I’ve been getting some fun comments from someone who is so smart he doesn’t even need to read an article before criticizing. That person is the redoubtable Richard Kulisz, who has been such a good contributor that I’m glad to make a full post just about him. He’s famous too, and you can read more about his exciting career here, here, here, and here (edit: also here), just for a start. Hell, he even has his own appreciation society.
Now to be fair, his comments started off fairly rational-sounding, if not always on target. It was kind of interesting watching the mania grow and grow as the comments got less and less pertinent to the source material. The old me would have helped him along, slowly whipping him up into a frenzy through careful insertions of responses designed to trigger his hindbrain through subliminal manipulation, like "no, u." The new me? It’s not really that I’m any nicer a person. I just don’t care.
Here are some exciting excerpts from his collection of (as of this writing) 29 comments, maybe with more to come assuming he doesn’t notice that I’ve dropped him into the moderation queue and removed all his old diatribes.
His first post, on the Death Systems for Persistent Worlds article. Well yeah, it does sound reasonable, except he forgot that all the things he says here are already in there. Great minds and all, I guess.
Do you mean to say that if you lose resurrections on doing criminal activity then the game world becomes much more politically complex and starts to resemble the real world? Yes, I can see where this would be a bad thing.
The only real problem you list is accurately tagging criminal activity. But this isn’t so difficult. All you have to do is 1) taint anyone who strikes another player, 2) have tainted players lose resurrections if their victim dies within 5 minutes of the tainting.
Naturally, if you’ve got an Assassin class then they should be immune from this. Conversely, a Thief class might suffer double the penalty.
Guess’ response here is spot on. The perception of beauty is partially dependent on your past experience of similar things and that’s what makes beauty seem subjective. Making XP gains dependent on your past experience may, by itself, introduce enough complexity to defeat reverse engineering. It would certainly defeat farming. Add in skill losses dependent on your past experience and you are again adding a new layer of subjectivity to the whole thing. If you play with just these two concepts then it should be enough to defeat reverse engineering.
You should forget Guess’ suggestions of a thousand different damage types, hidden random stats and weapon-monster interactions. Those are just stupid since they take more time to program than they take to reverse-engineer. To defeat reverse-engineering, you need asymmetry. You need something EASY to program that’s ridiculously expensive to reverse-engineer. Having two layers of subjectivity / non-repeatability gives you that.
Basically, yes complexity is the key. However, as a game designer or game programmer you don’t want to make YOUR life more complex. Only the player’s and reverse-engineer’s. Hidden variables just makes your life more complex. Subjectivity makes their life more complex.
TLDR: "I’m lazy."
Actually, evil is entirely measurable on an absolute scale. The problem is that according to that measure you are all evil scum. Americans in particular are all evil scum, and I’m not talking about the psychopaths they love so much since I don’t count those as either human or people. British are evil, Italians are evil, Chinese are evil, Japanese are evil, Indians are evil. It just goes on and on.
I explain WHY you are all evil scum, in detail, in my essay: (link removed because although it’s crazy, it’s not really all that funny)
On this entire planet, only Scandinavians and a few isolated communities scattered across the globe verge on being good, in the aggregate. The individual members of those societies are neutral to evil. Genuinely good people on this planet are extremely rare. I know this because I’m one of those few good people. And just to give you some perspective, Teresa of Calcutta and John Paul II were both Evil with a capital E.
That’s why good and evil isn’t a meaningful question for computer games, or any games at all. Because the more meaningful question is “what KIND OF evil are YOU?” And in case you missed it, everything that was listed here, “Nationalism, Religion, Economic Interests, Social Power, Fame, Personal Achievement” it’s all evil. A good person isn’t motivated by any of those things. I know I’m not.
And now begins the drool.
This article is stupid and completely misses the points, plural.
You’re not whining about mages, you’re really whining about the lack of a mystical elite and the fact that everybody in the modern world simply demands democracy as a matter of course even in their anti-Enlightenment dreams of “heroic myth”. So from your point of view, the dream of mystical elitism, of Specialness, is sullied and impure.
You know what? I don’t give a crap. I’m a democrat, a progressive and an industrialist. If people are too progressive for your tastes … good! The truth is that people are far too elitist, not for my taste, but for goodness’ sake. The truth is that your objection is exactly equivalent to “people are not primitive and evil enough”.
The SECOND point you’re completely missing is the actual ROLE that RPG mages play in games. This role is only briefly hinted at by Dr Shad. The fighting classes break down to guys using their muscles versus their minds and melee vs ranged. Fighters are melee muscle guys. Archers are ranged muscle guys. Ninjas, monks and thieves are all melee intellect guys. And mages, alchemists and psionicists are the intellect ranged guys.
And you’re trying to rub that role out of existence because you’re an ignorant dumbass. Guess what? I only play that role because it appeals to me. Because using my muscles doesn’t appeal to me at all. And getting up close and dirty also doesn’t appeal to me. And I don’t give a shit if wizards are more powerful at really high levels that I will never, EVER reach because I’m just a casual gamer. The truth is I’ve never played a sweaty dumb fuck if I could help it, even when everyone told me that I should.
So to recap. 1) I don’t give a shit about your elitist anti-Enlightenment daydreams of “heroic fantasy”. And 2) I’m rather offended you want to rub out the non-(sweaty dumb fuck) option. And 3) this article is just completely. fucking. stupid.
Give yourself -10 points for severe lack of insight (did you really think players play mages because they’re power-hungry minmaxers?), and another -10 for asking all the wrong questions (like how to eliminate the role rather than why it exists – the fact that you CAN’T eliminate the role should have been a big fucking clue). And just because the commenter Brian is even stupider than you are on this subject does not in any way exonerate you.
Things get weirder from here. I’ll just post some of the digestible bits.
..Oh and you might want to notice how MY concept of wizard is actually MORE democratic than yours. Yes they get powers no other player can have. But guess what? Otherwise, NO player at all has access to those powers. Only “content creators” hired by the company do. So this is actually MORE egalitarian…
> and Inborn magic is too unfair to impose on a game full of subscribers who will be pissed
REALLY?!? I guess you’ll have to tell City of Heroes that since they don’t seem to have gotten the memo! They seem to be pretty stupid, they’ve been running that game for what, almost 6 years now?
> the axiom that all people suck
An attitude like that neatly explains why you’re an elitist fascistic jerkoff.
In an industrial society, magic is industrialized. You obviously hate that as you seem to be in love with elitism and hate people. But guess what? Industrialized magic is GREAT! And it’s more than a little disgusting how much time you spend trying to escape that reality. You know what would make magic actually awesome other than just “meaningless shit that nobody else can do”? If it was actually awesome. But you’re far too stupid to figure out how to do that. Instead, you want to substitute in “nobody else can do this”. Which makes you sound EXACTLY like the type of power-hungry loser who thinks they “win” a game by hoarding / player-killing everyone else / making everybody else lose.
Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. I think maybe Mr. Kulisz really is a savant, maybe with a window into alternate universes or time strings. Like that one where Spock has a beard, I am an elitist tyrant who says things that are exactly the opposite of what I wrote, and Richard Kulisz can comprehend an article written almost a decade ago.
…Stupid. Incredibly stupid. Your obsession with the so-called “literary” elitist wizard is driving you to new heights of stupidity. If wizards are repositories for lore, then how many administrators is a company going to have to employ to create all that stupid expensive esoteric lore? Far too many! Work WITH economics, not against it, dumbass…
…Even better, you whine about the development costs of running different games on different servers. And yet you don’t see this as a fatal problem with your whole line of thinking! You bring up fatal problems with *your own position* but you wave them away saying how they’re not fatal, merely surmountable obstacles. Even though you end up admitting the obstacle can’t always be surmounted! Wow! Have you ever heard of logic? It seems a very foreign concept to you.
…I don’t need to ask what the fuck your problem is because I know. Obviously since you lack synthesis (creativity) you must also lack judgement (incl. the ability to see good vs evil), the ability to see what’s important versus what’s unimportant, or in general making any kind of meta-level decisions based on only domain level data. And so you dismissed equality for thieves as unimportant when in fact it’s CRITICAL…
Seriously, I think Kulisz might be the guy who runs the HYBRID website.
…As I said, your proposed solutions are all pathetic. You are a shitty pathetic excuse for a game designer who is totally and utterly incapable of making any design level decisions. Or indeed come up with any genuinely new and original ideas of your own…
Your rationale is pathetic and despicable. Everything you say to try to justify thieves stealing from other players can be applied to fighters being wanton murderers out to kill fellow players. YOU ARE A DESPICABLE MORONIC RETARD.
This last one showed up literally 5 seconds after I put him in moderation.
You are a fucking idiot who’s doing everything possible to excuse away, minimize and dismiss misbehaviour by PCs. You never devote a single iota of brain power to the question of really deterring OR punishing crime. Only to make a USELESS SHOW of it. A useless show that will serve NOBODY BUT YOURSELF since it is YOUR SHOW as a programmer. A useless programmer that steals all the limelight from users in order to aggrandize himself while leaving players with no fun at all.
Seriously, with communication skills like this I don’t know why he isn’t already a design lead somewhere. I don’t know how exactly everything turns into an elites vs. commoners power struggle, and how I am (A) an elitist and (B) therefore inherently evil in this whole train of thought. It’s doubly disturbing when you read some of his other posts where he basically puts himself in the top 0.1% of worthwhile human beings on the planet. Common folk, there’s your man!
I figure I’ll leave a few of his comments up, just the ones that smarter people have bothered to answer. You know, before they realized who they were replying to. As for myself, I can’t even muster the willpower to follow through on my plan to type "no, u." When it comes to this guy, like I said, I just don’t care.