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Digital Signatures & New Item Transfer Function


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Note: I've included two ideas below that are connected but could stand more or less alone. Please consider each.

Awiiya and Laphers recently posted an agreement on the forum. It made me wonder if there was a place for contracts in MD. Perhaps the forum works fine for such a function, but I would like to see as much as possible brought into the game itself. And so, my first proposal:

A new type of document could be purchased from the librarian in the Archives mansion for 1 silver coin. (This price is to prevent spamming of the logs, but could be done in another manner, such as Archivist distribution.) The document would be different from Comments on Self, Hate List, etc., in a few respects. First, it would be an inventory item which would allow it's transfer. Secondly, it would conclude with a check box that allows the player to affix a digital signature.

So, a player would purchase a document, fill in the terms of the contract, "sign" it, transfer it to the next party, who could also sign it if the terms were agreeable, and so on.

Then the contract could either be kept by one of the involved parties (if the terms are to be kept secret until necessary), or put on file in the Archives log room.

The mechanism for the above is my second idea. When the player with the document is standing in the Log Review Room, he could transfer it to the location itself by entering a certain command in place of the player name.

For the sake of simplicity, this command would be the same for every location (the location would determine the result). For example, the command (let's use {location} for the example) would be entered and if the player is in the Log Review Room, the document would be entered into the log (which in this case should include all past documents). Now if the player was in the Indexed Room of Memories and transferred silver to {location} the result would be different; he or she would receive a blank document. This give-item-to-location feature could also be used to add to land treasuries if used in the land capital.

I've tried to be specific so that much doesn't need to be added before implementation, but it may be that there are better methods to prevent spamming the logs of contracts, and such. Or perhaps these ideas have other faults (such as the need to implement features of greater importance).

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What is the function of such a contract, though?

I see that in RL, contracts make sense for the sake of proving an agreement because verbal arrangements are generally hard to prove.
In MD, though, there are no verbal agreements, everything you 'say' is technically written and stored somewhere on the server, and you can just pull it by means of copying, screenshots, etc.

Gentlemen keep their agreements without contract, and for a not-Gentleman, contracts don't help you much, either.

A useful way to do it might be to have a field in which you have to enter an itc, ctc, wpc, whichever you want to trade, the contract checks if it's valid and adds it to the contract if it is, which locks the code from being used by anybody apart from the person who attached them, and adds a line like an email-attachment, saying 'attached by XX: 1 rustgold drachorn, 2 gold coins, 1 WishPoint Code'. Once both parties are satisfied with the attachments, they 'sign' and the attachments get unlocked for the other party and at the same time locked for yourself.

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I was thinking such contracts would be beneficial for more long term or more complicated arrangements. However, I cede that much of this can be duplicated by storage of data via other means. So I guess the first suggestion is mainly for polishing the system, unless it takes the turn you suggest.

It could certainly be useful as you propose (hopefully preventing time wasting law suits), although if I recall correctly, Mur was against such automation of trades. Then again, MagicDuel once boasted of having no economic system.

Any more thoughts?

Later Edit: I realized I misrepresented my idea in the first post and failed to regain my train of thought for this second. I did not intend the contracts for everyday creature trades and transactions. They could be utilized for such, if one wished, but I was thinking more along the lines of actions than transactions. For examples: royal decrees (although those would only require one signature), treaties, labor agreements, organizational bylaws, business agreements, etc.

Edited by Ivorak
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