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This is a question Eccentrics

We all know someone who's a little bit strange - Mum's UFO abduction secret, or the mad Uncle who isn't allowed within 400 yards of Noel Edmonds.

Tell us about your family eccentrics, or just those you've met but don't think you're related to.

(Suggested by sugar_tits)

(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 19:08)
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Satchelman
I used to run a multi-user dungeon (MUD) game at university. People would walk around a world casting spells, fighting monsters etc. Think of it as a text based World of Warcraft and you'll get the idea. A few of my friends were set up as admins so they could help out. In hindsight it was actually good training for defensive programming, supporting users, developing networked apps, minimizing downtime etc. but at the time it was an excuse to piss about in computer labs instead of actually working. It was a good laugh.

Then came Satchelman, thus described because he was lanky with a greasy hair, a weedy moustache, a long dirty raincoat and a large satchel on him at all times. And an impenetrable cloud of body odour. I think he was a year below us. I don't recall him ever talking to us once, but somehow he learned about the MUD and created a character. Fine, let him play since everyone was welcome.

So he plays for a bit and then decides he is going to be a dickhead. MUDs let you use commands like shout to talk to everyone in the game world. Normally you might do it if you want help or something. But he starts spamming shout commands for no reason, filling up the screen. Then he spams some more. Then he starts bothering specific people by using the similar whisper to direct spam.

So after a few warnings (duly ignored) we delete his character. Then he signs up a new character and does it again. Then he gets deleted. This went on for a few weeks until we decided to get a bit more proactive.

We started to append "the Sad Twat" to his character names which also had the effect of muting them. Then we would banish any new characters to a room which I still have the description for: "The Sad Room: You are in a room especially designed for sad twats like yourself. I hope you like it here, because every time you quit you will end up back here and there is no way out."

This must have pissed him off no end. So he started using his l33t hacker skillz to take screenshots of our x11 terminals for reasons unknown. Unfortunately I noticed him doing this and told the system admin who found the screenshots in his folder. Oopsy. He got a warning from the dean and almost chucked out for this.

The funny part is all of this snowballed because he couldn't play nice on a MUD. All these years later I wonder what happened to Satchelman. After we graduated did he go on to annoy someone else? Did his social skils advance from non-existent to neglible? Did he use a deodorant? Is he still being a dickhead on some other online service? I may never know but Satchelman is still a treasured memory from uni.
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 14:19, closed)
I think he's just turned up on my game.
Or someone like him, anyway. :)

Out of interest, why did you let this guy get away with his wankery for so long?
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 14:26, closed)
Inexperience
This was back in 1992. We considered ways of banning him entirely but we had no concept of email validation and he could log in from any terminal meaning we couldn't ban his IP address either. In the end we thought the best thing to do was just instantly tag his characters as the Sad Twat and send them to the Sad Room. It indirectly worked since he got himself so worked up he did something stupid and got the sysadmin involved.
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 14:37, closed)
Ahh, there ARE others out there!
As a fellow MUD admin (been working on ours for nearly 15 years now...gah) I sympathise with your tale entirely! Over the ages, I've seen sooooo many Sad Twats through our doors that I've lost count.

Indeed at one point we had an admin function called "ShitOn " that transformed the target into "a pile of shit" - thereafter, whenever they tried to use any social/emote command, they'd be presented with the classic message "You cannot do that, for you are a pile of shit."

Happy days!
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 14:50, closed)
Still have the source code
This was the code:

if (strcmp(player.title,"the Sad Twat")==0) {
send_to_char("You are a sad twat and you cannot shout.\n\r",ch) ;
return ;
}

Shout, tell, whisper, say were all done a similar way. I have to say 16 years on that my programming was pretty awful at the time.
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 15:00, closed)
Fucking with players' communication is fun.
I'm trying to write a module now that will allow people to curse each other - it'll find a specified word in their talkline and change it to what you want.

I can see the results as being subtle and infuriating (changing "the" to "teh," "where" to "when" and such), or not-so-subtle (changing "fight" to "molest," appending "without my pants" or "so HARD" to every sentence), but either way it should be fun.

(personally I think this should be a feature on every message board on the whole internet. It'd make it far more fun to discuss politics and such. Without my pants)
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 16:03, closed)
I must hang my head in shame
For I too played (and still play) MUDs. There is definitely a huge selection of eccentrics and weirdos to pick from the players of those games. There have been times in the past where a "ShitOn" command would have been wonderful to deal with some of the more irritating players I have seen.
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 16:36, closed)
MUDs...
...as I remember were really just chatrooms. Everyone went to the same place and chatted, and that was it.
(, Mon 3 Nov 2008, 18:02, closed)
Different flavours of MUD
I used to run a DikuMUD variant which was more about playing the content than sitting around talking shit. People did that of course, but there was real fun to be had playing the game. So you'd start off in a town killing beastly fidos, and start adventuring further out to the east, west or south, level up gain skills etc. I liked Diku - it reminded of Linux in some ways being quite ad hoc in some ways but also very playable and easy to get going.

The game which was most akin to IRC or Second Life would be TinyMUD and its variants. That was more like a world creating toolkit and everyone who played got to make their own stuff to go in the world. It wasn't a game, more like Second Life in text. Personally I found it boring as hell since there was no consistency to it at all. One minute you're in a spaceport and some guy is begging you to play with the laser he's just made, then you head go south and next you're trapped in a medieval dungeon owned by some other guy with no seeming way out because the designer hasn't bothered to hook up any exits. I hate SL as much as I hated TinyMUD.
(, Tue 4 Nov 2008, 11:37, closed)

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