A late Re: to Monty Haul and good uses for uber-characters in muds

From: Daniel Blackburn (CraklynDS@cs.com)
Date: 08/24/01

>         Why are so many muds out there textbook cases for Monty-Haul
>  campaigns? (http://villa.lakes.com/JamesStarlight/CampaignTypes.html)
>          I ask this because more and more I see the same sort of thing
>  which I regard as schlock.  I see muds who are stock muds, only if you
>  divide the levels by 10, hit points by 100, damage by 100,000, and hits
>  per round by some factor which is geometrically increasing as we speak.
>  ..well..back to stats, people count their abilities,
>  skills, and bonuses in increments of 10 or 100.  If it were just
>  multiplaction, that's no big deal, but it actually skews balance so that
>  things like PvP is rated on a different scale than PvNPC combat (sometimes
>  even the code involved is different!?!).
>          People actually extoll these as virtues! "The best fighter in the
>  game has a +96 hit/damage sword, but Joe is putting in a new zone with a
>  +127 mace! Haha!".  Like this is something to be proud of?
>          I am surprised that this trend continues though.  It seems that
>  all these muds have a self-limiting user-base size and always have issues
>  which are politely refered to as 'political'.  As in "the mud was
>  destroyed due to 'polictical' infighting".

   I have been writing my mud for something along the lines of half a year,
on and off.  The purpose of my mud is to be a player vs player game that
requires skill, foresite, and huge amounts of knowledge in the ways damage is
dealt.  As such, I've had to change the way damage is dealt to reflect the
premise of the game.
   Firstly, I've found that going by the style of most circlemud games that
allow player vs player fights that the fights rarely last more than 8 rounds.
 If it happens to be 2 warriors with 3 attacks each battling it out, you're
lucky if you can get 3 rounds in.  So in regards to your changing the way PvP
and PvNPC is played out, I find it a necessity to nerf damage versus players.
 I did this through allowing the players to train up to the area of 25k hps
(later giving certain EQ that would allow their max hp to rise to the area of
27k).  I then decided that while hit/dam works fine for PvNPC, it can make a
character too powerfull against players, so I took one player's damage and
ratioed it to the opponent's.  So if a player had a 120 damroll and their
opponent 140 the former would deal 6/7ths the class they play's standard
   Yes, 120 damage, which is quite a freaking lot as far as I'm concerned.  I
did that so that players could have a huge advantage on the mobiles.  The
reason for this is that I hate mobile combat.  I originally played a mud
which would have 4-5 hour areas which consisted of auto-assisters and people
with triggers to heal the tank.  Boring.  And a waste of time too.  I have
found that making exp something that a player can do quickly and get to the
point that they can fight other players much more rewarding.
    As for equipment.  I basicaly decided out front that equipment would max
out at a certain number.  This is also because I prefer balanced
act-and-react combat over who-has-the-better-character combat.
    Giving players huge characters is worthwhile if there is a reason for
doing so.  If a character has to go on a 5 hour equipment run to get a peice
that will up their damroll by 1, that doesn't seem worthwhile.  But if a
character can be super-powerfull and not wreck the mechanics of the gameplay,
I think it a worthy proposition.  At least if you set arbitrary limits there
won't be a Next Big Thing(tm).  :-)

    Hopefully I made it apparent the fine line between my own mud and the
ideas involved in a stable, non-infinately-expanding mud.

Dan Blackburn

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