[WF-General] Distinguishing Admin and Player

Bryce Harrington bryce at neptune.net
Tue Oct 10 00:37:00 PDT 2000


On Mon, 9 Oct 2000, Pug wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 11:25:33AM +0100, Alistair Riddoch wrote:
> > > Vigilantes, who take on task of "cleaning out" cheaters
> > Such a role could be effectively fulfilled without breaking the game
> > paradigm. Such a Player could have a character who is an officer in the
> > town guard who could arrest cheaters, and lock them up in the town jail. (*)
> 
> [For all the following, Belchfire is assumed]

> I disagree here. This is a bad trap to get into for two reasons. First
> off, you're punishing people for exploiting bugs instead of fixing
> them.  [Second,] In-character and out-of-character should remain
> separated. This is important to the entire game. This means that
> characters arresting cheaters is Bad, and hurts the RPing and overall
> theme of the game.

> Quite simply, trying to punish antisocial behavior by a hard-coded
> engine will not work. UO tried this, too, and it got very ugly.  The
> best approach to take is to simply give players the ability and
> responsibility to deal with these things. If someone's out killing
> people, then get a lynch mob or something together. Also note that
> people going on killing sprees for the hell of it is definately
> reduced in a world where death really hurts.

The previous two paragraphs appear to be contradictory.  ;-)

I think the above can be cleared up with a couple of definitions:  A
cheater is someone who is breaking the rules that the rest of the
community follows.  If everyone is breaking the rules, then it just
means they've (temporarily at least) twisted around the rules of the
game.  Second, a 'rule' is simply a convention that you are expected to
follow, irregardless of whether the software enforces its compliance.
For example, within the WorldForge community, there isn't anything in
software which prevents people from uploading binary GIF's to the
mailing list.  Anyone could do that.  However, at the same time we all
know it is against the rules, and we don't do it.  If anyone does do it,
everyone emails them and tells them to stop.

We should take the same kind of thinking inside the game world.  Yes,
technically it is *possible* to slay brenda.  But that is against the
rules that the players have adopted.  If you attack her and try to kill
her, the other players will take action against you.  

So when we talk of cheaters, we're not really talking specifically about
bug 'sploiters, nor really distinguishing between in-game or out-of-game
behavior.  We're speaking of, in general, people who are making the game
annoying.  And the power and responsibility to address the problem ought
to be available to the people being annoyed.  IMHO, of course.  ;-)

Bryce





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