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I may not be old, twenty-two, but I have been around the block when it comes to gaming, online and off line. Once upon a time I was a pen and paper junkie, and the strategic nature of the games interested me far more than the sheer thought of running a sword through some poor beasts skull, although that was not deterring me. I also engaged in the live-action White Wolf series of games. I always came back to muds though. They were, as Adam Corolla once put it, cheap and easy, and I liked it. It went fast, days happened in minutes. I also did not have to wait until 1 AM on Thursday nights at the local card shop for the game to commence. What was I doing though? I kept trying to rationalize that it was as much role playing as either of the previous two, but I was not playing role playing muds, I was playing hack 'n slash games where my OOC to in character communication ratio was about 10:1. I fell into that, "trying to pretend checkers with my nephew was the same as chess with Kasparov."
There is a confessional in there somewhere I am sure!
I know it sounds like I looked down on the simple life, and I did. I did not want to realize that I was only playing to grab gear and slaughter minute bits of information. To me it was either role playing or hack 'n slash; there was no grey area. I am hoping that I am not the only one in this boat, even though there is a silver lining to my lightning cloud.
Recently, well in the past year or two, I decided to start my own mud. I found a copy of a code base I liked, EoS, and started working on it to make it my own. Of course I wanted it different, in fact I removed all of the areas and cleaned out the fight.c file just so I could start over with the fighting engine from scratch. While that was not the best idea, I knew that I wanted my own code derivative. Over the years I have changed quite a bit, but one thing has remained the same, it is a hack 'n slash mud. Perhaps my subconscious is too strong, but I could not add, or remove, sufficient code to make it a role playing mud without losing, what I considered, to be the fun element.
That brings me back to the whole point of the matter, what is fun? I am not quite sure about what you may think is fun, but I know what I want in the way of fun. Perhaps that was the last threshold I needed to cross so I could call myself head warden (er IMP) on my mud and retain a modicum of respect for myself. I am proud that my mud is laden with skills and spells and every element centers around the fighting engine in some way. Sure there is politics and a global economical structure and stuff like that, but when it comes down to it, my players are spending nearly 90% of their time online fighting mobs or other players. With that fact in mind, I feel that I should spend 90% of my time making that fighting enjoyable, because if you do not have players, what do you have?
March 2000 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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