[MUD-Dev] Re: There can be.. only ONE! (fwd)

Matt Chatterley matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Fri Apr 24 18:12:09 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Apr 1998 15:36:38 PST8PDT 
> Matt Chatterley<matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org> wrote:
> > On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> >> On Wed, 15 Apr 1998 19:27:02 PST8PDT Matt
> >> Chatterley<matt at mpc.dyn.ml.org> wrote: 
> >>> IOW, more or less leaving teams as a largely social construct with
> >>> no game mechanics or anything similar to fix them together. Very
> >>> desirable, actually. What is a guild? This is. ;)
> >> Yup.  What you would supply are excellent communications and
> >> tactical coordination tools to encourage group efforts.
> > Yeah. This would work nicely. Give them tools, let them build their
> > own teams / organisations.
> Raph raised a number of very indirect and potentially invaluable
> points in his tales of UOL's character involvement.  In particular the 
> in-game effect of his guild tools seem notable.

Very interesting stuff. I'll relate how I plan to implement many of these
(lots of this stuff was on my list after other comments on this list, and
some plotting). I've started actually designing the server - I'll try to
post on the structure I'm using (in a similar style to the 'mudlib' post
that was copied here), once I have cemented plans.
> Possible model:
>   1) Allow members of a team to be externally identified to
> everyone as a member of that team.  Floating name bubbles is one
> approach.  DO NOT MAKE THIS MANDATORY FOR ALL TEAMS or you'll lose
> nascent, fifth column, and underground teams.

I'm planning allowing 'team leaders' to set certain things to make their
team more unique - this is probably the main way that character
customisation will occur within the game. Most likely during the
configuration/creation process (perhaps let anyone who wants to create a
team, but remove teams that do very badly or which fail to collect X
members in Y time), they will probably have points to spend on features.
Some will be cosmetic, some will be practical. Pondering.
>   2) Allow/support team-only uniforms or other insignia.

This is one thing that is definitely wanted. Creation of a uniform from a
set of 'parts', and/or other ways to make the team distinctive (for
instance 'equipment stickers' that can be stuck on kit).
>   3) Private channels for team members.

Planning on giving communication devices to all members (probably the ever
present 'comm badge'), which can be tuned to a frequency and used to speak
or listen over it. Devices also available for scanning frequencies to find
used ones, and obviously, this means spying on the enemy comm line is
possible. Perhaps 'comm badges' will be fixed to the team frequency (which
can be changed at a team base), but bigger sets of equipment can hop
around. Hmm.
>   4) Overhead mapping available to team members where the map is the
> union of areas about each team member (you can make the radius of the
> individual map contributions (ie how much each individual contributes
> to the map) proportional to player stats, eg altitude, kill ratio
> etc).  (encourages tactical approaches and short-term strategy).

I like! Each players comm device also contains a low-level scanner that
provides them with a map of 2-3 surrounding spaces. When players are
within a small radius of each other, and on the same team, this is added
together to make a larger map available; this proximity system can also be
used as a reasonable measure of 'contribution' to action, as you say.

FWIW, the game looks like being very hazardous. Instead of the standard
mud (not talking about the sorts of projects that list members seem to
create/undertake; but say 'diku' or somesuch stock base), attacks are not
specifically targetted by the server. What I mean is, if you swing a sword
at someone, it doesn't immediately check if they dodge you - it checks if
you swing near enough them for it to be worthwhile, or if there is someone
else in the way.

Not too bad with swords. With automatic firearms, this gets nasty - you
have real crossfire. Fire a burst of say 50 rounds forwards in a light
spread pattern; anything ahead of you within the weapons range stands a
chance of being hit. Obviously the chance is higher for the target you aim

1 ...............		1, 2, 3, 4 = Your team
2 ........2......		Y = An unidentified life form (aka: enemy)
3 ...............		* = Point hit by fire
4 1....Y.....3...
5 ...............
6 ........4......
7 ...............

Okay; by the grid above, members of your team are at (A,4), (I,2), (L,4)
and (I,6). I used letters for the X-coord because using numbers AND
letters is too confusing. Assume the grid is 2d for now - the same
theories apply to 3d.

The member of your team at (A,4) fires a 9mm pistol with directional
vector (1,0) from his current location. The pistol has a range of 5. The
bullet travels (5,0) to (F,4), and has a chance of striking anything in
the line between (A,4) and (F,4). The chance of striking an opponent is
set to 3x that of striking a friendly (this is the only balancing which
the game makes for 'character aiming').

Chance of hitting a target 1/5 of range away = 25% (75% for enemy)
Chance of hitting a target 2/5 of range away = 20% (60% for enemy)
Chance of hitting a target 3/5 of range away = 15% (45% for enemy)
Chance of hitting a target 4/5 of range away = 10% (30% for enemy)
Chance of hitting a target 5/5 of range away = 05% (15% for enemy)

Thus he has a 15% chance of the shot hitting; per bullet, in this case, 1
shot. There is no danger to the one member of his team in the direct line
of fire - they are too far away, and completely out of the weapons range.
If it were a more powerful weapon firing more shots, those that missed the
target would continue to the extent of their range.

The strike percentages above are just rough, but I would like chance 'to
hit' petering off throughout the range. Hmm, on second thoughts, it might
be best to make this the chance of hitting the *TARGET* and have other hit
probabilities as more or less random factors..
FWIW explosions will be targetted at coordinates rather than players, and
will explode with a radius that will damage anything caught in the blast
(probably making the center most intense, and thinning it out as it
expands outwards). Other weapons may have higher chances of hitting things
(eg: a flamethrower), and may fire over a range of angles ('spread' fire
from an automatic?).

>   4) Support for hierarchal structures in teams, such as team leaders
> and squad leaders etc.  Allow configurable limited control of
> individual players by their respective leaders.  (encourages group
> tactical thinking).

Definitely want some sort of hierarchy, a leader at least (probably want
'group leaders' as well as an overall leader, and a notion of senority to
tell who takes over if the leader vanishes). Perhaps use players scores
(individually) to rank them, with the leader being the team creator?
>   5) (Possible?) Supports for team justice systems.  cf the laudably
> farcical justice system I keep proposing here.

*ponder* could just leave this upto the players in this environment - if
someone betrays the team, you blow them up.

	-Matt Chatterley
Spod: http://user.super.net.uk/~neddy/spod/spod.html

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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