[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user1.inficad.com
Thu Sep 4 03:21:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Jeff K:]
> >> At 08:37 AM 8/31/97 PST8PDT, Adam wrote:
> >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.
> It depends on what you mean didn't think of.  I think you are wandering off
> of my original post which was about abuse of the system.  I don't consider
> "Hey, if we attack from both sides its easier for me to get a back stab"
> abuse. I do consider duping, finding a clear hole in the combat logic that
> allows unresonable things to occur, and such abuse.  This was my intent.

*nod*...I am indeed wandering a little bit, but not as far as you might
have thought.  Too many times I've seen coders rip into someone for
using some inventive method to take advantage of the system as created.
This doesn't mean causing the game to crash or duping objects through
an obvious bug - both of those are obviously abuse, and if you have these
bugs people will eventually ferret them out and abuse them - but taking
to functioning elements and using them together in an unexpected way.

Here's a real-life example from my own experiences.
There is an area with a bunch of puzzles to solve, stuff to kill, etc.
Eventually you can collect the seven keys and seven code fragments.  Using
the seven keys you unlock all the doors, and then you figure out how to
fit the seven fragments together to create the phrase that opens the final
door.  The trick is, the fragments are all written in demon, and the final
phrase must be uttered in demon.  Demon costs 50 million gold coins (on
a mud where it costs five million coins to increase a physical stat and
the most I ever saw any item sell over auction for was eight million) to
learn if you have a 29 (max) int, and more for every point under 29.
An industrious player got to the final door, had the seven fragments, and
even had a spell which allowed them to comprehend written languages so
that they could fit the fragments together properly.  Unfortunately, said
player did not have 50 million coins, or anywhere near it.  So, remembering
that the brownies in the forest of the faeries were bugged (and had been
that way for a long time) to cause them to speak in demon, he quickly ran
to the faerie forest, charmed the brownie, made a portal back to a buddy
waiting at the final door, and ordered the brownie to hop through and say
the phrase.

This is a pretty usual scenario.  The question I pose to you, Jeff, or
any other admin-type reading: would you be angry at the player?  They
basically circumvented a major device of the puzzle and allowed themselves
to get the quest rewards before they really "should" have been able to.
Would you applaud their inventiveness (while quickly fixing the brownie bug
to make sure no one else decided to copy the idea), shrug your shoulder
in indifference, or be angry at the player for not solving the quest correctly,
and what's more, utilizing a known bug in order to do so?

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