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

coder at ibm.net coder at ibm.net
Sat May 24 16:26:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On 23/05/97 at 10:23 PM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at inficad.com> said:
>> Adam Wiggins <nightfall at inficad.com> said: 
>>> [ChrisL:]

>>>> 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.

>>> Agreed, when you put it this way.  But...

>> Okay.  What's the effective difference between this and (quoting from
>> later in your post):
>>   "...I like the scenario of a person hiking deep into the wilderness 
>>   to find the hermit who is rumored to live somewhere high upon a 
>>   mountain.  The hermit declares that he will only teach her the 
>>   fabled herbal recipe for his cure-all concoction if she will bring 
>>   him the blosom from the century plant which grows upon a faraway 
>>   peak, and is blooming sometime in the next three months."

> Well, the main difference is that the way *I* put it sounds like fun
> to me, the way you put it doesn't.  

Understood.  That was implicit.  My point was that outside of cloth
waving and smoke the two were not only functionally identical, but
identical in practice as well.

> But the key point is that you
> said, "..having to go.."  I dislike requiring a certain 'guildmaster'
> to teach you some skill past a certain number.  I like the idea of
> teachers, books, etc being able to greatly aid your learning, but I
> dislike *having* to hunt down some mob just to be able to continue my
> studies.

Agreed.  This is was much of the meat of my argument.  I dislike
having to hunt down a mobile...yada yada to get a known skill.  The
equation instatly becomes:

  Want XXX skill == Find YYY mobile/player == Get him to teach me ==
Maybe have to do something he asks first.

Boring.  Simplistic.  Inelegant.  Dumb.

I want a choice of possible paths.  Thus I proposed the basic "think"
verb and the possibility of a lone player deriving a new skill without
external help.  I don't think its a *good* solution (actually I think
its a lousey idea), but it at least offers a seperate model and
compleatly different path to take for skill advancement.  Now at least
the equation is:

  Want XXX skill == (Find YYY mobile/player == Get him to teach me ==
Maybe have to do something he asks first) or (sit down and see if
light dawns).

Still boring.  Less simplistic.  Still inelegant.  Still dumb.  It is
at least some improvement.

I'd love to think of a reasonably elegant way to turn this into at
least three or four simultaneous equations.

>> Remember: I don't remove player characters from the game when they
>> logout.  If the player for the character you want doesn't set up his
>> character to handle teaching when he's not online, then tough -- you
>> have to go find someone else.  Life is like that: not fair.

>Good point.  I'm also thinking of the early days of the mud - with
>only 30 people online most of the time, your chances of finding
>someone who knows exactly what you want to learn is next to nothing.

With such a low population for your world, you expect them to have
derived a complex and detailed field of skills?

This is actually more in reference to another internal debate of mine. 
Many/most MUDs presume an internal hidden population which keep
everything running.  I think Jon referred to them as a the
"Sim-Peeps".  Few to no MUDs are going to stock their city with 700
mobiles just have a decent simulation.

  Aside:  While I understand the reasons for this, both in
playability, system resources, and sheer work load to create that many
unique mobiles, I also think its a crying shame.  I would love to see
someone attempt it.

My debate is over whether I should even postulate the existance of
Sim-Peeps, virtual or realised.  My tendancy is to arrange the world
so that players are the only actual intelligences in the game, and
that this is a known feature of the world (cf a multi-player Myst). 
Then mobiles become the shadows of deranged and descended
intelligences (cf Heinleinian Puppet Masters, David-brin-esque raised
chimps/dogs, demons nailed to this weary mortal coil).

>>>I'm still not sure why you don't like mental stats; they
>>>reflect your charcters ability to do certain things in the world,
>>>they don't have the mud try to do the player's thinking for them.
>> If you have the stat it will tend to be used by the system for some
>> form of decision making despite your best efforts (someone will make
>> the short-circuit), and I consider that unacceptable.  If you have the

>We don't consider intelligence as having anything to do with
>reasoning. Intelligence is, for our purposes, the speed at which your
>neural net (brain) adapts to new inputs.  This says nothing about
>your character's knowledge or ability to reason.

In which case a better definition for your IQ stat might be,
"Perceptive ability", no?

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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