Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

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dianos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by dianos » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:18 pm

The way I see it is that mobs are highly predictable, and so the risk of mob death is typically much less than the risk of PK death. Therefore, to keep death as something that is feared and gets adrenaline pumping, the penalty of mob death is much higher.
roughly speaking, risk of PK death * PK death penalty == risk of mob death * mob death penalty.

Indigo
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Indigo » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:04 am

That sounds good until you note that experienced players rarely mobdie, so the burden falls mainly on new players and serves to discourage new players from playing MUME. And at this point, I feel we need to be making efforts to bring in new players and keep them so that the userbase doesn't fade away.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:04 pm

If you look at various other games, which MUME competes with for players, such as Guild Wars, Everquest, Ultima Online, etc. there is little to no penalty for dieing. It makes it hard to keep especially new people, who basically are penalized for learning the game. To be on an equal footing with these other games you'd have to almost completely eliminate mobdeath exp loss penalty under level 20 or 25. Thats kind of a drastic change for the old timers, but going to be necessary to attact and keep new players.
All extremists should be shot.

Andróg
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Andróg » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:41 pm

Vortenos wrote:If you look at various other games, which MUME competes with for players, such as Guild Wars, Everquest, Ultima Online, etc. there is little to no penalty for dieing. It makes it hard to keep especially new people, who basically are penalized for learning the game. To be on an equal footing with these other games you'd have to almost completely eliminate mobdeath exp loss penalty under level 20 or 25. Thats kind of a drastic change for the old timers, but going to be necessary to attact and keep new players.
Well, you see, if MUME wanted to attract the players of those games, then that could be one of the ways. On the other hand how many players in those games stay with a specific game for as long as many mumers stay with mume? 5 years? Even 10 years are playing careers which are quite common in mume. And that's the thing, it's easy to attract new players, but it's harder to attract players who will stay with the game. Nothing to lose in also in a way means - nothing to win. If everything is easy, then there is no challenge, thus the game no longer intrigues you. The various losses and risks existing in MUME should stay so, they are the challenge.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:22 am

So you are happy that its just all old time players here and you should keep penalizing people for being new. Great, if you have played a while and don't like dealing with newbies. What you will get with this is what you already are starting to see - a handful of hardcore players and a declining player base.

Keep the game the same and it can become a relic. Change it to keep up with the times and see it grow.
All extremists should be shot.

pinion
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by pinion » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:40 am

I feel mobdeath should be toned down, but only very slightly. It is important that it is harsh, and it does keep you on your toes when xping. Otherwise XP would become boring, and dangerous areas like Moria would be far far less exciting.

I'd suggest perhaps reducing the XP loss by 15-20%, and possibly making age loss random? Maybe 1 out of 4 mobdeaths will RIP your age.

dianos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by dianos » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:35 am

Players are not penalised for being "new", they are penalised for the death of their character. The penalty is there to give some weight to the concept that "death is bad". The penalty is high so that people will understand that "death is _very_ bad". There is a correlation between being new and dying a lot, but it is a mistake to interpret the death penalty as being punishment for newbies. The penalty has nothing to do with players being new or not.

You should not immediately assume that new players want an easy ride in this game. Not everyone starts playing games like this with the assumption that they will have legend characters by the end of the week. Not everyone requires instant gratification to enjoy games. It is a mistake to assume that newbies want the penalties for death to be reduced. For me, the most important reason for staying with this game for all these years has been the high cost of death. I was a newbie once as well. I have not changed my mind.

There is enjoyment to be had from the learning experience. As players improve their characters will die less, and they will feel a sense of accomplishment. MUME players are often smart people. Any gamer understand that a typical goal in games like this is to increase that number called "level". We try to draw some sense of accomplishment as the number grows. But MUMErs (more so than other gamers) also understand that this "level" thing only really means something if it is difficult to make it go up. In MUME, grind alone is not enough. It takes skill. Without the skill requirement there is no accomplishment. Most old term MUMErs can level up a legend pretty quickly, so it doesn't really seem like a big deal anymore. Experienced players have the skill and so levelling may feel like it is just grind, just like most modern "RPGs". But we mustn't forget that for new players there is still a this challenge and sense of accomplishment that can come from getting to level 10 for the first time, or whatever. We should not strip this challenge away by heavily shrinking the mob-rip penalty.

Lindonon
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Lindonon » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:30 am

I started to play MUME about 10 year ago but haven't really played more than 4 years.
I'm back now from a long break and I feel to be unexperienced player and I know I will always suck at PK even if I become better at exping. I'm still heavily addicted to the MUME and haven't been hooked by the graphical multi-user games. I feel that those games are not worth playing cause there is usually almost no penalty for death and therefore it feels less "real".
My chars mobdied a lot back in the day and now I still mobdie with my new chars (in new areas).
I feel that mobdeath exp penalty should be geared down by 50% and that losing half level of exp would be "harsh enough" penalty together with the risk of losing the hard-earned gear.
Just my opinion.
Last edited by Lindonon on Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:51 pm

On Everquest, and some others I imagine, there is a 'resurrection' cleric spell that gains you back a large % of lost experience when cast on your corpse, depending on the level cast, I think its from 50-98%. Just a thought.
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Andróg
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Andróg » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:21 pm

Vortenos, I think Dianos already said everything what I was going to say anyway, so I won't repeat it.

However, you're judging the potential players too easily. There are many kinds of people. People have different goals in the game. And losing a lot while dying can be exactly what motivates people to carry on. I mean, I know it motivated me. My first chars were dwarven warriors in BM and I mobdied countlessly to the huge wolves in the maze-forest outside BM. You can't imagine the sense of accomplishment I had the first time I managed to kill those wolves solo.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:17 pm

"Players are not penalized for being new" No players are penalized for having to learn. I don't run this particular game, but I can tell you you will attract alot more people by turning the penalty around. I've been a one of those old-timer players who grumps when a game changes to make it not so daunting to start new. I've changed a couple games myself and had to weigh the arguments on both sides. You say the deaths when you started made it more desirable to play. This is a minority (sado-machoist) stand.

Its hard to see this game from a new persons point of view. After you've made a couple legends you know what mobs you can kill at what level, you know where the DT's are, etc.

Things could stay the same, or change. It doesn't much matter to me, except as the playerbase declines the game gets less fun. I can only give my 2 copper from my experience.
All extremists should be shot.

dianos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by dianos » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:27 am

Vortenos wrote:"Players are not penalized for being new" No players are penalized for having to learn. I don't run this particular game, but I can tell you you will attract alot more people by turning the penalty around. I've been a one of those old-timer players who grumps when a game changes to make it not so daunting to start new. I've changed a couple games myself and had to weigh the arguments on both sides. You say the deaths when you started made it more desirable to play. This is a minority (sado-machoist) stand.
You seem to have ignored what I just said. No one is being penalized for having to learn the game. They are penalised for the death of their character. As I wrote in my previous post, I actually see the high price of death as a vehicle to reward people for learning! Labelling players such as myself as "sado-masocists" is inaccurate and potentially offensive. It isn't the giving or receiving of pain that I enjoy in this game, but more the achievement of avoid pain (dying). I'm not challenging your use of the word "new", I'm challenging your point of view on this topic. Changing the word to "learning" doesn't change anything.

I understand that most gamers probably do not like to be hit so hard when their character dies, but different games are made to suit different kinds of people. In this game, many players appreciate the high death penalty - so much so that it is what motivates us to continue playing. If the death penalty was to be "nerfed" heavily, we risk losing players (such as myself). Maybe new players would come, but maybe not. There are already a gazillion different games with hardly any penalty for death. That audience is already well catered for.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:26 pm

First off, I am one of those sado-machoists who come back more often when I get wacked. Thankfully there aren't many of us.

Second, you say you are rewarded for learning by not dieing. This is a nice thought, as living is that status quo. You left out the part where you die first to learn what not to do, and that dieing takes time to recover from. This is Real Life (tm) cost of learning, in time spent.

Don't get me wrong. It feels good to finally beat a game, to finish the learning curve. Its just that that kind of risk/reward type scenario attacts a very small subset of gamers in this day and age. MUD players are an even smaller subset of this. Things have changed alot since MUME began. My suggestions are only for if you'd want to expand your player base.

Its such a large, well-designed MUD. It's a great ode to J.R.R. Tolkien whose work gives us so much joy. It sucks that the average person who'd have an interest would give up without experiencing it.
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dianos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by dianos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:23 am

The real life time spent is only a "cost" if you are not enjoying your time spent playing the game.

Vortenos
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Vortenos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:56 pm

Time is a commodity (i.e. tradeable), and comes with a price/cost. When it comes to recovering from mob death the "opportunity cost" of that time becomes a huge factor and cannot be ignored (especially in the year 2008). Spending X hours recovering experience from a mob death is too "expensive" if it wan't a mistake, just inexperience, that caused the death.
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coyote
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by coyote » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:20 pm

Vortenos wrote:Time is a commodity (i.e. tradeable), and comes with a price/cost. When it comes to recovering from mob death the "opportunity cost" of that time becomes a huge factor and cannot be ignored (especially in the year 2008). Spending X hours recovering experience from a mob death is too "expensive" if it wan't a mistake, just inexperience, that caused the death.
This is the thing right here. Most (if not almost all) of the people on this forum are experienced enough, that mobdeaths are usually going to be mistakes for us -totally preventable, and often one of those "Aww crap I'm an idiot!" deaths. None of us (I expect, if they've learned enough to stick around this long,) are going to quit in frustration - at least permenantly - from a mobdeath, because we understand that equipment is fairly easily replaceable, and that it was our own fault fopr losing it.

A new player, one who could very easily quit and never return after getting lost and getting mobbed, is the more important thing to keep in mind in my opinino. I try and get all my friends who play MUDs to play MUME, but several of them have up and quit after realizing that they lose a full level and potentially all their (gasp!) precious gear, regardless of my offering them cash, gear, help, and even mappers and the like. Newbies will get really upset because they lost a lowbie-enchanted rapier and 100k exp.

It isn't the most intuitive thing for most MUD players, to realize that gear is easy to find without begging or killing anything, so losing a whole night or two's work and not knowing what you'll do to recover, is going to be what dissuades a lot of players from sticking around, for or or for worse.

LIVAnec
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by LIVAnec » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:18 am

After some time i start to use x for exit so mine aliases are
ox open exit
cx close exit
px pick exit
ux unlock exit
lx lock exit
and F1/F2 is hotkey for open/close exit.

.. you dont want to waste time typing it awhole while fighting players ...

Parrafin
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Parrafin » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:16 pm

I like MUME because it's challenging. All the times I've died have added up to a great ability to re-equip myself if I haven't learned anything else... However--if there's a time sink that needs to be addressed--it's mobdeath. Soloing is what a newbie needs to do to learn the game, and soloing hostile unknown territories at that! The massive XP loss, ageloss, and probable EQ loss in this situation is really unexpected the first time and I still think it's totally unfair. Mobs pop randomly sometimes, and will often trap you without warning, or are just much more powerful than a newbie character. I can deal with ageloss, I can even deal with losing that much XP, and I've learned to deal with loss of equipment. From level 8 to 20 though....It can really put a damper on what should have been fun. And to everyone who says "death is very BAD, the penalties are important" I say, it's just a game. PKdeath is kind of fun, why does mobdeath have to make me seriously want to throw my computer across the room!!??

Wobbler
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by Wobbler » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:25 am

dianos wrote:The real life time spent is only a "cost" if you are not enjoying your time spent playing the game.
Time spent playing the game can be quite enjoyable, but there are many aspects of the game that are very time-consuming while having very low entertainment value.
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marissa
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Re: Question about mobdeath penalty (not complaint)

Post by marissa » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:20 pm

I have been a text-adventure game enthusiast for over two decades now, I own my own MUD, and I have been playing various MUDs for over a decade now. I completely agree that MUDs are going to have to evolve drastically in order to keep up with the times. Unfortunately, I have seen a trend from new players and MUDs for several years now that I think has slowly killed the scene.

Some popular MUDs have slowly evolved into massive learning curves, while the average new player (and I mean completely new to MUDs) doesn't have the attention span to get far into them. This has resulted in many MUDs trying to make their MUD as 'newbie-friendly' as possible, while the learning curve remains the same. This not only ruins immersion it makes newbies that have some experience in mudding expect a new game they log into to wait on them hand and foot. You've seen them. The new guy who can't move from the fountain without 'help'. They rarely will bother to read HELP NEWBIE or other files and instead end up disconnecting after a couple of minutes of noone helping them. A lot of MUDs have this problem and I think it's the fault of the MUDs themselves. A good MUD should draw you in and make you want to explore. Global help channels make it too easy and kill the atmosphere. And let's face it, as a total newbie you will be hungry and thirsty and out of moves in about 5 mins of playing (and have no idea why). Not far from the gates you will mobdie, have no light, and be unable to find your corpse. Would you keep playing? MUME is a lesson in pain and patience.

I love MUME and it's hardness, but sadly the vast majority of new players aren't going to dedicate several months to learning the basics. I think the lack of advertising hurts the game quite a bit also. Link being a huge advantage is another deterrent. And I think somewhere the creators forgot that there is a fine line between fun and tedium. My point is, MUME is a beast and has definately evolved into an aquired taste and imo would have to change dramatically to attract lots of new players. The Hobbit movie should help in any case, but other than that I doubt newbie numbers improve much on MUME without major changes.

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