[MUD-Dev] Re: Administrative notes

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed May 14 11:03:03 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <199705130438.XAA17667 at dfw-ix4.ix.netcom.com>, on 05/12/97 
   at 09:41 PM, "Jon A. Lambert" <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> said:

>I agree whole heartedly with the concept of levels as a measurement
>tool even in a fully role-playing environment.  I use levels in the
>same way you seem to indicate.  I also use experience points as the
>measuring tool between  levels.  Levels may indicate little or
>nothing about combat effectiveness.   A 1st level character has the
>ability to kill a 100th level character in one blow.   Levels are
>simply the point in at which further character development takes 
>place.  It is also certainly possible that a character skills and
>statistics can  decrease when a level is reached due to old age or
>other deterioration of abilities.

A lot of players want levels as some form of mental bubblegum.  They
provide game-world short term goals which can be assumed to keep
players interested in playing the game, always striving to make that
next pip on the score card.  The classic operating phrase is "only XXX
points to level!"  A lot of games reinforce this view by having new
character abilities suddenly materialise as of certain levels.  It all
seems sort of silly to me.

Some have (partially) replaced this model with skill trees.  However
they still tend to balkanise the skill tree (cf Legend) so that many
skills are just flat out impossible until you get all the
pre-requisites in order.  "No, you can't do XXX because you don't know
how to do YYY."

For me, all abilities, no matter how arcane or specialised are
available to all characters from the moment they are created onward. 
What varies is their probability of success in using that ability. 
Baby UggUgg is not going to be too good at casting a mana sink spell,
but he's sure free to try as much as he wants, and he might just hit
it lucky.  If he can endure the price of the attempts he may get it
right the very first time, or it may take him 10,000 failed attempts
before getting it to work once.  Similarly for Bert the Woodsman: he
may know nothing about swords, and two-handed swords in particular,
but when he has one in hand and is confronted with a golin intent on
killing him, Bert's spastic flail at the goblin _may_ just turn out to
be a perfect decapitating blow which will in turn raise his awareness
and possible skill indexes in the area.

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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