[MUD-Dev] UO rants

Schubert Schubert
Mon Aug 21 21:52:20 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wes Connell [mailto:wconnell at skotos.net]

> Though it would have been cool to have a neato virtue system and have
> everything totally fit the timeline.

Easy for you to say. =)

The single largest problem with fitting in a virtue system is making
one that is accurate and uncheatable.  In Ultima IV, for example, you 
show honesty by not cheating the blind woman.  Once on a web page,
that solution is up for all time, waiting for you to push the right
buttons to be Honest.

So this is normal, right?  Certainly no different than the concept
of Good or Evil that is easily macroable on dozens and dozens of 
muds, or the easily twiddled Faction system in EverQuest?  

Well, it's one that I find unsatisfying, as did I suspect Raph when
he was here, since virtues are -real- and -important- in determining
the value of another person in an online space.  You need to -know-
if someone is Honest in a game, and most of the ways that Honesty
is determined is stuff that falls through the cracks of the code.
If you can't fairly show who is honest, then the least you can do
is to not slap that title on someone who ISN'T.

The only real solution is to have players judge who is honest and
who is not.  But when you think about that, a whole new brand of
exploits involving cooperative cheating come into play, such as 
using friends to build yourself up, or maliciously knocking down
the reputation of a good-hearted soul.  Right about here, you 
realize it will take an extremely complicated system to accurately
capture true virtue, and you realize you could get 10 or 12 other
features in in that time frame. =)

Oh, we're still working on it, and in fact, we think we've found
something that we'd like to try sometime after Ultima:Origin goes
live, but if you wanted to know why it's a challenge, well, there
ya go.

Damion Schubert
Lead Designer, Ultima Worlds Online: Origin

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