Petition Hat

#: 265035 S10/BL Wizzes & Witches
    03-May-95 03:05:05
Sb: #265029-#An Open Letter
Fm: richard 76703,3042
To: Shungnak---* 71361,2336

SHUNGNAK        -

>The following document has been 'signed' by a significant portion of the
>current community of British Legends Wizzes.
        Oh well, it makes a change. Normally, it's significant portions of mortals who sign a petition complaining about some aspect or other of wiz behaviour..!

>The pslam bug.
        I'm in the process of recompiling BL now, which may or may not fix the problem but it's all I CAN do. Still, I suppose it's one way to ensure the latest batch of names makes it to the graveyard!

>As the game was originally designed, a player's persona would be
>automatically deleted if he or she disconnected the modem or computer
>during a fight with another player or a mobile
        Strictly speaking, it wasn't designed that way originally (be careful when you use such words in the presence of the original designer!), however that is how it ought to proceed now. I'm not sure whether death is meant to be guaranteed or if it's merely a huge loss of stamina that occurs, but the end result is that players who do pslam in fights can expect to end up pretty dead.

>there is apparently no desire on the part of CIS to fix it.
        You're confusing "desire" with "willingness". CIS want to fix it, of course - if they could wave a magic wand and it would be fixed, they would. The problem is that fixing it for BL may have some horrible knock-on effect on their libraries, forcing them to recompile all their other products. You can see why they may not be too keen on doing that if they can find another way around it.

>2. The recent decision on the part of the arches that we could no longer
>require players to refrain from using inactive wiz names or names that
>closely resemble wiz names.
        What decision is this?!
        There are three reasons for FODding people who have names similar to wiz names:
1)      The names are easily confused, eg. Richard and Rlchard;
2)      The name mocks the wiz name, eg. Poorard;
3)      The name is one that deserves removal anyway, eg. RicHardon.
        Reasons 2) and 3) are governed by other guidelines: mocking a wiz is a bad idea in whatever form it takes, and using inappropriate language is similarly a high-risk venture. This leaves name confusion as the main thrust of the argument here.
        Name confusion is a bad thing because people might think that they are dealing with one person when they're dealing with another. You can't FOD someone for having a name that's similar but not confusable with yours, so Rihcard would be fine because no-one is going to think it's Richard. Made-up names like Valaryia can be more easily confused (Valeryia, Valaria, Vallaryia etc.) but shortened forms like Rich or Ricky or Val aren't problems.
        If a wiz FODs a mortal for having a name that isn't confusing, then the wiz had better be sure that the mortal is guilty of 2) or 3) above. A desire not to have mortals with names "like" your own is insufficient grounds for a FOD. Even if they do choose a confusing name, check first that it's deliberate before FODding - many a novice will, having learned that the name of their favourite character from their favourite book is taken, try a similar name. It's better if you can get them to give the name up voluntarily and rename them than it is simply to point a FOD in their direction.
        There's another issue concerning the names of wizzes who have stopped playing. If they give permission for their name to be re-used, fair enough, it can be.

>In addition to the substance of this decision, we are also bothered by the
>way it was made.
        Me too, but I don't altogether believe it WAS made - I'll leave VALARYIA and SUSAN to talk about that.

>It was essentially handed down as an edict from the Arches
        Arch-wizzes CAN hand down edicts without having to justify them, just as wizzes can hand down edicts to mortals. However, this is normally reserved for cases when to give the full reasons would cause serious problems (ie. more serious than whatever manifestation the collective rage of the wizzes takes!).
        Example: some decision has to be made by a deadline, and there's no time to tell the wizzes beforehand.
        Example: to explain to the wizzes would put someone in breach of contract or be illegal.
        Example: some personal detail concerning someone involved should under no circumstances be made public.
        In these case, the arch-wizzes have to take the flak and keep quiet, their only defence being "trust us". Now while this kind of "if you knew what we knew you'd do the same" approach can work, it relies heavily on trust; the more decisions that are handled this way, the lesser that trust becomes. Arbitrary decisions with no explanation and no attempt to answer requests for enlightenment severely reduce the chances of being able to keep the barriers up when circumstances dictate they really DO need to be there.

>While it may be necessary for the Arches to comment on wiz behavior they
>find unacceptable from time to time
        You're suggesting that it's not essential for arch-wizzes to comment on behavious they find unacceptable?

>we feel some recent comments have been unjustified.
        That statement has an ambiguity to it. Which do you mean, "some of the recent comments which have been made contained statements which are unjustified" or "some of the recent comments were made in a fashion that was unjustified"?

>4. Recently a high-level player was deleted by one of us for looby
>looing, one of the long-standing 'deadly sins' for which fodding has been
>the traditional punishment. When this player complained to CIS, the
>arches decided to reverse the decision of the wiz and to restore the
        OK, well arch-wizzes can do that, of course, however unless there was some highly pressing reason for them to overrule the wiz (eg. wiz just went on vacation for a month and is unreachable) the normal practice is to consult with the wiz and get the wiz's approval. Then, either the arch-wiz or the wiz will effect the restore.
        So, in this particular example you're citing (VOLAD, VALARYIA and you), did the arch-wiz in fact consult with the wiz concerned and get approval? VALARYIA says she did, which would completely validate her actions.

>First, the player was given the benefit of the doubt regarding his claim
>that he didn't know he was doing anything illegal.
        Yes, well, that's not entirely unprecedented...

>Second, he was told he would be given his 'one-time' restore that was
>allowed for all players.
        That is rather odd. Normally, the best the player could expect is for a restore with the points obtained by looby-looing removed. I know VALARYIA has something to say on this subject herself, though, so I'll let her say it.

>Information regarding loobying and other 'deadly sins' is contained in
>several documents in the BL section of the MPGAMES forum
        So is several years' worth of accumulated garbage...
        If someone makes a genuine mistake, the wiz concerned may feel that FODding is merely punishing someone for being ignorant, and that a far better result would be to take from the mortal the points gained by cheating, explaing why it was cheating, and tell them what the punishment normally is. If the mortal is suitably chastened, they'll think the wiz concerned is a really decent person and they won't ever do it again. With a FOD, they won't do it again because they won't PLAY again! Of course, if the mortal is trying it on, the wiz may feel a FOD is fully justified. It's up to the wiz on the ground to decide which course of action is best, and only in exceptional circumstances should they reverse their decision; only in extraordinary circumstances should their decision be reversed without the wiz's consent or knowledge.

>We see a clear double standard here. We as wizzes are required to use the
>forums to post when we have banned, and the arches use postings in the
>forum to inform us of changes they want us to make. Are all players now
>relieved of any responsibility for any information in the forum, or does
>this just apply to mortal players?
        It applies to players who haven't been through a BB/BS programme to tell them where to look and what to look at. "Clear double standard" - HA!

>Finally, use of the 'one-time' restore in this case seems to us to be
>inconsistent with past practice.
        That's because is IS inconsistent with past practice! It's why I doubt that VALARYIA gave that as her reason. We'll have to wait and see what she says on the subject.
        NB: it is not inconsistent for an arch-wiz to resurrect whoseover they please without giving any reason at all for it; arch-wizzes CAN do this sort of thing if they feel like it, it's just very, very unusual.

>BL was intended to be run largely by the wiz community
        Again, it's a bad move to attribute intentions to people who actually know whether they had them or not... BL wasn't intended to be run by anyone, it just emerged that the wizzes are the ones that made most of the day-to-day decisions.

>This appears to contradict the statement from the GWG that:
>"...Arch-Wizzes should not be expected to run the game. Wizzes are
>trusted to use their own judgement."
        It does no such thing. Just because they're not expected to run the game, that doesn't mean they don't HAVE to run it some times. The military should not be expected to put out fires, but if there's a major incident and regular fire crews can't cope with it, military firefighting equipment will be moved in.
        Don't try to use legitimate concerns regarding how two individual situations have been handled to try and wrest the job of overseeing BL from the arch-wizzes. Jeez, using your argument I could just tell YOU to go and fix the pslam bug!

>We, the undersigned wizzes propose to do or to recommend the following
>steps to return the game to the control of the wiz community
        Control can't be "returned" because it was never there in the first place. Arch-wizzes may exercise control in a very hands-off manner, giving wizzes a lot of independence to make their own decisions, but when it comes down to it the arch-wizzes have ultimate authority, not the wizzes. All you can ask for is that the arch-wizzes allow the wizzes to go about their business in a free and unhindered way (which, incidentally, is all mortals can ask of wizzes - not that they get it!).

>1. Effective immediately, we will use the almanac to post the names and
>ppn's of players who pslam and do not return to the same reset.
        OK, fair enough.

>2. We will continue the practice of protecting existing wiz names, and of
>requiring players to change names that too closely resemble wiz names.
        Since no-one disagrees with you, go ahead!

>3. We recommend strongly that future decisions to alter existing wiz
>practices be discussed by the entire wiz community rather than simply
>handed down by the Arches.
        You're recommending something that is already the case. Arch-wizzes will normally discuss with wizzes decisions that affect what the wizzes do. In some cases they won't (eg. there are some switches in MUD2 that the arch-wizzes can throw to prevent wizzes from using classes of commands that are allowed on other MUD2s), but they will at least be open to persuasion to reverse their actions.
        What astonishes me is that you actually believe the arch-wizzes (even if you only mean one of us that you don't want to name for some reason) really would capriciously alter major long-standing guidelines without so much as a "this is why I'm doing it".

>4. We would like to see any future reversals of fods posted in S10 so
>that the wiz community can be informed of why the Arches felt it necessary
>to override a wiz decision.
        Well since most reversals of FODs are requested by the wiz who did the FOD and therefore "the arches" are not overriding a wiz decision, this clause is rather ill-considered.
        What you really want is for contentious un-FODs to be explained in SS10. If an arch-wiz restores someone and they think the action may cause concerns, then they'll post in SS10 anyway. Otherwise, the wiz concerned can raise the issue. OK, sometimes the wiz may go way over the top and put together a petition of 49 names to try and get something fixed that could have have been settled in at most half a dozen civilised emails to the parties concerned, but people don't normally take that approach...

>Shungnak Luscious Adrienne Joanna Boobach Fredie Alex Ladeadah
>Soultaker Wench Wazoo Mrspock Valentine Fyrehawke Ivanhoe Thanatos
>Offugo Trafalgar Coversgus Edicius Gwidion Zeus Hempstalk Odysseus
>Harlax Madonna Sirsloth Potiphar Websters Rheinford Camber Jimmy
>Starfall Ictinike Spirogyra Roderick Ladycat Vixen Roncesval
>Milamber Raendall Erik Gaileth Drjohn Bounty Crunch Stingray
>Tyree Sunset
        There are a number of current and former arch-wizzes on that list. Couldn't maybe one of you have suggested that maybe contacting me before going ballistic might have been a good idea?


Copyright © Richard A. Bartle (
5th August :\webdes~1\ bl10h.htm