[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Greg Miller gmiller at classic-games.com
Sun Jul 23 13:57:48 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


  JCL wrote:

> On Sun, 23 Jul 2000 13:09:48 +0100 (BST) 
> Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
> 
> > The reason why what we call democracy works is that it gives
> > nobody enough power that their mistakes really mess up the system.
> 
> Its worth noting that Democracy does not prevent (and can actively
> encourage) the Tragedy of the Commons, as Brazil and several others
> can testify.  Majority rule is easily turned, especially with media
> cooperation, into institutionalised aristocracies.  Again, look at
> various parts of the second and third world for examples.

Indeed, but it's overall the best system we've been able to develop. The 
biggest advantage we have when working with a mud is that we can adjust 
the reality to play to the strengths of democracy, capitalism, and their 
relatives and attempt to gloss over their weaknesses. A good example 
would be the recent discussion on how to make an ecology survive 
players. We couldn't do any of that stuff with the real world. :)

> >From a MUD perspective there is another problem with such governing
> systems:  the feedback loops are inherently flawed.  IRL we have to
> live with what we create.  In MUDs the player can (and do) just get
> up and leave.  The kill all the sheep and now the dragons are peeved 
> and are toasting players like marshmallows?  Well,  if the game is
> not fun in that marshamallow state, if it is not just as playable in 
> that condition as it is in the sheep-herder condition, why should
> any player stay to try and reverse or alter the condition?  Why not
> just go to another game?

Yes... but caring less is not the same as not caring at all. This leads 
to a reduction of effectiveness rather than an elimination of it.

>   a) low level players have no effective method of avoidance or
> defense without rendering the game unplayable/not-fun.
> 
>   b) There is no spread of goals/activities for low level players
> that either does not lead them into direct conflict or contact with
> high level players, or which are enjoyable in their own right (mix
> the Stamp Collector's Dilemma with basic game requirements).
> 
>   c) low level players are rewarding targets for higher level
> players, even if not in in-game returns (this is a human problem,
> not a game problem).  

There's also another issue. Even if you can PK the guy, is it worth the 
effort of hunting him down? What if he's just really, really good at 
running? That was one of the key reasons for the curse system mentioned 
in the title. I wanted something that favored only numbers rather than 
levels and hit both sides with some unpleasantness. As the saying goes, 
the only way to win is not to play. It also provides an opportunity for 
a player to gain the satisfaction of revenge without really causing huge 
amounts of harm.
--
http://www.classic-games.com/              http://www.indie-games.com/
Smarter than God? No, but I'm smarter than he was when he was my age.
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