[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

Koster Koster
Mon May 18 15:54:07 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Monday, May 18, 1998 5:24 PM Adam Wiggins [SMTP:adam at angel.com] said:
> I must say I was somewhat underwhelmed by UO's skill advacement.  You
> seemed to manage to avoid using standard devices to limit macroing
which I
> thought were cannon by now.  (Was this done on purpose, or just due to
> time constraints?)

It was not done on purpose, nor because of time. The basics of the skill
system as it exists right now is largely the result of
design-by-committee between the original lead designer who was purely a
standalone rpg designer, and those of us who were from a mud background.
The impetus for the usage-based system came from the mudders, but the
lack of things like barrier-of-entry mechanisms, trees, and so on came
from him.

> I've heard some highly amusing stories about the effects of your skill
> system.  My favorite was probably the "lute of death": since someone
> a skill near you gave a small chance to learn, a few strums of a lute
> a skill-maxed mage could increase his musicianship a few points, thus
> sending his hard-earned thaumaturgy skills spiraling downwards...

Yep. :P What I WANTED to do was make it so you had to spend a "point" of
some sort getting training in a skill, and thereafter you could learn by
doing, or learn some by watching someone--preferably by INVOKING
watching someone.

The parts that stayed: you learn by doing, and you learn by watching.
The controls on it are missing.

> Skill based systems are very cool and as a player I much prefer them,
> they are quite difficult to balance.  IMO Legend did a very good job,
> it had the advantage of simplicity and the fact that it was under less
> "stress" due to a much smaller playerbase.

Legend also has never STOPPED tweaking it, to this day, and adding one
skill, particularly in combat, will put combat out of balance for weeks.

What we are likely to do with UO:

1) Limit advancement by time
2) Create an "opposition" table by grouping skills together more,
hurting or enhancing learning rates depending on whether or not you are
learning many disparate things or a few closely related things
3) "tree" and "web" it more by adding skills or special capabilities
WITHIN skills that require other skills or certain levels of ability in
the skill.


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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