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

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Wed Nov 10 11:48:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

Charles Hughes wrote:
> J C Lawrence wrote:
> > Who defines "normal" and "proper"?  On what metrics are they
> > defined?
> > > I have been subjected to two different disruptive player attacks:
> > > a) one character who was a newbie went around trying to screw with
> > > people's triggers (he managed to screw with mine which really
> > > pissed me off when the gods decided that was okay to do).
> >
> > Interestingly enough I would considr both the above actions quite
> > acceptable.  If you decide to isntall automations ofn your
> > character, Caveat Emptor,
> It seems to me that the same argument can be made of abusing a game
> bug.

Let's look at this from another angle.  Here's a real life story from
my own mudding glory days, in an abbridged version to keep from boring

There was a fellow who was considered by most to be the most powerful on
the mud.  Specifically, he was somehow beta-testing an otherwas unavailible
class (blood mage, I think) which was extremely powerful.  He often took
to bragging about his power, which I found pretty annoying, so I took
any oportunity I could to (subtlely) screw with him - subtle meaning he
rarely knew that I was insulting him, but most everyone else on the mud
who was listening in caught on.

My favorite of these occassions was when I was standing in the standard
diku area of the Haon-Dor forest.  It was well known that he liked to
show off his 'portal' spell (which only he had).  So I shouted, "Hey
<the guy's character name>, portal to me".  So he does.  The room was
the one just beneath the trees where 'west' leads to a DT (death trap) - most
anyone that has played any diku mud with this zone for more than about a
week should know about it.  I said, "Hey, go west" and then took off (going
east, of course).

Thirty seconds later I hear a shout: "<my character name>, you ASSHOLLE!!1!"

What's the point of this story?  I was directly responsible for someone's
death, and I caused it for no other reason than that I didn't like them
and just wished to "harrass" them, if you will.  I took advantage of something
I knew about them (their pride and their gullibility) to cause that to happen
without directly attacking them.

Is this different from taking advantage of someone's triggers?  If so, how?
The gods did not intervene - should the guy have complained that the
mud rules did not specifically say that pride and gullibility were not
specifically banned in the rules?

> If the admins don't want automations, they should explicitly state so.

Well, this is true.  I've had gods screw with my triggers before; when I
ask whether clients are allowed or not, they say that they are, but they just
don't like them.  This sort of policy just makes the admin seem childish.

Now, in my case, I don't particularly like needing to use a client, so
I wrote my mud in such a way that it's not really necessary.  (And when I
test it, I always use raw telnet to make sure that that remains the case.)
If someone wants to, I'm certainly not going to "mess with" their triggers.
But if another player takes advantage of poorly-written triggers to hurt
their character, I have no problem with that.  As far as I (and the admin
as a whole) are concerned, actions generated by your client are no different
from actions generated by your own two fingers typing at the keyboard.

> > > b) one or more characters who PK in a quite obviously non-PK area and
> > > again the gods refused to intervene.

How were PK and non-PK areas defined?  Was PK physically possible in non-PK
areas, or did you get a "You can't attack players here..." message?
What makes it "obviously" not a PK area?

> > Were the game to have support for funny bones, and the same newbie
> > ran about striking people on their funny bones causing them to drop
> > all they were carrying while chatting in the pub...  Would that be
> > an abuse?
> Beats me, depends on what the admins said.  It's a rather absurd
> example since it doesn't actually pose any question.  If the funny
> bone was programmed in, and it is not a game bug, then it would
> seem to not be an abuse to hit people on the funny bone.

Perhaps you should expand on what bug(s) this person abused.

I tend to be leery of accusations of cheating through undefined bug abuse.
he Shriners were accused of cheating through bug abuse for the five solid
years that they (we) were the "top" PK clan on Arctic, but I never once saw
any evidence of any cheating.  Furthermore, I knew the people in the clan
well enough to know that they were not the sort to cheat, even if they had
the oportunity to.  But it didn't matter - since we/they did so consistently
well for so long, people just couldn't believe that it was something
other than skill, hard work, or luck.

> My original point still stands - disconnecting or disciplining an
> abusive player immediately prevents more widespread abuse. 

Generally true.  However, determining what is an "abusive" player is
the tough part.  In my opinion, only the admin can make that decision;
players at the wrong end of the PK stick often feel "abused", whether
or not any real defiance of the game rules occured.

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