Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Thu Apr 9 10:46:29 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 8 Apr 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:

> On Sat, 4 Apr 1998 23:17:46 PST8PDT 
> maddog <maddog at best.com> wrote:
> > Actually what I have in mind is more like VRML or HTML rather than
> > Java.  I would restrict it to characters, some NPCs, and simple
> > objects.  Complex NPCs are fairly hard to move around from place to
> > place if they depend on the code of the server.  A better way to
> > move complex NPCs is to have them handle their own code--as remote
> > bots. {did I just hear an admin scream?}.
> I'm curious:
>   Why do you consider that NPC's, even complex NPC's would have more
> code backing them than player characters?
> If anything I find the reverse here.  Characters tend to become very
> buff with custom code (cf LambdaMOO), while NPC's starve for such
> attention.

I agree.  Players tend to fit themselves out before they become concerned
about improving the world around them (if ever).

Perhaps a solution is needed whereby NPCs can get at that custom code.
Possible obstacles:
    - has the NPC any way of knowing what the code it grabs is supposed to
      do, how it should be used?
    - is there any possible way for an NPC to determine whether it should
      want the code or not?
    - should players creating viral code on themselves until an NPC grabs
      it be considered a feature?  Or is this so much of a risk that it
      alone is enough to dismiss this concept?

It's one thing for an admin to notice some interesting code on a player
and copy it for use on an NPC, yet another for the NPC to go about
grabbing its own code.  JCL, those player-created combat packages and
scripts of yours from a while back were usable by NPCs in a fashion like
this, weren't they?  Did you have any sort of choice-intelligence for the
NPC stealing a user's combat code?  

At first blush, I think that an NPC could track a randomly chosen player
(or perhaps if NPCs have motivations, they would attempt to pick a player
whose stats matched the goal stats of the NPC:  an NPC who "desired" to
become a better fighter would choose to follow a player whose fighting
skills were high) and see when that player used its custom code to deduce
whether the code would be useful.  

Getting at this player-written code is probably just a tip of the NPC
AI iceberg, and would really be less straightforward than the idea I've
tossed up here.  Many of us have danced with the "NPCs that learn" topic
on this list at one time or another and I hope I'm adding at least a
little fuel to the fire.  

Shawn Halpenny

"What's with the duck?"

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