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

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Thu Nov 11 13:14:47 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 02:22:51 +0100 
olag  <Ola> wrote:

> J C Lawrence wrote:
>> All bugs are fair game and may be exploited as wished as long as
>> you report them beforehand.  Exploitation of non-reported bugs
>> (not reported by the exploiter) are rewarded with character or
>> player deletion.

> How will players know that it is a bug?  The assumption that
> players will think of an advantage as a bug assumes a rather
> homogenous imitating world and a knowledgeable player base?

The first principle of course is that you don't need or want honsety
on the part of your players.  You merely need the semblance of
honesty and some level of motivation that players may regularly wish
to be honest in this way.

You HAVE to leave to door open for some level of criminality.  No
fun otherwise.

As such, no, arbitrary players don't know what are bugs or design
flaws, and what aren't.  What they do know is that periodically
there are rather public spectacles where players who took advantage
of bugs are thrown to the lions.  (These can of course be entirely
staged -- and in fact it wouldn't hurt if it were known that they
were sometimes or even often staged as long as it was also known
that some percentage of them were real).  After that you make bug
reporting easy, give out rather generous rewards for particularly
interesting bugs found, and rely on human nature to do the rest.

Again, the idea isn't to create a tattletale society, but one that
often feels it has an interest in telling you about the game they
are playing as regards possible bugs ___outside___ of any
internalised concept of fairness or "the right thing".

What if the Egg or customised heads in Habitat had been awarded for
juicy bugs found?

Consider Habitat's handling of the money machine arbitrage that
saturated the world with money.

> Example: If I get one million gold for selling my first mushroom
> to a troll in the mountains, does that make it a bug?  I would
> call it a fortunate incident.

Quite.  Just like the justice system it doesn't need constant
excercise, merely regular demonstration with a little human emotion
and reaction thrown in.

> I think it is rather naive to expect the average user to report
> such things.  

Yup.  I'd more expect to see newbie users doing noth, naieve users
religiously reporting that they are able to breathe as a bug (CYA),
and more experienced users (probably the only ones I'd regularly pay
attention to), to report only those things they found interesting or
which placed them at risk (if only thru the ease of attaining that

> (Of course, there may be people that report your features as bugs
> too!). I wonder if admins kick people out because they exploit
> things, or because the exploitations make the admins' possibly
> lacking design/coding abilities very visible! :^)


> Note 2: I rarely submit bug reports in general because it is
> troublesome, unless the MUD has a snappy bug command.  Besides,
> other people are likely to have done it already.  I don't like to
> do wasted work in my spare time.

Debian has a rather pleasant "reportbug" command.  Run it, it asks
you what the bug is on, and then presents you with a list of the
current bugs entered on that item.  You can read the bugs and do
nothing if what you found is a duplicate, or enter a new one.

Notice that a bug DB used in this way makes regular scanning of the
bug base for exploits a likely fastest way to get to the cheese.  

  Scan the DB.  Find a cheap way to do <whatever>.  Realise you can
do it without penalty.  Make hay while the sun shines.

I prefer this to such secrets being passed about on hobbiest web
sites and mailing lists.  This way I get to see them and their
effect on the world early in the cycle.

> Note 3: Some designers are inclined to call design flaws
> "bugs". It looks better to make typos than admitting that your
> ideas are unworkable... 

My ideas are rarely workable within the first few hundred

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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

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