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

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Nov 12 21:33:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

J C Lawrence wrote:
> 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.

I think all larger systems (and maybe smaller ones too) will have a number
of "explorers" that really want to get recognized by the admins and make
bug-hunting their purpose in the world.  It is admirable if users manage to
keep profitable bugs a secret for a long time, given the curiosity, envy,
group pressure to tell your friends (who tell their friends), and the
presence of such knowledgeable bug hunters. Some bugs may of course be more
complex to exploit and thus difficult to rediscover. I guess those are the
ones that might benefit from such rewards...

A design goal might be to create a system that encourage the propagation of
bug-knowledge to those hunter types.  Their affiliation and "toe-licking"
behaviour may of course not make them very popular by some players.

> 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.

This is basically the thing I object to, the negative focus which can be
seen in the non-humorous rules you are force-fed with on MUDs when you log
on for the first time. Not to say, that it is entirely without effect, but
it creates a negative attitude in me. And it might lead to the opposite of
what you want. If what is suggested from other fields such as driving make
sense for MUDs then making things dangerous encourage the daring to go even
further, and puts off those that never would have done it anyway.

Not to say that toasting somebody that keep crossing the line by a mile is a
bad idea.  If you toast somebody that is close to the line, then many of
inventive players I would have wanted to play with would feel uncomfy. There
is a major difference between feeling uncomfortable about the threats of the
world and feeling uncomfortable about the actions of the admins, but that's
obvious, or?

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

You would get a race of eggheads...

How about this: infiltrate the most hackish groups/guilds on your mud. Help
them out with minor crimes. When you see a major crime coming up, make sure
you have a snapshot of the system. Aid them in taking the system down.
Applaud. Send them a mail in which you tell them that you can tell from the
logs that what they did cause the server to go down, that you are sorry
about that, that you reward them for finding the bug and that you ask them
to not repeat that particular bug. (I am not liable for any damages that may
result from the application of the above mentioned method.)

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

I think the money was redistributed to all players, but he also wrote that
he didn't think this would have worked out with individualistic american

Farmer's general philosophy was to handle such things as a non-admin
character though.

[...using public bug DBs]
> I prefer this to such secrets being passed about on hobbiest web
> sites and mailing lists.

Such sites may be good for (sub) community building. It may be bad for the
same reason of course.

> My ideas are rarely workable within the first few hundred
> generations.

That's only a problem if you insist that it doesn't suck. *grin*

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