[MUD-Dev] Fair/Unfair? Scenarios (fwd)

Scatter scatter at thevortex.com
Sat Dec 18 22:22:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


"Quzah" <quzah at hotmail.com> wrote:
> From: Scatter <scatter at thevortex.com>
> > If there is a cave that people go in but never come out of, perhaps
> > there are npcs in nearby towns, inns or pubs who tell each other
> > tales of people who went missing that way.
> Curiosity killed the cat. The above is a "Bad Thing". 

I disagree - I think it's a good thing, and for exactly the same
reasons you give. :)

> Why? Because if you pique their interest, they will do it. If you 
> tell some one NOT to do something, there is a huge chance that they 
> will in fact do it. Especially in a MUD.

If you don't want people to do it, don't implement it. It shouldn't
be in the game if you never want people to go there. You must want
people to go there, or it become pointless. You just want them to
be aware that it might be dangerous before they do.

> Old Timer: "People that go up north dissapear, youngster! Stay
>             away from them there caves!"
> 
> Adventurer: "Hot damn, an adventure! I'll go see why people don't
>             come back from those caves! I'm a hero after all!"

Right! And the wise adventurer will then make appropriate preparations
before heading off to a place with such a fearsome reputation. If he
doesn't and dies, any complaint will be given short shrift by me.

>     "Below lies a den of fierce lions. You doubt you could survive."
> The command: "down"
> The result: DeathTrap. Lions ripped me to shreads. I was pissed.
> The reason: I like to explore. If there is a room, I'll go there.

A wise explorer might have invested in lion-repellant first? Nothing
personal, but my response to a complaint about this would be along
the lines of "given the dire warning, what precautions did you take?
None? Well, duh!"

> That was my first encounter with a "Death Trap". Simply put, I hate
> them. I am an explorer. I go places. Every place. Are their some
> occasions where they are appropriate? Sure. Once you have set the
> ground rules for the game. In my given situation, the death trap
> was "unfair". Why? Let's face it, we're talking typical CircleMUD
> here (at the time it was anyway), you die, it is no big deal. You
> walk out and get your stuff back.
> 
> A death trap steals that away from you. You can't get your stuff
> back when any time you enter the room you insta-die. That is in
> the given world "unfair".

But in this case, you get a dire warning that if you go down there
you will die. What gives you the expectation that you should be able
to come back as a shiny new freshly reincarnated naked person and
go down there to get your stuff without being killed?

I'd agree with you but for the warning.

> > If the path across the cliffs is crumbling away and dangerous,
> > its condition should be able to be inferred from its descriptions.
> >
> > The guideline I work by is that the wary, observant player should
> > be able to be not caught out by such things. It should be possible
> > for the player to work out that doing whatever it is could be
> > dangerous. That certainly doesn't mean that every player is going
> > to notice the warning signs, let alone heed them. But if a player
> > crys 'not fair, no warning' I want to be able to point to the
> > warning.
> In a typical diku, as per my above, with stock areas, the so
> called "warnings" are hardly realistic.

I agree. That's why I'm not writing a diku. =)

> All in all, you need--no REQUIRE--dynamic descriptions for muds.
> Text that models itself to the viewer. Degrees of difficulty must
> conform to the viewer, otherwise the warning is uneffective.

Agree 100%. If you want difficulty of something to be noticable from
the description, that element of the description needs to be dynamic
and reflect the ability of whoever is looking at it. Accordingly I 
have them implemented. 

> > With regard to these two, I wouldn't place specific warnings
> > about what kind of things are likely to happen. I would try to
> > place hints that a given area may be dangerous. I.e. not warning
> > the player that a group of bandits are lying in wait on a specific
> > road, but perhaps npc rumours that bandits are known to be in
> > the area.
> Which just serves to antagonize the would be hero. 

How do you mean, antagonize?

> Yes, warnings are great, however, they don't always work, but I 
> suppose they are at least there. 

Depends what you mean by 'work'. They won't always prevent a player
going somewhere too risky for them, but I don't see that as their
purpose. Their purpose is to warn, not to prevent.

> The worst case scenario you end up with is the
> player saying: "Well I'm the hero, I'm SUPPOSED to go there!"

If there are bandits there, chances are that they are there because
sooner or later a player hero is supposed to go there and clear
them out - or join them, or whatever. 

> To which you can reply: "No, stupid, you don't walk through the
> middle of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians! You 
> are a MORTAL!"

More or less. Or in this example, "and you're a novice warrior yet
you thought yourself hero enough to take on a whole gang of bandits?"

> > Surely if a battle royal was going on, the newbie should be able
> > to hear the sounds of battle before arriving in the middle of it?
> > This, to me, is sufficient warning!
> Nope. Consider the following:
>   : Welcome to SomeDamnMUD, enter your name:
>   : quzah
>   : Welcome Quzah, enter your password:
>   : *******
>   : MOTD
>   : Room description...
>   : <Massive melee ensues, slaughtering newbie>
>   : You have DIED!

This is an interesting possibility. Perhaps the login system should
behave a little more intelligently and, for example, allow the player
to view the location he's about to appear in before entering. Or,
choose a safer nearby location. If you only permit logging out in
specific locations, this is a non-problem also. 

--
Scatter ///\oo/\\\



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