[MUD-Dev] There can be.. only ONE!

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Thu Apr 16 10:10:15 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 15 Apr 1998 19:28:50 PST8PDT 
Vadim Tkachenko<vt at freehold.crocodile.org> wrote:

> Richard Woolcock wrote:
>> J C Lawrence wrote: > > On Sat, 11 Apr 1998 18:26:30 PST8PDT > Matt
>> Chatterley<matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org> wrote: >

> [skipped]

>> A predictable map would result in long-term players having an
>> advantage.  Ever played Doom2 against someone who knows the areas
>> better than you?  Predictability and stability can become boring
>> over time.
>> > -- When the remapping occurs all players are informed of the fact
>> > (despite the fact that they see the world change about them).
>> Are you talking about something like:
>> A stone wall slides out of the ground, blocking the east exit.
>> [x second delay]
>> The ceiling shimmers for a moment, then fades out of existance.
>> [x second delay]
>> The ground crumbles beneath your feet.  You fall downwards...
>> Or more like:
>> [long delay]
>> The world seems to shift and distort around you!  A stone wall
>> slides out of the ground, blocking the east exit.  The ceiling
>> shimmers for a moment, then fades out of existance.  The ground
>> crumbles beneath your feet.  You fall downwards...
>> It would be more interesting IMO to have a constantly shifting
>> world...

> Yes, but my prediction is it would be pretty annoying to play in a
> _rapidly_ changing world. 

I see the game as having two fronts on this score: The entire world
changes significantly periodically on a known and publicly broadcasted
pulse, with players informed on whether the world will change in the
upcoming pulse.  Next up is that between pulses the game world
constantly mutates proportional to player activity.  The changes are
not as massive as those at pulses, but do alter the map and local

> Just my personal opinion, hope I'm not the only one, I like to
> explore the world slowly and step by step, until I'm familiar with
> it, and then start to take advantage of the knowledge. The world you
> describe, though, will completely diminish the value of such a
> behavior, and will make the systematic exploration useless, thus
> giving the benefit to the people who prefer to hack-n-slash around
> instead of putting some effort to explore the world.

Exactly -- that is the entire intention.  I also tend to prefer the
approach you describe in playing MUDs (a very "spade"
characteristic).  However the game described is much closer to a
free-for-all chaotic melee.  The challenge and the spirit of the game
is to be able to be dropped into a new world with little notice of
what that world will be like, or where you will be in it, and to then
be able to combat effectively -- even tho the world will be changing
about you.  Fast adaptability and ad-hoc planning are the name of the
game, not long-term strategy.

> But, from the other side, I completely agree that the world should
> change, as in the RL, so there's a possibility to make those changes
> gradual, slow and gentle, and incremental (probably what JCL
> described), and make the world change slowly enough to motivate,
> once again, systematic approach.

Nope, that's not my idea for this model.  Instead I'm looking at
periodic huge changes (the entire world changes about you), _and_
fairly constant gross changes to limited areas of the world as a
result of player activity.

  "You are in chaos, staring the pits of boiling hell in the throat.
Nothing is certain.  Nothing is where it was.  Everything can change.
Now survive."

>> How about really obscure maps?  A quick example of something I
>> coded by accident...My mud uses x/y/z coords for dynamic rooms, but
>> I've also left the option in to map static rooms over a specific
>> location (so that I can have pretty descriptions if I so wish).
>> One unintentional side affect of this is that you can actually map
>> a room onto different x/y/z locations.  This means that you could,
>> for example, have a map like:
>> 1 --- 2 --- 4 --- 1 | 1 --- 3 --- 5
>> This means that Bubba could walk onto the map (from the left), drop
>> a pie, walk three rooms east, and be back in the first room with
>> the pie.  Another player might walk in from the south-east, walk
>> west twice, and they would be in the same room as Bubba.  Should
>> Bubba walk west (into room 4), and the other player try to follow,
>> they would find there was no exit that way.
>> Just imagine the chaos you could cause if each player/team had
>> their own 'version' of the map ;) You could also have things like
>> deathtrap rooms, anti-gravity rooms (fall upwards), pits (fall
>> downwards), teleportation rooms, and so on...depends how obscure
>> you want the world to be.

> But the question is, do you really want the world do be SO obscure? 

I did for very specific areas for very particular reasons which
applied to those areas only.  As a rule for the world as a whole?
No.  You need to apply such chaotic models with a light touch or the
world becomes too alien and randomic to be playable.  

I'll have to resurrect the stuff on those areas.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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