[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Mon May 18 19:53:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: Koster, Raph <rkoster at origin.ea.com>
To: 'mud-dev at kanga.nu' <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, May 18, 1998 11:01 AM

>on Monday, May 18, 1998 12:23 PM cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
>[SMTP:cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA] said:

<<Bully System ideas>>
>Shades of UO's new reputation system, which is entering final testing
>with an anticipated publish to the public later this week.
>Under this new system, everyone is an "Innocent" at first. Doing damage
>to an innocent (either directly or via first-order indirect agents
>(walls of fire spells, pets or hirelings, summoned creatures, etc) that
>contributes towards their death results in a chance for the victim to
>report you, and contribute money towards an eventual bounty. Five
>reports, and you're not an Innocent anymore. You're a Murderer, show
>with red all over you to others (you become a big target), and will
>start to incur serious penalties between 5 and 20% of all stats and
>skills) when you die until such time as you are no longer a murderer (a
>lot of playtime can reduce killcount by 1). Kill a murderer, take his
>head to any city guard in the game, and get the money players donated
>towards that person's bounty.

This new rep system shows the advantage of being there first. It also shows
the advantage of being a commerical system. Having paying customers raises
the stakes on every decision...even very subtle changes. The accumulated
experiance of the UO team makes something like this possible. We expect the
new system to finish what has been a steady (in some ways, almost orderly)
transition to play balance in the world. The new rep system allows PK but
makes it necessary to make "all your shots count" when choosing victims.
Newbie killing just won't be worth is for most "bad guys" because it takes
a dozen newbies to be worth even a moderately experienced character in
terms of "loot per stone".

The cool thing is that PK is still in the game. But now the fun of
PK---which is the _risk_ of being killed will become more dominant than the
reality of being killed. Origin (and Raph) deserve huge credit for sticking
to their guns (no pun intended) on this issue. Honor in business is rare.
The easy thing to do would have to put a PK switch in the game. I am sure
the UO team could have come up with a plausible method and avoided all the
negative PK hype and pack journalism . . . just as I am sure it would have
destroyed the challenge and fun in the world.

>In addition, there's the "gray area" stuff. These are handled by putting
>a 2 minute window of vulnerability on people who do questionable
>activities, which we term flagging someone "criminal." I have no doubt
>that overzealous players will kill these people on sight too, but at
>least it's up to the players, not the admins.

This creates a true police function for players . . . it might even argue
for a lowering of guard hit points to the point where player raids against
a town might be possible?
>There are considerable many other wrinkles to the system, but that's the
>gist of it.
>I think in terms of three things when considering measures against the
>PKs in a game: who determines who is a bad guy; who catches the bad guy;
>who punishes the bad guy. In an ideal (virtual) world, I wish the answer
>were "the players" to all three. But I am settling for "the players" for
>the first two. To my mind, a playerkilling toggle model puts none of the
>burden on the players at all, and that's a bad route to go down

It looks to me like the server flags #1 and the players take care of #2 and
#3. Which is proper since only the server can make an impartial ajudication
of events. Allowing players to control #1 puts to much power in the hands
of cliques. No doubt, lynching would become a common practice.

>On the other hand, it took a programmer a solid three months full time
>to catch all the possible wrinkles in the reputation system. The curse
>of a complex environment is the number of ways players can do harm to
>one another by indirect means...


John Bertoglio
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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