[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Apr 23 14:39:43 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <199704240329.UAA14790 at user2.inficad.com>, on 04/23/97 
   at 11:00 PM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at inficad.com> said:

>Hmmm.  Yeah, that's what I mean - we have nothing at all to indicate
>any sort of combat state - certainly no combat object.  You simply
>have two (or more) guys (or gals, or even objects) which are doing
>certain things at certain times.  If those things happen to be
>hacking at each other with big axes, we like to assign the tag
>'combat' to the situation, but the mud makes no such distinction.

Does your combat have some sort of automated attack/defense?  That is,
can a user launch a command like "Kill Boffo" and more or less sit
back and watch the slaughter?  If not, if Bubba does a "Kill Boffo"
and then does absolutely nothing further, will anything in fact
happen?  I suspect that there is a question of state in there under
the comvers.

>Right.  So if you want your system to be able to make decisions about
>the intent of an action rather than having the player just decide,
>you have to either do some sort of traceback, ie:

>My mana is suddnely all gone, which makes me angry.
>My mana is all gone because of the objects nearby, so I am angry at
>the objects. The objects are nearby because UggUgg tossed them there,
>so I'm angry at UggUgg.


That way leads madness.  The traceback of causality can (and often
will be) incredibly ugly especially given, say, the liquid nature and
flow of mana.

>It's a matter of playability.  I see a lot of things that we do as
>being similar to DartMUD, but DartMUD had some severe failings that
>kept it from really being what it should have been...
>He just wanted to *play*.  I'm the same way; even though I appreciate
>these details, when I'm learning a new mud I want to be able to stick
>to the defaults and have everything work resonably well.

Good point.  I have a system default combat package which rides along
on default bodies, but its, err, well, wimpy.  Its basic modus
operandi equates pretty well to, "run in circles, wave your arms
about, scream and shout, hit him with your inventory, run some more".

The point of a learning curve also raises the question (outside of
steepness and duration) of how much better a player at the top of the
learning curve should be than one at the bottom.

>But the point is, your character as he or she enters the game will do
>basically what you'd expect a normal, unskilled person to do in a
>given situation (and this applies to many things other than combat). 
>From there you can customize and tweak as you develop them.

Yup, this is as it should be.

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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