A Multiplaying Rule

 
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject: A Multiplaying Rule Reply with quote

* You may NOT help a lower level character with a higher level char.
This includes damaging mobs, giving EQ, spellups and transportation.


This is what I have so far. For the next line, I'm tempted to say,

"If you have any questions, ask; if you have any doubts, don't do it."

I want it short and sweet, I don't want to go into examples, yet I don't want to seem snipppy. Obviously, this is a fuzzy judgement call, but I'm sure all of you (and most of my players) know exactly what I mean.

The question is, how do I express this?
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Alayla



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Twinking is not allowed."

(Short and sweet.)
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean you can't help your own other characters (i.e., alts), or that you can't help other people out either? Judging from the title I would assume the former, but the rule itself seems to imply the latter.
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bullseye



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't want to go into examples


Assuming I'm not incorrectly taking this out of context... Why not? Unless your player base is purposefully limited to experienced players, I would think some explicit examples of what not to do would be beneficial to new players.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at these questions! I really do need help being clear. Smile


Alaya, thanks for the laugh. (but then I'd have to define "twink")


Kavir, I mean both. Mostly, yes, the former, but I figured I'd expand it to include IMMs helping players. In the back of my mind is this guy from years ago on DizzyMUD. He got up to about level 40, then turned around and started helping newbies. He had this whole cadre that followed him around. They'd log in, then sit and wait from him to show up. They wouldn't play without his spellup. They wouldn't explore, they depended on him to tell them where to go. It was spooky. Like Moonies. And basically, it was an abusive relationship.

Now, I want people to help each other. The basic game design puts loners at a distinct disadvantage. Not everything is in the help files, and a bit of advice from an 'older' player is a big advantage.... I'm digging my own grave here, aren't I?


bullseye, it's just me being silly to the point of being fastidious. Or is it the other way 'round? As a matter of graphic design, I want the page to have as few lines as possible. I really want it to have just one line - the golden rule, but I need to mention kill-stealing and this helping thing.

My game IS aimed at experienced players, "If you liked DIKU, you 'll love DeepMUD!", but I've spent about a third of my time on the schools and creation (it's in-game, so an IMM can snoop you and give explanations and advice as you choose your Name, Race and Guild), and total newbs usually stay. You're right though... dang it.

I guess I need to define what "too much" is. That shouldn't take more than two or three years... I think it's a little simpler than the four colour problem. *sigh*
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Spazmatic



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, I want people to help each other. The basic game design puts loners at a distinct disadvantage. Not everything is in the help files, and a bit of advice from an 'older' player is a big advantage.... I'm digging my own grave here, aren't I?


Yep. Basically, you're never going to control that completely.

1) First, there's OOC information flow, so unless you're parsing log files for AIM accounts, you're screwed.

2) Then there's the "quest hint" syndrome - if you haven't seen it, log onto one of those great big quest-oriented LPs that ban quest hints and watch. People find very creative ways to avoid actually violating the rules, if they think that will keep them safe. Otherwise, see point 1.

3) Why should you regulate it anyways? It is, as I said, impossible, since your game is structured such that structured player experience is so valuable. Thus, people will always try to get older, more experienced players to pass on information. Instead, try to change the game such that it doesn't work. Examples:

Experience economy - suddenly, if everyone hunts the same mobs, xp flow from that mob drops, and (theoretically) things even out. (Theoretically since free market economies have issues.)

Selfbalancing skills - automated data mining every night can subtly tweak skills to even out win/loss ratios, and thus keep players from stacking superior classes or builds and evening the information playing field right from the start.

Etc.

I know I got a little off-topic, but I don't think you can get a rule to avoid this problem. Simply put, people are people. I've played small RPIs with diehard players who never once even grunted out of character, and yet they'd find ways around such "no quest hints" or "no twinking" rules. It's simply not feasible.

If you're going to rely on the rule solution, go with something clear in breadth (list out a few very different types of illegal help), and then, add examples that actually happen. You're still essentially operating on the honor system, since your rule can't cover everything, but at least you're making it clear that it encompasses many different types of offenses, and you will punish for it.
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bullseye



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm digging my own grave here, aren't I?


Yes. :)

I wonder if the example of the 40 lvl player you mentioned is a typical situation, or if it was a somewhat isolated event? Without actually knowing anything about the environment, I tend to think that if the player was playing cult leader because he/she was bored and unable to continue advancing, then there is an issue with the system. By the same token, if the lower level players did not feel that they had another means to enjoy themselves, it could be a game play problem, but definitely not a rules issue.

FWIW, by attempting such a rule, I think you run a very big risk of creating an atmosphere in which players do not help each other at all.

- Bullseye
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 134
Location: Emily's Shop

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I think experienced players should be actively enocuraged to help newbies. If you're inexperienced at anything, obviously the first person you'll turn to for help and advice is someone experienced and expert. And if you have players who are generous, sociable, helpful people, it seems more than a little bizarre to ban them from being friendly and offering helpful advice to those who need it. You may say "oh, but I provide a newbie school" - the fact is, no automated teaching service will ever be as good at teaching as a human would be.

It's bad role-play, too. Think how many myths and fantasy stories involve the hero being aided by supernatural beings, or given magical weapons by the gods. For that matter, think how many stories involve a tough hero coming to the rescue of a less-tough person - rescuing maidens from dragons, etc. You can't seriously think of banning people from rescuing others in danger.

If you find that experienced players helping newbies is a problem then that suggests to me that there is a fundamental mistake in game design.

Suppose, for example, you find yourself wanting to ban high-level players from giving low-level players high-quality equipment and making them too powerful. The true problem here is not that high level players give low level players equipment: the true problem is that the power of a character is far too strongly dependent on the the equipment he is carrying. If you arrange things so that equipment makes relatively difference to the power of a character, or that powerful pieces of equipment are actually unique rather than easily obtainable, you solve the root problem rather than just treating symptoms.

Similarly, if high-level players giving away hints about quests is a problem, you need to design the quests in such a way that knowing about the quest in advance doesn't actually make it any easier to solve. For example, if the player has to find a particular key, don't put it in the same place each time: put it somewhere random and make the player consult a particular NPC who will tell them where it is, etc. That way they can't ask a high level player where the key is, because the high level player won't ever know.

As for having a problem with a high-level player having a cult following - that, frankly, is nobody's business but the high level player and his cult members. If playing like that is the way they like to play and they way they get pleasure out of the game, why should anyone else have a problem with it? If it's having a negative impact on other players then something might need to be done, but, if not, then it's the duty of a wise game admin to steer well clear and let them get on with having fun.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bullseye, I think you hit the.... er.... Embarassed


Good players (which of course, is all I'm going to have! (cough, cough)) would err on the side of caution and be less helpful than they might, and that is not what I want at all.

If I were to go with the rule, I'd try Spaz's advice and make it broad with specific examples. For now though, I think I'll depend on peer pressure. Rolling Eyes
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