[MUD-Dev] Life

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Mon Jun 2 23:09:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 10:16 PM 6/2/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:
>A counter:  How did MIST, MUD1, SX MUD, MUD2 (British Knights?),
>Shades et manage to do so well (and still do so well comparitively)
>with free PK?

How do you define "so well" ??

None of these are products that anyone outside of a fairly small and
closely focused community have heard of.  I'ld be intrested in your namign
a commerical MUD on a reasonably large service (GEnie, AOL, and such) thats
HASN'T had to deal with destructive players.

Not knowing these products though, i woudl guess that oen of the following
three thinsg is true (and eprhapse mreo tehn 1):

(1) They are games that are first and foremost PvP environments.  Duke Doom
and Quake do well because everyoen who coems there expects to be attacked
as part of the game theya re playing.  If you DEFINE the game as beating up
on each other, then such is perfectly reasonable.  Still,  I would  expect
you to STILL have at least a  FEW obnoxious types who annoy your other
players on purpose unless you have NO chat facilities OR one of the
following are true...

(2) Its a very small community with a very clearly defined set of standards
who can exclude those who wont follow. (Or be selecetd against "at the gate").

(3) Community standards are already to be so obnoxious that nooen can be
MROE obnoxious (don't laugh, TEN's Duke Arenas seem thsi way, whcih seems
appropriate for that particualr community.)

>Conversely I don't wish to have the game involved with a any form of
>social engineering, or even an implicit social contract.  If the
>players wish to do that sort of thing, they may.  I don't see that as
>the game's purvey in the slightest degree.  

Ojh, quite the contrary.  As soona s you've called it a "game", you've
implied a social contract.  A "game" is soemthing with rules. As sson as
you dfeine rules yo uare asking people to accpept them. As soon as they
accept them a social contract is in force.

The problems come abotu when that contract is not clear, so the players
cannot agree amongst themselves  as to exactly what the rules are.

>Actually, I suspect I'd react pretty violently to any attempt to bind
>such a social framework to one of my games. I have no problem with the
>players doing that on their own.  I have a real problem with building
>that sort of structure into the game.

And yet you desribed to me all the thinsg you "want" players to be doing
<deleted> so you HAVE defined a contract, or at elast a contract your
hopign they will follow, havent you?

>>In a combat MUD their is ALSO an impliued social contract that is
>>similar though a bit different, as the goal is to HURt the other
>>time, to decrease their effectiveness by takign away what they've
>>gained in levels, items, etc.
>You can look at the negative side of the equation, or the positive

The definition I used btw came from one of oru main PK organizers, not me.
He saw it was "war". And the goal of "war" ois to decrease the otherside's
effectiveness in waging war until they must give up.

?>I prefer the positive as a concious choice.  I play PK and
>combat games to win, to demonstrate and excerise my mastery (or
>incompetance) of an area.  It is a challenge of the basic sort, and a
>comparitive measure of effectiveness.  

How do you define win?  Winning == game oriented play, btw which is fine.
It is in no way roleplay, but there is nothing wrong with that if thats
your goal.  Diablo is very popular.

>had no interest there.  I was interested in beating the game on my
>rules, not their's.

Ild love to hear a more detailed definition of thsi comment.  To me, at
first glance, this looks like the mentality hackers have...  but Im
probably misunderstanding you.

>Remove the game and the game system entirely from the
>social engineering.  Let the players build their own structures should
>they wish to.  don't enforce it.  Don't attempt to structure it. 
>They'll do a much better job than you could.  Best case: try and to
>channel and guide it.

Um.. by alll Ive obeserved and experienced this is just plain WRONG for the
masses.  The masses have little socail skills and virtual no coping skills.
 The best they can manage on their own, in a totally open envrionment, is
the kidn of soiciety you see in south central LA--  gangs banded together
to defend and fight grudges they have no idea how to handle in any
copnstructive fashion.

Unless your game defines the societal environment, don't expect there to be
one.  No no society is just fine, ro veen appropriate, for games wher ethe
goal is to kill each other all the time (Mad Max springs to mind), but its
not a very good roleplay environment, which is what I'm persopnally



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