[MUD-Dev] UO rants

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Wed Aug 23 20:11:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> Jeff Freeman
> Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2000 5:34 PM

> Is it possible to have a MUD which allows PvP (as in, no PK switch, even)
> and yet doesn't have any?

It depends on what 'allows PvP' means.  I'm currently working on systems
and such that attempt to permit PvP actions, but for which there are
significant in-game consequences.  The consequences are intended to be
so significant that players will choose PvP only when the desireability
of performing those actions exceeds the cost in consequences.  That last
bit is nothing new of course - that's the way people pick between choices.
The challenge is going to be in figuring out if PvP can actually be
clamped down on.  It is my hope that in-game sactions can be boosted to
the point where most players won't pursue PvP.  There will always be
those intent on playing grief roles, but if they are kept to a minimum,
the impact of negative PvP actions on players should be kept to a
minimum as well.

Attacking this from another front, it's also probably necessary to give
players lots to do.  The world must draw the players' attention almost
without letup.  As long as players are interested in the antics of the
NPCs and the events going on around them, they will be less inclined to
try to invent their own 'fun' by whacking some newbies.

Yet another attempt at limiting PvP (which might completely backfire)
is to scrap the constant powermongering that players go through as they
advance in 'level'.  If an experienced character is no more than two or
three times the combat effectiveness of a newbie (who is not quite
combat competent, but can still butcher meat and chop wood), then Matt
Mihaly's Lord versus Newbie scenario isn't as clear-cut.  The Lord has
to worry all the time about a bunch of newbies ganging up on him.  No
single character can simply trot around town pounding people because
that's what His Lordship thinks is right.

Change the ground rules and you change the outcome.


P.S. Consequences in a justice system are predicated on the players not
being completely self-sufficient and able to do anything that they care
to.  Player characters must remain dependent on infrastructure for
success.  This is why a justice system can work - the sanctions against
the player character are to be social outcasts, stripping characters of
access to the infrastructure that they need.

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