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

Chris Turner christ at rd.bbc.co.uk
Sun Sep 12 22:15:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Fri, 10 Sep 1999, Dundee wrote:

> 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.

Unfortunately I think you'll find that most muds actively (without realising
it) encourage such actions since the whole aim of the game is to kill
things.  On most games the whole goal is to go around killing more and more
things - bigger and stronger things until you are able to kill anything on
the game.  You're expected to wander around killing anything, it doesn't
matter what it is as long as it's not another player - killing computer
controlled people is fine - there won't be any repercussions.

Imagine if there were repercussions - you couldn't walk into your local
bakery and kill the baker, only to find the next day that he's back as if
nothing as happened.  Once you killed him, he's dead.  No more baker.  Also
the local guards are on the lookout for the killer of the baker.  You could
end up being chased out of the city if seen attempting to kill another

The point I'm trying to make, is that games that focus on combat without any
repercussions are obviously designed with PKing in mind.  Your saying to
people that they can go around acting out that they're killing things
without also re-inforcing the notion that it's bad to do this.  The only way
I've seen that it's "bad" to kill the typical NPC baker is by making him
vastly more powerful than everyone else on the game. 

>From there it's only a short step to killing other player characters - the
only thing different between them and an NPC is that they're controlled by
another human.  Someone who you're unlikely to meet, so might as well just
be a computer.  A game that hides the distinction between PCs and NPCs
increases this line of reasoning, but does make it harder for PKers to track
down their victims.  It's more random bad luck if they attack you.

> 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.

In some ways Real Life(tm) could be described like this.  But unlike muds
there are repercussions for going around killing people, so most people
don't do it.

> Well, except the PKs like that sort of environment.  Target-rich, I think
> they call it.

And to make it easier you hang big signs around their necks saying "Hey I'm
a player - I'm different" thus making it easier to spot them in a crowd.

christ at rd.bbc.co.uk   #include <stddisclaimer.h>   http://www.fysh.org/~maddy

   "So this is really me? A no-style gimbo with teeth druids could use as a
       place of worship" - Duaine Dibley (Red Dwarf - "Back to Reality")

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