[MUD-Dev] (fwd) "Smart" monsters

Nathan Fenenga Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Mon Aug 3 13:03:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

This has gathered absolutely no responses from rgma... I found it quite an
interesting post, though I have no time to reply in depth myself... Shame
to let it sit.


Newsgroups: rec.games.mud.admin
Subject: "Smart" monsters
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 19:17:09 GMT

  We've been giving a lot of thought and discussion to so-called 'smart
monsters' lately, and I've noticed that people tend to lump things in there
that don't really connect.  I'd seperate the behaviors we're talking about
into three categories:

 1. Realistic World:

  In here I'd include proposals for monster breeding and effects of aging.
Eating and drinking should probably fit here, as well.	These behaviors
increase the detail of simulation in the *world*, but don't make the monsters
any more challenging or more convincing as *characters*.

 2. In-Character Behavior

  These are behaviors like remembering people who attack or mistreat them,
allying only with members of the same race or nationality, or just displaying
more behaviors appropriate to the character: wolves gather in packs and
challenge intruders, shopkeepers offer you deals, and guards take you to
jail. The characters act more believably when not in combat, but probably do
more harm than good to the monsters in combat.

 3. Challenging Opponents

  These are the behaviors that make monsters tougher to fight - they call for
help, run away when wounded, use the best weapons/armors they can find, and
track down those who flee from battle.  These monsters are tough to kill, and
more challenging than just adding mega-health and mega-damage.

  If we're going to talk about making monsters "smarter", we should be clear
about what our focus is.  Borrowing some terminology from rec.games.frp for a
moment, the three goals could be best described as "simulationist",
"dramatist", and "gamist".

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Nathan F. Yospe - Aimed High, Crashed Hard, In the Hanger, Back Flying Soon
Jr Software Engineer, Textron Systems Division (On loan to Rocketdyne Tech)
(Temporarily on Hold) Student, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Physics Dept.
yospe#hawaii.edu nyospe#premier.mhpcc.af.mil http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe/

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