[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

Travis Nixon tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com
Wed Feb 26 12:24:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Crosbie Fitch" <crosbie at cyberspaceengineers.org>

> Well, only all the 'trust' problems...

> This is a problem that faces more than p2p systems. If it isn't
> soluble then we're all shafted.

> However, humans have solved it for their own trust relationships,
> which helps lead me to believe that it is soluble. And I don't
> reckon it's an 'AI-hard' problem.


Human's haven't "solved" it.  People get screwed by people they
trusted all the time.  Furthermore, the sort of system you're
talking about doesn't exist in real human relationships, because a
large part of the reason any of it works in the first place is that
there's some overseeing authority that the two parties can go to
when they disagree about the truth of something.  If 2 neighbors
both claim ownership to some bit of land, they have the ability to
find out who the government thinks owns that land, and if there's
still a dispute, they can hire lawyers and start a legal process,
and at the end of that process, the question is answered.  Only one
of the neighbors truly owns the land, but a system that depends on
the neighbors themselves to work things out is practically
guaranteed to fail.  And a system that bases the final decision on
what basically amounts to a popularity and/or seniority contest
seems just a little bit ludicrous to me.

Maybe something can be worked out that suffices for games, but
you're not going to solve the trust problem in a completely
distributed system.  It's inherently unsolvable, because anybody who
decides to start breaking the rules has pretty much by definition
been following the rules up until that point.  Rather than focussing
on solving an unsolvable problem, focus on minimizing the damage
that somebody can do when they go postal.  And just accept the fact
that the traditional RPG achievement mechanic probably cannot be a
significant game mechanic in a distributed system.  If having lots
of godly characters walking around breaks the game for everybody,
then the game is guaranteed to fail.

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