[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Charles Hughes charles.hughes at bigfoot.com
Tue Jul 20 14:45:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


At 05:38 PM 7/19/99 -0700, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
[snip]
>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.

I'd have to see it to believe it. Assuming the standard escalation 
routine between scripters and anti-scripters I doubt you could tell
that a good player was using a trigger. When playing muds I can't tell 
the difference between a trigger and a single-keystroke that generates 
a series of commands. (Unless I'm setting off the trigger of course,
and even then I've personally pretended to have a trigger set so it
isn't possible to be 100% accurate in determining whether a trigger
was used or not. I wouldn't even believe 50% accuracy when dealing 
with an experienced player.)

>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.

You can't spam someone with trigger text if the trigger is linked to beginning
of lines UNLESS you are allowing users to mimic game output. This is a much
more
serious problem than bots will ever be. If you do allow users to mimic game 
output, then how can a user ever know that something he sees is real?

> 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.

The solution to your anti-bot tactic is simply delaying execution of trigger 
commands. A non-trivial task but not a problem for script-kiddies, and the
delayed execution script only needs to be written once. After that it is
merely
a matter of relatively simple modifications which anyone can handle.

I don't think trying to limit script use by attacking the user is the
proper or best solution. The best solution is to make the scripts unnecessary.



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