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Can we revive MUDs?

ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member

I haven't been playing many MMOs lately, it's just endless grinding from one game to the next. I never feel like I'm actually part of a community or a "faction" that works together to further ideologies. Horde vs Alliance: Who will win? Nobody, because the game isn't designed for one faction to "win the game" in any meaningful sort of way.

I've been playing MUDs a lot and the roleplay immersion is usually 10000x deeper, like this one MUD I'm playing they just blew up an entire player-city, and now all the players are homeless refugees trying to re-organize their military lifestyle without a home. It's very intense and very exciting.

So in the debate of fancy graphics vs a rich immersive experience, why do the fancy graphics keep winning out? I think MUDs should be revived so modern MMO companies will look at the roots of online gaming and see where they went wrong. Lots of MUDs are still popular for some of the reasons I've said.

image

Currently playing: Achaea

Comments

  • KortaiKortai Greenwood Lake, NYPosts: 7Member

    I played a few MUDs, not a lot but a few.  Even staffed a couple and assisted in some building for a couple.  I think a lot of people can say the same.

     

    The problem with MUDs is that most of the gaming atmosphere wants gratification now rather than later, and graphical presentations of games will always give more of a gratifying experience, in the beginning, than a text based game.

     

    I think that the days of mass marketing MUDs are probably at an end, but if you truly wanted to play a MUD and bring life to it, you tell your friends, get your friends to tell their friends, and go visit a MUD.

     

    Maybe you stay, maybe you don't, maybe someone falls in love with the game along the way and plays it for years.  Who knows?  But that's probably the best way to get MUDs new blood.

    Kortai

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member

    There's probably less than 3 companies that still design MUDs that could afford "mass marketing" but it wouldn't do anything for them. 5000 visitors doesn't equal any conversion. It definitely needs to be word-of-mouth. You're right about graphics offering instant-gratification in the beginning, that's why they lose appeal fast (for me).

    There's also a lot of really old Diku-style hack'n'slash MUDs that haven't updated with the times and give the genre a bad name. Those are the "boring text games". The ones I play have made the effort to improve their clients and graphical interfaces over the years.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • BrianshoBriansho Woodbridge, VAPosts: 4,779Member Uncommon
    There are still a lot out there. Look up MUD connector. Gemstone is still going strong as well.

    Don't be terrorized! You're more likely to die of a car accident, drowning, fire, or murder! More people die every year from prescription drugs than terrorism LOL!

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Ergload

    So in the debate of fancy graphics vs a rich immersive experience, why do the fancy graphics keep winning out?

    Ambient informtion.  If you can afford to make it, you can simply communicate background information and atmosphere faster with graphics than with text.

    I'm curious about your perception that MUDs were less static than modern games - I wonder if that comes from MUDs generally having a tier of immortals with wide freedom to write and rewrite their corners of the world?   I don't have a good sense of what MUDs have actually been experimenting with in the last couple of decades.

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Ergload

    So in the debate of fancy graphics vs a rich immersive experience, why do the fancy graphics keep winning out?

    Ambient informtion.  If you can afford to make it, you can simply communicate background information and atmosphere faster with graphics than with text.

    I'm curious about your perception that MUDs were less static than modern games - I wonder if that comes from MUDs generally having a tier of immortals with wide freedom to write and rewrite their corners of the world?   I don't have a good sense of what MUDs have actually been experimenting with in the last couple of decades.

    The dynamic events in MUDs are pretty unique, for me. I haven't seen an equivelant in the popular MMOs. A good example is the vertani invasion event that Achaea ran a few years ago. A portal opened to another world and foreign giants came through it. Some players interacted with them and learned a new language, and got the enjoyment of roleplaying with staff-controlled NPCs. Other players decided simply to kill the vertani, which led to a small war between that faction and the vertani NPCs.

    It was incredibly dynamic because the event outcome shifted based on the actions of the playerbase and sometimes individual players. For instance, one player snuck into a meeting room and killed the ambasaddor of the vertani NPCs, while another player-faction was negotiating with them. Roleplay is king, so the staff couldn't just resurrect the ambassador and continue like nothing happened, it was now a part of the event.

    This stuff doesn't happen in MMOs because the playerbase is so large that the company can't pay attention to them on such a personal level.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Ergload

    I haven't been playing many MMOs lately, it's just endless grinding from one game to the next. I never feel like I'm actually part of a community or a "faction" that works together to further ideologies. Horde vs Alliance: Who will win? Nobody, because the game isn't designed for one faction to "win the game" in any meaningful sort of way.

    I've been playing MUDs a lot and the roleplay immersion is usually 10000x deeper, like this one MUD I'm playing they just blew up an entire player-city, and now all the players are homeless refugees trying to re-organize their military lifestyle without a home. It's very intense and very exciting.

    So in the debate of fancy graphics vs a rich immersive experience, why do the fancy graphics keep winning out? I think MUDs should be revived so modern MMO companies will look at the roots of online gaming and see where they went wrong. Lots of MUDs are still popular for some of the reasons I've said.

    1) The title is misleading. Obviously there is no need to "revivie" since many MUDs are still running.

    2) The reason is quite simple. People have different preferences and what you want is not desired by most of the market.

    Let me put it this way. Not every gamer wants to be homless in a text environment. Many want to kill stuff in deep satisfying graphical combat.

    There is multiple dimension to "deep". Not everyone is looking for role-playing immersion deep ... many are only looking for depth in combat mechanics.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    One of the favourite stories I remember hearing from a MUD (although I didn't participate myself) was an epic event where factions were fighting over an artifact, trying to get it back to one base or another.  After hours of back-and-forth fighting, someone summoned a demon to swallow the current artifact-carrier.  Due to a small bug in the way the demon and event interacted, this destroyed the artifact from the game.  When players realized what had happened, the demonologists burst out in a role-playing celebration, declaring that they had successfully sacrificed the artifact.  In response, the canon of the game world was then updated to reflect this.

    However, that said, the game apparently later disintegrated in the politics between different immmortals with contradictory views of what happened in the canon.   So I personally prefer development of better, deeper simulations rather than handling it all by hand-written content.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by maplestone

    One of the favourite stories I remember hearing from a MUD (although I didn't participate myself) was an epic event where factions were fighting over an artifact, trying to get it back to one base or another.  After hours of back-and-forth fighting, someone summoned a demon to swallow the current artifact-carrier.  Due to a small bug in the way the demon and event interacted, this destroyed the artifact from the game.  When players realized what had happened, the demonologists burst out in a role-playing celebration, declaring that they had successfully sacrificed the artifact.  In response, the canon of the game world was then updated to reflect this.

    However, that said, the game apparently later disintegrated in the politics between different immmortals with contradictory views of what happened in the canon.   So I personally prefer development of better, deeper simulations rather than handling it all by hand-written content.

    The obvious problem of a game depends so much on interaction is the possibility of disagreement, drama, and the resulting fallout (like quiting and what-not).

    That is why personally i limit my interaction to grouping, trading and may be some chatting. Anything else takes too much time/effort, and may not be conducive to getting some fast fun entertainment.

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    One of the favourite stories I remember hearing from a MUD (although I didn't participate myself) was an epic event where factions were fighting over an artifact, trying to get it back to one base or another.  After hours of back-and-forth fighting, someone summoned a demon to swallow the current artifact-carrier.  Due to a small bug in the way the demon and event interacted, this destroyed the artifact from the game.  When players realized what had happened, the demonologists burst out in a role-playing celebration, declaring that they had successfully sacrificed the artifact.  In response, the canon of the game world was then updated to reflect this.

    However, that said, the game apparently later disintegrated in the politics between different immmortals with contradictory views of what happened in the canon.   So I personally prefer development of better, deeper simulations rather than handling it all by hand-written content.

    The obvious problem of a game depends so much on interaction is the possibility of disagreement, drama, and the resulting fallout (like quiting and what-not).

    That is why personally i limit my interaction to grouping, trading and may be some chatting. Anything else takes too much time/effort, and may not be conducive to getting some fast fun entertainment.

    I think the drama is what keeps people coming back, but like you said earlier the majority of the market wants in-depth PK with stunning graphics. That's not to say MUD combat isn't complex, though, check out this 1v1 duel log. http://ge.tt/9V9uOJY/v/0

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    from the 80s to mid 90s I LOVED MUDs.. I hosted many and even created a couple back in the day...but in all those years I always thought wouldn't it be great if they made full graphical versions of these types of games?.. i really can't see myself getting back into the text based gaming even though i loved it for so many years.. sometimes you just move on:)

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • anemoanemo Posts: 761Member Uncommon

    Graphics keep winning out because it's so very easy to invest into more artists, modelers, and the latest technology.

    When I say easy I mean easy in the sense that developers are tossed a budget that can afford many hands, that Nvidea/Ati have done well at raising a culture that loves the latest and greatest, and that it's just what they've done on every other previous project.   There's just so much momentum behind "how things are done" that even when it's not easy it is.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    One of the favourite stories I remember hearing from a MUD (although I didn't participate myself) was an epic event where factions were fighting over an artifact, trying to get it back to one base or another.  After hours of back-and-forth fighting, someone summoned a demon to swallow the current artifact-carrier.  Due to a small bug in the way the demon and event interacted, this destroyed the artifact from the game.  When players realized what had happened, the demonologists burst out in a role-playing celebration, declaring that they had successfully sacrificed the artifact.  In response, the canon of the game world was then updated to reflect this.

    However, that said, the game apparently later disintegrated in the politics between different immmortals with contradictory views of what happened in the canon.   So I personally prefer development of better, deeper simulations rather than handling it all by hand-written content.

    The obvious problem of a game depends so much on interaction is the possibility of disagreement, drama, and the resulting fallout (like quiting and what-not).

    That is why personally i limit my interaction to grouping, trading and may be some chatting. Anything else takes too much time/effort, and may not be conducive to getting some fast fun entertainment.

    I think the drama is what keeps people coming back, but like you said earlier the majority of the market wants in-depth PK with stunning graphics. That's not to say MUD combat isn't complex, though, check out this 1v1 duel log. http://ge.tt/9V9uOJY/v/0

    Drama attracts some, but not all. I won't play a game with human drama. That is not fun for me. A few month in a hardcore raiding guild has enough drama for the rest of my life.

    Oh, i never said text combat cannot be complex. After all, text can describe anything, and you can set up very complicated logical rules .. but obviously it is not the same as graphica combat.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Ergload
    This stuff doesn't happen in MMOs because the playerbase is so large that the company can't pay attention to them on such a personal level.
    So are you asking for MUDs to become huge behemoths like graphical MMOs now? I think part of the appeal of MUDs is their smaller communities. Where one's actions do affect the game world.

    Back when MMOs were a niche, GM driven events were present. I recall quite a few in EQ and CoH when I played. Those events were pretty much massive fights and had no long term affect on the game world, though. GMs are pretty much gone now from MMOs.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • anemoanemo Posts: 761Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    One of the favourite stories I remember hearing from a MUD (although I didn't participate myself) was an epic event where factions were fighting over an artifact, trying to get it back to one base or another.  After hours of back-and-forth fighting, someone summoned a demon to swallow the current artifact-carrier.  Due to a small bug in the way the demon and event interacted, this destroyed the artifact from the game.  When players realized what had happened, the demonologists burst out in a role-playing celebration, declaring that they had successfully sacrificed the artifact.  In response, the canon of the game world was then updated to reflect this.

    However, that said, the game apparently later disintegrated in the politics between different immmortals with contradictory views of what happened in the canon.   So I personally prefer development of better, deeper simulations rather than handling it all by hand-written content.

    The obvious problem of a game depends so much on interaction is the possibility of disagreement, drama, and the resulting fallout (like quiting and what-not).

    That is why personally i limit my interaction to grouping, trading and may be some chatting. Anything else takes too much time/effort, and may not be conducive to getting some fast fun entertainment.

    I think the drama is what keeps people coming back, but like you said earlier the majority of the market wants in-depth PK with stunning graphics. That's not to say MUD combat isn't complex, though, check out this 1v1 duel log. http://ge.tt/9V9uOJY/v/0

    Drama attracts some, but not all. I won't play a game with human drama. That is not fun for me. A few month in a hardcore raiding guild has enough drama for the rest of my life.

    Oh, i never said text combat cannot be complex. After all, text can describe anything, and you can set up very complicated logical rules .. but obviously it is not the same as graphica combat.

    Iron Realms games have the most complex combat out of any MMO(that I know of), and of course they're muds.

    Essentially the goal of the combat is to control the paths of option of yourself and your opponent.    Of course achieved by status effects and lots of them, along with varying ways to heal status effects.    The status effects and healling abilities don't really repeat themselvs as well,  sure you might win by sheer damage but a win usually happens when a player loses the ability to probperly heal status effects.

     

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    Back when MMOs were a niche, GM driven events were present. I recall quite a few in EQ and CoH when I played. Those events were pretty much massive fights and had no long term affect on the game world, though. GMs are pretty much gone now from MMOs.

    I agree and my point is that the GM driven event is still alive in MUDs, so they're still worth a play. I think MUDs could convince people to try them if the interace was easier to use, today's generation is like "wtf is this text? is this a chatroom?" and they never even scratch the surface.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    Back when MMOs were a niche, GM driven events were present. I recall quite a few in EQ and CoH when I played. Those events were pretty much massive fights and had no long term affect on the game world, though. GMs are pretty much gone now from MMOs.

    I agree and my point is that the GM driven event is still alive in MUDs, so they're still worth a play. I think MUDs could convince people to try them if the interace was easier to use, today's generation is like "wtf is this text? is this a chatroom?" and they never even scratch the surface.

    I doubt it. I have seen MUD clients that try to streamline the interface but no matter what you do, the game is all in text.

    There is no way to attract but a niche audience.

    And i don't see MUDs over any compeling advantage over a graphical game. Surely, there may be GM driven events. If is an event driven by a amateur more fun than a canned scripted story mission developed by pros?

     

  • YizleYizle Atlanta, GAPosts: 517Member
    Originally posted by Aerowyn
    from the 80s to mid 90s I LOVED MUDs.. I hosted many and even created a couple back in the day...but in all those years I always thought wouldn't it be great if they made full graphical versions of these types of games?.. i really can't see myself getting back into the text based gaming even though i loved it for so many years.. sometimes you just move on:)

    This is about accurate for myself too. It is like using a 14.4bps modem instead of my cable.

    Also if you wanted cities wiped out by other players you should have checked out Shadowbane. Player made cities, venders, trainers all able to be sieged and destroyed.

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member

    Just got done doing a 2v2 spar in Achaea. My character is a Jester which is a circus-act type class. We have a pretty awesome instakill that I've highlighted in this log.

     

    You set the jack-in-the-box on the ground and quickly wind it with its handle while whispering, 'Wyverex.' 

    The cheerful music of a lute begins to emanate from it.

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25429e, 19300w e 5<-

    Wyverex has writhed free of his entanglement by webs.

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25429e, 19300w e 5<-

    Lightning-quick, Wyverex jabs Goggo with an ornate steel rapier.

    Lightning-quick, Wyverex jabs Goggo with an ornate steel rapier.

    Goggo dodges nimbly out of the way.

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25429e, 19300w e 5<-

    You may drink another health or mana elixir or tonic.

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25429e, 19300w e 5<-

    <-----------------ASSASSINATE----------------->

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25449e, 19300w ex 5<-

    Goggo strikes Wyverex's left leg with a mighty blow.

    (p) 5920h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    A snow-white falcon dives at you, raking your face with its talons.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-(-299 Health) 

    A look of extreme focus crosses the face of Goggo.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Goggo eats some prickly ash bark.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Goggo calls upon the powers of Water and projects his spiritual essence inwardly.

    Goggo is surrounded suddenly by a form of his own spiritual essence.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Wyverex viciously jabs an ornate steel rapier into Goggo.

    Horror overcomes Goggo's face as his body stiffens into paralysis.

    Wyverex viciously jabs an ornate steel rapier into Goggo.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    A guardian angel surrounds Wyverex with a protective shield.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Wyverex takes some salve from a vial and rubs it on his legs.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Goggo calls upon the powers of Fire and projects his spiritual essence inwardly.

    Goggo is surrounded suddenly by a form of his own spiritual essence.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    Goggo calls upon the powers of Air and Water and projects his spiritual essence inwardly.

    Goggo is surrounded suddenly by a form of his own spiritual essence.

    (p) 5621h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-

    You feel the Devil leave you.

    (p) 5934h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w ex 5<-(+313 Health) 

    The falcon dives at you and throws you off balance.

    (p) 5934h, 4515m, 25449e, 19312w e 5<-

    The music of the jack-in-the-box becomes faster and more frantic and a loud voice from within yells, "Wyverex, I'm a-cooomiiiiing!"

    (p) 5934h, 4515m, 25469e, 19312w e 5<-

    You bleed 11 health.

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19312w e 5<-(-11 Health) 

    Goggo eats a bellwort flower.

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w e 5<-

    <-----------------ASSASSINATE----------------->

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    Wyverex takes some salve from a vial and rubs it on his legs.

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    You suddenly perceive the vague outline of an aura of rebounding around Wyverex.

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    Sticky strands of webbing spray out from Goggo to cover Wyverex.

    (p) 5923h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    A snow-white falcon dives at you, raking your face with its talons.

    Your insomnia defence is ripped apart by its talons.

    (p) 5615h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-(-308 Health) 

    (Party): Goggo says, "Wyverex Webbed!"

    (p) 5615h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    Wyverex begins to tumble towards the west.

    (p) 5615h, 4515m, 25469e, 19324w ex 5<-

    Niks leaves to the east.

    (p) 5615h, 4515m, 25489e, 19336w ex 5<-

    The top of the jack-in-the-box flips open, and up pops a jester puppet with razor-sharp teeth. Growing to sudden, improbable size, the spring-loaded puppet rips Wyverex's head off with a single bite.

    You have slain Wyverex.

    Wyverex leaves to the ether.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
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