[MUD-Dev] UO rants

Tess Lowe tess at havensong.com
Thu Aug 24 01:05:51 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

John Buehler wrote:

> Being on the receiving end of a PvP encounter is never
> fun, and that's why I don't like PvP worlds.  In the end, only the most
> powerful players are able to enjoy the experience.  And those tend to be
> the hardcore gamers.  Like yourself.

I would take issue with that on the basis of my own personal experience. It
seems commonly accepted that in PvP worlds, the powerful players kill those
who for whatever reason haven't learned to (or dont want to) fight. I've
often heard it said that PKers don't like to kill other PKers, they like to
kill socialisers, who are satisfyingly offended by the experience. However,
this must be a cultural thing, because in Achaea the reverse is true. If you
don't attack anyone, you are almost never attacked at random. I am very much
a socialiser type player, and achaea is very much a PvP world. And yet the
only time i was ever attacked was in revenge for killing someone who
attacked my friend. (i survived, and the attempt on my life was not
repeated). It is very much "an eye for an eye, (and no more than that)". I
dont really understand why, but there is a great culture of respect for
non-fighters, and if one of them is killed, all their more pugilistic
guildmates will surely wreak revenge on their behalf. So I would say that in
achaea at least, it is those players totally given over to PKing who have
the hardest time of it, if they care about being killed at all that is. The
socialisers mostly feel quite safe, and the battles around them give them
endless new things to talk about.

> I certainly think that those who shoot their mouth off should have some
> form of sanction applied to them.  Do you really believe that any sane
> government would condone execution for foul language?

In virtual worlds, foul language and verbal abuse is different to physical
attacks, in that it is almost always taken as an OOC (and therefore much
more personal and hurtful) attack. I therefore, as an admin, take immediate
action by muting them, treating it as an OOC offence.

> As I suggested
> elsewhere (and as somebody else apparently suggested as well), perhaps
> player declarations of 'unpleasantness' or 'untrustworthiness' could be
> applied to players/characters.

I used to subscribe to this school of thought. I've yet to see it
implemented to my satisfaction. In my experience, the gossip grapevine is a
better warning of antisocial players than a mechanical reputation system.
But then, I only play games with up to a few hundred players, not several
thousand. I have no idea if the grapevine still works on those scales.

> You believe that virtual communities are different than real life
> communities.  What you're missing is that a virtual community is simply
> a primitive vehicle for a real life community (real people are involved).

I used to believe this too. In fact I spent 6 months desperately trying to
create a 'real life' community in a virtual world. See
http://homepage.dtn.ntl.com/fernywood/community.htm for the vision I had in
mind. In the end I despaired and had to admit defeat. The problem is that
virtual communities *are* different to real life communities in the sense
that a significant proportion of the people are there not to build a sense
of community but to prove their superiority to each other and exert power
over each other. It took me a while to realise it, but not everyone actually
*wants* to try to get along. There is a huge amount of sociopathic behaviour
in virtual worlds because you can walk away from them untouched.
They won't become microcosms of real life communities until the social
consequences are equal in both places. And thus I believe trying to derive a
fair justice system for a virtual community based on a real life sense of
justice is somewhat doomed to failure.

achaean immortal

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