Re: [CODE] Forges

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 07/04/00

        This started out to be a short reply, but i got into a groove, so
it's long.

> a.) Define maximum amount of items required to make an item (be it
> 3, 5, 10, whatever).

        Hm.. why?

> struct forge_data {
>       int vnum_1;
>       int vnum_2;
>       int vnum_3;
>       int res_vnum;
>       int skill;
> }

Could be

  struct forge_data {
        int **vnum_list;
        int top_vnum_list;
        int res_vnum;
        int skill;

> b.) Create a struct.

        Uh, right. :)

> c.) Create a constant array of that struct. Each element in the array would
> be a "recipie". For instance, if the struct was:

        Well, like I said, we don't need to use constants.  Too
limiting/memory inefficient.

        You know, you can probably do this sort of thing with almost no
code change?  Make a room 'the forge'.  Now, create the following bits of
zone commands;

        remove from room 'piece one'
        if successful remove from room 'piece two'
        if successful remove from room 'piece three'
        if successful load 'resultant piece'

        Now, granted, that's not involving any skill (or perhaps you
depend on an NPC to simulate the creation).  However, it's a simply

        In truth though, the biggest problem I see with
assembled/forged/combined/etc items, is that they're not well used.  Lets
assume we require skills to 'forge' an item.  Right there, we have limited
it's usefulness.  Just as we cannot allow a mage to have a backstab more
powerful than any other attack, or a fireball from a mage as the ultimate
killing weapon, we cannot raise a 'forged' item up as the new holy grail.
It must be balanced within the mud, and as an item which is only created
by (i'm assuming) a small subset of players, it cannot be unbalancing.
Add in the fact that you have to both know how to create something, and
that you have to gather the material; resulting in the end in a product
which is at most +3 or so (depending on your system) for hit/damage to
remain balanced.  While a few hardcore, 16 hour a day players will get it,
many people won't go though that trouble.  It's not worth it to builders
and coders to spend the time to make the system and the mini-quest type
setups to recieve both the items and the recipe, so that only a very few
could profit from it.

        Let's assume the opposite; it takes no foreknowledge of recipies
(they're written out somewhere accessable), and you require no skill.
Now, the ability is so common that the result, the product of the
combination must be fairly negliable.  You're probably going to dismiss
armor and weapons (anything permanant) all together.  No one wants
crap that is unusable.  Lets stick to other things, like potions, salves,
etc - things which are transitory, have a set number of uses/charges.
These things I think are a much richer object to use - it shouldn't hurt
anyones balance to have a character with 20 or so cure light wounds
potions.  The older characters will barely notice - true, but the younger
characters will thrive on them (assuming old=higher levels & higher levels
= higher hitpoints).  Because you're using ingredients to create it, it's
natrually limting howmany you actually can have.. so no one will hve 3
million, but they'll still be common enough to be in day-to-day usage.

        If you're really stuck on it, you could even make it a subset of
skills related to your 'druid' or other nature-based class (or perhaps
alchemist).  That way, if you actually want these high power spells/etc to
sometimes be contained in these one-use items, you will have an allowance
to make it - based on level.

        (a neat thing then, would be to simulate the potion making
time..tell the player it will take 5 hours (real life) to make, and it
will come out of their off-line time.  So, if they log off for 4 hours,
they come back and are told they still have an hour to go; etc.  This
idea holds over for alot of potion/foring/creation acts.)

        As for forging, and permanant effects, they have to be minimalized
(as explained above).  However, that does overlook one of the most
important aspects of muds; the cosmetic value of an item.  People like
flash and dazzle.  While a gung-ho power mudder may discard 'The sword of
blue diamond' for 'a small sword' due to stats, surprisingly, some do not.
As a matter of fact, unassuming items are often ignored altogether if
there is no foreknowledge of them.  In one game, a builder had messed up
and made a wood club do some awesome damage, but the zone was open for
more than 6 months before anyone even noticed.  Cosmetic value is
important in a few ways.

        Let forge be the ability to enhance your weapon/armor/item.  You
can name it, or inscribe it.  Embed gems in the pommel, tint it with
special colors, make the edges especially jagged or especially sharp,
remake parts of a weapon with rare metals, or if your campaign's
magic/technology allows it, gemstone or demon bones, or dragonclaws
(Granted, you'd have to procure the gem/dragon-demon bones, etc).

        The one problem that I can see with this (aside from an evaluation
process.. you wouldn't want someone to change their weapon so everyone
sees "Duke wields an atomic weapon with the slogan 'f#^k you' inscribed on
it's side'")  is that many of the weapons in any game exist in an
abundance.  'The royal ruby sword of the draconian king' _is_ the level 40
weapon. Everyone has it.  It's mass produced.  Which is odd, because it
seems like one of those one-of-a-kind sort of items.  Same with the
gold-edged eagle armor, and the silver helmet of law.  These things have
effectively already been modified.  They shouldn't be allowed to change -
they're already supposed to be near-unique, even if they show up 60 times
in the world.

        Now, a steel longsword, or a brass shield, these need some
embelishment.  You can even up the stats so they're equivilent (but not
above) the unique items that oddly enough, everyone has, that I talk about
above.  You get two benefits; suddenly there is a plethorea of new,
interesting, unique items on your mud - making the players happy and
attracting new ones, and two, your skill/tool/etc is being used.

        Sorry for that long rant.  I enjoy writing new code, but I always
evaluate it along the lines of; viable result, useability, balance, time
and effort required.  The 'cool' factor rarely comes in, unless I'm
writing heat-seeking missiles I don't expect anyone but myself to have
access to. :)


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