When I first started playing MUDs it wasn’t the early days of mudding, in fact it was just a year or two before the original Everquest released. The very first MUD that I played was more or less picked at random, but after about 9 months it was closed down, and I started looking around for another MUD to play. It was at this time that I realized that a huge number of MUDs existed, with a huge variety in rule sets. Player killing, roleplaying, multiboxing, were just some of the options, and they ranged from the MUD is completely centered around this topic, to it isn’t allowed at all.
For the most part a good portion of these ideas have made the transition over to MMO’s in a number of different ways, but the most popular seems to be as separate server rule sets. World of Warcraft for instance has PvP Servers, RP Servers, and PvP RP servers. Everquest 2 has a couple of PvP servers, and at least 1 Roleplaying Encouraged server. I have yet to see an MMO make a server where multiboxing isn’t allowed or the flip side where it is encouraged. I personally have never been a fan of multiboxing, but for the most part it has never seemed like a big issue in any of the games that I have played.
Probably the strangest, and maybe most unique thing that I saw some MUDs do, however, was player wipes. At the time when I first ran into this idea of periodically deleting all the characters on a server, and having everyone start over, I didn’t understand it. It didn’t make much sense to me back then, but I also didn’t give it much thought at the time. The other day I started thinking about it again and about how the idea might look if it was used in a major MMO. What if they had a server where they periodically did player wipes? Is this the worst idea ever, or did it have some merit?