[MUD-Dev] more classes (Usability and interface and who the hell is suppo)

Brandon J. Rickman ashes at pc4.zennet.com
Wed Oct 1 15:29:45 CEST 1997

On Wed, 1 Oct 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
>In <199709261450.HAA11171 at pc4.zennet.com>, on 09/26/97 
>   at 09:44 AM, "Brandon J. Rickman" <ashes at pc4.zennet.com> said:
>>And why does everyone start with a weak character?  In heroic science
>>fiction or fantasy characters start out with some expert skills.  
>A couple basic reasons:
>  It allows MUDs to more easily play off __two__ of the basic plots:
>_Man_Learns_A_Lesson_, and _The_Little_Tailor_ (man goes out, has an
>adventure, comes home and tells about it).

Ah, but in _The Little Tailor_ the guy was *already* a skilled tailor. 
Or at least he knew a little sewing.  

>  It allows the same game to be played repetitively: Each time the
>character can advance differently.

And the same character can advance in many different ways in many differnt
stories.  The only limitation is that most characters eventually become
some kind of uber-hero (James Bond, Rambo, Paul Hogan... er, well, not
Paul Hogan) that, in a multi-user setting, tends to unbalance the game.
It is this imbalance that has created these artificial level systems
where level 20 characters become game wizards/gods, because they are
incompatible with level 1 characters.  The game environment is designed 
in such a way that vast differences in skill don't work very well together.
I am suggesting that, in a very simple minded sense, if you move the
starting point up to level 5 then you can extend the game up to level 25.
But I'm not at all talking about character levels, and someone is bound
to quote this article and condemn the very mention of levels on the list.

>  The sense of advancement provides attractive goals for players.

Evil characters usually start out more powerful, but there is a different
sense of advancement for those roles.  And the advantage is usually in
combat-related areas, which may or may not be the focus of the game.

- Brandon Rickman - ashes at zennet.com -
While I have never previously found a need for a .sig, this
may be considered one for the purposes of this list

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