[MUD-Dev] in-game vs web-based boards (was: Geometric content generation)

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Tue Oct 2 10:53:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: Travis Nixon [mailto:tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com]
> From: <Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com>
>> I don't think such strict censorship is necessary, alternative
>> approaches which would require custom board software could
>> definitely be investigated.  Some ideas that might make things
>> work a bit better:
>>   a) Limit number of posts someone can make to one a day.
> Well, I wholeheartedly abhor this idea, primarily because when I
> myself tend to hit messageboards, it's generally in flurries of 10
> or 15 messages at a time, and then I tend to relurk for
> significant periods of time.  Even my activity here on mud-dev
> follows a similar pattern, although its usually bursts of 2 or 3
> instead of 10 or 15. :)
> And actually, I suspect this behavior is a lot more common than
> you might think.

Thats why I suggest it. People who spam with ill written flames tend
to do the same. If they have one shot at it a day, then a) it cuts
down volume b) they might think about the content a little bit more
before hitting post.

Fifteen messages on one topic in a day is simply too much,
especially when most of them are just 'bump'. Furthermore, if it
takes you 20 mins to write your 3 posts, its going to take someone
3-5 mins to read them properly.  Thats a big expectation when you
consider everyone else has the right to post.

>>   b) Limit posting to those who currently have game accounts.
> Surprisingly enough, Verant tried this before they entirely shut
> down the messageboards, and it made absolutely no noticeable
> impact on the amount of bitching going on in the boards.
> Go figure. :)

I don't think any single measure will work in isolation.

>>   c) I was going to suggest a form of peer review whereby the
>>   threads have a floatiness (to the top) based on the rank of the
>>   posters on the thread. The poster's rank being determined by
>>   peer review (both positively and negatively), but it dawned on
>>   me that it would just be used as a pvp weapon in
>>   personal/class/balance wars. Maybe there is a more effective
>>   way to handle this. I want to create a feedback loop so that
>>   people are encouraged to make constructive and polite
>>   observations by a score of some kind. I've noticed that people
>>   who write rudely tend to completely change their tone when they
>>   get some developer feedback, so I'm thinking that another
>>   scoring mechanism might motivate this without direct
>>   contact. In addition, if it worked it would work as a basic
>>   filter for the devs to use when scanning the forums for
>>   quality. How to not make it gameable I don't know :D
> If you ever figure that one out, you just might prove to be an
> exception to my "unoriginality of ideas" rant of last week.
> How to keep the gamers from gaming....please do let us all know.
> :)
> Ask John Buehler, and the solution is to just not invite the
> gamers to play at all.  Make it too boring for them.  :) That's
> not a game I want to play, or even create for that matter, but
> hey, it might work.  I'm not so sure though.  I don't think it's
> the gamers who are the true griefers.  I personally think that the
> griefers are the ones who couldn't care less about the game
> itself, about whether it lives or dies.  Those are the ones you
> really have to watch out for.  Of course, maybe that's giving
> people in general too much credit, thinking that maybe they
> realize the harm that griefing does...

Well there is a distinction between gaming a message board, and
gaming the game itself. I don't see why the message board should be
a game, I just want a system that isn't exploitable. Perhaps my
choice of words was misleading.  Having a system where the admin can
award/decrement points for good posts would be a start. Perhaps
compounding that with player votes that have a lesser effect on
floatiness of a thread. Of course people might use the player angle
to get their guild over to float their message. This could be
resolved by checking the guild affiliations in game, or just letting
the admin handle it in the message boards with their votes.

Tthe key is to keep things stable before meltdown occurs. Once a
message boards gets to a critical mass of detritus, destruction is
inevitable, so considering measures to correct that state is
futile. Prevention that state is where the mileage lies.

Of course, I'm probably neglecting the fact that most people don't
read game message boards, they just make some drive by
posts. Oblivious that the same issue has been raised on 15 other
threads. Hell on some of the EQ class balance threads, people would
read the first message and then add their ideas, missing that the
same things had been mention 50 times in the other 120 messages on
the thread.

Having a perfect game is probably the best bet of course.


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