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Old 11-24-2003, 06:42 PM   #1
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Amnon is on a distinguished road
So here's the deal:

On my MUD, there was this alliance, who started leeching and constantly harassing people (They probably costed the MUD a few players for good, too. Even the experienced ones wanted to leave because of the OOC harassment!. Also, I caught the head of that alliance cheating 3 times, which by my book should mean a ban, but I was nice enough to let him off with a more minor punishment... But here comes the real kick...

This player, Neo, saw what that alliance did, and decided to retaliate. The guy's been working for a -week-, getting resources and blueprints, and worked really hard. Then, he created a new char and used all those upgrades to make a very good base in an hour. After that, he went on and attacked that alliance, and, after a long while, won. Now, these guys (Soljax and Azathoth) who just lost, started crying, saying Neo was cheating, claiming he was me (The imp). Of course, they went right ahead and wrote reviews everywhere they could, and spammed the boards in the game (Not to mention public channels).

Of course, after catching the guy cheat 3 times, if I wanted him out of the game, I had more than enough reason to just ban his ass instead of making a new char and work for hours on killing him.

Now, since there's no reason I can ban that Soljax guy (AOL), and no way I can post him from flaming reviews here and on other sites, I was wondering what da #### can I do about these.... I can't even find a word to describe it!!

I know these guys have been kicked off a -lot- of MUDs, they told me that themselves, and I don't find any word they say reliable or trustworthy. They just did their damage and went...

So how do you repair such damage?
How can I prevent people from just going around and spreading their own false opinions, just because... They want to?
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:45 PM   #2
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Simple answer: You can't. Live with it and wait for it to blow over. They've only got so much steam before it wears off.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:48 PM   #3
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That's a bit of a problem, cause every month there are new guys who turn postal on the game cause, due to its nature where people work to build a base, and then lose it, some people are just not able to take the heat.

If you look over at TMC, you'll see numerous flames for the MUD, every time a new kid finds it and thinks he can control it, then starts a flame war when he finds out the world doesn't work that way.
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Old 11-24-2003, 07:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by (Amnon @ Nov. 24 2003,17:42)
So here's the deal:

On my MUD, there was this alliance, who started leeching and constantly harassing people (They probably costed the MUD a few players for good, too. Even the experienced ones wanted to leave because of the OOC harassment!.
See, that's the point at which you should have given them the boot. Zero tolerance works wonders.
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:05 PM   #5
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First of all, amen to a MUD that can boast such (seemingly) balanced and cutthroat methods for the players to explore. As an avid PK enthusiast, I'm finding it harder to find interesting and balanced PK systems on MUDs where they're encourage/enforced, and not discouraged in place of pk.

Following from that, if you can't take the heat, get out. MUDs designed for powerlevellers, hack'n'slashers, and pkers aren't designed to coddle you or allow for mistakes or laziness. The game just doesn't work like that (from what you've mentioned of the MUD, yours seems to fall into this category).

I've made it VERY clear on descriptions I put on TMC that my MUDs are not designed for aolers as a class, RPers of any sort, and kids who don't like dying a lot. When I get a flame, I post a link to the description of the MUD, and leave it at that. Anyone who actually cares about the thread will visit the link, see the description, and decide to accept the flame as valid or not through the description, and possibly through playing the game themselves.

If you worry too much about "public opinion", you'll never get anything else done. And for all that a lot of people never actually read a thread, those people are also ones you probably ones you don't want playing your MUD anyway. So ban the idiot, newlock aol, and de-stress


Edit: The "cant take the heat? then get out" is referring to whiny players. Imps who can't take the heat usually just shut the MUD down.

Edit #2: I think I might know those guys. If they know a Visko, tell them he hasn't seen then sneaking around on our old total-pk hangout, and they need to distract themselves from their whining with a few hours of GZ.
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:24 AM   #6
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In Amnon's defense, his MUD is quite good and refreshingly new.  One of those MUDs which pushes the envelope and defines the "new" in MUDding.  There is a certain cartoony/unprofessional aspect to it, which I don't care for, but that is more than made up for, tenfold.  And yes, it is a very cutthroat pk MUD not meant for those with weak stomachs.

Amnon, my advice to you is, you need a figurehead.  Play yourself as (highest level minus one) and have a mysterious (highest level) imm who noone actually sees.  Because he doesn't actually exist.  This will afford you a TON of flexibility.  When you have to do dirty work (like deleting someone), you can say "Man, I really didn't want it to come to this, but the boss was adamant."  It will also lend a lot to the mysterious/professional aspect of the MUD.  People are more likely to ascribe respect to their head imm when it's someone they never meet.  A head imm interacting as much as you do, while openly letting people know he's head imm, will do much to rub the MUD's professional coating away.
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Old 11-25-2003, 02:16 AM   #7
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So you're saying, Erdos, to... not be nice to newbies and not help them?

Heh, everyone in the game knows who I am already, making a new 'owner' won't come that easily...

Also, that Soljax guy just keeps logging on, now he's claiming he's stealing our players. I won't ban AOL because there are numerous people who play from that ISP (numerous isn't even the word). Well, I guess now I understand Azathoth's story about the two of them getting banned from MUD after MUD.
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Old 11-25-2003, 02:35 AM   #8
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We've had to deal with that very same guy over here at the Carrion Fields and we had the exact same problems. We have since banned him from our game and forums, and the best advice I can give about the flame wars is generally to do your best to ignore them. They want reactions to fuel the fires. If they don't get any attention, they tend to move on to something that will give them attention, positive or negative. So just let him talk to the wall, and he'll move on and bother someone else. Hopefully sooner or later he'll just grow up of course.

I found that our own playerbase generally picked up on when he was just talking crap and even turned the tables on him, so I doubt he'd really make a dent in changing any playerbase opinions.

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Old 11-25-2003, 04:53 AM   #9
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What you could do is newbie-lock the mud to AOL, so your existing players could continue and then pwipe (nuke) the offending Soljax character.

Also, when you decide on a course of action, I would recommend informing the whole playerbase of what you've done and why. There's nothing like people getting nuked for no apparent reason to confuse and scare players.
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:02 AM   #10
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In my mud we have a wonderful feature that we call 'Coventry'.
It allows a player to talk, gossip, chat, shout, yell or whatever, and everything looks perfectly normal to them.

Only the other players don't even notice them. Whatever they type never appears on the screen.
So naturally they get totally ignored.
And the beauty of it is, that in most cases they never even realise what's being done to them.

It's perfect for the situation you describe, so I suggest you implement it.
Let them yell and waste their steam for as long as the want.
They won't do any harm, and eventually they will tire of it and go hassle some other mud.

As for bad reviews - ignore them. It's pretty obvious to most readers, when a review was written out of sheer spite. Might even get you a few players.

On the other hand, few people beside the owners read reviews anyhow.
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:18 AM   #11
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I already have that implemented, only I called the command '#######'

Problem with these guys is that they keep recreating under different names, so I can't really use it in this case.

As for banning AOL, wait until I show you the list of AOL people I have... It would be a shame to begin restricting them, or make an application process for AOL users (Even with that, they can lie and say they're someone else, wait for an account, and...)
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Old 11-25-2003, 09:06 PM   #12
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If you don't want to make an application process or some other similar restriction... Good luck.

I mean, basically, what it comes down to is your word on theirs... Most of the time, that actually works out heavily in your favor, since you can post eloquent replies to badly written flames... That and, even in the situations where you can't, the bad writing characteristic of unhappy, flaming players tends to turn people off their reviews anyways.

If your target audience has a half-a-brain, they should be able to see through it...
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Old 11-27-2003, 12:04 AM   #13
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How come you can't use the command?

I mean - there's a saying "if it looks like a flamer, sounds like a flamer and acts like a flamer, it probably is a flamer."
Okay, so the saying actually has more to do with ducks than flamers or twinks, but it's still valid!

Anyways, what I'm saying is - if it sounds like a new player is running off the same kind of spiel these guys do, use that command. If it turns out that they aren't the pair you're trying to get rid of, you can (probably) apologise later.
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Old 11-27-2003, 04:21 AM   #14
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Okay. To begin with, this is not CandidatusLupus, but her cousin. I don't have a name.


Anyway, It seems to me that you want to have these troublemakers go away, but don't want to do anything to make them do so. See, in my opinion, you either need to give the MUD to someone else and put someone else in charge (someone who can do the job without hesitance) or you need to buckle down and show them who is boss.

Your stituation seems to remind me of a mud that I was an Imm on. The problem with the immortals and the players and basically the MUD in general was that the imms refused to treat players equally and to enforce the punishments no matter what.

For example, Bob would go and  get in trouble. Bob's punishment should be banishment, but nooooo, the immortals didn't want to do the 'dirty work' as I believe it was previously called. They just poked Bob, scolded him, and told him to be a good little player. This happened several times until my cousin and I left the MUD.

You need to create a punishment for most rules that you can think of that can be broken, and stick to it, no matter what. The punishments should never be lowered a little bit. Actually, they may need raising for some. That is at your discretion.

I understand that it may seem like I am all "DESTROY PLAYERS! PUNISHMENT = GOOD!!!!!", but I'm not really. That's basically what it takes to keep your players in line. Ah. I know how horrible I sound.

Amnon, you are just going to have to pwipe the chars that caused the trouble, set up a newbie ban on AOL for a month or two, and make sure that you don't see those IPs when you come back. And treat all following players accordingly.

Another thing is, that it seemed to me like you were a little -too- worried about what damage the players could do. As people stated before, if it looks like a flamer, sounds like a flamer, and acts like a flamer, it prolly is a flamer.  Unless you have done something worth being scared about, don't worry about it.

Well, that's my 200 cents.

No more comments from the peanut gallery.

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Old 11-27-2003, 05:50 AM   #15
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Like I said, it's not that I don't -WANT- to use it, I'll gladly use it on these guys, it's just that I can't ban people with Dynamic IPs, and they keep creating new chars, so I can't set any flag on them.

I do ban people when I feel they show disrespect for the rules, it's not that I'm some wuss-imm or something, I just can't predict what IP and char name these guys will try next. Nobody can.
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Old 11-27-2003, 09:46 AM   #16
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So nuke them and get it over with. If they create new characters from dynamic IPs and you can prove that it is the same people, do them too. Make it clear that rule-breaking will not be tolerated, no matter how much damage these people can attempt to do.

If you create rules for your mud, you ought to enforce them. If not, the good players, of which there are a great many more than the bad, will have something to flame you about.
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Old 11-27-2003, 10:16 AM   #17
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That's not the problem...

The problem is that I can't be on to nuke them 24/7, and they just keep coming and spamming the boards and doing ****.

Unless I find a way to exist without sleep, same as my staff, it gets hard to prevent.
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Old 11-27-2003, 02:18 PM   #18
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As someone mentioned earlier (and I think you may have misinterpreted it) you need to essentially setup an account system with your Dynamic IPers (such as AOL people). When someone logs on from an AOL address, have it check a list of vaiable account names (or just have it check and see if it's a preexisting account). If it is, let them through. If not, send them a message that says all AOL (or whatever ISP the IP refers to) members have to register in writing (by email, and using their REAL AOL address) to gain an account. Of course, don't forget to rm the offenders accounts after you put in the implementation. This *wont* effect any of your current AOL players, unless they want to make a new character. If you have lots of characer being created all the time by these players, set up the account with a special "password" that needs to be inputed for AOL uses every time they make a new character, and issue the passwords to your players that you want to keep, and others that request them via email.
No, this won't completely and utterly stop the problem. But it will definatly help. You'll be able to nip the offenders in the bud quickly when you realize who they are, and will "ban" them for longer then banning a specific AOL address. Additionally, you have the extra screening process by email, which will provide another limited form of protection; they have to use their AOL address to do it. Sure.. they can just get a new AOL address, but chances are, you'll figure out who it is via the language they use in their message at least 50% of the time.
Lastly, after having to wait 1-7 days each time, and register a *new* aol account every time they get banned is enough to push anyone off the side and make them go away. Once they are gone, you can then decide to disable the "feature."
I've done this on other non-mud server appplications before where "characters" are a *lot* less static then mud characters, and it works well. You mud, in which it sounds a bit like people burn through characters at a good rate, I think would help solve your problem.

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Old 11-27-2003, 05:01 PM   #19
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On most MUDs I play there's a newban on AOL. Which basically means that anyone on an AOL host can't create new characters but can log in to existing ones. If someone on AOL wants a character they have to contact an imm to get one. It prevents a lot of l33t dudes of annoying the #### out of everyone. In your case it would prevent the guy from coming back while current players on AOL can still play their characters
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Old 11-30-2003, 06:43 PM   #20
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I'm the guy that Amnon is talking about. First paragraph is my take on bad muds and player responsibilities, the second paragraph is my side of the Amnon story.

The imm owns the mud, and the server.. and actually invests money into the mud. He also invests time. He / She can do whatever they want, it's their mud. Keep in mind, though, that a mud is also a game. The owner or host of a game of monopoly can do whatever he or she pleases (it's their game). If the owner cheats or is unfair, they will no longer have any players. This is why it's important for players to leave mud where the staff is unfair / mean or blatantly cheating. This is the only weapon players have against cheaters. The internet is a democracy, you choose where you want to play.. And it is PLAYERS not IMMORTALS which make a game a success.

As to Amnon's story... it's bupkus. I was the one who pulled my own plug on his mud, because I caught him blatantly cheating. The players who have remained have made a choice to play despite his cheating... The evidence (and his lack of any mature response) made for a compelling arguement against him. Fact is, he decided to play sides. He rigged a special character (or) possibly even played a special character whose only purpose was to take out my alliance. Even on these boards, he claims this character had prepared for weeks to pull off a coup de grace.. but in less then an hour of playing time this character was on par and better then our 100+ hour characters. (We used a figner command to figure out how old this character was). At 5am eastern standard time (when no one was on).. Amnon coded a brand new feature, and this "special" rigged character charged our base with this feature minutes later. We watched this character get created, and in the same hour we watched him build up a base which would require at the very least 24 hours of work.

When an imm takes sides.. that's fine. WHen an imm rigs characters.. it's time to leave. I brought 5 of my friends to Amnon's mud.. And yes, we're all leaving.
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