[MUD-Dev] Taming free PK

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon Jun 2 19:52:31 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun 01 Jun, ashen wrote:

> : From: clawrenc at cup.hp.com

> [summary: the less a game is RP-centered and more
>  "powergamer" centric, a PK's problem fades in proportion]

True, but it is in the halfway games, which are most interesting,
that the real problems occur. This type of game attracts both the
players interesting in gaming and in roleplaying. And often there
are some destructive personalities in either group  that seek not
to play the game, but seek to gain control over the others.  Game
oriented players do so by e.g. making critical resources inacces-
sible, or by healing monsters other players are fighting. Social-
ly oriented players do so by verbal abuse,  spamming channels  or
disrupting RP of other players.

> : 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.  Again, I attempt to handle this one via the side-
> : effects of my other design decisions.  
> [summary: no global naming system, character not bound to body]

> I take a similar approach.  While I believe a player should retain
> the right to murder someone when they want to, they must be
> willing to pay the consequences.  If someone is just being a total
> ass-wipe and trying to ruin the game, the Roleplayers can just hop
> into nearby powerful NPC bodies and (in the spirit of the game of
> course :) take out the offender with no risk of personal loss.  The
> RPers have no stats but their names (which is not anywhere but
> the Who list) and thus have no personal stake in losing a body.

I'm not too convinced of this.  In the first place because you force
players to leave the context of the game and take RL feelings out on
the disruptive player.  Effectively  you have given that player what
he wanted: the game, as such, is no longer played.
Unwarranted attack by other players may not mean a great deal to you
but to me it is a very disturbing experience.  This has something to
with my past experiences and the fact that in RL I can never entire-
ly rule out the possibility of this happening.
PK is acceptable in a game  where this activity is very clearly part
of the game. But if you're going to mix styles  you have to be care-
full that one activity won't spoil the other. Forcing players out of
the RP setting to drive off a jerk  in my opinion definitely  spoils
the RP aspect of the game. The same is true the other way around. If
a player can safely make a nuisance of himself without fear of reper
cussions than this spoils the game for others as well.
Solving this situations is,  in my opinion,  the job of the imms. If
there are complaints about players then there must be a public hear-
ing (or a trial, whatever you want to style it). And this should end
with one, or both, players receive a severe (final) warning. Or in a
ban for players who are found to be entirely (and repeatedly) in the
wrong.  This can't be solved within the game,  but this way at least
dealing with disruptive players won't carry over in the actual game.

> non-RPers are regular players bound to their bodies and whatever
> self-rule evolves.  The only way to become one of the RP souls is
> to apply (and thereby be screened for trust/maturity) after a certain
> amount of time played.  Any situation escaping whatever system
> of player law, can be affected indirectly by the gods, who can place
> high bounties in certain scum hives or post Wanted posters on the
> NPC law boards.  

This might work to mix both extremes of playing style  in a single game
though I'm afraid some enterprising players will find ways to abuse the
system. In the end the job of policing the game still comes down to the
imms, and I fail to see where allowing players to kill each other under
the pretense of justice makes any difference.

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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