[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Darrin Hyrup shades at mythicgames.com
Mon Jan 17 15:44:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

At 10:54 PM 1/14/00 -0800, Christopher Allen wrote:

>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.

Actually, that is quite common in commercial online service.  Especially
for games (like the Simutronics offerings given above) having originated on
services like GEnie and AOL, where permanently banning a customer from a
game is frowned upon.

>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.

I find that to be the case as well in most of our games as well.  However,
there are always a few who react in opposition to the norm, and the
bannings just encourage their anti-social behavior in (and sometimes out)
of game.  After the bans get longer and longer eventually these people are
permanently banned, and at that point either vanish, or start some kind of
grass-roots campaign to make the lives of the staff and players miserable
for having banned them to begin with.  On AOL its even worse when these
miscreants are account thieves and just come back with someone else's
account to continue their war on the games.  Even these people usually will
eventually disappear after 6 month or a year or so.

>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.

Many commercial games also have in-game tools to help convince problem
players to play by the rules... things like profanity filters/switches,
interaction probabations, chat/message filters, etc.  Permanent banning is
the last option available, and is generally the least used.

>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?

I know that Everquest has a duration ban policy as well.  Although it
depends on what the player is being banned for.  In most cases, if the
player is being unruly in the game, they are warned, and with enough
warnings they get a temporary ban.  After which, to return to the game they
have to send a letter to the game administration convincing them of their
redemption.  However, they have an immediate permanent ban policy on client
hacking and major bug abuse, no questions asked.  Pretty brutal in fact.

I have no idea how they deal with problem players in Ultima Online or
Asheron's Call, however I bet they have something similar.  (I have never
even heard of anyone being banned in AC yet, but then again it is a fairly
new MMPG still.)


Darrin Hyrup
Mythic Entertainment

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

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