Skill Spamming

06 Oct 2007 01:53 #5485 by Shadowslay
Replied by Shadowslay on topic Re: Skill Spamming
Here's my dream world for AL, if the sky were the limit and I could make all changes a wave of my hand:

Food and clean water (or at least, food) would be substantially harder to come by in the wilderness. Everyone and their dog would not be able to just type 'gather (insert herb here)' and consider themselves well off. (IRL, most people don't have the willpower to feed off of raw meat and whatever unless they're starving). Increase dependency on cities and on other players in this way.

Then, virtually no power would come from skill training.


I said it.

Skill training in the mechanical sense should be next to useless.

And you shouldn't start off as whatever you want to be, fully actualized, either, because that would get really old, really fast. Partly actualized, maybe. But not already as good as one would ever need to get.

All the hours spent grinding away by chopping down tree after tree after tree, sparring people to near-death or unconsciousness all hardly saying a word, sitting in a room and meditating for IC days at a time... would mean nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Instead, all training would be roleplayed. Yes, people come in and they play characters who aren't the best at something - so they roleplay that. And they roleplay doing things to get better, like sparring with people in ways that actually make sense, discussing tactics, philosophy, etc. This includes dialogue and emotes, and bringing your character into the game as more than an automation who walks and kills things (unless you give life to that). In these ways, by roleplaying development with others (or with yourself/NPCs), one would develop their stats and skills. Roleplay would become the only way to obtain any serious atptitude in AL.

I don't expect this to happen today or tomorrow. It might never happen. But damn, it'd be nice. In the end, there is more roleplay between players, more realism, less incentive to 'fraud', and a fair distribution of power (fair, because it is allocated based on how much one does what the MUD was designed for).

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06 Oct 2007 08:45 #5486 by Lakemen
Replied by Lakemen on topic Re: Skill Spamming
I don't know if you read the rest of the thread or not. Some of the points you made I have already countered. It makes a lot more sense to address any counterpoints you disagree with rather than make the same points again. Though I guess restating the parts you believe in makes alot more sense than disagreeing with the parts you don't. It draws more [size=24]ATTENTION[/size] because more people are likely to actually read it.

Once again, the defintion of 'roleplay' is the issue here. Look at the way you used the word, you are referring to a very specific form of interaction. How are you going to use acting/pretending in the same thought as realism? They are practically oxymorons. If anyone is so arrogant as to believe their acting is more realistic than what someone would actually do in a situation, then I don't really know what to say.

This is an example I've used before: If you videotape someone in real life going about a real routine, and then get the clip critiqued by audience of viewers, chances are they're going to deem the acting mediocre, even though it's the real thing.

Less incentive to fraud, by giving the frauds what they want so they aren't frauds anymore? That's like saying we can get rid of crime by giving criminals money. That way they'd have less incentive to steal.

Fair allocation of power by awarding power through social politics? Are you kidding me? It's bad enough already that AL politics have shifted OOC. All the real politics happen on AIM and other OOC channels, but I'm sure you know that already. You know, those places where people go to congratulate each other on their excellent 'roleplay' and to degrade those that don't fall into their vision of melodramatic acting.

It might be your dream, but don't try to claim that the MUD was designed for your dream.

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06 Oct 2007 09:06 #5487 by kaain
Replied by kaain on topic Re: Skill Spamming
Hey, can I be infavor of BOTH?

Really, I love building a character as much as the next guy, and I also love RPing as well.  It is why I favor a system where both, yes both, can get you where you want to go.  If you want to hunt deer for 3 RL hours and gain skill that way, I say YES!  If you want to rp learning combat from a master, while perhaps only sparring for 10RL minutes out of 3hrs of RP, then there should be a system where that equals the former example.

I love AL because it is not a mush, because there is wonderful code behind what can be done, so I would not want to see no gain from playing within the game, but I also want to see RP rewarded...Bingo..Both!

Because I know I would like both, sometimes I want to RP, sometimes I like to go be a hunter in the 'real' sense of the coded game, get skins, sell!

Both! Both! say it with me....Both!

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06 Oct 2007 09:24 #5488 by Ritor
Replied by Ritor on topic Re: Skill Spamming
Lakeman, I understand what you mean by saying how unreal 'pretense' is to the 'real' thing. But fact is ... this 'is' a roleplaying mud. If it was 'not' a roleplaying mud, but let's say ... strategy action text mud, then I could understand you. In a mud like that, should you need to defeat an enemy, you must make preparations to do it. One of those preparations would involve raising your killing number higher then your enemy's killing number, because only then would you .... be able to kill :).

But in a roleplaying mud, the goal is not to compete with other players, but to ... play a 'role'. And the role can be anything, it can be ... a beggar, it can be magick wielding shaman, or it could be a fraud/fast talk/praying on fears of others type of shaman. It can be 'any' role the player is ... interested in. Now, skills ... skills are the 'tools' that a character can affect the world with, they are if you like a variation of the 'dice' in D&D. 'one' of the methods through which a player can unfold his character's role and interact with the gameworld and other characters. It is not the 'only' method, some roles (say beggar) relies less on skills to interact with the gameworld, some roles (magicky shaman) more. But there 'isnt' ... or shouldnt be a pecking order between a beggar or a shaman, they're both interesting and viable roles. And the whole 'point' of really playing the game (atleast to me) is ... taking the gameworld (made by creators and enriched by other players) and then enriching it with your own role.

Unfortunately, as the current system goes ... playing a 'role' aka enriching the gameworld with your role becomes 'secondary' to ... well ... skill spamming. Not only does that make things easier for you, it also helps you roleplay in a sense, because if you've skill spammed, you're less likely to die, you've got more tools to affect the world with, the works. And that's nice, but it is ... the 'wrong' path. Because ... well, it makes two thirds of the gameplay revolve around ... skill spamming, while it 'should' be a secondary ... if not 'tertiary' tool of the main reason to play ... aka roleplaying. Even worse, it makes you (and by you, I mean generic you, not lakeman specifically) sacrifice some aspects of your role, to increase the rate of skill gain. Such as attacking people your role would never attack to skill gain, eating things your role would never eat to keep your character in full skill readiness. Doing things your role would never do to gain skills, etc.

But you're right in one of the things you said. The fact that the MUD is not designed to allow roleplaying to be a primary thing. It is quiet obvious (to me) that it is indeed the skills and their improvement, that are ... the primary part of the gameplay. So primary is it, that the current MUD's design basically ... enforces it.

But even if that is 'true', that hardly means that it's a ... good thing.

Here's an example of 'pretense' versus real thing.

You knock a person unconscious. You want to talk to him, you dont want to kill him, but ... you gotta immobolize him. You can ... break his arms, but A ... you could accidentally cut the arms off, or B ... the guy could go into shock and then you wouldnt really be able to interact with him past "kill guy" But HEY!, you got a coil of rope in your pack. You take it out and realize that uhh ... there's no code to bind the limbs of others. Now you could "request" the feature, kill the guy (Aka lose the chance to roleplay a scene with him. Let's say... torture, robbery, interrogation), and then patiently await the creators to code the feature so the next guy will get tied up or ... not.

Or ... you could just <omote rope wrapped tightly around guy's arms and feet#put down rope>. Now, the guy wakes up ... can he get up and run off? Sure, no code prevents him. But it is a roleplaying mud, and he finds himself in the role of a tied up prisoner, while you are in the role of a well ... thug, interrogator, whoever. He can use the code, stand up, and sprint off ... or he could 'pretend' and play it out.

If he runs off, he'll rid himself of a scene that I know from experience can be .... wonderful. If he stays, he ... enjoys the roleplaying portion of the game. Which part is more interesting to experience? The sprinting off (Oh noes! my collection of zeroes and ones is about to die!) and from now on making sure that next time, the 'immobolizing' will always mean the removal of limbs. Or sticking around playing a victim, trying to think up ways to escape, talk your way out, or just enrich the gameworld by your emotes of total agony as you get tortured.

That's the pretense versus real thing. Roleplay versus Code.

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06 Oct 2007 10:20 #5489 by Lakemen
Replied by Lakemen on topic Re: Skill Spamming
What you're talking of is acting out an an artificially created role based on a DIFFERENT system. You come in with a perception of what the world "should" be instead of what it is, and you play a role based on what the world "should be". It's completely disrespectful of what the world is. Roleplaying is playing a role within the given world. If you don't play under the system of the given world, which system are you playing under? Who knows. One thing is for sure, all the people playing under different systems aren't even playing under the same different system. This creates large amounts of confliction. It's not roleplay.

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06 Oct 2007 10:46 #5490 by Ritor
Replied by Ritor on topic Re: Skill Spamming
Heh. Well I gues some value the 'code' over 'roleplaying' and some value 'roleplaying' over the 'code'. I could've understood if you're talking about 'theme'. Yes, that's ment to be be kept solid and maintained because it is the 'setting' of things. But the code ? The code is supposed to be just a 'tool'. If you value code more then roleplaying, then you spend your gameplay manipulating the code. No different then retyping <put apple in table> <get apple from table> for 3-4 hours. If you value roleplaying over the code, you're playing with 'other' players. And 'other' players is what's important. The code's just a platform ... a tool.

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06 Oct 2007 11:18 #5491 by Lakemen
Replied by Lakemen on topic Re: Skill Spamming
That doesn't even take into consideration what I just said. Just completely ignores it.

Edit: Actually, you created a stance for me, a terrible stance, which you beat soundly. It's not mine though. It's why I didn't see the connection, because that's not what I said.

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06 Oct 2007 11:41 #5492 by ladyimp
Replied by ladyimp on topic Re: Skill Spamming
I am very puzzled by this.

Why do you play -here-? Why do any of us play here?

What makes here different from the other (many many other) games in the world?

There's a huge number of roleplaying games. Some which emphasise roleplay even more then here does. Some emphasise 'true to life' realism more successfully then here does. Most of those are purely verbal or typed out games, without the coded in background of the game that AL has.

I've played all sorts of games. Some really silly and short, others incredibly intricate and complex. Some which have not encouraged RP at all... I haven't cared. I play the way I play, which by my preferance tends to be as if the game world and my character within it were 'real', and my character as something that existed more or less naturally within that world. It makes for some very strange thinking (And definitions of 'world' and 'character' when I am playing something like a solitaire card game... but yeah, the rules of the game form the world and the course of the game is the path of a life and choices made.)

I don't need AL for that. I carry that with me whereever I go. I have met some awesome roleplayers here. But I've met at least as many elsewhere. I've had some (even by my standards) incredibly deep experiences in my roleplay here... and yes, -that- is a rare thing and I tend to chase that like a hunting hound whenever I catch whiff of it.

But I played here months before exceptional depth occured for me. And I was very pleased to be playing here, here and not elsewhere, for that time. I think I would have remained here, even without those experiences.

So again the question... 'Why here?'

For me, that's really simple. It's the code. All the code, which includes our code of conduct, our 'rules'.

The rules of the game are the world. Both the in game rules and out. The rules that govern a character's drowning when it's underwater to the IC/OOC barrier, and that a player's choice to sink into the IC world and not expected to interact at all oocly was considered sacrosant.

"No different then retyping <put apple in table> <get apple from table> for 3-4 hours"

I've seen, in real life, a person lift their hand, touch a spot on a wall, and set their hand back in their lap, over and over and over. Not just for a few hours. For months, whenever they were in that room. They were severely mentally and emotionally ill, and in an institution. But they did it when they were allowed.

"I love AL because it is not a mush, because there is wonderful code behind what can be done"

If AL did not have the rules it did, the code, I would not be here. I do not play mushes, because of that lack they (to me) suffer from.

"You come in with a perception of what the world "should" be instead of what it is, and you play a role based on what the world "should be"."

That's interesting, to me. In seeing what is, you can fit what is. But that goal might be mine alone.

I will always, -always- value the code of this game. The players seem to come and go. The characters certainly do. Wether I find the roleplay of others around me realistic or not, that varies. Wether I enjoy what's happening in the game world, another up and down. What's consistent, and always scoring high marks... that's the code of the game itself.

Why are you here? Why here, and not somewhere else?

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06 Oct 2007 13:36 #5493 by kaain
Replied by kaain on topic Re: Skill Spamming
I know I am here also because there is code behind the game, mushes are not for me because of their lack of code. However, I wish AL to be fun, enjoyable, and playable for the widest range of people possible. What does that mean?

A. Players that like to train train train and learn learn learn all day because they enjoy it, have the time, or are in a place in their life where they can spend hours and hours doing such should be able to do this.

B. People that love AL but can only dedicate 2 hours a day to playing should not always be behind because of RL. I think this only hurts the game, irrespective of the code that I love too.

C. People that just like to play roles that literally don't take skills, like the town bum or wench or whatever they choose.

My hope is that we can get away from just player type A being so heavily favored, again irrespective of their ability and or wanting to RP. I want everyone to have a place at AL, and I think we can accomplish it with work, discussion, and good ideas.

I see a couple of ways to achieve a balance...I am sure there are others and I hope instead of just arguing the same point over and over that people will bring theirs to the table, I mean we are in beta status....and hopefully get to be open soon...and good ideas will make AL even better.

1st. Place a 'coded' limit on the amount of gain possible per RL day (or whatever time frame) so people that can't play 4 hours a day still can enjoy AL to its fullest. I know the arguments...'but I trained all day, it is my hard work etc...' but the code is not set in stone, it can and should evolve. Is it reasonalbe to think really that a hunter does nothing but hunt, hunt, hunt for 2 weeks straight without so much as sleep? Heavens no, so lets have a dialog to get to the best possible AL we can. By limiting the amount we would allow for a greater number of people to get completely involved.

2nd Give rewards for good Roleplaying, it is an RPI mud (at least how it is presented) and I don't see a problem with the people that run it, work on it, and dedicate their time to it deciding to do such, it does not break some 'code' or change reality, it is a game with rules made up by those that run it. This does not penalize anyone, in fact those people that skill train all day can then show up and roleplay at times when there are lots of people on, and get rewarded too, for giving back to AL and its environment.

3rd. Do nothing, well, except stopping these pointless debates if nothing is going to be the course of action. I have been here just a fraction of some, and perhaps my view is to narrow, but in my time here the numbers of players has only gone one way...down. I am interested in reversing said trend, and don't think nothing will do that.

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06 Oct 2007 15:45 #5494 by Emerald
Replied by Emerald on topic Re: Skill Spamming
While I do agree with Lakeman on some points one thing kinda rubbed me the wrong way. I may have misinterpeted what was said but what I got was basically you want the code to rp for you? By this statement I should just play a hunter or a tailor or miner just like everyone else because according to code I'm not enforced to be a bum or a wench or whatever. Now what I'm trying to get at is this....I should not be lets say a bum because I could just walk outside and spam forage until I get me some grub. I must be playing a fake bum I guess.

I do however agree that hunters should not really roleplay the uber hunter that tracks down bears when by code the only they are capable of is a cute little bunny since that does kinda take the immersiveness out of the game when....well they can't actually do it but I do however see nothing wrong with learning the skills through roleplay and being rewarded for it.

Just wanted to say my piece....this is the frustrations board right?

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