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Re-word a message
Sorry for the vagueness

I ran into an IC situation earlier today where a message was generated to the effect, "Your character decides to throw this thing away."

In reality, my character did not decide that. My character was actively in the middle of trying to do something with that thing when an automated system decided for me / my character that they wanted to throw it away.

I raised it on xhelp and Cerberus explained to me (paraphrasing). "/That/ message means /this/." That was helpful and I appreciated the clear explanation of why things happened the way that they did.

I suggested to Cerberus that the message should be re-coded to reflect something more IC and less meta. He basically told me to go suck eggs.

I have two suggestions.

One, /consider/ adding some signs or other indicators that there is a timer in play. As a player / character, I would not have gone @ooc to deal with RL when I did, if I knew that there was a timer in place. It was something that I could have spent 5 minutes finishing up, but didn't because I try not to blow off RL to play games (and more often than not, fail :) But that's a problem nobody here can fix for me.).

Two, /strongly consider/ changing the fail message to reflect something that is not forcing an action on a character that presupposes their intent.

I totally get where you are coming from and we do try, in some instances to allow you to control your messages. See @messages for more info.

Sadly due to code and time limitations we can't always allow customization for everything and we also have to take into account the 'general' use cases, where a majority of players prefer to have predefined messages, or, lacking that, there would be no messages presented because the median player either doesn't know how/is not inclined in that moment, to provide a message.

In a lot of cases, like smoking a butt for instance, I just fall back to emotes. I will light a smoke, emote smoking it, then snuff it out or trash when done.

Same for drinks. I order, take a sip, emote a bunch, then down the drink to get the coded effects. Nothing wrong with emoting your usage as long as you actually use an expendable.

Hope this helps!