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Archive for January 18th, 2009

Raph Koster has responded to the recent Wikipedia whirlwind by taking a moment to write up a history and definition of the DIKU MUD.  This is a valuable resource that I have bookmarked and will probably be referring to again in the future.  Modern MMOs have much to thank DIKU MUDs for, for better or worse.  They are apparently the root of the class structure and level/loot treadmill, among other things.

If you’ve been reading my other articles, you might know that I’m actually not all that impressed with that lineage.  One of the “diseases” that the DIKU genetic strain is susceptible to is altitis.  Technically, it’s a mild form of imaginative metagaming schizophrenia, often seen in RPG players as well.  It is harmless in most cases, but a notorious time sink.

One potential “cure” for altitis in MMO design is Alternate Progression.  Research on this is still in the early stages, and the market is glacially slow in acceptance.  Still, with a modest grant of 50 million dollars (pocket change for the TARP, and the aging MMO genre certainly qualifies for monetary relief), I’m sure I could come up with some effective treatments.  (This, of course, is assuming that players want such solutions.  There’s nothing really wrong with altitis, but I see it as a symptom of one school of game design.) (more…)

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