[MUD-Dev] The reality of constant combat??

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Tue Jun 3 20:44:30 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


At 07:16 PM 6/3/97 PST8PDT, you caliban:
>Exactly. It's common on many of the games I play to take damage right to
>the *edge* of death, and then be left alone. 

This maps nicely to the "circuit breakers" in the pen and paper circles i
described earlier.  Im gald to see it CAN extend to online games. :)

>>It has nothing to do with 'morals', much as anyone might like to believe.
>>It is simple survival.  Psycotic killers who run around hacking people up
>>with axes are put in jail - not because we're necessarily passing any

Oh, I disagree here.  Most well adjusted people have some moral codes they
judge the world by.  For instance, sicne it was already mentioend, why do
we react so negatively to the concept of child molestation?  Answer, becuas
eit breaks a firmly impressed taboo AKA a point of morality.

Personally, I don't believe in the idea of perfect philanthropy.  I believe
we are good to others because we are trained to feel good when we do that.
BUT that training is our morality and it is a very real thing.

>>sort of a moral judgement on what they are doing, or their right to live
>>as they choose, but because it's bad for the 'common good' for them
>>to be running around doing what they do.

This is a different issue anmd if I misunderstood you, Im sorry.  Youa re
correct that the law does not care abotu morality. It cannot afford to as
morality is too subjective. The law cares abotu adherance to its code and
its code arises otu of a VERY complex political mish-mash of reasons and
motivations.  Morailty IS one of them-- if you want an example of morality
driving legislation I suggest you look at both sides of the abortion
issue-- but its NOT the ONLY consideration, certainly.

>>If someone comes at you with an axe, you don't just think "No problem -
>>I've got 100 hitpoints and that axe only does 2d8.  I can take a few hits,
>>at least, before deciding to flee."  You know full well that, even if
>>you are a better fighter than the person you face, there's a pretty could
>>chance that you could slip up somehow - and a single good blow with that
>>thing is going to put you in rough shape, no matter how tough you are.
>
>This isn't very well reflected in most MUDs, but I agree entirely.

I think this goes further. In the real world you only get 1 life. Ever.
This tends to make it alot more precious.  

In addition, in the real world there are complex systems basicly designed
to insure that there is ALWAYS someoen more pwoerful then you.  If you
break the laws.. or even if you just significantly upset these people...
you will be in big trouble.  The same is true generally in any well
balanced campaign pen and paper game.  The city of Waterdeep, one of TSR's
most popular settings, has increasingly tough city gaurds that go all the
way up, if necessary, to legendary characters who have been around for
thousands of years.  NO player will EVER be more pwoerful then these NPCs.
That is their intent and the reason for their being.

Withotu someone to be afraid of an awful lot of people don't knwo how to
behave.  To me THIS is a primary factor missing in most on line RPGs.
There is a "max power level" in game that ANY player can reach with some
dedication. This is a bad situation IMO, at elast for maintaining a society.

>
>>Secondly, there is (of course) no reward for combat.  You don't get
>>experience either from fighting someone or from killing them.  Thus
>>you have to have a pretty specific reason to fight someone, and even then,
>>you're probably going to exercise caution.

Its worth noting that DSO didn't give experience for PvP.  It didn't stop
it from happening. All that happened was that our SDKs ran around killing
monsters in tghe most efficeint manenr to max, and then went after players.
 Eventually they even tired of doing it thast way and just strated hacking
their way to max power.  For them, the game was about killign out other
players and proving the size of their shlong ('course to me this proves the
size, and its not very big...).  They didn't need an in game reward, their
reward was the anguish caused to other players and the corrosponding
feeling of pwoer they derived from it.

A note by the way... and Im sorry to bury it here but its relevent now.
I've been thinkign about who goes where.  Since DSo IS very much an RP
game, chances are we didn't ATTRACT the mature PvPers.  They went to games
that were designed for such. What we got was all the IMMATURE ones to whom
a world full of victims was the perfect environment.  As such Im sure my
view of PvPers is slanmted and I will apologize for that.

>>Now, this is certainly not the only way to implement a world like this,
>>but the point is that you don't just hardcode certain things that people
>>can and cannot do to each other.  This has the result of making the world
>>both restrictive and not very believable.  What you should do, however, is
>>create a world the way it would actually evolve.  

Given the aforementioend issues... that death is not what it is in the real
world and that accountability is so much harder to create, Ild argue that
this wont happen.  Ild love to see it happen, I just dont think it will.

>
>Given a large enough player base (which most MUDs have) you can have
>actual player characters holding positions like town healers, town
>guards, etc. in your main city. 

This requires either a HUGE player base of players intrested in such "civil
servent" positions or crazy players who are willing to devote their lives
to it.

We have plenty of problems just filling staff positions so we always have
one sysop available .  Granted we need peoiple we can trust in the sysop
positions, but thats true of ANY power position, and power corrupts.

JK




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