[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Mon Jul 24 11:05:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Mon, 24 Jul 2000, John Buehler wrote:

> Jon A. Lambert
> Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 2:26 AM
> >Yum.  So do I.  However, I like to wrap it up in the trappings of 
> >a democracy.   Allow players to vote on everything but never 
> >get around to implementing the ideas you don't like.  Fake the voting
> >with mule characters on the bread and circus ideas, or your pet ideas.  
> >Ask for their opinions but then ignore them, unless it fits in with 
> >your plans.  And finally give them full credit and acclamation for 
> >suggesting ideas you may have planned for many moons or have planted 
> >in their heads via mule characters.  The trick is to make the players 
> >believe they run the mud.  
>   This is one of the most detestable posts I've ever read.  You're
> advocating treating your customers like idiots, manipulating them
> without any respect.  This may be 'practical', but it caters to a
> weak, manipulative admin whose lies will eventually be discovered
> and players will again be alienated.

	I have news for you, this is how the real world works.

	That's because in this world, filled with to-be-jerry springer
'guests', and generations of kids growing up with a media-induced need for
larger-than life angst, there are still intelligent people out there, and
they do alot of work _for_ (not against) the less observant people. 

	Sadly, they're in the minority.  Worse, many of the intelligent
people are lazy.  They'd rather be mislead, knowing they're being mislead
than deal with the reality of it.  I guess this point could be debated,
but experience shows it to be true enough.

	That's why we have games! Hurrah! Games to distract and entertain,
and remove some of us from the worry of day to day life.  To escape it,
one may claim.  That's the summarized, generalized goal of every
service/entertainment-industry.  That's because truth hurts, and makes
people think, and most of them don't want to do that at all!

	Do you ever have your waiter introduce you to the veal he just
served as "a charred piece of dead animal flesh, still oozing vital
fluids, that lived its whole life in a box, force fed so that someone
could pound a spike through it's head, and rend the meat from it's body so
that you, sir, may have the pleasure of grinding it between your teeth,
allowing the enzymes to coat and dissolve the tendon and muscle, coating
each piece in salivia and mucus as it travels down your throat into a pit
of roiling acid - only to complete it's cycle as some piece of fetid waste
mixed with urine and blue water in a toliet?"

	Or do they say "the veal is very good today," and you chew it and
smile and think, this would go good with some red wine, and oh, we should
catch a movie after dinner.

	Bringing this back into perspective to 'games', if you're in the
entertainment buisness, like running a mud, your job is to keep the
players happy.  If they think you're giving them what they want, they're
happy.  If they claim ownership of a particular idea, that's great too,
let them, if it makes em happy.  Tell them that you've been working on a
project for 3 weeks straight, when you actually took 15 minutes to put it
in, including a smoke break - they'll adore your devotion.  What they
don't know won't hurt em. What they do know, as long as it's fluff, will
keep them happy. 

	Again, this is how the world works.

>   When you run a MUD or any other consumer-oriented service, you are
> responsible for treating your customers with respect.  It's a tough
> thing to do - especially when your customers don't treat YOU with
> respect - and not everyone can handle it.  The ones who can't
> should step down.

	You may treat people with respect, even if you have no respect for
them.  Most people do it every day, when they're given a ticket, or get
stuck in a traffic jam, or politely decline a date.  This is the common
lie of sophisticated society, you don't tell someone they smell bad, and
they don't tell you that your clothes indicate colorblindness.  If you
don't do this, then you've probably got no friends; you'll have pissed
them all off already.  If you do actually do this, then you're a hypocrit. 
Not to turn this into a flame war, but to bring this back, again, to the
game/entertainment concept, we take the same view when we have to 'run'
something, be it a server, game, movie house, or whatnot.  You do what is
required, be it wrong, right, or some fuzzy gray area in the middle.  Then
you tell everyone you did right, regardless.  They're happy, you're happy,
and the game goes on - really, that's what's important.

	Heck, a real-world example, the top (non-coding) admin at a mud I
used to write code for were all avid players.  After having one in
particular read every Ann Rice, and Robert Jordon book in existance, there
was a deluge of new ideas, about 3% of which were actually viable insofar
as the balance of the combat/etc system was concerned.  Guess what percent
actually made it to code? (If you guessed just under 3%, you're right).
This is because, as players, they lost the objectivity required to make
the correct choices, but as admin, they had the power to do the wrong
thing.  I just had more experience, and realized that, perhaps, allowing
everyone to be a vampire with magic drawn from the earth was a bad idea.
So I unofficially nixed the idea, and officially put it on lay-a-way.

	Everyone was happy, and life went on undisturbed.



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