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What's wrong with pkill (very long)

1997 Topic Index

Posted by Croaker on 04/01

This (and the next post) are my ideas about what's wrong with pkill and how to fix it. This is no way represents the opinions of any of the other immorts or of the staff as a whole, but is rather put out here to stimulate further discussion.

First - What do people like about pkill (or Why Do Players Clan ?)

1) RolePlay - people clan because they want to RP and there is a perception (not always deserved) that clans RP. This is the best reason to clan (IMHO) and should be encouraged in any rules changes being considered.

2) Competition - You can only go so far killing mobs before it gets routine, and the pkill arena is a new challenge to conquer, as you are playing against other players. This is a good reason to clan, and should be encouraged.

3) Status - There is a certain status associated with belonging to a pkill clan and the pkill community which appeals to some people. This can be both good and bad - how many times have you heard over chat - This is a pkill issue, shut up if you're not clanned - as if non-clanned players don't have a say in how things on the mud are run.

4) Sadism - a lot of people just enjoy hurting others or destroying what others have built, and pkill is a harmless (?) way to do this vicariously through the electronic media. This is the multi / loot syndrome, and may have different motivations in different people: a) pure sadism, b) revenge motives after something has been done to you, and c) RP reasons (usually bad ones). This is a bad reason to join a clan, and we don't need these characters on Legend. Please notice that I say _characters_, as many players may play this way with one character and be productive mud citizens with another. Also, I want to make a distiction between playing evil characters and sadistic ones. Characters who play this way (although perhaps few in number) form the basis of most people's objections to the current pkill system. This is a bad reason to clan, and any rules changes being discussed should actively discourage this behavior.

What's bad about pkill (or Why Don't People Clan) ?

This is mainly a reflection of the reasons above.

1) Little RP at present - The clans who want to RP are severely hampered by the fact that they will be killed en masse by aggressive clans during rp activities. Said aggressive clans are likewise not intersted in rp, as it may not fulfill issues of competition, status, and sadism for them. Therefore, those who wish to participate in clanned RP activities are quickly disillusioned and stop playing their clanned character.

2) Unlevel playing field - For competition to be a motivating factor, you have to be competitive. The current, established clans are composed of the oldest, most accomplished players and are very good at what they do. It is hard to clan and compete unless you join them and thus join in their behavior. I addition, it is currently possible to power-level a character to 50 in a matter of days, eliminating death, multi, perma, or even deletion as true concerns or staying factors for the powerful clans.

3) Harassment - the status of being in a large, successful clan leads to the use of harassment as a recruiting weapon against smaller less organized, or predominantly rp clans. How many time over chat have you heard members of one of the big clans taunting the smaller clans ? When this is often the only info a new player has about these clans, it becomes a powerful detriment to recruitment of new members.

4) Fear of death / multi / looting / harassment / etc. - The number one reason people don't clan is because they don't _like_ to have things like this done to the characters they have so carefully built. It's no fun unless you're the top dog, and you can't be the top dog for reasons I've outlined above. This is the issue that most has to be dealt with before clanning can become an acceptable option for most players.

None of this is intended as an indictment of specific players or clans, but rather as an indictment of a system that everyone agrees could use some major overhauling. In my next post I will address what I think can be done to fix the problems I have listed above.

And, again, it's just my opinion, and I could be wrong :P



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