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Old 11-02-2005, 03:17 PM   #41
Maraz
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Some of my personal dislikes may be somewhat controversial. Obviously we are all different and I aknowledge that some of my likes and dislikes are minority views.

One thing which I personally find annoying is where realism takes precedent over game play. Best example of this is having to eat and drink to live. I wouldn't have a problem if the MUD was designed such that survival in itself was part of the game, but to put it in for sakes of realism seems pointless to me. Another thing like this is coming into a world naked or MUDs where you cannot put clothing in your description. Again if it made sense to the game I might not be bothered, but I don't really understand these kind of things.

Another thing which I don't like is long room descriptions. Anything over 6 lines I would be unlikely to read, unless it was perhaps a very important room. I would rather have 4 lines of concise description than 10 lines of brilliant writing. I do however like for the detail to be available by looking at or examining individual features in the room.

Probably though those things wouldn't stop me playing a MUD if I liked it. What would however is if there were not good oppertunities for roleplay. This could occur because of roleplay cliques, very few players around or because players do not stay IC. I can apreciate people who like roleplay to be enforced, I personally would prefer that staying IC was a matter of good ettiquette than rigorously enforced, but very few MUDs seem to opperate on that policy - perhaps because it is very difficult.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:34 AM   #42
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Things that make me NOT want to play a MUD? Well, that's easy. The biggest turn off for me is a petty and unprofessional staff. Ideally, staff members should have absolutely no contact with players except through forums and official email channels. I think the reason "Why?" is obvious so I won't get into that. The last MUD I played over the last four years(Unwritten Legends) was just about the complete opposite of this ideal. I started to discover this after I decided to try and be a bit more social and start chatting with other players in my 9 months there.

I discovered that staff members and the owner would regularly have group chats over AIM with only certain players. Staff members would individually chat with players over AIM( I know this because I actually chatted with them over AIM to ask them why they were doing this). Incidentally, no staff contact in rule number one over there and that rule is ignored. I also discovered that staff members would berate certain players, delete posts and come up with ways to shut you up if you're criticisms hit too close to home by fabricating "3 strikes Warning systems" and telling you that you were on your last strike when you didn't even know you had two in the first place.

These are just examples of the sort of behaviour that forces me to quit a MUD. The players, the RP and the game itself may be wonderful but weak and unethical leadership has a way of ruining the whole experience.

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Old 11-03-2005, 11:52 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (illusoryneptune @ Nov. 03 2005,15:34)
Ideally, staff members should have absolutely no contact with players except through forums and official email channels. I think the reason "Why?" is obvious so I won't get into that.
I've been running muds for over a decade, and I've no idea "why" that would be bad idea, let alone an obvious one. I talk with my players every day, letting them know what's going on, listening to their ideas and feedback, explaining to them why I've made or am making certain changes (or why I won't make other changes). The only drawback I've found is that it takes time away from developing the mud - is that what you were referring to?
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Old 11-03-2005, 01:09 PM   #44
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I should have been more clear. I apologize. One, yes, idle chatter over AIM takes from the time available to develop the game, and two, I think it sets a bad example. Say a player learns that so-and-so staff member has private AIM chats with a select group of players. And then the player sees this group of players get "benefits" in game. Of course, there might be nothing at all sinister about a private group chat but it may seem to people on the outside that favortism exists. Frankly, it creates a conflict of interest when staffers become OOC friends with players and I think it's better to avoid the entire problem by banning AIM communication with staff members. It's natural to want to help out your friends in game. Some staffers can remain professional about it, others can't.

Surely, you can inform players of new developments, receive feedback and suggestions, ect. through an official forum. If an individual player has concerns that he does not want to post, he can send them through the website email.
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Old 11-03-2005, 02:42 PM   #45
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I'm not talking about AIM, I'm talking about communication within the mud itself - chats, tells, etc. Sure, I'll answer responses on the forums as well, but many issues are simply caused by the player not understanding something in the game. Ignoring all such requests strikes me as being not only unprofessional, but also very rude.

Having said that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Frankly, it creates a conflict of interest when staffers become OOC friends with players and I think it's better to avoid the entire problem by banning AIM communication with staff members.
What if a staff member invites a friend to play the mud? Are you saying they should cut off all contact with them outside of official emails? Or should staff be discouraged from using word-of-mouth advertising completely?

Your suggestion is simply not practical, and seems to approach staff recruitment from the perspective of staff members being untrustworthy. If your can't even trust your staff that much then I'd say the problem isn't with communication, but with your method of recruitment.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:25 PM   #46
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Communication within the MUD over global channels is acceptable. Any other in game OOC contact between staff and players should be recorded and reviewed.

My views may seem extreme but coming from a game where I have seen so much nonsense with my own eyes in a relatively short period of time, I feel that these measures are necessary. The constant bickering over favortism, RP hoarding, fame/exp awards...This doesn't happen spontaeneously and without reason.

If players knew that the staff was dedicated to maintaing the highest level of professionalism and fairness, it would increase their trust in the staff. I know that I would be impressed if I saw cheaters being kicked off the game without any excuses being made and staffers being censured for unfairly aiding their friends.

Maybe I am being negative when it comes to staffers, but I like to think I am being realistic. The internet and MUDS are virtual places. It's easier to do things like cheat because you never have to face the people you've wronged in real life. Which is why every potential staffer should be carefully screened to be sure they are trustworthy.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:59 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (illusoryneptune @ Nov. 04 2005,03:25)
Communication within the MUD over global channels is acceptable. Any other in game OOC contact between staff and players should be recorded and reviewed.
Reviewed by whom? Digging through logs is a rather poor way to spend one's free time. If you cannot trust your staff, you're better off firing them or closing down the mud. Unless you fancy spending the rest of your days playing the Big Brother.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:45 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by
Maybe I am being negative when it comes to staffers, but I like to think I am being realistic. The internet and MUDS are virtual places. It's easier to do things like cheat because you never have to face the people you've wronged in real life. Which is why every potential staffer should be carefully screened to be sure they are trustworthy.
You don't need more regulations, you just need to play a mud with a half-decent owner who fires a**hats. See, I have plenty of OOC communication with players when I'm a staff member. Doesn't mean I show favoritism... I'll punish or reward them just the same, and I don't even own any of the muds I'm a staff member on. If you're playing on a mud with childish admins and an owner who doesn't have an interest in keeping the playing field even, that's a product of a BAD MUD AND BAD STAFF, not bad policies.

Because honestly, communication with players is key, and restricting it to public channels is silly. Reviewing tons of private communiques is silly. If there's a major problem (as in more than an admin hinting at a question solution or something), an open-minded owner will find out. At that point, it's up to them to decide what to do.

On a good mud, you'll come to love the staff, and they'll come to at least "tolerate" you (staffers are bitter, dontchaknow). I have several strong friendships that developed along the player-staff arc that have lasted long past the mud's survival, that never involved anything in the game except suggestions or idea generation, and that tell me that it's not worth my time developing or staffing a mud that won't even let me talk to the players.

If I saw a mud with that policy, I'd quit. Right. Then. And. There.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:48 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Angie @ Nov. 03 2005,20:59)
Reviewed by whom? Digging through logs is a rather poor way to spend one's free time. If you cannot trust your staff, you're better off firing them or closing down the mud. Unless you fancy spending the rest of your days playing the Big Brother.
It is absolutely, perfectly reasonable to log and monitor your staff, and is accepted practice. I doubt too many of them (if any) pro-actively comb through the logs, but having the logs available in case of a complaint against said staff member is critical, or it's the staff member's word against a player's.

If you choose good staff members and make them work their way up from few privileges to greater privileges, you should rarely have to look at logs. When I was still running Achaea, I might have cause to look at the logs of volunteers no more than a handful of times per year.

--matt
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:54 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Nov. 04 2005,04:48)
It is absolutely, perfectly reasonable to log and monitor your staff, and is accepted practice. I doubt too many of them (if any) pro-actively comb through the logs, but having the logs available in case of a complaint against said staff member is critical, or it's the staff member's word against a player's.
I am aware that logging immortal commands is common practice (logging personal conversation less so, but if some mud wants to do it or if an admin has specific reasons for doing it, it's their prerogative). My point was that no sane person can be expected to spy on their staff, or "review" their communication with players, on a regular basis.
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:31 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Angie @ Nov. 04 2005,04:54)
I am aware that logging immortal commands is common practice (logging personal conversation less so, but if some mud wants to do it or if an admin has specific reasons for doing it, it's their prerogative). My point was that no sane person can be expected to spy on their staff, or "review" their communication with players, on a regular basis.
Nor should they need to, if they have good hiring policies. But Matt's point is simply that the standards are there to protect the integrity of the MUD in those rare instances where it's necessary. As always, when the option is available, it's preferable to be safe than sorry, and accurate records of staff behavior can absolutely provide the necessary means by which to keep your staff honest, and punish them without controversy otherwise.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:32 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Angie @ Nov. 04 2005,04:54)
I am aware that logging immortal commands is common practice (logging personal conversation less so, but if some mud wants to do it or if an admin has specific reasons for doing it, it's their prerogative). My point was that no sane person can be expected to spy on their staff, or "review" their communication with players, on a regular basis.
Actually, I can see a point in randomly reviewing staff logs pro-actively if you're big enough and if your staff members don't really have a personal relationship with you. I suspect you wouldn't start running into situations that justify that kind of pro-active enforcement until you have quite a few more users than, say, Achaea has (say, 5-10x as many).

This is no different from a company reviewing the email and website visit employees make from work. Rarely (ever?) will a company actually check everything every employee does, but if you know you MIGHT be checked, that's often good enough to discourage naughty behavior. Same principle airports use with flagging only one out of every X traveler for extra searching.

--matt
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:16 PM   #53
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Summary:

Logs = good.
Random checks on unreliable staff members = good.
Checking all logs = impossible.
Outlawing all communication between staff and players = bad.

There doesn't seem to be much disagreement here, actually.
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Old 11-05-2005, 02:09 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Posted on Nov. 04 2005,14:16Summary:

Logs = good.
Random checks on unreliable staff members = good.
Checking all logs = impossible.
Outlawing all communication between staff and players = bad.

There doesn't seem to be much disagreement here, actually.
Agreed.
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:16 PM   #55
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Re: Angie's comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Nov. 03 2005,21:48)
It is absolutely, perfectly reasonable to log and monitor your staff, and is accepted practice. I doubt too many of them (if any) pro-actively comb through the logs, but having the logs available in case of a complaint against said staff member is critical, or it's the staff member's word against a player's.
Completely agreed.  We let staff members know up front that if it's important, it's getting logged in a bigass file somewhere, only accessible to the owners.  I certainly have better things to do than idly peruse all the stuff we log, but it's invaluable in evaluating staff and handling complaints.
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:20 PM   #56
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Well, yes, duh. As Spazmatic pointed out, we were not really in any disagreement, except with whoever started this part of the discussion by suggesting admins should monitor all off-channel communication between players and the staff.
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Old 11-06-2005, 05:56 AM   #57
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One possible vote option is missing:
"posts by people here"

After reading the posts of some people here and on some other mudforums, I feel that I would never want to try out their muds. Some of these people are, I guess what some would call, the "leaders" of the mud community. Some of them just give me a feeling of them thinking like "whatever I do and say is right", an unpalpable feeling of supremacy. So I would never log on to their muds.

I would rather try out a mud by a newcomer.
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:55 AM   #58
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Well, to get back to the original post (even though it was ressurected), here's what has driven me off MU*s in my latest round of searching for a single place to play. (Disclaimers - I play only RP-enforced MU*s.)

- Nonsensical RP, as in all PCs you meet are exquisitly beautiful elf maidens spilling out of the tops of their bodices who call everone "m'lord" and "m'lady" while firing off superspells and crying and pouting about their lovelife.

- Established players forcing spellups or "coin-ups" on new players.

- Time too fast - 10:1 MU*:real time ratio with hunger and thirst code firing and taking HP/CON after only 15 minutes of real time.

- Players who don't seem to recognize pose/emote as part of character interaction or who themselves use it to bypass code.

The third of those things is arguable - admins may have good reason for implementing code in that way. The others, though, indicate to me that admins and top players are failing to direct the world toward consistency or, worse, have no clear conception of the gameworld. Lack of consistency kills RP MU*s. Why bother with character development - challenge, striving, failure - if everything is wish-fulfilliment?

Oh, yeah, and candy-colored MU*s with lots of channel spam. But that's something that very appropriate some places and probably even adds to the enjoyment of some. Having briefly played what I'd guess is one of the largest HnS MU*s, I can see that all the colors and activity whizzing by is part of the experience. Probably quite a hoot for those who like it.
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Old 11-06-2005, 02:20 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
But that's something that very appropriate some places and probably even adds to the enjoyment of some.
Mmhmm. I don't much like color schemes. However, intelligent but gaudy color does seem to add to the "excitement" of many muds. I would say, though, that unintelligent AND gaudy color definitely turns off almost all players (with a few notable exceptions who I think may be color blind).

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Some of them just give me a feeling of them thinking like "whatever I do and say is right", an unpalpable feeling of supremacy... I would rather try out a mud by a newcomer.
Some people have strong opinions. Some of them are vocal about it. Some of them also insist on having discussions with evidence thrown back and forth, aparently because it improves everyone involved.

So, perhaps a more appropriate litmus test would be, do the people in question accept the opinions of others as valuable, even if they are very vocal about their own? That, it would seem, is the hallmark of a rational man or woman.

Yes. I wax philosophic today.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:56 PM   #60
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Re: Things that make you NOT play a MUD

Jumping in kind of late in the thread, but sometimes you just want an outlet for frustration...

1. Unprofessional Staff.
This means different things to different people, but to me, it's staff that can be demonstrably found in chronic violation of their own rules. The idea here being that the first line you read when logging in is an outright lie, you have a fair idea of what you're in for. I don't think anyone suggests that player-staff communication is bad, but when you have authorized channels of communication, email, forums, IC bulletins, or whatever, the notion that some players receive private communications is a red light. Moreso when you delve a little deeper.

2. Discourteous or Untrustworthy Staff
See above. Mature gamers expect mature admins. In games that do not expect to ever make a dime, there will be a community standard, and a newer player will of course have to lay low, sense out the nature of a particular community, and fit in. If the MUD expects to be paid for its service, my preference is for service providers to have a higher standard of politeness, such as can be measured by any real-world professional service provider. If your admins are ruder than a New York hooker, you've lost my business, and the business of anyone I tell about my experience.
If you're seeing this behavior: rudeness, dishonesty, clear favorites, name-calling, incessant spamming for topmudsites votes, overt censorship of negative reviews, all from the owner of the company on down, coupled with dwindling staff and playerbase, "Here's Yer Sign."

3. Favoritism
In all MUDs, it exists. Admins are human. If a character's or player's antics tickle a funny bone, the response is favorable. Likewise in the reverse. It happens, and in professionally run games, it usually sees a balance pretty quickly. When it's systemic, and clear-cut, and whistleblowers get targeted, you can almost hear the toilet flushing on my cred-o-meter.

4. Typos
AMEN! It's a literary medium. If you can't spell G.E.D. properly, there are lots of graphics games out there.

5. Sphincter Police on Roleplay
Disclaimer: I whole-heartedly believe in roleplay immersion. I believe in reading the history and lore docs, adhering to them, and getting into character (and staying there). I figure it's owed to the environment to be part of the environment established by a lot of hard-working writers. I don't believe it's owed to the environment to endure self-appointed elitist micro-critiquers who wish to 'RP-enforce' their interpretation of roleplay on others. At times, I've noticed that many of these RP stormtroopers are some of the worst offenders of OOCisms. It just engenders that cringe reflex to immersion.

6. Realism Over Gameplay
This point is pretty subjective, as most players have some sliding scale on how much immersion they want, versus how smoothly they wish their character's life to unfold, or their avatar to advance. If I'm mashing the enter key repeatedly, hundreds of times in a day, so that my Uber-teef can get enough reps for that precious additional skill rank, the game becomes a part-time job. This topic becomes even more unappealing when one finds such regimented realism in direct odds with some highly unrealistic results, scenarios, or plots.

Those are my top six, and it's not hard to guess, I'm looking for a decent roleplaying game. Or several. There are perhaps five or six others with me who are doing more than looking for a game that ISN'T like the abovementioned.

We like our Swords & Sorcery. We like our RP enforced. We like a live and let live atmosphere with staff and players. We also have no objection putting in some behind-the-scenes work to help out a developing game.

Suggestions?

Last edited by Disillusionist : 03-11-2008 at 02:28 AM. Reason: Poster: Generalizing part of the edited review.
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