There's a couple major issues at hand here.
One is, co-op vs PvP. Survival's current problem right now is the fact that the monsters are weak.All players tend to be attracted to the greatest conflict. If the current version of Infdev was made into multiplayer RIGHT NOW at the current version, the biggest possible conflicts would be between players. That's PvP. But if notch makes some new monsters and buffs up the existing ones, suddenly, the biggest threat to players in survival is the monsters. Players would rather fight against the hordes than each other.That's co-op. There'll always be bandits, and there'll always be cooperative players, how many of each just depends on the conflict.
If a bunch of mature people get on a server together and commit to having a Co-op server, there will be a co-op server. Which will be easy to get together. No matter how hard the enemies are or aren't, people are going to join up, if they so choose. If they want a PvP server, that could happen, too. Just depends on the server mostly...
Lol, IMO griefers/bandits in SMP are welcome - without them there is no point to play survival multiplayer - I want even to become one, seconds after first server start I will chop, burn, plunder and rape every single player on the map - I want iron, I want diamonds, but I certainly do not want to mine to get them. Fear me.
I don't get this discussion. If you wanna play with your friends, just make your game private! No griefers will ever join, unless one of your friends griefs...
Random server joining will have bandits (legal griefers), and it will be part of the game. If you don't like it, find another server with stricter rules. I'm certain there will be both ffa-servers and moderated servers. I'm also certain that anyone can find a server to suit their needs.
I myself am looking forward to both the anarchistic ffa servers where nobody dare build anything more than a hidden cave at most, as well as the more decent servers where people are communicating and cooperating to create nice structures and mines.
I'm also looking forward to both attempting the role as a bandit, and attempting to avoid other bandits when playing a "lawful citizen".
As for the people who dedicate their lives to cause grief, they will have to work harder for it in SMP vs in creative mode. In creative mode, anyone can just punch through anything faster than a starving dog can chew through a hot piece of meat.
In SMP, you have to actually get good tools before you can cause some real damage to anything. Also, it is faster to build something in SMP than to tear it down. Griefers have to work harder than the builders for 'profit'.
There are going to be barbarians who invade, but it's going to be part of the game you have to make a fort well enough to leave it alone. Also they're going to have to work for tools so it would take them awhile so you'd be prepared. Also ranks would be incredibly stupid for SMP maybe an admin but that's it, even so that wouldn't be a good idea.