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

Koster Koster
Tue Oct 6 14:19:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Wiggins [mailto:adam at angel.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 1:58 PM
> To: 'mud-dev at kanga.nu'
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Marian's Tailor vs. Psychopaths 
> On Tue, 6 Oct 1998, Koster, Raph wrote:
> > > From: Benjamin D. Wiechel [mailto:strycher at toast.net]
> > > I really think that in an environment where the mortals 
> are faced with
> > > disparate number of sociopathic people, be it via role playing or
> > teenage male
> > > hormones, they will solve the problem on their own without any 
> > > necessary regulation by code or by immortals.
> > > In an environment as described above, there is a reasonable 
> > > probability that some of the player base may opt to simply leave,
> > and/or create new
> > > characters. This does not solve the problem, and instead 
> perpetuates
> > it. 
> > 
> > I used to think as you do... but... Based on UO's 
> experience, they won't
> > solve it; just reduce it somewhat, burn out on trying to keep the
> > sociopaths back, and eventually give up... They also only 
> tend to try if
> > there is something in the world that they see as worth fighting
> > for--meanng, a building or business. So we get people 
> volunteering to do
> > this with the City of Oasis, and with the player-run 
> taverns... but not
> > for just general policing of a stretch of road.
> The post Benjamin was responding to focused on the term 
> "disproportionate".
> If there were a 'realistic' number of sociopaths (say, 
> Charles Manson-style
> as one in a billion, murdering cutthroat as, say, one in a 
> million, general
> run-of-the-mill thug as say, one in five thousand, and mischievious
> pickpocket or con-man as, say, one in a thousand) then things would be
> pretty easy to control.

Remember, because of disinhibited behavior over the Internet, and the
lack of empathy, and so on, you'll get a higher proportion online than
in the real world. Also, the larger your playerbase, the more of this
problem you encounter, as you exhaust the "savvy" audience and move into
novices. COmpared to real life, you are already disproportionate. That
said, yes, if the numbers were low, it would be controllable.

> Even if the number of true sociopaths was like 5% and the rest of the
> mischief makers encompassed another 20%, this would be within the
> realm of "policable" by players. 

On Legend we had, at one point, exactly 2 players who were like this,
out of a playerbase of several thousand. It was still a major, major
controversy, and cost us a bunch of players.

>  But when you face 50% or 
> more, players
> are going to wonder what the point is?  The ones they imprison or kill
> just come back with other characters, and in the meantime new 
> ones show
> up all the time.  Eventually the policing players are going to get
> frustrated and give up, or possibly leave.

They come back with other characters regardless of what you do, short of
banning. (And even banning is not foolproof against a determined jerk,
as I have had many reasons to discover). This is why even one can cause
significant pain to the playerbase as a whole. They simply have to
refuse to be policed, and poof, they are not policeable. :( What tools
do you see players having that actually impose sanctions on them?
(Curious, would love to see ones that were not abusable!)


More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list