[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sun May 6 15:37:28 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Brad Triem writes:
> John Buehler wrote:

>> While I completely agree that goblins should be defending their
>> homes or actively trying to push away competing populations, I
>> disagree about the whole empathy thing.  I believe that things that
>> we kill must either be non-sentient or they must be inherently and
>> immutably evil.  That means that they are not misguided beings just
>> doing their thing and that works out to be something that the
>> player characters don't like.  It means that they are soulless
>> beings that exist in order to destroy that which is good.

> One could easily start the discussion on the philosophy of what is
> evil to whom.  Oops, I think I just started it.

If you want to talk about relative moralism, feel free to contact me
directly.

My goal in a game world is to ensure that players are never encouraged
(or not discouraged) to kill either a player race or a race which is
presented as having redeeming virtues.  If they have redeeming
virtues, then they should be traded with, or in the very least, left
alone.  If they have no redeeming virtues, then they are an evil that
should be removed from the world.  The game systems should encourage
the elimination of the races without redeeming virtues and discourage
injury to races that posess redeeming virtues.

If goblins have socially redeeming virtues, then they should be
considered as trading partners, or skilled artisans or mercenaries for
hire.  Some kind of new style of interaction for players to explore
and be entertained by.  Injuring a goblin is something that the game
systems will either prevent or penalize the player/character in some
way.

If goblins do not have socially redeeming virtues, then they are the
bad guys and they should be wiped off the face of the earth.  They
don't have children, they are spawned in some atypical way.  We don't
see baby goblins, we don't see grandfathers playing with the young,
etc.  They kill their injured and survive entirely on power,
domination and fear.  A typically Tolkeinesque treatment of orcs.

I do not want to encourage players - particularly our younger players
- to be killing authority figures in their own social structure
(e.g. the mayor or his guards).  In EverQuest, there is a quest to
kill a corrupt guard of Freeport (I believe that's the theory).
Corrupt or not, it's the wrong message to send to kids.  There's also
a quest where a Paladin's three daughters should be killed - at the
father's behest, I believe.  Again, a bad idea.

Keep the cannon fodder restricted to evil races that have no overlap
with the player races or the player social structure.  In a
technological world, I'd make all the bad guys robots.  Battlestar
Galactica had the right idea until they started to investigate the
Cylon mindset and we found that they could be good guys after all.
Then why are we slaughtering them right and left?

We need immutable bad guys because we need something that can be
killed without any downside to our conscience.  And if you're not
worried about yours, consider the kids' consciences.

JB

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