[MUD-Dev] Life

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri May 30 00:26:31 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed 28 May, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> In < at mail.tenetwork.com>, on 05/27/97 
>    at 08:38 PM, Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com> said:

> >HOWEVER there is a social problem in obnoxsious players online purposely
> >trying to hurt other players by killing their characters for no good
> >Rp reason at all. 

> If you don't consider the violation of "true RP" a problem, then this
> is less of a problem.  If you're not attempting to run (or enforce) a
> solely immersive RP game, then I can see little reason to get upset at
> the "for no good Rp reason at all."

I don't belief you can get out of this very real concern by saying that
if you don't consider it a problem it isn't. There are some people who
don't want to play at all. They want power, in a petty way. The classical
bully who can't contribute anything but misery for others.
If the object of the game is roleplaying then that assumes a certain
cooperative attitude of the players. Even if somebody wants to rp an
evil, selfish, whatever personality this should still be done to a
certain degree of cooperation with the others. Even if only to make
clear that the actions of the character are not maliciously towards
the players of the victim.
You have to do something about those players who don't want to play
even by this minimum of courtesy. Or worse, who enjoy upsetting others
for the power it gives over their emotions. Just saying that well, you
can kill the .... and that's it won't work. At least not all the way.

> Part of the player-value in PK is the awareness that the killer caused
> a real and direct effect on another human.  Making the effect death
> gives a certain permanence to the effect.  Making it merely
> unconciousness (and probably the loss of various EQ etc) would seem to
> encourage "baiting" (repeated taunting of a player by a PK'er who
> keeps on knocking them unconcious).

This is indeed the strength and the great weakness of allowing players
to fight each other. The problem is that if 'death' is expensive disruptive
players win because they don't care for their characters other than as a
way to (involuntarily) affect other players (i.e. upset them). And if
'death' is cheap they still win because they can claim that the victim
doesn't loose much (which in game mechanics may be true, but in emotional
effects isn't). For this reason I decided for myself that the possible
rewards of allowing players to fight isn't justifying the potential of
problems. My viewpoint in this may be different from that of the average
player but for me being attacked (or otherwise harassed) by another -player-
is emotionally very upsetting.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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