[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Tue Aug 1 15:51:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: John Buehler <johnbue at email.msn.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 2:05 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

>> Brian 'Psychochild' Green
>> Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 3:17 PM
>> I didn't say "These weren't the type of guys to take "no" for an answer"
>> to hear myself talk.  Remember, I said they got into this position
>> because they were perisistent enough to keep complaining until the
>> higher ups took notice.  Not an easy feat.  I actually did try
>> explaining to them later why their ideas wouldn't work.  All I got in
>> response was disbelief in the fact that it wouldn't work (IE, a lack of
>> respect for *my* ability, knowledge, and experience), and more
>> insistence that their ideas "were what the players *really* wanted."
>> Every player's favorite trump card to whip out is that their idea "is
>> what the players really want", even though their ideas will eaither a)
>> benefit them greatly, often at the expense of others, or b) ruin what
>> little playability the game has left.
>  Okay.  Fair enough.  I wasn't faced with the tenacity of the players
>that you were.  I may well have called it quits after a while as well.

    There's a strategy to dealing with customer service types in the real
world that goes like this: Make enough of a pest of yourself long enough,
and eventually you will be passed on to someone with the authority to give
you what you want, and who will simply to get you out of their hair.  It
works very well in dealing with retail outlets of all kinds.  I used a
variant on it to snub restaurants who had given me lousy service or food,
I'd basicly start talking louder and louder until the management caved,
figuring it was easier to give me what I wanted than to have me making a
scene and putting off other customers.  Since I've got an exceptionally deep
voice that carries extremely well and wuill over-ride all normal
conversations within 30-40 feet well before I'm actually yelling, it usually
took less than a minute for the capitulation.

    The theory turns on the idea that the first few echelons you deal with
don't have the authority to do what you want, so you just refuse to be
mollified so they pass you up the chain.  If anyone says they won't give you
what you want and they do have the authority, you figure they just don't
want to, that it's easier to tell you "no" then give it to you.  So you make
yourself more and more difficult until they finally cave.

    This doesn't scale well.  If, on any given day, 1/10 of 1% of a 260,000
player game is pursuing this strategy, they can easily eat up 30 or 40
man-days of work just on that particular day.  This is 30-40 people you have
to pay just to tell people they can't have whatever it is they are begging
for.  And you wonder why GM's burn out?  You come to long for the problems
you can actually *fix*, a chance to interact with a customer who won't be
mad at you.  Your whole job centers around being a buffer between the
higher-ups and the unreasonable demands of idiots.  After a while you can't
sort out reasonable from unreasonable any more, and all requests get treated
as unreasonable, and all customers as idiots.

--Dave Rickey

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