[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Wed Jul 21 17:08:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Greg Miller wrote:

> Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > 
> > Well, unless the fun thing you mean is the thrill of victory, you are
> > wrong, as people often fight in our Arena, whether nothing can be gained
> > from winning, except the sheer thrill of it.
> That's one fun thing for most people. Obviously, nobody's going to
> bother playing a mud unless they find parts of it fun, and they're going
> to skip the parts that aren't fun if at all possible. That's
> particularly true on a pay mud, so I have my doubts whether this trigger
> paranoia many people suffer from accomplishes much other than
> frustrating players. Few if any people will bother writing anything
> other than the simplest imaginable triggers unless the game has some
> hideously unpleasant game mechanic in an otherwise terrific game.

I would estimate that 10% of players take the time to write good triggers.
That, of course, translates into a good portion of the game using them, as
they pass them around. As for frustrating people, well, that's hard luck.
Our combat system exists partially because I love it, and if someone can't
think and react fast enough to keep up, then he is going to die. That's
just the way it is. I wouldn't spend my time running a game where you type
"kill <whatever>".

> In particular, from the description you posted of your combat system
> earlier, I doubt people who don't enjoy PK would be likely to play your
> mud (or at least not the PK aspect of it), and the rest wouldn't want to
> automate it. If they did, you might want to ask them why and try to fix
> it in some other way before pouring in all the low-level anti-bot
> techniques.

While there's not really any way for me to measure this, I'd estimate that
the majority of our players never become serious about PK. As for the rest
not wanting to to automate it, I think you misunderstand human nature! In
any competitive endeavour, at least in my experience, the large majority
of people will use whatever advantage they can to win, provided they
aren't punished for doing so. Being a good combatant on Achaea is
considered the equivalent of being a good basketball player in the NBA.
When someone kills his hated enemy, especially on a regular basis, that
enemy will try to do anything he or she can to kill him back.

> Granted, they're might be a few that would want to win just to laugh at
> the losers, but I doubt you'd attract people like that since (as I
> understand it), the penalty for PK death is little or nothing (assuming
> your arena is similar to others in that respect).

Well, the penalty for PK death is nil in the Arena, but the Arena is
considered a training ground for the real thing (we don't have pk-specific
areas. If you're in the game, barring a newbie area and one other
location), you are in constant danger of being killed, unless you walk in
a state of grace (which keeps you safe, but also prevents you from
performing any offensive actions against anyone/anything). Of course,
cities have defences taht will automatically attack city enemies
(telepaths and archers, for instance), so you tend to be reasonably safe
in your home city.


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