I realize this site isn’t read very much any more, but it’s easier to write things out long form here then on the discord so I figured I’d give it a shot here and then if there was no feedback or anything maybe put a shorter version up in the respective discord category later.
I’m curious what ideas are floating around moving forward with the project. What would people like to see, and what would keep them engaged with the game world moving forward?
This is a project to restore Nexus, obviously, but I’ll point to the uncomfortable fact that Nexus failed once before, already built and functioning well enough with a massive game world, in a world that didn’t have near the amount of distractions and sophisticated game design as the one we live in today.
I’ll also point out, though, that despite those distractions, a lot of old names have managed to trundle their way back here to invest time in a veritable oxygenarian of a game that’s had a decade-long absence from playability.
So, to expand upon the question: “What’s made you return?”, “What would make you play tomorrow?” and, “What would make you play into the future?”
Nexus, in the last few years, went through a couple mini-renaissances, or resurgences, where old names would pop back up, hunt a couple times, say hello to other old names, and then sit in the OOC lounge for a bit each day until they stopped logging back in regularly and eventually disappeared altogether entirely. You went from one or two names on, to eight or thirteen, and then back to one or two, with virtually the same amount of engagement with the world occurring throughout.
I’m not casting stones, if it needs to be clarified. I was one of those players who would log on, do their own thing, and not interact with anybody for many intermittent months at a time.
So to get the ball rolling, answer my own questions, and bail on this rambling preamble; I came back because of an intense nostalgia I feel for the game. I googled Aalynor’s Nexus, as I had several times previously over the intervening years, and found this forum for the first time. I would play tomorrow because I’m currently scratching an itch I haven’t been able to for about a decade, but what would keep me playing?
What would keep you playing?
What would seriously make all this effort worth it, and keep people motivated and tuned in to keep moving forward?
I think the answer is pinpointing what makes a MUD special - and I believe that is its ability to engage a player in a way that multi-million triple-A games can’t - on top of the nostalgia and simplicity. Paraphrasing someone else here; ‘we’re not playing Nexus for the graphics.’
One idea would be a monthly raid-style classic World of Warcraft-type quest. Full disclaimer - I hated WoW and I never got into raiding, but I watched people who did do classic raiding.
As an example:
On the first weekend of every month we’d have a vintage Bruce Lee murder-death tower where a party would assemble themselves and fight their way to the top through a bunch of cyborg-eyed Kareem Abdul Jabbars’. Each room would have different modifiers, and the mobs would be a mix of undead and live, and would scale themselves based on the level of the party that enters the bottom of the tower - a couple levels under at the base to build up their confidence and levels over at the top to show them who’s boss. Once you enter no changes to the party can be made. If someone DC’s, you’ve got an uphill battle. You could have multiple instances of the tower pop up at once for large amounts of players and require them to leap frog one another, activating buttons or whatever, so one group would assemble and enter one tower, and then another could assemble and enter the other based on who was left over. That way if one group comprised of buddies/regulars who were min/maxed and completely farmed, and the other was a bunch of level 10’s who didn’t know their asses from their elbows, the enterprise would be doomed unless parties were rebalanced and everyone cooperated.
I don’t know how hard that would be to throw together, but once it’s done it’s done, and it could be treated like an old school MMO raid, where you take a shot at one boss over and over again until you beat him, and then you move on to the next boss. Special rewards like rename tokens, cool rings/armor, or expensive weightless bags could be tossed out as a reward for downing a boss.
So, you’re standing in the town square. You see, ‘A tendril of energy coalesces in front of you and begins drawing you towards the center of the square. Beckoning, beckoning… until it combines with other tendrils you hadn’t noticed before and forms into a deep, dark, opaque portal.’
You see a deep, dark, opaque portal.
This is a group activity. You are encouraged to assemble a competent adventuring party or you will surely die. Do you want to proceed? y/n
You could have that on top of whatever flavor quests other gm’s want to run throughout the month. Commoners protesting adventurers or a massive goblin army dumping on everybody. (I’ve read elsewhere goblins are written out. I’m just being facetious.)
The main quest could potentially be adventurers running through a tower and accidently freeing Kyorl upon butchering the final boss, who then laughs at them and hides at the top of a pyramid. Adventurers go through the pyramid and butcher faux-Kyorl, who laughs at them and tells them he’s on top of a mountain. Adventurers scale and slaughter the real Kyorl, who laughs at them and tells them they just set him free.
Now Kyorl is alive and what’s he gonna do. Next quest-point.
That’s obviously not a legitimate quest-line, but the format could be followed to great effect I think, giving players the legitimate impression that they’re interacting with and creating the storyline. If no group can get through the first tower then the storyline doesn’t advance.
The hunting grind revolves around preparing for and completing, with a party, the main story quest. Grind three weeks to prepare, attempt the tower, grind three more weeks, attempt the tower again, grind three more weeks, complete the tower - something like that.
Anyways, what do other people honestly think they’d like that would seriously keep them engaged with the game beyond just logging in to see who’s online before afking for a month straight until they quit for good?
I want new Nexus to succeed the same way you do, and I’m curious how you, whomever may be reading this, sees that happening.