Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Dunski

Pages: [1]
1
Game Design / Re: [Mechanic] RPP/XP Gains
« on: May 12, 2017, 07:25:25 PM »
Sounds like a MUSH thing. What's the point of having skills if everybody can just decide to be whatever they want to be and not have to make any effort or take any risks to achieve it?

2
Game Design / Re: [Mechanic] RPP/XP Gains
« on: May 11, 2017, 11:17:04 AM »
It's not just "tavern-sitting" specifically, that's just the catch-all term for "doing something other than what you're improving at." You could be mudsexing, crafting, roleplaying painting great works of art or whatever it is you like. The point is that a game should not facilitate letting you become a powerful assassin (or wizard or warrior or whatever) doing those things. If you want to have a character capable of easily PKing others, performing heroics, defeating plot villains and whatnot, you should have to actually play a character who does things like that and becomes good at it that way. The idea of sitting in a bar chatting up girls and thereby becoming a master assassin is so stupid that it really shouldn't even need to be explained.

It's not just a matter of what your character does in his virtual life. You can't simply say "my character does all that dangerous, difficult stuff while I'm not playing" unless the game has something silly like a chance to die while offline. The privilege of playing a powerful, dangerous character should come with the risk and difficulty of obtaining such a character. If not, there's an inherent imbalance in the game that cheapens such characters and likely makes them too common. That master swordsman over there, who's famous for his impeccable skill with a blade and so on, should have got there by actually doing the things that make you a master swordsman; not by flirting at the bar and then doing all the actual work while offline where nothing bad could happen and no risk of failure or opposition is ever present. That would completely defeat the integrity of the game.

3
Game Design / Re: [Mechanic] RPP/XP Gains
« on: May 11, 2017, 10:19:21 AM »
Personally, I'm very much against any system where players have any hand in determining what other players gain. MUDs are far too cliquish for that, and players absolutely will over- or under-reward somebody based on how much they like that person.

My preference is purely use-based advancement like what you'll find in the traditional RPIs. If there has to be an XP system, I prefer to have it segmented into different types so you gain combat XP for doing combat, crafting XP for crafting, etc. Anything that lets you get better at something by doing something completely different is at odds with roleplaying and creates problems.

I especially don't like the "RPP" type where you get points just for chatting with people and can then use those points to make your character more powerful. That's really bad. You should have to at least do something associated with the thing you want your character to get better at. Tavern-sitting your way to greatness should not be a thing in any game that considers itself a serious roleplaying experience. It completely undermines the game's in-world integrity.

4
Game Design / Re: [Mechanic] Mass-Combat in MUDs
« on: May 11, 2017, 09:37:51 AM »
I'm not generally a huge fan of Haven's combat system, but the in-room location thing they have is a great feature. I'd combine that with a more traditional "scrolling" combat design and use colors to aid in visibility. Each line of combat could be colored according to how far away it is from you, allowing you to easily gauge what's most important to you. Maybe a limit to how many people can be in the same part of a room and thus engage the same person.

If combat becomes too complicated, it stops being fun. Also makes code knowledge an even greater advantage, which is at odds with roleplay. Stuff like banding together in coded units sounds unenjoyable to me, I prefer a good measure of individuality in combat because that's essentially the whole reason people play roleplaying games. I would take a system as simple as that of the RPI Engine, add a nine square location grid in each room, color code combat output according to distance, and require moving into the same square as somebody in order to attack them. That's all I really want out of a combat system.

A few simple brevity options would help with truly large-scale combat so you can ignore the output from two squares away, or even anything that doesn't involve you. Other than that, combat shouldn't function too differently whether it's 1v1 or 8v8. I wouldn't be interested in some elaborate team system or a bunch of engagement mechanics. It takes away from the integrity of gameplay if fighting is a completely different experience from one time to the next.

Like so:


So instead of this nightmare:
Quote
Bob slashes Joe in the nose.
Jill charges toward Bob.
Joe stabs Bob in the hand.
Kenny slashes you in the chest.
Your stab is blocked by Kenny.
Steve misses Mary with his bludgeon.
Mary spears Steve in the groin.
Mary charges toward you.
Bob's slash is blocked by Joe.
Joe stabs Bob in the shoulder.

You could have this:
Quote
Bob slashes Joe in the nose.
Jill charges toward Bob.
Joe stabs Bob in the hand.
Kenny slashes you in the chest.
Your stab is blocked by Kenny.
Steve misses Mary with his bludgeon.
Mary spears Steve in the groin.
Mary charges toward you.
Bob's slash is blocked by Joe.
Joe stabs Bob in the shoulder.

5
World Building / Re: Limitations (or not!) on player construction
« on: May 11, 2017, 09:25:51 AM »
Quote
If people create public or noteworthy places, should they be included in documentation and/or on maps?

HavenRPG has a pretty good system for mapping the gameworld. Granted, it's an unusually tiny gameworld, but it seems to work great. I don't think these things need to be documented unless somebody builds a literal city or something, which is outside the scope of what I think a MUD can really support.

Quote
Should players be able to originate entire towns?

As mentioned, I can't see how it would really work. What game even has enough players to sustain this? One of the most common problems in RPIs has always been underpopulation. More than three centers of play and you'd need more players than these games ever get. Player dilution is the death of roleplay, but since everyone always wants to make their own thing and have the biggest, bestest thing in order to impress all the girls, you'd probably end up with fifteen towns where nothing happens because each one's home to two or three players who now sit outside the reach of most other players.

Quote
Can players create the dominant culture of these areas?  Should they?

I don't think they can unless you somehow got the game to maintain 200+ players online at a time. It's much better to create the setting with cultures already in place. People are pretty bad roleplayers on average, so unless you happened to get a concentration of the game's better players in the same place and they happen to adhere to the same general vision, the culture that players create would probably be stupid and jarring.

6
Roleplay Culture / Re: Immersion, What is it to You?
« on: May 11, 2017, 09:15:58 AM »
That would all depend what the power in question actually is. In order to get the same result as the hysterical anti-theft mentalities that prevail in a game like Armageddon (which you're obviously referring to), the corrupted element that you describe would have to actually do something similar. The reason people hate pickpockets so much is not only because it's perceived as cheating, it's also because thieves have the ability to take something away from players. People often define their characters a great deal by their possessions, so losing a rare and interesting item is infuriating. An evil power would need to similarly hurt players in ways that can't just be shrugged off like damage or a temporary debuff can. This, in turn, creates a fine line that can easily be crossed into griefing territory. You can be sure that if you give players the ability to, say, lower somebody's stats permanently, there's going to be problems. Stealing people's items is, in fact, the perfect balance between evoking that sense of furious indignation and not actually making people want to quit because of what they lost.

7
Roleplay Culture / Re: Immersion, What is it to You?
« on: May 07, 2017, 11:07:56 AM »
One of the aspects mentioned by a few people was things that conflict with the game setting, such as a character greeting someone with 'hey bro' in a medieval setting. Would this be something you'd expect staff and/or players to police? What would be your ideal approach for keeping players to the defined setting?

Roleplaying games (the real kind, not the "RPG" kind) are, on the bottom, an inherently flawed concept because players themselves can ruin the game. A scene is only as good as its worst RPer. In many ways, it's like a movie: if there was a scene with some great actors and one completely terrible, amateurish actor, it would be a crap scene. You couldn't expect the audience to just ignore the awful actor and pretend only the good ones are there, and the same basically goes for RPing. This is why there's always a lot of animosity between players of these games: a bad player will directly detract from the fun that others are having. People will groan and roll their eyes behind their backs, hoping to cross paths with them as little as possible.

You can't really do a whole lot about it, though, unless it becomes obvious that the player in question is intentionally trolling to grief other players. In the case of a newbie, they can be guided toward better roleplay, but some players just never become good. Really good RPers are actually quite rare, and it's strangely uncommon for people - even those who have been RPing for years - to surpass the passable. Most will move beyond the "hey bro" stage, but few will become good enough that they genuinely enrich the game they play. Even something as simple as clean, decent emoting is a feat that many never achieve.

In a ruthless sense, the best roleplaying game would be one that's run like a film studio's casting process, where anyone who falls short of a given standard is simply told not to come back. You couldn't realistically do this, of course -- for one thing, there simply aren't enough players in the genre. Nevertheless, it would probably be the only way to ensure that a game's playerbase contains only good RPers. The next best thing is to systematically reward good RPers and give nothing to the bad ones, which would at least encourage bad players to get better, and otherwise limit their presence in some aspects of the game if they don't improve. But while games like Armageddon and Shadows of Isildur have reward systems that ostensibly do this, bad players often get rewarded anyway for things like willingness to play some clan's sergeant for a long stretch of time.

At the end of the day, bad RPers just become those pseudo-pariahs that other players don't want anything to do with. Every game has them, we all know them, and we all sigh a little when they walk into the room. The staff can't justify banning them for being bad at playing the game, nor should they, and players can't do a whole lot about a player who has proven to simply have no talent for RPing. The best thing players can do is not to become too insular in their efforts to escape bad RPers, because that's an easy and common pitfall that hurts the rest of the game just as much as the bad players do. As callous as it may sound, it's better for the game to ignore the baddies and try to play "around" them than to try to avoid them altogether and thereby make the game feel empty and cliquish. There's no perfect solution.

8
Roleplay Culture / Re: Immersion, What is it to You?
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:21:44 AM »
I think "immersion" is a bit of a misnomer, at least in the sense that people actually become absorbed in the world they're playing in and forget that it's a game. What's usually meant by immersion is how realistic and believable a scene/character/whatever is. A player can be talking on Skype, changing a baby and doing Kegels all at the same time while still being a perfectly capable judge of whether or not some piece of roleplay is valid, so "immersion" is the word that tends to get used simply because it's easy and most know what's meant, even if the player isn't remotely immersed.

I haven't been literally immersed in years. My mind is always analyzing the roleplay, making note of this and that, spamming 'who' and whatnot. At no point do I ever forget that I'm sitting at a desk playing a game, but roleplay can still be enjoyable, and I tend to use the word "immersion" to describe the feeling of appreciation that I get for a well-roleplayed scene or character.

9
Roleplay Culture / Re: Toxic Staff/Player Interaction and Culture
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:10:50 AM »
It usually boils down to the types of people found in the game's administration. If they're sociable, rational people, the game won't have a particularly toxic culture. If they're oppressive assholes, it will. This sort of thing trickles down, and outside of a few inevitable malcontents, players are not naturally disposed toward fostering a toxic culture because they by and large play the game because they like it. When a player stops liking the game, they generally leave.

However, people will often staff a game that they don't like, for a variety of reasons: they feel obligated to do so, they feel that they've invested too much time and effort to stop, or they enjoy having power over players without actually enjoying the game. Badly-run games tend to have a combination of these, compounded by having a bad person at the helm.

Considering the number of players that a game like Armageddon has, it wouldn't really be feasible to claim that the toxic culture is the players' fault. They didn't just decide one day to hate staff for no reason. Meanwhile, a small staff team absolutely can derail itself into bullying and unproductive meddling. Furthermore, while nobody decides which types of players arrive in a game, staff members are meticulously chosen based on the preferences of the administration. People will naturally pick other people who share their views and personalities, so a bad admin will pick bad staff members.

When that goes on for long enough, you've got the recipe for a toxic community. There's never really any possible scenario where the fault is with the players, although a toxic game will eventually weed out most of the good players and retain those who thrive in a toxic environment. The long-term result is going to be a community consisting mostly of shitty people.

Pages: [1]