Poll

Should RP MUDs have an end at a certain point?

Yes
2 (28.6%)
No
0 (0%)
Depends on the setting and its potential for future RP
5 (71.4%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: Should all things have an ending?  (Read 720 times)

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Orin Offline

Should all things have an ending?
« on: April 25, 2017, 03:12:43 PM »
Just like a good book, should an RP MUD have an ending so that it doesn't grow stale?

I feel like in some MUDs I have played on, I have seen the story slowly degrade over long periods of time.  At a certain point it feels as if the game world suffers, and leads to a lack of quality roleplay.  Closing shop, giving one last important event or plot, and allowing the players to see the end of the game seems like a pretty awesome thing to do.

That isn't to say the game world could not be remade at some point with a newer plot, in a different time, or in a parallel universe.  Who knows?

What are your thoughts on this?
That which I am is not which I was; I am what I am

Reiloth Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 05:10:02 PM »
Just like a good book, should an RP MUD have an ending so that it doesn't grow stale?

I feel like in some MUDs I have played on, I have seen the story slowly degrade over long periods of time.  At a certain point it feels as if the game world suffers, and leads to a lack of quality roleplay.  Closing shop, giving one last important event or plot, and allowing the players to see the end of the game seems like a pretty awesome thing to do.

That isn't to say the game world could not be remade at some point with a newer plot, in a different time, or in a parallel universe.  Who knows?

What are your thoughts on this?

My thoughts are complicated. Though I think there is a certain catharsis that comes from the ending, I think a new beginning can be just as valuable. Unfortunately, what I think happens for the most part, is Staff tend to stick around indefinitely, some for ten years, some for twenty, some for only a few. Those that end up staying for a long time tend to have more weight put behind their opinions on how the game should be, and they also tend to be the most out of touch with how the game actually is.

If anything -- I think that Staff should have a sort of soft time limit to their time on Staff. While I think it's great they want to volunteer their time (and I certainly put in my dues at ArmageddonMUD), sometimes it's best for the health of the game if your traditional views on how things 'were' and 'should be' are put aside for a bit. At the very least, having programmed/timed sorts of breaks where a Staff member plays the game solely and can get a feel for how it is to be a player in their world again.

That being said -- It would be silly to tell the people who created the game to step away from it. Developers and people who pour their time and energy into creating the project should likely stick around for as long as they are able and willing. However -- Most of the time -- They end up leaving anyways, and sometimes not on the best of terms, and without an exit strategy or plan on what happens to the game they helped create.

In essence...I think it's sometimes to the benefit of a game to have a beginning, middle, and end. I was certainly looking forward to ArmageddonMUD ending and coming out with a new iteration, mostly because it felt like all of the crap clogging the arteries of the MUD would just be let go and tossed in the trash. However -- It became clear over time that the vision for this new game was not united, and that they are now (even years after the announcement was called off) uninterested in pursuing even the smallest of great ideas presented during that time.

As with all joined creative ventures and relationships (my best knowledge comes from music and playing in bands) there comes a time where you need to admit there's a problem and try to fix it, or walk away. We're all a part of the problem, and a part of the solution, too. In-between 'us' and 'them' is 'we'. I think most people on Staff are willing to drive their spaceship into the center of the sun and blow it up before admitting they have a part in the reason why their game is slowly degrading and in decline. Which is quite unfortunate -- I do think if they see it heading in that direction, it would be nice to get a heads up and log in a final time before watching that sweet spaceship blow up.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done—so therefore you may never know life of peace." ~ Jack Vance

Reiloth Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 05:12:41 PM »
I didn't get to play Atonement before it began and ended -- Who did? What was that like?
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done—so therefore you may never know life of peace." ~ Jack Vance

Jeshin Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 06:19:37 PM »
I think that a lot of games would benefit from pwipes if not outright ending. This is a topic that Jaunt, Apollo, and I once discussed. Episodic MUDs that exist for 2-3 years and then end. That being said there are plenty of MUDs that actually do semi-regular pwipes. I know there is a very popular star wars RP mud that pwipes every 1-2 years and has new metaplots each time. They also change the spot in the timeline they start each time. There is also a Dragonball Z roleplay MUD which pwipes every 1 - 1.5 years. In general I think that ending arcs and recycling the character base (not playerbase) is beneficial to a game. Haven for example has fairly regular reboots as it's on iteration 3.0 and often you will see a loss of activity and interest leading into the end of an iteration only to have them hit peak numbers again upon the reboot/re-release.

That isn't to say that a MUD can't just keep going and I think there are benefits to that but it all has to be part of your vision for the game. Do you want something with a beginning middle and end and potentially a greater impact or do you want something that is more 'stable' and a place for people to explore characters within a slowly but generally same-y world?

Clarity Offline

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Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 07:29:13 PM »
I am rather fond of the idea of games having episodes, or reboots semi regularly, especially if it is tied into the meta plot and has plenty of story leading up to the finale. I even like the idea of 'pop up' RP muds or MU*s that run for an even shorter period than the time given, say 4-6 months of a more intense story line, only to pick up after with something new.

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston S. Churchill

Many Faces Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 02:57:20 AM »
I strongly dislike the idea of a MUD having a hard end-date by default, but I voted "Depends" because I can see the value of it in some instances.  The reason for my dislike is it is very hard to find a good group of players.  If you end a MUD that has good players in it, odds are they're not all going to find themselves together again in the same MUD.

However, I completely agree with the OP: it is common for MUDs to go stale.  That absolutely happens.  There are three options for handling it in a MUD that is meant to last in perpetuity:
  • Known, regular pwipes.  These can either be due to starting over or jumping to a new chapter... really, any excuse that requires an end to the status quo but still leaves players in familiar territory.
  • Have a dynamic setting driven by player activity that can impact things game-wide.
  • Treat the MUD as a game engine instead of a game.

#1 has already been thoroughly covered, so I can't really add more than a "me too" to it.

#2 is something I'm designing for currently.  Assuming I follow through with the project I'll be able to give real feedback on it on OR 5.0 in 2019.

To elaborate, I am designing a game around the idea the economy is not a reward system, it's something the players participate in.  Ideally I'd like to introduce factors into the game where players resolve or create political events based on just acting like their characters would in those situations.  The results might lead to war or shortages or any number of things where the result would be triggered by how players resolve the situations.

I'm not willing to let players actually get into government positions, because I loathe putting staff bureaucracy in place to drive things, but if you're fine with it my suggestion would include allowing players to shift the boarders in nations or entirely create or destroy them under this model.

#3 - Generally, MUDs are created where there is no logical separation between the medium and the content.  When the content ends, the MUD ends.  I really see no reason why I MUD couldn't be designed as a gaming platform, able to serve up different games from the same wbesite/IP.  I'm not talking about making an engine anyone can use.  I'm talking about operating a specific MUD as a gaming platform that may have entirely different games on it.  Basically, I mean treating it the same way you'd treat Tabletop Simulator.

All things considered, a MUD is a tabletop emulator with state storage and code streamlining things like rolls and calculations.  Making a MUD that can handle things one level higher than existing MUDs do isn't much of a stretch, and it would allow you to retain good players after a game ends, as long as they were interested in future games.

Leech Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 12:21:49 PM »
If you have a setting where it would be both beneficial and thematically logical to introduce expansions in the way that typical RPGs do (think Heavensward, Blood and Wine, and Morrowind), then you should. Even then, you can only ride that train for so long. I voted yes, for the same reasons that people said above, and also because by spreading out the features of your MUD with rapid expansions you risk alienating more players than you are attracting.

Middlebrook Offline

Re: Should all things have an ending?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 10:44:40 AM »
I'm certainly all for it. It feels so satisfying when games have meaningful endings. I think endings are a bit of a lost art in AAA games nowadays. That's where things like RP MUDs should come in and shine.