New tracking idea (well probably not new, but different from stock circle)

From: Ron Cole (rcole@EZY.NET)
Date: 10/14/97

> I am not sure how this happened, but the thread I wished to start was
> supposed to be about alternative tracking methods to the one used by
> Jeremy's.  It did not work for me under the simplest conditions, and I am not
> sure why.  Just to get things straight:

I'm not sure why your track didn't work, but the method used in the stock code
works just fine for the type of tracking being used, which is actually sensing
the first step on the shortest path to the character.  I'm not sure about stock,
but on ours, !TRACK characters and rooms can prevent tracking.  The room won't
permit tracking through it, and if it's on the character, it won't work at all.
I believe you can also turn on a flag to prevent tracking through closed doors.

As an alternative, I would make this sort of tracking a spell, "sense direction"
or some such, and implement a more realistic tracking system for the skill.
When a character moves such that he would leave tracks (not flying, and on a
surface that would leave impressions), put a mark in that room that says who it
was and what direction they left.  Put the most recent on top, and have them
decay over time.  Also, have them decay prematurely based on any criteria you
see fit if too many tracks accumulate in the room (large rooms may hold more
tracks that small ones, etc).  Then, when the character attempts to track,
depending on the quality of the success, give him the tracks he sees.

A fido went west.
Fred went north.
Fred went east.

This also opens up the possibility of a counter skill to erase tracks, and a
spell/skill to walk without leaving tracks, that isn't the same as flying.
Now you have a non-magical tracking system, that doesn't magically track you to
any mob you know the name of.  If your mud doesn't automatically give out names,
you could extend this more by just giving the race, or if wearing footwear, the
general type.

A deer left west.
Someone wearing human sized boots left north.


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