[MUD-Dev] Death and Permadeath and Corpse Retrieval

T H lazingtiger at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 16 16:51:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


--- Sean Middleditch <elanthis at awesomeplay.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 2004-01-12 at 15:01, Spot wrote: Personally, I find this
> too limiting in terms of role playing.  Evil characters are just
> as valid as good players.  In fact, it is a rather well received
> fact that later installment of the NWN games offer equal rewards
> for evil characters that those good characters receive. (Different
> rewards of course, with different goals to achieve them.)

I wonder if you put the biggest mistakes in MMO PvP down, and looked
for the reasons those mechanics were put in, if "Role playing
authenticity" was the #1 explanation. I bet it would be. From a role
playing standpoint, a player who is role playing an "evil" character
is doing "good" by killing a person minding their own business and
picking flowers. Is it good for the comunity though? I dont think
there are that many people that want to roleplay a victim. And
victims probably dont see the actions of the "good" evil roleplayer
as a benefit.

More to the point, rewarding "Evil" behavior tends to reward the
most destructive and noxious elements of an online community. The
system he proposed was to allow a player controlled system of
justice by building in an advantage for anti-PK elements that would
hopefully turn the PK community into a manageable minority. Too
often the opposite is true, and the PK community is the dominant
element.

> If you offer rewards for a particular type of behaviour, the
> behaviour most commonly found will be that which gives the
> rewards.  If this is your goal - a player base of nothing but
> goody two-shoes types - then that is fine.  But that makes the
> entire player base rather one sided.

So why would it be a bad thing if players behaved well toward each
other?

> Likewise, rewards aside from death need balance. Evil acts can
> indeed bring about the law (which should be avoidable), but doing
> so can gain rewards - loot from the guards/villagers you kill,
> pacts with powerful demons, whatever.

Again, reinforcing behaviors that hurt other players.

> Letting the game community build up not only good but also evil
> characters can be quite interesting in regards to role playing.
> Imagine an evil death knight who amasses a number of followers (in
> a guild, perhaps) who challenges the local high-level paladin to a
> battle for ownership of the temple of the sun god (or whatever) -
> kinds of intrigue and sub-plot which can shape your world and game
> story, but which no GM could orchestrate so well and hope to
> include the player base in the deeds.

Actually, Id argue the opposite in most cases. From a roleplaying
standpoint it squeezes out everything in between good and evil. Both
of the other sides are rewarded, but those who just want to mind
their own business recieve no reward.

> Of course, there is a difference between evil characters and bad
> players.  Evil doesn't mean the player runs about killing everyone
> she sees and looting the corpse; that's just being an ass.  If you
> don't have a mature and imaginative enough player base capable of
> making dynamic evil characters who enhance the game more than
> irritate other players, then it may indeed by necessary to simply
> limit the advantages of being evil, and thus reduce the number of
> players who would choose to walk that path.

Which is really his whole point. He wants to allow players to be
evil, but at a cost, since finding "evil" players is generally not a
problem.

> Well, again, a player base of all goody two-shoes isn't realistic.
> I would (from a philosophical standpoint) argue that even the best
> of people have evil tendencies, and the worst of people rarely
> have many redeemable qualities.  Life *doesn't* reward those who
> are good, which is why bad is so attractive and common. Law and
> morals are all that one has to hold them to being good; I can
> personally attest that there are a lot of bad things I'd have done
> over the years if I wasn't worried about legal repercussions.  ;-)
> Of course, I also have a number of moral reasons for not doing
> certain things, as well.

I take what I said earlier back. Realism is probably the #1 reason
bad ideas make it into MMORPGs. Toss realism out of the window,
people want games that are first and foremost fun. In a PvP
available environment, either that means the entire game is basicly
PvP, or that the PvP is held to manageable levels so that its
possible for players to have a other experiences without constant
threat of being killed.

And again, I do not share you opinion that there will be any
shortage of "evil" players...

> This also means there is no reward for killing other players.
> People have less reason to be dicks if there isn't a reward for
> it.  If players want to kill things for loot, there are NPCs for
> that.  NPCs don't get pissed and quit the game because of players
> with a violent streak.  ;-)

... and heres why. People are dicks in online games, because ruining
other players experience IS their reward. Unfortunately, there is no
shortage of that type of player out there.
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