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"Elitism" and big runs?

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Posted by Moira on 07/15

Every so often, I hear people say that LegendMUD is elitist. I'd like to think otherwise, but I recently had an experience that shows me why some may feel that to be so.

There was a Shadowlands run. A call for hitters and healers was made. I inquired as to whether a hitter of my level might be needed. I was told no. Okay, very well. Later, I was informed by a mixture of tells and chats from various folk that in the lingo of SL, a "leech" is a non level 50 fighter and/or non full surgeon or augmenter. And no, I won't say who said what, if only because it appeared to reflect general attitudes rather than individual ones (and if it does in fact not, I would love to be corrected!).

Now, SL is a dangerous place, granted. And I'm glad that there's a level limit in place now. That's a very good thing.

But the idea that only the very elite characters can earn their way really disturbs me. And no, I wasn't interested in going for the sake of "leeching." I actually had the idea that it might be fun to hang out with a bunch of people. I'm funny that way. I'm also quite a bit higher than the level 25 limit, needless to say.

Why does this disturb me? Because if we are only interested in playing with elite characters, we limit ourselves. We limit the people that we interact with. And we limit the people that are allowed "inside." I hate to think how a new player might have reacted. I know that had this happened to me way back in my newbie player days, I might well have decided that this was in fact an elitist, snobbish place and not worth my time.

Just some food for thought, folks.

- Moira Connaught's player

From: Chaykin Monday, February 18 2002, 02:37AM

Unfortunately, it seems that for awhile now an increasing number of so- called oldbie players have gotten on with the idea that bringing low-level characters on runs is more trouble than it's worth. As much as I really hate the idea of telling people your alts just to get them to help you, because it's cheesy, sometimes I understand the desire to do it when I start a newbie char and get ignored until I'm at least level 40. It gets pretty frustrating at times.

Maybe we should designate March "Mudwide Be Nice To Low Level Chars Month" or something, to try to increase awareness of this issue and get the guilty parties to maybe take a little more care in not being so elitist.


From: Boreas Monday, February 18 2002, 05:32AM

There are two sides to this issue.

On one, it is mean to deny people to come help in big runs due to being too small, and even worse, to allow the small alts of friends to join while turning others away. This does unfortunately happen. It is also unwise, for midlevel hitters can provide backup when rushing multiple mobs, non-full mages can assist with prepping and mana sharing, and all levels can be wakers, bandages, and porters. The midlevel you turned away may be the one that could have rescued you before you died.

But on the other side, areas like SL and PD were built as places for level 50's to have fun and get xp. It isn't the best place for midlevels-- certainly not for the social aspect (you can form a group for some other area and take time to interact leisurely without the leader yelling at you for spamming nor half the group being busy killing) and not for the xp either (there are some levels or combinations of chars that can earn xp faster in some areas than in sl).

Basically I am saying that while midlevel chars shouldn't be turned away from SL, they needn't feel so strongly that they must go.

From: Ea! Monday, February 18 2002, 09:18AM

Personally, I've always found dangerous areas like SL -good- places for the social aspect of Legend. There's nothing like risk to bring a group closer.

I've had it worse still than Moira,though -- I've had characters of mine turned down on runs because, while a useful L50 character, their hit/dam roll were lower than others. I have little respect for this attitude. People who make decisions like this are assuming that skill at the game isn't important.

The other thing that I'd like to point out is that a well-timed wake can make all the difference in the world to a run.


From: Rudolf Monday, February 18 2002, 11:20AM

Supposing how a new player would react to not being included in an SL run isn't really a useful observation, because a character has to meet the level requirements to even set foot in the area. I wouldn't characterize anyone who has advanced a character to that level as a "newbie player".

Beyond that (admittedly nitpicking) observation, I do agree that groups could benefit from including characters that haven't yet reached the pinnacle of their abilities. A flight spell from a level 26 create mage fits the bill just as much as a fly spell from a level 50 cause mage; a create mage in SL can create food, water, bandages and quivers -- any create mage that meets the level requirement can (if they have the right words) take this mana burden from the rest of the group.

From: Love Tuesday, February 19 2002, 07:28AM

Umm, thingie about dragging low level peopls just for fun and stuff and stuff! I do kinda do that wif me alts and stuff and generally it is nice yay!

I gotta say though, that recently I did that wif a puny (got it a few levels) it was a small puny! Then I got to watch it spam channels and stuff for levels nonstop for over a week. That was eeky! Makes me bit sad about dragging punies now. -sniff-

It isna that peeps are elitist, I dunna think. It's more like people have mebbe grouch cycles and stuff? -comfort Moira- Meanies all meanies! We should run around and love things to death together instead yay!

Lovelovelovelovelove That's Me!

From: Dolor Tuesday, February 19 2002, 08:44AM

Rudolf, you are naive to think that just because a character has reached level 25 (or even level 50) that their player isn't a newbie. Thanks to LegendDB and overhelpful people who powerlevel newbies without teaching them anything, there certainly can be such a thing as somebody with more level 50's than me who can't even navigate a path from Indus london to Tara, let alone be a useful and helpful asset on an SL/PD/AT/B&E run (B&E, of course, limited to the PK people with XP who don't go LD). My point is that you can't measure a player's experience by their character's XP. What relevance that may have to the conversation is up to you.

-Dolor Ferriscor

From: Rudolf Tuesday, February 19 2002, 11:57AM

The point of my observation wasn't regarding their skill at all. I agree that your character's level doesn't necessarily reflect your skill at the game for all the reasons you mentioned.

However, by the time your character can meet the level requirements for SL, you will have already formed an opinion of the LegendMUD community -- elitist or not. That opinion also has little to do with your skill level, but depends on how other players have treated you. Nobody is going to reach level 25 before they can decide if people are nice or not.

...and if they have reached level 25 before they can decide if people are nice or not, then someone, somewhere, must have been especially nice to them indeed, so they still won't think ill of us if they can't go to SL! :)

From: Moira Tuesday, February 19 2002, 06:16PM

First of all, I appreciate all your thoughtful replies. It's been very interesting to read them, and I have a much better sense of the perspective of a big run leader (be it SL, PD, etc.).

Second of all, I'd like to clarify what I meant by "newbie." To me, this means someone that has played Legend for less than a year or two (and here I betray my oldbieness :). I meant more a newbie in the social sense than the game sense. It can take a lot longer to make friends and meet peopel than it would to reach a given level.


From: Dude Thursday, February 21 2002, 06:13AM

Its a delicate balance i think... between pleasing the group and pleasing everyone else.

I look at it this way... If the player has to ask what the min lvl req for a run is, then chances are they can't come.

Its a policy of mine not to take lower then lvl 25 characters on AT runs simply because, if a single assassin turns on them anywhere in the area for even a round - we have to worry about a headache of a CR because naturally, they have no idea how to get to the tower from the stag

With other areas... the imms thought lower lvl players gaining xp too rapidly was a problem or they wouldn't have put in the blocks

I'd like to think as a group leader that a lvl 34 str fighter can be as us usefull as a lvl 50 one... but its just not true

And the sad fact is that in 80% of the cases that i allow lower lvl chars on runs, they set void triggers and go watch a movie...

my thoughts on the matter


From: Lawrence Thursday, February 21 2002, 08:10AM

Setting up a void trigger and essentially going oow on a run -- or any other 'social' function -- strikes me as an act of deep rudeness.

--Larry's player.

From: Kyna Friday, February 22 2002, 02:13AM

First of all to outline my perspective ...

I very, very rarely join a group where I'm not useful. As a result only my surgeon tends to group. I just don't want to spend 2 hours on a run with maybe 10-15 minutes of socialisation while everyone else earns my xp for me. I don't play my surgeon much either ... cos that 10-15 minutes is used typing oper char repeatedly - but at least she does earn her xp by keeping somebody alive. Yeah I know I'm too independent for a social game like this.

Lately I've seen several chars (who knows, maybe they're all the same person?) hit 25 and instantly start spamming for SL/PD. I even saw one whine about AT being run too much ... cos there weren't enough SL/PD runs available to him at level 25.

Now, I know how much fun SL can be, particularly if you're contributing in a useful way to the run ... but really ... don't these people even -try- to level themselves? (Clarification - I am talking about the people who appear to think they should have a PD/SL low risk, effort-free ride to 50 once they hit 25.) I can understand why some leaders might start saying non-leeches only, and it's up to each leader to set their own definition of that.

My 2 cents worth ...


From: Hedge Saturday, March 02 2002, 11:20AM

I've noticed the same thing Kyna noticed. And I'm sure we aren't the only ones, either. And I'm always curious why someone would want to 'quick level' from 25-50. Thats half the game right there! I don't lead runs, with any character. (And I could.) I rarely go on runs with any char (And I'm asked to.) Why? I don't want to lead, because I don't want to tell peopl they can't come 'just to level.' I don't go because it's my personal opinion that your cheating yourself by playing like that, and I'd just as soon not contribute. Now, I know, that is all a weird way of looking at things, but thats how I few it. I'm a weird guy, huh? Oh well, just thought I'd state an opinion.

-Hedge Farwood.

From: Fairfax Tuesday, March 05 2002, 12:37PM


I must confess, I worked my way up to 4 redemption points typing 'operate character' for most of the time - there's professional pride in that, though. :)

On elitism, I can understand where rejection from leaders come from. Most midbies (and indeed some oldbies too) see Shadowlands and Pirates Den as purely munchkin areas where they can get exp fast and level quickly. More often than not the social aspect of the group is lost. Many of these are coattail levellers who know their way from Stag to French Beach and back, then the trans to Tara and the Crossroads. Not referring to Moira at all, whos been here probably as long as I have, maybe longer, but in order to avoid these powerelevellers, sometimes it's safer to reject people who have no obvious contribution to the group. I have a level 37 create mage, and I was really happy (and surprised) when Poi took me along to a SL run as bandage maker, food and beverage supplier, mana battery and preserver/trueformer, even though I spent more than 3/4 of the run not doing anything but talking. The perception of midbies asking to come on a SL run has been dragged down so badly by powerlevellers that genuine midbies with a real thirst for a good adventure with a solid group of friends will invariably suffer, as there is really no distinction until you've brought the chap along. Not that the chap drains exp from the core group, but it's like someone said, dragging an afk person who adds nothing to the group just somehow makes you feel cheated. Even if the leader doesn't, the other members might.

I think the spirit of SL and PD and the motives for going on such runs can be best exemplified by the midbie call to arms "SL starting need 5 hitters, tank, 2 surgeons and druid!" It was created as a munchkin area (especially PD - SL has a certain romance to it) and also serves as a really good place to balance off the negative effects on alignment after a run at a certain nice place where everyone good to kill seems to be angelic. Great SL runs, with good camraderie and drama worth logging only seem to occur in privately organised groups, or if you'd rather put it that way, 'elitist'. If I ever learn to lead SL, I'd happily take midbies on my first few runs, but after a few times, when enough of them have disappointed me, I know I will stop too. Please don't let me discourage those who are still taking midbies - you're an inspiration! - but that's just my gut feeling about ShadowLands. Perhaps it's pride... it's not nice, but it's realistic.

M.B.B.S. (Madras)

From: HerbertWest Tuesday, April 16 2002, 08:02AM

Ok this will probably be a really large post for me, being that in general I avoid the discussion board/rumour mill like the plague.

But I thought I should probably reply to this post being that Im one of the diabolical evil killjoys that ruins the game for everybody. Or in otherwords I lead 50th level areas, and I lead them well.

A few points I want to make basically in response to everyone that has appended so far..

The reason in general that people are not accepted onto my runs is simple space, when I already have 12 people at xroads that whined for 30 minutes to come and for some god unknown reason I accepted I hardly want a level 28 hitter coming along.

As far as levels go, if the character type is a surgeon, a druid, or a mage then I will 90% of the time take the, numerous times Ive said you can NEVER have enough surgeons on a run. And quite often that statement has lead to upwards of 5 surgeons..


But the usefulness of a anything less than around 40th for hitting is too risky and spam inducing to bother with in general, if you have the option of taking a LVL50 strength dex hitter over a LEVEL36 dex per hitter, you would be absolutely MENTAL to take the dexer.

And there is a point where you simply HAVE to say no.

As a run leader I often feel pressured by people for me to take them and often I will take them just to include people. some of us have a harder time hurting feelings than others I guess.

But then there are times when you really CANT take anyone else, you say no and give the reason that there is a billion people already going and you dont want to (as the leader) deal with them as it is.

And the person asking gives the impression that you are fobbing them off. That sucks, but is part of the job that people dont notice.

OK as for AFK on runs, nothing is more irritating than getting to the bridge in SL and having someone afk for twenty minutes before they decide to join the group. Or people who go AFK without mentioning it.

I think its a culmination of that happening a LOT of the time on runs which has embittered a lot of us leaders and even halted a lot of solid groups midway before.

Levelling... this is perhaps the bit where I am the MOST evil and people hate me and such, because basically I struggled my way through a lot of 50th level characters now, and honestly I enjoy playing the end result over the struggling hopeless lowbie mess.

And so because I know how to lead, I frequently do, from 25th to 50th.

Thats not to say I dont run anywhere else ever, but i think it largely depends on what you want from the game, I hate playing lowbies for months and I love having a variety of tailormade characters ready for any task.

To me that is the bonus of actually learning while we are here.

We get to know what we want from our characters more, and come up with more interesting character designs than our first character.

Ok final point...


There is a fine line between a surviving run, and a chaotic spam frenzy of socials and general chitchat about the latest hockey game or whatever. On my runs I TRY to get people to hang out, enjoy the time we are together and even get to know one another, BUT i tend to limit that to points where we need breaks. Or when things are working smoothly enough. Rushing a demon king is NOT the time to be kissing your sweetie and discussing your PK tactics, I dont care how much PK ass you kick the demon king WILL rip you apart if yer talking instead of killing.

Besides, I met my wife in SL, surely that demonstrates that even us diabolical evil mechanical LEADER types have hearts. * shrug* most of you didnt even read past section two, but thats my opinions on it all.

Hope to see you all in SL.


From: Tennessee Monday, July 15 2002, 03:32AM

I would like to point out that I did, in fact, read past section 2, Herbert. Matter of fact, I read that diatribe in its entirety.

And now I am all squinty. *cheers*

-Tennessee Loftis-


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