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Old 08-01-2006, 07:07 PM   #1
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Everything you ever wanted to know about roleplaying, and then some! That's waht it says. Wow.

I can't believe this is the first post on this topic, therefore I choose to think that I don't see all the previous posts for some reason and go about posting as if what I am about to say has not been discussed before.

What I have to say is simple; I want to say what roleplay is all about (and in the process spark a little debate on the subjet).

Ok, so what is roleplay all about?

I don't want to sound stupid, but roleplaying is playing a role; that is; roleplaying is acting - but it is acting out a previously thought out role; it is not running around pretending to be Conan the Barbarian on steroids (Conan the Barbarian on steroids is fun too, but that's what all the other MUDs and MMOGs are all about, it's not roleplaying).

Now, playing a role is an active thing; it's somethig you *do* - it's not something you think about or pretend, or write about. It's something you DO (yeah, it's not something you pretend, in the meaning it's neither about emotes nor about telling people stories).

Roleplaying is something you do. Did you get that? -- It is active. It is something you DO.

So roleplaying then requires:
 - You must think out a role; what do you want to be and what do you want to do?
 - You must act out that role; become your character and do your grim (or noble or whatever) deeds.

Now, all this makes sense and sounds easy enough (to my simple mind anyway - but remember I am Nobody).

The big question is where? Where do you act it out? What is your arena?

Obviously in a MUD. That's what this site is all about, but the question is valid - lots of people (well a few weirdos anyway) play roleplays in real life (in the sense that they dress up and go out, gang up, and roleplay in a forest or whatever) - and more moderate people roleplay through complex board games.

We, however, are the extremists. We don't do anything together with anybody else (in real life); we just sit in our rooms with our curtains pulled shut and the light dim so we can see our monitors better, frenetically typing and insanely giggelig, glaring into those monitors.

The giggeling is the clue. When you giggle, something has happened.

Not something like the 50th monster you killed, or the unexpected amount of money that fell out of the dog you just killed. Those are examples of roleplayings enemies and they are called grind and sillyness.
 - Grind means that you do the same thing over and over to gain experience.
 -Sillyness is just silly (dogs don't carry cash).

I won't say more about sillyness because it is just silly and everybody understands it, and I won't say much about grind either, because it's pretty close to silly and you know all about it anyway - but I will say one thing; grind is something you do to gain experience.

Now, what is experience?

Tell me, in real life, like right where you are sitting now, what is your experience? Stand up a bit, stretch and turn around two times and get out of this silly text and think - what is your experience?

100? 200? Experience is sillyness too!

The things that make you giggle is when something happens that is cool, or amazing - somethings thet you will remember. It's like life; those small thing - like when you smiled at that baby and it smiled back and the mother goes wow, look she smiled! Or when you see your first drunk person and he stumbles and ters down the stand of sunglasses. Don't laugh - these are the things you will remember when you're 90 or whatever and wait for the priest to come. It is things that are important, that shape you and make you whom you are. That's when you giggle; when it is right. And important. In a cool way. That's the kick. That's why you sit inside with the curtains pulled, that is roleplaying. Not reading somebodys boring biography.

Now, the last thing I will say is the most important thing. Then you guys can talk.

Some people think that roleplaying is about writing biograpies and stories and explain this or that or say what your hair colour is or your weight  and to mix and match armour to that and your height and whatever.

Those people are wrong. They run great MUDs, like Armageddon or Threshold (and they are great MUDs), but they are wrong.

Roleplaying is about acting, not writing or telling. But through writing biographies you are forced to think out who you want to be and what you want to do, and therefore the biographies makes a little bit of sense, because they force you tho think about your character - but that is making you prepare for roleplaying, it's not part of the roleplaying.

Good MUDs provide an environment for roleplaying. Without a good environment you simply won't make it - you can run around talking strange, but as long as everybody else is Conan the Barbarian nobody will care.

You need:
 - Playerkilling (if you met your arch-enemy on the street and he pokes his tongue at you, you should be able to at least give him a good headbash, or sneak after him and stab him in the back).
 - A legal system (or a reputation system at least), so that if you do kill somebody you will see consequences - it is by this mechanism you tame the wily 14-year olds that know how to telnet, and it makes sense anyway - if you get over-eager fighting elves because they raped your mother (you being a half-elf or something obviously) then maybe you shoukd be locked up a little to cool down a bit. When you think about it it's quite similar to real life actually.
 - Not knowing things that you obviously don't know. Or doing things that can't be done. The command "tell" is a good example - if I'm a stupid stupid orc with no knowledge of magic, then how the hell am I supposed to be able to talk to somebody on the other side of the freaking planet just by thinking about it (it mightbe feasible, but it is powerful, powerful magic or something).
 - No differentiation between NPCs and PCs (machine and human players). If you see somebody you don't know (have met or seen before), and being an over-eager thief you steal from them and botch it, and then you get attacked, and then you kill them - then, if its a machine player it's ok and if its a human player its not ok. How out of character can you get? That is plainly wrong!

Hm. I think that pretty much covers it.

I said this was the last thing I was gonna say, didn't I? Well then I will stop. Even if I didn't mention magic at all.

Your turn.

-Nobody
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:50 PM   #2
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Smile

It's actually not the first time this topic has been discussed - but the BB software only shows active topics depending on your settings: 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, etc.

You'll also find TMS has numerous articles in its articles pages about the topic too.

Thanks for sharing your ideas, though!
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:27 PM   #3
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Interesting stuff, but the idea that roleplaying requires killing is completely untrue. Unless you're playing a killer, killing and roleplaying have little to do with each other.

--matt
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
You need:
 - Playerkilling (if you met your arch-enemy on the street and he pokes his tongue at you, you should be able to at least give him a good headbash, or sneak after him and stab him in the back).
Playerkilling is actually all but unnecessary for role-playing.  The vast majority of people do not kill one another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
 - A legal system (or a reputation system at least), so that if you do kill somebody you will see consequences - it is by this mechanism you tame the wily 14-year olds that know how to telnet, and it makes sense anyway - if you get over-eager fighting elves because they raped your mother (you being a half-elf or something obviously) then maybe you shoukd be locked up a little to cool down a bit. When you think about it it's quite similar to real life actually.
Only in societies that have evolved a legal system is such a requirement necessary.  Not all socieites have a legal system.  They may have cultural norms and taboos, but these are not legal systems.

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Originally Posted by
 - Not knowing things that you obviously don't know. Or doing things that can't be done. The command "tell" is a good example - if I'm a stupid stupid orc with no knowledge of magic, then how the hell am I supposed to be able to talk to somebody on the other side of the freaking planet just by thinking about it (it mightbe feasible, but it is powerful, powerful magic or something).
What you're refering to is code which is designed around role-playing and not around the original game-aspect of the code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
 - No differentiation between NPCs and PCs (machine and human players). If you see somebody you don't know (have met or seen before), and being an over-eager thief you steal from them and botch it, and then you get attacked, and then you kill them - then, if its a machine player it's ok and if its a human player its not ok. How out of character can you get? That is plainly wrong!
This extend beyond NPCs to every aspect of the game world be it objects, rooms, etc.

That's my short response as I'm not in the mood to do a lot of typing.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:47 AM   #5
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The vast majority of people do not kill one another.
Unfortunately.
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,04:27)
Interesting stuff, but the idea that roleplaying requires killing is completely untrue. Unless you're playing a killer, killing and roleplaying have little to do with each other.
The artificially enforced inability to kill someone can greatly reduce the immersion of the game for many people, unless there is a specific in-game explanation.

It'd be like playing in a tabletop roleplaying game, and attempting to attack someone, only for the GM to tell you "Sorry, I won't let you".
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Aug. 02 2006)
Playerkilling is actually all but unnecessary for role-playing.
To some this may be true - to others the Prospect of PK is very necessary for a more believable RP experience even if they don't partake of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Aug. 02 2006)
The vast majority of people do not kill one another.
Are you saying the vast majority of players don't kill others in-game.  Or the vast majority of society doesn't kill one another, or what?

Just curious to know which one you mean and a little more explanation on it.

I've always wondered how many more players would take part in PvP action if it were possible and feasible to just bash someone without being restricted to killing them.  Most games don't have a feature of stopping a fight without fleeing, or being able to intentionally beat someone unconscious but leave them alive.  Let's face it - in real life many of us have gotten in physical fights - even though most of us would never actually kill someone.
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Lanthum @ Aug. 02 2006,09:52)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Aug. 02 2006)
Playerkilling is actually all but unnecessary for role-playing.
To some this may be true - to others the Prospect of PK is very necessary for a more believable RP experience even if they don't partake of it.
Well, that's why I said "all but unnecessary". In some circumstances, playerkilling is acceptable. But it's not necessary for role-playing in general. So, yes the prospect of killing another player should be a reality, but the mechanics of doing it need not be in place to allow it (though most MUDs, MUSHes excepted, probably have some form of combat code in place). Additionally, as I'll elaborate below, the majority of people probably shouldn't be engaging in such behavior. MUDs I've played which have emphasized "bare-knuckle survival" also have most who follow that philosophy going through an endless revolving door of characters with little chance of real character development which can result in role-play. As someone once mentioned, if killing is considered the normal means of survival, the guy who takes the time to emote is the one who probably loses the fight because while he's typing it, the other guy's beating the #### outta him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Aug. 02 2006)
The vast majority of people do not kill one another.
Are you saying the vast majority of players don't kill others in-game. Or the vast majority of society doesn't kill one another, or what?

Just curious to know which one you mean and a little more explanation on it.
I mean that the vast majority of society doesn't kill one another. Most people throughout the world will go through life without taking another. And even in a fictional world, there has to be some allowance for realism that dictates that killing isn't an absolute requirement of survival (if it was that doesn't leave much room for much of anything else, which isn't really a well-rounded world for role-play). That's not to say that it can't work, but ultimately a game where playerkilling is a requirement tends to detract from the role-play. After all, one can role-play the "headbash" the original poster mentioned, but very few people would be stabbing others in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I've always wondered how many more players would take part in PvP action if it were possible and feasible to just bash someone without being restricted to killing them. Most games don't have a feature of stopping a fight without fleeing, or being able to intentionally beat someone unconscious but leave them alive. Let's face it - in real life many of us have gotten in physical fights - even though most of us would never actually kill someone.
A lot of MUDs don't have a lot of things. A lot do. Most I've seen have the options you're talking about. Fortunately, I've been lucky enough to have been exposed to games which had the features you mention, though just like real life the occassional fight has resulted in an accidental death.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Aug. 02 2006,05:27)
The artificially enforced inability to kill someone can greatly reduce the immersion of the game for many people, unless there is a specific in-game explanation.
So by that logic, the artificially enforced inability to defecate reduces the immersion of a game? How about the artificially enforced inability to cook up a souffle? There are an infinite number of actions that players are prevented from completing by the lack of inclusion in the code.

I think the inability to kill mainlyonly reduces the immersion for people who are more interested in killing than roleplaying.

--matt
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,13<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]
I think the inability to kill mainlyonly reduces the immersion for people who are more interested in killing than roleplaying.

--matt
I don't think of player killing in an RP game as only one player killing another. It is an aspect of it, but really the most important result of PK is that a character has consequences for his actions. Of course, I also tend to think if PKs don't result in some sort of perma-death, then why have them.

I don't understand games that claim to be RP that have characters being killed every five minutes and then repoping at some safe area. That always reminds me of the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons.

Sombalance
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,19:07)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Aug. 02 2006,05:27)
The artificially enforced inability to kill someone can greatly reduce the immersion of the game for many people, unless there is a specific in-game explanation.
So by that logic, the artificially enforced inability to defecate reduces the immersion of a game?
That's a pretty pathetic straw man argument.

But to humour you: If defecation plays a central role in your game, yet you prevent people from defecating in certain specific situations (eg no defecating between 4pm and 4:30pm on Tuesdays) for no in-game reason, then yes I imagine it would reduce the immersion for many players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
How about the artificially enforced inability to cook up a souffle?
If cooking up a souffle plays a central role in your mud, yet people are prevented from doing so while wearing red underwear, for no apparent in-game reason, then yes I can imagine that would reduce the immersion for many players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
There are an infinite number of actions that players are prevented from completing by the lack of inclusion in the code.
If those actions are simply not supported then it's not an issue. If those actions are a central part of the game (such as combat is on most muds), yet are prevented in very specific and unexplained ways, then they will reduce the immersion for many players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I think the inability to kill mainlyonly reduces the immersion for people who are more interested in killing than roleplaying.
Most roleplaying games are set in worlds where combat is a part of life - not just roleplaying muds, but tabletop roleplaying games as well.

I can't imagine playing a tabletop roleplaying game where attempting to kill someone resulted in the GM saying "No, I won't let you". I can understand them warning me out-of-character. I can understand them fudging the results. I can understand them asking me to leave the group if I disrupted the story by continually attacking people for no reason. But for a GM to turn around and refuse to let me perform an action which I felt my character had a good reason to carry out, without any in-game explanation?

Perhaps that's your idea of a good roleplaying game, but it's certainly not mine.
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:53 PM   #12
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Sombalance wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I don't think of player killing in an RP game as only one player killing another. It is an aspect of it, but really the most important result of PK is that a character has consequences for his actions.
You're not suggesting that a character has consequences for his actions. You're suggesting that there should or can only be one possible consequence for his actions.

Just as death is only one of a nearly infinite variety of possible consequences in the physical world, so it goes in the virtual world.

--matt
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:56 PM   #13
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Kavir wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
That's a pretty pathetic straw man argument.
Well, I understand how adopting a fairly imited viewpoint on what MUDs are would lead one to believe that, but there's nothing fundamental about MUDs generally that requires killing any more or less than defecation, and similarly for roleplaying MUDs.


Kavir wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
If those actions are simply not supported then it's not an issue. If those actions are a central part of the game (such as combat is on most muds), yet are prevented in very specific and unexplained ways, then they will reduce the immersion for many players.
Oh, then we agree. Killing is not really related to roleplaying any more than anything else. It's a design decision. I thought you were suggesting that killing enjoys some special, fundamental role in roleplaying, which is nonsense. It only enjoys a special, fundamental role in roleplaying killers.

--matt
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,23:56)
Well, I understand how adopting a fairly imited viewpoint on what MUDs are would lead one to believe that, but there's nothing fundamental about MUDs generally that requires killing any more or less than defecation, and similarly for roleplaying MUDs.
Are you honestly suggesting that "MUDs generally" place as much emphasis on defecation as they do combat? And you think I have a limited viewpoint about muds!

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Killing is not really related to roleplaying any more than anything else. It's a design decision. I thought you were suggesting that killing enjoys some special, fundamental role in roleplaying, which is nonsense. It only enjoys a special, fundamental role in roleplaying killers.
Wrong. Killing enjoys a fundamental role in any mud which fundamentally concerned with combat - and that covers the majority of muds.

Even many of those muds which don't mechanically support combat are still set in worlds where combat is an integral part of life.

If a feature plays an integral part of your game, unexplained restrictions without in-game explanations will reduce the immersion for many players.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,17:53)
Sombalance wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I don't think of player killing in an RP game as only one player killing another. It is an aspect of it, but really the most important result of PK is that a character has consequences for his actions.
You're not suggesting that a character has consequences for his actions. You're suggesting that there should or can only be one possible consequence for his actions.

Just as death is only one of a nearly infinite variety of possible consequences in the physical world, so it goes in the virtual world.

--matt
Characters should have to face the consequences for their actions. In some cases (not all, or even in most) the death of the character may be a reasonable result of the character's action. I don't think I ever suggested that death was the only possible outcome.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Aug. 02 2006,17:56)
Kavir wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
That's a pretty pathetic straw man argument.
Well, I understand how adopting a fairly imited viewpoint on what MUDs are would lead one to believe that, but there's nothing fundamental about MUDs generally that requires killing any more or less than defecation, and similarly for roleplaying MUDs.


Kavir wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
If those actions are simply not supported then it's not an issue. If those actions are a central part of the game (such as combat is on most muds), yet are prevented in very specific and unexplained ways, then they will reduce the immersion for many players.
Oh, then we agree. Killing is not really related to roleplaying any more than anything else. It's a design decision. I thought you were suggesting that killing enjoys some special, fundamental role in roleplaying, which is nonsense. It only enjoys a special, fundamental role in roleplaying killers.

--matt
Hmm. PC kills Mob. Mob kills PC. PC can't Kill PC. Why is that?

If violence is part of your RP game world then it seems very likely that violence between PCs is going to happen.

If you have a game where there are no violent acts, then it seems you have a reasonable cause to claim that players should not attack each other.

If you have an RP game that includes violence, but excludes it between one group while allowing it in all other cases, how do you explain that in an in-character manner?

I can appreciate that players and admins have different flavors that they want to see in their games, but I've never been able to buy into the way death (and immediate resurrection) is handled in games that claim to be focused on RP.

As for defecating in a mud. If people could do it, there would be someone else willing to pick it up and fling it.

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Old 08-03-2006, 02:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Aug. 02 2006,18:18)
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos,Aug. 02 2006,23:56
there's nothing fundamental about MUDs generally that requires killing any more or less than defecation, and similarly for roleplaying MUDs.
Are you honestly suggesting that "MUDs generally" place as much emphasis on defecation as they do combat?
Normally, I don't feel the need to get involved in conversations like these, but I think Matt's point was misinterpreted here.

I'm gonna start off by trimming the personal attacks off the posts so we can focus on the points made.

Matt says that MUDs don't require killing, right?  That's true.  They also don't require defecating, and that's true as well.  What he's saying here is that in MUDs, the ability to kill is reliant on the ability to kill.  The MUD administrator has the option to put in a killing mechanic, but it's not neccessary by nature.

I think that a MUD administrator could put as much emphasis on a defecation system as a combat system, like I said, it's the choice of the designer.

But you're right KaVir, MUDs generally don't put as much emphasis on a defecation mechanic as on a combat system, but there's nothing inherent in MUDs that prevents this from being so, and I think that's what Matt was trying to say.  Someone could go out tomorrow and make doodooMUD, in which the prime focus of the game is defecation.  I mean, there's nothing stopping it.
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Ilkidarios @ Aug. 03 2006,01<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]But you're right prof, MUDs generally don't put as much emphasis on a defecation mechanic as on a combat system, but there's nothing inherent in MUDs that prevents this from being so, and I think that's what Matt was trying to say.  Someone could go out tomorrow and make doodooMUD, in which the prime focus of the game is defecation.  I mean, there's nothing stopping it.
But again trimming off the fat from the posts and getting to the point - the otherside's point:

Making an argument for Everything that is possible (defecating, et al) versus sticking with the discussion about what is prevalent (combat) in MUDs doesn't seem to make much sense.


** Note: What follows is my opinion, I've done no research on this **
But I would venture a guess that ALMOST ALL of the games listed here, and probably on most MUD listing sites, put a heavy emphasis on conflict.  Whether or not they have detailed mechanics coded or not; despite if it's hardcoded or softcoded, emoted or commands.  Let's face it - conflict is what makes games fun.  And of those games - I'll bet that MOST of them put a (heavy) emphasis on resolving that conflict through some form of violence/combat.

I think what some of the posters, myself included, are saying is that for many people if your game is going to center around conflict and combat - why would you choose to not allow it?  Many players need to know that PvP conflict can and does take place, even if they don't want to be a part of it, so that they know accountability of actions to other players is present in the game.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:23 PM   #19
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Someone could go out tomorrow and make doodooMUD, in which the prime focus of the game is defecation. I mean, there's nothing stopping it.
Most MUDs have some kind of verb, act, or emote system that would allow for players to defecate if they desired to. Since defecation is a far, far, far less common on-MUD practice than combat, it would seem that MUD Designers have made the conscious or co-incidental decision that rarer actions of gameplay(like defecation) do not needed added game mechanics, where something as fundamental to the play of nearly every MUD(like combat) tends to be something most designers think important enough to include in design to help create an "immersive environment".

I've talked to MUD Designers who do not have supported combat in their games. To me, they seem like pacifistic, heavy roleplayers, who understand little about World Design from a gameplay standpoint. To this end, many of those MUDs become little more than glorified "AOL FFGF: Red Dragon Inn" chatrooms using a telnet server, which is certainly their choice. I happen to love the RDI(moreso the forum aspect of it, these days) - however, I definitely would not go as far as to say that it is more immersive of an environment than a well-designed MUD.

My cents.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:52 PM   #20
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I think Donathin brings up a good point, the "emote" command in most MUDs does allow for mostly everything a MUD programmer may have overlooked in his creation of the MUD, whether it's defecation or something else.
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