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

Sellers Sellers
Thu Sep 9 12:17:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

Jon Lambert wrote:
> From: Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com>
> >I am a bit perplexed by all this discussion as to why people p-kill. I'm
> >also annoyed by the characterization of p-killers as immature kids, etc.
> I agree.  Note by accepting this premise, further discussion of the topic

> can only be conducted by the immature.   Your annoyance is justified.

How's that again?  The simple fact of the matter is that (on the larger
mud-like games anyway) some small but consistent portion of the players that
create problems for others more than they do anything else are socially
immature.  Acknowledging this doesn't mean that only immature people can
continue to discuss the topic!

As has also been noted, many pkillers/problem players (not necessarily the
same) are *not* immature kids.  There are different motivations for this
kind of behavior.  And, as Matthew Mihaly points out, on some muds this
behavior is more expected and appropriate than on others.  

I think the concern that a lot of people have is that they don't want to
completely turn off pkilling, but neither do they want it to rule their
game.  This is a valid concern.  Pkilling can quickly sap the enjoyment out
of the game for a lot of people, and can quickly become the focus of the
game: if you're no good at it, you exist only as prey for those who are,
which means your enjoyment is nil.  

So the question becomes, how can you acknowledge pkilling and include it as
*one* component of the game without having it choke out everything else?  My
answer thus far has been to make sure that pkilling is not the fastest, most
attractive method for a player to achieve their goal; make sure it carries
relevant, meaningful risks and costs; and make sure that players can compete
with each other in other (often less lethal) ways.  I'm interested in what
answers others come up with too -- beyond just "hey, it's a violent game."  

Mike Sellers

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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