Re: [ Problem ] Areas changing... 97 06:25:18 am

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 09/02/97

I would like to apologize to Hans for that last post. My tone
was way too harsh. It's just that I'm getting frustrated --the
bad kind not the good kind. ;-)

No matter what kind of mud you run, the Art of Administration
is to make sure your players enjoy themselves. I think we all
agree on this. If you run a talker, an rp, or a hack and
slash, the success of your mud depends ultimately on whether
the players enjoy themselves. My point is that here is a flaw
in the thinking that the Art of Administration is a balance
between making life hard on your players and making life so
hard on your players that they leave. There are two kinds of
"frustration." There's a kind where you feel challenged, and
you enjoy the challenge. You enjoy yourself even more when
you overcome the challenge. Players can never get enough of
this kind of "frustration" (within reason :). Then there is
the kind of frustration that you don't enjoy going through.
It doesn't matter if it's challenging because you're sorry
you ever went through it, even after it's over. This is
the kind of frustration that causes players to leave muds.

Daniel's intentions are good. However, sometimes we undermine
our own good intentions. If you take the view that balance
requires you to increase the kind of frustration that would
make players leave if they're not yet at the point of leaving,
then you have the wrong goal in mind. That is the difference
between saying that the Art of Administration is increasing
the player's enjoyment and that the Art of Administration
is pissing-off your players, but not to the point that they
leave. Once again, I know the intentions of people who take
the latter view are good, but I hope you realize how your
goal fails to distinguish between the two kinds of
frustrations. You may end up mixing the good kind of
frustrations with the bad kind and dismissing the negative
reaction of your players as just the need for balance.

From now on I hope no one will equate the Art of
Administration with the act of balancing the player's
frustrations between them not being frustrated and them
being so frustrated that they leave. The Art of
Administration, and the key to having a healthy, fun mud,
is to work for the player's enjoyment -- work on challenging
them with the right kind of challenges.

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