Re: [ Problem ] Areas changing...

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 08/29/97

On Thu, 28 Aug 1997, Daniel Koepke wrote:

> Isn't this the very essence of the Art of Administrating (or the Zen if
> you want to be a bit more oriental; and really, who doesn't?)...?  The
> Art/Zen of Administating a MUD is to piss-off the players enough to make
> them grumble, but not enough to make them leave.  In otherwords, change
> it for the harder, and they'll grumble, but if you don't (a) make a complete
> mess out of the game, (b) really piss them off; they stick around and
> continue to play, and eventually they forget about how angry they were
> over you making the game harder, providing them new obstacles.  And it
> just becomes a way of life to account for that one obstacle; and then
> you spring another on them, and they play through that...

Although it's necessary to make decisions that "piss-off" the players,
it is hardly the "Art of Adminstration." Administrators will undoubtably
find that through their oversight or some fault of their own the mud
is unbalanced. Perhaps the administrators are only human. Perhaps they
did not check a builder's area closely enough. Maybe they did not think
about the affect a new skill would have on the overall balance of the
mud. There are many possibilities but they all lead to the same
conclusion: the mud is unbalanced and the only proper action is
to balance it. Players will complain, and they are justified to a point
since it is the fault of the people who's responsibility is keeping
the mud balanced.

Yet the "Art of Administration" does include keeping your players
challenged. The main difference between this and "pissing-off" your
players is that a challenge is aimed at making the game more enjoyable
for the player. I have personally seen many admins who do not understand
the difference. In the case of these admins one of two things happens:
either the mud dies, or the mud continually dies and is reborn. The former
happens when the code base of the mud is not adequate. The latter happens
when the mud has a sufficient code base that it replaces the old players
it keeps losing with new players. While death and rebirth is a popular myth,
I do not think it is the appropriate way to run a mud.

> Maybe I'm the only one that thinks so (which I wouldn't doubt).

Quite the contrary, I think there are many admins out there who think
the same thing. The fact is that a relatively high percentage of
mud players are either too young or too immature to behave properly.
It is very easy (and quite dangerous) for an admin to get into the habit
of not caring about his/her players. The young ones will eventually
grow up and the immature ones will never change. The truth is you cannot
directly change their attitudes: you only have control over your own.

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