[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Fri Jul 14 12:51:44 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Fri, 14 Jul 2000, Greg Miller wrote:
>   Patrick Dughi wrote:
> > 	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.
> The way I see it, I'm designing my game for the players, and I leave it 
> to their opinions what is and is not acceptable behavior. If I were 
> designing more for myself, I'd agree with you.
	Yes, but you're putting your system at the mercy of your players.
While that may work in a utopian world - oddly enough - your game system
is in the real world.  

	If your players said that they'd like to all have equipment that
could slay any character in the game, or infinite life, or etc, then you'd
give it to them?  By the same token, if the majority of people don't like
someone, then they get to boot him, or at least affect him immediately in
a negative way?  Players need an unshakable, outside of their control
system inorder to enjoy the game as a fair, and reasonable system. 

	This is why games like monopoly come with rules.  It's suddenly a
boring game if every player can make interest free loans.  I'm sure you've
done something like this as a kid - and I'll be you never fininshed the
game.  It suddenly became very stupid.  More mature people can play the
game through because they all agree to abide by the rules.  Of course,
players of muds though do not have to pass any sort of maturity test.
Heck, with luck, my cat could create a new player and login to most muds.

	So, what would an immature person do in a game?  They fulfill
their immediate wants with very little regard to long term effects, and
most of the time, without regard to even short term effects, especially if
it's only affecting someone else. 

	Even if you can isolate the elements which you believe represent
the attitude and focus you give them, and allow them power, you're just
giving someone babysitting priveleges.  In effect, they're already an
admin, except now they have the temptation and ability to affect the
game in a way that is advantagous to to theirselves and their friends.

> > 	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. 
> And I can't forsee an admin-run system working well. I've certainly 
> never seen one in practice that wasn't based around the "common enemy" 
> principle of multisided PK muds.

	Admin's are just like players, except they insert the phrase "the
players will like this", infront of everything that they shouldn't be
doing.  Oddly, I find most admins on most muds are also the most avid
players, which I find as a severe conflict of interests.  It doesn't
surprise me though when I find out they control the most powerful players.

	It's never surprising what potential total knowledge of a game
will do for your playing. 

	What I'd like to see is some sort of underlying automatic system;
be it NPC guards and judges, or spamming detectors, etc.  We'll still need
someone to regulate it of course; few automatic systems are 100% self
reliant.  This is where a non-player admin comes in.  You'd want to have
as few of them as possible of course, keeping the majority of the
functionality in your automatic system.  If your system is very complete,
perhaps just one person could run it all, and that could be you, which
would be the ideal goal.

	I still have yet though, to examine the system that was referenced
earlier.  I'm curious to see how that works.  I have problems not
prejudging it though.  I can't believe that any system who's primary
customers are in the same age group (at least maturity level) as those
concerned with buying beer with fake ID's, and figuring out when the vice
principal is coming so they don't get caught smoking in the bathroom is
capable of it for more than a half year.

	Not that teenagers can't be mature, mind you.  Just that it's the
exception, rather than the rule.  This goes double when they're just
trying to have fun (playing your game).


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