[MUD-Dev] The Best Guy on the Mud Thing

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Thu Sep 23 17:44:33 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On 10:15 PM 9/22/1999 +0200, I personally witnessed Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad
jumping up to say:
>Greg Miller wrote:
>> Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad wrote:
>> > (I'm not saying it is going to be easy to maintain perceived fairness=
>> But who considers it unfair? Outside this list's members, I've never
>> seen anyone complain that it was unfair to begin with...
>You've never seen players complaining about gaining levels being too easy=
>too difficult? You've never seen adult weekend players complain about being
>overrun by immature teenagers with lots of time on their hands?  You've
>never seen players being frustrated about not being able to keep up with
>their friends?

My personal effort to overcome this is threefold.

First, my game is being targeted to a dual platform Windows/Linux
environment. Those who feel inadequate in public play can practice
privately, and move to a public forum when they feel prepared to do so.

Second, virtually all game power resides in the player, not the character.
While it once took me weeks to gain a significant level of power in the
system, I can now do it in about an hour simply by avoiding previous=

Third, since the power is based on KNOWLEDGE and not on POSSESSIONS, it is
readily transferable. I can teach a new player how to attain a significant
level of power in the game with just a few hours of work.=20

As a result, the adult weekend player can spend some time practicing at
home and reading some text files, and become an effective challenge. When
he moves to a new game, he takes his knowledge and understanding of the
game with him. When his friends exceed his level of ability, they can
educate him rapidly.=20

>Anyway, the premise for the discussion was that of balancing a system in a
>way that favours no particular group.

Most systems (and I am tempted to say ALL systems) inherently favor those
who know and understand the system's internals. Rather than attempt to
remove that level of favor, I instead emphasise it, and encourage study and
exploitation of those internals. Many/most existing games treat this sort
of behavior as undesirable or unethical, making it essentially a form of
"cheating". I feel that this stigma stands in the way of the "fair" player,
while not encumbering the less scrupulous or more pragmatic player in the
slightest. If it is made clear to the players from the beginning that they
are *supposed* to use each and every observation and all internal knowledge
they might have -- EVEN A SERVER BUG -- to their best advantage, I think
this will strip that limitation from the "fair" player and permit him to
compete on an even keel with the rest of the game population.=20

You might compare running a Quake server where the "cheat" codes (god mode,
etc.) are enabled. If nobody knows, then only a few people use them and
benefit by them. If everyone knows, then a certain portion of the players
consider using the "cheat" codes unfair and deliberately refrain from their
use. If these codes are stripped of their "cheat" status, however, the
entire player population see them as tools to be used at will -- and use=

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com=20
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/=20
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