Re: An uncommon problem...

From: Chris Proctor (cjp@YOYO.CC.MONASH.EDU.AU)
Date: 10/02/97

> -+  I think looking at scrambled words that I know mean something would make
> -+me want to decipher the puzzle so that communication is difficult but not
> -+impossible.  I would get pretty mad if I saw everyone talking and all I saw
> -+was some message telling me I didn't understand.  Are we assuming the
> -+player's character is too dumb to recognize common words and phrases and
> -+learn what they mean?
> Argh, no.  We're assuming that the *player* should have no bearing
> on the game's mechanics.  The game should determine whether the
> *player character* is able to determine the language.  Allowing a
> *player* to decipher the language thanks to software or mental
> abilities (even if they're playing a 5 intelligence, skull-bashing,
> drooling warrior) is *not* right.  The ability of a character to
> decipher a language by hearing it should be based on the character's
> intelligence and abilities, not the *player's*.

Agreen, in terms of realism. However, it's easy to extrapolate that
argument to sending a message to the character who likes exploring
dungeons, finding secret doors etc:
"How the hell do you think your 5 intelligence barbarian is going to
realise there's a hidden lever on that statue?"

If your players have fun deciphering the languages on your mud, great. In
most cases the intelligence of the player is used as an approximation for
the intelligence of the character in any case. Take d&d for an example.

Is a 3 intelligence warrior going to realise that if he can convince a
dragon to eat some tainted meat it'll be easier than taking it out in a
head-to-head fight? Probably not. But penalising the player for having
his character do that reduces the fun of the game.

I quite like the idea of having players recognise common words in other
languages (using the player's intelligence as an approximation for the
character's again), but it's up to the individual implementor *shrugs*.

I see what daniel's saying here, but I think it's taking the realism a
bit far, and ignoring the potential fun that can be derived from
translating another language. Hey, maybe you could even have a language
school, and have the player have to sit a test on the language to be able
to prac the language and have his character understand it automatically.

The potential problem daniel sees in players writing client macros to
translate other languages is real, but I guess it depends how central the
unintelligibility of languages is on your mud. On most it would be more
effort than players would be willing to put in for a relatively small

erm, actually, I have to confess I'd be more likely to use daniel's
method in any case, but only because I'm lazy when it comes to relatively
complex coding that doesn't have much of an effect on gameplay. Writing
those language algorithms takes me waaay too long, and I'm not planning
to make languages a central part of my mud.

> I might as well have been speaking in Afrikaan (yes, it's a
> language)...perhaps a few more people might have understood <roll>.

Actually, the language is Afrikaans (unless there's different
possible spellings of the word) ;-), but yeah, probably a fair comment.


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      your enemies with the backswing as well."
             -- Gerrard of the Weatherlight
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