[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue Jun 11 16:51:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Fri, 7 Jun 2002, Kwon Ekstrom wrote:
> From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
 
>> Uh. Say basketball was PK. How would you log on a new basketball
>> player to smack down Michael Jordan, without making it obvious
 
>> you're cheating? (using 'Flubber' on your shoes, or whatever). I
 
> Well, we're not playing basket ball, people log into muds quite
> regularly, and I'm assuming that you play your own game.  Or have
> players who do play regularly who will enforce the rules for you.

People play basketball quite regularly too, and yet there's only one
Jordan.
 
> Skill should be the major factor of pvp, and it's the goal I've
> always strived for.  What I am assuming is that the admins
> actually play the game and know how to do things.  I personally
> know more about my own game than any of my players do.  The idea
> is social interaction, whether you as the admins enforce it, or
> the players enforce it.

Well, skill should be the major factor of Playerkilling (as opposed
to PvP, which is far broader) if that's how you design your
game. And Phil Jackson might know more about basketball than his
players, but would get caned on the court.

I doubt I could, in fact, beat Achaea's top combatants right now. I
tend to be quite good at combat, so with some practice, who knows,
but they spend their time mastering combat. I spend mine running the
world. There's simply no way I or any of my admins (who all have
their duties) could compete with players who have that much time to
practice combat.

> What I was suggesting is that the players themselves enforce the
> rules.  If you login and start killing and looting all the newbie
> pkers, and some players come up and kill and loot you because of
> it, you learn not to kill and loot newbies (unless you can take
> the people who'll come after you as a result).

It is naive to assume the bullies don't have a large network of
supporters and friends too. Furthermore, if I'm a leader of Ashtan
(one of our city-states) and one of my citizens is out picking on
Cyrenians (another player-run city-state), what's my motivation to
stop him? Sure, I might have some sort of general "Let's not screw
up the world we live in." philosophy, but given that Achaea, for
instance, is heavily focused on group vs. group action, it's highly
unrealistic to expect players to temporarily put aside group
loyalties, when we spend so much time pounding those loyalties into
them.

It's just like the physical world, but at least in the physical
world, there's a larger proportion of people who at least claim to
be morally motivated. In the end though, countries, for example,
still act just like organizations do in Achaea. Look at the
US. Claims to be interested in human rights. Talks a lot about the
sanctity of human life. Whole country freaks out when a couple
buildings and a couple thousand people are destroyed, but
collectively doesn't even bat an eye at, say, the far far more
serious problem of tens if not hundreds of millions of people being
destroyed by AIDs, or the genocides that our media can't even be
bothered to report on. Rwanda, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabahk, South
Osetia...genocidal behavior was happening in all of these places in
the last 10 years, and I'm willing to bet most people on this list
haven't even heard of the last 3.

I'm not trying to make a political statement. I'm just pointing out
that given how willing people are in the physical world to totally
ignore the suffering of those outside their group, it's unrealistic
to expect that people will do differently in a virtual world.

You may find small MUDs where the players can keep the other players
completely in line, but I'd argue that's because those MUDs are so
small there really is only one community in the game (the
player-group as a whole).

--matt

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