[MUD-Dev] Re: Combat

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Tue Apr 29 15:27:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Chris Gray <cg at ami-cg.graysage.edmonton.ab.ca>
> [Jon L:]
> :I would venture to guess that if your NPCs make their attacks regular time
> :frames of duration X and your PCs attacks/commands are processed at a
> :regular rate of Y(orX) duration you do indeed have rounds.
> NPC's attack cycle is usually random, based on their 'speed' stat. Some
> are down to a couple of seconds. Players can attack as often as they can
> ram the commands through. However, on every player attack, the NPC has
> a swing too (unless it just got killed). Which hit connects first depends
> (with randomness) on the two speed attributes. Not a lot of planning went
> into the system, but it seems to work not bad. Does this count as 'rounds'?

Maybe, sort of.  A least you are giving the poor critters a decent chance 
by allowing response to every player attack. :-)
Maybe any such definition is doomed to failure with regard to combat.

D&D for intance defines the following units of time:

1 turn = 10 minutes
1 round = 1 minute
1 segment = 6 seconds

Much of the game play occurs in turns, although even longer units of time
are used for player activity.  Critical actions such as combat are conducted 
at a higher granularity of time.  Much of this division is arbitrary and abstract
but the premise, I think, is to provide as sense of urgency or excitment to 
those life critical actions.  

        I am rather fond of the way DIKU speeds up action and decision 
making when such a such a conflict arises.  I want to minimize the typing
contest that often determines the outcome, yet I also don't want a 
"chess-like" feel to combat where players thoughtfully plan out their
moves and submit them for resolution.  I do like the idea of players writing
combat scripts as a sort of prior planning to a known upcoming conflict
which could occur, say outside of the lair of the Fell Wyrm of Goraz.  Once 
inside and fighting the foul beast, any sort of thoughtful decision making
is gonna be counter-productive.  If the battle plan proves to be worthless
then a perhaps a degree of panic is experienced by some participants.
It needs to be said that the Wyrm of Goraz also has a battle plan, one
hopefully tested by time.  NPCs should know when to flee and hide as
well as surrender.


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