[MUD-Dev] Re: PK's: A solution?

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Tue Apr 28 10:26:48 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Remember, I said this was *a* solution, not *the* solution.

I have read thousands of messages lamenting the problems of PKing. When
compare the PK messages to the MK (killed by a monster) messages, these
complaints begin to develop a pattern.

(1) Players do not like to see their characters get killed.
(2) Players do not like to see stuff disappear.
(3) Players generally accept being killed by monsters
(4) Players generally hate being killed by other players
(5) Players generally accept their stuff being take by monsters
(6) Players really hate seeing their stuff go to other players
(7) Players are more likely to accept being PKed if there is a REAL RP
reason behind it.

So why is this? I would suggest there are two reasons not generally noted:

(1) PK's talk. It is bad enough to be killed by Plate Deewd without having
to endure a string of misspelled profanity and insults.
(2) You hold PC's to a higher standard of behavior than monsters, even if
this is mostly a series unconsious reactions. These are other people, after
all. Who *should know better*.

So what is the solution?

Have player killers play monsters. And don't let those players speak (or at
least don't let them have control of the language used). Several methods

Method 1: Create IC PK restrictions which make the PKer decide to RP
monsters. The new UO noto system is a good example of logical pk
restrictions. However, it is still very difficult to manage play in this

Method 2: When a character racks up a certain number of kills (outside of
challenge combat or guild wars), morph them into a junior monster. Or do it
as, say, a 10% chance anytime a citizen (my term for a paying customer) is

Method 3: Player is a source of annoyance to the GM staff. Instead of
bouncing them off the system, give them the option to be a monster. Kind of
a probation. Good monster, you get a chance to be a person again.

Method 4: ?

All methods: Player- monsters start off as low level types....spiders,
slimes, etc. They reincarnate after a suitable amount of time to higher
level monster. They run around attacking players. They are flagged so other
monsters don't attack them. Here's the catch: They can't talk to anyone but
other monsters. Perhaps just monsters of their own level or species. If
they do a say command to another monster, players in the same area read one
of X messages programmed for that critter. If a monster wants to direct a
sound, action or whatever to at player they type SAY #1 where #1 is the
first message in their message list. That way a player-orc can send a
message: "The powerful orc looks a you with hate in his eyes." Time to
unsheath weapons. A player who works his way up the ranks to say the
exalted level of Demon Lord would gain the power of speech. By then, the RP
habits should be pretty ingrained and the PK would probably enjoy being the
Demon Lord instead of the sociopath he might actually be.

In a commercial system, I would let monsters play for free. Heck, at some
point I might even pay a few who show real promise. (This is a largely
unexplored commercial principle I have, use a sliding scale, starting with
a high cost and work the price down to the point where part-time GM's get
an actual credit to their card each month they meet the criteria.) Monsters
that get a rep, ones that players really hate....they are worth real money
to the system.

John Bertoglio

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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