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Immortal Twinks

There are several types of Twinks in the mud world, some of them can be pretty amusing, others are in different ways more or less detrimental to the general atmosphere of a mud. Also there are Imm Twinks and Mortal Twinks - the former are generally (but not necessarily) more dangerous, simply because they have more power. Well, here is MY list of Twink types, sorted in Imps, imms and mortals, with an effort of putting the worst kinds on top of the list, and with some comments about each type and how to handle them. Since the list got pretty long - (the amount of different Twinks is really astounding!) - Iíve divided it into two articles; IMMORTAL TWINKS and MORTAL TWINKS.

1. Power-trippers.
This is the type that start their own muds for the sole purpose of torturing, harassing and abusing their players, to feed their own sorry little egos. This is the worst type of all Twinks, absolutely devastating for a game. Curiously enough muds imped by people of this kind sometimes have astonishingly large player bases, which leads me to believe that there must be quite a few masochists on the net... Regarding the number of complaints you see on different discussion Boards, I canít help wonder why anybody would stay on in a mud like that - but a fact is, they do, they even complain when getting banned...

Steps to take:
There is only one way to handle this type: DONíT PLAY THE MUD!

2. Control freaks.
These are the ones that feel they must be in total control all the time, allegedly to prevent all efforts at cheating or to enforce 100% roleplay. To achieve their goals they stop at nothing; including snooping or spying on players even in private rooms, logging all events including private conversations, reading private mudmail, removing every note containing a bit of criticism against the mud policy or Admin, oppressing all free speech... Their intentions may be good, but the type rarely makes for a fun mud.

Steps to take:
Personally I leave any mud where I see these tendencies. However, each has his taste, and if you enjoy being treated like a retarded twelve year old, this is the mud for you to choose. But -if you make that choice, better learn to grovel or to keep your mouth shut in all situations, or youíll find yourself being removed faster than you wanted.

3. Unfair personnel policy imps.
This is the type that promote their own personal friends regardless of if they do any work or not, at the expense of those imms that actually do. Also they never thank their staff for the job they put down or recognize it in any way. (AND I might add, give top positions to people who just CLAIM to be coders, leaving all their hard-working builders at the lowest possible imm level - a pet peave of mine, hehe).

This type isnít directly detrimental to the game, since the players usually donít see whatís going on. But in the long run they are harmful, because sooner or later all the good, hardworking imms will get pissed off and leave, leaving only the dregs. To the staff of course they are devastating, and if you work on a mud of this type, I have only one advice: LEAVE as quickly as possible, before you put too much of your efforts into it ).

Steps to take:
Avoid working on muds with this type of Admin.

1. Cheaters.
These are the ones that "speed up" their own morts with all hp, mana, str and innate spell possible, make "special" cheated weapons and equip for themselves and their friends with ridiculous avg damage or ac value, pkill other players using said cheated equip, use their imm chars to collect hard-to-get equip or help kill powerful mobs, use their imm powers and knowledge to get advantages for their clan etc. etc. ... The worst kind of imms in my opinion, since they can quickly throw a mud out of balance, taking all the fun away for the other players.

Steps to take:
Head Imp: NUKE THEM!
Players: Talk to the Head Imp about it. If he listens and takes action, fine. If not - LEAVE the mud.

2. Abusers.
These are the ones that misuse their imm powers to harass and abuse players; torturing, slaying , killing, transing and generally showing disrespect for the players. The type is most common among teenage imms, you rarely see more grown up people doing this sort of abuse, but it does happen.

Steps to take:
Head Imp: This kind is usually easy to spot and deal with - just nuke them. Or better still, just remove their imm privileges and throw them to the players.
Players: See above type 1.

3. Minor Powertrippers.
These are usually newly appointed imms, who get kind of carried away by all their "cool" new powers. They start to think of themselves as "real" gods, demanding "respect" from players who were their equals the day before, and when not getting it either complain to higher imms or take the law in their own hands. Sometimes they also do apparently obnoxious things by mistake, simply because they were testing out an imm command without realizing what it did.

Steps to take:
Head Imp: Usually this type can be put straight, if you talk a bit earnestly with them. For many it is a stage they pass before they become pretty good imms. Make a good set of Imm guidelines that all new imms receive. Take some time to talk to them and explain the imm commands and rules for imm behaviour on the mud directly upon promotion, to prevent this thing from happening. Explain to them, that respect must be earned - not demanded. If they are found incorrigible - which is sometimes the case - strip them of their imm powers.

Players: Present the case to the Head Imp, but donít make TOO big an issue out of it. After all - even imms can be newbies and make dumb mistakes at times, and they should be granted a second chance. If you know the imm is new, try to apply some humor and tolerance to the situation.

4. Lazy imms.
This is the type that sit on an imm position, but never do any noticeable work, possibly resting on old merits from years ago. Or the type that only logs on once a month to avoid being deleted for idleness. Or they log on every day, but only to chat with their friends and to bask in the "glory" of being imms. As annoying as this type can be to the rest of the staff, they arenít really harmful to the mud, unless some of the really working imms get so pissed that they decide to leave. As a matter of fact, purely "social" imms can even be good for a mud, if they are funny and entertaining, chatting to all players and cracking a few jokes. They are generally popular with the players, since their socializing is not hampered by doing any work, which makes them look more "caring" than the ones that DO work a lot, and consequently come out as preoccupied.

Steps to take:
Demote them to a level that fits their status. Most muds have a low imm level for Ďsocialí imms that you can use.

The rest depends on the imm. If heís a nice-type guy, who is well liked by the players, he is probably doing something good as a PR man after all. If he has a valid reason for his absence - (like for instance exams) - be tolerant and wait him out. After all there IS a RW outside your mud. If he is BOTH lazy and arrogant to the players, throw him out. And if you find the reason for his absence is that he is imm on another - or several other muds, I suggest you politely ask him to either make a choice between the muds, or to resign. (Being imm on more than one mud at the same time is never a good idea, since it inevitably leads to neglecting one of them).

5. Bad Builders.
Why is it that every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to become a Builder, even if they havenít got even basic language skills and absolutely no original ideas or creativity? Even in a mud like ours, where a separate Building port prevents them from doing any actual damage to the mud, the ĎNon-Buildersí still are a pain in the ass. They do sloppy work or no work at all, they ask innumerable questions that could easily be answered if they werenít too lazy to ever check the Building manuals that we provide them with. They break every possible policy rule, because they are too lazy to check the Building Policy, that we also provide them with. They create ridiculous cheat items, that would never be allowed into the Game Port, even if they DID finish their zone - which mercifully most of them never do. They assign enormous values to objects, which at times even crash the port, because the code canít handle those large numbers. They disturb and bother the good, hardworking Builders, by bugging them in every possible way or spamming the channels while playing with their imm commands. They spend their time in the Build Port checking up other zones, so they can get advantages in the Game Port. And worst of all, they give the whole building community a bad name, because some people assume that ALL Builders are morons like that.

(And still I allow all players that ask to have a go at it in our Building Port. In some rare cases you actually DO strike gold. And even in the worst cases, they usually end up with a bit more respect for REAL builders, having experienced themselves how much hard work is required in building a zone)...

Steps to take:
Be careful of who you hire. If you donít have a separate Building port, NEVER accept builders without credentials, unless they are long-term, well-known players in your mud, who wish to contribute to their favorite mud. And even then, be a bit careful. Being a good player doesnít necessarily mean that you also are a good builder. Ask for work examples before you let them in. If the examples show that they cannot use proper spelling and grammar, tell them politely that they arenít up to the Building standards in your mud. Watch out for cheaters! And get yourself a Building Port as soon as possible, because this solves most of the problems.

If you DO have a Building Port, you can be a bit more tolerant. After all, even if some of those "non-builders" are absolutely useless, they are sometimes good for a few laughs. Even if they never finish more than three rooms, they donít actually do much harm. And even really bad cases sometimes have at least ONE original idea, which you perhaps can use at a later time. If you are a bit of an idealist, you may find pleasure in the thought that maybe some other Imp in the future will benefit from the things they learned in your Building school. And that even the worst cases usually improve their spelling and grammar at least a bit, by trying to build. A good precaution is also not to give them the script commands until they have proven themselves by finishing their rooms, mobs and objects, because bad scripts can crash a Port more than anything else.

Some players ask to build just to get a sneak preview of the zones, but there are methods to prevent this too. The first step would be to remove all completed zones from the Build Port. As for the ones currently being worked on, our coder fixed it so that the low level builders only have access to their own zone. They cannot even enter a zone that is assigned to another Builder, unless the owner invites them and transes them there himself. (The Head Builders naturally have access everywhere, you wouldnít have made them Head Builders if you didnít trust them, would you?)

Well - those are MY "favourite" Imm Twinks - which are yours? As for Mortal Twinks, see my other article on the subject.

Molly O'Hara of 4 Dimensions

Molly OíHara has about 5 years of mudding experience, with a past as Troublemaker in a mud called Age of Chivalry, which has since shut down. Sheís been a Builder for 4 years, a Head Builder for 3 and imp for about the same time. Currently she is one of the three imps on 4 Dimensions, a Time Travel mud with all original zones, where she built a majority of those zones. (she has over 40 to her name by now). The address to 4 Dimensions is Port 6000, and to the WebPages Molly can be reached over e-mail at