Re: Greetings

From: Mr. Wizard (
Date: 08/30/94

On Tue, 30 Aug 1994, Anthony Spataro wrote:

> Hrm...that's interesting about encouraging RP.  How about having 
> multi-user pre-written quests?  At a certain time of day, the game 
> announces that signup for xxx quest is beginning.  Signups continue until 
> all the spots are filled, and all members are teleported to the quest's 
> starting point.  Mobs, props and whatnot are placed, and the quest is 
> played out.  It involves combat as well as puzzles, and group work.  It'd 
> require a lot of coding to make this automatic, but it'd be worth it.
> 					    -ads|lc|kilwren|cardy
> "I can resist anything but temptation."

I was thinking of integrating them even more into the game.  If you used 
special processes and mob prog well enough, you could have a lot of 
quests built into the game that run at all times.  They could range from 
finding hidden treasures, rescuing an imprisoned person, assasinating a 
certain mobile and bringing something back to get a reward, etc.. 
Drunks in taverns could have special processes where they talk of legends 
and quests, certin mobs could hire you to do a task, or an NPC like a 
King or a Mayor could offer up a reward for a quest.

The problem which I see here is that once a quest is solved, you need to 
be able to stop the special processes and such.  That might take some 
code to support.  Also, it seems like an awful lot of work to set up 
these quests and make them good ones.  Making special processes and using 
mobprog, even with on-line building can be very time consuming.  If there 
was a nice way to be able to reuse quests that would help.  Unfortunately 
people like to reveal secrets and solutions to things once they solve 
them.  Preventing that is pretty hard.  Anyone out there have experience 
setting these types of things up and/or tips on what is effective and 
what types of things players have enjoyed?

Other things I favor which I believe encourage role playing are:

1.  Removing the numbers side to the game. 

    I get real tired of hearing questions like "What are the stats on 
that?", "How many HP do you have?", "What strength do you have to have to 
wield that?", etc..  I would rather use words to describe these types of 
things.  All abilities can be replaced with words describing ranges.  For 
example, you could use a table like this to replace numbers for abilities:

21+    Godlike
17-20  Excellent
13-16  Good
 9-12  Average
 5- 8  Fair
 1- 4  Poor

For HP, Mana and Moves you could use a table like this to describe things:

          HP             Mana    Moves

100%     Healthy        Burning  Fine
 80-99%  Slightly Hurt  Hot      Sluggish
 60-79%  Hurt           Warm     Tired
 40-59%  Wounded        Neutral  Slow
 20-39%  Bad            Cold     Winded
  1-19%  Awful          Icy      Fainting
  0%     Dead           Frozen   Exhausted

I wouldn't even show AC, hitroll or damroll.  For armor and weapons I 
would impliment skills that players could use on them.  For weapons and 
armors you could easily do a compare skill.  For treasures and objects 
thieves could have a value skill.  You could also have a quality skill 
which tells you the quality of the item.  Thus you could set ranges which 
would return values of superb, excellent, fine, average, poor, shabby 
or garbage.

Knowing all the numbers of the afore mentioned things seems to me to be 
unrealistic, not promote role-playing, and unnecessary.

2.  Take out global communication.

I don't like gossip, auction, grat, group say, tell or any other global 
communication.  I'd rather see tell be a directed form of say (perhaps 
complimented with an eavesdrop skill which you could try to overhear 
tells or whispers.

Auction should be limited to a room (maybe a special auctioning block in 
a town) or at least a zone.  Group say and quest say channels would also 
be directed forms of say (working only in that room).  Shout or yell 
should be the best a player can do.

This obviously detracts a lot from the game.  To make up for this type of 
change I would impliment more hireling type mobs.  You could hire 
messengers to deliver messages to players.  You might even have carrier 
pigeons you could send out.

A nice spell for mages could be something like Astral Window where you 
open up a window through which you can talk to another player over long 
distances.  Or maybe a spell like Ethreal Message which sends out an 
ethreal form of the caster to deliver a message.  

I just think there are more creative and realistic ways to include global 
communication in the game.  Being able to tell, auction, gossip, etc. 
across miles and miles of terain (possibly across dimensions or planes if 
you have them) has always bothered me as a player.

3.  Require quests to advance in level.

Maybe not one for every level, but at least some type of quest activity 
could be required by your guild before you advance to certain levels.  I 
was even thinking that certain quests could be guild sponsored.  You 
could view these as trials for guild members, or tasks which must be 
completed in the name of the guild.

4.  Incorporate a trophy system into the experience system.

Far too often people find mobs which are the easiest to kill for the most 
experience and then kill them over and over and over and over and...well 
you get the picture.  I trophy system keeps track of the number of kills 
for each mobile and reduces experience awarded after a certain number of 
kills.  The percentage doesn't have to fall from 100% to 0%.  It can be 
reduced incrementally.

This seems realistic to me.  How much experience can you gain after 
killing a giant for the fiftieth time?  Should it become old hat after a 

These are the types of things I am trying to incorporate into my code.  I 
think they make the game more interesting and realistic.  Since I am far 
from completing most of these, I haven't gotten any practical feedback on 
the ideas.  Some of them (maybe all of them) have been done on other 
MUDs, but I have never seen a MUD take all of the aove steps.  It might 
just scare players off because it would radically change the feel of the 

On a somewhat unrelated note, I have always wanted to change the way area 
resets are done.  I've been working on a system where mobs actually 
reproduce.  For each mob there are five versions for each sex:  infant, 
youth, adult, old and ancient.  A mob has a reproduction period (much 
like a zone has a reset time now).  After this period is up, the number 
of infants put into the game = 1/2 youth pairs + adult pairs + 1/2 old 
pairs.  The percentage that an ancient just drops dead is 5%.  When a 
reproductive period is up for a mob, the existing mobs are replaced with 
the next version up, some ancients die off and the new infants are put in.

Although I am not finished, it seems like it will be feasable to do.  The 
biggest problem I have is what about special mabs like shopkeepers, or 
unique mobs.  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have five versions 
of these mobs.  I was thinking of having a !KILL flag for mobs like 
these.  They are a part of the game which should not be removed, and 
there wouldn't be a problem with resetting them if they were never killed.
(I'm still shaky on this problem.)

Well, enough for now.

||  Joshua Sky Barrow  ||| Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Science ||
|| 19 Central St., #28 ||| "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.    ||
|| Somerville, MA      |||  If you can dream it, you can become it."      ||
|| 02143-3832          |||                                   Unknown      ||
|| (617) 666-0859      ||| E-mail:              ||

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : 12/07/00 PST