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

Sellers Sellers
Thu Mar 30 11:06:21 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Kevin Scott wrote:
> 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.

This is a good example of the kind of thing I'd like to explore: as a
player's nuisance value increases, decrease their ability to do *anything*
in the world.  You can think of this as luck, or karma.  

The practical application of this is to track things like how many other
players have muted you, how many guilds have expelled you, how many notices
you've received from admins, etc., and keep a (slowly decaying)
heap-o-bad-luck number that both limits your abilities in the world (e.g.,
you just don't fight as well as you used to, you can't shout at all any
more, and eventually you can't trade with others or even change your desc),
and increases the chance of failure for anything you do try.  Ramping this
up effectively would have to be carefully balanced of course, but I think it
could be done to the point that even a "The gods frown upon you" type
message could be an effective deterrent to further annoying behavior.  

The key here is to hit the annoyance player where they live, without making
their "punishment" an irrevocable failure state (as is banning).  If someone
is acting pissy one day and suddenly they notice their spells are all
misfiring, they'll pretty quickly get the message and shape up.  Others
won't, but if the straitjacket tightens as they struggle, their ability to
annoy anyone but themselves will decrease rather than increase.

Of course they can go get another character or even another account, but the
methods for forestalling that are beyond the scope of this discussion.  And
of course, some people you'll inevitably have to ban.  There's really no
getting around that -- even Disneyworld ejects people every day.  

> Ok so nusiance didn't work and we are back to ban, 

Why didn't it work?  Was it ineffective or did the nuisance players find
ways around it?  
> 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.  [...]

Sounds good.  Even with banning, having an array of options open to the
admin is a good thing.  Like having tac-nukes instead of just city-busters.

Mike Sellers

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