[MUD-Dev] Re: skill system

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue Jun 30 18:17:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 24 Jun 1998 00:15:00 -0400 (EDT) 
s001gmu <s001gmu at nova.wright.edu> wrote:

> On Fri, 19 Jun 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:

>> On Wed, 10 Jun 1998 10:25:53 -0400 (EDT) s001gmu
>> <s001gmu at nova.wright.edu> wrote:

>> > On Tue, 9 Jun 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:

>>> I'm not sure I really like the idea behind this system.  IMO, the
>>> strength stat should be there to help you answer questions like
>>> 'Am I able to lift this rock?'  I don't see how watching boffo
>>> lift it (or not lift it) would affect my perception of MY
>>> strength.  It might alter my perception of the weight of the
>>> rock, but not my strength.
>> The idea is that both observation of others and observation of self
>> will affect the internal stat weight.  Eventually you'll get an
>> average which won't vary much until you meet real extremes.

> The problem I have with the system is that all of this should have
> happened as the character was growing up.  Unless you plan to start
> the person at age 0, the 'average' should be firmly in place.  

True (tho I do start characters at age zero).  

> It's a keen system for modeling growth of perception, but I should
> think that most people's perception would be well formed by the time
> they are of adventuring age.  

This depends on your world model.  If mine the body is born the day
the character takes possession, and the character itself is brand new
the instant the himan player creates it.  There is no implicit history.

> If you start characters with their average already in place, and add
> this system on top of that, that might be keen.  Starting from
> scratch just seems silly.

"Nekkid and screaming they enter the world, knowing nothing, believing

In the early days of character creation I presume that the human is
utterly ignorant about the game world (fairly safe for me) and thus
has no external referrents to judge his perceptics against.  Then,
given the wide variation in body types in the game world plus the
interpretation the current host body gives to inbound perceptics that
are passed on to the human player, the wild vagaries in perception
are, urm, more reasonable.

>> An ecology of stat awareness.

> Another ecology, eh?

Doggone, the damned things are springing up like fleas off a hot dog.
>>> All I see this system doing is hiding important information... I
>>> would argue this most certainly crosses the line mentioned above.
>>> How can I predict if 'lift rock' will work?

>> Bubba looks very strong, stronger than you (you have seen him do
>> things requiring great strength) and fails to lift the or a similar
>> rock.  It seems unlikely you'll be able to.  Boffo has demonstrated
>> himself weaker than you historically, yet lifts the rock or a
>> similar rock...

> How does the above example answer my question?

Its all comparisons.  Bubba is stronger than you and fail to lift the
rock.  Ergo you are unlikely to be able to lift the rock.  Boffo is
weaker than you an lifts the rock with ease.  Ergo you will be able to 
lift the rock with greater ease.  

Its no absolute prediction.  Its a perceived prediction.  You don't
know whether you can lift the rock under any circumstances until you
try.  What you can do is analyse the data you have on the rock and
those who have attempted it to hazard a guess.

Magic of course changes all the rules.

That said I don't support querying the server of the form, "Can I
likely do XXX?"  This is because I expect that sort of knowledge to be
retained and used by the human player (who is the one actually playing
the game after all), gained by the player through empirical
experimentation, and not tracked or bandied about by the server or

Partially this comes down to (largely) not separating IC and OOC data.
>> The neat bits which I don't address at all come when Bubba fails to
>> lift the rock and Boffo does lift it, or Bubba lifts the rock,
>> Boffo fails, Bubba gets flattened by the leaf and Boffo brushes it
>> off.

> Since extreem realism seems to be the point of the whole system...

No, deception thru subjective reality is the goal, not realism.  The
whole idea of this stat system is to remove absolute judgment from the 
server or its pronounced statistics and instead make it entirely
subjective for the human player (ie these are stats I keep on the
player object, not the character or body).

> I'd think any sane person (or at least a person wishing to remane
> sane) would brush the rock and leaf off as 'one of them wierd
> things', bearing further investigation.  

Quite.  "Its magic!"  Will likely be the common cry.

> It'd take a lot to convince me that a leaf is capable of dropping
> Hulk Hogan, but if I saw it, I'd immediately suspect it, and want to
> investigate further before asigning any divine properties to the
> leaf.  Again, however, it is the leaf that I would assign them to.
> I do not think it would alter my perception of my strength one whit,
> unless I suddenly saw hundreds of ppl getting clobbered by leaves,
> and I manage to remain as affected by them as by a normal barrage of
> leaves.

Quite.  This is why the choice of an averaging function that is little
weighted by extremes is important.

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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