Stuff Done Right


  • Pitcrew

    So, I was thinking that since we have so many new mushes starting up these days, and since we have so many threads about all the wrong things to do, that we should have a thread dedicated entirely to the /right/ things people have done. This can be anything; theme, code, staff policies, player base, anything that stood out to you and made your experience better.

    This has been touched here and there in other threads. I want to see what people come up to when focused. Try to focus on good things. Nothing in MuLand is ever perfect, but focusing on the good things can be just as constructive as focusing on what didn't work.

    As for me, hmmm. I've only been playing for about three and a half years, and only on HM and TR, so I'm limited. I can think of a couple of little things, though.

    Haunted Memories

    I liked the setting. A big city, so lots of room and niches to fill. A hub for folks coming from all over the world with easy excuses to be there. It was fairly dark.

    I also liked the XP system, despite all the complaints with it. I felt it rewarded activity, and STing. Some folks have claimed that catching up was impossible but I managed to. That said, it would depend on the Mu.

    The Reach

    I liked the Want RP code, for one. I only wish more people used it.

    I also liked +badges. Everyone loves to be acknowledged for things. Look at achievements on Steam. It should be more widely-known that anyone can request one for someone, though. Love the idea, though.

    Anyway, I'm sure I'll think of a dozen other things. It's amazing how easy it is to think of all the problems and how difficult it is to think of the good bits. ;) Should be enough to get us started, though. I can't wait to see what you all come up with.


  • Tutorialist

    @Thisnameistaken said:

    I also liked +badges. Everyone loves to be acknowledged for things. Look at achievements on Steam. It should be more widely-known that anyone can request one for someone, though. Love the idea, though.

    The code they use originated on DW (it's mine), but was inspired by the original on Anomaly TrekMUX/Gamma One.



  • I liked FiranMUX's multi-generational theme that made child objects and family somewhat relevant.

    I liked their crafting code and pretty colors.

    The combat wasn't terribad, though the xp system was.

    I liked the fact that I befriended a bunch of overseas players because I stayed online into freakish hours of the night/morning and I got to learn some small things about their culture. Like how most commercials they showed me were longer than 60 seconds and were sad

    And that's about it. I liked the code and the more fringe playerbase.



  • @Crysta Firan was a little excessive in their code but that stuff was pretty cool. I could have done without the sex code but I suppose that is one of the best ways to track generational stuff. I really liked how there was something to do even in down time on the game.



  • @icanbeyourmuse Completely agree that Firan could be excessive with their code, but I'd rather have too much than not enough.

    What I always found to be Firan's biggest strength was the character roster. Even if the sheets weren't always up to date it at least gave you somewhere to start. I wish more games would do something like it.



  • @Staked I am doing something similar, sort of. My co-creator and I are having playable NPCs that people can 'test the waters on' to get a feel for the game. Then they have the option of turning that NPC into their PC or making their own bit and sending the NPC back to the pool.

    Though, one thing I did NOT like about Firan's roster is they never cleaned out anything that people have been brought to a point that the char is considered 'unplayable' by people.



  • What I wish more games would do is support a mix, yeah. I will probably never want to play a roster character. I'm just not that kind of player (though I'm perfectly happy to work closely with staff or another player on the specifics of my app). But others have different preferences, and I recognize that it's a good way for people who are totally new to a genre or even MU*ing to start without a ton of overhead.



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow See my post above! It is basically a roster, I suppose. But.. the file I did up:

    https://sites.google.com/site/vahlahcity/policies/playing-npcs

    (Feel free to browse the stuff on there and give input via PM or whatever)


  • Coder

    On the list of much-overlooked things that HM/TheReach did right:

    • Use of a ticketing system to manage many player/staff relations
    • Persistent storage of tickets (via archival)

    People might not like jobs, but they really are a lot better than every alternative presented thus far. That said,

    • AnomalyJobs should be replaced
    • Persistent ticket history should be available in the primary system (no separate archive) (and so no forum dependencies)

    I'd actually recommend new games consider using a separate, web-based, general purpose issue tracker of some sort, possibly with in-game visibility.

    In any case: persistent historical ticket data is essential to running a game of any serious scale.


  • Coder

    @Chime
    Something I've been working on, off and on. SQL-based webapp that the game reads/writes to.



  • At the end of the day, no XP system has yet improved on a simple format along the lines of '5-10votes a week, only vote for one person'.

    All of these games that give free XP weekly, really only encourage people to never log in and amass huge sums of it on alts.

    Past games, like Haunted Memories or Dark Metal had their monsters, of course, but they were cyclical. It encouraged twinks to go out and RP at the very least.

    On The Reach, everyone is a monster to a ridiculous degree. It's not even worth playing when after a few months, you can basically be a master at everything. No one can have a niche.


  • Admin

    @crusader That depends on your definition of improvement. What do you want out of your XP system - what are you rewarding, what do you want the XP curve to look like? And just as importantly, what are you prepared to sacrifice to achieve that?

    For example it seems you value activity and want to reward it in a simple manner. Yes, votes do that. They also alienate newbies compared to established players (if I have 5 votes a month you better believe I'm saving them for my coterie/pack) and exchange easy XP for dinosaurs (it's what a year of trading votes with said coterie/pack does, after all).

    Different games have been known to experiment with their approach on this. Some of the new generation nWoD MU* for example employ Beats and Conditions to reward adversity and being challenged at the cost of simplicity.

    Either way what I'm getting at here is that there's always a trade-off, and players value different goals differently.



  • You could only reward actual stories. Or adversity. Or working with new players/characters. You don't even have to do it with xp/power increases. These games aren't D&D, you don't need to level the characters up after fighting off goblin bandits. The saving throws don't get harder, and they don't need seventy rolls on Table III so they can get that sword +5 vs undead to take on your Vampire Prince.

    It's a game about entertaining one another.



  • @Arkandel said:

    @crusader That depends on your definition of improvement. What do you want out of your XP system - what are you rewarding, what do you want the XP curve to look like? And just as importantly, what are you prepared to sacrifice to achieve that?

    For example it seems you value activity and want to reward it in a simple manner. Yes, votes do that. They also alienate newbies compared to established players (if I have 5 votes a month you better believe I'm saving them for my coterie/pack) and exchange easy XP for dinosaurs (it's what a year of trading votes with said coterie/pack does, after all).

    Different games have been known to experiment with their approach on this. Some of the new generation nWoD MU* for example employ Beats and Conditions to reward adversity and being challenged at the cost of simplicity.

    Either way what I'm getting at here is that there's always a trade-off, and players value different goals differently.

    I find Beats and Conditions to be a clunky system that is extremely over-ripe for abuse by the 5% of the game population that is of a mind to such things. On any game that had +reccs as a form of supplemental vote giving, you would always find about 10% of the playerbase giving and receiving 90% of the +reccs. Beats and conditions are like that to an even greater degree.

    What I value in a game's XP system is rewarding activity. I've seen both the Reach and Reno's XP systems up close, and other games that had more or less fixed weekly XP, and they tended to encourage idling, and staying within your own clique. What's the point of meeting new people when you can tinysex your friends and never leave your gated estate while amassing a mountain of XP?

    The vote system encouraged people to get out onto the grid and interact. Some people hate it vehemently (hence the imminent downvote, I'm sure) and much prefer a flood of easy XP. Such people defending a weekly quota (which on the Reach can be 20-30+ xp a week, even a year+ ago) will say things like 'What does XP matter? Who cares? Have 10 more!' ala Troy, but they're the ones that seem most defensive and attached to the XP.

    At the end of the day, conditions and beats are exploitable by a tiny minority, +reccs are masturbatory and only slightly less so, and prp quality is extremely variable. A fixed weekly XP system encourages idling and staying in your comfort clique.

    Votes are the best, albeit imperfect solution. And again, in my experience, it is the fixed weekly XP that encourages the most cliquish behavior, and votes that encourage the most activity.



  • The vote system fell prey to the same issues that you're calling out beats/conditions, weekly xp, +reccs, and prp quality on, though. Not just one or two even, but all three. Circle jerks of people that would host large events where the vast majority showed up only to +vote the room every time a new person stepped in, smaller cliques that would +vote their circles for every little meet up or ts scene, A highly exploitable system that ended up being exploited by everyone but those who -didn't- go to the huge social scenes of everyone standing around sipping a drink and commenting on so and so's outfit/hair/beliefs/politics/etc.


  • Admin

    @crusader said:

    Votes are the best, albeit imperfect solution.

    There is no such thing as a "best solution". You know how you can tell? Because not everyone is using it.



  • @Miss-Demeanor That is a problem on games where +votes are limitless, and you have things like +room/vote. I rememer how silly it was on Metro. More restricted votes, contrary to popular expectations, do encourage the majority of players to reward the best RPers.

    There will always be cliquish/circle jerk behavior, but most people on mushes don't even have 5 real friends in their inner circle, and they really do try to give their votes to the most deserving, while presenting themselves as the most deserving.

    Nothing on a mush is true or false with anything more than scattershot precision. But some policies do hit more of the intended target than others.

    @Arkandel Of course there is a best solution. There's always a best solution. It simply depends on your priorities. If you have one set of priorities, then the XP solution which is 'best for you', is the one that hits the most high notes and the fewest low notes that you're trying to prioritize or de-prioritize.

    To my own priorities, which is maximizing activity on the grid, I find a limited vote system to have worked best. I've drawn this conclusion from nearly twenty years of observing various systems in action, and what they encouraged or discouraged. Someone that has different priorities is free to disagree with me.

    But I would have reservations about anyone who approached the XP system as anything other than an incentive to encourage activity on the grid.



  • @Miss-Demeanor
    So you limit the votes that can be given to the same person during a period of time, thus necessitating spreading out and RPing outside of your clique if you want more votes. RP should be about RP and fun anyway, and votes go with that, but lack of activity causes stagnation and kills games.

    To go along with what @crusader has said, the limited votes (at least in my experience, of which I have no *WoD games under my belt yet), tended to push people to go out and find RP outside of their circle of crew. They'd play with their circle because it was fun, and then go find other fun people to RP with.

    I also am probably one of the few who really jibes on the 'no XP, you app for what you want and can respec with another app, but what you app is what you have' setup that I came from Transformers games with as well.



  • @Bobotron They did that on HM. Or rather, tried that on HM. You know what happened? Widened the gap between the 'dinosaurs' and the 'newbs'. Caused endless amounts of problems that eventually led them to the next thing they went to... which I think was the pose-based xp generation system?

    Moral: +vote is no better or worse than any other system. It has its ups and downs just like every other system of xp out there.



  • @Miss-Demeanor
    And everyone's had differing experiences with that, but it doesn't make +vote a 'bad' choice in general. Some games it works, some it doesn't. It's all about how the players use (or abuse) it.