[MUD-Dev] Re: Leaving characters in play

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Fri May 15 18:03:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 14 May 1998 11:21:17 -0700 (PDT) 
Adam Wiggins<adam at angel.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 12 May 1998, John Bertoglio wrote:

> A couple of things.  First, I think that the stuff above is pretty
> different from VGA Planets.  It doesn't fix any problems (at least,
> from where I'm sitting) incured by leaving people in game all the
> time.  They can certainly set some standing orders for things their
> character will do while they are away, but you don't need an
> order-based combat system for this to work.  Secondly, getting the
> above to actually work seamlessly in the mud environment might be
> tricky.  Ie: while in combat, are *all* commands that you give
> orders?  If not, doesn't that mean that players will quickly figure
> out commands to hurt their opponents outside of the combat scheme?

It is this point which ghas persuaded me to almost entirely move away
from round based combat.  I refuse to place the entire game and all
players on a pacing clock (humans shall not wait for machines), but
not using a global clock while using usably long combat rounds opens
the combat system for all sorts of interesting abuse due to the
inconsistant time scales.

Opening the combat to being entirely untimed conversely allows spam
attacks and tends to guarantee that the fastest twitch will win.  Not
good.  Further, as discussed earlier, I can't distinguish between
combat and non-combat commands as even utterly innocuous commands will
be used heavily in combat ("drop mana consumers"), and very
combat-centric commands will be used peacibly (cf UggUgg's fight)..

I don't have a good design.  The best I can think of so far is:

  -- No first blows are fatal.  

  -- First blows may be nearly fatal.

  -- Second blows can be fatal, but its very very unlikely, especially
if the first blow was nearly fatal.

  -- Arrange these probabilities appropriately to force most combats
to the 15 - 20 seconds point.

  -- The game dynamically defines a "combat state" which is hidden
from the player and is used only for event process control.

  -- Combat state is initiated upon a definitely combat-oriented
command from any party (kill, fight, hit, damaging spell, etc).

  -- Combat state is declared for both target and source.

  -- Combat state's only effect is to enforce timings of actions.  It
takes XXX time to swing a sword, YYY time to cast a spell etc.

  -- Combat state is torn down when one part dies or leaves the
immediate vicinity.  (ie combat state does not apply to long distance
battles, only proximate)
I don't like it.  I really don't like it.  But its the best I've got
right now.

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...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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