[MUD-Dev] MUD universe

Felix A. Croes felix at xs1.simplex.nl
Sat Sep 6 21:19:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> No.  You need to think of side-effects, and non-linear routes to
> desired states.  Consider:
>   The princess is prone to wandering.
>   The Orcs have periodic population explosions (see 
>     breeder/fighter/noble model scenario).
>   Population explosions result in various Orish warrens being 
>     established.
>   Wandering parties of Orcs tend to be attracted to buildings.
>   Should an Orc find the Princess she will be taken prisoner 
>     and conveyed back to Orcish HQ.
>   Parties of Orcs from different warrens will fight to the death 
>     on meeting.
>   Players have no way to distinguish between Orcs of different 
>     warrens.
>   Players have no way to locate the Princess directly (eg they 
>     can't do a "She's in that direction,", or "She's in the 
>     warrens by the Gilcurdle mountains.")
>   There is a chance the Princess will wonder off in such a fight.
>   Every time the princess has been captured, and remains captured 
>     for some trigger length of time, a new quest has been created.
>   Add various other Orc-killing or Orc-interfering species who 
>     collect Princesses as a side effect of their normal operation.
>     eg Shapeshifers who use a different (from the Orcs) resource 
>     based periodic population explosion model, and who collect 
>     Princesses as a side-effect of their other normal operations.
>     You can then have the ShapeShifters then all clone the Princess 
>     and wander off with a hope to successfully infiltrating the
> Princess'
>     home town/castle.

Such a system deals adequately with two problems: quests cannot be solved
with a fixed ordered list of commands, and quests are properly integrated
in the mud's storyline without resets.

Two more problems remain.

 - Repetitiveness.  Minimum knowledge required to complete the quest:
   exterminate orcs until a princess-like person is encountered, escort her
   to the castle to determine her identity, repeat until solved.  Even
   though the global configuration might never repeat itself, the part that
   is visible to the player will.  After solving the quest, the player has
   had no lasting effect on the world.  Good heavens, did Her Highness
   wander off yet again?

 - Blandness.  I want the type of quest where the player has to realize
   that the princess' uncle does not seem very anxious to have the princess
   rescued, that the court jester has an orcish brother in law, that the
   king's advisor has a wry commentary on every possible situation.  Hints
   and cues -- which not every player might catch -- should lead to their
   logical conclusion.  All this is very difficult to accomplish with a
   dynamic non-linear system, because it requires the programmer to
   foresee every possible contingency.

I want both a dynamic system with wandering and kidnapping monsters, and
detailed non-repetitive quests.  That is what led me to adopt the parallel
universe solution.

Felix Croes

"Why did you attack that orc?"
"I wanted to try a new throw on his horse."

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