[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players - dark ages game solutions

S. Patrick Gallaty choke at sirius.com
Thu Jul 13 10:57:10 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Greg Miller <gmiller at classic-games.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 3:07 AM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

> This is at least partially addressed if you use an introduction system.
> My curse system that started this thread would be subject to this same
> problem were it applied to a system without introductions.

This is another one of my irregular scouting reports on various online
games.  This one seems to fit the timing of this recurring discussion.

I played with the online graphical game 'Dark Ages' (www.darkages.com) for a
bit, and found it uses a very nice system of internal policing that seems
both able to allow enforcement and checks on player abuse.  Some of their
mechanisms are curse-like, others introduction-like.

The mechanisms it employs are :

1) invitation
To become a member of any guild, one must find a player who is willing to
'invite' you into the guild.  This works better than any name-filter could.
There are simply no players with offensive stupid names.  Noone's willing to
put it on their record that they initiated 'pussydong' into the warrior

2) initiation
There are great rewards for 'mentoring' younger players.  This is the
formative stage of the new player, and during this phase they get
hand-me-downs, experience bonus and benefits from their guild for being
sponsored by a mentor.

3) democracy
The political positions of Mayor and Sheriff are both elected positions in
every town.  These positions have the ability to set and repeal laws, to
enforce law with discretion and other duties related to law and the
enforcement of law.  The law in each town is discreet, and so being a
lawbreaker in 'A' doesn't affect you in 'B' unless they choose to.  Some
towns however had laws that you could not enter if you were banished
anywhere else, but I saw this only once.

4) recognition and citizenship
To participate in elections, and to have the power to report misdeeds in a
town one must be an 'upstanding citizen' of that town.  Thus, when visiting
a town, you are very much an outsider.  Some town services are not open to
outsiders.  Your outsider status is immediately recognizable by others.
It's a mark of accomplishment to be a citizen of something other than the
newbie city.

5) consequence
It's possible through misdeed and misbehaviour to end up being 'banished'
from a city temporarily.  It's possible by antagonizing people sufficiently
to become outcast, and unable to ever enter a particular city again.
Banished people can be invited back into the city by an 'upstanding citizen'
presumably for the purpose of trial etc.

6) accountability
All of the political and social actions you take go into your Bio, which is
stored.  If you look at a player's Bio you see their history of
accomplishments and misdeeds.  A bio might look like this :

01/01 Born
01/02 Sponsored into warrior guild by <name>
01/03 Defeated monster <x>
01/03 Completed quest <y>
01/04 Accepted as pupil to mentor <name>
01/05 Banished from town <name> for lawbreaking.
01/06 Achieved journeyman status. (level 12)
and so forth

The boon here is anyone considering you can get a quick summary of your
past.  There's nothing quite like accountability to cool the heels of somone
who intends to be a troublemaker.

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