[MUD-Dev] New Topic: Butthead features

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user2.inficad.com
Wed Aug 13 20:44:33 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Jeff K:]
> At 07:58 PM 8/13/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:
> >On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:
> >
> >#include <std/spellingflame.h>
> #include <std/spellingflameflame.h>
> ;)
> >The question is whether you want to, and this goes to the core of the
> >social setup of the game. To come down hard on buttheads, you have to take
> >away the ability of players to affect each other's existences, limiting
> >the amount of unconsensual interaction possible.
> Or at least you need a way to control nagtive behaviors.
> The big problem ist that in teh RealWorld (TM) actiosn have long lastign
> consequences.  Inetrnet game showever are basivly anonymous. I cna be
> abutthead and it doesnt cost me a damn thing.  If you get everyone to
> ostracize my character, I can roll another up.

Which is both good and bad.  I don't mind players being vindictive
in the context of the game...else you get HappyMUD.  The trick is to make
it so that being vindictive comes with its own price (ie, all bad actions
come back to you) so that players will rarely spend *all* their time
making life hard on other players.

> TThe RealWolrd(TM)  has police and al lkidns of toher artiffical, freedom
> limiting stuctures to allow a society to function.
> How do you do this in a MUD/  if you don't do it, do you midn that a few
> idiots can quickly tear down an entire society (I sure do.)

If that's the case, than it hasn't been desinged too well.
IMO the main thing is that the 'power' to affect other players and the
world comes at a certain 'cost'.  Newbies can't do much of anything except
pester you with questions, and even that should go away if you decide
to leave town.  This doesn't work, naturally, if you have global channels
or some variation on 'tell', both of which are undesirable features to me

Certainly this sort of thing is somethat that only becomes readily aparent
after actually setting up and then watching said world, and the society
which will develop in it.  You can, of course, implement artifical
limitations (that is, incosistant with the rest of the game universe) on what
the characters can do, but of course this is only circumventing bad design,
not really 'fixing' the problem.  Having played quit a few high-traffic
muds with basically unlimited character interaction (no artifical
restrictions), I've found that many of the things which you'd think
would have one effect actually has the reverse; for instance the seriousness
(penalty) of death which we were discussing earlier.  My time in various
admin positions as well as alpha'ing our own creation has given even more
insights - I'm very much looking forward to getting the thing online
for real to see how our radical world design will actual affect the
society which develops over the long term.

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list