[MUD-Dev] New Topic: Butthead features

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Aug 3 09:48:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:

No offence intended Jeff (really) - but could you please spell-check, or
proof-read before you post? English is my first language, and I honestly
found some of the below a little hard to interpret; it can't be much fun
for those with english as a second.

> hey all,
> I thougth i stir the pot with naother contentious issue.

Uh oh.
> No offense to Raph but my playing arounf with UOL broguth thsi to mind.
> There is a philisophpical/practical issue in the inclusion in your MUD of
> "butthead" features. What I mean b ythsi are features that allow a pure
> butthead to annoy (or worse seriously harm) other players jsut for the
> cheap pwoer tip of doign so.  We all knwo thes eperosnalities exist on tegh
> ent SO...

These personalities exist, yes - you can't deny that, and you also cannot
ignore than and go away, but there is a very fine line between controlling
them, and limiting everyone who is playing fair. What sort of features do
you mean? The problems surrounding killing and/or injuring another player
(just for the heck of it) in a PK-OK environment are manyfold - there is
literally no way to control your butt-head without intruding on the game
for others.

There are other similar things that CAN be done (for instance, spamming
can be quite easily stopped, and NO legitimate player is going to spam!).
> How do you control them?

Short answer is that you can't, not easily - not without direct
intervention (warnings, and perhaps removal from the game). You can put in
things to cover holes which might let them abuse parts of the game - but
that is still just normal fixing.
> Do you just avoid features that could be so abused, or do you count on
> oither mechanisms to keep thsi behavior in chack and if so what agurantees
> do you have of success?

Nothing at all guarantees you will be at all successful - and avoiding
features with anything to add to the game, but potential 'abuse' side
effects, is a serious mistake. Other mechanisms are limited, but all you
can really do. Tools such as snoop can be helpful in diagnosing problems
(for watching suspects), but in the end, it comes down to dishing out
relevant, pre-stated punishments for bad behaviour.
> This coems to mind becaus ein my current projectw e are conciously avoiding
> butthead features.  Thatwb as our design decision. I see a rgeat many
> features existant in the current UOl so obviosuly the designers there took
> a differnet track..

I really don't see how you can avoid stuff I'd categorise as 'butthead
> Some exampels of butthead features include..
> (1) PC pickpocketing of other PCs... always upsets people.

But this shafts PC thieves?

> (2) Fixed tport points so that oterh can lay in wait and way-leigh
> unsuspecting traverls befoe they can see whats up.

But if you have a tport method that should thematically allow this.. and
ambushing is fair play, IMHO. It's just using fair means to get an unfair
advantage. All is fair in war, physics and chocolate. ;)

> (3) The ability to take control of OTHERS PCs and make them do things (The
> Provocation skill in UOL looks at first blush particuarly nasty in this
> regard.)

Yes. This is probably unwise in an environment when you allow potential
strangers at each other - it works fine in a small RPG group where you
know each other, but we're a little out of that scale.
> There are lost mroe but there are some starter catagories.

Got anymore to list? :)

	-Matt Chatterley
"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's
	mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." -George Orwell

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