Numbers [was RP thesis...]

Matt Chatterley root at
Tue May 27 17:21:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 27 May 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> [Marian:]
> > Anything that distracts players from the numbers (stats and experience) game
> > is definitely desirable in a mud (in my opinion of course).
> Computers can't represent anything in any way but numbers.  The trick
> is to abstract it in such a way that the *specific* numbers are no
> longer as important.  You know you want to be in high favor with your god,
> as high as possible.  Whether that number is 73, 74, or 75 is irrelevant;
> that's just the computer's internal represention, and one point
> one way or the other isn't going to make a difference, even if it was
> visible to you.

Quite true. One related topic which I've been bouncing around is the best
way in which to present this data to the player.

Handing over raw numerical data, or even processed numerical data to the
player in whole or in part is to me, undesirable (especially when it's
inconsistent with other things), and damaging to the 'atmosphere'.

Instead, I prefer to process the data against a list of optional verbs and
adverbs, to construct sentences that describe things, ie:

You are fairly strong. Instead of Str: 30/100.

This fits much better into the idea of creating an 'atmosphere', and makes
more sense than giving a numerical value to strength, but describing hits
as 'You hit hard' and such. Also, to me, it's easier to understand (whos
to know if 30 str is good or bad? Anyone can reason around 'fairly'

	-Matt Chatterley
"Fishing is complete and utter madness."  -Spike Milligan

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