't matter at all. Maybe it matters less in some muds versus others, but it's always going to matter.

I've played my share of "casual RP" muds, and whoever it was above who said that a mud with just casual players, no hardcore all dayers, will die is right. I must have tried at least a dozen muds that "used to be great" back in the good old days, but over time, have dwindled to 1-5 people online, tops. People who played all day long got lives, and now the former regular playerbase is just a bunch of casual mudders who pop in from time to time to see who's still around. In most of these cases, the admins don't really develop those muds any more, but just keep things open for their former players, and the players don't play all that seriously any more, even though they'll bash or rp with you for a little bit if you want. Occasionally, a newbie or two will pop in, level up a bit, be a part of the community, but then get bored and disappear. I've been that newbie quite a few times.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:22 AM   #16
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Re: Hello from a lurker

Hello lovely replied people,

Lawks! So many replies to catch up on! First and foremost, thank you all so, so much for keeping the chat respectfully hate-free and honest. I was hoping for this flammable topic to be approached peacefully someday and so far it has been. Therefore hugs for all of you.

I overestimated my ability to type up a long winded reply on a mobile device so I will update this post shortly with my full reply. Till then, thank you all again for the lovely replies!

UPDATE

I pretty much agree to what all of you have said here, and my feelings out of this discussion is, quite precisely, summed up by New World's reply "you are the leading player in any roleplaying game and the direction, quality, and environment is created mostly by you and your choices".

After reading all of your responses I have come to realise that, while it is a fact that active, hardcore players are what drive the muds forward, to me that is quite a sad truth that which I don't wish it'd come to, but unfortunately for me that is "how things work" and I have to accept it. I definitely fully agree that a successful mud requires more than one or two of these hardcore players to keep the virtual world running, other wise not even a casual will have fun in it. And having seen this fact being evident in all the well populated, highly reputable (not to me, but according to the measurable popularity) muds, I shall conclude to myself that there is not going to be any muds like what I asked for in my opening post, and rightfully so.

That being said though, I'm not quitting RP muds, no way! That just means that I'm going to accept the above fact, and I shall continue to lurk various muds that I come across as I please. While I cannot devote myself to be a hardcore player, I can take the joy of being a casual lurker, jumping among different muds as my mood sees fit (all the mud clients are made with the capability for you to keep track of different muds that you play, after all). I'll have to bear the consequence of not being able to call any particular mud my "home", nor will I excel in anything in any mud since I'll spend too much time just to catch up things. But I think I have now come to accept the reality that there really isn't going to be any mud that I was asking for, because that kind of casual focused mud just won't work. We need hardcore players to keep the muds rolling.

Odd Raven and Ghostcat, thank you for nominating your muds which I haven't heard of before, as now I'll have two more to add to my list of fun! Newworlds, you probably won't know it but I did gave your mud several tries before. I kept returning to New Worlds like crack, and then something would, for whatever reason, made me drop the ball and leave quietly. While I cannot put into words exactly what made me keep leaving New Worlds repeatedly, I can assure you that my reason is mainly due to my personal preference, and I hope you take the fact that I did repeatedly come back as a compliment, and a sign or implication that your mud is indeed well done and appease me in some way anyway. That being said, you can mostly certainly expect me to return as a lurker no-body again XD

SnowTroll, Will and shevegan, thank you very much for stating your honest yet flame-proof opinions. You guys raised concerns and observations that I too have noticed, but which I have been uncertain about whether if it's natural or unnatural. Things like the necessity of hardcore, devoted "full time" players, the trade off of PvP and PvE designs, definitions of "reward" in "rewarding RP" etc, all those things really could be interpreted differently in so many ways, and it eventually comes down to the players of how they want it to be and, on the other end, how the admins want it to be as they set up the actual game itself.

There's also the worry of trust and maturity that I came across in any RP environment, especially those with PvP enabled. It's really hard to trust that someone is mature enough to consider a RP with a victim player involved being a justified situation (most common scenario being PK), and equally hard to trust that the victims aren't trying to get away from the punishments that they deserve when they are the receiving end of a victimised RP. The difficulty of balancing that alone is also part of the reason why I feel like giving up enforced/hardcore RP altogether, not because everyone I've ran into are jerks, but just because the nature of these things are too difficult to manage. Everyone could be right, and everyone could be wrong.

Before-I-Forgot Update

I almost forgot to mention what I'm up to now since I started this thread! I've been mainly occupied by Lensmoor, a mud that is only partially RP enforced (certain aspects of the game play such as religion, special quests etc, and PvP policy is favoured towards the protection of non-pvpers as long as they don't ask for it in RP). Quite a less publicly advertised mud but I'm enjoying it. I still open my mind to other muds on my "lurk list" though.

Last edited by rosareven : 02-12-2012 at 07:19 AM. Reason: Just got home with a real keyboard
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:52 PM   #17
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Re: Hello from a lurker

I have to agree with you, Rosareven.

Many many times, people will play simply to engage in PvP on the slightest excuse.
It doesn't help that most MUDs are pretty lenient on people that do kill. The excuse tends to be 'Well they aren't <i>really</i> dead.' This doesn't help the trust factor in those games.

But then, a lot of RPIs (And similar games) operate under more real-world laws, where killing people will get you killed (possibly permanently) in turn.

New Worlds deserves a mention here due to its two ingame areas that are based on both opposites of the spectrum.
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