[Strategy]Unruly Mobs

From: Jeff Colledge (colledjl@davesworld.net)
Date: 02/18/99

Hey all,

If you are experienced with mud development, you probably will want to
skip this, however if you are running a fairly new mud (mine hasn't
learned to walk yet) this is something you might want to try.

Mob Staging Areas
One of the things that I've found in many muds is that once you find the
room where a Mob will reset, regardless of someone being there or not,
many people will just hang out there to eat up the exp.  While there may
not be much you can do for Mobs that are acting sentinels and have to be
in that room for them to make sense, there is something very easy you
can do for the roamers.

Set asside 1-5 rooms as mob staging areas (I like to use xx95-xx99).
Then load the roamers into those areas.  Make sure that you have
***one-way*** exits from the areas and no way to get into the staging
area.  Thus, when the mob leaves the staging area, they randomly go out
of the exits you've defined (6 choices without more exit patches).  At
this point they can wander around the player area but players have no
way to "easily" get to the staging area.


You have a small cave area with 8 rooms and 2 staging areas.  One of the
rooms is a treasure room behind a locked door with no other enterances.
The other 7 have open tunnels amongst them and 1 of the 7 also has the
locked door to the treasure room.  You decide to have rats and goblins
as roamers.  You also figure that the rats are small enough that they
can get into the treasure room without using the door (cracks and
holes).  So, you have the rats reset to one staging area, which has one
way links (mobs can leave but with no way to return) to 5 of the regular
rooms an 1 to the treasure room.  The goblins reset to the other staging
area which has one way links to 4 of the regular rooms.  Thus the
players who explore those 8 rooms will never find the staging areas
because there are no links back to them from the 8 rooms.  They will
have critters randomly show up where there were none before.  Finally,
they will receive the message "A rat has just arrived" when it leaves
the staging area.  Because it doesn't tell you where it arrived from,
the exits from the staging areas don't have to make sense (i.e. D from
staging area to 5001, U from staging area to 5002, even through for the
players 5002 is below 5001).  Right now in the stock program, when a
zone resets and a mob is loaded the players don't receive any message.
The mob just blinks into existance.

Some areas that can be made a bit more random/interesting could be the
seedy side of town with drunken sailors, or a forest with wolves, or a
cave with orcs...Just making things more random can sometimes add a new
level to a Mud.

Let me know what you think or have any ways to improve this using common

Jeff Colledge

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