[MUD-Dev] players who "take away from the game"

msew msew at trilogy.com
Fri Nov 5 21:15:55 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

At 05:57 PM 11/05/1999 -0600, Koster, Raph wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: msew [mailto:msew at trilogy.com]
> > Sent: Friday, November 05, 1999 5:38 PM
> > To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> > Subject: [MUD-Dev] players who "take away from the game"
> >
> >
> > So I was at the GDC road trip here in austin and attended the talk:
> > "Managing Online Game Communities" by Gordon Walton from Origin.
>You must have missed the earlier talk on the Laws of Online Gaming, which
>originated from this list. :) I was there (though not speaking)... MUD-Dev's
>URL was up on the board, too. I was at Gordon's too.

I was actually at that talk too.  I believe rule 1 and 2 specifically apply 
to the case of disruptive players.

Those being:

1) It is not just a game.
2) Hate is good.

It seems that as time progresses forward more and more of these "angst 
ridden" teenagers (from mihaly's email) and more of the "disruptive" force 
of people are going to be joining the online gaming community.  According 
to the talk many of the "disruptive players" had logged 5000 hours or a 
pretty staggering amount of hours in 2 years time.  These people are a part 
of the community and are always going to be there no matter what TOS and 
various rules are created.  In addition it seems that the man hours 
dedicated to "wiping" them out is going to grow.

When people play online games they go to that place when they feel happy, 
they goto that place when they feel bad, angry, pissed at the world, when 
they have just gotten in a fight with their SO, etc etc.  It becomes part 
of their life in a big big way.  (rule 1)

So when they are on there being assholes it seems to me they are just there 
and their current mood is being amplified by the "I am anonymous now I can 
do anything factor".  (ie if they are being a jerk they are REALLY being a 

now enter rule 2.  Hate is goooodd.   Since we know people are going to 
have bad days, we understand that we can not weed this out.  We can then 
design mechanisms into the game to utilize this/deal with this in game.

One idea that pops into my mind is:

allow players to play monsters or NPCs.  When I am in a pissed off mood or 
angry and just want to kill and be mean to the world give me an option to 
do it in the game.   I may log in as my normal character and shout and tell 
my guild/clan/friends all my life's troubles, but having the ability to 
turn into the big ass mean troll seems like a great elegant solution to 
allow disruptive players to "disrupt" in game.

ie it seems that the main issue with disruptive players is that they cost 
the game "non disruptive players"   (billy was being mean to me so I 
left).   Instead of billy, you now have the big green troll was mean to me.

This not only allows people to have in game method for being "mean" to 
other players.  It also adds some challenge to mobs that normally have 
really poor AI to begin with.

another is exile.

All online games have some form of this already:  mihaly's shrubs, muds' 
hell, no-shout, freeze etc etc.   These are all punitive GOD/Admin VS 
player.   All those things do is piss people off at the admin team.  They 
may "cool" the person off for that incident but in the long run these are 
just band aids on the infected wound. (ie they are not addressing the problem)

It seems one could create a place called exile that is more of a corrective 
facility per say. *grin*  The world is more raw, more vicious, more 
deadly.  It is a place where only the heroic dare to travel and a place 
where the worst criminals of the land are sent.

Based on your crime you are sent down there and have to "play" N hours in 
this hellish world before you are allowed to return to society.   Work this 
exile into the game and game's history.   It is almost like the Judge Dredd 
way of life:  I am the law!  Passes judgement right there and then send 
them off to exile.

I am all for capital punishment (ie banning of a player) but it seems that 
there does not exist an easy way to keep the disruptive players out of the 
games.  And it also seems that there must exist a more elegant way for 
dealing with these people.

(ie recall back when you first started using email and newsgroups and such 
and when you were the jerk that was flaming everyone because your opinion 
differed.  You evolved and became a good addition to society.  It seems 
that we should be designing ways for these people to evolve or at least 
sand box them while they evolve so that they can be additions to our games).

>Each one of those can cost you ten players or more who quit over what was
>done to them.

hehe numbers I have heard have ranged from 5-30  for this

would be awesome to have actual data on this :-)  Hard as it may be to get 
why someone did not renew their account/quit.

would be really nice to get info on what skill level these disruptive 
players were.  ie

were they newbies just out to be jerks?
were they mid level that really were semi poor players and turned to 
were they uber high levels that had grown bored with the game and turned to 
more "rich" human targets?
were they just jerks plain and simple?


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

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