MUD Designer Unhappy About WoW Torture Quest

Richard Bartle - co-author of the original MMO game MUD, but you knew that already, right? - has been playing Wrath of the Lich King and does not like what he has found.

Specifically, he is less than impressed with "The Art of Persuasion" a quest that requires you to use a Neural Needler to extract information from an imprisoned sorcerer. Torture, in other words.

"I'm not at all happy with this," Bartle wrote on his blog, "I was expecting for there to be some way to tell the guy who gave you the quest that no, actually I don't want to torture a prisoner, but there didn't seem to be any way to do that."

"Unless there's some kind of awful consequence further down the line, it would seem that Blizzard's designers are OK with breaking the Geneva convention."

Torture [YouHaventLived]


    Im pretty sure that, until WoW becomes a recognised nation by the UN (which wont happen for at least... a year), things like the Geneva convention don't apply to it.

    What I like is that he isn't offended by the presence of the torture quest, what annoys him is that the player doesn't have an option to refuse to perform the torture. Clever man. But then again, this is Richard freakin' Bartle we're talking about.

    Yep!!! Harden up buttercup

    I have to admit that does seem a rather controversial quest. Allowing a player to torture someone for information is one thing (Fallout 3 lets you nuke an entire town for laughs) but to require them to do it seems very strange.

    I think someone is a bit bitter their MUD isn't at all popular anymore and he didn't have the vision or initiative to improve upon what he already had.

    Sit back down Mr Bartle, no-one cares.

    No, the Geneva Convention may not apply, but basic morals should.

    You can choose not to torture the guy. It's called abandoning the quest. You won't get the 4 gold reward that you would have if you did torture him. Just because you get a reward for doing something it doesn't mean you have to do it. Sheesh. I think it's a fine lesson: Greedy people are tempted to do bad things.

    @Jack: it's not that simple. Unless you do that quest, you cannot get any of the following quests, which means you lose out on a huge chunk of gold, items, XP, not to mention you don't get most of the quests for the dungeon in that region.

    Not doing that quest basically neuters your progress in that zone. And yeah, it's just a game, but it's still tasteless. In beta I suggested that players be given an alternative; maybe some harder collection quest to at least give them an option. Obviously, they didn't bother.

    Well I suppose if it offends you too much, you can go to another character and slaughter hundreds of animals and people just for coins and experience.

    Or realize that it's just a game and get over yourself.

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