[LONG] [IDEA] Classes/Guilds/Spell Spheres

From: Tony Robbins (tonyr@NWPACLINK.COM)
Date: 05/05/98

In my attempt to make my own spell (and skill) system, I have begun
incorporating this.  This is more of an asking for ideas than a brag or a
beg, but here is what I'm doing.

There are only two classes on the MUD.  They are the Sword and the Staff.
If the player chooses the Sword, he is placed with an option of two
Guilds--Warrior and Thief.

I'll go into a little more depth on this part.  While those are the initial
guilds available at character creation, those are not the only guilds.  The
world is interactive with this; thus, an Assassin guild, for example may be
found and joined somewhere.  Once the guild is joined, any training area
for the Sword class will allow the player to train their skills.

When a player switches guilds, they keep the skills they've learned and
start out at level 1 of the new guild, while their character retains their
level.  (BTW, is it possible to have a byte levels[NUM_CLASSES]; ?  I never
tried, but just used int.)  So in the process of reaching level 50 (or
100), every time a player switches guilds, they are limited as to what
skills they are going to learn.

The spell system is even cooler.  (Well, if you didn't find that cool, just
stop reading.)  After a player joins the "Way of the Staff," they are
placed with another choice--which spirit to follow, e.g., fire, earth,
water, air, and a tidbit of information about other, more powerul deities
in the world.

This is nice because a player can simply stick with water magic and be a
healer with some nasty ice spells.  I can't decide whether I want to make a
distinction between damage and healing spells and split that into two more
things, but I think this is fine for now.  However, a player might seek out
a more powerful f/e/w/a deity and learn from them, but they are at level 1
of the new class.  There are the other spirits too--light, dark, chaos,
order--which are more powerful.

Of course, this system requires a HUGE rewrite (based on my guild code,
which I had intended to release, but got held back for a couple weeks.  I
might be able to put it in packaged form in the next couple nights and
release it as-is) of the spell/skill/class system, but it's worth it in the
end.  This is my little idea, so don't try to rip it off too bad.

A suggestion to all those who want to do their own rewrite:  before you
write any code, go buy a notebook (spiral bound, paper with lines on it
inside, some of us haven't been out of the house for a LONG time :), and
write all your ideas in it.  This way you can say, "Oh, when they practice
skills, it's going to take a modification to the class system because
skills are going to need to be assigned to guilds not classes.  Maybe I
should duplicate the class setup and cut it down from there."

It's more time consuming, but in the end, it's really not.  I attempted
coding my guild system (which now works great, I just don't feel it's clean
enough for public consumption) about 4 times before I got it to work in the
way that I wanted.  That's because I hadn't written down what I wanted
before I started.

This is how my magic system and class system is going to work.  Try
thinking up on your own.  The current spell system keeps begging me to
rewrite it, but the game keeps begging me to finish the code I'm on.  If
anybody has a new CircleMUD spell system they'd like to describe or even
distribute (not likely, but hey, why not save me some time?), I know I'm
interested.  Of course, I don't mean having 5 new spells and 2 new classes,
I mean having a total new way for it to work.

*goes back to the subject line and adds [LONG]*

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