[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Greg Miller gmiller at classic-games.com
Mon Jul 19 16:41:40 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

Timothy O'Neill Dang wrote:
> Hello-
> I'd be very interested in any recommendations on design and programming
> methods of preventing client-side automation, whether in graphical or
> text-based games.
> The basic gist I have so far is, include randomness from a large
> possibility space, with high payoffs for reacting properly or penalties
> for failing to do so. In theory I can see that this will make automation
> more difficult, and hopefully keep things entertaining enough that folks
> don't want to macro.
> I'm largely concerned with automation of trade skills, however, and while
> I'm sure it's possible to design them to act just as complex and exciting
> as combat, I haven't seen it done yet. Trade skills, probably naturally,
> tend to be pretty straightforward in execution. My concern is preventing a
> bot from buying material, making good, buying material, making good, put
> good in bank, buying material, making good...

The best approach would be to replace that with a more entertaining
mechanic. The main reason people automate things like that is that it's
just not fun.

Another technique is to require materials that can't be bought in
infinite quantities from shops... skinning animals, foraging for herbs,
etc. A better version of that technique would be to simply give
dramatically bigger rewards (skill increases, sale prices, etc) for
things that require such materials, making simple automation much slower
than doing it yourself.
Conspiracy theorists mistakenly assume others think before acting.
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