[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Brian 'Psychochild' Green brian at psychochild.org
Fri Jul 28 23:47:49 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

>   Do all admins believe that it is impossible to maintain a desireable
> player base by treating players with fairness and respect?

Before I answer, J1mmy the 1337 skr1p+ k1dd13, someone all commercial
online RPG developers recognize, had something to say:

d00d 1 no what u mean.  1 wuz on a gam3 th3 o+th3r day, n th3re wuz a
vot3.  1 t0ld the 4dm1n 2 d0 wh4t 1 s4y cuz 1 wuz a p1mp d4dd13 n h1s
m0m wuz my h0.  h3 g0t all m4d n whatn0t, so 1 t0ld h1m h3 need3d 2
resp3ct m3, b1y0tch.  1 g0t b4nned af+er th4t.  a$$h0le.

...Right.  On a more serious note, I wanted to give a bit of feedback
from the commercial side of things.  Feedback is a wonderful and
dangerous thing.  See, while most players are nice, some people think
their $10/month (or whatever) gives them the right to turn you into a
verbal punching bag.  That payment gives them a god-given entitlement to
run the game, by the gods!  Something wrong with the game?  Oh, they'll
give you feedback, alright.  And, you better change it NOW, biyotch.

I've mentioned this before: One of the worst times in Meridian is when a
couple of disgruntled players worked the system.  They started out with
legitimate complaints about their characters within the game, and
bitched loud enough and long enough to get the attention of some of the
higher-ups.  Once they knew they had an audience, they proposed all
sorts of completely *stupid* changes completely unrelated to their
original complaints.  Stuff that would completely break the game in ways
I could only dream of doing on my most spiteful days.

When the management and customer service came to me about the
suggestions, I LAUGHED.  I laughed and laughed and laughed some more.  I
told them it would break the game about as fast as tripping over the
power cords to the servers.  I told them there was no way I was
implementing it.

They went back and told the original players that their suggestions were
"under consideration by the development team."  Was it a lie?  Yes, but
it was necessary.  You don't tell someone, "Your ideas suck", you don't
tell them, "We don't wanna do it", and you can't terminate them because
they technically didn't do anything wrong.  These weren't the type of
guys to take "no" for an answer.

In general, I agree, we should treat players with respect, especially in
a commercial setting.  But, as Jimmy above shows, not everyone is worthy
of such respect.  Sometimes telling people what they want to hear is the
best way out of a situation where you can actually *keep* a customer.

Back to my part-time job of corrupting the youth and plotting the
downfall of civilization, one little white lie at a time.  Oh, wait,
that's the full time one....

"And I now wait / to shake the hand of fate...."  -"Defender", Manowar
     Brian Green, brian at psychochild.org  aka  Psychochild
       |\      _,,,---,,_      *=* Morpheus, my kitten, says "Hi!" *=*
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_  
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'  "Ritalin Cures Next Picasso" 
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)               -The_Onion_, August 4th, 1999

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