[MUD-Dev] The Relationship between pkers and monster AI?

Kylotan kylotan at kylotan.force9.co.uk
Wed Sep 8 19:30:38 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

Marc Bowden wrote:

> --On Wed, Sep 8, 1999 02:25 +0100 Tony Wilkinson
> <tony.wilkinson at dial.pipex.com> wrote:
> >
> > None of the MMORPGs to date have very strong monster AI (because of
> > resourse limitations I guess) but if for example the monsters were
> > "smarter" would it stop players from looking to PvP for their kicks?
> > Close Combat 3, the computer behaves so "intelligently" that you
> > genuinely have to keep telling yourself it's not another person. If
> > sort of AI was on a MMORPG, would the need to clamp down on player
> > killing be so necessary?
>   Yes.
>   You're proceeding from a faulty premise - that the urge to kill
> player is driven by a need for challenge.
>   More often in my experience the reasons for killing another player in
> favor of an NPC are more basic....
>   1. Acting out agressive fantasies they can't get away with in real
>      due to the realities of physical size, parents, etc.
>   2. The feeling of power at being able to wreck someone else's playing
>      experience; in a nutshell, "here I can hurt someone and nobody can
>      stop me!"
>      and/or
>   3. To see how far they can push the administration before vanishing
>      and reappearing from another ISP and doing the same thing all over
>      again. To wit, since they can't get back at their parents,
>      etc. they go after an authority figure that can't come and get them
>      physically.

I disagree. Don't these last 2 points totally ignore games where you get
to choose your PK status with a on/off flag? When all the pkillers on a
given mud are pkillers by choice, I'd seriously doubt that they are doing
it simply to disrupt the game or annoy other players. Sure, some will see
it as a way to exert power over others, but many just see it as a game
like any other, except with a more intelligent foe who is going to really
test them to the limit. Just as human vs. human Doom (or whatever) is
often more enjoyable than playing against the computer. Also, I have often
seen people pkill others, and then group with their victim to help them
get their lost experience back.

If people will play games where pkill is determined by a totally voluntary
flag, this implies that pkill has some intrinisic 'fun' value whether
those players are causing trouble or not. Therefore this 'fun' will surely
be present in a 'free PK' game, too? I think we should perhaps make a
distinction between 'playerkilling' and 'playerkilling of totally
involuntary targets' as the motivation is different in my experience.


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