[MUD-Dev] Re: Verb binding

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Sat Apr 26 11:01:49 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

:the verb "pick" should be bound to the tree, IMO, not the
:apple.  the tree object handles pick, which makes an apple
:and gives it to the player.  or, if it's out of apples, it fails.
:that leaves the player's global 'pick' free for such witticisms
:as	return (random(2) ? "You pick your friends."
:				   : "You pick your nose.")

Agreed as to the verb belonging to the apple tree. However, I disagree
with it failing through to your example. A verb shouldn't ignore any
additional words (e.g. a direct object) in the command. So, 'pick apple'
should simply say something about their being no apple left on the tree.
As a user, I would be a bit perturbed if saying 'pick apple' caused
my character to pick its nose, or something worse!

This whole idea, seemingly used by many here, of having many variants
of a verb searched for and triggered, bothers me. The net result is that
a global failure ends up with a generic error comment from the parser.
That's not likely to be very informative. E.g. as a user, I would greatly
prefer to see "There are no apples left on the tree" rather than something
like "There is no apple to pick here". A custom reply,
indicating that the system understood what I was trying to do, is very
reassuring. I'll repeat my first experience on an old LPMud: I knew it
was a combat MUD, so when a saw a "stick", I picked it up and tried to
wield it as a weapon. The system simply replied "Huh?" to all of my
attempts, leading me to wonder how to use a weapon. It never occurred
to me that the system would fail to understand a commonly used verb
just because there were no appropriate objects nearby. (It turned out
that the stick was a dead torch.) I suspect that most new users would
have exactly the same response.

Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list