From The Urban Dead Wiki
Personnel dossierMalton Police Department Support Division, Human Resources Section
Name (last, first): CASIMIR, Hendrik
DoB: March 17th, 1973
Height: 6'1" (1.86m)
Occupation: teacher (history), reserve police officer
Home address: 4515 Neyens Avenue, Dunell Hills, Malton
Work address: Caff Road Middle School, Owsleybank, Malton
Marital status: married, one child
Recalled to active duty: December 11th, 2005
Decorations and Awards
Physical fitness: class 1
Weapons certification handgun: class 1, current
Weapons certification shotgun: class 1, current
Mozambique Drill specialist
Weapons certification baton: class 1, current
Weapons certification knife: class 1, current
First Aid qualified
Procurement and Supply qualified
Community Relations qualified
Building Infiltration qualified
Basic Civil Engineering qualified
NecroTech Equipment Operation qualified
|Malton Police Department|
|Hendrik Casimir is a member of the MPD.|
|This user has guns. Do not cross them.|
|Where is Malton?|
|Hendrik Casimir thinks that Malton is in the eastern US.|
|This user has alts but DOESN'T Zerg.|
|Woody Tobias Jr.|
For those of you not in the know, "Woody Tobias Jr." was originally a character played by Eugene Levy on SCTV. Woody was himself an actor who played Dr. Tongue's (John Candy) assistant Bruno in such classic films as Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Stewardesses, Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Meat and Francis Ford Coppola's 3-D Stake From The Heart. I thought that, for a cheap laugh, I'd name a NecroTech lab assistant after him.
|Where is Malton?|
|Woody Tobias Jr. thinks that Malton is in eastern Canada.|
Against PKers: a Manifesto
Let me open by stating that I despise PKers.
To clarify, by "PKer" I don't mean every survivor character who has ever killed another survivor character, or will do so in the future. There are situations in which PKing (in the widest sense) can add fun, color, and value to the Urban Dead setting. These typically occur when both parties to a PKing (the killer and the victim) have come to a mutual agreement beforehand that the one will hunt the other, or that they will hunt each other. The result is a battle of wits, as each party tries to outwit the other, and such a battle may indeed be challenging and enriching for both parties involved. Such an agreement may be explicit from the outset (e.g. two groups of players deciding to stage their own "Montagues vs. Capulets" conflict in Malton), or may grow implicitly (e.g. in the way that many PKers who have racked up high bounties in the Rogues' Gallery engage in an active game of cat-and-mouse with self-declared Bounty Hunters, including the Malton Marshals).
The key phrase here, however, is "mutual agreement." It can be safely assumed that every player who runs a survivor character understands implicitly that the objective of every zombie in Malton is to kill his character (whether the players of the zombie characters choose to pursue this objective, as opposed to seeking a revive and continuing to play as a survivor, is another matter), and his own objective is to prevent them from succeeding. In addition, the survivor player may choose to make it his objective to counter the zombie takeover of Malton by clearing and repairing ruined buildings, administering revives, etc. while the zombie characters work to prevent or undo such efforts. The bottom line is that every UD player acknowledges that zombies and survivors are mutual enemies in the game, and this is an inherent part of the game.
Given the fundamental dynamic of Urban Dead, in which every character has an exceedingly limited amount of actions he can perform in a day and has to spend the rest of the recharging, the basic objective for a survivor is to avoid being killed by zombies while "asleep," whereas the objective challenge for the zombies to is to kill as many survivors and wreck as many buildings as possible with the few APs they have available. In pursuing these objectives, survivors have to deal with the fact that zombies are, for all practical purposes, unkillable (and "killing" them therefore represents at worst a loss of the APs required to stand up again), while zombies have to deal with the challenge that survivors can take refuge in buildings and throw up barricades as an obstacle to the zombies.
When a survivor character seeks to kill another survivor character, the game mechanics provide no obstacle; in particular, when the PKer has Free Running, a survivor character whose player is offline is essentially at the mercy of the PKing player (no matter how well that character has managed to protect himself from being killed by zombies). The only way that PKing presents a challenge is if the prospective target is aware of the killer, and thus has the opportunity to attempt to evade him.
This is a challenge PKers (as used in the context of this diatribe) aren't willing to face. Typically, they Free Run from one building to another, scanning profiles until they find one they have an issue (more than not made-up-on-the-spot) with, and banjo the character while its player is offline (and the character is thus unable to put up any resistance). This requires about the same amount of cunning that it takes to go out into the street with a handgun, walk up behind some random unsuspecting pedestrian, and shoot him or her in the back of the head; i.e. no cunning at all. In the words of Uncle Zeddie:
Let's face it, how challenging is it to Free Run into a crowded building, take a couple of potshots, beat your chest, and then slink back under the rock that you came from?
It does require quite a severe degree of sociopathy, or "dissocial personality disorder," as it is now termed.
I use the term "sociopathy" rather than psychopathy for a number of reasons, though at the same time, I do not use the term "sociopathy" lightly. The main thing that keeps PKer players' behavior from being psychopathic is that they would not commit harm on actual people in real life (or so I hope). However, the players' behavior does meet a number of the criteria described by the World Health Organization for sociopathic behavior, such as:
- Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
A great number of PKer players state that they have turned to PKing because they became bored with the set-piece "survivors v. zombies" conflict that lies at the heart of Urban Dead. Uncharitable people--myself included--would respond by pointing out that, since there is practically no challenge to PKing, this is a bogus justification. Groups like the Drama Club and the Broadway Zombies provide an excellent example of how players can amuse themselves in Malton outside the routine of "kill-dump-repair-'cade" (for survivors) and "smash 'cades-enter-shred-ransack" (for zombies). But, of course, these groups' activities don't yield much in the way of XP. Very simply, non-maxed-out PKers PK because they want to rack up XP and buff up their characters without having to work for it.
- Callous unconcern for the feelings of others and lack of the capacity for empathy.
The Urban Dead Wiki, with the gutlessness inherent in Wikis (due to their NPOV policies), does not offer solid criteria as to what constitutes "griefing", but the closest it gets is "an action [that] hurts other players without benefiting the person in question." Even ignoring the "could be" that precedes this tentative definition, it suffers from its failure to adequately define what constitutes "benefiting" or specify who is "the person in question." Since PKing provides XP, any PKer character who has not yet acquired enough XP to purchase all 42 skills derives a benefit. But by the same token, a player who gets his jollies from screwing over other players' characters also benefits, as the activity provides him pleasure. Myself, I would go so far as to posit that killing any character whose player has not agreed beforehand (explicitly or implicitly) that an adversarial relationship exists between his character and yours constitutes griefing.
- Marked proneness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict.
Who hasn't encountered at least one of the usual litany of excuses for PKing? The set-piece "survivors v. zombies" game is too boring, there are humans who menace other humans in the Romero movies, having to deal with the risk of being PKed keeps survivors sharp and builds character, people should be free to play the game the way they want to, people who object to PKing are whiners, bla bla etc. What all of these come down to is that, if certain players have a problem with PKing, the blame lies with anyone and everyone except the PKers themselves.
Moreover, it's patently obvious large numbers of PKers don't actually believe any of the rationalizations they offer. Nowhere is this more blatantly obvious than in the existence of the so-called Honor Among Thieves Policy, which is the result of various PKers agreeing among themselves not to PK each other. As usual, bullshit rationalizations are offered for this as well, but clearly, all too many PKers agree that PKing isn't any fun when you're on the receiving end. And yet, they see nothing wrong with inflicting it on others.
This brings me back to one particular rationalization for PKing I mentioned earlier, the oft-heard "people should be free to play the game the way they want to." I could not agree more with this statement, but it doesn't change my view on PKing because PKers themselves don't believe it. Given the choice, a large number of UD players—myself included—would prefer not to be PKed (with a possible exception for the occasional death cultist or unwillingly revivified career zombie). If PKers truly believed that everybody should be free to play the game the way they want, they should respect those other players' freedom to play UD without incurring the unwanted effects of PKing, and should restrict themselves to targets established as valid by mutual agreement (there's that phrase again). But in practice, "people should be free to play the game the way they want to" translates to "PKers should be free to play the game the way they want to, and everybody else should accommodate them."
The PKing is only part of why I despise PKers; it's the two-faced self-righteousness that clinches it.