[MUD-Dev] Integrating PK

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Wed Jul 9 09:08:52 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Fri, 27 Jun 1997, Huibai wrote:
:Brandon Cline hath ordained:

:: I've thought about introduction name handling, and would have
:: mentioned it before in my post, but have not figured out how to
:: explain tracking 100 or 1000 aliases per player, client or server
:: side, for pc names, but maybe this would be worth it, and if you

:Client side! No need to bother the server, especially since the
:'client' (player) is the only one working with the memory.  I am
:going to trim the familiarity method by using only the most recent
:100 or so 'aliased' names.  That should allow relationships to die
:out fairly naturally, whether due to time or social scale.

What if you wanted to describe someone differently if they were
remembered? Say, if you had a series of changes to a character, with time
slots for each change, and a "ID Time Name ..." for each remembered
character... to produce something like "A tall guy with a crew cut walks
in through the swinging doors. He almost looks like someone you know."
>exam guy "You suddenly recognize the tall guy as Jeremy. Last time you
saw him, he had long black hair. He killed your brother Joe." >shoot Jer
"You whip out your six-gun and shoot at... nothing, as Jeremy drops to the
floor and rolls."

:: The only problems I see with who lists, are that they are un-
:: realistic, and allow for generlizations like, oh so-and-so isn't on
:: the who list, he must have logged out, which people shouldn't
:: be able to tell anyways, shrug.

:I'd lose it if I could protect the ability of players to find their
:friends to play with fairly quickly upon login, i.e. this scenario:
:Joe logs on and wants to find Tom and Janny to RP with.
:(currently, it's done this way:
: by the 'who' list, Joe sees Tom in there but not Janny.
: Joe sends a money-costing page to Tom, who believes in a
: passing daydream that he should go visit someone in Goodtown)
:Tom will either go to Goodtown and immediately meet Joe, or
:Joe will get bored and log off, making it actually just a daydream
:for Tom when he arrives and finds no skinny elf waiting for him.
:mail messages can be sent town-to-town, but recipients aren't
:notified upon receiving mail, much less which town it's in.

What if you allowed something a little more direct? I mean, daydreams are
a bit fanciful... Maybe a sprite on someone's shoulder? Or a page,
breathlessly explaining that Joe will be in Goodtown for the next fifteen
minutes (or whatever) and would like to speak with you... (This allows
things like Dishonest John (Nyah, hah, hah!) sending Tom a message
purporting to be from Joe...)

:: I forgot to bring up about making stuff less game termish,
:: So that you don't have someone saying "Oh man, that 50th
:: level dragon took off 200 hit points per round, he's tough."
:: Instead you get, "Wow, we fought an elder dragon ealier today
:: and his claws sliced right through my plate armor, knocking me
:: to the ground, it was all I could to to get up and run away while
:: he was distracted by the rest of my group..." 

:*excited* Yes! This is exactly my goal.  It is by far the best
:way I can see to integrate PG and RP... you trick stat-oriented
:people into respecting the environment for its surface and not
:its mechanics because those are the only 'terms' you give them.
:Instead of terms to say "you need ac16 to go 4 rounds and still
:absorb 130hp of damage from that level 18 monster", they will 
:have to express in environment-safe terms: "that dragon is so
:tough that only full plate armor can last a minute against one".
:Surely no passerby who's really into his RP would mind that.

Not at all. I've tried for a similar effect, though my setting is sci-fi.
Things like the following:

(Commands are included in brackets here, as I cannot use the split screen
I normally would... this is not mode char, just output signals... mode
char is used only when in editor or terminal accounts)

Johnny Angel lopes by, his assult rifle slung over his shoulder. He grins
at you and gestures, waving you to follow. Ira pats your shoulder as she
runs past, and behind you Krr*ganfth growls as he straps himself into a
combat mech. Krr*ga's mech tromps past, and Captain HarshLight turns to
you and yells "Get a move on! This operation is important! If we pull it
off, I might be able to pull a generalship. [mutter damn uptight
mercenary] You mutter under your breath. HarshLight whirls around and
glares at you. Ira winks back at you and whispers "Don't mind HarshLight.
He's just not a very good roleplayer." Ira blanches. "Oops." [chuckle]
You chuckle. Krr*ganfth pushes open the bulkhead door with a groan. A
blast of heat and light blinds you and sears against your face. Someone
screams, and HarshLight roars over the comm, "It's an ambush! Fall back!"
You smell charred meat. Something sharp and hot tears into your left wing,
and you smell burning feathers momentarily before the dull numbness of
hurt penetrates, and your wing begins pulsing loudly. {note: this
character is a tre'laeci, and their species does not feel pain in the same
way as humans and glah*drack.} 

:: I've seen ranged combat done on mud systems using rooms,
:: but you either have over powered or underpowered problems.
:I favor underpowered, then.  A good archer will get in a third
:shot on a longe-range target before the ground is closed.  The
:damage done is not more than melee damage, but is harder
:and less common to be protected against.  The best of bowmen
:better also carry a close-combat weapon.  Unless the target
:refuses their natural instincts to take cover or charge, they'll
:be in close-combat by the second volley in most cases.

This is, of course, quite different in dynamic when you have a sci-fi
setting. Very few people get all that close when guns and grenades and
sniping are involved. Of course my long range combat is overpowered...
there is very little that can be done with a close range weapon that
cannot be done at long range. There are some exceptions. Plasma arcs are
among the most powerful personal weapons... but they have a diminishing
return on distance. Likewise for flamethrowers, which have a constant
strength, with a sudden termination. Some weapons (missiles, for example)
are far less uasable up close, as the detonation hurts anything in range,
regardless of source. Smart missiles (laser heads... no, not bomb pumped)
are safe at any range. Grenades are limited by lobbing strength and
detonation radius to a ring around the user.

:: [solo player vs. group player paragraph]
:: should balance be geared towards group players, making solo
:: players difficult, but not impossible, also, being solo, that would
:: make it harder to recover without friends, i.e. all beat up, and no
:: healer?  

:I don't believe that all areas should be equally balanced, just 
:that something out of 'balance' should defend itself from being
:overly exploited.  The 'population container' idea, for example,
:could well control the wealth of a particularly weak goblin tribe,
:as well as the birth rate in their subterranean warrens.  I'd not
:mind one area being considered 'rich' in plunder over another,
:as long as the nature of the game made the players have to
:hunt to find which areas are rich again this week.  Of course,
:with the 'goblin warren' (howdy Magic fans!:) population con-
:tainer going, and goblins' propensity to go fight when in bands
:of sufficient numbers... well, so much for the town while the
:players were off beating on the Kobolds of Lonely Mountain.
:With ungodly-strong challenges (not particularly meant to be
:conquerable) out there, I think you could make a world of
:sufficient complexity where both solos and groups would find
:their places.
:Hah.."just make it more complex" - that's my new motto.

*grin* Now that works for me. I have set it up so that, with a single
stealthy player, you could concievably get in and out without being seen,
where fifty armed troopers would get themselves toasted... or the other
way around, if the security is better than your stealth. Then again, you
could always patch into their computer network and kill the security...

:-John G.

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  , ,  
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            First Light of a Nova Dawn
 /   / / \ /_  /_) / \ /-|/ |/ /_/            Final Night of a World Gone
Nathan F. Yospe - University of Hawaii Dept of Physics - yospe at hawaii.edu

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