[MUD-Dev] Lathander's Introduction

coder at ibm.net coder at ibm.net
Sat May 17 13:12:56 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On 17/05/97 at 11:16 AM, "Dustan M. Hough" <dhough at sword.cs.ucla.edu>

>Hello everyone...


>I was just invited to this list by Ling (known to me as
>Ceilidh) and he insists that I post an Introduction, so here goes.   

Always a good idea.  It helps create a frame of reference for ensuing

>Skills are worked on individually.

Does this mean that a character is able to consult and view the available
list of skills and query his proportional ability at each skill on some
absolute scale?

There was quite a bit of discussion on this area a while ago.  The
solution which I liked best was that while a player could query his
ability at a skill he knew he had (to some extent) he could not query what
other skills were available that he didn't have (until he learned of them
in some formalised manner).  

Similarly the value returned by querying his ability in a given skill was
not an absolute value that bore any comparison to other values reported to
other players.  Instead, the system would keep track of his ability in the
skill as an absolute value, and would also keep track of what other
players and mobiles he had seen excercising that exact skill paying
special attention to skills evidenced near his level, above, and any
rogues (extremes on the curve).  Then, when the player queried his
personal skill level he would be returned a weighted proportion on _that_
scale, not the absolute scale.

This allows a scenario ala:

  > skill XXX
  Skill ability for XXX: 90%
  > l 
  Bubba is here.
  Bubbe does something incredible with skill XXX.
  > skill XXX
  Skill ability for XXX: 30%.

Call it humble pie.

You can then age the entries in the log for the extreme value simulating
the comfort of forgetting.  Thus after a while he'd forget that he'd seen
Bubba display incredible skill levels at XXX, and would again start to
rise in his own estimation.

This model also works rather well for more simple stats like strength.  It
changes the value of strength to, "how do I compare on the scale of the
things I've seen" instead of "I have XXX strength out of an absolute scale
of YYY".  

A side benefit, and possibly the most significant benefit, is that it
compleatly devalues stat comparison between players.  Stats are now only
meaningful within the frame of reference of that player, and have no
meaning to another player with a different frame of reference.

>Our skill system is based on the learn-as-you-use method, very similar to
>Adam Wiggins' descriptions of his mud.  We do not use a skill tree,
>however, but skill groups instead.  The more skills you learn, and the
>higher they are in a given group, the easier it is to learn new skills in
>that group.  True, this doesn't account for cross-over learning between
>groups, but there's a limit to how realistic we need to get.

How do you define your skill groups?  How do you handle a characters
advancement in new skills?  Must he locate a trainer, and if so, how does
that process of skill transference work?

>We have an introduction system where each person is described by many
>traits until you 'name' them.  As such, a given person does not have to
>go by their true name, but they get tell others whatever name they want
>to go by.

Excellant.  I've been proposing this for years.  I have it to the extent
taht *nothing* is named by the system, not players, not characters, not
mobiles, or individual (non-unique) objects.  Each player can than assign
names to anything he encounters with that namespace bing private to that
character.  Thus you could name a certain mobile "Bernie" and I could name
it "Bubba", while Adam names it "DieScum", all compleatly transparently to
the rest of the system.  (ditto for other players, such as the name(s) I
might assign your characters etc).

>Our combat system looks like this:

>                              Combat Style
>Aim       |                        *                        | Control
>Offensive |                        *                        | Dodge
>Daring    |                        *                        | Parry 
>Power     |                        *                        | Speed
>Attack    |*                                                | Defense
>                                ---*---

>You increase one area of combat and lose the benefits of another area. 
>The scale is non-linear.

I presume this is an array of five horizontal scales, with each scale
having an index representing the characters level of concentration on that
aspect of combat, and the sum value of all index values not being able to
exceed a per-character maximum (with possible smaller between-scale

>Every room is on a coordinate grid.  We use this grid to time movement
>and to help monsters 'find' their way to a particular destination.

How do you handle the simple case of a room only being acessable by a path
whose entrance is far from the room?  eg:

  The room is at the end of a long tunnel.  

  The entrace to the tunnel is on the other side of a mountain.

  The mobile seeking the room happens to be in a location such that the
    the room is between him and the entrance.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at ibm.net
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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