[MUD-Dev] Character Restraint & Capture.

Matt Mihaly the_logos at ironrealms.com
Wed Feb 18 19:52:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, rjw wrote:

> I've been recently mulling over an in-game mechanism by which
> griefers can be brought to justice. I had not gone so far as to
> consider the actual capture of players, but I was considering
> implementation of a bounty.

> At the most basic level, player-run cities can establish what
> actions are 'against the law' in the lands they control. Then,
> when players that are in proximity to any given territory where
> they have accrued 'black marks', an NPC inside the city will offer
> bounty rewards for the killing of that player. The bounty rewards
> will be signifigant enough that parties will want to seek out the
> law-breaker and see justice done.

We put this kind of system into Achaea years ago and subsequently
removed it. It's just another tool for grief play.

The problem is that you're talking about two kinds of 'justice' and
they are unrelated to each other. The first kind is an out-of-game
sense of justice wherein you don't want your customers being griefed
to the point of quitting. A bounty system such as you describe has
nothing to do with solving this problem.

Instead, the bounty system applies to the second kind of 'justice',
in which justice is defined merely as punishing lawbreakers. The
laws in question here are being made by the players running the
cities, and they may or may not have anything to do with the first
kind of justice.  In-role, it could be 'just' to kill any dwarf that
sets foot in your city, or anyone whom the city leaders don't
like. Few players, however, will find that this kind of 'justice'
fits with their out-of-game sense of justice.

Further, as a practical problem this kind of system is eminently
gameable in the case of an NPC just creating gold to give out. If
the gold that the NPC pays out is simply created from nothing,
cities will place bounties on mule characters or even their buddies,
in order to generate free gold. If the reward isn't large enough to
justify doing that, the reward isn't large enough to justify
bounty-hunting to almost all players, since presumably they have a
chance of dying whilst doing the bounty-hunting.

In the end, we removed the system because it was largely just used
as a griefing tool to legalize PK against anyone the city leaders
personally disliked. (Though in our system the cities themselves had
to pay out of their Security ministry's budget, so gold wasn't
created out of thin air.)

--matt
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