June 22, 2000
A HUGE game. A Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), one in which people from all walks of life can log onto and immerse themselves in. The fantasy world created within had been moulded over the years by a core group of administrators who had put enormous time and effort into the creation and maintenance of Medievia. Today, Medievia stands at the forefront of internet entertainment, a genre breaker.
It had been commented by game critics that games such as Medievia, or MUDs in general, are populated by players of specific types, or 'breeds' of players that ensue the existence of the game by the sheer nature of their personalities. With the upcoming marketing of Medievia on the financial market, I feel it is a time to promote Medievia not only in terms of the complexity of her creation, but also in terms of the 'breed' of players Medievia has spawned over the years.
The players, that are the real essence and soul of Medievia.
Broadly speaking, critics have classified 4 main 'breeds' of players in MUDs. They are: The Achievers, The Killers, The Social and The Travelers. Theories have been put forward suggesting that it is the intricate balance between these 4 groups that keep a MUD ongoing and successful, upsetting of which will cause a MUD to fall.
The Achievers refer to the group of people who MUD for the sake of attaining something. They MUD to feel the sense of achievement, the glory of success, the joy of reaching a goal. This would be the population that runs zones from Bloodstone to Elysium without faltering and possess the most fantastic equipment on the game. They too form the elite protectors of all in the game against The Killers, because it is only the achievers that have the abilities to do so.
The Killers speak for themselves. This is the group that MUDs to feel the thrill of devastation, be it that of others or that of their own. They smell, taste and yearn for blood to be spilt and will kill for the sake of killing. If a villain is to be named, the Killer is the one.
The Social refer to the group of players that play for the very same reason as chatting. It's just that MUDs are HUGE chatrooms and the added social interaction of formation fighting or camaraderie building when one fights hand in hand with another against common foes makes it all the more interesting for them. Plus, gratification to this group of players become enhanced and brought to life when they have Killers to whine about and Achievers to praise as heroes at the end of the day.
The Travelers are the explorers. They are the creative, the resourceful and the observers. They MUD to appreciate the virtual environment. They will be the ones who will look at the room descriptions and appreciate that the windows are tinted with a faint shade of blue in reflection of the waning light from the magical globes instead of making a grab for the magical globes themselves. They ignore the Killers and parlay with the Achievers, because to travel, one has to be of a certain build and size or the mobs will prove an inconvenience.
It has been suggested that the fine interplay between these 4 types of players keep a MUD ongoing and successful. If we make reference to Medievia itself, tons of material can be put forward by the players who will be able to identify and name examples of each and every one of the player types. Even the 4 classes of Medievia reflect the 4 player types. We have the Warrior, the Thief, the Cleric and the Mage, all the 4 classes, which on thinking about the relative skills and spells, would fit nicely into the 4 classes of players mentioned above simply because their abilities make them so. The Warrior Hero would be the class to be if one is an Achiever; the Thief Hero with the twisting dagger would turn tables with the vicious backstab; the Cleric Hero would be the one that everyone talks to and be the love of every group by the simple virtue of his/her healing abilities; and the Mage Hero stands capable of independent movement when needed or as a source of immense firepower when provoked or called upon.
And it is at this point, that I bring forward the notion of the 5th breed of players. I call them, "The Medievian". To this group, I attribute all the notions and capabilities of the 4 player types and recognize them as an amalgamation of all the 4 player types mentioned above.
Suffice to say, the idea is not new. Everyone who has played Medievia and experienced the 4 classes would say that they are a bit of every player type. Whatever class a player starts with, be it a cleric, mage, thief or warrior, by the time they reach HERO levels, they would have had experienced the role of all the 4 player types simply by virtue of the fact that each class requires them to assume it. The feel of one's first backstab, the maiden joy of healing and being healed, the realization of power in shockwaving or the immense satisfaction of being able to attain 1000+ hit points are all memories that each and every Hero on Medievia can call upon as trophies of Mudding. And because every Hero can do so, they form a unique breed of players that have emerged because of Medievia as a game.
They form, The Medievians.
One of course can argue the fact that despite being put through the trials and joys of all the 4 classes, each individual player then specializes into a particular player type or at least swings more towards a certain direction rather than retaining an equal bit of everything. This, I do not dispute and conversely agree strongly with. However, it is not the tangible that I speak of within the Medievian. I refer to the experience, the growing, the common passage and attaining of knowledge, consciously or unconsciously, of all the 4 player types as a player advances in Medievia. It is this knowledge and maturity that distinguishes the Medievian, no other game has managed to do such a thing so far.
Thus, I call out to both the administrators and players of Medievia to stake our claim on being the fifth breed. With the upcoming promotion of Medievia and subsequent forecasted growth in the future years, Medievia as a game must be kept and held at a comfortable balance or risk going the way of the Kingdom Wars. By recognizing our existence as the 5th breed, we, as Medievians have, and can identify with a central binding paradigm that will tide the Game over any difficulties in the years to come. Rough waves are ahead, entering the financial world would turn the once free Medievia into a heartless commercial monster that would constantly hunger for cash input. We need a binding beacon to guide us through the times that are to come. Call me Romantic or otherwise, but I believe establishing the existence of our own claim as Medievians would not only maintain Medievia on the basis of players' goodwill and support, but even propel the game yet even farther ahead in the realms of internet entertainment. Remember, we, are Medievians.
And only Medievians dare to walk where no man has walked before.
*** Editor's Note: For a more in-depth look at Player Personality and MUDS, check out "Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit Muds" by Richard Bartle at: http://journal.tinumush.org/v1n1/bartle.html