[MUD-Dev] Re: Administrative Meddling

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Mon Jun 8 17:14:04 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 04 Jun 1998 07:46:18 -0700 
Mike Sellers<mike at bignetwork.com> wrote:

> At 12:12 AM 6/4/98 +00-05, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> I disagree.  There is a complex and potentially perilous
> relationship between any player character and overt admin-character
> (which is what you're talking about).  Some PCs will avoid the AC,
> some will fawn all over him or her, some will do everything they can
> to frustrate the AC or those who seem to be in the AC's favor --
> even if the AC has not snubbed them in any way.  Then too, the human
> behind the AC *will* have preferences in PCs; we all like some
> people better than others.  Sometimes the AC will show conscious
> favoritism, sometimes it will be unconscious, and sometimes it not
> be there but the PCs will perceive it anyway.  At this level, the
> game will quickly turn from one of monster/PC killing laced with
> social interaction between players to one of bragging about getting
> the best treatment from the AC or whining about someone else seeming
> to get the same.  If you think admins burn out fast now, you can
> imagine how wearing all this would become.

Some of us found ourselves idolised, usually by someone considerably
younger, during our school years.  Perhaps some of us were also the
adoring fans.  The same mechanics, patterns and discomforts would seem 
to apply.  Hero worship or targetting is rarely fun for the hero.

> Then there is the problem of the AC's player's ego.  Ego-bloat is, I
> think, one of the largest unspoken personal and professional
> problems in mud administration, and it leads to many other
> better-known ones.  Adulation is poison, and creating an in-play AC
> is like feeding the admin candy coated arsenic.

A more sublte problem is that effects are so far removed from causes
both in obviousness, game-distance, and game-time.  Injecting a new
<whatever) into a running will alter the balance and pattern of that
game in largely unpredictable ways.  Many will tend to automatically
assume that minor changes will necessarily have minor long term
effects, despite the many lessons to the contrary.

If you put in travel points or exploration points in your game as it
stands now, can you predict with *ANY* element of certainty what the
impacts would be?  Its not the broad brush strokes that are the
problems, and its not the broad brush strokes that typically occupy
player attention.

> In the early days of M59, I crafted the "Prime Directive" strategy
> of admin non-interference.  

Do you have an official statement of that?

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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