Re: Realism in MUDs

From: Whitla, C. John (
Date: 06/07/00

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Hartvigsen
> Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 2:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: [CIRCLE] Realism in MUDs break-off of [CIRLCE] Coins
> How realistic should a MUD be?


Frankly, I think the answer to that question is, "As real as you want it to
be."  Obviously not the most insightful of answers, but it is accurate.
Some player groups love hack-and-slash, others like the RPG interaction,
others might actually be fascinated by the need to eat, sleep, learn, and so
on, in more strictly "real" ways.

The fact of the matter is, the whole concept of MUDding is fake to begin
with.  How fake after that just depends on what the imps wish (or can)

On a more constructive note, getting back to the issue of coins and food,
there are a number of interesting possibilities available that could
actually make gameplay more interesting.

For instance, if one were to introduce the "reality" of the weight of coins,
then it would become necessary to restructure the economics of the world as
well.  After all, since it is no longer physically possible to carry around
500,000 gold pieces (or, at least, I sure couldn't carry that much gold!),
it is also no longer realistic to expect prices to be so high that a
character could not reasonably carry that much coin on them.  And, since the
amount of coin one can carry is restricted, it becomes necessary to expand
on the monetary system to introduce more "valuable" currencies that "weigh"
the same.  Plus, the need for moneylenders, improved communications between
shopkeepers, and so on.  By now, no doubt most of you are yawning, but to a,
hypothetically-speaking, *cough*, economics major, *cough*, this kind of
system could be very appealing.

I have also played on muds where food had aspects of reality to it, such as
affecting your ability to perform certain skills, but not some of the more
troubling realities, such as death.

I think the key to any successful (read: popular) implementation of features
is to establish a balance between the improvement to the gameplay and the
frustration/tedium of adhering to the rules.  Not an easy line to walk, and
I make no effort here to try and explain how to go about it.

On another note, though, try this on for size: since a player is restricted
by the "weight" they can carry, what about selling packhorses, mules, carts,
etc.?  The possibilities here are endless, and potentially highly
entertaining (although also potentially highly annoying).  The idea behind
this is the concept of having a storage container that moves with you, but
does not necessarily require effort on your part.  And modifications could
be added in at will.  Carts could add to movement from "room" to "room", and
terrain could affect where horses could travel, for instance.  "Carriers"
could have weight and space limits (heck, if we're adding weight to a mud,
why not add volume?).  "Carriers" could have "defense" values against
thievery.  "Carriers" could even be interactive (attacking when detecting an
attempt at thievery, for instance, fleeing danger, etc.).  Basically,
instead of kit/inventory management (which everyone buys into anyway), you
would have "carrier" management.

Something to think about, maybe, anyway.


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