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Old 02-11-2007, 04:11 PM   #1
KaVir
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Mud staff using their in-game powers to give their PCs an unfair advantage is a subject that always seems to come up from time to time, and is often cited as one of the reasons why admin shouldn't play their own games (although there are also very good arguments for why they should).

But what happens when it's a commercial mud, where paid employees are directly competing with paying customers, who find themselves on the receiving end of PvP twinking?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news....ey-Keep

It'll be interesting to see where this leads, and what sort of impact (if any) it'll have on the commercial mud industry.
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
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A lot of that article was hard to follow if you're not familiar with the game in question, but I think I got the general idea.

It would be interesting to see if the player(s) affected have the potential for legal recourse-- a refund of some or all fees paid, etc. They signed a pretty thorough disclaimer, but if they claim the disclaimer was signed after the players had been deceived as to how the game operated, things can get more confusing.

Virtual space's interaction with the law is fuzzy at best, and I'm trying to think of comparable legal ground in RL cases. If you paid to join a local sports league, and later found out the referees were throwing the games in favor of the owner's team, would you have recourse to get your entry fees back? What if there was prize money for first place?
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:21 PM   #3
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[I realized I had misremembered some of the details about an article elsewhere, and it's not really applicable, so I removed this post.]
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Feb. 11 2007,3:11)
Mud staff using their in-game powers to give their PCs an unfair advantage is a subject that always seems to come up from time to time, and is often cited as one of the reasons why admin shouldn't play their own games (although there are also very good arguments for why they should).
I think staff corruption is something that would need to be studied more. Does anyone know if there's any articles about these things?

In this case it was a staff member that also played the game. However would it be more unlikely that it would have happened on a game where developers werent allowed to play as well? There's still room for corruption, e.g friends to staff members.
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:14 PM   #5
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I used to be pretty outspoken against admin corruption. Nowadays I think a little differently.

1. For one thing, I've realized that on big established (free) MUDs, corruption just isn't as common as the whiners allege. Some of the imms on those MUDs have devoted years and years to the game, why would they cheat? With the effort they've expended on the MUD, they could have taken up a second job and gained tens of thousands of dollars, so why would they compromise it all for mere text stuff-- when, to them above everyone else, it's plainly evident that that text stuff really is just text stuff!

2. When corruption DOES exist, it usually can only be felt in the uttermost elite echelons of the playerbase, and is invisible to most actual players (unless it's at really ridiculous levels). Anyone who finds themselves that elite needs to re-evaluate their priorities and ask themselves whether they still have fun while playing the game.

3. Even where corruption does exist, it's often unintentional. Very few imms on an established, thriving MUD will actually scheme, "when noone's watching I'll tweak my player". More often, it's little stuff which they don't even realize some see as corruption. I've learned that before hurling corruption charges, it's wise to give it a long wait and think closely about it, try to see things through the imm's perspective, and so on.

On Realms of Despair, there was an overpowered mob, Hastur. A giant group managed to defeat him with great difficulty. Then the imms changed things so that his most valuable treasure, a key, was dropped by a much easier mob. I was part of the group who made the kill, and so I (and some friends) cried bloody corruption. But we were blinded by our deeply vested interest in the affair. Years later, I realize that the imms did the best thing in an extremely difficult situation. It opened an important part of the area to the playerbase in general, rather than effectively restricting it to the elitest of the elite.
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