Lee Sheldon linearno at gte.net
Tue Dec 18 15:07:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Mihaly
On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, Michael Tresca wrote:

>> OF COURSE players are going to give away quest information,
>> multiplay, farm monsters, steal kills, and kill every damn thing
>> in sight.  There's so many bloody people on these games, the
>> griefers are a solid inevitability.

> Well, they are inevitabilities even on a MUD Achaea's size, I
> think. We just jump on it faster, and, more importantly, have
> developed a culture that discourages it. I don't see any reason
> the big MUDs can't jump on it just as fast, but I recognize that
> creating a culture (well, a beneficial culture) is a lot harder as
> you get more and more people, especially when, as in these games,
> you need them more than they need you (unlike, say, a corporation
> and a rank and file employee.)

I'm a bit confused why you lump in giving away secrets like quest
info with kill stealing and other griefing.  It seems to me that the
former can actually be a positive for building community around a
game.  It is an inevitability that I'd rather embrace than "jump
on."  If you accept the fact that secrets will be shared, doesn't it
make more sense to create quests where the experience is not so
dependent on the secret, and therefore spoiled by its premature
revelation?  Most good movies, even those dependent on surprise, are
entertaining even when the surprise(s) are known.  Even those like
"Psycho," "The Crying Game" or "The Sixth Sense" have pleasures
beyond the initial surprise.  If the quest design focused players
less on where events take place, and the (probably FedEx) details,
and more on the entertainment to be derived from the encounters,
surroundings, context, etc. then knowing the secret would simply
allow players to skip through the puzzle elements (if they chose),
and concentrate on story or other content elements, much the way
some players used walkthroughs to move through an adventure game.


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