[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Malcolm Valentine spin at fastlink.com.au
Thu Jul 27 17:11:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Tue, Jul 25, 2000, John Buehler wrote:
> Jon A. Lambert
> Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 5:41 PM
> 
> >John Buehler wrote:
> >> 
> >>   This is one of the most detestable posts I've ever read. 
> >
> >Oh come now.  You are overdramatizing.  
> 
>   Nope.  I thought it was actually detestable.  It lies at the
> heart of what I consider to be a major societal problem: thinking
> of those around us as inferior.  Disrespect is a result.

  I meant to comment on your initial reply, but I thought a reply here was
a good a place as any. Personally, I felt Jon's message made no claims to
the lack of intelligence of the players, nor did he suggest directly
manipulating the players except through the loading of a voting
system. While this may affect their experiences within the mud, it
no way affects their reactions to the voted for changes. (Though perhaps
it may cause feelings of impotence due to their lack of voting 
strength...).

<snipped>
(Jon)
> >It's a weak admin who manipulates and influences through fiat, threats
> >and brute force; a strong admin manipulates and influences through 
> >diplomacy both overt and covert, subtle and underhanded.  
> 
(John)
>   It sound like there's a difference of degree here.  I would
> say that interactions with the player base should simply be done
> with an attitude of respect, fairness and all those other goodness
> and light things that are symptomatic of the weak - but using all
> the brains and skills that you have in your arsenal to do so.  The
> examples presented in a prior post of letting people believe things
> that are absolutely false is not an example of what I would consider
> a healthy and useful way to interact with a player base.

  Is this last sentence the heart of the matter? There are many reasons
for the admin to actively promote a "lie" to the players' characters,
as the line of player/character is so finely drawn this is obviously
going to bleed over to directly lying to the players. Any admin who
installs something against an "un-doctored" majority vote by whatever
means (claiming it was "voted" for) is likely to find the majority
will enforce their vote by going elsewhere.

  Unless you can get players to sign NDA's with regards to their players,
I believe some mistruth is required. Also, I don't think it really is
the players' business how the administration of the mud is conducted, and
this probably applies even more to a commercial endeavor. Of course,
detrimental adminstration affects everyone, but I don't think this
is what Jon was suggesting.

  A final point, having no experience with commercial muds (I've only
looked at a few of their web-sites and what has been posted to Mud-Dev),
however the large commercial ones seem particularly static in regards too
such issues as Jon raised. The changing of game mechanics would seem to
be a relative rare event for them, almost entirely driven by what the
(vocal) customers wanted, rather then the implementation of things the
designers' want which is an everyday occurance in small hobby muds.

Cheers,
  Malcolm V.



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