[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Christopher Allen ChristopherA at skotos.net
Fri Jan 14 22:54:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

"Dundee" <SkeptAck at antisocial.com>:
> Would this be an appropriate forum to seek advice on how to handle an
> "incident" recently which has included, so far, name-calling on a message
> board, toading of a player, resignation of the mud hosts (without warning
> less, *poof* mud is gone) and still, apparently, continues on with friends
> the player who was banned seeking "support" from other players to demand
> apology from the admin.  Whom, as far as I can tell, is prepared to
> when hell freezes over and the sun turns to dust.
> Most of our players are scratching their heads wondering what happened,
> since we're not saying, their only source of information is the toad's
> friends - somewhat one-sided.
> So, I would like to explain what happened, and what's happening now, and
> advice on how we should handle the whole matter.
> But I want to make sure that's appropriate for this mailing list, first.

Obviously since your message was passed on to the list without comment, the
list admin wasn't striking your topic out of hand. But first I want to say I
*really* appreciate you asking.

Though I'm interested in the human dymanics of your question, I'm prefer not
to see the specifics of it hashed out too much on this list. I'd prefer to
see this continue to be a more mud development focused list.

However, if you want to exposit some general issues of how admins might deal
with incidents, ask questions about what kinds of policies different muds
use, or what the definition of "banning" means, I'd be more open to that.

I'll open with something intriguing that I heard recently.

Gemstone & DragonRealms are commercial muds with over 30,000 paying users.
They are very fast to warn someone who violates their rules, whether by
using curse words in the game, using OOC info for IC vendettas, etc. If
someone receives too many warnings, they are banned. However, unlike most
muds, they are banned only for a temporary amount of time, typically a week
or a month.

Here is the surprising statement -- they said that people who have been
banned multiple times (i.e. many warnings, a ban, many warning again,
another ban, etc.) are almost always redeemable. They say in almost all
cases the person if the person doesn't quit due to the temporary ban, they
will eventually shape up, and can become a responible gamer.

Obviously they have an incentive to keep players since they are a pay MUD.
However, they are quite adamant that anti-social players will turn eventualy
around. One of the consequences of this is that they never publish the lists
of the people who are banned, and GMs can be dismissed for revealing that
someone has been banned to the victim of the incident. This sometimes
results in complaints from victims asking if the perpetrator was punished or

I find that this is opposite of the way most free MUDs work -- when someone
is banned, they are banned forever. If someone is known for not following
whatever the rules are in a mud (player killing, cursing, or whatever) they
are expected that they will never follow the rules.

Anyone find their statement about redeemable to be true to their experience?
Any free MUDs have similar policies? How about commercial games like Ultima
and Everquest -- are bans permanent there?

.. Christopher Allen                                 Skotos Tech Inc. ..
..                           1512 Walnut St., Berkeley, CA 94709-1513 ..
.. <http://www.Skotos.net>               o510/649-4030  f510/649-4034 ..

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