[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels (was: Administrative notes)

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed May 14 17:20:31 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <Marcel-1.09-0513215841-b49Ky&5 at Gryphon.iaehv.nl>, on 05/13/97 
   at 07:19 PM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:
>On Mon 12 May, Todd Lair wrote:
>> [On 05/11/97 Jamie Norrish <jamie at sans.vuw.ac.nz> said]

>> The only thing I'm using level for is a measure of time between skill
>> betterment.  That is it.  I need some means to measure the amount of time
>> a player uses his skills out in the field which indicates when he is ready
>> for further training.  Out of personal preference, I really don't want to
>> simply increase skills from their use.   I think it's a bit unrealistic.

I think this depends on how fine grained your definition of a skill
is.  I certainly think that my skill with an axe at cutting down trees
increases as I cut down increasing numbers of threes with an axe.  I
agree that my concomittant skill at whirling a battle-axe over my head
in a melee and decapitating those stupid enough not to duck is
unlikely to improve during this time.  

Its a matter of grain -- make the grains fine enough and use does
improve skill.  The problem with this is that you then have to handle
bleed-over.  While my above tree-chopping will not have done a lot for
my axe melee skills it will have done a lot for my upper body strength
and general ability to control the motion and exact placement of force
with an axe.  One could argue this was just an exremely fine grain,
and thus there is no bleed-over, but this will result in your having
an unmanagably huge set of skills to manage (quick guess 10^4+).

>A method I would much prefer is requiring -trainers- to increase
>skills and require -usage- to keep the skill from loosing edge. 

I'm in two minds on this one.  I sodding well despise the model of
having to go track down some mobile so I can then issue a standardised
command (or perform some standard obesiance/duty) and have my "skills"
automagically increased in response.  Blech.

OTOH I am quite fond of having to figure out what other player may
know something about XXX skill that I don't know, and then tracking
him down, and personally persuading him to teach me (followed by the
same automagical part).  

The obvious fault with this scenario is, "How are the players going to
learn the skills with no pre-existant teachers?"  You can either do it
all yourself as a Wiz (ie everything ends up sourcing from you), or
(and I like this one) given enough activity and cogitation (yup, add a
"think" command) in an area, a player character will have
"cognitions", resulting in them realising that there's some other
nifty specail thing they could also do in XXX area.

<<Actually I'm still debating on the "think" command.  Currently I'm
against it for the same reasons I'm against any general IQ stat.>>

Note also that this tracking down of some other player who has the
desired skill is a bitch.  For one there is no global namespace for
player names, so the best you can do is to rely on personal
observation ("he did something I can't do") and asking about ("You
know anybody who can do XXX really well?").  Call it enforced

>> As far as risk is involved, the main reason I consider a game worth
>> playing is if I have a chance at loosing.  If there is no risk of loosing,
>> where is the fun?

>Depends on what you call 'the game'. 

Having a game requires certain definite components.  There must be one
or more goals (be they defined internally or externally to the game),
barriers to achieving those goals, and freedoms (abilities) to achieve
the goals.  raise the barriers to high and the game is though
impossible.  Make too many freedoms and the game is twinkish.  

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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