[MUD-Dev] \"An essay on d00dism and the MMORPG\"

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Wed Nov 29 16:14:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Travis Casey writes:

> Which brings me to where I have an actual point.  :-)  For a strong RP
> mud, names like "Captain Cornholio" are definitely out, but random
> collections of syllables aren't a whole lot better.
> What I really like to see is names that are chosen to fit the world
> background.  In paper RPGs, that's easy to do -- there's only a dozen
> or so PCs at most, and the GM can work with players on coming up with
> names.  On a mud, it's much more difficult; manually reviewing names
> would be a pain for a large playerbase.

[suggested solutions snipped]

  Another approach which I favor and which others seem to get nauseous about
is an introduction system.  Rather, that seems to be the name applied to the
general area of what I prefer.  When you enter the game, all the characters
that your character 'knows', has little names floating over their heads - or
however it should be presented.  Initially, this will just be the town NPCs
that your character knows.

  As you wander around meeting people, you have to actually introduce
yourself or being introduced or have somebody mention your name to somebody
else.  Or you overhear somebody mentioning their name.  Doesn't matter how
it happens.  You select the name as text and drag it over and drop it on the
character that you see.  Voila, that name is now floating over that
character's head.

  Why bother?  Because now when you want to remember "Captain Cornholio" as
being a jerk, you just label him or her as "Corn Jerk".  In short, you
decide how you see the names of other characters, not the players of those
characters.  Your good friend Devrill shows up as Dev because that's the
nickname that you prefer to see that character by.  People that you don't
care to remember, you don't rely on your character to remember.  YOU might
remember, but your character does not.

  Obviously, this really requires some means of interacting with characters
apart from their name - meaning a graphical game for the most part.

  If somebody wants to go around typing "CaPtAin CoRnHOLiO" every time they
meet someone, that's their business.  After a while I think people will just
introduce themselves with some kind of a reasonable name.  That is, unless
the game offers an option where you type some simply key sequence to insert
your name (or any other string of text) into the game.  But what players
don't get is a free billboard floating over their head with their favorite
obnoxious statement on it.


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