[MUD-Dev] Level abstractions - Realism vs Game Issues

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Mon Jun 30 20:21:44 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Matt Chatterley wrote:

> On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> > I like the idea of doing away with levels entirely, and instead using an
> > array of skills. I also like these skills to increase with practice, but
> > through experience points. In other words:
> Well, if "level" is a measurement of power (standardised), then in a skill
> orientated system, it can easily be thought of as "overall skill level" -
> this translation works well.

I've considered level as just being some logarithm of your total XP. A
problem with XP is that 300 points may be a huge amount to Joe Newbie, but
to Old Gammage, it's less than he expends just sneezing. Steve Jackson's
FF series featured many games where you had a mere two primary attributes:
skill, and stamina; how well you were doing was measured in how close you
were to achieving goals. It's only when the multi-player competitve
spirit kicks in that people start needing more ways to compare themselves.

On my system, the goal will be to sublime into an energy being - *not* to
risk your life climbing up levels and amassing wads of cash. This goal
will be quite secret, and only mentioned occasionally, but the fact that
the way of 'winning' the game is secret will be broadcast widely ;)
> > 	Hit points are static. You have X hit points plus your usual
> > 	constitution bonus, period. Your additional ability to survive 
> > 	comes purely from skills like dodge, parry, and increased damage
> > 	from weapon skills and multiple attacks.
> Pretty much sums it up, although: Constitution/Endurance/Stamina
> statistics should be increaseable, although not necessarily by a lot.
> Depending on the influence they have over HPs, you may want to allow HP
> increases without "whole" stat increases (or indeed, fractional stats
> which are continuous, rather than discrete). Increasing your physical

We considered making levels on Eclipse continuous rather than discrete,
identified only by vague titles. player comparisons would be possible by
observing the behaviour of NPC (or asking them!)

> endurance is easier (depending how good it is - going from couch potato to
> superathlete is pretty damned hard, but going from total couch potatoism
> to being able to jog up some stairs without being out of breath is easier)
> than increasing something like.. say.. willpower. Of course, the increase
> curve here is pretty much an exponential approach situation, the higher,
> the harder. If you apply "stat decay" like Nathan(?)'s dynamic skills,
> physical stats could become a LOT more meaningful.
An important factor screwed up by many muds is the rate at which player
attributes replenish themselves after depletion (through combat or spell
casting or what not), and the effort required for achieving this. Do your
scores shoot back up, or crawl? I really don't think any realistic
approach will be remotely enjoyable for the players - who's been to
hospital recently?


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