[MUD-Dev] RE:Troublemakers and their M.O.

Aaron Leslie silrathi at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 29 09:45:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Justin Rogers issued this challenge:

 > ...give me concrete times where you have to ban instead of implementing a
 >bit of code (not just or that one person, because you can make it general for
the next butt nugget).

I'll pick up that gauntlet, and hopefully you can offer some suggestion we
haven't seen as yet.

One of the characteristics of the truely annoying player is that they don't much
care _how_ they are being annoying, just
so long as somebody is annoyed by them.  Being silenced just means he's done his
job for the day.  Being put in hell is merely
an excuse to go annoy people on another mud till his sentence is up.  Being
slayed is a source of constant amusement (as
perhaps it should be).  Upon being frozen they just hold down their enter key,
spamming immortals with log reports as they get
booted off the mud for spamming entries and then reconnecting.

For their own defense you give the rest of the players the ability to 'ignore'
them.  They can not be heard on any channel, public or private, so the annoying
one takes to writing notes on the public boards.  Easily solved, ban him from
the boards.  So he
takes to changing his 'look title' (what others see when they enter a room with
him).   You can't make him completely invisible
for a couple of reasons: A)Other players will have discussions with him on
public channels, in which case the party that is
ignoring him will only get half the conversation.  B)It gives him the power to
_seriously_ affect the gameplay of others since
being ignored means he can steal from them, attack them, or assist the mobs they
are fighting without being seen.  The player
won't stop being annoying, any promise or attempt to 'shape up' is just a sham
he puts on to avoid being banned while he
waits for another really juicy chance to piss someone off.

Where do you go from here?  All of the standard dikuesque punishments have
failed, and worse, backfired when you learn
that his quieter moments are actually the result of his characters being played
by friends (who are actually decent sorts) and
you have punished them harshly for something relatively minor, thinking they had
priors on the offense.  These guys also log
from each other's ip's, so keeping track of just who is doing what becomes a
project all of it's own.

What alternatives to banning can you suggest in a case like this, a case far to
common in my experience.

Aaron Leslie

"I am not now, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing about in any  |  "All
that glitters is not gold"
way the social or political equality  of the white and black races."
|                    -Bilbo Baggins
silrathi at harbornet.com                    -Abraham Lincoln, 1858  |
silrathi at yahoo.com

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