[MUD-Dev] Re: How to handle log-outs in a totally dynamic world.

Richard Woolcock KaVir at dial.pipex.com
Mon May 11 19:15:47 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Ben Greear wrote:
> As I've posted before, I'm working on a space game which will be constanly
> moving foward.  In other words, no static world to reboot to, reboot to
> the last saved image (a whole other can or worms!).

This is what I currently have ;)  The trouble is, I don't yet have any way
to get rid of stuff cluttering up the world...I haven't dared to upload the
latest version of the code, for fear of having the world turn into a huge
graveyard full of rotting corpses and body parts.

> I am going to try the model where the players are always in the game,
> even when logged out.  There will be safer spots than others to stow
> your craft and belongings, but nothing is guaranteed.

How about stasis booths in a space station?

> Another issue is that I want politics and the economy to be a live
> thing (In other words, build an empire, a giant Conglomerate, or
> both, or none...)  I will have NPC empires and corporations, but I hope
> that these will come to play a minor role once the game matures for
> a couple of months.

Well, you *could* start the world/universe in a state of anarchy, and
carefully manipulate players into forming their own corporations.  You
could even start players off within certain 'groups', and then just
allow them to build UP their empires.

> So, how to pull this off?  It needs to be fair, and at the same time,
> just because one is logged off shouldn't mean they are invulnerable
> or invisible to the game.
> My current plan is to allow them to set certain flags and attributes
> to determine how they react.  These will be suggestions only, and the
> server will be the final arbiter.  If someone plays an asshole of a
> character, then I'm not going to let them set attributes to be a totally
> nice guy when logged out....

This is a good excuse for things like sleep, occupations, and so on.  When
the player types 'quit', the character could then follow its own priorities.
Thus, when Bubba's player spends 3 game days exploring (ignoring the fact 
that Bubba is really tired), then finally quits, Bubba would go to sleep.
Upon waking, Bubba would get some food, then go to work - earning some money
for when Bubba's player game back online.  This means that if Bubba the
shopkeeper's player is on during the night, and Boffo the robber is on during
the day, they wouldn't ever meet as 'players' until the fateful night that 
Boffo decides to rob the shop, just as Bubba's player is logging on...
Combined with player recognition, this *really* starts to distort the 
differences between mobs and players.

> Basically, I'll use the same AI engine for the logged off characters
> as I would for the NPC characters.  Might tweak things a little, but
> hopefully I won't have to.

I believe this was discussed quite a long time ago...the real problem IMO
is how to deal with PK (or even accidental death) when the player is not
logged on (particularly if you have permanent death).  How would you feel
if you logged on your several-month-old character, only to find you had
died?  This would be a particular problem for me, as I am using a WoD 
theme, where Vampires hunt each other down in order to commit Diablerie;
Vampire cannibalism.  This means that every minute you are not in control
of your character, you're a sitting duck (unless the AI was as tactical
as the player).  I may just have the Vampires fall into torpor (sort of 
like a very deep sleep) when they are not playing - thus making it very
important to create elaberate defences...but even if I do this, I'll still
need a system for mortals to use.


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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