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More MU* Writing

With a bit of time on my hands following the end of my literature class and the submission of my application for the doctoral program, I’ve really been diving into writing more material for the MUSH. We have a fabulous core group of roleplayers but we are also getting a lot of newbies who love A Song of Ice and Fire but aren’t used to MUSH roleplay or even roleplay at all. Hence the new Style Guide.

MU* Renovations

A day or two ago, one of our staff told me that he couldn’t quite believe how long he has actually played on Blood of Dragons, because he still thinks of it as his “new MU*”. I can only agree, it does not feel as if we had our beta opening in 2006 and our full opening in 2007.

But, its true enough. It also shows in some aspects of the game which have become a little worn down over the years. Not to mention the grand plans that were never fully realized… So, with the second season of “Game of Thrones” coming up, we’re focusing on a lot of improvements and additions over the next few months. The problem is just deciding what to do; our todo list is a few miles long and its not easy to pick the things that will benefit players the most.

We have settled on a few things, however. We are getting more articles up, such as Can I Play A… which tries to help prospective players by outlining available, difficult and unavailable concepts. The other key area we’ll focus on is establishing a better framework for political roleplay. We have some interesting ideas that we hope players will find very helpful.

Work is definitely never completed with a MUSH. But, that is part of the fun. Sometimes it is just a bit overwhelming.

Why Full Consent?

I’ve previously posted about how one of the common complaints raised against Blood of Dragons is our applications process, or rather the fact that we have one at all, even with all the streamlining we’ve done over the years. The other common complaint we get from people who either never check the game out at all or log off as soon as they find this out, is that we’re a full consent game.

Now, many players simply prefer one to the other and spend all their time on either full consent or non-consent games. That’s a reasonable preference, either way. But when some players insist that a setting like A Song of Ice and Fire cannot be used for a full consent MUSH or that we’re ruining the opportunity given to us by having GRRM’s approval for the MUSH, then it goes beyond a matter of preference.

Of course, one could just settle for saying that we’ve definitely proven that its wrong to claim full consent doesn’t work for an A Song of Ice and Fire game—Blood of Dragons has been running since 2006 and while we have had some slow periods, we’ve done very well this year. Could the game be better? Of course, and we’re always working on it. But our consent policy is not a weakness, its a strength. So, in the hopes of scaring off less prospective players as soon as they see the words “full consent” we’ve updated our FAQ entry on this issue. Perhaps it might help players see that the policy is something we’ve carefully considered and which has a proven track-record on the game.

Player Retention for the ‘Community’

This is a bit of a repeat of something I wrote on ElectricSoup a little while ago. I figured it would fit right in here, as well as give me a chance to plug what did come out of that discussion, the new MUSHlist at community.pennmush.org.

Handling Applications

Since the beta opening of Blood of Dragons, we have had a few prospective players question our decision to a) use a tier-based system and b) require anyone wanting to apply for the higher tiers to be a ‘friend’ of ours. A few have even suggested we abandon this system as it is ‘unfair’. Now, we have no plans to change the system (though there’s always room for refining it—that’s why the MUSH is currently in beta), but the questions raised have still prompted me to once again ponder these issues—fairness vs unfairness, application processes, etc—quite a bit. This is the result.

Roster Systems

This little write-up was inspired by a recent discussion on Electric Soup, which is a pretty good place to talk about MU*ing related stuff. Its been pretty slow from time to time, but lately there have been some interesting discussions going on, and I hope it will continue that way. Constructive MU* forums are far and few between, after all.