[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Mon Jul 19 17:38:39 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Mon, 19 Jul 1999, Greg Miller wrote:

> Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > 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.
> The problem here is that you still tend to end up leaving it amenable to
> partial automation. A full game-playing bot isn't the only potentially
> problematic form of automation.

Well, unless your game consists of random text with no discernable pattern
to the output, it is going to be amenable to at least partial automation.
There is no conceivable way around that, aside perhaps from some truly
bizarre (and probably unplayable) game design. What we try to do is limit
the advantages that automation can give. We're never going to fully
eliminate it. For instance, during some combat tournaments, I may ban
triggers. It's fairly easy to tell if someone is using a trigger during a
fight, and the threat of extremely dire punishment (possibly deletion) for
breaking those sorts of rules usually keeps people in line. We don't, of
course, ban triggers during "standard" gameplay, but we discriminate
against people who use them. For instance, for people who use triggers
that cause them to use up limited quantity things, I encourage others to
take advantage of those triggers, and spam them with the trigger text. If
they bitch about tactics like that, I just ask them why they don't stop
using up the magical item, or using up the elixir. Should be OBVIOUS,
after all, if you see the same text over and over, that it's fake. Not my
fault you keep responding to it predictably.


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