Time and Punishment

General discussion about MUME.

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Time and Punishment

Post by Tyro » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:55 pm

Hi community,

Been a couple years since I've played MUME, and I logged back on to find it basically unchanged.

I'm thinking that it is time for some major changes to bring this game up to speed with 2016.

Really just one major change: time commitment.

I love mume and have loved it since I start playing 14 years ago, but one consistent problem that has always kept me from advancing far in this game, is the sheer amount of time that it takes to progress.

I love mume for its difficulty, but I don't see any reason why that difficulty should come with a massive time commitment.

The main things I have considered are as follows:

1. The time it takes to level.

2. The time consumed by XP punishments for death (especially mobdeath).

3. Trophies.

Due to the intense time commitments and time drains from these two aspects of the game, I really can't afford to play mume right now, because I'm a medical student in the USA, and time is something I have very precious little of.

You can imagine how I felt today after failing several flees on my newly heroed cleric to my demise at the hands of a MOB. It basically felt like a deal breaker. Last time I mobbed like that I left the game for two years, and this time will probably be similar.

Like I've said, MUME is an awesome game, and I love it, I will be back some day, but I simply cannot afford throwing time away for no progression in this game. When I can mobrip due to mere chance (failed flees for instance I think I failed 5 of them) it makes very little sense in my mind to punish me with several hours worth of time.

If I were in charge of this game right now, I would cut all XP requirements cleanly in half, and also do away with trophies entirely. I would also cut mobdeath penalties in half, and cap them at probably around 500k. PK death would be capped at 100k.

It only makes sense in my mind that one of the main barriers to new players taking up mume as a more serious pastime, and older players returning to the grid, is the huge amount of time that progression takes.

Anyway I will stop ranting, I just want to end this with saying that I know this sounds like a newb pleading for an easier game, and I'll admit, it is just that. I've never been very good at mume, but I still love to play it, and if you want more newbs like me playing this game for you to kill and warlord off of, you might want to consider easing up on the time and punishment that you levy on us just for logging in.

All the Best,


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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Rogon » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:33 am

It is indeed time consuming to level on MUME, compared to most games. And when you die, the loss of both xp and eq are potentially very high.

To me, this is part of MUME's attraction. There's an adrenaline rush associated with danger, something most games lack.

The XP loss for PK has been reduced recently though (news 2477). And leveling, atleast lower levels, is no doubt faster now due to A) the increased level power (news 2478) and B) the expanding world with new mobs and thus less problems with your trophy filling up.

I'm pretty sure we won't be reducing the XP to level requirements. As for XP loss from mobdeath, we did ponder that when we did the XP loss in PK changes. We decided at that time to leave it unchanged...

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Tyro » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:45 pm

Hey Rogon thank you for the reply.

I agree 100% the high stakes adrenaline rush of MUME makes it stand out as one of the most intense games I've played in my entire gaming "career" of 24 years. Its why I know that I will always come back.

For me, and I think most of the community will agree here, that rush comes mostly from the PK system, which is one of the best of any game I've ever played, MUD or otherwise.

I guess my overall thoughts are that I would like to spend more time in that PK system with a powerful character, and less time trying to progress that character to a point where it is powerful enough to PK with.

Again, I'm a newb, and I know leveling isn't a big deal for most people, but to me it feels a lot like a chore, and I believe that it detracts more than it adds from the overall gaming experience.

Mobdeath is also just too much of a pain. I level slowly so when I failed a bunch of flees on my hero cleric and mobripped it cost me around 5 hours of played time. Being a medical student, that 5 hours amounts to about all the free time that I have to play games in a whole week, sometimes maybe a couple weeks.

I don't see how that much of a time punishment is anywhere near justifiable when you can mobdie simply due to bad luck in this game, i.e. a zone repopping while you're low, or like I did in failing a bunch of flees in a row. Doesn't make for a fun experience and I'm not the only player who thinks this way, I've heard this comment echoed several times on this forum and elvenrunes, and from friends who play mume.

When I made this post I was fully expecting the "suck it up" response that I've gotten from the MUME community in the past, so it's nice that you're at least willing to hear me out on my viewpoints.

Hopefully this doesn't come off too whiney, my overall goal here isn't to complain. I'm taking the time to write this because I want to improve mume and make it a more enjoyable experience that will attract new players, and bring back veterans who have left it behind, so that we can have a thriving community again. It is my consideration that the best way to do this, is to make it more accessible and easier on the time commitment, that way newbs like me won't feel 100% discouraged when things don't go our way.

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Rogon » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:49 pm

Reducing the XP loss in the PK system was fairly easy to motivate - We have a lot of high level chars, and with the extremely high PK xp loss at higher levels, people were just afraid to risk death with them. There is also the potential for EQ loss if you die in PK, which is quite painful.

For mobdeath the situation is different - XP per level do not really increase very much at higher levels, and there is a lot less risk for EQ loss.

Reducing mobdeath xp loss would also make people level faster, and give us more high levels. While we do want people to feel like they can play their high level chars too, we don't really want those high levels to be easier to achieve than they are today.

At the same time, I feel your pain. I feel sorry for anyone who mobdies. It sucks when it happens. I'm just not convinced MUME would be improved if we removed the bad things that can happen to you.

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Tyro » Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:23 am

Lessening the PK XP penalty is a great start, and it is in the exact vein of what kind of changes I'm hoping to bring about.

Let me ask you this: What fun would be taken out of MUME by lessening the time commitment?

Because from my perspective, it would only make things better, as I view leveling and xping as a secondary chore compared to engaging in the real excitement which is the race war.

Also, lets be frank here, we're talking about a text based game, an archaic style of gaming that only appeals to a handful of people.

We really need something to kickstart our dwindling community again, or MUME could possibly run dry sooner than any of us would like to see. This is evidenced by the fact that the player base has been dwindling at a rapid rate over the past 6-7 years, and is nowhere near where it was when I started 14 years ago. (10% maybe)

I have to believe that this is not just because it is a MUD, as there are other MUDs out there that still have a thriving player base like MUME once had. I think there are other issues that need addressed.

Mobdeath and general time commitment is one of the foremost complaints from the community about necessary changes in MUME, and this is not just from me, if you check this old forum post you will see reducing mobdeath talked about some 20+ times.

http://mume.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2 ... &start=120

I know 4 MUME players personally IRL who have largely quit due to severe penalties xp penalties, and the general time commitment that MUME is. One friend, the last time we played together, we ate a mobdeath on some heroes we were leveling and I haven't seen him back on for about 2.5 years.

I think it is also important to add that mobdeath largely punishes inexperienced players, and is a further barrier for any new players wanting to start up in this game.

If you really want to pull players back to MUME, and get new players to start up, what you need to do is make it fun again. It's just not comparatively as fun as it once was, and partly because it has to compete against other games that have a much greater reward for the time put into playing it. More "bang for their buck" if you will.

If you made it more accessible, I promise you that the amount of people playing would increase, and you would kickstart some life back into the community.

I know that I'm proposing a big change, and generally speaking, people are rarely comfortable with major changes.

I honestly don't expect anything to happen, but I'm glad you at least took the time to hear me out, and I hope you will at the very least consider the changes I am proposing.

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Baca » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:57 pm

I somewhat agree with the time sink the game can easily be, but I look at saving time in different ways in the game.

My time saving advice would be to adjust store hours to make it easier to do business with them! Open a little earlier, open a little later, not taking a lunch break, etc... Or towns not having as much "staggered" opening times. Some towns have more than 5 different opening and closing times just across the street! It's alot to keep track of while trying to maximize your time out of town adventuring having to worry about 1 shop closing while another is open.

Also, several years ago in the game, some new zones were added and some edited. The fad at that time was when a new guild master was added, it ALSO had to have hours when it was closed. So some guilds are always open, some are closed. I could easily see some of the MUME management switching all the guilds to closed hours making that time waiting/wasting even worse then it is now. Or guild masters that wander, have them path around slower so it's easier to practice at them.

These are small, easy changes that would help with time waiting/wasting in the game. Not change the power balance of PK at all. Really just more of a maximizing time spent in towns vs time spent out side exploring, getting tps, xps, etc...

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Ratava » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:12 pm

Having returned to playing a week or so ago I must say that I was also amazed at how long I had to wait to board a ferry, mend items, sell/buy from a store. Not to mention that travelling from town to town wasn't as fast as I had gotten used to elsewhere. Healing time also seems slower than on other dikus I've played. But I'm not complaining. It is surprising after zipping about on an LPmud but it is kinda cool too. Gives me time to listen to narrates, check my eq, stats, pracs. Well maybe a little too much time. : ) Some of those stores are open a few minutes real time! I'm a thorough type and like to examine show compare every item and if I do for one item wham day is done! Ack. If anything could be improved it would be to get the lazy storekeepers working harder. At least the ones in big towns! I have seen the new 24/7 pawnshops yes but I would think the competition would force the main stores to open longer.

As for xp loss... on LPmuds you often lose _THREE_ levels. MUME is about the same as other dikus, a level or close to one. It _IS_ true that trophy is a serious hindrance to getting xp back (other diku muds it tends to be easier sans the trophy). I love the trophy though. And with new varieties of sheep, female elk, new mice, etc there are ways to deal with it. But I do worry that several deaths could make a character unplayable especially around level 10.

Here's an idea, trophy is a great idea to prevent repetitous killing but should trophy not be reduced when you die?

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Rogon » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:00 pm

Answer me this then:

Every time we open new zones and add new mobs to the game, we make XP easier.

Should we, when we do this, sort of "fill up" your trophy to keep things balanced? It would make sense if we were to reduce your trophy when you mobdie, to keep things balanced. It would have to go both ways. Yes/No? :)

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Re: Time and Punishment

Post by Kirby » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:25 pm

Ratava brings up a good point re: 'unwinding' your trophy when you die. I mean, from a role-play perspective it makes sense: you lose your experience when you die, but not the knowledge (trophy)? Why not have both reduced?

Though, this would be a huge investment programmatically I'd imagine; you'd have to record meta data on the *quantity* of each distinct mob slain from death a to death b in order to know which elements of the trophy to unwind on death b.

Pipe dreams I 'spose :)

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