[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Maddy maddy at fysh.org
Thu Sep 4 16:07:42 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Hi all,

It's probably about time for me to de-lurk and introduce myself and
since I'm going to reply to his post - might as well be now.

I'm a 23 year old analyst programmer in the CAD/CAM industry (ick)
who goes by the name of "Maddy" on the net.  (Note: This isn't my real name
- it's actually Chris Turner, which I guess some of you may have seen on
rgm* in the past).  I've also played rpgs extensively since I started Uni 5
years ago.

In terms of experence of muds, well I've been playing them for over 9 years
(only 5 of which was on the net - rest were paymuds *blush* *P).  I've wrote
(or at least attempted to write) a couple from scratch, one of which I
actually "finished"[1] and I'm in the process of writing one now.  I've also
helped out on a couple too (lp/circle) which is what confirmed in my mind
that writing from scratch was probably best.

Anyway - enough with me prattling on about myself - on with the followup.

Previously, Adam Wiggins wrote....
> [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.

[Very good example of players being smarter than the coders]

> 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?

Well from what you've described I'd say the players were perfectly correct
in their solution.  If the coders of the mud wanted the players to buy a
demon to say the phrase, then the puzzle should have been that "a demon has
to utter the phrase" rather than the phrase having to be uttered in demon.

I certainly wouldn't be angry at all with the players, in fact I'd probably
reward them.  The whole point most of us (at least thats my impression) seem
to be aiming for is some kind of virtual world and it makes sense that if
object X has property Y, then it should work for any case it's needed.  It's
a bit like having a length of rope that you can only tie to one object. 
Very silly and infact it kind of ruins the whole point of what the rope is
for.  You'd probably end up with players walking about trying to tie the
rope to everything until they find the right object.

What should of course happen is the rope can be tied to anything.  What the
player does with it afterwards is entirely up to them.

Has anyone actually got anything that allows this kind of thing to work out
of interest.  I'd assume the object the rope was tied to wouldn't actually
need to know - the rope however would need to know if the object moved. 


[1] By finished, I mean I'd done enough to get me a good grade - it was for
my CompSci A-Level.
.sig missing presumed unlink()'d.

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