Re: Circle 3.0 update
Date: 03/28/94

Hey guys -

I just started writing this to Danny, but I figured it would be interesting
to the list so I cc:d it to everyone.



> * If a player has 'grouped' themself then they earn significantly more
>    exp than if they were traveling alone and un-grouped.  One theory I've
>    got on this is that it ignores the difference between the mobs and PCs
>    level, which is figured into the 'kill experience' (this is what normally
>    makes killing lower level mobs into an exercise in futility.)  I thought
>    I'd had another idea for 'why/what' is causing the that bug, but it seems
>    to have slipped away.  Maybe later..

Hm.. I've been saying for a while I'd like to rethink the way exp gains
are calculated, in particular to fix that bug.  Maybe now is the time.
Suggestions, anyone?

> * You can TRACK into a DT (some "serve" multiple rooms).  If this is 
>    intentional, ignoreit; otherwise read the 'long form' on this before
>    you head off to fix this, as I may have some use for it.

I didn't realize it when I was coding it, but on deeper reflection, I
think track is more dangerous and more interesting if it's possible to
go through a DT.  I will keep it in.

> * DTs ideally shouldn't care whehther or not you you have BRIEF set or not,
>    and should force a "complete" look when you enter them (as a PC) and
>    die.  I tracked my way into a DT, but had brief on and only got the room
>    name and 'You are dead' mesg...

Okay.. easy to fix..

> yes, I can handle the exp chart et al, and I've got ssome ideas of how to
> stretch the spells over most of the levels, and sone others to add (as well
> as a suggestion that TRACK be a practiced skill rather than something anyone
> can do..

(Re: track, it already is a skill in 3.0.  If you fail the track, instead
of giving you a lame message like "You can't tell.", it picks a random
direction out of the room and points you there instead.  Heh. :))

I'd be more interested in adding new spells than in stretching the existing
ones; I'd like to make Circle more balanced overall out of the box.  I don't
want to go overboard with millions of spells - just enough to make it a
balanced MUD.  Besides, with the new spell system (which is working
absolutely beautifully!!), it is EASY to add new spells.  There are
'spell templates' for various classes of spells built in to the new spell
system, so, for example, if you wanted to add a "dissolve" spell, you
just use the "damage" template and tell it the spell should do, say
9d7+13 damage.  You can have more than one template per spell, too (i.e.,
the 'chill touch' spell which is a damage plus an affect).

Some other goodies that you will be interested in --

 --  "action description" now works for wands, staffs, potions, and
     scrolls.  (i.e., a wand without an action description will just
     give the default "Ras points a silver wand at Derkhil.", but if
     it does have an action description, it'll print that instead.
     It uses the standard "act" format for substitutions (i.e. $n
     for the user, $N for the victim, etc.)

 --  I have filled out the weapon-attack-types table.  (i.e. "slashes",
     "pierces", etc.)  There are now a dozen or so of them, and I've
     reworked the system so that it is EASY to add new ones.  I'll send
     you the new table so that you can use the new types on weapons.
     Also, if you have suggestions for additional verbs, I'd love to hear

 --  I've changed the fight code so that special procs on mobs are called
     with each round of combat.  This makes fighting mobs much more
     interesting, because they can perform actions every round now instead
     of every 10 seconds.

     I am also going to write certain "standard" mob-fight-procedures
     (i.e one for magic user, one for cleric, etc.) which do things based
     on the mob's level.  (magic_user is already written -- if the mob
     is lev 3-4 it casts mag missile, higher levels cast, say, fireball,
     etc.)  I'm going to add a "MOB_MAGE" and "MOB_CLERIC" bits to the
     flags, so that you (the area writer, generically) can activate those
     spec-procs from the area files instead of from the C code.

     I will send more details of how the mage and other specprocs work.
     People better at D&D than me are free to tune up my ideas.  Overall,
     a mob of level L has an L% chance of doing _something_ per round of
     combat.  Thus, level 30 mobs will cast spells at you or your group
     once every 3 rounds on average; level 1 will almost never cast spells.

Circle 3.0 is shaping up very nicely indeed!  I'm thrilled to death with
the new magic system.  It makes writing special procedures MUCH easier.
(There are now various points of entry into the magic system depending
on what you want to do.  To get a mob to cast a spell is a snap -- just
write "cast_spell(ch, victim, SPELL_FIREBALL)" and the new magic system
takes care of saying the words, setting the level appropriately, etc.

Every other major 3.0 system has been coded (with the exception of OLC,
which is not quite done yet.)  I hope to have a test port up soon.

NOTE:  If there are any area writers out there who have an ORIGINAL area
they'd like to contribute to the official 3.0 package, write to me!!

The current schedule is:

1.   Put an "alpha test" port up with Danny's new world files.
     Get people to play, find bugs, give comments on the world.

2.   Fix bugs, have Danny fix any bugs people find in the world
     files.  Put a test port back up.  Release a beta version of
     the code to a limited number of developers.

3.   Continue to take bug reports on my test port, and collect bug
     reports from the Imps who have been selected as beta sites.
     (Hopefully, they will be putting up their own test ports as well,
     and not just sitting on the code and looking at it. :))

4.   RELEASE 3.0!!!  Whoo hoo!

It's so close now that I can taste it.  3.0 will be great!

Things that still need to be done:

--   I need someone who knows D&D to write saving throw & exp tables.
     Danny said he could do it, but if someone else knows D&D well,
     they can take the load off of him.

--   The spell table needs to be fixed up.  There are only spells up to
     level 15, and I've taken out some of the lame ones like ventriloquate.
     Since Circle is a "base" code, I don't want to go overboard on the
     spells, but I at least need input as to how to make the spell system
     balanced for a 30-level MUD.

     Also, someone (or several people) should take a look at the current
     spells and make sure they are reasonable.  I will soon send out a chart
     of all spells, including their effects, mana costs, etc.


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