bugs (was RE: [MUD-Dev] players who "take away from the game")

Ilya Ilya
Fri Nov 12 13:25:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Fri, 12 Nov 1999 20:55:59 +0000, Mik Clarke wrote:

))"Sellers, Michael" wrote:
))> Because it's a work in progress, and because bug fixes don't happen
))> instantly.  I guess I take the attitude that the player is not doing EXACTLY
))> what he or she is supposed to if he or she takes advantage of every 
))> bug/feature they find in the game -- especially if they've been told or
))> could reasonably assume that some action or result was a bug.  At that
))> point, the game isn't about playing in the game-world any more, it's about
))> exploiting the cracks in the game programming.  If you as a player want to
))> have a game to play in, you need to play in the context of the game, and not
))> in the meta-context of "hey look what kinds of unreasonable results I can
))> get because of the insufficiency of the game programmers."  If that's really
))> the context players want to use, then I as an admin would have no qualms 
))> all about doing a server-wipe every time we fixed a bug.  Ah, but suddenly
))> the players don't like that option so much...
))Here's a case from CthulhuMud, we screwed up the definition of a mob so
))that it was rediculously easy to kill.  Clearly a bug, as we know how
))tough the mob is meant to be.  If a random player walks along, kills it and
))gets a lot of xps, how are they meant to know that it is NOT supposed to be
))that easy to kill? (and, in fact, should have killed the player fairly
))Greated, exploiting known bugs that they have been told not to use
))should be punishable, but punishing them for doing something they do not 
))cannot) know is wrong is not on.

I would propose rather that there be no punishment whatsoever for exploiting 
bugs, known or unknown.  Just reward those who report them, and give a really 
big reward (for situations where this makes sense) to those who provide the 

My first real boss in computing was named Lyn Hardy.  He had many 
distinctions, for me, and though it has been over twenty years since I worked 
for him, I remember him well.  I expect he has forgotten me, but that's ok.  He 
wrote two fantasy novels that I enjoyed (master of the five magics and a 
sequel) and was a great guy, now retired.

Anyway, he related to me what had turned out to be a very successful policy 
for the computing department of a local university.   Turns out you could 
basically get a free A in a computing course if you were the first to find and 
document any specific security problem.  That school ended up with a very 
tight security system, with all the hacker-type students running around 
breaking their butts trying to find as-of-yet-unreported security holes!

I figure this could have its reasonable adaptation here too, and relieve admins 
everywhere of the ugly burden of locating and punishing offenders.

  Ilya, Game Commandos     http://www.gamecommandos.com     

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

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