[MUD-Dev] Moving away from the level based system

Gabriel gjsfaun at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 22 03:15:19 CET 2000

John Vanderbeck Wrote:

> In a way.  You can power by using your skills/spells and using your
> attributes wich causes them to increase.

One of the major problems I've had with systems which have
skills/attributes/etc increase through use is it promotes people to
script or bot actions. For example, if I wanted to fletch the best
arrows in the land, I'd go to a nice quite place and through the use
of macros or a program to automatically execute key or mouse strokes,
I'd have my character fletch over and over again. I'd then go off to
work or school, maybe take a nap and come back in six, twelve, fourty
hours later and see how fast my character is learning.

With a fairly decent player base, such practices are abored and many
players will think it a form of "cheating" and will demand the Staff
to do something about it. The designers then get together and start
patching together systems which they hope will prevent it, and the
players develop ways to get around it. I've seen this in several
games, sometimes it ends up working but by this time the damage is

I don't doubt that in designing a system, steps can be taken to
prevent this if the designer wants to but this still remains one of
the inherrent problems with "earn as you use" systems. It requires
that the designer take it into account with each system she develops,
extends the amount of code to put in protective systems so they can't
be abused, and in the end may not work the way the designer thinks -
players are crafty people.

I don't really have a better system to provide. In the MUD I've been
developing, I'm using a time based system - all characters get so many
points over time to increase skills or attributes (no levels or
classes).  Bonus points may be awarded through special events or
quests (for especially good role-play for example, an administrator
can award the player a few extra points). It doesn't matter if the
character is logged in or not, so one of the main complaints may be
that people create a character, then go off and play another game for
a year, then come back and are not perceived to have "earned" the
points they have accumilated for advancement. One of the reasons I'm
interrested in other systems :).

Some of the bonus' to the time-based system include not having to put
in and update protective code, resources preserved by not having
characters continuously logged in without a player behind the persona.

Just some thoughts...


MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the mud-dev-archive mailing list