[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Mon Jul 19 15:43:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Mon, 19 Jul 1999, Laurel Fan wrote:

> Randomness and unpredictability can also be introduced in to trade
> goods.. in the example you give, perhaps the prices of raw materials and
> finished goods can fluctuate, causing a bot to occasionally lose money. 
> This can still be scripted, but t takes a bit more work.  Another way to
> deter bots is to have muggers who prey on merchants who appear to be
> oblivious to their surroundings, or to make the raw materials suppliers
> wander around within a city or market.

The problem with this is that you've set the bar too low. All you're doing
is giving advantages to people who can use zmud with any level of
sophistication. What you need to do is put the bar so high that it is not
feasible for any user to automate it. Otherwise you're just forcing people
to use triggers if they want to compete with those who do use triggers.

> Another idea, for anti-bot-ness in general, is to have essential
> messages from the game and npcs vary enough so that it is impractical to
> take care of each permutation with a script, but still simple enough for
> players to understand (though some players will get confused/annoyed by
> the inconsistency). 

We thought about doing this, but it would require systematically changing
the messages every so often. Otherwise, users will simply build up files
of the relevant triggering text, and trade it amongst themselves. You also
have to change the messages enough that searching for, say,
"blah*blah*blahblah" will not cover changes in the output text.


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