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Game Innovation, Gamer Psychology, Villain NPCs. It's all inside!

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 [Editor]     |::|  |  [Community Contributors]
  Falennt     |::|  |  Klaatu, Raveyn, Monrad, Azula, Ladril
              |::|  |  Riddick, Monrad, Annale, Kosaim
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 See HELP CRY2 for the table of contents.

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 Page 2    \/    Table of Contents

 From the Editor's Desk            - Falennt             CRY3

 Featured Articles
 Articles on a more serious note: anything from game developing, tools
 of the trade, area discussions and changes.

   Is Innovation the Key?           - -                  CRY4 - 7
   Gamer Psychology                 - -                  CRY8 - 9

 Street News
 The Cry of Despair's random question of the month to players and imms.
 Read their responses here!     

   All ABout Villain NPCs           - -                  CRY10 - 12

 Eye On Community
 Player contributions about anything and everything: from roleplay, to
 order news, to area reviews to personal stories.

   Nation News - Uruk'hai           - Klaatu             CRY13
               - Quendi             - Annale             CRY14
               - Pixie              - Kosaim             CRY15
   Freelance Food Reviews           - Azula              CRY16
   Arete: The Realms'First Sit In   - Ladril and Raveyn  CRY17
   Goodbye GoT, Hello GoO           - Riddick            CRY18
   News from the Ringbearers        - Monrad             CRY19
   Submission Guidelines            - Falennt            CRY20

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 Page 3    \/    From the Editor's Desk - Falennt 

 Dear Reader,

      Firstly, apologies for the huge delays in the coming of the Cry and      
 to those who have been waiting for it eagerly. There was some administrative
 changes to staffing just over the last month and the paper should be back  
 on track.
      You will be noticing some changes to the paper starting with this issue.
 I do hope to present a quality read hence we have streamlined the articles 
 to that which would cater to general gaming interest.

      I will also be doing random "street" interviews of players and immortals
 alike for our Street News portion, offering another avenue to enjoy each 
 other's perspectives towards this MUD that we all love.
      Finally, our new Eye on the Community will focus on all the player-
 related content that you hope to publish in the Cry of Despair - be it
 roleplay, personal stories or heroic recounts. If you do have content you'd
 like me to publish, do send me a mudmail.

      Lastly, I would like to thank Kadgeon for her stint as the Cry Editor
 and rolling out some very cheerful and chirpy issues in the past month.

                                           Cry Editor and Publisher
                                           Falennt Sarien

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 Page 4    \/    Is Innovation the Key? - Featured Article 

      I am a player of both text and graphic games - rather born into the 
   era whereby it was the heyday of MUDs and the slow proliferation and
   growth of the visual gaming industry. In university back in 1996 - I 
   delved into the world of MUDs: the text and its imaginative magic
   extremely attractive. I had no computer at home, since I stayed in a 
   rented room an hour away from the university and being cheap, I did not
   opt for a dial-up connection. So I MUDded from the computer labs in the
   engineering faculty with a ton of other students (Who incidentally were
   also MUDding but in different languages).
      visual gaming was still weak - 2D flattened landscapes in blocky 
   colours that serve little attraction. Incidentally, if you think about
   the MUD, it is 2D with the same blocks of colours: only difference 
   being the visual was only limited by your imagination and ironically,
   you thought in 3D.
       The MUDs sat upon their Thrones in the gaming world in those years:
   I did not just join one MUD: I joined many - Dikus, Godwars, Circles -
   just to get a taste of what those codes offered the gamer. The journey
   of everything was interesting to state the least though I still
   returned to the main MUD I liked.

 Continued on HELP CRY5

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 Page 5    \/    Is Innovation the Key? - Featured Article 

        2001 saw a sudden leap and a burst of energy from the visual gaming
    industry. Blocky colours were gone, the 2D flat landscapes vanished, 
    visuals became the stuff of imagination. The millenium years saw such a
    mighty growth from this industry that new titles and refurbished old 
    ones flood an already burgeoning market. This industry's innovations are
    aimed predominantly at the millennials, the Peter Pan Generation deeply
    connected by social and mobile networking platforms. Games are innovating
    by the dozen. There is definitely ample argument supporting the need 
    to keep renewing and inventing though not every grass on the other side
    of the fence is greener.
        Innovation can come in different forms - game mechanics relooking
    at the Holy Trinity, implementation of systems that give players a bigger
    control over the economy and their gear. One can think of intricate
    crafting systems to put in - allowing players to create their own foods
    and drinks for buffs, allowing players to forge their own weapons and
    armor. Dungeon instances where everyone can get to run the area 
    without one group dominating the place. To some, innovation need not 
    neccesarily be beneficial as long as it makes what is technologically
    impossible ten years ago on this platform, possible to create.

Continued on HELP CRY6

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 Page 6    \/    Is Innovation the Key? - Featured Article 

         To others, innovation is to set up what the game never had and
     which provides a clear advantage to the community. Whichever the 
     case for innovation might be, it comes with its set of pros and 
     cons, of which, sometimes you may end up enhancing or destroying 
     certain aspects of your game through innovation.

         Lets theorycraft through a case-study: the implementation of
     dungeon-instances. In brief, a dungeon instance allows many groups
     to participate in the dungeon at any one time without having to
     wait for another group to clear out, and further more, wait for
     mob repop. The benefits of this system are clear - it is more 
     efficient, it reduces negative situations that may arise between
     two rival groups, it lets players be flexible about their gaming
     hours without having to wake up at 4am to kill Nabri the Insane
     because he only spawns at 4.30am.

         Limitations of such a system appears to be rather community-
     driven. Instances remove the concept of a multi-user community
     into just pockets of "instance groups". Since there is no
     need for exploration in an instance which boils down to "kill 
     mob"and "get loot", the system appeals to perhaps 1/4 of the
     gaming society out there who are mainly Achiever types (a
     category based on Bartle's Gamer Psychology Test which is also
     featured in this edition. Even negative situations between
     rival groups could lead to changes in community behaviour - 
     new alliances formed, new diplomacies or even intensify
     the rivalry to the delight of the PK and duel-loving players.
     Some instance groups are pre-set and woe be with you if 
     you happen to be living in the wrong time zone. Instancing hides
     players from each other - keeping community apart. 

Continued on HELP CRY7

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 Page 7    \/    Is Innovation the Key? - Featured Article 

         In contrast, MUDs are still very much an array of public dungeons,
    if you think about game design whether you are creating a big box 
    tossing many small boxes inside (i.e. instanced virtual world)
    or a bunch of boxes with a central hub connecting them. MUDs tend
    to be, if not, have always been the later. You could put that 
    concept clearly to how areas and the hub are structured in many.

         Now technological code for MUDs is advancing - it may come to
     a point where by instancing becomes possible in the MUD. What 
     do you think would be the ramifications of such a system for a
     a MUD? True that it may remove some problems such as griefing
     and dungeon staking, would community be broken or would people
     find closer bonds since instances would demand a balanced class
     set for efficient clearance. Implementing instancing would mean
     a closer re-look at the class roles and skills to enable them 
     to function better. 

         It is all food for thought in any better sense. I like the
     way the MUDs function, I like the way MMORPGS function. I don't
     like, and do not hope that the features in MMORPGS would manifest
     in the MUDs - since what we have here in a MUD is where the 
     attraction is. Large public dungeons, a close community and the
     player-world connection which a visual world cannot achieve.
                                               The End

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 Page 8    \/    Gamer Psychology - Featured Article 

     If you have not taken Bartle's Test of Gamer Psychology before, this
  may be a good time to sit through the test and its 30 questions and
  see what interesting results could turn up for you. The best is to 
  answer all the questions honestly (The first reaction is usually by far
  the most honest since you don't think about it)
  You can find the link here:

  You as a player would have a different agenda in mind to use the data 
  from the results compared to a game designer, a game administrator and
  even guild and organisation leaders.

       The Test divides players in four major categories - Achiever,
   Explorer, Killer and Socializer. After completing the 30 questions, 
   you get a percentage breakdown of your type and perhaps your preferences
   about what aspects of a game you like, what kind of game would you
   usually choose and what you would frequently, if not always, be doing
   in a game.

Continued on HELP CRY9

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 Page 9    \/    Gamer Psychology - Featured Article 

      For the game designer and game administrator, being able to obtain
   such data would be helpful in the management of your virtual world. 
   If there is a high concentration of players with Explorer tendencies,
   simple puzzles and small repetitive areas are not going to keep them in
   your game for long. A low concentration of players who enjoy Socializing
   would mean you might not need to invest effort into creating more chat
   channels or social media platforms. 

      A guild leader with ambition would probably use this data in the
   same way. With a large number of Achievers in the guild, leaders may 
   look to arranging runs to challenging areas or gaining trophies to
   boast to other guilds. A high number of Socializers would mean
   the leaders would have to have a certain level of charisma or create
   avenues for socialising to keep the members.

      Whether it is truely useful or just another gag, the Test has
   stood the test of time (forgive me for my pun here) and is still 
   being widely used today. So have fun with the Test, and maybe tell
   us what you are!

   (Incidentally I am a 78% Achiever, 47% Explorer type though I do like
    duelling, player-kill as well as large-scale PK battles)

                                             The End

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 Page 10   \/    All ABout Villain NPCs - Street News 

        Whether it is the alignment, the theme, the concept or the background
     story, or the many efforts you and your team put in to demolish it, the
     villain mob in the Realms comes in a variety of beasts, demi-humans,
     monsters, even inanimate objects. The Cry asked this question randomly
     to our players and immortals to get an idea on what to them is the best
     villain mob out there, and why.
     Conran says 'probably Master Tullfuhrzky, to me'
     Conran says 'I remember there being children being tortured there, but
     it's been a while'
     Conran says 'just the fact that he randomly slaps you when you walk
     in, he's really rude, I dunno if that really makes him a villain'
     Schridex says 'for me it would be between Set, the werewolves in
     Redfernes, Or Danny! Lol'
     Schridex says 'It's been a while since I've go out to explore
     though, I've been focused on leveling since I've been back. :)'
     Schridex says 'Now areas are a whole different story! Lol'
     Feit says 'hrm, I'd say Seth I guess'
     Feit tells you 'only been here a month though'
     Feit tells you 'his equip seems to be the focus of almost everything
     and his name (although he is evil) is revered for some reason'

     Loril says 'OK, I actually DO have an answer. Duke Luther. 
     He's like so many politicians, he convinces everyone that he's all 
     kinds of benevolent and yet ...'
     Loril says 'Yet, the clues are there. Spend some time with his wife. 
     Pay attention to the reasons he has people imprisoned. Read the 
     Loril says 'But let's just say that I'd never turn my back on the Duke.

Continued on HELP CRY11

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 Page 11   \/    All ABout Villain NPCs - Street News 

      Monrad says 'Seth because it takes loyalty and skill between comrades 
      to repetitively beat him down, and I have seen some of the best runners 
      cower away because of the risk involved'
      Kellian says 'if you want the hardest, most evil mob I have come across, 
      it was a Goblin during a IGQ'
      Kellian says 'jacked my mdeath total and taught me how to walk to 
      Solace without directions from here. hehe'
      Kellian says 'we had a strong group too, just fighting. those things 
      were mean'
      Raveyn says 'I'm going to have to choose Satan, because I think 
      Underworld sets up the experience so magnificently - you really do feel 
      as though you have traveled deep into the depths (of a very realistic 
      hell like place) - and it is a "complete package" - the story, the 
      sensationalism, fear, excitement, anticipation and hey, nice loot too'
      Raveyn says 'except for one tiny thing, satan always seems '
      more manly to me *g*'
      Destre says 'The most villainous mobs in Realms are the cute rabbits 
      in Shadow Grove'
      Destre says 'They lurk out there, oh so innocent, just waiting to 
      thump you with their big furry feet'

Continued on HELP CRY12

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 Page 12   \/     All ABout Villain NPCs - Street News 

     You ask Kali, 'what is the best villain mob you've ever encountered 
     and why?' 
     Kali says 'I don't think I've ever met a mob more villainous than 
     Ceirana says 'The first being Jimmy'
     Ceirana says 'since I have yet to be successful killing him but got him 
     to dying once'
     Ceirana says 'he's especially villainous to me because he's in Vast 
     Ceirana says 'and reef wraiths and shadowsharks'
     Ceirana says 'reef wraiths because they gang up on you and it's hard 
     to 'finish' a battle to recall and shadowsharks because if you 
     inadvertently walk into one it's usually bad news.'
     Petrograd says 'My mob choice was Overlord Graajchzrakil'
     Petrograd says 'He's an evil dude, I'm not sure what he did. 
     The entire theme there is very ominous.'
     Petrograd says 'But he's my favorite because he's a fun tank, you 
     got to be on your toes'
     Petrograd says 'So it requires skill and team work'

     Stoneheft says 'Am I allowed to choose from my own areas?  
     That's kinda cheating, but...  Baron Appleby.'
     Stoneheft says 'He stole an entire area from the only peaceful group 
     Cof industrialists in the whole western half of the game.'
     Stoneheft says 'After stealing from them...  he just lives very 
     nicely with his ill-gotten gains.'

 - The End   

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 Page 13   \/     Nation News: Uruk'hai [1] - Klaatu 

From the Opallinoc News Bureau for March, 2013

Dateline Opallinoc: Water Source
Meeka was getting water from the village well for brewing a batch swill.
She noticed the water to have a cloudiness to it when filling her vats
from the well bucket. Tasting the water, she didn't notice anything out
of the ordinary. Thinking nothing more of it, Meeka went to the copse of
willows to gather some sap. Inside the cracked tree, Meeka mentioned in
passing to Hakupa about the cloudiness of the water. The Shaman took a
sample and did some testing. " What treachery is this?" proclaimed the
Shaman Hakupa. "There is foreign matter in the water!" The test results
were sent to the High Council for discussion.
Dateline Notre Dame: Healing
Volstagg, the Catacomb Dweller, and Zontar, the Uruk'hai Expedtionary Force
leader, made an emergency trip to Darkhaven, Old Thalos, Thul Ab'Hara and
Solace seeking balms and cures for the massive hangovers suffered during
the seasonal festivites. Many shops were visited and purchases of herbs,
elixirs and hair of the dog were obtained. Unfortunately nothing has provided
relief to the Uruk'hai plagued by the after effects of Meeka's special swill.
Thus the last recourse to end the suffering is under way. Prayer at the Altar
of Thoric and hope of Sonoria taking pity us.

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 Page 14   \/    Nation News: Quendi - Annale 

Icicles still cling to branches - winter leaves still refusing
to fall to Spring's warm breeze.  Snow covers the ground leaving
the Island still trapped in a winter wonderscape.  And yet, 
the quiet murmer of awakening animals begins to fill the air,
a hopeful whisper bringing with it the promise that....
      ,            __ \/ __
  /\`\          /o \{}/ o\      ...Spring is the air.
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 | |    |          `> /\ <`     ,,, 
 \ \    /  @@@@    (o/\/\o)    {{{}}                _ _
  '\\//'  @@()@@  _ )    (      -Y-      @@@@     _{ ' }_
    ||     @@@@ _(_)_    wWWWw .oOOo.   @@()@@   { `.!.` }
    ||     ,/  (_)@(_)   (___) OO()OO    @@@@  _ ',_/Y\_,'
    ||  ,\ | /)  (_)\      Y   'OOOO',,,(\|/ _(_)_ {_,_}
    |\  ||  |\\|// vVVVv`|/ @@@@    _ \/{{}}}\| (_)@(_)  |
    | | ||  | |:,,,(___) | @@()@@ _(_)_| -Y- wWWWw(_)\ (\|  /)
    | | || / / {{}}} Y  \|  @@@@ (_)#(_) \|  (___)   |  \| //
     \ \||/ /\\|-Y- \|/  | \  \/  /(_) |/ |/   Y  / \|/  |//
      `\\//`,.\|/|//.|/\\|/\\\|,\|/ //\|/\|.\\\| // \|\\ |/,//

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 Page 15   \/    Nation News: Pixies - Kosaim 

This is PNN, Your source for Pixie News
The Sugar Festival was a success this year, but was marred by that fact the
poetry contest was sabotaged by a theif who stole all the quills.
An investigation will be launched to find the quills and the thief.
It is believed that magic was involved.
In other news. Rumours have floating around that the former queen of
the fae, the Countess She'
*the writing mysteriously ends*

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 Page 16   \/    Freelance Food Reviews - Azula 

                        Juel's Pastries, City of Aurora
                                4 out of 5 moons

   Standing on the western end of Commoner's Street, the bakery of Aurora has
stood on the same corner for hundreds of years. I sampled the cherry pie. It
was delicious, but at a cost of 1,243 gold pieces I thought it was overpriced.
   The atmosphere was the selling point for this beauty of a bread shop.
Merchants from the eastern trade route mingle with drow from the dirty streets
of Shadowport. The chairs and tables are worn smooth, polished by a thousand
                       Butcher Shop, The City of Salburg
                                2 out of 5 moons
   When one steps off Birch Street into Nerath's butchery one is greeted by a
whiff of old meat and fresh orc sweat. This shop is the most disgusting place
I've ever eaten, and the ambience leaves much to be desired.
   I've long been curious about the taste of human flesh, and I chose to
sample a few slices of the roast human, it was surprisingly tender. As they
say: when in Salburg, do as the Salburgian's do.
                                                    -Azula Morningstar

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 Page 17   \/    Arete: The Realms First Sit In - Ladril Raveyn 

   Although the members of Arete had considered themselves a group before 
 the official title was created they got their first chances to do some 
 order bonding a few days before the mist cleared away atop Mount Doom 
 revealing their acropolis to the Realms.

  While the members waited to see what would reveal itself to them beyond 
the fog the Gods themselves bestowed upon them gifts. First Destre came 
with coffee and doughnuts so that the hungry members would not starve, 
fasting while they waited the arrival of their new home. Raveyn, Alex,
Jaxxon, Arca, Chyort, Gnorin, Juan, Fabinyre, Leosith,Ladril and Adorg 
all joined in Arete's first "Sit In" on December 3rd.

  The next day Belkira and Destre bestowed a tent to shelter them from 
the cold winter temperatures. Only the squeals of delight and anticipation 
kept the members warm as the cold winds of Mount Doom howled around them. 
There were  many and they came from all corners of the realms; guilds, 
sects and orders alike all united in a common cause and all partaking in 
their first activity together. It was a great start towards what promises 
to be a great future!

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 Page 18   \/    Goodbye GoT, Hello GoO - Riddick 

As the last leaders of GoT, Teddios and I would like to thank all the
members of GoT, past and present for thier memberships and we look 
forward  to the Kinship of Guilds to form a greater organization.

We would also like to honour all the former leaders for thier work 
at keeping the guild an honourable and elite fighting organization.

As the reign of GoT comes to an end, we begin a rebirth in the powerful 
Guild of Origin.

I will be forever honouring all Guild points, so if you have a character 
that has guild points, seek me out and i will exchange your points
for equipment (All your records for points are stored by myself). 

It has been an honour serving all members and I believe I'd speak 
for all leaders of GoM, GoT and GoW when I say we are all committed to 
making the transition to GoO a fun and exciting experience!

Riddick, the man with White eyes.

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 Page 19   \/    News from the Ringbearers - Monrad 

The ancient and honourable Ringbearers would like to extend invitation 
to all to join us in friendship and combat to destroy the mobs across the 
Realms and enjoy the companionship of loyal friends who have each other's 
backs to the end.
In the last month alone we have defeated several multi AV mobs, including 
over one hundred kills of Sin and Olsen. We look forward to adding members to 
our established and loyal family, so if you consider yourself a team player 
who will put the whole above yourself, come join us at the Reed and make some 
friends for life!

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 Page 20   \/    Submission Guidelines - Falennt 

 Submissions to the Cry of Despair will no longer be paid monetary fees.
   All submssions is done on a voluntary and by choice basis. 
 The Cry of Despair is a good starting platform for anyone who wants to
   try out writing Realms-based content - be it roleplaying stories, fan
   fiction, levelling tips, area reviews, game ideas and personal thoughts
 Submissions should be mudmailed directly to Falennt before the 25th
   of the month. The Cry will be published on the 1st or 2nd of the next