[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

Koster Koster
Thu May 21 09:39:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

J C Lawrence [SMTP:claw at under.engr.sgi.com said:
> Translation:  You have created a framework which allows system-based
> public record keeping for vigilante justice.  You have also officially

> sanctioned bounty hunters.  Interesting.  

Exactly. Then again, you could argue that this is exactly what a police
force is: officially sanctioned hunters of criminals, whose "bounty" is
their salary. The sole difference is that they are officialized under
some governmental label. Which I am not going to provide in UO, as once
the mechanism exists, I am sure player cities will use the mechanism to
create police forces under their label.

> Players carrying heads are
> now the most valuable targets in the game.  

Players carrying heads are likely to be Innocents themselves, since you
do not lose Innocence for attacking a Murderer. So attacking them incurs
the risk of being reported...

> Can only those who have been killed by a character donate to the
> bounty against them?  Allowing others to donate would encourage
> gang/capo-style tactics to be used to set and maintain bounties on
> unewlcome individuals. for which the political ends could be
> interesting.

Yes, because unfortunately gang-style tactics don't mix well with
keeping players very happy.

> Can a victim donate to his killer's head price more than once (eg
> report and make a small donation, come back later and donate more,
> etc)?  This opens the possibility to rabble rousing, donation drives
> ("Help set a high price on XXX's head!"), and bounty scams (set up a
> murder, make a drive for a high bounty, then go kill him/youself).  

No, he can't, but this is an interesting idea. The top 20 bounties in
the world are posted at the banks, however, and we had discussed letting
anyone contribute to bounties on the 20 Most Wanted.

> What determines the "chance" that the victim has of making a report?

If they were truly innocent, they always get to report. However, truly
innocent includes not having been the aggressor, and not having engaged
in any questionable activities right beforehand. An example of a
questionable activity: having caused a magical earthquake in the
vicinity (or indeed most area-affecting damage spells). Or healing a
murderer. Etc. Basically anything that would serve as a reason for an
Innocent to regard you as a possible crook.

> Can you take the head to any guard in any city?  Why virtualise it to
> that extent?  Why not have the bounty tied to the city the report and
> bounty donation was made at, such that a grevious killer may then have
> multiple bounties at multiple cities (translation: localised
> notoriety).

Because we used to do it this way, and it proved difficult for players
to locate the proper city, afforded too much anonymity for the
murderers, and resulted in few bounties being claimed.

> Further (I don't know if you haven't done this), if you
> make the heads persistent objects, and especially if you do the
> multiple city idea, the heads themselves become a form of bankable
> currency.  It becomes easy to see heads being stashed and traded as a
> compact and portable means of representing considerable $$$ sums.
> Create twisted and devious means to recover a head from a city (guard)
> once it has been turned in for the bounty, and you create a whole new
> sub-game of retrieving heads and milking their multi-city bounty.

Back to the LET systems, eh? :) One thing to keep in mind is that we
really need this system to serve as effective deterrent against the
antisocial elements who are damaging the game for the run-of-the-mill
player. Hence complicating the system seems undesirable to me. The goal
is to make it really uncomfortable for Murderers to exist. If they want
to kill, they should go into the two sanctioned methods for doing
so--mutually declared wars between rival organizations, or the ongoing
free-for-all conflict that exists at the "order and chaos" guild level.

> First thought exploit:
>   I really don't like Bubba.  Let's make some throw-away characters
> that go and attack Bubba and then walk on his sword (ie I start the
> fight but ensure he kills me).  He'll be a Murderer in no time!  

You attacked him. You're not an innocent. You can't report.

> Second thought exploit.
>   I need more money.  I'll set up a character, kill a bunch of people,

> and then kill one of my own characters, do a rabble rouse to raise
> bounty money before I log my final report against him, and then go
> killmyself at leisure to collect the bounty.

OK, but in order to get your character up high enough to kill a bunch of
people, you will have to make a significant investment in him. And then
you'll lose said investment when you die as a Murderer. So you gain
money, but odds are pretty good not as much money as you had to spend in
order to make him a badass mage fast enough to kill multiple victims.

> >>  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." 
> What exactly is a "window of vulnerability"?  Does this mean they are
> fair game and can thus be killed without stat/kill-count penalty?
> Oooo!  Talk about a delightful con-man setup...

Yes, it means that for two minutes from a questionable action, the
person who did that action is not considered an Innocent. (Not a
murderer either--our term is "criminal." This puts the burden on players
of deciding whether or not he should be killed. Theoretically, this
leads to wonderful scenarios like, "Oh no! Those people are about to die
against this troll, so I will cast a wall of fire, even though I know
that they may get caught in it!" "You saved us! Some may look down on
you for raining fire on our heads, but we know you had good motives!"

In practice it will probably lead to the Criminal people getting
attacked constantly by opportunistic people who wait for them to do
something that incurs vulnerability. Players will quickly learn not to
take such actions in the vicinity of those they do not trust.


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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