[MUD-Dev] Re: Trusting the Client (Re: Laws of Online World

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sat Oct 17 17:13:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Sat, 17 Oct 1998 09:03:55 -0400 (EDT) 
Matthew R Sheahan<chaos at crystal.palace.net> wrote:

> Vadim Tkachenko propagated a meme to the effect of:

>> Here's next flamebite: okay, they cheat. So what? I remember a
>> statement like "the fun is the paramount", so no matter what they
>> do, they're having fun and as long as you don't lose your profits
>> (presumed it's about a commercial MUD), you're fine.

> cheaters have plenty of fun...

Do we really need the e e cummings all lower case bit?

> ...but as soon as there are cheaters, no one else has any.  

This is highly if not solely dependent on the definition of "cheat"
and the impacts and advantages gained by those "cheats".  There's a
very brad swatche in there where the delination is a factor of game
design, and another wide range where its really all a matter of
viewpoint.

Standard example:  Clients with triggers.  Are they cheats or no?

> i played the aforementioned SubSpace once, and it didn't take me too
> long to realize that those people i couldn't kill i COULDN'T KILL.

Couldn't kill, or couldn't kill without taking similar advantage of
the system as they had?

> what happens when you allow cheating (which is what you're doing
> when you treat the client as anything other than a display device)
> is that you're changing your game from the one you're advertising
> into a game of who can cheat better.  

Please name a single multi-player game on the market where more than
20% of the player base are actually playing the game as advertised in
the marketing materials.  Heck,p I don't even play monopoly for the
reasons stated on the box, or Go or chess, or gin rummy or near on all
MUDs.  Certainly fairly few of the UO players are playing for any
reasons consistent at anything but a surface level with the Origin
marketting output.

Players create their own games.  You provide keys and hooks to attract
them, to get them to start playing, and they they go off and create
their own games within your system, which often have little relevance
to the actual items that you used to attract them in the first place.

I play sokoban often.  I don't play it for the puzzle qualities, the
mental challenge, the intellectual process, or any of those other nice
catch phrases -- I play it for the simple reason that I find the
process of playing it mentally relaxing and encouraging of insight.  I
like to play sokoban when I'm stuck on a thorny problem as the process
of play or at least attempting to solve a sokoban level somehow
regularly catalyses the process of cognition on my other problem.  I
get suck, I play sokoban, I figure out a solution to my original
problem, I am mentally refreshed.

Its a new game, nothing to do with the marketting, everything to do
with what I created from the base game.  cf earlier discussion her on
the re-invention and mutation of video arcade games (good keyword:
Tron).

> while this may be a fun game for those who want to play it, those
> who want to play the game you advertised are out in the cold.

Certainly.

> at this point, the consequences of trusting software that's in the
> hands of the enemy are so well-illustrated that any new cases of
> this should be prosecuted as wilful fraud.  WHEN YOU SAY YOU ARE
> PROVIDING ONE GAME AND ACTUALLY PROVIDE A GAME OF BATTLING CHEATS,
> AND TAKE MONEY FOR THIS GAME, THIS IS FRAUD.

If a player, operating entirely within the rules of the system as
provided, manages to alter the base functions and mechanics of the
game to his own design, and then maintains that control of the game
via methods entirely within the rules and design of the system:

  a) Is he cheating?

  b) Would you as game-operator be "cheating" to artificially depose
hime?

  c) If you continue running the game in his altered form, are you
still fraudulent regarding new customers, or are you actually offering
exactly the same service you were before, just with a set of
valuations of the game structure?

Example of all of the above:  

  A standard simulated economy game ala UO, DiscWorld etc.  Bubba is
the player in question who manages first to capture and control the
entire iron smelting business of the game world, and then manages to
extend that until he directly owns or indirectly controls every
political power structure and business in the entire game world, NPC's
and human player's.

> tacit approval of cheating is at least as disgusting as cheating
> itself.

Again, what is "cheating"?

--
J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                             Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list