[MUD-Dev] Re: Levelless MUDs

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Fri Jun 26 14:53:03 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 17 Jun 1998 11:56:02 -0500 (CDT) 
Holly Sommer<hsommer at micro.ti.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 16 Jun 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Uh, what game doesn't have a concept of advancement? 

Lotsa games.  Start with Tic-Tac-Toe, almost all card games, tennis,
cricket, etc.  A player near to winning the game is indistinguishable
from one starting the game.

> Even in a purely social talker type setting, I'd think that
> character personae enrichment and deepening is a form of
> advancement. Otherwise, if you're just there shooting the breeze,
> all you've got is a souped-up IRC (aka: underutilized MUD).

Its worth while deliniating between IC and OOC advancement.  IC
advancement is not necessary.  You can have a GoP game whose sole
advancement form is the players becoming better able to play the game
(ie OOC), as versus any change in their characters.

Shades did this in a big way once you got past the first few levels.
After that the increases in various stats and the like was really
irrelevant.  You were strong enough to do basically everything, your
spells worked often enough that their failure rate was unimportant,
and your other limits (and limit changes with advancement) had minor

What was important was how well you knew the game, how quickly you
could move about it, to what extent you could take best advantage of
it etc.  How fast were you?  Did you know *ALL* the tricks and cutesy
features?  Did you ever have to refer to a paper map or could you go
from any location to any other instantly and without thought?  Did you
know all the objects default reset positions?  Did you have a compleat
map of the east tower?  The shifting sands?  Etc.

It was these OOC characteristics that become the defining criteria,
not anything bound to the characters in play.  This is why Gniblik on
his little Sinclar Colour Spectrum with its rubber KB and flakey modem
was the most feared killer on the game, and also why he had more
wizard characters deleted than anyone else (6 that I recall).

>> The only effective solutiuon I've found to this is expensive: Set
>> up a whole bunch of nested loops, one each per factor, and permute.
>> Plot the results.  See if the results really look the way you want
>> them to.
>> Yes, you could probably do the same thing with Mathmatica or
>> similar.  It doesn't vary the basic approach, just the expression.

> *blink* Why make it THAT complex?

I wouldn't.  Mathmatica is both expensive, and a skill ste I have no
other use for.  Writing a quick set of nested loops to dump a data set
to feed into a graph plotter is however fairly trivial and obvious.

To rephrase my original point:

  Given a formulae which is dependant on many mutually inter-related
(and yet discrete) factors, it can be surprisingly difficult to craft
a structure which does not tend to an average.

> Respectfully (disagreeing with a few things), Holly

Dagnabbit.  You'll have me hobbling about with a cane and mumbling
about the good old days if you keep this up.

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...

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