Re: [CODE] Forges [LONG]

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 07/06/00

> At 03:45 PM 7/4/00 -0500, Patrick Dughi wrote:
> ><snip>
> >   struct forge_data {
> >         int **vnum_list;
> >         int top_vnum_list;
> >         int res_vnum;
> >         int skill;
> >   }
> Another viable mechanism. I prefer the former, for simplicity's sake. See
> below.
> >         Well, like I said, we don't need to use constants.  Too
> >limiting/memory inefficient.
> How is it memory inefficient? Limiting... well I can see that. But I
> don't think that there is any per se "easier" way of doing this. Text
> file? Database? If so, I'd still want to read it into an array of these
> structs.

        say you set your maximum at 22; you have a huge item that needs
it.  For every 'recipe' then, you have to allocate that much space,
whether you use it or not.  Look though, at how shops manage their
inventory lists, those are effectively unlimited in length, but they only
allocate as much memory as they actually need.

        >snipped a big description of skill modifiers + etc<

        Isn't this whole item creation thing getting larger than the scope
of the game itself?  If the process to creating a dagger is some multi
step process, and other items - some of which you don't even know about -
are even more complex, involving multiple people and possibly
immortal-load only items.... really, how much does this add to the game?
It seems like you almost want _this_ aspect to replace the game; it's
certainly more complex and involved than killing monsters and leveling.
Though, most players actually end up _hating_ having to make items - look
at Ultima Online.

        You remind me of someone I know who runs a mud, but has a odd way
of looking at each new idea as the most important thing ever to be,
completely overshadowing all else.  One idea which could be implemented
cleanly and quickly turns into multi-week grueling exertions, and if by
some unholy god the 'idea' is added it tends to screw up the rest of the
game.  Of course, A good percentage of the additions tend to add nothing
to the game - just take coder time to make something more complex in the
defense of 'realism'. Your time may be better served adding many new easy
to use and understand features, than going overboard developing a single
one.  People don't play games because they're real, they play because they
want to have fun.

        If you think that having an overly complex system like you
describe is fun - you're wrong.  At least, to the majority.  The only
people that would find it fun are the same people that have beat the zork
text-only games without cheating or help.  Granted, I've done one, but I
cheated at the other two.  I think on this whole list you won't find more
than 10 people who've even gotten that far.

> Basically, I have seen the realism vs. popularity arguments. I tend to
> disagree.  Levelling takes priority over RP because people enjoy it
> more. Because they get stronger doing so.
> But, in my viewpoint, the more ways you give the player to spend his/her
> time, the less of a focus on levelling they will have. So. The
> objectives and ways a player can spend his/her time are:
> * Level
> * RP
> * Quest
> * Make items
> * Buy/sell items

> If you make a detailed, extensive quest system, people will use it.
> Especially when you reward their time adequately. Or give them something
> that can be an integral part of making their character stronger, if they
> put the pieces together, or work with someone else to do so.

        Yes and no.  If it's too complex, or if you don't give them a step
by step guide, they'll never use it.  Example:

        On one mud, I created a sword which had a 1% chance to instantly
slay a character hit by it, if they were already below 1/4'th of their
full hitpoints.  It also inflicted a multiple of damage against creatures
from a certain zone.  After two months, and many 'rumors' and hints, still
no one actually used the sword, though several posessed it.  Finally, I
broke down and told someone exactly what happenes; sure enough, 3 days
later, everyone who could get one had a sword.  It's died down soon after
because we had to force the availibilty of the sword down, but if I hadn't
said _exactly_ what it does 98% of the player base wouldn't - and didn't -
even bother.

        Same goes for the majority of mudders.  They won't expend mental
effort if they can help it.  These are the speedwalkers who have
directions to zones performed in aliases, and have battle setup as a bunch
of triggers.  In a non-mud environment, they're the ones who bought the
newest RPG (final fantasy 7/8) and the 'strategy' (cheat) guide in the
same purchase.  That's a standard circle mud's main clientelle.

        Of course, if you tell them exactly what they get out of it, and
exactly (or nearly exactly) how to get it, then they will use it - but
what's the point of it then, other than self-gratification that someone is
using your system?  In the same way that directions to zones are traded,
directions to making an item in your complex system will eventually just
become a sort of 1-2-3 list given to each person who asks (by other
players, usually).  Your system will end up just being an annoyance, or a
hinderance; something where people will feel cheated if they don't get
those end products and so will suffer through the process only because
they have to.

        You don't make your characters go to the bathroom, or sleep 8
hours a day and comb their hair, or perform a multi-step command to light
a torch.  You shouldn't make your interactions too complex or they will
limit players where they should enchance gameplay.  Try figuring what you
want out of the system (not the coolest way to do it, cool for imps is
usually not for players), and then find the simplest way for the players
to get there.  That's how you'll get the most bang for your buck.


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