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Old 10-27-2004, 06:47 PM   #1
Molly
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Cheating is a subject that pops up at regular intervals. We all know that certain players cheat or abuse bugs. There may be some disagreement about how big that percentage is of the entire player-base, but I think we all agree that some players do it, when given half a chance. And we all have our different methods of discouraging it or minimising it. I bet we’d all like a method to stop it completely, but as far as I know there isn’t any.

We may take all the precautions we can think of to prevent cheating and bug-abusing, we may check and double-check every new piece of code, every quest script and every new zone that gets added to the game. But some things will still slip past the controls, and when they do, sooner or later someone is going to find out and abuse them. We may call ourselves ‘immortals’, but the sad fact is that we are only human. Mistakes happen. Almost every system can be abused. And nothing, whatever we do, can ever stop the ‘blabbing’, the sharing of knowledge between players.

Anyhow, this thread is not really about cheating, it is about ALLEGED cheating. I guess you are all familiar with the situation of one player (or group of players) accusing another (single player or group) of cheating. And they in turn of course throw the accusations right back. There are times when you strongly suspect that the allegations are true. For instance when one player solves a pretty hard quest that only few have completed in a long time, and a week later half the members of his/her Clan has the Quest item too. Or when one player is pointed out by several independent sources. Or when the player who is pointed out has been caught with their fingers in the jam-pot before.

But still, you have no proof. No solid proof. Just accusations, which could just as well be malicious lies, or part of the power-play between rivalling groups, or – in some cases – a genuine misunderstanding. It’s basically often one player’s word against another’s.

So what do you do? Do you believe the player that you trust and like over the one that you think is a total jerk? Do you try to verify the allegations, and if so, with what methods? Or do you just shrug it off, and tell the informers not to bother you with accusations, unless they have rock solid proof?

I have a pretty recent example in my Mud, where a known jerk accused our most trusted and hardworking imm of creating a low level mob with beefed up exp points, and then loading this mob for their mort to level on. He claims that he killed the mob himself in two hits, after having killed the imm’s mort, and that it gave him 8000K exp. Cute.

Luckily this case was easy for me to write off as pure BS. What he said happened could not have happened. Years ago we got tired of having to check every mob in a new zone thoroughly, just because a few immature and dishonest builders thought it was a good idea to try the above scam. So we now have a code where the vital stats of the mob, (like hitpoints, mana, gold and exp) all are set by the code, based on the level and tier of the mob. You can set any amount you like in the OLC, it may even look as if the amount you wrote in is there when you stat the mob, but once it is in the game, (whether it was loaded or changed on line) the code kicks in, and overrides whatever number you put there. I understand it is a pretty simple code precaution to make, and I strongly recommend it to any developing mud that has a set of inexperienced or in other ways unpredictable builders. It is good for the general balance too. Builders should not be able to set values at a whim.

But back to the situation in hand. I took the time to explain to the player, in detail, why and how the situation he described could never have occurred, since the code effectively prevents it.  

In that situation most players would back off and apologise. But not this particular jerk. He says; ‘Since when?’ Implying, I guess, that the Coder - or perhaps myself – made the code change after the event, just to protect our imm. At that stage I admit to losing my temper and putting Coventry on him. Usually I’m pretty patient even with jerks in the name of free speech, but there are limits. I am not going to accept some moron spreading malicious lies about a valued staff member.

Still, this situation is not representative. Usually you are left with a suspicion or just a nagging uncertainty in your mind. There have been times in the past when I have defended a staff member against an accusation from a jerk player, and then later found out that the jerk was right – the imm in question really WAS a bad egg. The solution was easy in these cases too. Cheating players you may have to live with. Cheating imms are totally unacceptable. They don’t even get a warning. One offence and they are history.

But then again, that means one PROVEN offence. And that still leaves the original question. How do you guys handle the situations when you are not sure? When you have tried to investigate the accusations, and there still is nothing to go by but word against word?
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:46 PM   #2
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Well, for anything in-game, the solution isn't difficult: Log everything. At minimum, log everything an immortal does.

I'd also suggest that there's a reason sweepstakes, lotteries, and the like prohibit anyone working for them, their families, etc from participating. It's not that they think all their employees are going to cheat, but letting them participate in the lottery would create a greater incentive to cheat.

Same goes for immortals who have mortal characters. We simply don't allow it. People can still cheat for their friends, but our immortals are also required to cut off contact with their mortal friends (unless they know them irl of course, in which case that'd be unreasonable) to further reduce the temptation to cheat.

In Aetolia recently, an immortal was caught selling gold for real world dollars. I think he only made about $60 or $70 before he got caught and removed, but the presence of simple-but-complete logging made proving the allegation an open-and-shut kind of thing.

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Old 10-28-2004, 05:11 AM   #3
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I'd also suggest that there's a reason sweepstakes, lotteries, and the like prohibit anyone working for them, their families, etc from participating. It's not that they think all their employees are going to cheat, but letting them participate in the lottery would create a greater incentive to cheat.
I suspect it may have more to do with the allegations of cheating that would no doubt arise should an employee (or family member) win.

A couple of years ago I participated in a weekly pub quiz. A couple of friends took turns at being the quiz master, and the team of the one playing would almost always win. Now it may well just have been that, as friends, they shared similar interests and therefore knew the answers to the sort of questions the other would pose - but it still caused a lot of disgruntlement, even though the winnings were very small (each player put a couple of euro into the pot and the winner kept it all). If the prize had instead been lottery prizes in the millions, I suspect the situations would have become very ugly.

The same logic could also be extended to muds, particularly those with intense competition between players. A mud developer is going to know the ins and outs of their own mud in a way that no player can ever match, and that is going to give them a natural advantage - but other players may not see that. Instead, they may just see a staff member's mortal character who seems to be advancing far quicker than normal, and jump to conclusions.

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Same goes for immortals who have mortal characters. We simply don't allow it.
The problem with that is that the immortals tend to lose touch with the game from a player perspective. It becomes very difficult to know what works and what doesn't when you don't actually play - and the longer you're an immortal, the more the mud changes, and the more you lose touch.

Just as knowledge of developing the mud gives a huge advantage when it comes to playing, so the knowledge of playing also gives a huge advantage when it comes to development. But just as someone's development knowledge is going to get increasingly outdated once they stop working on the mud, so their playing knowledge is also going to get increasingly outdated once they stop playing.

I've seen muds where the staff were too involved as players, and gave in to the temptation to cheat. But I've also seen muds where it had been so long since the immortals were players that they had completely lost the feel for what made the game fun. Both situations have the potential to destroy a mud if they get out of hand.
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:31 AM   #4
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Edited to add: The example for Armageddon that I post a few paragraphs down is hypothetical. I do not believe the Armageddon staff has such a policy. I'm making it up just to show the possibility of such policies.

Personally, I would love to see the game which -requires- its staff to play as mortal PCs.

KaVir hits the nail on the head. Staffers lose touch with the game the longer they neglect to play. And yes, I see this as neglect. How much of a vested interest would you have in a game that you don't even play? How many commercial games on the market (I'm talking board games, Nintendo, and the like) are created of the "genius" of the idea man, who never even bothered creating a proto-type and playing it himself? And of those commercial games, how many failed to reach the target audience due to lack of interest?

Further, whenever a staffer who doesn't play, changes something the players don't like, it is WAY too easy to say "Well what does HE know? He isn't even one of us players! He's ruining the game for us and making changes that will have effects on us, that he can't possibly see from his high spot on the immortal throne!"

Sometimes it's true, sometimes it isn't true. But the fact of the matter is, the perception lurks among the player base, and that kind of perception will always be destructive to a game.

Solutions: Not foolproof or failsafe, but easily implemented:

1) An IMM cannot create a PC in a high position in any clan.

2) An IMM cannot create a PC to be played in a clan that opposes the clan he's in.

3) An IMM cannot create a PC to be played in a clan that is allied in the clan he's in.

In otherwords (using the example of Armageddon, which is my current gaming experience):

Imm works for Borsail. Borsail is hostile toward Oash. Imm cannot create a PC for the intention of being hired by Oash. If his PC is recruited to work for Oash through natural game-play, he either refuses, or lets the senior staff know *immediately* that there might be a conflict of interest. The Senior Staff then knows to keep an eye out on things to make sure everything is on the up and up. For the duration of that PC's life, a partner IMM handles all interaction between the two opposing clans, on behalf of Borsail. The IMM with the Oash PC steps aside when any interaction/intervention is needed during plotlines involving the hostilities.

Another point: Imm CANNOT play his PC while he is logged in as a staff member. If he is logged in playing his PC and an IMM is needed, he MUST log out his PC first.

Last point: Imms must attempt to remain anonymous. No telling your buddy who you KNOW you can trust, when you are hired to be a staff member. No sudden disappearance of your player identity on the GDB and the equally sudden appearance of your staff identity, which makes it just so obvious you might as well just wear a sign on your forehead. Any staffer caught intentionally divulging his player identity (or vice versa) to anyone else in the player base is removed from staff.

If the players don't know which PC is played by which IMM, then there is FAR less risk of accused favoritism/cheating. Players are pretty smart - and some will figure it out anyway. But an IMM who intentionally tells people is creating a risk where there might not have been one in the first place.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:15 AM   #5
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If the players don't know which PC is played by which IMM, then there is FAR less risk of accused favoritism/cheating.
The problem with that is that:

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Players are pretty smart - and some will figure it out anyway.
In my experience, once the players do find out (and eventually they will), the situation becomes significantly worse. Nobody likes being deceived, particularly by staff members, and if you're hiding your identity the usual response from players seems to be "you must have something to hide".
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:13 PM   #6
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The problem with not allowing imms to play morts is that along with losing the feel for what makes the game fun, they also lose the motivation to work for the mud. After all, few imms come about just to kill time, it's usually because they've gotten so involved (through playing) that they apply and join. And it's a nice way to enjoy your creation.

On our mud, we strive to make sure that not only do imms not cheat, they also do not give the appearance of cheating. We also log most imm commands. Our head admin is also very much no-nonsense about cheating, having denied several imms personally for cheating over the years. It is largely a reputation issue, since the server logs aren't available to players, but since he has the server logs, he knows the truth. Thus whenever accusations come up, he has one reply "give me specific evidence -- times, dates, what happened, etc." since he can look it up. Without exception, however, all the player accusations have been bogus, made just to make the imms look bad, after the player in question has been caught cheating himself (often multiple times) -- one particularly humorous example on our forums is that after the head admin made the "get specific" reply, the player could only respond with profanity. The only times imms have been caught cheating were due to other imms catching them. So treat player accusations with a grain of salt. We keep a distinct line between imms and players though, so it really depends on the connection with groups of players. On our mud, the higher-level an imm is, the less connection he has with groups of players, so it's only among the lower imms that we have to worry about them helping their friends illegally. Not so coincidentally, they also have less imm skills.

In the end, I think vigilance (generally via logs) and making clear that cheating is not tolerated is the best defense you have against alleged cheating.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:37 PM   #7
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It's funny that this came up when it did. We've not encountered any problems of this sort just yet (well, on the staff side of things, anyway), but I just finished implementing a completely rewritten logging system on our MUD which should in theory make the validation of any such allegations fairly simple.

Our problem before was that, due to the nature of our log system, our logs tended to completely cycle through every week or so. The logs were standard text flatfiles, which the server searched through for any specified terms using grep and then piped the output to the staffer. The reason the logs had to cycle out every so often was that since the newest entries are appended to the end of the files, if the files became too large it was simply impossible to access recent entries, since the output buffers piping the results were only so large - allow the files to become too large, and with a search term returning a lot of results (many of them very old), you wouldn't be able to access a log entry that was just generated five minutes ago! (How's that for brilliant design?)

The new system is completely database-driven. In addition to being much more intelligent about searching, it also gives us the ability to store logs for an indefinite period. So, instead of rather dumbly searching for a given term or combination of terms in a text file, you can tell it to only search for your term(s) within certain entries that fall within a date range, were generated by a specific PC, account or NPC, generated by a given command, generated on the specified server port or in the specified room, etc. In addition, the output defaults to showing the newest entries FIRST - so no matter how long we keep the logs around, the problem above won't arise. Finally, you can specify as part of the command an option to reverse the order - showing the oldest entries first. This is useful if you need to retrieve very old log entries - you could tell it to search all entries within the last 6 months, for example, and then use that option to quickly find what you need in the output.

Everything on the server is logged, albeit in separate areas. There's a database for player commands, staff commands, and guest login commands. All staffers can access the player and guest databases; as a nod to respecting the other admins' privacy, only myself and the lead admin can access the staff database. Everyone online, whether a guest, player, or staff member, is informed that everything they do is logged and stored indefinitely. I haven't had any complaints about it yet - but, of course, people who aren't comfortable with that sort of thing likely won't play long enough to complain.

Even under the old system we were able to catch cheating players fairly easily (though since we lost our logs every week or so it's hard to say how many got away), so I imagine the new setup will help cut down on that sort of behavior even further.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by (Eldorian @ Oct. 28 2004,13:13)
The problem with not allowing imms to play morts is that along with losing the feel for what makes the game fun, they also lose the motivation to work for the mud.
As I mentioned, we do not permit immortals to play mortals, and yet we've had immortals stay with us for over 5 years. I think a significant factor in this is that our immortals have (after a period of apprenticeship in which they prove they're not just going to flake out) roles in the game and continue to play it in a way. Though they start out as basically OOC, after about 600-700 hours of immortal time and upon satisfactory completion of a couple large-ish projects, they get promoted to Gods, at which point a new type of game opens up for them.

Gods (in the Greek sense...Goddess of Love, God of War, etc) are very involved with mortals, and play the game in the sense that they have in-role Orders that worship them, can be the Godly patron of Guilds and Cities, and so on. Some Gods get -really- into this, some less so.

I think our Gods system is also one reason why we don't appear to suffer from the immortals not being permitted to play a mortal character. Some of them are in close contact with mortals via their Orders or the cities and guilds they patron and they become our eyes and ears in the mortal world.

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Old 10-28-2004, 06:57 PM   #9
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I totally agree with KaVir on the matter of allowing imms to play the game. By playing as a mort you keep in touch with the game, with the players, the code and the zones from a different angle - the player’s perspective. It’s so easy, when you have been an imm for a long time and got used to the imm powers, to forget how it is to be a mort. It is so easy to lose track of what is regarded as fun, what players really like to do. Some features and code changes might look very cool from an imm perspective, but be nothing but annoying for the players. By playing the game you find out things about the balance, the problems, the obstacles and the bugs that you just never would have observed from the imm perspective.

I wish I still had time to play the game myself, but regrettably RL put a stop to it. It's either playing or building, and building is my first priority. I always encourage the staff to play however, and the input we get from those that do has helped us to improve the game in many ways. Staff members are also perfect as testplayers for new zones, since you can generally rely more on them to report any bug they come across than the average player.

There is also another aspect of the matter: Most imms work hard without any pay with either coding or building, and they need some time to relax, to blow off some steam and just have a fun time. For a mud freak, mudding is the obvious relaxation. You could of course play another mud than our own, in fact some of our imms do so, and we have several Admin from other muds playing with us. There are certain advantages to that too; for instance you can get some input and fresh ideas by seeing how another development team is dealing with the problems most of us share. But playing your own game is better IMO, for the reasons already stated.

I prefer the imms don’t to go PK on our Mud, since that has a tendency to raise more emotions than anything else, but I leave that to their own choice. If they think they can handle the heat, so be it. They are naturally under strict rules never to have their imm and mort on line at the same time, and things like that and some other basic things, like the use of the OLC or set commands, are of course logged.

But I definitely refuse to invade the privacy of my players and imms by constant snooping and spying on them. This is something that makes a game seriously NOT FUN, neither for the one that is spied on nor the one that does the spying. And having fun is still our main priority, right? I’d rather have a few players get away with some bug abuse for a while, than to turn my mud into some virtual ‘Big-Brother-sees-you’ form of Police State.

As for the members of my staff I expect them to be mature, loyal and honest enough to follow our rules, and to be able to separate their imm char from their mort. Just as I expect the players to be able to separate Roleplay from Real Life. Over the years there have been a few bad eggs, but these are really an exception. They have to be dealt with severely of course, but they usually show their true nature pretty fast. I doubt any imm would get along with cheating for very long in any Mud unless the imps were in on the cheating too. Muds with cheating imps probably exist, but I’d advice any player to stay well clear of them.

To me it’s mostly a question of trust. When you trust someone with greater responsibilities, they usually respond by acting in a more mature way. New imms you might have to keep a sharp eye on for a while, not so much because of the risk of cheating (because new imms rarely get enough commands to cheat with), but because new imms sometimes have a tendency to powertrip. But if you cannot trust your senior Staff, who can you trust?

The main problems we are dealing with have more to do with the other aspect that KaVir pointed out; when suspicions of cheating are raised just because the other party is successful. This happens a lot, and not only with the mortal chars of imms. A mud is after all a skill game, (at least it is when the balance isn’t affected by being able to buy advantages for money). Some players, (especially very experienced or unusually intelligent ones), are just plain good and tend to advance really fast, and other players sometimes have difficulties acknowledging that fact. If someone is kicking your ass, it’s so much easier to assume that the top player is cheating, than to admit, even to yourself, that he/she is a better player than you.

Not all allegations of cheating are false, of course.
But some are. Many enough for it to be wise not to act too hastily, and without full evidence.
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:19 PM   #10
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By playing the game you find out things about the balance, the problems, the obstacles and the bugs that you just never would have observed from the imm perspective.
Yeah, that's one way to do it. It just comes with more problems than it's worth in my opinion.

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There is also another aspect of the matter: Most imms work hard without any pay with either coding or building, and they need some time to relax, to blow off some steam and just have a fun time.
Yeah, that's why I think our system works without letting them play mortals. There's a lot of in-role playing to be done as an immortal, in addition to behind the scenes stuff.

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But I definitely refuse to invade the privacy of my players and imms by constant snooping and spying on them. This is something that makes a game seriously NOT FUN, neither for the one that is spied on nor the one that does the spying.
It makes a game not fun? That's interesting. All four of our games have decent playerbases for a text MUD, with all four peaking at least over 100 simultaneous daily. Is nobody having fun in them? How about Shadows of Isildur? Are the roleplayers there not having fun because of the logging they do? How about Everquest? They use extensive logging. Are the 400,000 people playing Everquest not having fun? I think you're projecting your strong feelings about the matter onto everyone else.

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Old 10-28-2004, 08:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Oct. 28 2004,17:57)
But I definitely refuse to invade the privacy of my players and imms by constant snooping and spying on them. ... I’d rather have a few players get away with some bug abuse for a while, than to turn my mud into some virtual ‘Big-Brother-sees-you’ form of Police State.

<snip>

Not all allegations of cheating are false, of course.
But some are. Many enough for it to be wise not to act too hastily, and without full evidence.
Precisely.

How exactly do you intend to gather "full evidence" without thorough and reliable logs? You simply can't. Certainly, you can evaluate the trustworthiness of the one making the accusations vs. the one being accused, or you can accept whatever "logs" that the players email you as proof, but the moment you accept something that has left your sole control or custody even for a moment as dispositive evidence of such accusations, you're doing both yourself and your playerbase a grave disservice.

Logging is not "snooping". It's simply a system to ensure that there is plenty of objective, unbiased evidence to either document or invalidate any claim of impropriety that's raised, regardless of who is raising it, what the claim is about, or who is being accused of the misdeed. In other words, it keeps everyone honest and on the same page. Not only does it make things much easier to prove or disprove once the accusations are raised, but an effective logging system might actually even serve as a deterrent to future cheating, since everyone is well aware that everything they do on the server will be recorded and archived indefinitely for future reference.

Finally, a good logging system has other functions beyond the "police state" thing. A common usage on our MUD is for admins to check up on the level of roleplay exhibited by a given player - they might email us and ask us to critique their techniques, or to ask why they haven't yet been awarded any roleplay points, or whatever. Having a system that allows us to reference their past playing sessions in an intelligible and easily accessible manner helps us give more accurate and thereby more helpful responses to their questions.

On the other hand, without such a system you're doomed to sifting through pages upon pages of hearsay, accusations, whining, mudslinging, forged MUD logs, and other such lovely things, only to arrive at a conclusion and a corresponding judgment in the matter at hand (whether an accusation of cheating or a request for feedback on roleplay technique) that's inevitably questionable in its accuracy at best - quite likely (and quite rightfully so, depending upon the gravity of the situation) leaving a sour taste in the mouths of all involved, I might add. It just doesn't work.
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:38 AM   #12
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I totally agree with KaVir on the matter of allowing imms to play the game. By playing as a mort you keep in touch with the game, with the players, the code and the zones from a different angle - the player’s perspective. It’s so easy, when you have been an imm for a long time and got used to the imm powers, to forget how it is to be a mort. It is so easy to lose track of what is regarded as fun, what players really like to do.
I'm not so sure. Immortals are not allowed to play on our mud - and indeed, there are times when I feel like I am losing touch. But I am not sure it would be that much different if I were allowed to play. First, I know the mud like the back of my hand, I know the reasons why some things are the way they are - and that's something that is not so easily left behind. But more importantly, my general playing perspective has changed. I find it hard to see things from a regular player's perspective even on other muds. I have different goals, I tend to worry about different things, I notice different problems. Playing doesn't help me to put myself in players' shoes.

For actual player perspective, I prefer listening to what actual players have to say.
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Oct. 28 2004,17:57)
I definitely refuse to invade the privacy of my players and imms by constant snooping and spying on them. This is something that makes a game seriously NOT FUN, neither for the one that is spied on
The mud I play doesn't hide the fact that you WILL be spied on. Those who roleplay well are rewarded for doing so, but it's impossible to know how someone is roleplaying without spying on them The game also keeps a log that (as far as I know) is mostly ignored except when a player writes in to complain about person X.

It may be that if you were to implement spying on your mud it would detract from the fun (I don't see how to be honest though, but then again I expect that anything I do on someone elses server may be viewed. This includes PMs on message boards, whispers, tells, etc. The only time I expect privacy is with e-mail and messenger programs) but there isn't anything about "spying" that inherently makes it un-fun.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:45 AM   #14
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Thraithe wrote:
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How exactly do you intend to gather "full evidence" without thorough and reliable logs?
Logging is effective when it comes to checking things like multiplay or abuse of certain imm commands, like set, load or OLC. It’s a pretty obvious precaution to take, and I think most serious muds do it, us too, as I have already stated twice. But that is not what I am talking about.

Most cheating in a mud is done by players swapping info that shouldn’t be shared, (usually Quest info) - what we call ‘blabbing’. It may and may not involve imms, usually it's done player to player. You don’t catch that with logs, unless you log and check every private conversation in the mud.
That’s where snooping or wizinvis spying comes in. And that’s what I am referring to when I talk about player privacy.

Given the chatter that usually goes on in a mud all the time, I doubt that logging all channels would be very feasible either. You’d get tons of logs to wade through every day. I seriously doubt even a heavy RP Mud, like the one John is referring to, continuously logs all channels. They probably just do it during certain Roleplay sessions. But correct me if I am wrong.

Anyhow, RP Enforced muds is not what I am talking about either. They probably have their own special problems. Per definition there wouldn't even be any 'private conversations', since they are supposed to be 100 %IC, hence no privacy problem either.

The problems I am referring to occur in Muds with some kind of power competition, i.e. most muds with an element of hack'n'slash, especially if PK is involved.
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:13 AM   #15
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In my experience a lot of players enjoy being spied on, especially if you then use the information to make them 'feel special' in some way. It's not a big step from there to logging.

Personally I don't think it's possible to stop people from sharing quest info etc. Those who seriously want to cheat will have their AIM window open and be sending details through there.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:37 AM   #16
 
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No logging.  No snooping.  No rules.  No cheating.  :-)
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Nov. 01 2004,08:37)
No logging.  No snooping.  No rules.  No cheating.  :-)
No liability when one of your players uses your mud for illegal activity...oops, actually, scrap that one.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Nov. 01 2004,15:03)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Nov. 01 2004,08:37)
No logging.  No snooping.  No rules.  No cheating.  :-)
No liability when one of your players uses your mud for illegal activity...oops, actually, scrap that one.
There's probably no liability in the States anyway. MUDs almost certainly fall under common carrier statutes. Same statutes that ensure the phone company isn't held responsible when people commit fraud via their systems.

--matt
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:33 PM   #19
 
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No liability when one of your players uses your mud for illegal activity...oops, actually, scrap that one.
No chance.   :-)

Well near enough that it's like worrying about a meteor strike.   
Less damned if you have nothing to cough up when the subpeona arrives.
Doubly damned if you logged it and didn't know or think to do anything about it (whatever it was).
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Nov. 01 2004,21:35)
3-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Nov. 01 2004,15[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]3)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyche,Nov. 01 2004,08:37
No logging.  No snooping.  No rules.  No cheating.  :-)
No liability when one of your players uses your mud for illegal activity...oops, actually, scrap that one.
There's probably no liability in the States anyway. MUDs almost certainly fall under common carrier statutes. Same statutes that ensure the phone company isn't held responsible when people commit fraud via their systems.
The statutory definitions for what is or is not a common carrier are pretty vague, but I highly doubt they'd apply to a mud - not even cable networks are considered common carriers.

Furthermore, if that were the case then it would open up a whole range of further legal requirements - in particular, four requirements pertaining to (1) the interception of call content; (2) the interception of call-identifying information; (3) the delivery to law enforcement of intercepted call content and call-identifying information; and (4) the security of intercept operations and the privacy and security of communications not authorized to be intercepted.

Or to put it another way, you'd be legally obliged to provide far more advanced logging capabilities than most (any?) muds currently provide.
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