[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Patrick Dughi dughi at imaxx.net
Fri Jul 28 06:54:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Thu, 27 Jul 2000, John Buehler wrote:

> Malcolm Valentine
> Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2000 3:12 AM
> 
> > (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.
> 
>   I read this a couple times, but you lost me.  If you're not interested
> in the results of players' votes, why are you having voting?  Voting
> immediately suggests democratic rule, which is apparently not the case.
> This is the exact sort of disrespect that I'm talking about.  Parents do
> this nonsense all the time.  They do it to avoid confronting difficult
> problems and to avoid spending the time needed to really manage a
> situation.
> 
	The voting is to make the players feel good.  The changes could be
made without their support but then there's a feeling that the admin is
changing things without regards to the players, where the players are each
individual by themselves.  However, by having a 'vote', players are
implicitly involved.  Those that vote at all are already accepting the
premise that they may loose.  For or against, they've already committed to
the system.  Those that do not vote know they have given up their claim on
the issue.  Either way, they've been involved in the decision and are more
likely to not disagree with it.

	Whether or not you use the data from the voting is your own issue;
as far as the players are concerned, they're fat and happy.  
	
>   Note that I'd never let my players vote unless it was an issue that I
> really didn't care about.  Not that there are many such issues...
> 
>   Design by committee produces some interesting results.
> 
	Especially when the committee members are underinformed.

	Which is almost always the case when they haven't
managed/lead/admin/coded/built the mud themselves.

	Your position as the administrator is to run the mud well; that
means making sure the code is stable, appealing to your target group,
maintaining a sociable atmosphere, generally boiling down to questions
involving a balance between game play and player happiness.  Just like a
politican though, you have to make the things you do look good to the
players, even if they're not.

	Why?

	Because it's pointless to tell someone the truth just for the sake
of being able to say "I told someone the truth," when that given truth is
negative. Instead, you end up making them angry, confused, sad, or
apathetic.  Do you go up to each ugly person on the street, stop them and
say "You sir/madame, are as ugly as the day is long," just because it's
the truth and they may not know it?  Of course not.  You politely lie and
say things like "That dress looks great on you," or just "Have a nice
day."  Truth, by itself is neither good nor bad, simply the 'state of
being the case' (Merriam-Webster, Collegiate Dictionary).  Telling the
truth all the time does not make you morally right in any given moral
system.  Usually it just makes you appear like an unthinking clod.

	That's because in a mud, or in real life, disclosing all the
points of a decision you made seems like it would have no negative effect,
except for two facts;

	1) Other people don't think like you.
	2) You're relying on not just people, but groups of people to act
in a rational manner.

	So if you're smart, you act like a politician, and tell people
enough so they're happy, and content, and no more.  You make sure to get
your spin team to go over your press releases, and you try to always
appear as the benevolent, people's man that you claim to be.  Behind the
scenes you deal with the fact that some of your decisisons could be
unpopular, and rather than needlessly promote strife, you hide those sorts
of facts.  Afterall, it's a stretch to claim that your players are
rational enough to accept the fact that bad things happen. 

	In the end, you're happy, they're happy.  Tell them the truth, and
you end up spending more effort just to get them back to tolerable, and
you, of course, will be miserable from the continued effort.

					PjD





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