[MUD-Dev] Alright... IF your gonan do DESIESE...

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sat May 31 08:30:00 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Fri, 30 May 1997 20:27:39 PST8PDT, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>>Lastly remember most combat-twinks are AFRAID to roleplay.  So much
>>so that they felel the need to denegrate those who do...
>Funny that.  Why then were you able to list half a dozen pejoritive
>names for "munchkins" as you say, and yet I can't think of a single
>equivalent pejoritive used by combat-twinks for RP'ers?

Because combat twinks usually refer to RPers using common insults like
wimp, moron, asshole, dork, geek, nerd, and various other terms that
have no relation whatsoever to roleplaying. 'Get a life' seems to be
their favorite insult, and they make constant reference to the fact that
RPers have nothing better to do on a Friday night than sit around
playing a dumb game, somehow neglecting the fact that they're sitting
around on the same Friday night -- evidently with nothing better to do
than log onto a game they don't even want to play and make fun of the
people trying to play it. They tell us to get jobs while we wait for the
service representative to return our call and tell us why the new print
server that handles eighty people's print requests suddenly doesn't want
to print to the color laser. They tell us to go out and find a real
friend, while we converse with people who understand us. They insinuate
that any two people of opposite gender (or even the same gender) in a
room alone must be having netsex, while we try and talk someone we have
never met through the emotional distress of a death in the family or an
impending divorce. They treat us like dirt, in other words, and then
complain about their rights when we tell them to get the hell off the
game and leave us alone. They feel so superior to us, that they can
avoid the personal involvement with a silly game, and instead just make
the internet equivalent of obscene conference calls. 

Sorry. Can you tell I really, really dislike these kinds of people?

>Consider it from a software systems PoV:

Your example is fallacious. The RPer expects the system to stay out of
his way. The powergamer uses the system to get his way. The RPer wants
the system to support what he wants to do, and when it doesn't, he'll
fake it. The powergamer, when he finds the system doesn't do what he
wants, will submit requests to staff for the things he wants to do or
just complain on some channel that the game sucks and isn't fair and the
designers have their heads stuck somewhere. 

>  An RP'er concentrates on using the system as it was intended to be
>used.  From a QA viewpoint they are the ideal user -- they do almost
>exactly what the designers and programmers intended them to do.

The RPer concentrates on the task. The play is the thing; given an
appropriate set of tools, even obscure tools, to accomplish the
appropriate tasks, the RPer will unhesitatingly work with them to get
the job done. From a QA standpoint, he will determine whether the
feature set is complete and well-integrated and allows them to get the
job done. He won't report a lot of bugs because if he can find a
workaround to the problem rather simply, he'll consider it too trivial
to bother reporting. If he does report a bug, he will usually stand
right there harassing the programmer until it gets fixed because he's at
a total standstill until the problem is resolved.

>  A "powergamer" plays to exploit the system, as a system and not some
>contrived game or story, for all he can get from it.  As such he
>pushes the system, as a system and as a system design, as hard as he
>can, and as such he tends to find design weaknesses and oversights. 
>He also drives QA nuts.

The powergamer concentrates on the process. He plays the system because
the system is there. He knows how the system reacts, because it is
predictable. He looks for shortcuts and loopholes, because it will make
his score higher. From a QA standpoint, the powergamer is a pain in the
ass because he doesn't care what bugs he finds or how obscure they are
or how irrelevant to the task they may be, he just wants to turn in a
longer list of bugs than anyone else. Ninety percent of the bugs he
locates will be impossible to duplicate, because no one in their right
mind does anything remotely similar to what he did to create it and he
can't remember how it happened anymore.

>Were this the world of word processors the RP'er would only ever edit
>one document, of limited size and controlled complexity, at a time. 
>The powergamer conversely will try and load 150 30,000 page documents
>into his WP, each of which uses a dozen+ different typefaces and has
>scores of embedded graphics etc all while he does mass edits on all
>the documents at the same time.  One tends to break software and
>system designs, the other doesn't.

Were this the world of word processors, the RPer would want his
spellchecker to be easily accessible at any time with a single keypress
that was intuitive and easy to remember, because it would make it easier
to concentrate on the document instead of the program. After this is
done, he will begin asking about adding technical terms to the default
dictionary. The powergamer would want his spellchecker to generate word
search puzzles from its internal dictionary when he was bored, because
the concept is very similar and it would be a trivial addition
considering the extent of the spellchecker's current programming. Once
he has the word search function, he will begin lobbying for crossword

>If your game system allows that advantage to be taken of it, or breaks
>when it is, then it would seem that your system is broken, not your

You might just as well say that a pipe wrench ought to be able to drive
screws, so carpenters *and* plumbers can use it. The two styles of play
are not entirely contradictory, but they require very different
considerations in the implementation of the system; an attempt to make
both happy will not satisfy either.

-+[caliban at darklock.com]+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
 I am here to grind your eyes harder into the miasmic bile of life; to 
 show you the truth and the beauty in the whisper of steel on silk and 
 the crimson scent of blood as it rises to meet the caress of a blade. 

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