[MUD-Dev] Re: Enforcement

Anderson Anderson
Thu Jun 13 10:00:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Matt Chatterley [mailto:matt at eldoops.co.uk]

> If instead of hard-wiring things so that pstealing is impossible
> for instance, you were to use a system of in-character guards and
> a law system based around a player-elected council (or regularly
> re-elected justice-of-the-court), for instance, would you find
> that thievery became less of an annoyance and a frustration, and
> instead became an accepted, but risky option for scraping a
> living? Would more players tolerate it given in-character
> solutions?

I think that it's very important to make a differentiation between
things that are strictly illegal, and things that are just frowned
upon.

Strictly illegal things should be coded out if possible.  If you
don't want people to multiplay, think of ways to prevent it.  Code
in account systems so that it's impossible for them to log on more
than one character from the same account.  Make players Want to put
all their characters in the same account.  Sometimes things are
impossible to code out.  IE, if you have swearing illegal, generally
that just needs to be an imm decision, too hard to parse language to
cut out swears.

Things that are frowned upon, IE excessive pkilling, excessive
pstealing, excessive mob runs or such things.  They're not
necessarily illegal, but you'd rather people not do them.  So write
code to encourage them Not to do these things.  If you pkill, you
get a wanted, and then the guards will all attack you.  Make the
guards so dangerous that people would Really rather not get wanted.
If you psteal and get caught, have those guards all attack you once
again.  Have mobs grow stronger if you've killed them over and over.

It's a very dangerous thing to have these two categories blend
together.  I've seen on large muds these types of things practically
destroy the player population.  Things that were supposedly just
frowned upon, were sometimes being interpreted as illegal.  You may
go attack someone, thinking to yourself "I can handle the guards",
and then you'd suddenly be punished by an immortal who decided that
the disincentive wasn't enough.

So make sure you have rules and code to make sure the rules are
followed.  And anything else you just would Want to happen,
encourage players to do it, but don't force them.

Dave
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