[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Thu Jul 13 13:17:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


>   Marc Bowden wrote:
> > --On Wednesday, July 12, 2000 10:03 +0100 Scatter 
> >   The method I prefer lies in setting up the player population with 
> > their own police force, where the power to arrest or confine lies. The 
> > leadership of this militia selects, regulates, and promotes their own 
> > members. An officer (wizard) is assigned to test and promote members 
> > applying to be leaders.
> >   Of course, I'm a list oddball, and tend to social engineering instead 
> > of code-and-earmuffs solutions. =)
> 
> I try to minimize hardcoded social structures, but I suspect this would 
> work rather well.

	I have seen this attempted on a large number of sites, mainly free
text muds.  I say attempted because it certainly wasn't any sort of
success.  I'll overlook for the moment the idea that players;

- have no vested personal stake in the system, baring the time they've put
	in on their character.
- may be an unstable population insofar as coverage areas, login times, etc.
- may not have the ability to stop many offenses.
- would rather play a game than run it.
- will eventually figure out they're being the unpaid, underendowed
	militia of your game (Most online commercial games actually hire
	and pay people do to this sort of work!)

	Aside from all that, I think one reason is simply the way nepotism
works in online communities.  In each of the systems I've seen above, they
start out working well.  Over time though it suddenly degrades to factions
- each with their own proponents, and each with a fan/wannabe suckup
-base.  I've seen a few muds go down because in the the end, the entire
player base started taking sides and a few of them got vindictive over
percieved slights.  More often though, the mud becomes 'clic'ish, as the
group(s) supresses the rest - not out of fairness, but out of personal
like or dislike.  This sort of thing alienates current players, and
potentially turns away new players. 

	Of all of it though, the worst is simply that players cannot be
trusted.  Let me rephrase that;

	"A player does not have the correct position, attitude, and desire
to allow them to be trusted to work for the game, as opposed to working
for the people who play it."

	The admin are there for the game.  The game is there for the
people.  The people are there for themselves.  Best to keep these
seperate.

	As a designer, I want my game to be enjoyable, and to appeal to my
focus group, and to continue to excel at those two points over time.

	As a player, I want my +40 weapon of destruction, my +50 armor of
divine protection, to be able to overcome any adversary, own all the money
in the game, and be known as a powerful entity to all the other gamers. 
Gathering other abilities, like jail/arrest is done out of a motivation
for more power and recoginition.  This may not be true in all cases, but I
doubt that most people play online games for the chance to act in an
altruistic manner for others.  Especially if they have to pay for that
chance.

	What this comes down to, is that I want to be able to enforce and
regulate though code first, and people second.  If I do have to turn to
people, I will never pick a player.  Better to turn to a magic eight ball.
At least it will be subjective.

	I would be very interested in a proper long term evaluation of a
player-maintained abuse management system.  I just can't forsee it
working. 
	
PjD




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