[MUD-Dev] Life

Ling K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk
Sun Jun 1 12:33:03 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Fri, 30 May 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> In <Marcel-1.09-0529232631-b49Ky&5 at Gryphon.iaehv.nl>, on 05/29/97 
>    at 07:50 PM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:
> 
> >On Wed 28 May, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> >> In <3.0.32.19970527122035.00acea0c 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. 

Yep, done that.  I've taken over a mud for a day, every character that
logged in died (bar mine).  I could always rp and say my character had a
bad hair day.  But it wasn't a rp mud, it was a game mud and I had nothing
better to do.  'My character is an extension of my penis'.  Oh, btw, that
character I used had very poor stats for her level, I managed to kill coz
I was quicker, knowledgable about the mud and prepared to spend stupid
amounts of cash just to get a little advantage.  It was just a one off 
bit of fun. :)

Having said that, I've been to other muds where I was attacked as a newbie
for no reason at all.  I ran away and met up with more sociable people who
helped me out.  I didn't mind this, I *need* some bad elements in a mud I
play, there should be some bad characters, who just kill for sheer thrill.
I hate muds where it's just too damn friendly, it might as well be a
talker.  The game turns too easy, 'winning' isn't hard, it just takes a
stupid amount of time (the solution most muds implement).

Oops, I've been ranting.

> >> 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. 
> 
> Rephrase that to: "...don't want to roleplay at all."

This "true RP" thing is getting more and more off putting each time I read
a new post referring to it.  It seems to be too fake, especially over a
medium such as the net where the only symbols to communicate with are
pre-drawn text and graphics.  That's just my personal opinion though. 

> The exact point of my argument is that there is an implicit value
> structure and unstated standard which is being used here to evaluate
> and judge games and game designs/approaches -- in this case centric on
> immersive RP.  While I don't argue the validity of that structure and
> standard, I strenuously object to its being assumed as the default in
> discussion, or that assumption being implicit within a general non-RP
> specific (as a tag for the assumption) discussion.  Additionally to
> the extent to which it becomes implicit it acutally violates the list
> charter which is to be explicitly free of such base assumptions and
> private hobby horses.  The whole idea of the list is to move the
> MUDding _field_ forward, not to merely advance RP'ing as one faction
> over another, or even to change the balance of the field.  

Hurrah.  So I can stop deleting RP posts without reading them?

> What I would like to see is constructive discussion of the game design
> issues on how to approach free PK in such a manner that the rest of
> the game remains balanced and slaughter-fests can be constrained.

Having been brought up in a PK environment, I have the same aim.  PK is an
essential part of a mud I want to play in.  One must 'interact'.

>   I don't have a global naming system.  Thus a PK'er can't do a "who",
> and then track down the victim.  Instead they must first locate the
> other player without any implicit way to differentiate them from a
> mobile (there is no command which will return, "this is a mobile" as
> vs "this is a player body").  Then, ocne they have found them they
> must assign a name to them (body specific, not character specific),
> and then track them down from there.

This relative naming system is extremely appealing.  Sounds like murder on
the database though.  Does the PKer need to be in the same room to name
someone else?  So I could just zip around the mud to avoid being pin
pointed?  Perhaps a history of personas met could be stuffed in the
player, for the slower typers.

> met
1. Green bug eyed monster (in same room)
2. Orange furred catfolk (2 mins ago)
3. Pink rabbit with drums from the battery adverts (1 hours ago)
> name 1 as martian

>   Additionally as bodies are a fairly fluid thing, killing a
> character's body typically has little permanent effect on the
> character.  He has other bodies, or can easily get other bodies.  It
> is an incovenience and a disruption of the current action.

Sounds like players are hard to kill.  Will certain bodies be endowed with
advantages other bodies may not have which will encourage players to
defend those bodies?  Ever played/remember Paradroid?  (C64 and Amiga)
Your mud sounds very much like Paradroid except the player can assume more
than one body.

Recap of Paradroid:  You're an influence droid placed on a freighter, the
aim is to wipe out the entire crew of droids by taking over other droids.
You can get more and more powerful by taking over better droids (each with
varying weaponary/drives/shields).  A game design fault of the game (imho)
is that upon losing a host, you're reduced to your original droid.  Really
scary when you're in the middle of a firefight.

>   {Possible new feature}  If I do this, upon a PK the dead character
> becomes attached to the PK'er as a partial owner.  This places the
> PK'er at increasing risk as the numbers of PKs increases.  Actually,
> with the fuid state of bodies this is not necessarily such a problem: 
> A PK'er could pick up a second, third, fourth, or umpty-fifth body,
> run about on a killing spree, let the body get killed and actually
> engender no ill effects upon himself as a character.

I don't actually see how this helps as a feature if the dead body does not
lumber the PKer with a disadvantage of some sort.  Unless the character
suffers in some way from owning too many bodies.

> The general side-effect I've concentrated on is to render individual
> PK's as inconvenient but not catastrophic to a player, and to then
> ensure that concerted or sustained attacks by a PK'er on an individual
> other player is technically both not feasible and almost impossible to
> sustain.  What this leaves is the player who goes on a PK spree,
> killing eveyrthing he can find.  That is again diminished by
> effectively ensuring that that body will be short lived, and having
> none of that game-specific advantages accrued from the PK spree
> reflect on that character's other bodies.  As such its reduced to
> annoying flash in the pan.  

Surely this would make PK a thing of the past?  If it is near impossible
to wipe out another character, why bother?  It seems as if characters are
near immortal on your mud, which, for me would dampen my enjoyment.  I
need to die! :)

> >... 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.
> 
> And here is where the out-of-game values start to apply.  I'm very
> leery of treading in these areas as I suspect that a game system both
> has no right to be there (and definitely no obligation or duty), and
> more simply because they involve factors which are entirely outside of
> the game system and cannot be either measured or controllably affected
> by the game system.  Too much chaos.

Actually, I was hoping for this to be my saviour.  There are muds out
there where PK is possible, no restrictions of any kind.  PKs are rare
though as the general mud populace thinks it's unsociable (I think it's
fun, but I'm a parasite).  Most muds I've been to, the prevailing attitude
is no attitude, be nice and kind.  If someone gets PKed, there is often a
bounty board which offers a reward and quite powerful NPCs are made
aggressive to the PKers.

Nothing like a bit of social engineering.  It's too much luck though.  I
want the majority of players to be the 'good guys' but I still want a few
'evil' individuals to spice things up a bit.  The alternative is to
attract lots of goodies and get the creators to play the evil individuals.

  |    Ling				"Agrophobic homeless."
_O_O_  Freshwater fish since 1976





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