Time Sinks

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Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:25 pm

Quoting the Free Dictionary's definition of sink:
11b wrote:To invest without any prospect of return.
I think there are several aspects of MUME that must be considered time sinks. One by one not all of them are particularly bad, but together they add up to the point where one might not even bother to play at all if one only has an hour or two to spare; during longer sessions they also tend to have a considerably deteriorating effect on gameplay experience.
Here are some examples:
* Spending several minutes waiting for a shop to open just so one can aquire a basic item like a light source, a weapon or a shield. Having them open 24/7 would hurt no one.

* Spending several minutes waiting for a guild to open so one can get some basic skills necessary for adventuring. Having them open 24/7 would hurt no one.

* Spending longer time waiting for some quest mob to tell his story than it would take to tell it RL, despite time supposedly being accelerated by a factor of 60. I don't propose making telling a story that takes 2 minutes to tell RL take 2 seconds on mume, but 20 seconds seems reasonable. One might even bother to read it if that would take less time than brewing a cup of coffee. Speeding these snail-mudlles up a little would hurt no one (except maybe a blind player who receives a dozen tells per second might have to order his speech synthesizer to replay).

* Being unable to hand one's equipment in for mending at the end of a session and come back to collect it at the beginning of the next one. I know this is tied to a larger change (which I also happen to despise), but how about having time spent in a room at the local inn not count towards those "10 minutes" - or maybe have the equipment delivered to the local inn while one is rented there? I imagine this is even worse for people with unreliable links, as something as simple as going to the bakery to buy some bread while waiting for the armourer to mend one's armour might result in the loss of the armour.

* Having to spend 24-48 minutes logged on but idle to make a focus. The investment in actual gameplay needed to collect the necessary items and making sure one's alignment does not drop too low is a far more interesting aspect of the quest to obtain these powerful and special items. It can certainly take long enough too, particularly for people who have not made powerful friends yet.

* Forcing people to go to Lórien to practice and mend equipment; this can involve up to half an hour of sheer boredom. As far as I understood when reading Tolkien's books non-Elven visitors to Lórien were extremely rare and there were even myths about the evil Witch-Queen flourishing in neighbouring realms, so there is no Tolkienism reason to force people to visit regularly. Knowing that they are the only mithril menders west of the Misties ought to make the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains see a chance to make a nice profit by opening their smithies to all the free races (at a price, of course), so the current setup is not the least bit realistic either.

On the plus side, the recent changes to age has certainly improved the afk sleeping : playing ratio for new characters, which might make a few fewer people quit before their first char has reached level 5.
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Peapend
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: California

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Peapend » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:14 pm

I love that mume has seasons and time. I am a little confused, I don't often find myself waiting for a guild to open, or a shop or most of those things. A focus however i find a huge annoying "time sink". The times I do wait for a shop to open I don't have trouble running and doing something else momentarily. Ironically i think this even adds to the game in areas like tharbad. Without some of the time constraints pk is even impacted slightly in that some kills are acquired there because all the gates are closed (cant buy a coach ticket at night either). I think that maybe guilds should be open all the time (there are only a few I can think of that are not, like lorien and one in fnost) but then again I rarely have met this with frustration. As for lorien I think non elves should be able to enter in the daytime without a elf to lead them in. As for the shops I don't really have a issue with them being closed but i also don't have any huge reasons for them not to be open 24/7 other then atmosphere. Focuses need to be revamped, making a staff or any focus sucks a lot and is necessary after every death for some types of characters to even be playable.

Indigo
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Indigo » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:30 pm

No reason you 'have' to do most of the things described to play MUME. Why *must* you go to Lorien, or *must* you create a focus? I always try and think ahead about going to shops...if that's not feasible I always enjoyed socializing or even, *gasp* roleplaying a little. If you don't like these things you describe there are race/class combos already in place that don't require them...

Adverse
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Adverse » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:40 pm

Most of the time sinks were realted to puke side. Play darkie?
I also love that mume has the realisic seasons etc. Also, there are very few "musts" as already stated.

Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:49 pm

Yeah, of course I can play a mage that doesn't have a staff nor pracs shield and armour or a warrior who throws away his mithril armour to put on some plain clothes instead, and who needs food and light sources anyway?
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:53 pm

Adverse wrote:Most of the time sinks were realted to puke side. Play darkie?
I really, really hate having to spend so much time just waiting for sunset. This is one of the main reasons I pretty much stopped playing darkies at all about 5-6 years ago. I didn't play my one BN much because it had to spend even more time just regenning mana than a puke caster.
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Indigo
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Indigo » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:54 pm

Oh boo hoo, it takes time and effort to play your uberelf with Maxattack staff and full shining. I'm overflowing with pity here.

Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:57 pm

I don't have any caster with full shining, nor have I bothered to make a maxattack staff for years since it takes so much longer than getting an opal, hsb and ironbar.
I would, however, like to be able to play sessions that are only 1-3 hours long without having to spend half my time idle, and I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels like this.
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Indigo
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Indigo » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:02 pm

The 1-3 hour thing is one of the few viable points you have here, its not like there aren't things that can be done while you wait for most of the things you describe if you don't enjoy socializing within the game. (Surf the net, watch TV, get a snack, clean up your place, whatever)

Gothmog
Vala (Mudller)
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:46 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Gothmog » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:09 pm

Wobbler, you having written almost 1/8th of the posts on this forum might be considered a time sink as well!

Other than that, I think you have a few fair points about time sinks. Some things do exist that do not make the game any better, and just provide a source of frustration.

Timodeus
Arata
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:20 am
Location: Germany

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Timodeus » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:11 pm

I'd agree with the shops closing times and the guilds. The rest is fine (in a sense of "good"), imho (including the mending).

Indigo
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Indigo » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:12 pm

Yes the shops could be open longer hours for sure.

Timodeus
Arata
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:20 am
Location: Germany

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Timodeus » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:17 pm

Apart from that, what comes next? Having time to spend to loot the Balrog? Get the group, the keys, do the stuff, split the loot. Isn't that a useless time sink as well?

Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:19 pm

Indigo wrote:(Surf the net, watch TV, get a snack, clean up your place, whatever)
All of those are out-of-game activities. I don't even have to be logged on as Wobbler to do those things.
Timodeus wrote:Apart from that, what comes next? Having time to spend to loot the Balrog? Get the group, the keys, do the stuff, split the loot. Isn't that a useless time sink as well?
Actually, there is very little forced idle time involved in doing the Balrog. It includes a lot of interacting with other players (gathering a group and convincing someone to log on a dispeller) aswell as fighting mobs, and there is always the chance of involuntary interaction with enemy players (i.e. being ambushed). Even if it takes two hours and ends with losing the eq rolls, being involved in a Balrog-slaying includes less idle time (and is therefore more enjoyable) than spending half an hour or more just sailing to Valinor and back.
Wobbler, you having written almost 1/8th of the posts on this forum might be considered a time sink as well!
That's because I posted just about every idea I've had the last 2-3 years at once, but implement an ignore function and no one has to read any of my threads ;)



One thing that can be very annoying as a BN is not knowing in which area a guildmaster popped, although running around looking for it involves a risk of meeting enemy players so one has to manage moves and mana and thus it cannot be considered forced idle time. The same goes for practicing spells or wilderness as an Orc, it is boring running down to Sage but includes a risk of meeting enemy pkers (or a smob group when one arrives).
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Mhoghedin
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:12 am

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Mhoghedin » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:45 pm

Taking the time to find guildmasters and learning where they are is a part of BN initiation.

Any clueful BN who takes the time to learn where they pop, and how to find them usually does not spend a while looking for them. Gaunt is the hardest one to find, but even then is not that difficult. Its really only a timesink if you don't have areaknowledge.
Formerly a dastardly pirate of the Western Sea, he now contents
himself with rowing around the Greyflood of Tharbad in a canoe.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Over 1000 whities have been sent to Davey Jones' Locker.

Indigo
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Indigo » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:46 pm

I find gaunt pretty easily and Im anything but a good BN player.

Wobbler
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:02 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Wobbler » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:08 pm

I find the mage the most annoying since it can be anywhere from Khuzur to NOC.
Politicians are wise and benevolent and will gladly sacrifice themselves for the common good. Anyone who implies that there might exist dishonest politicians is obviously a terrorist who should be locked up indefinitely without a trial.

Timodeus
Arata
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:20 am
Location: Germany

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Timodeus » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:34 am

Afaik it is meant this way. BNs are made for those who think the rest of MUME is already too easy, those who like being punished, those who want it harder, those who like whips and leather. So stop complaining about that, please.

Aglach
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:59 pm

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Aglach » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:20 pm

I'll have to agree about the shops... couldn't the "assistant" (Nob) work the late shift while the shop owner went to have dinner with his family? It is the nature of online acticities that the more you advance, the longer things take. I just don't see the purpose of having to coordinate selling junk / buying junk as much as I do. It is likely that most cities wouldn't open the gates at all between 2200 and 0600 at all, especially not to a mud covered, brown cloaked stranger from Bree, yet that happens. I roleplay by butchering wildlife and not eating cakes/lembas. Hence I need to buy salt, etc. I guess I can see that things close at lunch... but again, couldn't you reason that the owners son covered the shop for an hour?

Why not longer grocery hours? Just sayin'. MUME is what it is, and I can live with it how it is.... I just might enjoy it more without as much waiting. I might even socialize and RP more. Maybe.

Kalev
Vala (Mudller)
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Time Sinks

Post by Kalev » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:42 pm

Wobbler wrote: One thing that can be very annoying as a BN is not knowing in which area a guildmaster popped, although running around looking for it involves a risk of meeting enemy players so one has to manage moves and mana and thus it cannot be considered forced idle time.
When I first started playing a BN, it was really refreshing to have to search for guildmasters. I invested lots of time into making sure I can find guildmasters whenever I want. During this time I even discovered some new areas for me, like the surroundings of the Dark Tower!

Seriously, I think BN guildmasters popping all over Arda makes it much more fun. It even brings darkie community together (Orcs and Trolls narrate all the time if they discover the Black Sourcerer; also older and wiser BNs help newcomers to locate those mobs).

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