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Old 06-26-2002, 10:11 PM   #1
Captain Uglyhead
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Now I, for one, am usually pretty keen on playerkilling, when it is given in proper amounts, like any good thing should be. But when people start hunting you down for "That sweet piece of EQ you just picked up", well, I get a tad miffed, especially if this is supposed to be a roleplaying game...

Now, a step above that is when the fellow who just smashed your brains in, took all your money, and picked off any valuables you had, actually tries to think up an excuse. Though this is a good activity, it, unfortunately, usually ends up as something along the lines of "Me evil, you good! Me smashy-smashy!".

The good, though, is when they corner you, emote, talk a bit, THEN decorate the cobblestones with your entrails. That's how it's supposed to be! But I realize it's probably tricky, seeing as you'd likely run away, gibbering like mad when they were in mid-emote.

Especially frustrating it must be, for the newbie, who just managed to pick up that neat-looking ring, put it on, discovered that it increased his hp a fair bit, then was shredded apart by someone else who wanted the ring... odd.

Also: City guards, they're supposed to be guarding the city, right? then why is it, in most MUD's I've played in, they're good for little more than another mob for the high-levels to get exp off of? They oughta come running if someone screams for help, at least.

Now all of this brings me to the point where I stop whining and YOU finally get to say something. I ask you, any suggestions on how to make messes like these work out? How can you get people to emote when their stats, skills, and precious EQ may be at stake? How can you keep the poor newbies from sitting in the corner, all alone, sobbing to themselves, getting PK'd over and over? How can you convince people that wanting "That L337 piece of armor" doesen't give them a 'Get away with mass murder free!' card?
Discuss!
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Old 06-27-2002, 03:35 AM   #2
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Simple answer, make it a pure RP game, and be sure everyone knows it.

What I hear from you is someone who wants RP reasons to drive people's actions, but that just will not happen in a game that caters to H&S players.

If people want to play for power, equipment, or levels fine, there have always been, and will always be, places for that. But if what you want is a game with some depth focus on the RP, Storyline, and the other elements that have it.

PreScreen new players, require a little background data, and you will filter out those who are too impatient to wait. That alone can easily remove a good 75% of the players you do not want.

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Old 06-27-2002, 05:10 AM   #3
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We tend to have the same problem on the mud where I play and imm.. or at least I think so... I'm not really much of a pker, and I prefer roleplay over pkilling, so I may have a different view of things. But I do notice that a lot of the pkers tend to be more hack-and-slash types. And, like you said, there are some who try to come up with roleplay reasons behind their killing, but it just ends up to be a spur of the moment excuse, which comes after they ruthlessly mash someone into tiny bits.

"I had a roleplay reason. I am friends with so-and-so, and he doesn't like that guy."

or:
"He is in a different clan, and I am a nasty ogre."

or:
"I could have had a rp reason."
"But you didn't."
"But I could have."

And yes, the real reasons tend to be ooc ones. Such as killing someone because they have a rare piece of equipment, or taking ic actions ooc, and vice versa. Rarely do I see anyone rping out their pk fights (though a few have done excellent jobs of it) and many times when the H&Sers try to, it just ends up being one big emote war, which no one wants to lose. I.e.: "I dodge every attack you make, but my first strike instantly chops off your head!"

And yet, the H&Sers who play here have become attached to the game, and would not readily leave simply because it becomes more "roleplay-oriented". I've debated making attempts at converting these powergamers into more of a rp style, but when one is used to playing the game a certain way, it can be difficult. And if we suddenly say that the game is roleplay-mandatory, would the players adhere to that?

So, I suppose my question is, what would be an easy way to help slowly introduce a more roleplay-influenced style into the game, without it being a sudden shock to the powergamers who are used to playing a certain way?
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Old 06-27-2002, 05:36 AM   #4
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Any major change in an existing game is going to cause both complaints and loss of some players. Does not matter what the change is, but as you pointed out, once you are used to things being one way changes do cause problems.

The best way to make such a change is by introducing powerful RP adventures. Enlisting the assistance of good RP focused players is one way to do this, having Staff play NPCs is another. Make that side of the game good enough and people will get sucked in.

I think that powergaming is a necessary step all gamers have to take, learning games of different sorts and going for what it takes to 'win' is natural. Many people do find that this is all they really want out of a game. This is fine and I would never be against a game that is intended to be played in this fashion. But I neither create them, or really play them anymore because the power in RP is something I can never really master.

Putting depth into a game is not easy, it takes as much effort as creating the rooms, npcs, and other code that support combat and the more common Mud elements. There have to be things to gain, to protect, and real accomplishments involved. But if you can succeed, you open up the game to High Adventure, emotion, drama, or even real gut wrenching horror if that is your desire.

To get a real stage for RP you have to reconsider a lot of basic elements. One easy thing to eliminate is any sort of ranking display that is based on points of levels. If there is not such a list people will tend to focus on competition a little bit less.

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Old 06-27-2002, 06:23 AM   #5
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It may just be me, but that guy who smashes your head in for that powerful ring is actually roleplaying.

In fantasy settings (especially medieval fantasy), people kill other people who have things that they want all the time.  While killing other players for "cool eq" is not exactly social, it's very much RP.  Brigands routinely killed the travellers they waylaid simply for the goods they carried with them.  Introducing artificial (i.e. arbitrarily hard-coded) limitations on PK, you're actually reducing the amount of RP that goes on in the MUD.  If you want to seriously curtail this kind of behavior while promoting RP, the best thing to do is let the players handle it IC (i.e. banding together to drive out the thieves by force... permakilling unprovoked PK'ers etc).

Another thing that a would-be RP MUD needs to consider is the implicit goals it gives its players.  Progressions of any type are considered challenges where the goal is to strive for the top end of the progression.  When you have piles of increasingly powerful eq, one of the goals of the game is to get good eq.  If you want to preserve RP, but dissuade players from killing eachother in order to accomplish their goals (i.e. getting good eq), you need to provide a sufficient deterrant.  If you find that the players on the MUD aren't striving for what you consider to be "good RP", the first thing you have to do is analyze what kind of goals you're implicitly presenting the players with, and then eliminate or counteract those whose logical conclusions hinder or prevent the kind of RP you're looking for. In other words, if you don't want players to kill eachother for eq, stop making eq that's worth killing for. It's as simple as that. As long as there is eq that's worth killing for, someone will do it, and it will be very much IC.
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Old 06-27-2002, 12:06 PM   #6
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It also helps to have a very clear, specific, and enforceable PK policy. An example of such policy:

1) It isn't *player* killing, so as soon as you get that garbage phrase out of your head, the quicker we can move on. It's violence against other characters. Other fantasy entities that are in conflict with your fantasy entity. Call it CvC - Character vs. Character.

2) Your ogre character is not allowed to simply walk up to a human and kill him just because he's human and ogres hate humans. You *must* have some actual roleplayed conflict situation occur.

3) You MUST provide the opponent the opportunity to get out of the conflict situation. If that opponent takes the opportunity, the conflict is over, and you MUST allow it to be so. Example:

>Ogre says, "Puny human come to Ogre city. Make trouble. Ogre bash head in if not leave!

>Human snorts haughtilly and says, "I'll do as I please you ugly lout. Now move aside, I have herbs to forage!

>Ogre wields his really ugly big club and stands there, unmoving. "Human leave now or human be corpse!"

If the player of the human invites the aggressor, then he MUST accept the consequences. If the player of the human returns to wherever he came from, then the Ogre's player MUST allow him to do so. If he kills the human anyway, it is a violation of policy and the *player* will be subject to a 30 day lockout. In addition, if the ogre gets into it and the human goes for the conflict and wins, then the conflict is OVER.

4) Multi-accounting is prohibited during CvC situations. If you have a conflict with Joe, then you may NOT bring in your higher-level alt to kick Joe around.

5) If you enter into a CvC situation and both sides agree (through roleplaying) to continue it, do NOT attempt to discuss it with the staff. Staff will keep out of any conflict in which both parties agree to battle. In-character actions produce in-character consequences.

6) Do not provoke an aggressor unless you are prepared to follow through with it. In other words, if you know that Ogre will threaten to kill Human if Human walks into Ogre city, don't walk into Ogre city unless you are prepared to deal with the threat - IN character.

My advice to the person who posted the initial post is, find a game that accommodates your needs. Don't try changing, or demanding a change, to a game that is already set in its ways.
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Old 06-27-2002, 03:13 PM   #7
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Very well said Jazuela, when it is Character vs Character that is fine, when it becomes Player vs Player it becomes a problem.


"You MUST provide the opponent the opportunity to get out of the conflict situation."

That is RP, cooperation, essential to play, and possibly the line that divides a true RP game from one that is not.

I do agree that Goals are also key Thelenian.

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Old 06-27-2002, 03:58 PM   #8
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This is interesting, because I posted a discussion similar to this one in the roleplaying forum, regarding PK and it's relation to RP, and if the two can coexist.

I don't know if you are in a position of power for the mud you're encountering these problems on, but it'll likely take something from above to make an impact with this problem.

If you're an RP enforced mud, it's time for the immortals to get to enforcing. If you're RP encouraged, it's shaky ground.

I suggested on my other post, requiring a series of questions be answered by every character before allowing them to level freely and gain power. These questions would be used to establish their character beyond simple alignment.

Questions detailing the character's history, tendancies, goals, perceptions of self and others, etc. It might take you a week or two to compose 10 good questions that will allow you to look at questionable PKs and make a determination towards whether this action was fitting of the character who perpetrated it, or if it was simply an OOC-motivated action to gain powerful equipment.

Even the most heartless killer draws a line somewhere, and if you can catch players crossing those lines in order to pull a PK-for-EQ type scenario, it becomes time to harshly reprimand and punish accordingly.

My opinion on this, is that if you're going to be RP-Enforced, you have to take a stance, state a policy and enforce it coldly and precicely. It might cost you a player here or there, but ultimately you're going to end up with a solid player base full of people who value their own RP and that of others as much or more than they value the PK.
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Old 06-27-2002, 05:24 PM   #9
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...or if it was simply an OOC-motivated action to gain powerful equipment.
The problem with this way of thinking is that, quite often, killing someone for good eq is IC RP. Historically, people have always fought and, if the motivation was great enough, killed for a treasure/artifact/powerful weapon/whatever is considered valuable enough. Players will do the same, and it is roleplaying.
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Old 06-27-2002, 10:09 PM   #10
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The problem with this way of thinking is that, quite often, killing someone for good eq is IC RP. Historically, people have always fought and, if the motivation was great enough, killed for a treasure/artifact/powerful weapon/whatever is considered valuable enough. Players will do the same, and it is roleplaying.
This is sort of what I mean when I added the quote: "I could have had a rp reason." But the thing is, that they seek the equipment because their player wants it, not because their character wants it. So yes, it would make sense for them to kill someone for their eq if they actually roleplayed it out. Instead of just saying "People killed other people for their belongings all the time, so I should be able to."

And many of these people do not even play thief/bandit/marauder characters. They may even belong to a noble house. And they don't act it out ic as though they just stole someone's belongings. They just walk around town wearing them as though it doesn't matter to them that they just commited a crime. And.. if we try to punish them ic, by say having guards or the city constable come after them, they whine about it, saying that it's "not fair".

So.. if someone actually takes the time to roleplay a common thief, and actually does roleplay it out, instead of just relying on excuses after the fact, then sure, killing someone for a piece of equipment could be an acceptable reason. But, what I just don't like is when they make no attempt to roleplay, or at least make it seem like they're killing for an ic reason, and then expect us to believe that it was done ic. If you are going to use an ic excuse for killing someone, then your pkilling should be motivated by ic reasons, and not ooc ones...
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:27 AM   #11
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I am in agreement with Dionae. Too many PK events(or perhaps I should say... CvC? That does sound better.) happen because of the Player's greedy ambition, rather than because of what their character's motives are. But this is nothing new, of course...

I myself always try to think like my character... and since I do not play any bandit character actively, I don't kill others for their equipment, plain and simple. But, if they do attack a character who is close to my character, I will go after them, and tell them why I am going to kill them. Because my character is very protective. It isn't anything personal against the player... it's the characters that have a problem.

Real roleplay is just that... playing a character, that is not you. Letting your own thoughts interfere with your char's thoughts is inevitable, but the point is, to try to keep that to a minimum. Experienced players understand this... the new ones take a bit longer to learn it.

In short, I guess I'm saying that PK is okay, and can be incorporated into roleplay. As long as you don't let your OOC self cloud your IC self's judgement.
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Old 06-28-2002, 02:02 AM   #12
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So.. if someone actually takes the time to roleplay a common thief, and actually does roleplay it out, instead of just relying on excuses after the fact, then sure, killing someone for a piece of equipment could be an acceptable reason. But, what I just don't like is when they make no attempt to roleplay, or at least make it seem like they're killing for an ic reason, and then expect us to believe that it was done ic. If you are going to use an ic excuse for killing someone, then your pkilling should be motivated by ic reasons, and not ooc ones...
Exactly, but what exactly does constitute "roleplaying it out"? Thieves and brigands, when they've decided to gain possession of an item through use of deadly force, typically attempt to kill someone with no warning whatsoever, as quickly as possible, employing whatever dirty tricks are necessary to do the job. A good thief, therefore, will RP an attack for good eq by attacking with no warning, hoping to kill the victim ASAP, no holds barred. Killing for eq is always IC, with the exception of certain very unusual circumstances (i.e. That sword belonged to my last char, so I'm going to kill you to get it back with this new char I just rolled).

People will always employ what they consider the most desirable method to achieve a goal. The attractiveness of the PK-for-eq route is determined primarily by two factors:

1) How hard it is to gain the eq through PK vs. the "normal" way.
2) The severity of the repercussions of Killing another player, if any.

Both of those considerations are decidedly IC. You have to remember that in the world of a given MUD, murdering another person may not be considered as heinous as it is IRL. To assume so would be playing with OOC assumptions. If players do not treat murderers as criminal scum who should be hunted like dogs, it may very well be worth it IC to murder people for goods.

Quote:
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And many of these people do not even play thief/bandit/marauder characters. They may even belong to a noble house. And they don't act it out ic as though they just stole someone's belongings. They just walk around town wearing them as though it doesn't matter to them that they just commited a crime. And.. if we try to punish them ic, by say having guards or the city constable come after them, they whine about it, saying that it's "not fair".
This statement makes my point very clear. If other characters don't treat murders seriously, it may very well be ICly acceptable for a noble to kill random people and not feel guilty. In fact, in medieval Europe, and many other parts of the world in a similar stage of social development, nobles often felt that they had the right to kill people who resided within their domains because they believe that the people, and everything else on their land, belonged to them, and would therefore not feel guilty at all. In a MUD world like the one you've described, murders are apparently no big deal. That you think murders should feel/act guilty presupposes that the IC society's moral system treats murders as a crime of the worst sort (as in most RL societies). If it is, then the players have to treat it ICly as a horrible crime consistently (if your friend murders someone, you turn his heinous a$$ in). Only then can you say that murders have to RP feelings of guilt and remorse. Assuming that because murder is a serious crime in your RL society it is treated just as seriously IC is making a projection of your OOC moral code into the game. As for retaliation being "not fair", you have to evaluate the sort of retaliation you're advocating. IC retaliation (PC's avenging the murder of their friends) is possibly RP (I say possibly because, often, there is no way the victim's friends would be able to know the identity of his/her murderer IC). Any sort of hard-coded retaliation (including extremely powerful NPC "police" types) is very suspicious, and often blatantly OOC.
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Old 06-28-2002, 04:06 AM   #13
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Heya all,

For me it's quite simple, it all depends on the game. If it's strict RP then you would enforce strong rules and in game boundries (Like huge guards or soldiers that hunt for murderers and thiefs).
Do you have a mud that's based on playing (H&S if you will) then you either allow it or not and make some rules about it and a way people can "avenge" their deaths.
Do you have a mud that's based on pk, well you would also have rules but well since you allow pk you won't do much about it cause everyone knows it will happen.

In the case of the poster, I'd say: "You prolly haven't found your mud yet :". There are enough though so keep on looking

Greetings Dre
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Old 06-28-2002, 04:42 AM   #14
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In response to Thelenian, there are some people who treat murder seriously, enough to the point where their characters are horrified if someone kills an npc walking around town. The problem, I suppose, is that not everyone treats this the same way. Some people could care less about their character killing an npc, some people could care less about their character killing a pc. So.. I suppose what we would be searching for is a way to integrate a universal standard into the game, one which all the players would abide by.

This could be difficult, as, like I said, not every player treats their character's actions the same way. So.. do you just suddenly say that "Killing is bad"? Do you perhaps try to do it in an ic manner, by posting the "laws of the city" and having the npc guards (and perhaps especially the other players) crack down on murder? Actually.. that just might work... *runs off to contemplate her new idea*

But yes, I think that if everyone could agree that killing is bad, and is punishable ic, then maybe players will be a bit more careful about senseless killing.. and will be cautious as to just who else is aware of their actions... If they can be put on trial and punished for murder, maybe they will not be so quick to kill another character for that uber piece of equipment, at least not without realizing the consequences of their actions...
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Old 06-28-2002, 05:18 AM   #15
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I think the subject under discussion is really games that are attempting to be less than full RP.

The way to make a game a real RP one is well known, require background material on characters, and provide a consistant setting for them to play in. The questions suggested in a previous post are a good way to set up a basic background.

Frankly games that do try to appeal to both RP and H&S at the same time are always going to have certain problems. There cannot be any IC standards that matter because not everyone is required to follow them. And serious RP players cannot play in a world where the very things they care about mean zip to other players. They are playing characters, the others are just being players pushing some electronic numbers around in a fun fashion.

In a full RP game the acceptable actions, Laws and other things have to be clearly stated, otherwise the necessary cooperation cannot exist. When this is done I do believe that code to enforce these rules can be quite fair and logical. If murder is a crime inside the City Walls then having NPC police to capture the offender is reasonable, if there is some chance of escape, 100% certain captures are not acceptable.

Lets not forget one thing, there is another class of players that sort of muddy the waters of what we are talking about. People who have a total disregard for the Rules of the game itself or who play for the enjoyment they get from annoying others. These days they are usually called Griefers, but whatever name you use they will present all sorts of arguements if the Laws make it possible to do so. When it gets personal, someone is out of line and the Staff needs to step in.


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Old 06-28-2002, 06:12 AM   #16
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Generally speaking I have to agree with Thelenian's views on this, but something I'd like to expand on (which was also touched on by Dionae) is that, from an IC point of view, players should not treat mobs/NPCs any differently from other PCs. Thus, killing a PC so that you can take their nice leather boots should be no different from killing an NPC and taking theirs instead - yet in many RP muds, the two are treated very differently. In fact, in many "RP muds" the only way to get decent equipment is through murdering dozens of creatures, many of which don't even initiate the fights, while at the same time killing a PC results in punishment.

So why should the player be punished for treating other PCs in the same way as s/he does an NPC? You're punishing good roleplaying - a player cannot treats PCs and NPCs differently without using OOC knowledge.

There are several reasons why you might want to restrict PK, but don't try and justify it as innately "bad roleplaying", because it isn't.
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Old 06-28-2002, 09:14 PM   #17
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My question is this. How do you determine the quality of a piece of equipment that another person is wearing? How do you know how powerful a sword or breastplate is from looking at it?

For example, if you look at the guy down the block's BMW, do you know if the car runs well from looking at it? By appearance, anything can be outstanding, but how can someone ICly determine the actual quality of a piece without using it?

Why do I ask? Because I want to know how these murderers/marauders/thieves know what EQ to go after. If it's a stock piece, why bother? And if it's created by some means or unique how can a character tell ICly whether it's a strong sword or a strong person swinging a sword?

Coveting people's equipment is as ooc as HR and DR and levels and stats. These things do not exist in character. Which means that my DR +10,000 sword might not look a terrible lot different than someone elses DR +10 sword. In fact, mine might even look worse from the amount of use it's seen.
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Old 06-28-2002, 10:35 PM   #18
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For example, if you look at the guy down the block's BMW, do you know if the car runs well from looking at it? By appearance, anything can be outstanding, but how can someone ICly determine the actual quality of a piece without using it?
American society as a whole considers BMW's to be a symbol of luxury and wealth. It's very reasonable for a car thief to assume that the BMW he sees is worth more than the Honda next to it without first taking both for a test spin and checking under the hood. People make decisions based on their perceptions, which may or may not be grounded in reality.

Another important point that has to be made is that better equipment of any kind is generally identifiable as such through appearance alone. Quality usually manifests itself visually as well as functionally. The simpler the equipment, the more likely it is that this generalization will hold true.

You also have to consider, as Kavir mentioned, that killing NPCs for weapons/armor is no different ICly than killing another PC for wearpons/armor. You have to ask yourself this question: How do characters know which quests to complete/NPCs to kill to get better armor? If this knowledge is considered IC, then PK'ing for eq is just as IC. You can argue that they don't know, and that they try the item out after they've obtained it, but then the same argument goes for PK. It looks pretty good, so the robber decided it was worth it to kill the guy and try it out for himself.

Bottom line:
If PC Jim can kill NPC Bob for "a mean-a$$ four-handed quadruple double bastard sword +5000000 (glowing) (humming)" because he "knows" it's better than his "rusted spatula -10" and have it considered IC, PC Joe can PK PC Jim for the sword later, and it will be just as IC.
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Old 07-05-2002, 02:33 PM   #19
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Exclamation

Perhaps the name "playerkill" should be changed community-wide (not feasible) but I do like the character vs character naming convention as its more suitable for both HnS and RP muds. To me a player is the person behind the character not the character.

I have rp'd both evil and good characters that have been killed (non-permdeath games). The kills on both sides were always roleplayed well in advance. The kills were part of either clan/guild war or for another reason that had been building over time.

I think in a limited "PK" mud if the staff can set forth guidelines such as those offered in a previous message and follow through on it, it can work and work well, adding a large appeal to the game for a wider variety of players.

During the above clan war, the RP between my clan and our enemy had people coming to mud to see what was gonna happen next. Alot of times even neutral parties got pulled into things just by being in the "right place" at the "right time" (depends on the individual).

Sorry I am rambling now.
I will stop
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:48 AM   #20
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There is an IC solution. What do you do if someone steals from you or tries to kill you? That's right, you call the cops. And they bust his face in if you can't do it yourself. Case closed.
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