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

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Fri Jun 6 13:01:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 08:21 AM 6/6/97 PST8PDT, Jon Lambert wrote:
>Mud players form groups with alarming frequency.  This is so natural
>and so human.  It does work.  Maybe commercial mud systems just made 
>mistakes in the area of player control.  

I see a wolrd of difference between formation of 'groups" and any serious
social structure forming.  yes peopel naturally group, but wehat I've seen
oin the commerical world is that it forms the lowest possible level of
social order.... small groups fighting each other for space-dominance.  To
me this doesn't really count as a social structure.  At best, its a
cro-magnon social structure.

>First you argue that only (A) physical violence is the only way players
>resolve conflicts.  Now you add (B) appeal to a higher power.  Should we

(B) as man yare wont to poitn out, is outside the game boundries generally
which is why i discount it.  Whining to the sysop I dont see as at alla
desireable problem sovling mechanism, but yes it DOES happen alot.

>add (C) mutual agreement.  I see all these on just about every mud I

And I virtually never see it in environments liek DSO.  This suggests the
abiltiy to discuss the conflict and arrive at a solution in a  reasonable
fashion.  These are the coping skills that IMO msort common americans
appear to lack...

>have played.  What other ways are there to resolve conflict?
>What is your definition of conflict?

By conflict Im talking a serious inceidnert of being at cross purposes.
This does not oinclude "where shallw e go today guys?"  thre is no conflict
here, the disucssion is already on uncflicted friendly terms. this DOES
include "that $^#@!! killed me out for no reason"... the most common one I

>B encompasses the skills of arbitration by a third party.  This ain't 
>necessarily a whining mama's boy.  An can always be done in-game.  

Again, thats not how Ive seen it.  Yes, if you have a an agree dupo
nauthority arboitating a decison thats different. But I NEVEr have ANYONE
come to me or any other sysop I know of and say "be king solomon and decide
this for us".

Sure it can happen but I have never seen the common american come close to
this level of social organization on their own.  Instead, they form groups
and beat on each other, tryign to solve it by force, or if that fails,
whine to the op.

>Hang on.  I will have heavy role-playing on my mud.  Players who want
>another game will NOT like mine and will play another mud.  My role-players
>are no more "sophisticated" than those who prefer Quake.  The just like

We aren't talkign abotu roleplay here. We are talkign abotu the ability to
restrain ones base meotions and reactions and build reasonably compelx
social structures.

This is the action of a sophisticated social intellect.

ANIMALS form groups and beat on each other (packs) to solve disputes.  That
appears to be the level of socail competance I have to deal with in my world.

>I am considering a character approval process similar to many mushes.
>I haven't decided whether this is really necessary or not.

It will definately give you a straining mechanism. IMO you can usually tell
EVRYTHIGN abotu how someone will play absed on how they wroite up their
character.  I wish this was an optio nfor us but it won't scale and is
probably too subjective a criterion for a major online service.

>> >
>> >I am talking about the underlying structures of the mud theme.  It is not
>> >a player-only world.  There is a significant NPC mud population that 
>> >that forms the basis of the initial world.  Players will play both
>> >held characters (PCs) and game held characters (NPCs) from time to time.  
>> Hmm?  Are these hand pciked players playign NPCs or can anyone play one?
>> If anyone can play one how do you keep them from being misused?
>Players who achieve awards based on role-play will be awarded greater 
>trust levels.  These allow them access to more significant NPCs and
>levels of scenario creation.  

Well, this is an option.   I eprsonallyt hin kyou need mroe thena roleplay
criterion.  We have staff thata ct as traditional sysops and staff the run
"events". We have foudn that staff that are GREAT at events may nonetheless
NOT be trustable with general sysop access.  But its your call.

In our new design we have a mroe formal structure with 6 to 8 players
playign an overgame that drives the MUD (picture populs with people at both
levels.) These indeda re CAREFULLy selected and highly trusted players.
The are still imietd and directed though by the game designa nd their goals
and power within it.  They are ALSO expected to  accept the outside guiding
hands of the "judge" (the production team) from time to time as I don't
honestly expect perfect balance or directio nto always be achievable
through indriect means.

>It is my experience that we will deal with the occasional asshole.
>Even without a character approval process this person will find it
>quite hard to advance.  Throw out you AD&D/DIKU models of advancement and
>relative player power.  These do not apply.

And rthat will help,a s i mentioedn before.  But I've seen palyers who have
lost every other way of beign disruptive sit around and attempt to be
disruptive thorugh chat.  Yo ucna throw them out if you have a way of
truely identifying them-- this isn't an easy problem on the internet unelss
yo uare going to call every user and verify their id.

>10 in 100.  I see no reason why this can't be handled through a character
>creation process that is geared towards the heavy RPer.   

See above.

>> >I do not distinguish any 
>> >differences between player killing and NPC killing.  There will be
>> >in-game consequences to both situations.
>> In-game how? Are you saying that you are building into the game system
>> negative consequences of negative behavior?  Personally, I think this is
>> 100% reasonable but i thought that was something you didn't want to do--
>> enforce a morality from the implementors.
>NO the GAME WORLD NOT the system.  It enforces the morality of the NPCs not

Okay, Ive already said my peice on that (system v. world).  IMO same
stuff--different special effect (to steal from hero System.)  I find it an
arbitrary and ultimately meaningless distinction as I suspect will your

In re NPCs.  If you NPCs control the players actiosn through control of
resources and such (as in our DSOII design)  then Ild say that first off
itm IS built into your system ina very real way, and two your ARE building
a morality into teh game.

If on the other hand they do NOt control the players actiosn through any
reasonable mechanism, then my experiecne is that at elast in the comemrcial
world they will have no significant effect on the behavior patterns of the

>Ultimately your style of role-play reflects what ICE calls heroic
>fantasy.  Chance of death in such campaigns is non-existent or very
>limited.  Player cooperation is vital to heroic fantasy.  The heroic
>fantasy game is geared toward pleasing the player with the idea that
>the system may be fudged or overridden at some point in the interest
>of character glorification.  

Okay, thats ICE., I don't play ICE ganmes msyelf. I can quote you from AD&D
or Hero or a variety of other games that state outright that GM override
and player cooperation are fundemnetal to roleplay.  I never liked Simbeda
much, anyway....  ;)  But, assumign this is really a quote, if you pull up
a quote that gives an example of OTEHR kind of Rp play, I'll credit you one

BTW.. I dont entirely agree with your formulation. You missed the issue of
rpeceibved v. real danger.  If you state dieect and outright, 'you'll
almost never die'. perceieved danger is lost.  Good judging is alot more
subtle then this.

>Heroic fantasy strongly discourages
>player-killing while other styles do not.  It has nothing to do with
>coping skills or any current social/cultural issues.  Its a GAME 

You are mixing topics here. Roleplay and Pkilling is oen issue.,
Development of synthetic socieites inside of your game is another issue.
They are not the same issue.  Tehre are some parts of each issue which
reflect vaugely on the other.  
And "its a game' means nothing.  G\Online RPGs are cl;early examples of
social dynamics i naction. That it is a game is irrrelevent to the discussion.

>The strong reactions you receive IMO are the result of your strong

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