[MUD-Dev] Introduction System

Eli Stevens wickedgrey at wickedgrey.com
Fri Jul 14 01:32:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "J C Lawrence" <claw at kanga.nu>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2000 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Introduction System

> On Thu, 13 Jul 2000 20:40:16 -0700
> Bruce  <bruce at puremagic.com> wrote:
> > J C Lawrence wrote:
> >> > I'm considering storing this in an SQL DB.
> >>
> >> That's one approach.  Some of the points you'll want to consider
> >> are:
> > Another approach might be to store this information on the client
> > side, for those of us cursed/blessed with having a client.  No
> > real reason that the server has to know about this stuff is there?
> Excellent point, especially as there's no need for it to be trusted
> data so the generic problem of never trusting the client isn't an
> issue.

I must respectfully differ.  While there I do not see any danger in a single
player having another players "true name" (be it an account/character pair,
an ID number, whatever it is that uniquely identifies that player), storing
the data on the client side would allow two players to compare notes.  Since
they have the true name for the player, they can confirm that the Scary
Ghost is in fact Old Man Whuthers, who runs the old movie theater.  And he
would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those durn script kids!
</bad Scooby example>

Of course, if you can devise a system to do this without using a true name,
then this would not be a problem, but...  I don't really see any way to do
so (anyone care to enlighten?).  To me it seems elementary: identifying
something positively is impossible unless you have a unique identifier.
Unless you could devise a system that identified each player uniquely both
with respect to the identified player AND the identifying player (my key for
Buffy and Boffo's key for Buffy are different)...  Or would that put you
back where this question started: storing the info on the server...

Perhaps the server could mangle the true name before sending it to the
client, and just insure that it will be mangled the same way every time (but
differently on a per-player basis)?  But any algorithmic mangling could be
reversed engineered to the original state...  PGP offers one way encryption,
maybe it might be of use or inspiration?  And at that point, would it be
truly economical to still store the data client side (not a rhetorical
question, as the mangled true name could be easily cashed, allowing many
changes by the client without bothering the server, etc)?  Hmm.  Each
disguise for a player would have to mangle the true name differently...

Perhaps I should find a different corner to think myself into?  ;)

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