[MUD-Dev] Re: Marion's Tailor Problem

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Oct 10 10:12:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

On Fri 09 Oct, Koster, Raph wrote:

While I had sworn I would not get involved in a PK-noPK debate anymore
I could not resist pointing out at least one omission from this paper.
I am afraid most of it is somewhat above my head. That is I can under-
stand the general principles,  but this person uses a lot of difficult
words to describe things,  which makes me wonder  if I really do grasp
what he is trying to say or that I only think I do :}

What I am missing in his list of  (possibly detrimental) effects of PK
on a game is the following:
With a player attacking you there is always the doubt that it is some-
thing personal, or worse yet, that it is impersonal.  The game monster
can not chose to attack somebody,  but a player must. Because they de-
cided to attack the victim can not help but wonder why.  Is it because
he wanted to harm me (i.e. personal),  or does he not care at all (and
therefor does he not treat me like a real person?).  Neither option is
particularly appealing to the victim.
The big problem is that it is very hard to do anything about this pro-
blem of different perceptions.  Unless you are willing to entirely ban
combat (between players)  and spent a fair amount of time policing the
players so they do not use clever ways to circumvent the ban.

> Very interesting article on methods used to curb playerkilling, with a
> comprehensive catalog of tactics developers have used:

> http://www.eqvault.net/features/editorials/sayeed4.shtml

> (text follows)
> =======
> Beyond PKilling: How to Sanitize Online Murder 

[ snip ]

> To understand why Player Killers (PKs) are so vigorously detested on
> where players look forward to being attacked by monsters, we must
> compare
> and contrast both character types, and analyze the four major problems
> associated with Player Killers which emerge when we do so. To properly
> conceive of a solution for this problem, we must examine many types of
> solutions and how they deal with the four problem areas.

[ more snip ]


> The first and most important difference between NPC Monsters and Player
> Killers is their Interactive Intelligence. The Interactive Intelligence
> of Monsters consists of the crude expletives voiced either when attacking,
> attacked, wounded, in response to key words of Player Characters, or in
> response to other simplistic circumstances. 

[ explanation snipped ]

> Strategic Intelligence is another important difference between NPC
> Monsters and Player Killers in ORPGs. No matter the coding skill of
> the ORPG developer, the combat strategy of Player Killers will always
> eventually become more effective than that of simple
> AI controlled creatures.

> An often over-looked concept related to the idea of Strategic
> Intelligence is the concept of Location. NPC Monsters are generally
> restricted to one region, or even one building, and rarely go off
> searching for prey.

[ yet more example snipped ]

> Very important to the discussion of PKs vs. Monsters is the idea of
> Looting.

[ rest of the article snipped, it was too long to repeat anyway ;) ]

[ My addition ]

And five: Motivation.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list