[MUD-Dev] Re: darkness/visibility

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Tue Jun 23 21:45:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

[J C Lawrence:]
 >> Is there a real problem with the default situation? If the player
 >> types the command, then either the player knows the object is there,
 >> or is intending to try to find one. If there is one, and nothing
 >> prevents the action, then let it go ahead. Why get more complex,
 >> unless you really have something specific in mind to gain?
 >It actively encourages "guess the noun" games (as a variation on
 >"guess the verb".  Players are now going to be wandering about the
 >place trying out all sorts of unlikely noun/verb combinations just in
 >case they find something.

I don't see that it has to. Sure, the player can type 'flip switch'
after walking into any dark room, but I don't see that as being all
that different from RL groping around on the wall looking for one.
You could even have a fake switch in some generic room, and then
respond: You grope around for a switch, but can't find one.

 >To steal from history, Shades had (still does) two bombs.  Both bombs
 >were called "bomb", had indentical descriptions, and were worth points
 >(XP) and could thus be picked up with the ubiquitous "get t" (get
 >treasure) command.  However one bomb would explode when you dropped
 >it, killing you instantly, and the other would do nothing.

I would class 'get t' as a misfeature. The player is asking the system
to do the search and classification for them. Sure, that's convenient
for the player, but I'd say it could be the root of a lot of problems
and abuses.

 >The bombs posed a significant and difficult puzzle for players.  One
 >of them was almost always situated on the main path into the game, and
 >the non-explosive one was worth many points. The problem was to avoid
 >getting killed.  Players used to go thru all sorts of contortions with
 >the bombs in order to protect themselves in case they picked up the
 >wrong one, stashing their EQ in a safe place, hand-offs thru a mule
 >character etc.  Few ever noticed that the unexploded bomb could also
 >be manipulated with the name, "UXB" (and yes, the other bomb responded
 >to "XB).

OK, that's bad design of the scenario (or just a silly gimmick). If there
are two bombs, then either they are indistinguishable or they aren't.
The existence of the separate nouns on otherwise identical appearing
bombs is, in my opinion, another misfeature. The world should be
consistent - if the player is not meant to be able to tell them apart,
then the player should not be able to tell them apart. As a gimmick,
its cheap, but then we have no right to complain about its effects.

Personally, I've never encountered a situation of "guess the noun". I
would hope that the nouns and adjectives, along with obvious synonyms
for all of them, plus any needed disambiguating ordinal, would be the
only way to identify objects. Trick nicknames are OK so long as they
don't affect what can be done, which makes the special bomb names not OK.

 >Guess the noun games were popular on Shades.

Too bad. The descriptions here made it sound like a well done game.

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list