[MUD-Dev] In Game Family Trees (Was: Time Limited MUDs)

Johan A asteroid at rocketmail.com
Mon Dec 20 16:58:47 CET 2004

William Leader <leader at k2wrpg.org> wrote:
> Quoting Scion <scion at divineright.org>:

>> Realistically speaking, people tend to play these games out of
>> character. That means that the friendships created are between
>> the players, not the characters.  If a character died and the
>> player made a new one, he/she would simply have to get in touch
>> with the old character's guild to recieve out of character
>> benefits. Of course this factor should be taken into account in
>> the game design with one of the solutions we've already discussed
>> in our numerous perm-death threads (ie. the new character is some
>> relative of the old one).

> I kind of like where this could go. This could give an added sense
> of achievement if done right. The trick would be to attach a title
> of parentage to characters that had earned it. For example, the
> players first character might simply be 'Farin'. Farin finishes
> the quest or whatever other requirement. Farin, now his son Borin
> sets forth in the world, and adventurers recognize him as Borin
> son of Farin. Each time the child is killed, completes the quest,
> or retires whatever you tack on another name.

Do you mean that each offspring will be a new lvl 1 character? That
would be very off putting I think. Though, UXO before it was
cancelled had an interesting system to elevate you 'main' to avatar
status by levelling your alternative character. I think 7 were
required to reach max level to give your main the Avatar status. I
would love to see this in a game like WoW where you level so fast,
this would make your main a "Hero". A complete steal but it's such a
waste to let this idea rot in EA's canceled archive.

> The result is that when you meet Gimli, son of Gloin, son of
> Groin, son of Borin, son of Farin, you know the player controlling
> that character probably disserves some of the respect that the
> characters title commands.

What happens when you have played for 4 years. That's gonna be one
humongous name, not to mention that one single character will occupy
some 30 names alone.

> The sweet part, is that it adds what I find is so often missing
> from these games, History. Sure I read the little intro that comes
> with the game that sets the stage and what not, but I hardly find
> that satisfying. This formalizes a process by which players add
> their own history (content). It gives achievers a thoroughly open
> ended goal. If having a really long name represents achievements,
> then achievers will work towards having the longest
> name. Explorers get a richer history, and Socials get one more
> thing to talk about. Depending on how it's implemented it could
> even give Griefers a more satisfying outlet by allowing family
> feuds.

While MMORPG's are persisting world they are extremely static. Sure
new expansions add new continents but what about entire cities being
destroyed by comets, leaving nothing but a massive hole in the

If people have camped in the city and log on later, they would be
greeted by a simple screen with text, telling in only a few words
how they miraculously escaped (think Bauldurs Gate 2 chapter
description).  Or war between NPC's, changing the story/landscape or
making certain metals very rare due to the making of armour/swords
(by the NPC's). Or, how about a city/town being occupied by foul
trolls for a few weeks, making it a camp for high level players to
clear out?

These are fairly small changes that could be implemented during
patch time but they would add so much to the world. And will allow
players to tell tails of how they we're affected during the 'great
depression' back in the days. With the kind of money MMO games make
(the successful ones) there is no excuse not to put a tiny amount
aside for a creative writer to come up with great stories.

You don't have to be a role player to enjoy story, just a gamer.

- Johan
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