[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Lovecraft dave at darkages.com
Fri Jan 28 13:14:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Geoffrey A. MacDougall wrote:
> Re: Lovecraft's last posting:
> One that particularly drew my attention was "It is very uncouth to yell
out 'Has > everyone given support?'"  This leads me to believe that you've
had some
> problems with players who didn't really care about representing the
> of their fellow Aislings, but were simply concerned with obtaining extra
> powers - i.e., another form of levelling.

Yes.  Demagogues (entry level player politicians) made it illegal to
campaign to the point of harassment (see law boards in Mileth or Rucesion).
Some players campaign on the village road by the political hall, which is
acceptable.  There is a specified political discussion board.  Political
campaign posts on other boards, if deemed too much, are deleted by the

First I chose volunteer admins, but I found it corrupt and trying.  When I
chose volunteer admins (Nexus The Kingdom of the Winds: www.nexustk.com),
they had the same interests.  Interestingly enough, these "candidates" that
sought my appointment treated the process as a game, too.  In Dark Ages, I
gave it formal game mechanics.   Again, my goal has been to require the
politician to continue to work to retain power.  Commonly, a volunteer admin
gets power and keeps it forever unless removed.

> And, based upon the assumption that people wouldn't repeatedly send out
> such inquiries unless they were, to a certain degree, successful - that
> players throw away their "votes" without the due care and attention you're
> system tries to foster.  I realize there is always going to be the bad
with the
> good, et al. that... but I was wondering if reducing the frequency of
> thereby increasing the value of each decision, would lead people to treat
> process with greater respect?

It would, but it's a matter of degree.  It makes each vote more valuable,
but it doesn't change the voter's decision.  A voter swayed by a bribe or
other unsavory qualities is still swayed.  Voting every day happens to be
convenient to remember, rewards those that care the most, because they are
present everyday, and allows for partial voting.  Partial voting, I believe,
is important.  We are not 1s and 0s.  Our opinions are not, either.

> Lovecraft wrote:
> > What is an example system that is less corrupt than the tyranny of the
> > majority?

> An incorruptable and authoritarian AI hooked up to an everlasting power
> supply that is programmed to listen to and evaluate every possible point
> view on every possible issue, and make decisions that maximize the well-
> being of every person alive by ensuring that equal distibution of both
> and security is balanced with unheralded levels of social and scientific
> progress, all the while maintaining the prime directive that all forms of
> are to be protected and cherished at both the individual and collective
> levels. :)

*laughs* Though absurd, it's very helpful.  It's something one can attempt
to measure, just as one can attempt to measure economic utility.  I disagree
with the adjective "authoritarian".  I believe you'd agree that if such a
dream machine were made that met all these requirements except wasn't
authoritarian, it'd be no less perfect.

A healthy economic system approaches this.  I.e., goods supplied tending to
meet demands.  Politics are held to the same standard as other goods and
services; except by authoritarian politicians.

I'm not a programmer; I wrote politics in a very limited custom script
language (i.e. less powerful than BASIC), so I haven't been able to realize
any economics beyond the distribution of politicians, which roughly matches
the population's need for politicians (see Political Discussion boards
outside each village's Hall).  The proportion of officials to citizens is

> Do you provide each village with an initial slant, i.e., "you guys are the
> ones", or is every village free to start from scratch?  If the latter, do
> villages eventually pursue vastly distinctive political philosophies, or
do they
> all start to resemble one another?

Subtly.  Each village looks and feels different.  Mileth is rustic; Rucesion
is urban.  The background music, NPCs, and goods are unique.

Players, though, defined it when Rucesion was first offered for settlement
 http://www.darkages.com/news/990826.html ).  Most Rucesion settlers didn't
like the bustle of Mileth.  They wanted more role-playing and more
seclusion.  In-game and out-of-game some settlers coordinated.  They settled
Rucesion and wrote the laws around their goals.

> Do, and if so, how do people rebel against these "dictatorial" acts?
> have you ever gone back on a decision when faced with a huge outcry?  Do
> you ever put your opinion as to what "should" happen above that of the
> players?

No.  I use them rarely and only when necessary for the community's benefit.
I've done it about three times in a year.

I always go back on a decision when faced with a huge outcry.  Fortunately,
I've improved my prediction of outcries.  In fact, I usually don't act
unless I can feel a consensus.  I fee

In beta testing I put my players' opinion as to what "should" happen above
the market of potential players.  I had the luxury and job to choose my
testers, so I chose real role-players.  I severely regret it.  In testing I
unwittingly encouraged elitism and snobbery, which is finally dissolving,
several months later.  While I love real role-playing, I saw something akin
to genocide begin to develop when encouraging its enforcement.  Most real
role-players role-played.  Some elitists (not better or worse at
role-playing) grabbed power and declared those that didn't grovel
non-roleplayers.  As mentioned in the last post, my hard-line on all
political corruption alleviates this form of corruption.

Dave Kennerly
Dark Ages Director

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

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