Re: [Players] What we Want

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 12/19/00

> I've just been sitting and wondering to myself, what does a player want in
> a MUD, or more specificly what do I (or you) want in a MUD?
> 1) I don't want to see a stock MUD

>         The most boring thing there is (to me anyway) is when I log into
> a MUD and the first place I see is Midgaard.  It's the same place no
> matter what MUD it is..  Sometimes all it is is a name change, but the
> layout, descriptions, and NPCs are the same old thing.  Very few MUDs
> take the time to develope a world anew.

        I think that there's an important distinction to make here; you're
only looking at the initial 30 seconds of game play.  I know alot of muds
that keep midgaard around simply so other people will feel comfortable
when they login.  Even worlds with multiple hometowns and
save-where-you-quit setups usually have the majority of their player
flowthrough in the temple, or spaces directly south of it.

        The rest of the world can be different, unique, and ultimately
confusing.  But it's always nice to have a stable base of 'known' area.

        The tradeoff seems to be between keeping intrest, and keeping a
quick learning curve.  I tend to get pissed off when, as a newbie, I can't
get directions to things like the food/drink stores, postmasters,
important boards, weapons, newbie zones, recall/start game point..etc.  I
usually end up quitting if I can't - after playing muds for 7-8 years -
figure the game and immediate layout in short order.

        As for saying very few muds take the time to develop a world from
scratch - I think that's nearly everyone's goal when they start up.  Of
course, that's after they add in the new code (if new == patches and
snippets everyone already has, baring cosmetic changes), and then after
they have 30-40 'good' zones of their own.

        Let's face it though - it takes a long time to get the code to
where you want it, and at least a couple of weeks for each 'good' zone.
That's without player testing & the sort.

        How long though, does the average zipmud-owner wait to advertise
the next best mud?  As far as I've seen, they average around 3 weeks. 1
week if they download a mud base with oasis already installed.

        Sure, those do suck, and sure, they're all the same.

        Maybe that's why all the zip muds advertise themselves as having
'major modifications', cause they think that no one else will play if they
don't say that.

        (truth to be told, the only muds i've seen with major
modifications are those that never had to advertise it.  Those that do
invariably, never fail to disappoint)

> 2) MUD Schools (Newbie Schools)

>         Where have they gone?  More and more MUDs seem to expect their
> players to know exactly what to do as soon as they log on.  This isn't
> fair to any player whether experianced or not, and it's not fair to the
> people on the MUD who have to answer the same questions every 10 minutes
> cause Grand Admiral Newbie wizzed through a stock Newbie School and
> still doesn't know what he's doing.

        I agree.  I _need_ a quick learning session for a new mud,
especially if it has new and/or complicated interfaces.  What I don't need
though is a complete rehash - or a forced training room session.  I
already know how to use help/say/look/open/wear/etc.

        Maybe two sets of training areas: 'newbies', and 'if you already
know how to play stock circlemud'.

        Granted, there are people in everquest and other 'muds' who start
at level 50+, thanks to character sales.

> 3) Room Descriptions

        Totally agree here.  I am usually code-98%, admin-2% on most muds.
Yet, I'm the only person with a room + eq that actually says something
aside from "You see nothing special", when you look at it.  I'm not just
talking about personal imm-only stuff, this applies for builders and zones

> 4) Mobs & Hack -n- Slash

        >number of interesting ideas snipped<

        These are good ideas, but perhaps, the majority are not viable.
That is, they could be done, but the effort to build them, maintain them,
and even develop them (just think of the balance issues from making mobs
die permanantly, or the effort required to script/program mobs so they
recoginize a family structure, and react emotionally to interpersonal
events) is too large for the standard individual's investure in a hobby

        Brainstorming these ideas is good.  Picking which ones give you
the most bang for the buck is probably more important though.  Pick the
wrong one, and everyone is frustrated and annoyed, and your work is for
nothing/little gain.

        Just like all software development, the planning should recieve
the lion's share of effort.


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