[MUD-Dev] Re: Marian's Tailor vs. Psychopaths

Peck Peck
Sat Oct 3 14:38:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> From: 	apocalypse at pipeline.com[SMTP:apocalypse at pipeline.com]
> From Marian Griffith :
> >Maybe it is interesting  for you.  But have you ever spent  much time
> >thinking how it is for your victims? If you have not then you are not
> >acting  but behaving like a sociopath.  Somebody who is self centered
> >and not empathising with others. In the case of a pathological socio-
> >path there is a real unability to do so. In muds it, like (I think it
> >was) Raph said, is because the lack of communication makes it easy to
> >ignore that there are real people with real feelings behind the text.
> >You are not a sociopath,  but the effect you have on other people  is
> >the same.
> Im going to have to interject that I think this issue has been taken
> magna extremis. I cant believe that even a moderate size of the
> mud population is going to have any amount of psychological
> damage because they were "pk'ed" or they lost their "great
> shiny ring of happiness" in an online game.
On the contrary, unrestricted and unlimited PK is death for a mud.  I
remember reading somewhere about the four different types of mudders:
explorers, killers, achievers, and socializers.  Killers tend to kill
socializers, because they are easy prey.  Socializers will move on if there
is nothing protecting them.  Then killers move on because there is no prey
(achievers and explorers can generally kill killers, according to the
article).  Thus, you can lose about half your player base, even those who
might seem to benefit most from your policy.  By the way, anyone have an
address for that page?

> Raph Koster :
> >> What I would
> >> define to be bad would be when the players within the mud do nothing to
> >> solve the difficult situation on their own, and instead whine at the
> gods
> >> and the admins to take the player away.  Part of my enjoyment on the
> >> only mud I play is to in-character solve such problems.  When I was a
> small
> >> player, I was twice hunted by massive players.  My reaction was not to
> whine
> >> or cry, but to instead grow at a rapid rate until suddenly they were
> the
> >> small player by comparison.  Very effective method of keeping someone
> from
> >> killing you.
> Substance at last. Does anyone actually perform a psyche eval. on the
> oncoming "demon class" cruisers' crew in subspace before it blows
> your tiny ship to little bits? The topic of a model for better mud
> administration warrants study, wether it be hard-coded procedures and
> player commands, or human intervention.
> Marian Griffith :
> >The whole point of the Tailor Scenario is what do we do for players who
> >can not, or do not want to, play that kill or be killed game?
> set_bit(player,no_pk); /*This player does not wish to attack, or be
> attacked
> by humans*/
> It could also encompas attacks by charmed mobs, and "flame channels"
For many MUDs though, this is unrealistic.  For example, what about the
thousands of murder victims every year in this country alone?  They cannot
set a no_pk flag, and they most likely did not want to kill or be killed,
yet they are dead anyway.  The best we can hope for is justice, by punishing
the criminal.  That system, or a form thereof, is what I desire to install
on my mud, to a point.  If someone kills a member of their own city, they
will have some questions to answer.  However, if a human kills and orc, and
both are players (a possibility on my mud, and probably many others), then
that is totally in character, and in fact encouraged.  If someone does not
want to play the PK  game, I have options where they can stay home and be a
tailor, or whatever.  But, as in real life, they are not immune to
criminals.  They might be robbed, and there is nothing they can do except
appeal to the city for justice.  If they are killed, then they might suffer
some additional loss, but nothing unrecoverable.  

Also, as Raph brought up after I started to write this, it just doesn't work
in a simulationist environment, aside from the reason I brought up above.
There are always going to be ways to circumvent any PK restrictions.  Say
you don't allow people with the non-PK flag to be gated to an aggressive
monster.  Instead, a player will gate him to a place from which there is no
safe exit.  While not directly or immediately doing harm, he will not live
long.  Or if you restrict such things altogether, what about a theoretically
non-harmful spell such as "change sex"?  It does no direct damage, but would
be extremely annoying.  And if you restrict all spells, then what happens
when someone wants to be spelled up?  

> Marian Griffith:
> >1- A lot friendlier. (After all you can talk to people without having to
> >   assume they are out to kill you)
> I doubt it. Just because a person dosent have the option to kill another
> player in no way means friendlier. They can verbally, publicly (chat)
> privately(tell),physically(emote/social), and with charmed mobs,
> be VERY unfriendly. If the guy has a bad day, and wants to take it
> out on someone, just because he cant kill someone, dosent mean
> he is just going to sit there quietly wallowing in misery.
I totally agree with this.  Players have a lot of options when it comes to
harassing other players.  In fact, I would argue that players immune to
pkill are subject to even more harassment than others, if someone is annoyed
at them.  A pkill will vent all frustration at once, and its done.  The
people go on their way, seek revenge, whatever.  But with no PK available, I
have seen people harass others for quite some time until someone else
intervened.  As Raph also mentioned, see the article on virtual rape (see a
trend?  this is what happens when you sit down to write an email and are

> >2- Much more realistic. (How many sociopaths have you met? And those who
> >   do have a tendency to die horribly, not enjoying the experience.)
> Uh, Jefferey Dahmer? Charles Manson?  They didnt kill everyone they met,
> only the ones who tasted good with fava beans :), or the ones who thought
> they were god. You, in your neighborhood, have, on the average, at least
> on such individual. And as far as meeting one, im quite sure, we have all
> met several, and never known it. The statistics are common among FBI
> profilers, and other organizations that track such patterns.
If we're going on realism, then people should have the opportunity to kill
whomever they come across.  However, they should also have the opportunity
to suffer the natural consequences of such actions.  As for the frequency of
sociopaths, I am in no position to comment.  However, let us proceed back in
time to an earlier date, when feudalism was the way of life.  Feudal lords
treated the serfs as virtual slaves, yet they were "protecting" the masses.
Armed brigands roamed the countryside, looking for easier prey.  It was a
time of different morals and ideals.  If we are truly going to run a mud set
in a medieval time setting, then we should expect players to act according
to the norms of the era.  I am not advocating sociopathic behavior, merely
admitting that not so long ago, that was us.  It really was a time when
might made right.  Granted, some people held ideals of justice and honor,
but it was a tough time for the majority of people.

I wonder, as I have not experienced this.  Would a mud set in modern times
suffer the same consequences of sociopathic behavior?  If there was a seven
day waiting period on purchasing swords, would we see as much pkilling, or
killing at all?  Would a mud with a highly developed criminal justice system
see as many problems with pkilling?  Especially with permdeath as a
potential punishment for an unjustified killing (as in some areas of the
country and world)?

Since I bring that up, I would like to cite that as one of my theories why I
think killing is more prevalent on MUDs.  There is simply no real
consequence.  So you lose a few hundred points of exp. or whatever, maybe
some items.  So what?  In real terms, very little is lost.  Life is cheap.
I have never played on a permdeath system, perhaps someone who has could
share their experiences.  For me, at least, I would be more hesitant to
kill, and more prone to social interaction.  That might be just me though.

Matthew Peck
No Homepage to speak of
x96724 at exmail.usma.edu or 
valatar at mb2.mudservices.com

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