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

Kevin Scott London london at cs.utk.edu
Thu Mar 30 10:46:19 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Wed, 29 Mar 2000, Aaron Leslie wrote:

> 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.

I think there are several ways you can deal with the problem player
without going to a total ban of the site.  I have implemented several
measures in smaug that go beyond the standard diku punishment scheme.  The
problem I see is you have several types of players and you have to deal
with them according to their "personality", an example is the eq player,
the eq player spends their whole time bettering their eq, making new chars
to amass an army, etc... They are the easiesit to control, a slay/purge or
destroying one of their characters (We use balzhur which sets them to
level 2 and destroys their equipment), it usually enough to punish this
type and keep them from doing things again.  Of course the above example
is in an extreme case, I wouldn't just destroy the char because they
spammed channels once.    The next type of character enjoys roleplaying
and doesn't care about the eq, the best way to deal with them is silence,
removing social type skills from them because that is what they care
about, the final player doesn't care about any of those things and is the
hardest to deal with, I have come up with the following scheme to deal
with those players:

  On Realms of Despair, I wrote a code called nuisance, you can set it for
a certain power level and a time it will last.  The code then picks a
time to reach the power level so that the sentance gets progressively
worse.  Some of the things it does at the highest level is, messes up your
commands, you type chat Hey guys  and a percentage of the time you get
Huh? depending on the power level set this could be occasionaly or up to
90% of the time, it adds delays to simulate lag, makes you cast defensive
spells on your opponent and offensive spells on yourself, and many more
small "nuisances".  This type of punishment usually discourages a player
and they leave, however a true problem player will just make another
character.  To that you can use delay to make it look like he/she is
lagged and this is often enough to get them to go to another place.

  Ok so nusiance didn't work and we are back to ban, I rewrote ban to be a
bit more flexible.  First it has a warn level, which won't ban an IP but
send a log to a warn channel that x has just logged in from that IP.
Which allows you to watch the individual and step in before he/she makes
too much of an ass of themself.  Then I added levels on the bans (or maybe
that is standard diku, been so long since I rewrote the code I can't
remember) and timeframes.  So when I ban a place I tend to ban it at level
1 which will prevent any new characters from being made while allowing the
old players access, and then ban it for 2 days.  After 2 days is up, the
ban is removed automatically and sometimes the process starts again.  I
have found a newbie ban for 2-5 days is 95% effective in preventing the
problem player.  They may be back, but they are so used to be banned for
30+ days they normally don't return soon and when they do you can always
ban the site for a couple more days.  If they have high level characters
that get by the ban, that is when it becomes appropriate to destroy those
characters.
Kevin London




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