[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user2.inficad.com
Mon Sep 1 02:01:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Jeff K:]
> At 08:37 AM 8/31/97 PST8PDT, Adam wrote:
> >Here it's difficult to define 'abuse'...I suppose it's up to the
> >admin.  If a clever player finds a way to gain an advantage by using
> >something in a way I as the coder never though of, I will applaud them.
> I see two problems with this in practical applciation.  Misusing  (or if
> you prefer taking advantage of) bugs in the system tends to be a MUCH more

I didn't say 'bugs', I said things that coders hadn't thought of.
A well-written system will always have many, many things that are perfectly
acceptable tactics which the folks who created the system didn't think of.
An ideal system would be mostly made up of things the coders never thought
of.  Check out any long-standing game: chess, poker, bridge, football..
do you honestly think the folks that first came up with the ideas for
these games went through every possible strategy and tactic that could
ever be used and specicifically placed it into the game?

> effective way to "win." Therefor if you allwo thsi behavior, or mroe
> encourage it, you really HAVE defined your game as trying to break the
> system.  That's ALWAYS the winning strategy.

Right on.  Only thing I'm confused about is why this is a 'problem'.

> Secodn problem is that thsi attitude leads to hacking very quickly, as soon
> as you have closed ,msot of the obbvious or easy bugs.

Erm...I don't follow.  Maybe the commercial game world is different, but
I can think of several muds right off the top of my head that encourage
this sort of behavior from players and have been on-line without any hacking
attempts (or at least, successful ones) for years.

> We on the other hand take our model primarily from pen and paper gaming.
> Ours is a judged game and is thus fundementally different in cosntruction.
> IMO thsi is the true root of the difference between his proejctand mine
> that JCL mentions from time to time.

Good point.  I'm in the same boat with him in that I like the idea of
creating something and then just letting it run loose to see what happens -
really a giant social experiment.

> In any event the ADMs exist totally and compeltely outside the game as does
> a AD&D judge.  Yo ucan reach them by paging "staff" (which is a emchanism
> that is anonymous from the users presepctive though tracked for the senior
> Judge's review.) Oterhwise though they are never seen. Theyc an freely
> shift their viewpoints arouidn the world and have a great many "inspection"
> tools. Ina ddition the MUD istelf ttracks things it thinks migth be worth
> ADM attention and effectively pages the ADMs on line for decisions.  (For
> instance or key word infamy system at least to start with will be fowarded
> to humans for decision abotu the scnatch of text.  Eventually we may try to
> automate it mreo but only AFTER we jhave enoughe xperience to see clear
> patterns.  I have in the abck of my midn teh diea that i might be able to
> train a neural net of of the human resposne over a long time, but thats
> justa sort of curiosity project for me.)

Sounds good.

> >karma, and vice versa.  There are many ways to actually distrbute the karma:
> >a simple, hidden system where certain actions give you negative karma, and
> An idea I personalyl like though its wa y to redical to get itn oa
> comemrcial product is "Karma Dice".  As your Karma gets worse your dice get
> "loaded" so taht you have less and less ability to effect anything in the
> world.

Yeah, that's what I meant...obvisouly it would have to affect players in
some way to be useful.  Other handy things would be to give people 'auras'...
a person with a low aura gives you a negative feeling, and vice versa.
This could work both ways, I suppose - you may not want to purchase things
from someone with a negative aura in case they might rip you off, but if
you're hiring someone to do an assassination for you, you might be less
confident in their abilities if they had a positive aura.

> >others give you positive, plus the admin can manually fool with your
> >character's karma...or slightly more interesting, one where the players
> >actually get a number of karma points that they can deliver each day to
> >people other than themselves.
> We've played with this idea and in fact are workign with oen group who are
> very seriosu abotu it. Internally we have our doubts. The problem is that
> ANYTHIGN players can do to effect each other ends up, in our experience,
> becomign just another weapon or coercion tool. period.  If Karma is very

Yes, of course.  I hardly feel it's worth putting something into the game
if it can't be used by players as anything more than a way to express their
dislike of something.

> effective IMO yo uwill end up with "Karma wars" with guilds pooling their
> karma points and aoiming them aqt leaders of opposing guilds and such..

Yeah, that was my aim.

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