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

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Fri Sep 10 16:03:37 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Fri, 10 Sep 1999, Dundee wrote:

> On Thu, 9 Sep 1999 16:56:16 -0700 (PDT), Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com>
> wrote:
> Generally I see people use "PvP" to mean consensual combat, and "PK" to
> mean non-consensual combat.  But by all means, if you have a problem with
> those terms, I'll write out the long version each time.

The reason I object to PvP meaning combat, is that it implies that the
only Player vs. Player interaction possible is combat, when combat is only
one PvP option in a good mud.

> Well, there is a distinction whether you like it or not.  Consensual combat
> is great fun for both parties.  Non-consensual combat is not.

Alright, fair enough, there is a distintion. I just don't like to make a
distinction, as the idea of consent is very overrated imho.

> > PvP is player vs. player. It does not in any way imply combat, though it very well may
> > include combat) simply does not allow players to experience the same range
> > of emotions that real PK does. 
> Likewise, going to a paintball game and shooting other paintball players
> doesn't allow for the same range of emotions as, say, going to the mall and
> shooting people with my paintball gun.  You should see how emotional they
> get.  The mall should thank me for making their shopping experience
> non-boring.

If the goal of the mall was to provide an exciting experience, then yes,
they should thank you for it. However, that's not the goal of a mall. That
is, on the other hand, my goal in running a mud. Having said that, Achaea
is not permadeath, and player-killing is obviously a trickier issue when
you lose your character permanently due to being killed.

> > of course this heightens emotions, but nothing gets emotions going as well
> > as being PK'd or generally messed with unintentionally. 
> Oh it's intentional, but I think you mean "without the victims consent".
> Undoubtedly, that'll spark some emotion.  Not any good emotions, but what
> the heck, eh?

Well, I don't know about you, but in my experience, a constant tidal wave
of "feel good" emotions quickly becomes valueless. I'm not insulting your
goals in your game, but I for one have no interest in riskless
environments. They're boring to me. In a way, I view all Player killing as
consensual, as it's a part of the game. If it wasn't, then there would be
no need to worry about it, as it wouldn't be an option. If you don't want
non-conseual PKilling, then just require both players to sign a virtual
document (or just type a command) agreeing to be killed by player X.

> And in any case, it still says nothing about the sorts of people who have
> fun at other people expense.  If you think it's great fun to be mean to
> people, then there *is* something wrong with you.

Existence and the use of _any_ resource inherently entails doing
something at the expense of someone else. Nearly everything you do in life
has some negative effect on someone else. You drive to work, you're
screwing everyone else out of clean air. You buy a book, you're screwing
us out of a tree that we might enjoy. You apply for a job, you're screwing
over other applicants by reducing their chances of getting it. Grow up and
deal with it. In any case, I still would like to know why being killed by
another player is worse than being killed by a wandering mob. It just
seems like crybaby behavior to me.

> They aren't the sorts of people that I want to hang with, nor subject my
> other users to.  If I just wanted to jack with my players then I'd wander
> around and kill them willy nilly myself, zero-out their hard-earned skills,
> take their kewl lewt, etc.  That'd really make their blood boil.

Yes, but the key is that you have to allow for extreme emotions on both
ends. A player really has no hope of getting back at a God. it's hope that
keeps them going, and gives them a goal (getting revenge on the person
that nailed them).

> Some sort of war could be fun: structured PvP combat.  But random mugging
> is just worthless.  It's impossible to have any amount of it without the
> entire game revolving around it.  And if you *want* your entire game to
> revolve around it, then that's fine too... but then there's nothing
> non-consensual about the combat there then, since everyone knew that's what
> the whole MUD was all about when they logged in.

Better be careful tossing around words like impossible, I'd say. It most
certainly is not impossible. We allow random mugging, and the game has
certainly not devolved into being focused on that. 

> People get disgusted with PKers when they login to a MUD that *claims* it
> isn't all about PKing, that there's more to it than that, and then it turns
> out that, no, it's all about PKing after all.  Also invariably, if
> unrestricted PKing is allowed, then it's all about PKing.

Sure, I'd get annoyed about that too. Luckily, permitting some degree of
random mugging doesn't entail a game that is all about unrestricted PK.
What this discussion has totally left out is the role of human management.
I don't like coding in restrictions, because they suck. If someone small
starts insulting you, I see no reason why you shouldn't be allowed to kill
that person. Having human admins deal with complaints is the best way that
I have found to have a rich Pk system that doesn't have lots of coded-in
restrictions, which just break up the consistency of things. I don't mind
some random mugging from evil players, because it's in their role.
Likewise, I have no problem with wandering nasty mobiles who attack
without provocation.

To me, the golden mean is the goal. I'm not interested in a game that
protects players from all risks, and I'm not interested in a game that
just degenerates into constant random muggings. Both are boring to me.

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