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

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon Jun 30 22:14:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon 30 Jun, Matt Chatterley wrote:

> On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
> *giggle* Having a skill orientation, or at least influence on the game
> complicates rating power - I'm having trouble writing balance documents at
> the moment, and I suspect I'll end up inventing things such as "Combat
> power", being the average stats for the players race, and skills for his
> level, so that I can bandy them around, and have ratings to refer to.
> Level exists as a rough guide for this, but given something of the
> variation above, it isn't reasonable to assume that a level 20 has got his
> attack skill maxxed, he may have thrown it all into something obscure like
> haggling, or fishing.

I don't think I understand this.  You compare 'power' for combat only, but
you still have skills that have nothing to do with combat? Doesn't it make
more sense to compare fighting skills only, and say so?
Or to get rid of the skills that don't have anything to do with combat?

> I'm probably going to leave direct modifications out of their control,
> although they can take actions towards them (drink potions, put effort
> into training.. nothing that will 100% guarantee an increase - and after a
> point, magic becomes the *only* way to get better, and such magic is very
> rare, and often temporary). Gaining permanent increases in stats will
> typically occur as a result of completing a (relatively for the player)
> difficult quest

At least do not make the importance of a single stat point so big as in
the average mud where you can never catch up the difference between wis
17 or wis 18 from a low level. And where many skills have a dramatical-
ly reduced chance of success if you're lacking a single stat point.

> > Characters have two sets of stats, current and potential.  Current
> > stats may go up or down upon attaining a level based on age.  It's a
> > parabola effect.  Current Stats will increase initially until such time
> > as the character reaches their peak (potential).

I think I like this, having predefined stats that can't be exceeded. Are
you including magical and equipment wise stat increase in this as well?

> > Following this age peak stats will stabilize or degrade

I'm not too sure I really like this. It sort of penalises established
characters which I think can easily work against your game. Jedi used
to (still has?) a system where after a certain age a character had an
increasing chance of dying of old age.  This was a crude mechanism to
drive out old characters who had too much equipment collected and did
not loose it in the rent. Having stats degrading will likely have the
same kind of effect on characters.

> > Current stats may also fluctuate during game-play based on disease, 
> > wounding, toxins, etc.

This I feel is very important. If you are wounded your constitution is
not too good and you're likely weak as well. And a sleeping potion may
have a lingering effect of making you more clumsy even after the imme-
diate effect of the potion wears off.

> > This is sort of antithetical to heroic fantasy.  Maybe too close to
> > reality; "making the best of what the Fates give you".  It's definitely
> > not appropriate for all game types.  

This at least seems to suggest that you won't allow the potential stats
to be exceeded even with magical assistence. Not that I'm at all in fa-
vour of equipment that increases stats (or anything).

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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