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Old 02-05-2003, 12:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 123
Burr is on a distinguished road
I'm sure you've all seen a mob in a newbie school on one mud or another that tells a story, or explains mud guidelines, or something like that. That's where we begin, but let me get to the problem.

I was debating with myself today whether or not to try one of those muds where you have to apprentice with another player to learn your skills. It's supposed to enhance interactivity RP-wise, and maybe it does; but it seems to me that there's something to be said for the predictability of being able to go straight to a guild to learn something. I'm not going to go into that because you must know the benefits of guildmasters, as so many muds use them for learning skills.

What occurs to me is that there is very little a player can do to RP teaching that a mob can't do. Give a lecture, provide examples, reward success and encourage or be snide about failures, maybe kick someone out for being disruptive. Furthermore, a mob in a predictable room at almost all times can teach an indefinitely large number of people.

What I propose is giving mobs interactive teaching scripts, maybe several alternate scripts for each skill in the game. Shoot, you could create a whole bardic-style educator class just for the creation of these scripts if you want. Use one of each these alternative lessons as the major part of the helpfile for each skill. And rather than hiding teachers away in various guild halls, you make them somewhat more public and centrally located.

When a character wants to learn a skill, rather than having to find a willing player of the same skill set, or simply typing "prac" with little or no roleplay, they instead go to the shooling area for that type of skill and sit down for an actual lesson. If the teacher isn't teaching something else at the time, they could request the lesson they want, thus starting that script. Other people could come in and, seeing the lesson taking place, decide to stay. The presence of these extra people could trigger experimenting or sparring scripts in the lesson, thus encouraging the students to interact with each other. The longer the person stays at the lesson, the more they learn, up to a point, with bonuses or penalties for certain types of behavior, simple as that.

If the person requests a skill they cannot learn, the teacher could start the lesson and go up to the point of asking the student to practice. If the student obviously doesn't know what they are doing, the teacher could revert to a similar skill the student can learn, or a history lesson, or a cautionary tale, or a suggestion that they keep trying in their spare time, or else just complain that the student is stupid and wasting the teacher's time.
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