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

s001gmu at nova.wright.edu s001gmu at nova.wright.edu
Wed Apr 29 11:18:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On Tue, 28 Apr 1998, Michael Hohensee wrote:

> Shawn Halpenny wrote:
> > 
> > On Tue, Apr 28, 1998 at 10:26:48AM -0700, John Bertoglio wrote: 
> > > Method 4: ?

[... players as semi-mute monsters ...]

> > 
> > 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:

[... spamage deletia ...]

> >         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)

Morse code in spam?  I highly doubt anyone is going to bother limiting
themselves that way.  They'll just create a new player and talk through
them, or just go to some outside communication method.

> or to execute certain strings of
> wear/remove/drop/get commands (isle of Laputa, anyone? ;). 

The last time I checked, _MOST_ muds tried to discourage Spam.  I know of
several that have code in to prevent players from spamming... now
you want to encourage it by building a system in where it is required to
communicate?

> 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 just whip out a 'gag' or 'ignore' command.

      A spider looks at you with hate in its eyes.

      >sigh
      you sigh
      A spider looks at you with hate in its eyes.

      >ignore spider
      you will no longer receive messages from the spider.

      >smile
      you smile

> or
> program normal monsters to mimic PK'er behavior.  This can be something
> as simple as having normal monsters go about spamming people, 

...  yer kidding, right?

> 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 the whole idea of communication through spam is ... flawed.
That's like trying to communicate to the person next to you with a loud
speaker, using short bursts of high pitched screaming, white-noise.  It's
annoying, and distracts from the purpose of the game.
 
> 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.

I agree that having more intelligent monsters, that act like they are
being driven by a player, will add that mystery back in...  I don't think
I would go so far as to suggest that it is a solution to the 'problem' of
PK.

> 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).

A couple of my firends are the most efficeint PK'ers I know, and one of
their trademarks is a complete lack of communication to their victims... I
highly doubt they would be at all bothered by the fact that they couldn't
talk whilst slaughtering their targets.  Granted, I doubt that is the norm
of PKer behavior.

> 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. ;)

I think a part of why I dislike this proposed system is that it crosses
the line between an in game solution and an out of game solution... parts
are in game (turning the PKer into a mob), and parts are out (restricting
speach, etc).  I prefer a completely in game solution... either make the
game a non-PK game, or have mechanics within the game that balance the PK
factor.  I view the 'problem' with PK as a perceived inballance... People
feel like they were unfairly killed.  Just as in a player vs computer game
where the computer 'cheats', the player is dissatisfied.  The solution is
to ballance the system, and the key is to ballance it in the victim's
eyes, as well as the perpetrator's.

As for how to do that, well... I'm still working on that.  :)  I am
leaning towards an in game justice system, mayhaps similar to some
proposed previously by JC, etc, mayhaps completely differently.
We are also looking into an optional resurrection system... essentially,
because the entire creation process is point based (no randomness
anywhere), we want to give the player the option of ressurecting, at some
'permanent' cost in creation points...they don't loose just half their
earned xp, or just get dropped to 1 hp / 6billion, they loose from their
max attainable hp, or whatever.  Or they can choose to abandon that
character and start a new one.  This, combined with the system of gaining
some creation pts for your last character's level at death will
-hopefully- introduce some semblance of ballance.

It's a tricky thing, but when it's done, it shouldn't have that
semi-kludgy feel that a lot of systems have.

-Greg



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