Re: MUD essential features (fwd)

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 08/30/00

> Really what I want is a way of representing the effect of ranged weapons
> on combat. Try to imagine Crécy if the English longbowmen had no
> stand-off range from the French... kinda puts it in perspective.
        Ah. Ranged weapons are tricky.  Depends what you want out of it
though, especially with our current room-based mud setup.. the problem is
that you can't hide behind a corner or stand on a building and snipe down.
Most muds do not exist in any sort of 3-d virutal space.

        Assuming all you want is the ability to shoot someone from a
distance, well, that's not too hard.  It is hard to figure out how to deal
with it though, since it's basically initiating combat with them.  Does
the monster rush you, or stand there and take it?

        I've heard that the Aliens vs. Predator mud (
or 4444) has a well developed ranged weapon system.  Go ahead
and download the code base and look.

> I don't mean 'balance' in terms of 'combat should take x rounds'. What
> I mean is this:

        You want no one style of combat to be predominant, and you'd like
to achieve that by always providing a weakness that can be overcome by
another (similarly flawed) style.

        Something that came up on the muddev list a whileback was the idea
of careful accounting.  One mud (Retromud?) did something unique, they
kept track of which spells were cast, and how often.  The used this info
to determine the relative strength of a spell.  Each spell drew from one
or more of several spheres, and each indivudal sphere had it's negative.
If the system determined that the fireball spell was being cast too often,
then it would weaken the fire spells while increasing the potency of the
ice-based spells.  You could expand this to skills, equipment, classes,
and even mobs (mobs frequently killed give less exp, and have more
ac/hit/damage).  If you were generic enough, you could easily base your
whole game on this system and eschew levels (classes are optional) all
together.  A bunny might be a hard kill though, after a while :)

> >        Then, what happens when 4 people attack one?  Where does
> >experience or skills come into play?  How does this make people cooperate,
> >or balance the game?  I understand what you're saying, but I don't see
> >immediate applications for any combat design which is immediately usable.
> Well... again, i'm not sure what type of foundation I'm on here in terms
> of code, but, each of the 4 should have his own round of 'scissors,
> paper.....Abraham Lincon' with the unfortunate 1.

        Wouldn't it be more like the 1 person playing 8-10 games?  A two
on one battle in a sword fight is much more difficult than simply fighting
two people at different times, even if those two are not actively trying
to help eachother out.  If they are trying to help eachother, and worse,
they have experience in it, it could be 3,4,5x more difficult to beat

        You show this below when you give your example of two characters
who are more effective working together, than the sum of their individual
effectivness.  [character example snipped]

> this is pretty fundamental to the concept of RPGing, I only want to enhance
> this effect so the players really CAN'T survive without co-operation.
> And co-operation breeds RP, which is really the goal of the whole thing,
> at least in my personal philosophy...

        As for being fundamental to the concept of RPGing, I don't want to
even touch that.  RP has been described by so many different people as
so many different things, that it's impossible to say what qualifies as RP
for someone is also RP for someone else.  People will even argue that you
can RP by yourself - which I agree with, but don't directly see the
purpose of.

        As an aside though, it appears that there would be more
opportunity for a sort of high-adventure, fantasy, etc, many sterotypical
roleplaying elements, via conflict.  Players will quickly get bored with
computer controlled enemies - you can't make a storyline like you can in
a single player game.  The only really dynamic and challenging thing in
the game is the other players.  Sure, nothing whips up 12 flavors of RP
(you take your pick) more than a good war (religion, race, clan..etc).
Not that it's necessarily a roleplaying game, but look at Quake - almost
no one I know actually plays that game unless it's vs other people on the

> In fact, I'm personally against the idea of having IC gods played by
> anyone at all. This is both because of the reasons you've outlined
> above, and because I'd rather allow more flexibility in terms of
> mythology. In other words, whether there are any 'gods' at all in the
> world, and who they are, is a question for the characters to ponder...
> mind you having priests of god 'x' slinging fireballs around is really a
> stronger argument then anything Aristotle could come up with <g>.

        I dunno.  I think there's a lot of untapped resources for muds
with gods as players.  We already know people like to play god-view games,
why not make immortality a game for muds too? I know i've posted on this
before, but I'm having problems actually finding it...

        The idea was that gods were less players, and more like...
players in a different game.  In general, gods derived their power from
their worshippers (both in duration a single person worshipped them, and
that persons level).  This gave them a new stat; divine power.  They could
then cast global spells, or perform other operations (like
creating/modifying individual items - one time use of a resticted iedit).
Aside from competition with other gods for followers, they'd also have
temples/shrines which can increase or decrease their power.  Add in the
idea of avatars, or some other combat-through-proxy setup (which of
course, costs power), and you have a new type of game to play.  Of course,
it only affects small parts of the 'other' game, like when the god of fire
casts a global spell which increases all fire damage by 10% (or 25% if
you're his follower!).

> Firstly, the fact that 'everyone is innured (I don't even know what that
> means, btw) to this system' doesn't mean I have to implement it <g> or
> more likely, de-implement it.

        It means 'to become used to'.  It should be spelled with one n.
People are used to it, so they see it as a given, and will cry and moan if
you don't allow it. At least at first.

> The last sentence, the bit about 'learning what an item does', can I
> think be adressed by simply adding a measure of uniqueness to both
> descriptions and bonuses from a weapon - jade dagger one might do nothing,
> jade dagger two might be the ultimate weapon.

        Unique items - even just changing the description are great.
They're hard to manufacture though.  I would look on the mud-dev list for
rather indepth discussions of this, though I can regurigitate them here if
need be.

> I was hoping for something with a little more depth to it, suggestions?

> In other words, instead of '67/442 hp', or even 'you are severely
> wounded' you get, 'you are bleeding profusely from a nasty gash in the
> shoulder. Every breath causes a lance of pain in your ribs. You also
> have a great many cuts and bruises.' Sound good?

        That would be cool - i wouldn't mind some discussion on bleeding
systems... A while ago, I wanted to put a system in with things like blood
loss, individual limb damage, etc...In the end though, I thought that
while great for a paper RPG, it's hard for a computer game char to deal
with the fact that a dragon is attacking, and both his arms are broken.
Is this realistic in a system where you have to write code for each
possibly innane thing that a character can be allowed to do?


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