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

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Wed Jun 4 20:48:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


At 08:04 PM 6/4/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:
>Well, I don't desire to delve into philosophy here, but suffice it to
>say that the brain is a neural net which is trained from a very early
>age (whether in a fully functioning society or not) to weight certain
>things as very strongly negative, for the reason that these acts are
>very negative in terms of survival of the race (and therefore, the

I agree with you up to that point.  The brain is taught to weight things
negatively because of personmal survival/comfort, initially in the form of
avoiding parental displeasure.  I don't agree that it somehow mysticly
figures out what is a positive survival reactio nfor the species.  Thsi
happens INDIRECTLY through social evolution-- societies with bad moral
structrues for survival die out.  But if you are sayign there is no such
thing as absolute morality... its an interesting supposition.  My question
is, if al lsocieties come to soem common moral codes what does it matter
WHERE they come from/ Evolution or God or little furry peopel from pluto.,
it makes no difference.  If the model shoiwsnear universal adoption then it
is, by definition,a  unoiversal model.

Yo usee, I go you one better :) . I think you still believe in Truth
(capital intentional), I don't.  Everything we see, hear, feel etc is
heavily processed by that self same neural net you mentioned. Truth is
unatainable and therefor not worth worryign about.  All that matters to me
is whether a model is pretty (the esthetic criterion) or useful (the
standard scientific criterion.) Moral codes are certainly a useful model,
by your own admission.

The most universally determined moral code world wide, and therefor by your
own argument I'ld say probably the msot useful to the species, is summed up
in this language as "love your neighbor as yourself."



>Bart: "But Dad, you always told me that I could do whatever I wanted
>if I just put my mind to it!"
>Homer: "Well son, I did tell you that.  But now that you're old enough I
>can tell you the truth.  That's a crock.  No matter how good you are, there's
>always someone better than you."
>Bart: "Gotcha.  No point; don't try."

I enjoyed that too, the other night.  Its a totally counter-productive
model though. The productive model ends with
Bart:"Gotcha. Don't worry about it, measure yourself against yourself."


>Also, as I've said, my favorite experiences on diku involve the times
>that thirty or more of us would get together to go kill some buff dragon,
>and fail misserably.  This certainly makes one feel like one is part of a
>larger world, instead of the world-is-your-oyster effect.

Yep. It ALSO creates a socail situation. Situations where people need each
other lead to the formation of scoieties.  One big thing I learnd abt
design form the DSO experience is the fo,llowing rule:
(1) NEVER design your game so a single player can accumulate everything
they need to be 100% successful. uif you do they will immediately STOp
interracting and focus on solitary acquisition instead.

Another failign of DSO and the reason multi-classes are MUCH harder to roll
up and healers much more necessary in DSOII.

>
>Lastly, yes.  Players should never reach a point where they are no longer
>afraid of anything.  The easiest way to achieve this is to just make
>the world realistic.  Even the best swordsman can't hold off half a dozen
>semi-competant players armed with bows and swords, tired of taking shit.

Personally I love this, Im hoping we cna get close to this. We will see if
the AD&D system can really if implemented properly create this effect.  I
know fro a fact that the half assed implementation DSO 1.n did made this
just about impossible.

>As I said, I continue to hold firm to my belief that at least 50% of the
>people in the online world fall into the "non-asshole" category.  If

Yeah. I agree.  I also agree that players WILL spring up to patrol your
game at elast SOME of the time...
Someone mentioned "taking over a MUD" earlier so I knwo for a fact that DSo
isn't the ONLY OLRPG to have this super-powerful single suer problem...

Something yo uwuill need to deal with is taht your most problematic players
wil lalso figth cheap.  For instance, our abusers would drop carrier to get
otu of situatiosn tah turned the tables on them while the majprity of or
players, the "non-asshoels" wouldn't dream of it.  You better make sure
every cheap avenue of escaping retribution is blocked.

> and at any how I will probably
>loose all faith in humanity at that point and become a hermit somewhere.

Well, Im almost there now, but DSo was indeed falwed. Its just that I
watched the assholes find new ways of cheating as we fixed each flaw,
hackign being the final approach.

>Hard for me to comment on this without knowing the game.  I'm guessing
>that you were using the standard Dark Sun rules, which are of course AD&D.
>As has been proved over and over again, AD&D translates rather poorly to
>the computer, 

I disagree. In my opinion the proper statement is
"AD&D has BEEN TRANSLATED poorly to computer."
Mostly because its issues are inobvious and it takes a very expereinced
player/judge to do the translation.
I believe in the DSOII design we have a woinderfully workable translation.
When its up and if it proves out, ill invite you over to take a look :)

>would attempt to use it.  (On the other hand, Dark Sun is by far
>my favorite TSR-fashioned world, both in look and in actual mechanics.
>Largely due to Jerry Brom's awesome concept art.)

heh. it is different :)  DSO 1.n didn't capture the flavor very well.. it
was kinda  like 13 year old hack and slash gimme D&D in leather outfits...
We're hoping II is alot closer.  The players are going to be very suprised
though, it going to be alot more like a serious AD&D campaign then like a
traditional CRPG (which IMO all play like 13 yer old hack and slash gimme
games).



>Hum, play more muds?  They are crude, granted, but the basis for what

Well, as you pointed out, this is  rpetty sheltered environment.  I'm
really worried abotu what the masses do.  Let me select my own communtiy
and I can make ANYTHING work...

I'm even MORE depressed though that it the behavior between your players
and ours are so different. It makes my already low opinion of the common
man drop even lower..

>I'm talking about IS there.  I'd say fewer than half of all muds have
>set (as in, hardcoded) societies or moral guidlines beyond 'Try not
>to be an asshole too much.'

** sigh**  If this ONE guideline were follwoed by all players in my
environment my job would be 500% easier.


>civil servant.  How about if players owned local shops, employed NPCs
>to actually run the things, and came back to collect the money?  They'd

Intrestingly, this DID work in one public MUD I know of.  Granted it was so
hard to play that it self-strained the play population to a degree.  It was
an economic/space game on Genie. I forget its name, but it was well
designed economicly, to the poitn that the ones at the top, the
system-owners, coudl effectively kill a character just be puting a reward
on his head. Im hoping we see somethign like that in our dual tiered DSOII
model. Only time wil ltell I guess.

JK




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