BuffyMUD Wiki

Area: Announcements - Note #3780
From: Tyr
To: all
Subj: Idle Checker
Time: Sun Sep  6 15:14:49 2009

So I've put in an idle checker as you might have noticed, there are basically two timers, one
that will count down if you have something to gain from idling, events, running off negative
affects, or working out/working etc, this will test you about every half hour or so and you'll
have 3 minutes to respond.

The second will test you every 2-3 hours and you'll have a bit over 10 minutes to respond, the
afk flag will automatically put you into this category but it'll also stop any of the aforementioned
things from counting down.

Jogging on a treadmill now doesn't send messages when you move.

I'll post a thread on the forums to explain the whys and wherefors of the idle code.

From the forums:

To address the concerns I've noticed since implementing this:
Obviously the issues this is meant to deal with is people using automated triggers to work out their characters or to do work spam. The primary cost system on which the mud runs is time and effort invested, if you want to be powerful you have to invest time and effort into leveling, rich you have to invest time and effort into work spamming etc. Botting takes away the time and effort completely from this equation, particularly if the person is just afk or even afw. If you're in another window playing another game you're not really sacrificing anything to earn those rewards, especially compared to someone else who might not know how to automate it. So the rule has always been if you are gaining something from your use of triggers, even anti-idle triggers, you have two minutes to respond to input to your screen to be considered not botting.
By this rule you can do other things at the same time, as long as you're regularly checking back on your screen, since the auto system gives three minutes at the minimum to respond, it won't catch anybody who actually was obeying the rules re automated improvement. It really doesn't matter if you're away from the computer, away from the screen, or what, it's one standard of being able to respond to input.  
This is important not only to keep these things fair, demanding the same thing from everyone in order to make money/gain condition etc, that is demanding some of their attention in order for their character to improve, whether they're good with triggers and multi-aliases or not, but it's also basic RP etiquette. If you character is in the game, they should respond to things that happen to them in a not completely unreasonable time frame.
The second timer is there really for people who simply can't make that commitment for OOC reasons, if they're logging in from work etc they can just idle in their homes, or even use the AFK flag and they will be given much more leniency since they're neither gaining anything by idling, or likely to be interacted with in a way that causes IC problems due to their inactivity. They still do have a timer though because any time you're in the game people might interact with you, someone might kick down your door, knock you to the floor then demand the location of Dr Evil's secret volcano lair. It's pretty unfair to them, both the exp lost and time
spent to do that if you just don't respond for hours because you're afk. So whenever you're on the grid, even if interaction with you is unlikely you're still IC, you still should be able to check your screen every ten or so minutes.
The code doesn't mean you have to stare constantly at your screen, it means that you have to flick back and check your screen semi-regularly, the idea to me that answering a simple question every half hour so your char can make money being strenuous or difficult seems ridiculous, and anybody who A) isn't a cheater, or B) Is a good RPer, would've been checking there screen at these intervals anyway, and to anybody who isn't at least partly automating work spam it'd make up only a tiny fraction of the total effort involved.
I was really shocked that this basic RP etiquette and rules following is so rare that something that forces it is seen as a so painful addition.
You should be aware when people talk to you, text or call you, telepath you, attack you etc, you should be able to respond to those things in a reasonable amount of time, that's just being in an RP enforced game. And if you can do those things, responding to a simple problem in a reasonable amount of time couldn't really be an issue, unless you've an IQ of like 5 and can't answer simple problems even with multiple attempts.
I'm aware that this is one more thing you have to do, but for any reasonably active characters it's only going to happen when workspaming or working out, two things which are already so brainless that it hardly elevates them to highly difficult tasks even with answering the odd problem. The benefits of course for everybody, of ensuring some player isn't raking in fame by making events and leaving their char on overnight, or workspamming for hours on an automated system while they go out, or just making sure if you go RP with someone they'll probably actually respond like they're not a comatose zombie are obviously significant, and I think maybe the detractors should take a little bit of time to really ask themselves why they so hate something that makes them follow the rules.
  Your local cranky implementor, Tyr