[MUD-Dev] distributed objects

Charles Hughes charles.hughes at bigfoot.com
Tue Feb 15 23:24:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Tuesday, February 15, 2000 7:51 PM, Caliban Tiresias Darklock 
[SMTP:caliban at darklock.com] wrote:
> Charles Hughes wrote:
> >
> > In a normal game, such a system ("cheat all you want...") is not
> > possible.
> What the hell is a "normal game"?

Well, in this context, a game where the use of a cheat provides a
player with an advantage - I don't have much experience with games
which do not provide an advantage to cheaters.  (Even my own game
provides an advantage, albeit temporary.)

> Seriously, my game works under just such a system: if you find a bug,
> USE THE HELL OUT OF IT. If you *report* it, I'll fix it, and you'll get
> your name in the credits.

Sorry, I snipped too much previous text from my post - I was trying not
to repeat the message I was replying to.  The method of fixing bugs
which you describe is not cheating - you explicitly allow it.  One
portion that you snipped was "cheat all you want, it won't help you"
from the previous poster.  Cheating does in fact help in normal games
until such time as the player is punished for cheating.  Even then,
the punishment may not fit the crime - the player may have gotten
more from cheating than the punishment took away.  (I'll admit my
suggestion to make the game level the playing field for lucky/cheating
and unlucky players suffers from a similar flaw but of a much smaller
magnitude I believe.)  In your game, it's not cheating to exploit a

> The dynamic which emerges is peculiarly effective. When players are
> using the hell out of a bug and not worried about being caught (because,
> after all, it's NOT against the rules), the bug starts to stick out like
> a turd in a punchbowl. This means I can find it and fix it. However,
> it's hard to keep bugs secret anyway, so news of the bug spreads like
> wildfire. Even if it doesn't get to me by osmosis, someone will report
> it -- maybe because they find this sort of "cheating" offensive, maybe
> because they can't do it themselves for some reason and are jealous,
> maybe just because they're vain and want their name in the credits. A
> reasonably common sequence is for someone to find a bug, use the hell
> out of it for personal gain, tell their allies so they can use it, and
> then report it so it will be fixed before their adversaries can use it
> too much.

I would say that you are correct most of the time.  In smaller muds this
would not necessarily be true.  (A useful bug can be exploited for a long
time without discovery by someone who is determined not to reveal it -
PKers and solo players come to mind.)

> The end result, in all cases, is that the bug gets found and fixed.
> Strangely, while this method virtually always works, virtually no one
> uses it... preferring to institute policies where people who abuse bugs
> are punished. Human nature being what it is, this doesn't work too well.
> ;)

I agree.  I'd vastly prefer that the programmers were punished for leaving
the bug in (or active after being reported), rather than punishing the
players for exploiting it.  We are, unfortunately, in a very small

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