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

Koster Koster
Tue Oct 6 14:14:15 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: S. Patrick Gallaty [mailto:choke at sirius.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 1:41 PM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Cc: bmcquaid at sonyinteractive.com
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Marian's Tailor vs. Psychopaths 
> There's a key element lacking in UO's design - that which 
> the social element has no teeth.  The lone gunman is all-
> powerful in UO, and thus it really doesn't matter aside from
> the difficulty of codified losses how bad you are.

Hurm--a competent group can take out a lone gunman in UO (and in fact in
every mud I've ever played).  

> Compare this to something like EQ's fundamental design -
> where it's pretty much impossible to advance without 
> participating in parties and groups past the 20th level 
> (of 50). 

Not sure what this has to do with the issue of players enforcing
behaviors on other players...? It's a nice dynamic to have, of course.

> Already the power-gamers, "killers" if you will (no apologies
> to the recently hysterical here) are howling that this will 'ruin
> the game.' 

Loners will complain about this, yeah. Tough; it's part of the nature of
online games that groups do better than solo players.

>  The truth is that the socializers and players 
> are seeing that they are coming out on top, since they tend 
> to make friends and cooperate - at least in the selective 
> audience that the beta represents.

Actually, I've seen plenty of killers who work in groups... I wouldn't
say that the other types do it any more or less. Both on Legend and in
UO, the best-organized guilds were of killers and power-gamers. Judging
from the webpages of "game-hopping" guilds in all sorts of online games,
this seems to be the case everywhere.

> So don't dismiss the power of peer control.  That's how most
> society works.  Question the tools you give the peers, not
> the fundament.

I'm not dismissing peer control--I'm just saying that their life is
difficult. You have few players who wish to be policemen in the first
place. And then there's the issue of what tools they have. The virtual
environment by its very nature precludes a lot of the typical tools used
in real life, and prevents good use of communication facilities,
tracking of violations, etc. The best punishments for repeat antisocial
behavior are things that one is reluctant to put in the hands of players
(like, banning). If you rely on group consensus to determine who the bad
guys are, they will use that as a tool against you (a guild of killers
ganging up to report a good guy for something and getting them
punished). Many of these things are things you can work with, or work
around, but nonetheless, my experience has been (and not just with UO,
btw) that you don't have enough players who want to police, relative to
the number of jerks you're going to want to deal with.


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