[MUD-Dev] Re: Pfile Wiping, etc.

Sanvean sanvean at ginka.armageddon.org
Fri Aug 4 11:37:41 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Fri, 4 Aug 2000, rayzam wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jon Callas" <jon at callas.org>
> To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
> Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2000 2:39 PM
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Pfile Wiping, etc.
> > There are a number of ways to handle it. LambdaMOO has a system whereby a
> > person who hasn't connected in 4 months, plus 1 month for each year
> > seniority there gets removed. You can even will your objects to someone
> > else.
> >
> > AmberMUSH has a system where people idle for 3 months get destructed. The
> > policy isn't nearly as formal, and there's no way to will objects.
> > Furthermore, even builders of commonly used landscape have to not go idle.
> > This is extremely irritating.
> >
> > Jon
> >
>     There is a difference between these sort of purges, and player wipes.
> Just to free up namespace, you need to run purges on old/unused/low level
> characters. That's a different level than clearing the entire player base.

I've been following this discussion with interest since the beginning,
since player/immortal relations are of particular concern to me.  I do
think that admins need to be aware that players have a different
perspective on the game, and I encourage my staff to play often, and
heartily.  I do myself, as well, although I usually have my imm hovering
up in the stratosphere to monitor wishes and emergencies.

The kind of pfile wipe we're talking about is radically different than
clearing house.  Back in my days on Dark Castle, I saw several wipes
occur, and generally they were impelled by the head imp feeling the game
had gotten out of balance.  They were usually preceded by some sort of
freebie day, where everyone got raised to level 50, and equipment was
loaded, so they could run around in a happy, gleeful pkilling spree.  Then
the pfiles were wiped, and the mad race to level/get decent eq
began.  This was complicated somewhat by the Dark Castle system of selling
'godload' (equipment which doesn't vanish upon death, can't be stolen, and
which is a step above anything available on the game -- and I'll leave my
feelings about the ethics of making money off of this for some other
discussion) -- which made it possible for the players who had invested
money in the game to level much quicker than anyone else, and may be why
there weren't a lot of gripes about the wipe.

I think the main source of player complaints with a wipe is because
they've established an identity on the game, and it is a place they dwell
and interact, rather than something they go contend with (I'm not saying
that well, but I mean something like Quake, where play is focused on a
single session, not an ongoing interaction) from time to time.  On
Armageddon, I'd be appalled at the idea of a pfile wipe of this sort,
because the focus is the ongoing story, and to have all the participants
of the multitude of storylines simply...vanish one day would be incredibly
disruptive.  We've been around some ten years now, and constantly
introduce new code, including spells, but changes here are usually
explained as shifts in the relationship between the elemental planes and
the plane Zalanthas exists on.  There's been at least one radical shift,
where a zealous coder reorganized all the spells according to element, but
we give magic users the choice of moving over to the new spell tree, or
sticking with their old one.  Generally, when something gets fiddled or a
new spell added, I announce it in the motd, and players can let me know if
their character needs some change as a result.  Perhaps again, changes to
spells are not reacted to with shrill cries of unfairness because magic is
a rare occurence for most, and people don't know what to expect from the
spells, so aren't dismayed when something shifts.  Or maybe it's because
they already know we're all assholes at the admin level. =)

But in any case, I think there'd be a distinction between the impact of
this on a hack and slash, and on a RP mud, and the level of outrage at the
action might be linked to where on the continuum between the two that
particular MUD lies.  My bias may be showing here.

>     What we do is every 3-6 months or so, we purge any character not on in 6
> months, who also: is worth less than X exp [where that means newbie], has
> less than X gold, and does not own a castle. This often clears around 3-6k
> names/playerfiles. But the conditions ensure that any player who has
> invested time into the game won't be purged.

Question, out of curiosity.  Are those all logical ands, in the
above?  I.e. if they have a castle but not enough gold, they get wiped?

>     If a player does need to be away longer and is at newbie status, they
> can inform the admin, and they'll be exempted.
>     I'm assuming that many muds also need to run these sort of name purges
> on a semi-regular basis just to have names available for new characters.....
>     Rayzam
>     www.retromud.org
We've got an account system, where multiple players can have characters
with the same name, so this isn't a consideration, and just moved to a new
machine, where memory consumption isn't a problem right now (which several
of my builders have taken as license to build...entire continents, I
fear).  While relishing this, I'm still curious.  Do pfiles take up -that-
much space?  In the old machine days, I usually found trimming other
unused stuff (like ancient email, or abandoned zones) freed up a lot more


Armageddon MUD.  Roleplay required.

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