[MUD-Dev] grief players

S. Patrick Gallaty choke at sirius.com
Tue Jul 18 11:41:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Greg Miller <gmiller at classic-games.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs
> Well, yeah. Grief players (which is certainly more accurate than calling
> them killers) are all about socialization. Granted, it tends not to be
> the well-liked and respected elements of socialization, but it is
> socialization nonetheless.

I have always felt very strongly that the grief players I was dealing with
on my mud and on the games I played and tested were codependent on the
social atmosphere established by the more emotionally involved players.
Though they would invariably respond with a 'it's just a game' posture, and
cast aspersions on the people most upset by their disruption it was pretty
clear that they needed this sort of interaction - just based on what I saw
snooping conversations from PKs to their victims, and the PKs amongst
Rather than being 'about socialization', the grief players exploit the
environment of emotional involvement that the socializers have created.
I know this has been said before, but when I ignore my 3 year old long
enough he will go do something that's 'desperate' for his little universe.
Though he knows the consequence is chaotic, he also knows that he'll get
attention from it.  I've yet to meet a grief player who I felt was truly
accomplished at the game they were playing - more often it's a matter of
keeping up with the latest exploits so they can cause the greatest
disruption to the most vocal people.  Often I see my son in these grief
players, and though I feel for them and their needs - I can't justify the
magnified loss of enjoyment for people who would otherwise be contributing
to the game world in (albeit grossly subjective) positive ways.
Now, mind you - bartle says I am an EK.. which is true.  I don't have a lot
of pity for people in games who put themselves in harms way, but again - I
have no pity whatever for folks who break the rules to interfere with the
game.  Cause grief, sure - go for it and I hope the game has mechanisms to
make that intent 'add value' to the game, but you start cheating to do it
and I'll terminate them with extreme prejudice.

Woo, I am a long winded old fart today.

What I am getting at, is that the failure I see lately is less a matter of
the rising dominance of the grief player as much as it is a failure of game
design to incorporate mechanisms which force the grief players into a mode
that makes their effort contribute to the game rather than detract from it.
The grief player can't feed the need if there are no emotionally invested
players to prey off of, but once there are - the predatory minority that the
grief player is, and other types of players sometimes included with grief
players (straight competitive pvp types) adds a spice that I like to see in
my games.

Then again, I like hot foods.  =)

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