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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sun Sep 12 14:04:02 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On 04:21 PM 9/10/1999 -0700, I personally witnessed Adam Wiggins jumping up
to say:
>I use PvP to indicate any aggressive/harmful action that one player may
>commit against another; this includes stealing from them, attack them
>(even without intent to kill), blinding them, silencing them, paralyzing
>them, and so forth.  Take Arctic: actual PK is (somewhat) rare, but
>PvP is very common.

Alternate perspective. This is not intended to be a challenge or any sort
of authoritative ultimatum. 

I've always considered "PvP" to mean players competing with other players.
This would be not only direct PK, but also "race" situations like acquiring
unique items before others do, "vanity" situations like trying to break the
record at the in-game gambling casino, or "territorial" situations like
claiming choice areas on the MUD. You could also include theft,
trap-laying, destruction of property, and rumormongering. "PvP" has never,
ever, ever meant the same as "PK" to me. 

"PvP" does, however, hold a certain implication when I see it mentioned. It
indicates, to my mind, that little if any non-PvP activity is provided.
What little may be provided is probably rather inferior. 

There are, for example, no puzzle areas in Quake deathmatch levels --
because they aren't necessary, and they get in the way. This is a very
PK-centered environment, and there is virtually no chance of ever being
able to engage in my particular favorite Quake activity: wandering around
marveling at the gorgeous level design. A huge sprawling level with only
three or four players in it would suit these needs better, because I prefer
not to race in with guns blazing, but to slowly stalk and eventually
assassinate targets. Single-player Unreal was a better game than Quake for
this; you rarely faced more than one or two opponents, and virtually always
in a position where you could attack from ambush with reasonable safety.
Many blazing-guns style players said this made the game total pants, but
I'm sure a lot of people like me were saying that Quake was a pain in the ass.

Dammit, I miss Quake! The original, not the sequel. I should reinstall it. ;)

>This is a matter of stated intent.
>As long as people are clearly aware of the policy, I don't see a problem.
>And why does PK == being mean to people?  I get the feeling that
>we are talking about something altogether different when you make statements
>like this.

I think people attach their own beliefs about PK and PvP play to what
exactly they say it is. For example, PvP and PK on my current project are
more or less part of the game -- you're SUPPOSED to compete with the other
players, and you're SUPPOSED to attack other players on occasion. If you
don't, that's fine, but if you DO then there are IN-GAME consequences
rather than some policy that requires the admins to step in and do
anything. So when people talk about PvP and PK styles, I come at that from
the perspective of these things being *undesirable* (you shouldn't be
running around killing people and messing with their game experience for no
reason) but not *forbidden*. Many other people are coming at this from a
standpoint much like what I prefer in an RP-centered MUD, which is
absolutely NO such activity ever under any circumstances end of story. Some
other people are coming at this from a standpoint of PK and PvP being a lot
more fun than mob slaughtering, and therefore see it as a desirable thing
in any game they play. 

The real key is that ALL OF THESE OPINIONS ARE VALID. It's all a matter of
the game. Compare AD&D to Warhammer Fantasy Battle; in AD&D, the players
cooperate to solve problems. In WFB, the players beat the living crap out
of each other. That's the game. Yes, you can cooperate in WFB, and yes, you
can beat the living crap out of each other in AD&D -- and sometimes, that's
a good thing. But it has to fit what the other players are looking for.
Most MUDs cater to one or the other type of player, but do not effectively
cater to BOTH. That's OKAY. They don't have to be all things to all people.
It would be nice if they could, but they don't have to.

One of the questions this raises in my mind is what people expect their
games to be. If you expect your game to be an occasional pastime, one of
many that your players indulge in, then you'll have a different attitude
toward your game's "job" than you might if you thought your game would be
the one and only game people played. Do people here think of their own MUDs
as being one in a sea of many, or as the next be-all and end-all of gaming
that the rest of the gaming world imitates or duplicates until no other
games survive?

Semi-topical: what's the list's reaction to the acquisition of WOTC by
Hasbro? Many hobby shop owners were concerned that WOTC was destroying
smaller game companies. Is that relaxed by Hasbro's defocused market
position (they make pretty much everything), or intensified by Hasbro's new
place in the lead of yet another market segment?

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/ 
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