[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Sun Jul 30 11:43:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Brian 'Psychochild' Green
Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2000 2:48 AM

> 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.

  And it takes far too much effort to actually work with them to get them
to understand.

  I once was making a deal with a guy in EverQuest for an item I had.  He
readily accepted because it was an amazing deal.  A deal so good that I
wasn't even aware of what I had done.  Until a little bit before giving
him the item.  I had paid more in quest items to obtain the thing than I
was even asking from this guy.  It was just a total brainlock choice.

  I apologizingly stated to my customer - who had a done deal - that I
had made a massive mistake and that there was no way that I could sell
the thing for the price that I quoted.  Note that I have done this in
the past and simply sold the item for the price quoted.  This time the
price was massively out of line.  He started calling me names, shouted
across the zone that I was a cheat and a liar, etc.  He made comments
about his level 50 friends coming to get me.  All the usual childish

  There were a wide range of responses available to me.  I chose to
swallow my pride and to apologize and explain profusely.  He was certainly
the injured party and deserved some recompense - at least by way of
explanation and apology.  So I apologized for about 20 minutes, while
he verbally bashed me.  But his bashing got less and less vicious and
he eventually cooled off and appreciated what had happened.

  I relate this story to indicate that people can be reached - even the
l33t d00ds.  It's draining and at times humiliating.  But since the
alternative is to leave things as they are, I'll choose the draining
and humiliating path as much as I am able.  It's not something that I
do everytime all the time.  Sometimes I fall back on white lies.  And
when I do, I realize that things are just as bad, if not worse, than
they were before my little white lie.

  But I also know that using the technique of swallowing one's pride
works extraordinarily well.  Imagine an admin being humble before his
players' onslaught of insults and attacks.  But not yielding.  Or
granting certain points that are actually true, but can't change for
practical reasons?  Admins are proud people.  Having control over the
shape of an entire virtual world produces a strong sense of power, and
I know that's a thing that can be very jealously guarded.

> 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.

  Do you want to keep a customer like an enemy in your camp, or would you
rather have a trusted friend - or at least someone with whom you have a

> 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....

  Jokingly said, but sadly there's a small element of truth to that...


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