Re: An uncommon problem...

From: Daniel Koepke (dkoepke@CALIFORNIA.COM)
Date: 10/02/97

On Fri, 3 Oct 1997, Chris Proctor wrote:

-+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?"

Well, the only way the character (and the player) will ever know
about the lever is if someone told them or if they look around and
find it.  So I don't see your point, here.

-+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.

That's an interesting assumption.  A false one, but nonetheless,
interesting.  I've played unimagiably old, weak, but highly
intelligent mages before; and I'm not old, weak, or magical, and
not quite as brilliant as the mage I played was.  I've played
young girls, old dragons, middle-aged dwarves, and fun-loving
wood elves...and none of these are an approximation of who I am.
They were my characters, and they all differed from me in some
ways (some large, some small).

-+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 never said you should penalize a character for the player finding
out something.  I said you should limit the ability of the player
to defeat the game's mechanics.

-+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*.

Ideally, that would work, but it's working on the assumption that a
character's abilities are based off of the player's real life
abilities.  This is a silly thing to assume in CircleMUD, where
a person's abilities are automatically rolled for them, and they
have no bearing over them.  And it's a poor assumption when you
realize that half the people playing 18-strength warriors are
likely over-weight, or down-right puny.  A character is not
indicative of the player's real abilities; it's indicative of the
player's ideal abilities, or of just a conjured character.

-+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 learning of the language is an entirely in-character thing, and
shouldn't deal with the player outside of that assosciation.

-+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

That actually depends upon how wide in scope you implement languages.
In reality, they have quite a bearing on the ability to trade and
do business with foreign lands.  If you have them work to that
affect on the mud, then learning the language is quite
profitable; and if you can do so without having to use "practice
points" that could be used for "bash" instead, then why shouldn't
you?  It's actually not that difficult to just find a friend that
speaks both your language and their language, then have them say
things in both languages, so you can figure out some words, and
before long, understand the general idea of what someone is

-+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.

Well, my underlying code is actually quite complex.  It tries to
make an accurate determination of whether the player can actually
understand certain words based upon their knowledge of the
language, and if the word sounds like it's equivalent in a
language they know.  It's thoroughly complex, but that complexity
is hidden from the player, so it's a determination of whether the
character can understand it.  Ideally, I could show "scrambled"
text, but I choose otherwise since I don't want all of my complex
code to go down the tube because Timmy figured out how to use

Daniel Koepke -:- -:-  [Shadowlord/Nether]

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