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Innovations from other games and MUDs

Woland
Woland Member Posts: 29

I believe that the main selling point of MUDs in 2021 is what they offer that no other existing online games can: immersive roleplaying, the chance to create (whether its crafts, your appearance, pets, houses, a new political ideology/religion, etc), a closer relationship with the shapers of the game i.e. the admins/Divine (maybe that's up for debate though, hah), and the possibility of making an impact on the game world and to have your name go down in history. That's the case for me anyway, after I spent a large part of the last decade exploring MMORPGs and other online games.

That said, I strongly believe there are features in the other IRE games that, if implemented here, could really improve upon any/all of the above points. Lusternia is the one I'm most familiar with (I stopped playing it in 2013), so that's where I'm drawing these ideas:


The Library System

The Achaea library system isn't bad, but is also somewhat basic. Lusternia has really nice features that improve the user experience, such as being able to search for books by subject, keyword, or author, and more tools for librarians to organize and categorize books. I feel strongly about libraries because they are a crucial place to preserve and record in-game lore and history from the players' perspective. Here is the output of HELP LIBRARY from Lusternia:

16.1 LIBRARY COMMANDS

         16 < THE LIBRARY SYSTEM                GREAT LIBRARIES > 16.1.1

While in a library, you can attempt to find the book that you are looking for by using the

catalogue, which is placed in the atrium of the library, or simply walk through it and browse the 

various sections for what you are looking for. While at the catalogue, you can use the following 

search options.


  CATALOGUE [LITERARY|SCHOLARLY]

  CATALOGUE CATEGORY [PUBLIC|RESTRICTED|SECRET]

  CATALOGUE [SUBJECT|AUTHOR|TITLE] <search text>

  CATALOGUE LIST


The above commands will only work in the library atrium and they will give information about the

entire library. While wandering the halls of the library, you can use the following commands to find your books, these commands will only list books in the annex you are standing in.


  BROWSE [LITERARY|SCHOLARLY]

  BROWSE ACCESS [PUBLIC|RESTRICTED|SECRET]

  BROWSE [SUBJECT|AUTHOR|TITLE|PUBLISHER] <search text>

  BROWSE LIST


The Theatre System

Similar to the points above, we have a theatre system, but Lusternia's again feels better supported mechanically. The ability to record plays and watch them again is also extremely nice. Putting on a production can be labour-intensive and complicated. It's rewarding once it's done; more so if future players can witness your fantastic work for generations to come.

17.9 THE THEATERS OF LUSTERNIA


       17.8 < BOMBARD!                  THEATERS: STAGE MANAGER > 17.9.1


Stages can be used to set up and perform productions, such as plays, concerts, 

speeches, and ceremonies. 


A stage can have many productions associated with it. Productions can be 

recorded for replay.


HELP 17.9.1  Commands for stage managers

HELP 17.9.2  Commands for directors setting up productions

HELP 17.9.3  Commands for directors while running productions

HELP 17.9.4  Commands for actors and crew

HELP 17.9.5  Commands for the audience

Despite Lusternia's sadly lower player count these days, their libraries and theatres are still frequently used, and I think that says something about the quality of the systems in place there (as well as the remaining players, I guess 😋)

Lastly, I appreciate the regular updates that Lusternian players get via something called the CHANGELOG. This is a great way to let players know things are happening to improve the game and fix little things on a regular basis. I know we have announce posts for that but judging by their infrequency, I imagine a lot more happens that we don't know about. Here is a list of changes the admin shared with players since May 3, 2021:

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far! All these ideas come from a place of wanting to see Achaea, and this genre as a whole, continue to stay innovative and relevant for years to come, and to create more reasons for people to try MUDs.

I didn't go into detail about the library/theatre systems because they're pretty deep, but happy to share more if anyone wants. I appreciate any thoughts/feedback and also to hear your own ideas for things you've seen in other games. They don't have to be IRE games, or even MUDs, but I focused on those here since I think they'd be slightly easier to implement (I hope)!

CailinAina DarkeFleur

Comments

  • Saonji
    Saonji Member Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent



    Re: improving based on other IRE games.

  • Woland
    Woland Member Posts: 29
    edited June 7

    I won't get into why I think that statement from an admin is problematic and unhealthy, but in truth it does kinda fit in with the apathy I've seen seep into IRE in general, and I'm trying really hard to prevent that apathy affecting me. The thought that mentioning other IRE titles as inspiration would invalidate an idea is frankly fucked up. Still, I appreciate you showing me as now I know the admin's stance.

    Instead of copying the ideas, we can take them and improve upon them and make them Achaean.

    Cailin
  • Cooper
    Cooper Member Posts: 5,782 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    One of Achaea/IRE's worst business decisions was the philosophy that all games are separate and to not use code or ideas from the other games.


    In the earlier years I repeatedly sent notes to Sarapis that not having some Aetolia features in Achaea was a bad idea. He basically told me to fuck off and that I had no idea what I was talking about.


    And here we are 15+ years later and they still have that philosophy, and it is still dumb.


    WolandEmbrelle
  • Woland
    Woland Member Posts: 29
    edited June 7

    @Cooper My like on your post was more of a 'sympathy hug' and I'm impressed that you still return and give back to this community despite some of these things you've seen and heard.

    What the IRE team created in 1997 was amazing. I first got into MUDing in ... 2001? I was in my early teens lol. That it's survived to this day is also amazing. Because a MUD has no graphics, it can never feel dated (more dated than it already is anyway, hah) in the same way graphical games do. At the same time, it's no secret this genre on a whole is declining, and Achaea continues to do well because it happens to be just one of the last few bastions of quality MUDs out there - with an active population. No one wants to play a dead MUD (I also really, really tried to get into Starmourn but only seeing 10-15 ppl online at a time kills. Too bad because they've taken some of the most inconvenient parts from Achaea/etc and made them better).

    I think Achaea can continue to do well while resting on its laurels. Funnily, they pioneered the concept of MTX in gaming, and then the Big Guys turned those into lootboxes, and then IRE took that idea and ran with it (I think lootboxes are the worst thing to happen to gaming, period, but from a business POV the numbers don't lie sadly...) I also can't blame them (IRE's leaders) - anyone who's led a company this long is bound to be set in their ways, no matter how anachronistic they look to the outside. I don't wanna think badly of these people either, since they've created something awesome for us and continued to do so for 15+ years. Tough love.

    My character Woland is having a great time in game. The player behind him is also enjoying it a lot for the most part, but somewhat sad about what could've been and could be.

    PS Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't server-side curing and talismans ideas from other titles - namely Imperian and Lusternia? So it seems in some select few cases this "rule" can be broken.

    PPS Sorry for long diatribe again. This stuff stirs me up in a way that even surprises me lol

    Cailin
  • Woland
    Woland Member Posts: 29
    edited June 7

    Really appreciate the time you took to write a response @Phaestus , and am actually surprised to get an official response in the first place!

    The points you describe make sense. I also work in software and I'm a developer, so I totally relate to customers demanding features when said features are not feasible or don't align with the vision. I don't have experience in the games industry so I respect that there's more nuance there.

    I admit I started this thread with high hopes and the first "off-hand response" came off as being really dismissive, but your comment suggests there was important context that wasn't shown here. My comment about apathy then came off of this feeling, but also observations from other threads where players bring up (I think) really valid concerns or ideas, but are met with silence. And I don't mean just here in Achaea, I really mean across the games - at least on the public forums. Your post describes why this is. And I understand it's a tough problem with no realistic solution right now. There are some really good gaming communities out there with dedicated GMs whose job is to engage with the players and offer transparency. I felt that since we're so small in the first place, we could have that here too. But thank you for explaining why that's tougher than it sounds. I know the admin do sometimes respond and that's better than nothing.

    Back to my original suggestion really quick, in essence I was asking for more tools for browsing libraries, and the option to save theatre productions. That's all - and anymore would be a sweet bonus. I think little QOL changes might help players engage with these systems more. But who can ever predict with 100% accuracy when it comes to product features right? I opened this thread to then hopefully elicit feedback, and to see if players even find that valuable (sadly - I still don't know!)

    I mentioned other IRE titles because, as I now realize was naive of me, I was thinking if it was from another IRE game, it'd be easier to bring here. At the very least, you could see what the code involved and talk to those developers over there. I know in development it's -never- that straightforward, but repurposing a product in a small company for another team is generally less frustrating from doing it from scratch - generally, not always.

    Anyway, I don't think this thread will live to serve its original purpose anymore, but now we have this clarified stance about where IRE stands on ideas from other games, and the misassumptions can end.

  • Adrik
    Adrik Member Posts: 708 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    See.


    Sojourn was cool.


    Up until it became only accessible by an auction artie. >:(

    Woland
  • Accipiter
    Accipiter Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    Scrappers is also one of those things that is so close to being fun but is gated.

    Woland
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