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

Michael Hohensee michael at sparta.mainstream.net
Tue Apr 28 15:30:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Shawn Halpenny wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 28, 1998 at 10:26:48AM -0700, John Bertoglio wrote: 
> > 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."
> Use their say string as a hash key into the message table and don't bother
> with the "#1".  They'll discover soon enough.
> Is a monster controlled by a player any different from a pure player?  If
> I'm now a spider who had been picking on Bubba, and I return in my new spider
> form to torment him again, Bubba stands a good chance of realizing there's
> a player behind the monster:
>         > say #1
>         You say "The powerful orc looks at you with hate in his eyes."
>         > say #1
>         You say "The powerful orc looks at you with hate in his eyes."
>         > say #1
>         You say "The powerful orc looks at you with hate in his eyes."
>         > say #1
>         You say "The powerful orc looks at you with hate in his eyes."
>         > say #1
>         Bubba sighs and hands you his new-found equipment.
> And I don't even have to brandish a sword.  Or I could get in contact with
> my PKill buddies and we could all trundle over and torment Bubba.

This doesn't have to be a problem.  As I see it, the only way that the
PK'ers can communicate with each other and their "victims" is to either
speak-spam in certain patterns (one can see an entire language
developing to use this system) or to execute certain strings of
wear/remove/drop/get commands (isle of Laputa, anyone? ;).  Of course,
they might get onto a chat server or get together in person to beat up
on poor Bubba, but if they're that determined, Bubba is screwed in any

If you want to prevent players from knowing that they're being spammed
by a PK'er (rather than a normal monster) either place limits on how
often the PK'er can speak (or how often he can speak the same line), or
program normal monsters to mimic PK'er behavior.  This can be something
as simple as having normal monsters go about spamming people, to a more
complex, total behavior mimicing system that was discussed by some
people earlier on the list but whose name eludes me even after a stint
with the archives. :)

I think that the best feature of such a system is the way it will
instill that "newbie magic" feeling in the players.  You never know
which monster is *really* being directed by a PK'er if the monsters
mimic them.  It gives back that sense of mystery about the MUD's inner
workings.  Hell, even if I were to design and build such a system, I'd
retain that sense of wonder (unless I were to install a trapdoor or key
signal, but that's cheating).

Of course, many of the worst PK'ers will not invest the effort required
to overcome even John's initial barrier (making monsters only marginally
more homicidal and communicative).  This will leave us with only the
most dedicated PK'ers, who may be just as "sociopathic" as the rest of
them, but will at least be more interesting. ;)

Michael Hohensee       michael at mainstream.net
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