[WF-General] Distinguishing Admin and Player

Alistair Riddoch ajr at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue Oct 10 12:34:19 PDT 2000

On Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 04:04:34PM -0500, Pug wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 09, 2000 at 11:25:33AM +0100, Alistair Riddoch wrote:
> > > Vigilantes, who take on task of "cleaning out" cheaters
> 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. UO really
> fell into this. If players are able to cheat in your game, the proper thing
> to do is FIX it. Punishing people and leaving the hole open will not stop them
> all, and will only cause strife. Now, if a player finds a *new* bug, it's a
> bit different. If they report it, they should be in some way rewarded, even if
> it's just a hearty pat on the back. OTOH, if they are exploiting it, actions
> should be taken, I think, from the ADMINS/GMs, which brings up to the next
> point.
> 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.

We have been over this earlier in the thread, and I now agree that
dealing with persistant offenders should not be dealt with IC. See
earlier posts by myself and Malkin on the topic.

> > * This relates to an idea I have been thinking of for a while. SOme of you may
> > have read a rant I wrote a while ago about consequences in Online games.
> > Sociable character behavoir can be encouraged by implementing consequences
> > for anti-social behavoir such as blatant stealing, or murder. Having
> > the character spend a while imprisoned would be a good consequence, and I
> > think an effective one.
> I'm forced to disagree again. We had discussions on this a while back, so
> check out some of the Archives, especially about my Prime Justice System (I
> really need to finish that Devguide I have on the site, maybe I can get to
> it this week). 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.

We are arguing at cross purposes. I am not advocating hard coding anything.
The note above was really just an asside, not related to the topic of this
thread. My main point is that the engine needs to support consequences.
Permanent death is only one possible consequence, and is a bit too binary
for most situations. A game where all problems like this are dealt with IC
by players would be fantastic, but it is going to be a while before such
a culture develops. In the medium term, NPCs can help foster such a culture.

What do you think of the idea of town guards? Not immortal, onnipotent
teleporting town guards like in UO, but ordinary mortal NPCs with no
specific support in the server, who are posted around the town, and try
and deal with trouble, not by attacking anyone who appears be commiting
a crime, but by restraining them? I added a guard character to Acorn recently
as an experiment. Roxie patrols round the village market place, making sure
that no skeletons stray into the market area, thus ensuring an area of
free trade. Later I was thinking about getting her to collect taxes from
that market traders in the fine tradition of medieval markets.

> > > One who composes background music for his guild and for others
> > 
> > I think it is essential that this kind of creativity is possible purely from
> > a player point of view. The player in question should be strongly encouraged
> > to have a musician character who is the channel for this creativity into the
> > game world.
> Sounds good to me.
> > > Developer who helps create quests, and has 5 char's in game
> > 
> > Here the line becomes fuzzy. As I explained in an earlier mail (which may have
> > got lost), I believe it should be possible to create quests using a Player
> > account to a large extent. This could for example be done, by logging in
> > as a Player account which owns some important "evil" NPCs. This player could
> > then direct the actions of some of these NPCs in order to move them into
> > the situation required for the quest to run. From a certain point of view
> > this person may seem to be an Admin, but the account they are using has no
> > special Admin privs, it just is the account that owns the relevant NPCs.
> > Some aspects of quests are going to need Admin access. An example of
> > this would be if a quest involved hunting for an ancient artifact that
> > has been hidden in some caves for centuries, then the object must be
> > placed there out-of-game.
> We've discussed this a bit, too, and quests can definately be run by both
> players and GMs. Now, although players can certainly do a lot, we expect to
> need to have some "kick-starts" in the game world, especially early on, when
> all the Nations are stilled ruled by NPCs, and the playerbase is low. For
> this, we've planned on having both GMs running quests, long-term and short, and
> also special "Quest" people who's only extra ability is being able to possess
> most NPCs.

Again, you have misunderstood what I meant, probably because I did not explain
it well. Yes, many quests will be set up by GMs. My point in the above
was that GMs should not need Admin access to the server. GMs can log in using
Player accounts which have been set up specifically for the purpose of
controlling the important NPCs, and manipulate the world using these NPCs
to create quests IC.


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