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[TRENCHES] Thursday, April 3, 2014 - DeIncepted

TinklesTinkles YAY!Never Past Bedtime LandRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited April 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
DeIncepted


DeIncepted
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/deincepted

Superman’s Useless Morning Jog

Anonymous

A few years ago, I was a Game Master for a fairly popular MMO. One of the benefits of this job was our ability to play on GM accounts that had access to special commands that could make our characters invisible, invincible, able to take on the appearance of any model in the game, adjust our size.

However, with great power comes great responsibility or at least insane oversight. These accounts were watched over carefully and we were advised to stay invisible any time we used these characters on a live server and to only actually play the characters on the test server where our shenanigans could not have rippling effects on the game’s economy or possibly be overseen by players.

The downside to this is that it absolutely ruined the “normal” game for me. I had somehow found my way into a job that allowed me to literally play an MMO all day long should I want to do so, but the GM tools destroyed all desire I had to actually play it. Once you are given an account that can make that special rare sword appear in a few keystrokes, suddenly forming parties with real players and running a dungeon that only has a small chance of dropping it becomes a ridiculously arduous task for a marginal reward.

You might be thinking, “Well, just play in the test server,” but even that becomes dull after you have god-mode. The game’s verisimilitude is destroyed when you can one-shot kill a world boss. When there is no challenge and there is no reward, you are no longer gaming. It becomes an empty task like Superman going for a light morning jog.

There are a few jokes to make with these types of tools to amuse yourself and other GMs like porting other GMs into deep, deep holes that contain nothing but fire. However, these pranks were really all just permutations of the same joke where we slightly inconvenienced another god for the minute it took them to laugh and type a slash command to restore themselves to immortality.

Maybe the Greeks had it right. Maybe there is a pantheon of narcissistic immortals that invented us and mortality to bring consequence to their squabbles. If so, they had it right. I have no doubt the GM tools would be endlessly entertaining had we permission to unleash them on the foolish, mortal players.


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Tinkles on

Posts

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    The tale is pretty much why you gotta be careful with cheats in any video game, really. I remember back in the days of Game Genies and GameSharks and Action Replays and the like, those things could straight up ruin some games and destroy your taste for them.

    I don't even like using Creative Mode in Minecraft, because if I do that it takes away from the satisfaction of mining materials and building something from my own effort. Creative Mode is like having a box of infinite Lego, where you have unlimited pieces of any kind of piece, and that ruins some of the fun!

    Godhood is dangerous, kids. Use with caution.

    Man in the Mists
  • nyzernyzer Registered User regular
    The Tale is one of the reasons GMs should have permission to mess around with the world a bit (and why their characters should be fundamentally different from player characters).
    Summoning world bosses to a random major city, for example. Not in a way so as to grief the players, but just as an event.
    Or maybe to go to a quest hub and randomly kill every hostile NPC in the region, in a way that gives kill credit and loot to any players who have tags on 'em.
    Or maybe turning everyone's character into a clown for ten minutes in a city.

    Just mildly funny/beneficial/engaging events for the playerbase.



    The comic...

    This really should just have been last Tuesday's comic, instead of two weeks' worth of Jeff and the Snuffler dropped in the middle of an ongoing plot.
    Or it should have been an April Fools' joke.

  • RedthirstRedthirst Registered User regular
    Remember how it was a strip about testers some time ago?

    steam_sig.png
    forty
  • agoajagoaj One is the loneliest number you could ever chuRegistered User regular
    One of the mods in Runescape had some fun with us and teleported us all over the world to places you can't normally get to, like the middle of a volcano or into a locked jailcell.

    qnu0EMk.png
  • faintpremonitionfaintpremonition Registered User regular
    Redthirst wrote: »
    Remember how it was a strip about testers some time ago?

    This one was extra bad because neither the "real" strip, nor the strip-within-the-strip had anything resembling a functioning joke.

    Darkewolfeforty
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    And thus it was learned. That a Job is a job, and that he was in fact not hired to "play" an MMO all day long.

    fortySmrtnik
  • Urban AchieverUrban Achiever Registered User regular
    Trenches has really turned into one of those bad, writer's strike kind of seasons. And yet I will still faithfully visit twice a week in hopes of things becoming interesting again...

    Redthirst
  • Gamer8585Gamer8585 Registered User regular
    nyzer wrote: »
    The Tale is one of the reasons GMs should have permission to mess around with the world a bit (and why their characters should be fundamentally different from player characters).
    Summoning world bosses to a random major city, for example. Not in a way so as to grief the players, but just as an event.
    Or maybe to go to a quest hub and randomly kill every hostile NPC in the region, in a way that gives kill credit and loot to any players who have tags on 'em.
    Or maybe turning everyone's character into a clown for ten minutes in a city.

    Just mildly funny/beneficial/engaging events for the playerbase.

    Agreed. I always thought it would be great for GMs to be given a limited amount of latitude to use their powers in game. Would make a good gold sink if GMs started charging gold for "favors" like tributing a god, they could change weather in a zone, give a player a temporary model change, warp a player to a specific area or zone (or requested zone but random area) obviously there would have to be clear red lines to prevent using a GM to cheat, but it would be pretty neat if a balance could be struck. I think they should also be able to design world events, but have to submit the details and have it approved in advance to prevent major negative disruption.

    The individual personalities and quirks of each server's GMs could really help foster a sense of server community that lacks when games get too big. If there is more than 1 GM per server maybe they could even raise armies of players to fight for them against the other GMs. It would be like holy wars, but the winning side gets to be showered in gold, titles, or cosmetic buffs at the end.

  • UNHchaboUNHchabo Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    The tale is pretty much why you gotta be careful with cheats in any video game, really. I remember back in the days of Game Genies and GameSharks and Action Replays and the like, those things could straight up ruin some games and destroy your taste for them.

    On the other hand, some of those games were impossible or nearly impossible without a Game Genie. :)

    I recently joined a site called RetroAchievements and have been playing some of those games on Hardcore Mode to see if I can beat them as if I were playing on the console, with no cheats or savestates. So far I haven't been able to beat Zelda II. Back when I was a kid I'd play that game with two cheat codes: nine lives (cause infinite lives means you can't save), and "swap shield with life", giving you regenerating health.

    So far I've failed six times in making it through the final palace.

  • likalarukulikalaruku Registered User regular
    Judge reminds me of Treetrunks from Adventure Time.

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