Reasons behind Reply Command Question

From: Christopher J. Dickey (
Date: 04/21/95

Boy, lots of discussion behind why the reply command is the way it is and 
why I shouldn't change it.  I do appreciate those that actually gave 
explanations on how to change it, instead of just saying "don't do it 
because <fill in appropriate response>".  I do have a reason behind my 
madness though.

I'm reworking several things on my mud, and one of these includes the way 
magic works.  The spells system doesn't use mana, and players have the 
ability to 'sustain' spells on themselves/other players/mobs as long as 
the recipient remains in the same room as the caster.  At each tick 
instead of the usual affect_update that decrements spell durations, it 
instead checks to make sure that any sustained spells have the caster and 
recipient in the same room.  There are a lot more details to the magic 
system, but there's no need to get in to them here.  The point of all 
this is that in order for sustaining to work, I needed to have some 
reference to the caster of the spell in the affected structure.  So, I 
was wondering if it would be easier to use a pointer such as that from 
ch->fighting, or use a long int as in the reply command.  This is why I 
asked orignally about the reply command; I felt it would be easier than 
explaining the magic system to some of you all ;)

Further, one could argue that there are reasons you'd want to reply to a 
mob.  Mobs aren't there only for the killing!  I'm putting in interaction 
between players and mobs, so that players will NEED to talk with certain 
mobs to gather everything from information to built in quests.  So maybe 
a player would WANT to reply to a mob!  Also, communications on my mud 
are being slightly modified since it is futuristic.  Players won't be 
able to just 'tell' anyone, as they'll need a cellular phone.  Gossip, 
auction, even gratz, can only be heard through a special radio which can 
tune into the channels, or turn them off :)  So, a player wouldn't be 
able to talk to a mob if the mob didn't have a phone (in inventory or 
built into it's head :P)


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