[MUD-Dev] Re: Character evolution

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Tue Aug 26 18:17:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


In <Marcel-1.26-0820202735-868Ky&5 at Gryphon.knoware.nl>, on 08/20/97 
   at 01:14 PM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:

>On Tue 19 Aug, Jeff Kesselman wrote:

>Alignment can be usefull, but only if it has some deeper meaning than
>kill enough creatures of the same alignment to reverse it. ...
...
>...In fact they may even kill a couple of group members
>to keep them in line. After all that's the way evil characters are
>supposed to behave.

I am sufficiently uncomfortable (can you say "allergic reaction"?)
with the concept of attempting to embed a concept of "good" and "bad"
or "good" and "evil", let alone any sort of morality or ethical
structure (note: ethics != morals), that I wouldn't touch this with an
infinite lever.  This is not to say that such morality games are not
fair grist for a MUD, indeed they are, but I see them as things to be
embedded in the social constructs of the world, not within the base
mechanics of the game.  

The recent [later] discussion of support for rape and other offensive
actions touches on this implicitly.  The offense of rape is not a game
construct, it is not a question of game mechanics or physical world
simulation.  It is a question of __personal__ reactions, ethical
standards, moral codes, and other questions of individuals and their
groups.  It is not a question of mechanics -- that's reserved for
things like: if I let go of an apple, will it drop?

I'll get back to this more when I reply to the recent rape threads.

>> AS an added bonus to getting rid fo it, you don't have asswipe players 
>> then trying to argue that they are just "playing Evil alignment" when 
>> theya re being jerks.

>*giggle* Or play you're an evil god who had a bad temper and moved
>some of his more stupid followers to the deepest hell.

A while back I posted an old article by Lorry (the original MIST IMM),
as well as various Bartle docs all of which discuss and recommend
wizards in a MUD as being deliberately capricious, unfair, downright
nasty, etc.  I think this is a value which has been lost under
political correctness and braindead concepts of having to be "fair".  

Lorry in particular describes using player file wipes as a method of
keeping the player populace in line, or of wizards arranging for the
perma-death of characters they feel are incompetant for their current
positions, or whom they merely don't like.  I argue that this actually
adds to the game.  It adds a social element and an unpredictablility
to the methods of success that mere game mechanics can never touch. 
It also guarantees that players can never achieve positions of real
power thru mere persistance.  They either have to suck-up to get
there, or they really have to win it (which aren't all that different
in practice).

Or, to put it all another way: corruption is fun.  The trick is to
make the fact of corruption both an expectable and implicit part of
your game.  

--
J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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