[MUD-Dev] distributed objects

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Tue Feb 15 19:10:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Tue, 15 Feb 2000 18:40:06 -0500 
Charles Hughes <charles.hughes at bigfoot.com> wrote:

> In a normal game, such a system ("cheat all you want...") is not
> possible.

What is your definition of "normal"

  -- Is the definition of the game to achieve certain goals thru the
use of only pre-defined methods, or authorised manipulations of
those methods?

Or

  -- Is the game the provisioning of a base set of mechanics (the
game world and server mechanics) within a larger context of
mechanics (RL), and the accomplishment of goals within that
arrangement?

The first demands some level of active cooperation from the players
in sustaining the fantasy.  The latter is a free-for-all where
running smurf attacks against other players and hacking their
clients, network connections, bank accounts, etc are all "fair play"
(modulo RL legal systems).

I'd argue that there is a sliding scale here with few to no hard
drawn lines or end points.  The more this discussion continues (this
is not its firt time on the lsit) the more I come to the view that
the analytical divide needs to be made cleanly at the VR/RL divide.
The game provides certain mechanics.  Anything possible within those
mechanics, as they are ___implemented___, is "permissable".
Manipulation of out of band data for in-game benefits (eg DoS
attacks against other players) is not permissable.

Now, for say a particular game (eg StoryTelling, RP, etc), you may
further restrict the available in-game mechanics to a smaller set
than are actually implemented, but the initial divide, the initial
base set of what you will accept players doing, always starts at the 
VR/RL divide.

This is akin to the OOC/IC divide but is actually not the same.  The
OOC/IC divide is closer to being a subset of the VR/RL divide.

> would have to keep track of how successful/lucky the player is.
> If the player is unlucky, the computer would give hidden bonuses
> to the player until he has a more normal luck distribution.  The
> converse is also true.  Really lucky players would start getting
> hidden penalties.  Now, what does this have to do with cheating?
> Since most people will cheat to better themselves, the game will
> simply work against their 'phenomenal' run of luck - the harder
> they cheat, the worse it will be for them.

Ooooh!  I could do really nasty things with that.  I already have
all the basic implemented (cf prior discussions of "probability
fields"), I just need to add trend tracking.

> Of course, *I* have never done anything like this in my games, and
> I'll deny having written this if any of my players ever finds
> out. :)

Quite right.

--
J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--


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