So, who remembers Deckard Cain? Wizened old fellow choc-full of wisdom from ages passed... nice at identifying items in a pinch. Seems like he'd be practically brimming with mage-ish goodness that would make him fairly useful in a fight, what with being the last of the Horadrim and all.
Until, that is, we see that he has been enslaved by some level 2 XP-fodder when a bunch of scrub demons invade the town. Turns out that Cain, for all the hot air he blew out, clearly was not the awesome old Gandalf figure that we assumed he would be.
So, anyway, Richard Bartle.
Richard Bartle, like, totally came up with the first MUD or something. And I'm sure that everyone on the development team for early MMO's such as Everquest and Ultima Online actually played... hmmm, really?
MUDs are, honestly, pretty awful games. I played one once a few years ago when I was really bored. I don't know ANYone who actually played one during the "glory days" of which Bartle is so fond of pontificating over, you know, when those 75 people who played MUDs were totally pioneering the modern day MMO and everything. Yes, you can find older bloggers around the place who played them, but, clearly, they were not mainstream games.
Judging from the amazing way that modern MMO developers completely ignore developments to the genre made by anyone except for WoW, I can only assume that their design 'research' consists of raiding WoW 5 nights a week. So I kind of find it hard to believe that the developers of, say, Everquest, sat down and played MUDs and became influenced by their awesome gameplay.
Ever heard of parallel evolution? This is where two different species evolve the same trait, presumably because it seems like a useful trait to have. My theory - of course I have no proof - is that these completely retarded modern day MMO game mechanics actually evolved twice, independently... first, with Richard Bartle and his cohort of 12 people who played on MUD1, and years later, with the pioneering graphical MMO's.
The text MUDs needed gameplay that was slow due to their text-based nature, and grindy carrot-on-a-stick-ness because it was easier than making a strategical combat system. Early graphical MMO's needed slow gameplay, I assume, due to server limitations with such a giant number of people connected to them (unlike MUDs, which nobody played). And they needed grindy gameplay so that people would continue giving them monthly fees (which I am assuming after doing no research that MUDs didn't have, because, well, lol if they did).
Different reasons, same outcome... crummy gameplay.
So, I'm not sure why we're giving Dr Bartle all the credit here.
But, somebody will probably post some complete history of MUD-ness here and attempt to prove me wrong. To this I say.... whatever. *Even if we were* to give him all the credit... what are we giving him credit for? Shouldn't he be under a rock somewhere hiding from our collective wrath? If MUD1 DID cause all that came after, we have Richard Bartle to congratulate for a bunch of retarded soul-sucking gameplay. I mean, Achiever/Explorer/Socializer/Killer.... did he ever hear of actual gameplay?
There are people around the place who vehemently defend stuff that Richard Bartle says. They seem to attribute a lot to that first MUD. I don't get it.