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Text-based roleplaying MMOs: Why not?

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  • danadanadanadana Chicago, ILPosts: 3Member

    Interesting thread.

    I think people make a mistake if they think of MUDs as just like graphic MMOs, but with a description of what the picture WOULD look like instead of the actual picture. If that's what you think a MUD is, then sure, it's inferior....but MUDs allow for tons of things that graphical games can't.

    You can customize your character and other things exactly how you want them, because it's just text--you're not dependent on the artist to give you your options. And roleplay isn't just about what you say, it's about what you do, and in text you can describe your actions with the kind of detail you need.

    That said, there are a lot of crappy MUDs out there. I spent plenty of time playing some of them when I was younger because I didn't know any better. But I play Achaea now and it's a lot of fun, and 100 times richer an environment than any graphical MMO, lack of pictures notwithstanding. There are also some very good roleplay-intensive games out there where the combat system is not very good but the roleplayers tend to be great.

  • LiancaLianca Bloomingburg, OHPosts: 10Member

    I'm with Danadana and the others who play achaea. Many MUDs don't have huge playerbases, it's true, but I play in a pretty hardcore faction and there is always someone around even in the wee hours, high times of day the city of Ashtan is populaterd the Order and House are busy and there is always something to do, someone to roleplay with. (Or a Shallam to raid, hi boys!)

    On top of this there are clients now that really push the interactive broader view  of the world, some amazing player art to support our imaginations and an administration that really offers us the chance to do great things.

    http://www.achaea.com/

     

    Go on, give a not so old fashioned MUD a try.

  • lifesbrinklifesbrink Sayre, PAPosts: 553Member
    Although I am not bashing the player choice to play a MUD, I will say this:  MMO's are not restricted by graphics, allowing MUD's to do far more...the only difference is that most MMO's just choose not to include the stuff that makes MUD's popular.  Choice, not technology.   I would love a virtual world that allows for the wide range of choices MUD's can allow.

    My blog is a continuing story of what MMO's should be like.

  • MhaldorMageMhaldorMage Missoula, MTPosts: 6Member
    MUDs allow really intricate combat too. Everyone on Achaea ends up working with elaborate scripts that I don't know if they would be considered "cheating" on another game.
  • dreldrel san francisco, CAPosts: 918Member

    Apart from the old board game of Dungeon and Dragons, text based MUDs were part of the legend of how MMO's came to be.

    I didn't think they were still around.  They were fun to play as your imagination of what you read played a large part of your being immersed in the MUD

  • luniecatluniecat Baldwinsville, NYPosts: 3Member

    MMUDs are still very active out there.  This year, due to financial problems, I finally stopped playing Gemstone4, by SIMUtronics.  They also have Dragonrealms.  Both have a good player base, and are good for rping.  I think DR is a bit heavier on it than GS, but, I may be prejudiced. image   I've seen the population wane and grow, wane and grow, over the years.  Right now, I'm told that they are in another growth cycle.  If hubby hadn't become disabled, and thus our money shrunk to 1/3 of what it was, I'd still be in there!

    Graphic games are great eye-candy, and cheaper now with the ftp ones, but, I miss the ability to "fling a troll-buger at the crowd" and watch the different reactions!  Amazing at how green, gooey, slimey, huge, etc., that people make that buger!  Or, they look at what you are wearing, and give you opinions on how long, or short, or decorated items of your clothing are.  Yes, I admit, I'm a clothes hoarder!  I guess that's why I'm playing Aion now.  All the different outfits!  And they're cute!  mostly.

     

  • BigHatLoganBigHatLogan Bellingham, WAPosts: 688Member

    I used to love playing MUDs back in the day. There were so many to choose from that you really could find something that catered to your taste.   However, it is pretty hard for me to play a text base game after having spent a grand on a graphics card.  I think the future of the genre will be in game mods, kind of like what happened with Neverwinter Nights 1,  there are a ton of mods of that game that function as graphical MUDs for the most part. 

    Are you a Pavlovian Fish Biscuit Addict? Get Help Now!
    image
    I will play no more MMORPGs until somethign good comes out!

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,376Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Carduus

    Long-time lurker, you know the drill.

    I realize that for a lot of people, MMO means a game has to have kickass graphics, but it really surprises me that even the rp'ers have that mindset, considering we tend to get the short end of the the stick when it comes to many MMO designers. In fact, it often feels like we're simply an afterthought in MMO development. First they satisfy the killers with good PvP, then the achievers with badges to show off and maybe a little crafting, then the explorers with interesting areas to raid, and if they have time before production time, they'll throw roleplayers a bone like a dance emote or a roleplaying server in which to herd us.

    So yeah, I'm a little bitter, and I expect several of you are as well. What I'm confused about is why the rest of the MMO community haven't made the logic jump that I made to text-based roleplaying MMOs. Wait, don't spit your drink just yet, lemme explain. For me, the bedrock of roleplaying is in telling a good story, like each character is a main character in a book someone's writing. This lends itself extremely well to text, allowing you to describe your facial expression, vocal tone, body language, or even simply movement in great detail. You can choose to be as brief or as verbose as you want, depending on the scene. And, yeah, a well-described character is leaps and bounds more personalized than the limited number of choices that most graphical MMOs offer to roleplayers. Not only are the interactions and descriptions better, but so is the ability to go off of the beaten path. Text is only limited by your imagination, while graphical stuff needs to be actively ignored to allow your imagination to enter.

    That said, what is your sticking point with text-based roleplaying that keeps you from using them? There's hundreds out there, often lurking under the names of MMO's grandparents, the MUD and MUSH. They're often at least free to play, and have the best rp I've found anywhere. Thanks.

    I think with the emergence of World of Warcraft and it bringing in a ton of people that might not have traditionally played RPGs, getting into a MUD is creepy. I like them myself, but I have grown up playing RPGs, from D&D to the single player RPGs to the MMOs.

    You get a cat coming from a console background, it might be daunting to jump in to a text-based, roleplaying situation. I mean, I see donkey after donkey talking down to people that try in role-play in the various MMOs I play which never made sense to me. They think the RPers is some kind of dorky nerd and they spout off, all the while they are playing the SAME ROLE-PLAYING GAME as the person they are deriding. 

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • JabasJabas Caldas da RainhaPosts: 1,207Member Common

    Not for me. I want a 3D client.

  • DraeghorDraeghor Sacramento, CAPosts: 50Member

    Most of the text based tgames I worked on really were combat and quest oriented, so i am not sure what the RP community is really looking for in a text based game.  Gemstone 2 and 3  andf Dragons Gate, whcih I played but did not develop for,  were great, and had some RP opportunities, but I think most of it (At least in my time) were centered aroud GM interactions, and not specifically at the playerbase itself.  Some of the game I did work for and the Muck I created and added combat to again were more combat and quest oriented. 

    So what is it that the RP community is lookign for in a text based game.  Is it just emotes, ways to script events, or even the ability to create their own enviroments and stories.  I have been toying with startign developing again, and am just interested in what people really want.

  • Chaos_AmunetChaos_Amunet Spokane, WAPosts: 9Member

    One thing that really stands out to me in the text-based games that I've played -- mainly through Iron Realms Entertainment -- is that  the smaller base of players allows for the administration  to become a part of the community and a part of the roleplay in a way that isn't really feasible in a large-scale graphical game. During my brief forays into WoW, I noticed that the only interaction players really have with the people running the game is when they have a customer service complaint. There are next to no worldwide RP events, and players don't really have many avenues to effect change within the game. Any attempt to RP is largely limited to personal storylines. There is no way a player can really leave an enduring impression upon the game at large. To me, that's a huge turn-off. I like options. I like versatility. Raiding and grinding are fine, in moderation, but if I'm going to stick with a game in the long-term, I need an engaging environment. Graphical MMOs just don't do the trick.

     

     

  • MedsiMedsi Montreal, QCPosts: 23Member

    I'm not sure if it's still around or not - but there was a MUD with partial graphics (maps etc) called "Castle Marrach" it was deisgned around RPing, and thats pretty much what you did. You could explore, fight etc - but all within the confines of a gigantic castle - the story was great and made sense - and the developers changed the world around us - even reacted to events players had.

     

    The problem was it was filled with cliques. And if you weren't in one you were screwed. And if you were in one, heaven help you if you tried to reach out to anyone else. I myself was one of the core active players - and had a good amount of influence at the time. I chose to branch out away from my dueling comrades and interact with others. The OOC drama hit the proverbial fan, and I was left ostracized from the community - and all for the sake of trying to bridge it.  Irony - it soured me then, it amuses me now.

    Did it fail? I don't know - it ended for me.

    But it proves it can be done - I"m not sure if it can be done right - but for a damn good story - I'll go where the game is. Until then, I'm happy to entertain myself with whatever game my friends are playing, I can find a way to work within it.

    If they are still around - I'd recommend giving them a go, Skotos was the developer.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Carduus

    I realize that for a lot of people, MMO means a game has to have kickass graphics, but it really surprises me that even the rp'ers have that mindset,

    We discussed it (to death) as UO's opening day approached.  Expected the genre (with fancy graphics) to introduce a different kind of world, including the inherent limitations on roleplaying necessitated by the use of wireframe models.  Yes yes M59 dude, we know you're watching, hush.

    We were right, and wrong--both too conservative and too extreme in our efforts to predict the future.  The industry moved on.  Time passed.

    In 1998, I encountered my first player who'd never even heard of a RP game that didn't have graphics.  He disconnected rather than even give it a trial. 

    Time passed.

    Today, players bemoaning the death of communities and the death of roleplay would frequently refuse games with elderly graphics, let alone no graphics at all.

    Life goes on.  I really don't miss Space Invaders very often.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,762Member Uncommon

    Best RP online I have done was in text based Mud's. But when AC and DAOC came out, more and more went there to RP. Without going into a lot of history Rpers went from being the driving force in MMO's to an unwanted minority.

    But with Mud's populations so down, how could we go back? What's the situation today, do Mud's or text based MMO's have a decent popualtion at all?

  • Corbeau-xCorbeau-x Wallops Island, VAPosts: 4Member
    I'd also like to join those that mentioned the Iron Realms Entertainment games. Specifically, Achaea, which is the MUD I play. Graphical games just don't hold the same appeal anymore, unless I'm gaming for a reason other than RP.
  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastPosts: 1,617Member Uncommon
    Used to play This years ago.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • jimmytran80jimmytran80 BangkokPosts: 10Member
    I normally dont play text-based RPG, but there is one game that really attracts me a lot by its thrilling storyline. It called Wizard's Choice if i remember it correctly. I played it on my Windows Phone. But now it stops at chapter 5 and I am still waiting for its next release.
  • AnslemAnslem Ft. Lauderdale, FLPosts: 215Member

    This needs reviving.

    Who's down for a strong RPG MUSH or MUD?

    Needing guidance,

    Sel

    Played: Ultima Online - DaoC - WoW -

  • jimhabeggerjimhabegger Richmond, VAPosts: 5Member
    Some time ago I did some research on where to do storytelling rp. I don't remember much, but I bookmarked Armageddon, Dark Isles and Shadows of Isildur, and I chose shadows of Isildur. I got bogged down on my character description and never actually played, so I don't know from experience, but from what I've seen it looks like really serious storytelling rp to me.
  • AnslemAnslem Ft. Lauderdale, FLPosts: 215Member
    Originally posted by jimhabegger
    Some time ago I did some research on where to do storytelling rp. I don't remember much, but I bookmarked Armageddon, Dark Isles and Shadows of Isildur, and I chose shadows of Isildur. I got bogged down on my character description and never actually played, so I don't know from experience, but from what I've seen it looks like really serious storytelling rp to me.

    And then what happened?  I like the idea because I do not need to be sitting upright at the PC.  Can do the RP stories on  a tablet, etc.  

    I did RP in UO and a a small percentage in WoW.  

    Played: Ultima Online - DaoC - WoW -

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Carduus

    LThat said, what is your sticking point with text-based roleplaying that keeps you from using them? There's hundreds out there, often lurking under the names of MMO's grandparents, the MUD and MUSH. They're often at least free to play, and have the best rp I've found anywhere. Thanks.

    You can attempt to "sell" text format on flexibility and/or community. And make a pretty decent case, actually.

    But roleplay has never been important to more than the tiniest sliver of the MMO audience.

    And as far as the corporations go, a money-losing proposition.  Their goal is Massive, not Roleplay.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • HoracePinkerHoracePinker Wilmington, NCPosts: 1Member

    Hi. One text based RPG game that you can kill other players in is Legend of the Green Dragon!

    I played this game for half a year at least. Really fun text game I might play again. Good community to real good.

  • WoodheartWoodheart A GuardaPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by HoracePinker

    Hi. One text based RPG game that you can kill other players in is Legend of the Green Dragon!

    I played this game for half a year at least. Really fun text game I might play again. Good community to real good.

     

    Word! Not that I played much of this type of game but I relly loved this game.

  • mindw0rkmindw0rk St-petersburgPosts: 1,351Member

    Following your recommendations I tried Achaea. Wow... srsly wow. Ive played some MUDs in 90s, and I never thought I would come back to them after switching to MMORPGs. But the depth of this game is just crazy, far surpasses modern MMOs or my older MUDs. And I like heavy ephasis on RP. We'll see where the destiny brings my character.

     

  • MeligarMeligar BlackpoolPosts: 2Member
    There are some good ones out there. Phoenix: Beyond the Stellar Empire  (sci-fi, if you had not guessed) has been going for 20 years as an open ended RPG/sandbox game. 
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