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Old 04-10-2012, 07:06 AM   #1
MarshP
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Botting - why?

Can someone please explain to me why players bot in MUDs?

Not in a "why oh why?" sense; I'm neutral on the subject in terms of good and evil. Though I disagree with it where it's cheating, merely because MUD owners' rules should be respected in their houses.

What I'm asking more is, what's the advantage? I've now tried MMOing and I can see that bots there gather resources for RWT. But why in a free MUD?

I guess there's power-levelling, but given the work to write a bot for a single MUD, wouldn't it be easier to play to level?

Or is it just the coding challenge?
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: Botting - why?

Mostly it comes down to the psychological urge to reach maximum level as fast as possible; if botting gives any sort of advantage, players will do it. And as the bot can run 24/7, that makes it very effective when it comes to repeatable content.

Aside from that, yes, there are also a few players who enjoy the coding challenge.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: Botting - why?

Pretty much what Kavir said. Also, depending on the MUD and the ability of the player.. they might be able to write bots that automate questing for them, farming gold, farming equipment, earning achievements, etc.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Botting - why?

Usually MUD coders, in fits of not quite brilliance, tie important advancement to a drudgerous grind. Star Conquest is a great example of this, where industry points had to be acquired by dozens of hours of tedious manual debris salvaging, and they went to great lengths to punish you if you used a trigger or timer. It's 2012 - there's no excuse for a MUD that isn't trigger, alias, and macro friendly.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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Re: Botting - why?

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Originally Posted by MarshP View Post
Can someone please explain to me why players bot in MUDs?
If you don't like some part of the gameplay, you try to avoid or skip it. If it is tedious, repetitious and can't be skipped, you automate it. This is the whole point of automation, I guess.

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I guess there's power-levelling, but given the work to write a bot for a single MUD, wouldn't it be easier to play to level?
You exchange some boring, repetitious and mind-numbing activity for arguably creative and challenging coding of a bot. Looks rewarding enough.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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Re: Botting - why?

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If you don't like some part of the gameplay, you try to avoid or skip it. If it is tedious, repetitious and can't be skipped, you automate it. This is the whole point of automation, I guess.
As I mentioned recently on MudBytes, "In terms of botting, it's doesn't matter whether or not the content is interesting - people will still bot it, if they feel it gives them any sort of advantage."

There's also the quote from the thread I linked to in my first post:

"As long as there is a level max, people will do their dangest to reach it as quickly as possible. City of Heroes has a level cap of 50, and not much to do once you get to it. The story and the joy of the game is in the travel up to level 50. Still, a good 50% of the player base there tries to power level as fast as humanly possible, and many time through bugs and exploits.

It doesn't matter that the meat of the game are the story missions done at every level, from 1-50. It's something psychological, to have the highest level character possible."


In short, competitive players will bot if it gives them an advantage, regardless of whether the gameplay is tedious or enjoyable. They'll even bot through the enjoyable content to reach a tedious endgame!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: Botting - why?

99.9% of muds involve repetitive action of some type to advance, whether you're gaining levels, money, items, quest/achievement points, proficiency in skills, or anything else. The first few times you kill some things, get a reward for it, and start to improve a character, it's fun. But eventually, every mud like this gets to a point where you're really not missing out on anything if you automate the repetitive grind. It's not fun to do the same thing, over and over again for days (months on some muds, where the people in charge think advancement becomes more meaningful if it's especially time-consuming or tedious). You're inputting the same commands, over and over again, to receive a known outcome/output, with extremely little variation in risk or reward.

Whoever said that it's 2012 now, and we have modern technology was spot on. It doesn't make sense to take a stance against automation and try to police it. Instead, mud owners should try to make games where botting isn't possible, maybe due to mobiles with smart AI, variations in areas/conditions, etc. Or games where botting isn't desirable, because you'll really miss out on something if you skip the experience and automate it. Or games where the primary means for advancement doesn't involve an extended time period performing repetitive acts.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Re: Botting - why?

While I think a full-on bot takes all the fun out a game, I'm not above reducing the tedium with complex scripts and such that help while I'm at the computer.

Half the fun is writing them, too.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #9
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Re: Botting - why?

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Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
...mud owners should try to make games where botting isn't possible, maybe due to mobiles with smart AI, variations in areas/conditions, etc.
Short of limiting game access to an unscriptable custom client, I'm not sure you can make unattended "botting" impossible. You can make it difficult, but as long as text and predictable action is involved, enterprising min/maxers will always find a way to automate everything.

Quote:
Or games where botting isn't desirable, because you'll really miss out on something if you skip the experience and automate it.
This is the best solution, in my opinion: design fun processes. I think advancement mechanics are seen as means to ends most times instead of opportunities to give players more cool and interesting stuff to do. When it comes to advancement, game play gets overlooked way too often. I'd like to see MUD designers put as much thought into MOB-bashing mechanics as they do PvP.

Quote:
Or games where the primary means for advancement doesn't involve an extended time period performing repetitive acts.
Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast.

There's no way around the time commitment issue if you want your game to have any length of playability. But guys play Madden over and over and over until the next version comes out, despite the fact that the process is always the same. Why? Because the process is challenging. Because it lets players pit their ability against each other as well as the machine. And in my opinion, that's the key: designing mechanics with game play first in mind, mechanics that put players in constant competition--with the game, with each other--and make player ability at least as big a part of success as is the skill of characters. Is that easy to do? Hell no. Text is a tough platform. But it can be done. I've seen it.

Anything you do repetitively is going to get less fun as time goes on. Even the greatest games in the world lose their luster after a while. The cool thing about persistent realities is that when you get tired of bashing stuff, you don't have to leave the game. You can go and do something else until you're ready to reenter the fray. There will always be players uninterested in anything but advancing, and there is no way to design around that, but as long as a game offers goals independent of more levels, more loot and more skill, who cares?

That's my $0.02, anyway.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Re: Botting - why?

Or games where the primary means for advancement doesn't involve an extended time period performing repetitive acts.

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Originally Posted by Will View Post

Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast.

There's no way around the time commitment issue if you want your game to have any length of playability. But guys play Madden over and over and over until the next version comes out, despite the fact that the process is always the same. Why? Because the process is challenging. Because it lets players pit their ability against each other as well as the machine. And in my opinion, that's the key: designing mechanics with game play first in mind, mechanics that put players in constant competition--with the game, with each other--and make player ability at least as big a part of success as is the skill of characters. Is that easy to do? Hell no. Text is a tough platform. But it can be done. I've seen it.

Anything you do repetitively is going to get less fun as time goes on. Even the greatest games in the world lose their luster after a while. The cool thing about persistent realities is that when you get tired of bashing stuff, you don't have to leave the game. You can go and do something else until you're ready to reenter the fray. There will always be players uninterested in anything but advancing, and there is no way to design around that, but as long as a game offers goals independent of more levels, more loot and more skill, who cares?

That's my $0.02, anyway.
There are games where "bashing stuff" isn't necessary to "advance" in the game at all. In fact, the vast majority of the MUSH community manages to avoid repetitive acts, because they leave out "repetitive act-involving code."

RPIs include that code, and provide for people who want to do that, but by no means require anyone to use it to advance. You can advance in status, by roleplaying your character in a way that gets him promoted to a position of political leadership, without him once picking up a single weapon, or throwing a single punch, or crafting a single silk gown.

Yes, many (most) MUDs require coded skill advancement, in order to achieve in-character status. And that works for games where the title in "Lady Bythemee Buttcheyke" has comes with coded political-social significance. But when it comes to games that emphasize roleplaying regardless of the existence of coded skill, the high-level uber-skilled guy with zero social or political skills will still be nothing but a tool to be either used, avoided, ignored, or killed off (if permadeath is coded), by the people who actually run the plotlines and spread their influence.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #11
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Re: Botting - why?

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There are games where "bashing stuff" isn't necessary to "advance" in the game at all. In fact, the vast majority of the MUSH community manages to avoid repetitive acts, because they leave out "repetitive act-involving code."
I guess I should have made it clear that my statement was in reference to the question of preventing "botting" in MUDs. I agree that there are MUSH concepts that can be incorporated in MUDs, but I don't think turning MUDs into MUSHs is the answer. My point has nothing to do with "bashing" being a necessity, however. "Advancement" can mean a lot of things and you can handle it any way you want, but no matter which route you go, if you want your game to have any kind of durability, achievement is going to require time and it is going to eventually get repetitive.

So, on topic: In my opinion, you (rhetorical) will never be able to prevent unattended scripting in MUDs, but I do think you can minimize the desire to do it by making the act of advancement rewarding and fun.

Quote:
RPIs include that code, and provide for people who want to do that, but by no means require anyone to use it to advance. You can advance in status, by roleplaying your character in a way that gets him promoted to a position of political leadership, without him once picking up a single weapon, or throwing a single punch, or crafting a single silk gown.
I think we agree. Quoting myself: The cool thing about persistent realities is that when you get tired of bashing stuff, you don't have to leave the game. You can go and do something else until you're ready to reenter the fray. There will always be players uninterested in anything but advancing, and there is no way to design around that, but as long as a game offers goals independent of more levels, more loot and more skill, who cares?

Quote:
.... when it comes to games that emphasize roleplaying regardless of the existence of coded skill, the high-level uber-skilled guy with zero social or political skills will still be nothing but a tool to be either used, avoided, ignored, or killed off (if permadeath is coded), by the people who actually run the plotlines and spread their influence.
Interesting. There's a huge difference between avoiding/ignoring someone and using/killing him off. I can imagine telling someone who spends all his time out hacking and slashing to get lost when a plotline gets really cool and he suddenly wants to insert himself into the middle of it. I'd likely call the law to extract the unruly citizen from my business, if it came to that. But I dunno about forcing characters to do stuff or removing them from the game. I'm sincerely curious how this works. Do folks who role-play their way to power gain mechanical skill and force uber-skilled but socio-politically inept characters to do what they want, or beat them into permadeath, or whatever, or do they just role-play it and get a uber-skilled NPC or the hand of a god into whose favor they have role-played their way to do it for them?
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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Re: Botting - why?

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Interesting. There's a huge difference between avoiding/ignoring someone and using/killing him off. I can imagine telling someone who spends all his time out hacking and slashing to get lost when a plotline gets really cool and he suddenly wants to insert himself into the middle of it. I'd likely call the law to extract the unruly citizen from my business, if it came to that. But I dunno about forcing characters to do stuff or removing them from the game. I'm sincerely curious how this works. Do folks who role-play their way to power gain mechanical skill and force uber-skilled but socio-politically inept characters to do what they want, or beat them into permadeath, or whatever, or do they just role-play it and get a uber-skilled NPC or the hand of a god into whose favor they have role-played their way to do it for them?
(The rest of your post was part of a great discussion - so I'm addressing the specific concern above.)

Once, I played a character with the "burglar" skillset. She had some "newbie-capable" combat skill that most characters come with, and I think a craft so she could earn at least enough coins to keep herself fed. I never found out, with that PC, where a person could actually find a lockpick, so the burglar skills themselves were grossly under-used, to the point where once she was given a lockpick, subsequently snapped it on her third attempt at breaking open an apartment door.

She maneuvered her way into the good graces of a noble. He ended up hiring her, as an aide. She moved up the ladder of social acceptability, until she had garnered at least a modest amount of respect from other aides of other nobles, and was in charge of her noble's other employees. She ended up double-crossing her noble, because he wasn't paying her enough for what she perceived to be her due, and fed information about him to a clanned criminal gang in the seedier section of the city.

Ultimately, she was brutally assassinated by her criminal boss, because one of her friends - who also served the noble, happened to be double-dealing with ANOTHER clan..and THEY had an agreement with her noble.. so when THEY found out that she was selling her noble out, they hired the criminal boss to assassinate her.

The only skills I ever made use of with that character with any amount of success, was "listen" and "cook." She became well known, loved and loathed, influential, and fairly high ranking for a commoner. She had amassed a bunch of friends and enemies, arranged for at least 4 assassinations, one of whom was another noble. She began and was neck-deep involved in a myriad of plotlines, and died an absolutely gorgeous death.

There were plenty of people who, all they wanted to do was kill stuff and get loot and use their coded power to rise in the ranks of their combat-related clans. But without social skills, their coins weren't worth all that much except to NPC trader-bots in shops. They could've been the most bad-ass max-skilled warrior with uber bash and super-uber axe-slinging. But the only thing they were ever good for, was bashing, and slinging their axe. No one cared about them otherwise. They had -zero- influence over the game world, except with regards to who would get to hire him to kill their enemies. The people who did the hiring/firing/assassination-arranging had far more influence over people like Maxed-Out Max.

There were coded skills, but they were secondary to player intelligence, understanding of the world their characters lived in, and knowledge of strategy. No levels, no exp points. Skills went up through failure, but there was a time cap on that so if you failed twice in 15 minutes (for example - this wasn't the forumla, I never learned what it was) then there was no point in trying to gain a skill bump for the next hour. But if you logged out and came back an hour later, you'd STILL have to wait am hour. The timer didn't exist if your character wasn't logged in, and would begin wherever it left off when you logged out.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #13
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Re: Botting - why?

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(The rest of your post was part of a great discussion - so I'm addressing the specific concern above.)
I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think you know me well enough to know that I value RP. I've never played a RPI. My question was sincere.

My thing is this: In a game where power and influence is purely a product of role-play, you can emote an assassination, but if someone doesn't want his character to die it's not gonna happen. At some point there has to be some tangible way to determine who wins and who loses. In the scenario you described, what happens if there are no characters with the skill to carry out the assassination? Does your character get shunned to death?

You say that your girl was well-liked and had influence, but when it comes right down to it, if one of the combat-related clans decided it wanted to rule the world, what could she do about it? I mean, if a bunch of characters with mad weapon skills decide they want to get rid of the nobles and enslave everybody else, how is intelligence and knowledge of the world going to stop them?

Historically, the people in charge are the ones with the most money and the biggest sticks. Leaders need charisma and abilities beyond brute force, but every powerful government has a flush bankroll and lots of guns. How is this different in the games you're describing? What comprises the power that the "nobles" hold and how do they keep the highly skilled badasses at bay?

Last edited by Will : 04-15-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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Re: Botting - why?

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I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think you know me well enough to know that I value RP. I've never played a RPI. My question was sincere.
I was also being sincere. I do know you well enough to know you value RP, and I really do think this is a great discussion we're having. I just wanted to try and answer your question so I didn't post your whole post.

Quote:
My thing is this: In a game where power and influence is purely a product of role-play, you can emote an assassination, but if someone doesn't want his character to die it's not gonna happen. At some point there has to be some tangible way to determine who wins and who loses. In the scenario you described, what happens if there are no characters with the skill to carry out the assassination? Does your character get shunned to death?

You say that your girl was well-liked and had influence, but when it comes right down to it, if one of the combat-related clans decided it wanted to rule the world, what could she do about it? I mean, if a bunch of characters with mad weapon skills decide they want to get rid of the nobles and enslave everybody else, how is intelligence and knowledge of the world going to stop them?

Historically, the people in charge are the ones with the most money and the biggest sticks. Leaders need charisma and abilities beyond brute force, but every powerful government has a flush bankroll and lots of guns. How is this different in the games you're describing? What comprises the power that the "nobles" hold and how do they keep the highly skilled badasses at bay?
There were checks and balances to everything. Emoting an assassination only works in games that don't have coded combat skills. I don't like those kinds of games (those are MUSHes). I, like you, prefer the blend of code with roleplay. However, my taste in roleplay goes a little more extreme, and my taste in coded "power" is somewhat less than yours.

Emoting an assassination in an RPI wouldn't work, because it's considered cheating. Plus, it doesn't result in your target actually being dead. You have to have the coded skill behind it, and make use of it, and be successful. You can emote out your approach. You can roleplay out the months and weeks leading up to the idea that you even want to assassinate someone.

You can RP out gathering minions to help get your target into an apartment, or out on a hunting expedition, or over to the barracks for a round in the sparring arena. While you lay in wait, hidden behind a boulder, or in the shadows of the closet, or under the workshop table. And then - when the target gets there, and the minions close the door, and you hear the click in the lock...you emote springing up...and make your coded attack.

If you're good, your target will be dead within 1 or 2 shots (the code is semi-automated, there are "special attacks" you can make, but if you don't do anything at your keyboard, the auto-combat continues, at a much slower pace than what you might have seen in a standard diku setting). If you're not so good, it might take a few more hits. And the autocombat is 2-way - once the target gets over his initial delay from being hit, he will automatically start hitting you. Meanwhile, you both can be emoting, or yelling for help, or whining, or using the "think" command...reacting to the code, attempting to scramble for the doorknob while someone is mercilessly beating you to a pulp...

It's a bit different from the moo game we've experienced together, because we don't have to spend any time typing "kill amos" over and over again. We can use that time, instead, to "express" our character, while the combat code determines who's getting hurt, and who isn't.

So when you type "emote kills you" it's called power-emoting, and doesn't have any results other than ****ing off the -players- and the staff of the game sends you a note telling you to cut it out and directing you to the documentation of the rules and regs.

The nobles have the backing of their noble house, and the city's overseeing government and the "King" who rules the city. It's a dictatorship, with a heirarchy. Players of nobles, are sponsored into the role. Their character is -born- a noble, he doesn't merely earn a title after doing good deeds. It is part of their bloodline, legacy, and heritage. He is, literally, superior to the commoners. And the commoners know this. And if a commoner forgets, the local law will either instruct them, or eliminate them. Depending on how the commoner responds to the noble's chastisement.

One uber guy with maxed skills cannot win against a few dozen PC and NPC soldiers. The code just doesn't work that way. Even a big huge giant (half-giant in this game) with maxed axes, wearing full plate armor, dual-wielding with spiked war-axes as big as a kobold, cannot overcome 5 half-giant soldiers NPCs and 3 soldier PCs of various rank and skill. And should the big huge giant manage to escape, the wrath of the city's king's personal guard will see to it that the big huge giant doesn't escape far, and whatever is left of his corpse is displayed as an example of what happens when you **** off the noblity.

On the other hand, you -could- arrange to eliminate that noble - by being clever, and politically savvy, getting into his good graces, or getting into the good graces of his most trusted minion. Getting him to hire you. And then proving yourself of incredible use to him, until such time as he promotes you to his personal guard. And then - you kill him, quickly and quietly, without fanfare. And he's gone.

But, just as you were clever and savvy and sneaky and wormed your way in effortlessly, there might be someone else in that clan who has done exactly the same thing as you did, only better. And when they find out what happened, it'll be your turn to die.

That's the way of politics. It didn't matter who had the biggest stick and the most money. It mattered who, among those people with big sticks and lots of money, had enough political and social influence, to put themselves into a position where their sticks and money could do the most good. Or evil, depending on the perspective.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #15
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Re: Botting - why?

I should clarify, that might've seemed weird:

Players of nobles earn their roles through sponsorship by the staff. If House Blah just lost their last noble to storage of the character, or death, the staff posts that they need a new one. They post the criteria - must know the city, must have had some leadership experience in some clan at some point, must be able to play during peak times, and must be willing to encourage both small and large plotlines. (that's an example. Not all noble roles have to be like that).

And then players send in applications, and the staff goes over it, and decide as a group which is the most promising of the bunch. Usually there's a lot of trust involved, so veteran players, or at least newer players who have already shown responsibility and trustworthiness in previous clan roleplay, will have an advantage.

What this -also- means, is that if you are constantly playing Maxy Max-Skill who thinks that gaming begins and ends at coded skills, you are less likely to ever earn a role requiring staff trust and responsibility. Showing an ability to communicate well with staff goes a long way too, and people who put more weight in how quickly they can spam-craft themselves a fortune, than in how well they can interact with the roleplayed side of the game world and the other players, are less likely to communicate to staff at all, let alone efficiently.

In short, if you want to play a noble, you have to 1) earn the trust of the staff, 2) show a serious interest in plotlines and player/character interaction, and 3) be interested in the role, when one opens up and becomes available.

The same goes for the higher ranking government. Soldiers and soldier crews are usually clanned through actual gaming and RP, but the clan boss will typically be a sponsored role.

Clan bosses CAN get killed off, they often are, and some clans are notorious for constantly having a new clan boss every month because none of them can ever manage to keep themselves alive very long. And sometimes they die to their own stupidity - going out, unarmed, thinking you're all that and then some, to punch an elf in the face. Only to discover, that elf has 4 of his best friends with him, and you're outside the safety of the city gates, and the NPC soldiers aren't going to auto-gank those elves on -that- side of the gate. So - you're toast.

Also, when you're a noble, you aren't permitted to just order your NPC guards to kill someone randomly, or because he looked at you funny. The staff has put you in a position of trust and responsibility, and this is a permanent death game. When your guard kills a PC, you are forcing that player to create a new character. So you'd better have a good IC reason, and you'd also better have a good IC reason why it has to be your NPC uber guard, instead of PC minions you can hire and manipulate, and who might betray you, because they're played by players and aren't merely loyal devoted assigned killer bots.

It gets pretty complex. Takes awhile to get the hang of it. But it was a whole lot of fun. Steep learning curve. But that actually reduces (though doesn't eliminate) the spam-bot-twinky players who feel that roleplay doesn't matter if you have 4 more levels and 5 extra ranks of dual-wield.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #16
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Re: Botting - why?

That does sound like fun stuff. Few questions, though:

• How much screaming is there over the staff playing favorites?

• What's average character turnover?

• How much does permadeath affect player retention?

• We keep discussing the extremes, but I would guess most players fall somewhere in the middle: work on skills some, role-play some. Yeah?

I think I get the picture. This helps me out some, but I can't see myself playing a game with that much rigidity in character development. I love good RP, but I don't want to have to be that serious about it. To me, that could get just as tedious as "the grind."

We all want something different out of a game. It's a good thing there's a million of them out there, eh?

To get things sort of back on topic I will also say this: I prefer a game that allows players to achieve by themselves but also gives them attractive incentives to work together and provides interesting mechanics to help them do it. I like the idea of fast and furious MOB bashing that doesn't just pose a challenge, but reequires the cooperation of multiple charocters with different abilities to do with a modicum of safety and efficiency. I want to see characters combining their skills to achieve greater things than they can by themselves, so that they have everyday reasons to interact without a "plotline" being necessary. I think if you have those elements, the role-play and the plots will come. Just as importantly, I believe that if gaining skill is a fun process and using it is a productive and social activity, players will be more inclined to take part in the community and less likely to sit around and script.

Again, just my $0.02.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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Re: Botting - why?

Why to bot or oppose botting is a bit of a different question than the ages old "RP versus mechanics" debate. I've always hated that debate for one simple reason: the two aren't mutually exclusive. I can be an established, great RPer who's an important noble leader of some kind with tons of power and influence and a huge network of PC and NPC contacts, and also bot/grind the heck out of my character in my spare time and be a "Maxed out Max" (love that term. Never heard it before.) That way, when some other purely roleplaying noble sends a heavily trained assassin after me, I win. I'm both codedly powerful, and RPly powerful. And I can go kill that enemy noble myself if I want. There's no check on a system where code determines combat outcomes. If I'm a Maxed out Max, I win fights. Maybe there are RP based reprocussions if I kill some key PCs, but I can just roll up another Max if I die, right?

I don't think the only solution, or even the main one, to keep people from wanting to bot is a huge RPI based system. There can be serious code incentives to discourage botting/encourage interaction.

Example system in my mind: Let's say I'm a crafter type in a mud. I can advance by gathering crafting materials (can be automated), but get more experience faster if I buy crafting materials from another player with the amount of experience I get determined by how much of a good price I get (some sort of equation that compares the price I paid per unit with some base price, such that by executing a coded trade command effectively, I advance). Or maybe gathering materials is much more effective if I team up with a wilderness scout class, that has a special skill that helps us find more materials or better ones faster. I could also advance by crafting items from materials (can be automated), but I get more experience faster if I trade my crafted items at a good price per the trade command above. And crafting is more effective and produces much higher quality itmes if I team up with another crafter. A system like that lets me slowly bot on my own if I want, but I'm strongly incentivized to interact instead, and the people with networks of contacts will advance a lot faster than I will by botting (if the mud is populated at all.)

Similar example: Let's say that I'm a healer/doctor type. If the best or only way of improving at my doctoring skill was to heal the injuries of other PCs, there'd be little to no botting, just interactively peddling my services.

Let's say I'm a religious priest figure type. If the best or only way to advance in my religious order or get more awesome religious powers was to perform conversion/induction ceremonies on people after convincing them to join the faith, to perform marriages and other religious rites, and stuff like that, I'm not going to waste time killing rats in the sewer with a club using my bot.

The possibilities are endless, and even applicable in a non-roleplaying mud.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #18
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Re: Botting - why?

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Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
Let's say I'm a crafter type in a mud. I can advance by gathering crafting materials (can be automated), but get more experience faster if I buy crafting materials from another player with the amount of experience I get determined by how much of a good price I get (some sort of equation that compares the price I paid per unit with some base price, such that by executing a coded trade command effectively, I advance). Or maybe gathering materials is much more effective if I team up with a wilderness scout class, that has a special skill that helps us find more materials or better ones faster. I could also advance by crafting items from materials (can be automated), but I get more experience faster if I trade my crafted items at a good price per the trade command above. And crafting is more effective and produces much higher quality itmes if I team up with another crafter. A system like that lets me slowly bot on my own if I want, but I'm strongly incentivized to interact instead, and the people with networks of contacts will advance a lot faster than I will by botting (if the mud is populated at all.)

Similar example: Let's say that I'm a healer/doctor type. If the best or only way of improving at my doctoring skill was to heal the injuries of other PCs, there'd be little to no botting, just interactively peddling my services.

Let's say I'm a religious priest figure type. If the best or only way to advance in my religious order or get more awesome religious powers was to perform conversion/induction ceremonies on people after convincing them to join the faith, to perform marriages and other religious rites, and stuff like that, I'm not going to waste time killing rats in the sewer with a club using my bot.
It's a nice idea and there are systems like this out there, but the danger is you end up exchanging a bot that kills mobs for a bot that trades materials, heals injuries or performs religious ceremonies. Players will either join together to game the system (probably not the kind of interaction you were trying to encourage) or just use multiple characters/accounts to bot these activities themselves.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #19
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Re: Botting - why?

True. It's not really possible to entirely eliminate botting, but games can at least make it less desirable by creating ways of advancement that are more fun and interactive, and if botted, would require teams of bots to take the most advantage. I like to think that it's less likely that someone would park their doctor charcter in town square, and let the entire mud trigger his doctoring powers by telling him command words, than it is for someone to automate their doctor in a dark corner and have him kill rats, pick cotton, or craft bandages. Even when it's not against a mud's rules, there's a certain embarassment and stigma against automated playing.

Because then, even without mud rules/policing of bots, people are going to have a problem with that. If I'm playing a doctor character and not botting, I'm going to take serious issue that nobody's coming to me for doctoring and I can't advance because some bot set up shop in town square and told the mud what words will trigger what powers. I'm going to hire a pickpocket to steal all of his bandages or something, and stand right next to him and trip his triggers all day in ways that will hinder him.

Regarding the multiplaying aspect, most muds are pretty against that, and I'm all for muds that regulate multiplaying. The point of a multiplayer game is to play with other players. If I'm going to play 6 characters at once, so I can team bot them all to glorious levels of power, I'm totally playing the wrong kind of game.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:09 AM   #20
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Re: Botting - why?

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Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
Even when it's not against a mud's rules, there's a certain embarassment and stigma against automated playing..
On a related note to my OP, when does playing become automated? For example, as a low-level on Aardwolf, I've found I can wander into a place with aggressive mobs and just... wait. They'll fight and respawn and all I need do is occasionally look to my health. This is the MUD engaging in automated play, not me, right?
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