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

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Tue Nov 9 16:26:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Tue, 9 Nov 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 18:08:13 -0800 
> Daniel James <dan at thecan.org> wrote:
> > I want to dodge the questions to, perhaps needlessly, point out
> > that the often 'disruptive' players are your best players, because
> > they generate controversy, activity and spectacle for everyone
> > else. 
> Precisely.  And even when they fail at that task, they give a
> target, a scapegoat, and a common enemy for your players.  The trick 
> here of course is ensuring that that emnity does not generalise from 
> the "problem player" to the game admins.

Well, when the admins do nothing to stomp on the sort of problem player we
are talking about (ie ooc jerks) then the emnity WILL end up on the
admins, as they are shirking their duty to the world. If you run an rpg,
people who are obnoxious out of role simply have no place.

> This I think is the real goal.  Back when (Jan/Feb of this year)
> Raph and I talked (phone call) of how to design and implement player
> defined legal systems and justice enforcement systems.  The basic
> idea which I was pursueing was:
>   -- A player or group of players claim title to a geographical area 
> of the game world.
>   -- They then define a legal system for that area (in essence the
> justice process).
>   -- Next comes "law" definition.  What is proscribed, for whom?
>   -- Lastly comes implementation (manufacture, placement,
> maintenence etc) of detection equipment (something has to twll you a
> crime has been committed).
> >From players defined by the justice process in the "guild" (for want
> of a better term) would receive alerts of detected crimes, and the
> process would roll into effect from there in a rather hands off
> manner.  Players would be responsible for application and
> enforcement, but the system would take much of the load of detection
> and reporting.

Sure, we do all of this already, aside from the automatic detection.
(actually, we do have some automatic punishemnts. If someone influential
in a city declares you an enemy of that city, a couple different automated
defences will attack you whenever you are in that city (telepaths,
archers, etc)). 

Basically, the problem I see with formally instituting detection methods
is that very very few crimes can be automatically detected. For instance,
let's say the law is: No murdering of innocents. How is the system to
define innocents?  Or what if the law is that one may not attack a fellow
citizen unless that citizen has insulted your honour first. I don't see
how a system can be coded to automatically detect such things. The rulers
of most of our guilds and cities have written up codes, but just like in
real life, events are never black and white. That's why human judges


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