[MUD-Dev] \"An essay on d00dism and the MMORPG\"

Vincent Archer archer at nevrax.com
Mon Dec 4 10:39:33 CET 2000

According to John Buehler:
> Vincent Archer writes:

>> First trap: Local namespaces mean a N-squared storage for
>> names. Each name label is associated not only with the entity it
>> refers to, but also you, giving a matrix, not a list.
> I addressed this in another post.  Move the name list to the client.

Which require a specific client at least, so it's not a feature for a
telnettable MUD.

> It's impossible to know about someone just through conversation?
> What does that mean?  "Hi, my name is Tormanth".  I click on you,
> type /name this "Tormanth" and I'm done.  Or the word "Tormanth" is
> highlighted and I just click on that, and the association is made.
> It can be made pretty lightweight, if that's your concern.

It's still very cumbersome. If I *need* to do that to "remember"
someone, it's is *too* cumbersome.

> Um, how about checking to see if a given PLAYER is on and talk to
> the PLAYER using the OUT OF CHARACTER communication mechanism?

Then you have fallen back to global naming. If I have to use two
different names for someone, I'll tend to use only one of them. If the
only consistent one is the player name, then I'll use the player name
in most, if not all circumstances. And you get back to confusion: I'm
always talking about a 'varcher' (usual login name), and people are
confused why I'm using that name, when it seems I'm talking about
'Ukerric Eudpoch'.

> While I can imagine that happening, I'm afraid this point isn't going to
> slow down my enthusiasm for the approach.


>>> But if you DO start a new character and you want to track down
>>> your old buddies, you just arrange to meet with them in the world
>>> and get introductions started.
>> That's RPing.
> Not if you don't want it to be.  It's just a game mechanism that you
> use to get labels set over your head.  Having to go off and kill
> things is roleplaying.  Having to interact with merchants is
> roleplaying.  Everything that you do within the game context is
> roleplaying after a fashion.

If you require people to have their avatars meet in order to be able
to 'know' each other, then it's an avatar-knowledge mechanism, which
is strongly RP-oriented. It's something that tries to prevent the
intervention of the Player into the action of the Character. That's a
role-play game feature.

> Again, pishtosh.  That's a game mechanism.  Your expectations are
> such that

Everything within a game is a game mechanism. However, there are some
that are used for role playing, and some for 'gaming'. In EQ, having
to spend 30 minutes to run from one end of Antonica to the other (your
'walking' example) is a game mechanic, and a role-play
feature. However, having a zone boundary across which monsters, spells
and voice cannot cross is ALSO an EQ game mechanic. But it's not one
used to foster much role-play :)

> game experience extends out from that.  I don't have a whit of a
> problem saying that finding out who someone is is part of the game,
> just like killing stuff is part of the game.  Or FINDING someone in
> the game world.

Well, it can work. In a small RP-oriented environment. It breaks down
as the world and playerbase gets larger. In a 10,000 player base,
being able to IDENTIFY immediately a character is much much more

Vincent Archer                                         Email: archer at nevrax.com

Nevrax France.                              Off on the yellow brick road we go!
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