[MUD-Dev] UO rants

Matt Chatterley chattemp at ee.port.ac.uk
Tue Aug 22 19:45:26 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Mon, 21 Aug 2000, Wes Connell wrote:

> 
> On Mon, 21 Aug 2000, Schubert, Damion wrote:
> 
> > 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?

One of the most difficult things which I found here is the initial 
description of things. "X is evil, Y is good" breaks down when things are 
situation dependant. A simple example might be - killing someone in self 
defence. Killing them is bad, but the fact that you were defending 
yourself absolves you somewhat. Of course, to make me happy, such a 
system would then have to adjust your reputation to account for the fact 
that you *have* killed someone, but not punish you overly since it wasn't 
entirely your fault, so to speak.

Of course, in some towns, if you killed a local, even in self defence, 
they might treat you as harshly as if you had murdered them. Its a 
complex system to design, depending on your aims - when I looked into 
this, I wanted a 'reputation' system rather than just something to 
replace 'alignment'.
 
> While I agree that fitting in a virtue system is difficult, the examples
> you give are based on already flawed systems. If the systems are static
> such as the Ultima 4 example then of course word will get around. In many
> muds the scale from Good to Evil is constant. If you then provide the
> means for the players to traverse the scale easily then players are going
> to sway back and forth without regret.

As on many games currently around - for instance, on one game which I 
used to play, certain cleric attacks were aimed at evil creatures, so, 
players who were hunting the clerics would use items or deeds to change 
their alignment to good, murder their target, and then 'fix' their 
alignment back to evil. :)
 
> A system such as Ultima 4 should be global across UO. If you steal then
> you are bad. If you kill little kittens in town then you are bad.

Yeah. Its down to 'reputation' rather than 'alignment' - ie, the value 
which is spread around is the one which people percieve, rather than what 
you might actually be. Robin Hood would be seen as being bad for 
stealing, whereas he might be seen as good for his charitable donations.
 
> UO had a wonderful table of titles for players. When I played I loved
> struggling for that next level of fame or karma. The problem was that the
> amount of karma required for Glorious or Dread (positive or negative) was
> exactly the same.

Which raises a few more interesting points. Should it be easier to slip 
into a bad reputation or a good one?
 
> To become Dread I had to kill a bunch of Nobles. To become Glorious I had
> to kill a bunch of Balrons. Simple.

This never strikes me as making much sense in Mud alignment systems. Just 
because you kill a creature of one alignment does not automatically mean 
that you should receive an adjustment in the opposite direction.

Eg:

I creep up on a thief and murder him. As a thief, he has a bad reputation 
(or is of bad alignment). But, for murdering him, would I be seen to gain 
in good or bad? Murder might be defined as an evil act, but, ridding the 
town of a thief might be seen as a good act. Certainly, I'd annoy the 
Thieves guild either way. ;)
 
[Snip]

-- Matt Chatterley
".. You live for the fight, when its all that you've got .."
		Jon Bon Jovi; Livin' on a Prayer, as always.




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