[MUD-Dev] Griefing

Brian "Ayavaron" Ross ayavaron at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 08:11:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

I just finished reading an issue of Escapist Magazine
(http://www.theescapistmagazine.com/) that dealt with the topic of
griefers.  The topic was thoroughly analyzed and explored throughout
the article, but it leaves one with the question, "What do you do
about it?"

The magazine suggested in one article that players who grief could
be red-flagged, making them targets for vigilantes. However, I think
we can do better than that. I remember the first time I played Elder
Scrolls III, I went into a shop and tried stealing stuff. I was
declared a bad guy and suddenly everyone wanted to kill me. This
leads me to the idea that a similar system could be adopted in
MMORPGs where you have a griefer rating and people can mark you as a
griefer. Once the rating becomes high enough, you might be declared
WANTED and perhaps even, a bounty could be placed on your
head. People could gain a lot from hunting you down for being a
griefer. As your griefer rating increased, your bounty could
possibly increase too. The justice system wouldn't have to break
game and could even possibly become a large part of the game.

The most obvious problem I can see with this system though is that
griefers might exploit this system and start randomly calling other
people griefers with no real reason. To combat this, perhaps, a
griefer would have to select from a list which type of griefing was
done to them. Then the game could check and see if it was impossible
for that to happen. (i.e. A player says a griefer has camped
him. The game could check to see if there was ever a PVP encounter
with them at all and who won to decide if that is valid.) Naturally,
such a system would not be perfect but it could weed out some of the
wrongful griefing claims.

Another problem that might not be such a big deal is that a group of
players could exploit it for actual benefit. One player in a group
might start griefing the other players with the intention of putting
a bounty on his head. Then another player in the group could kill
him and share the benefits with the other player. I don't really
think this matters much, but it is something some people would want
to consider.

Brian Jeffrey "Ayavaron" Ross II
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MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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