[MUD-Dev] Re: DIS: Client-Server vs Peer-to-Peer

Niklas Elmqvist d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se
Thu Dec 3 10:06:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Ling wrote:
> On Mon, 30 Nov 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> > On Sat, 28 Nov 1998 12:02:00 +0100 (MET) 
> > Niklas Elmqvist<d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se> wrote:
> > > On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
> > 
> > > More hype: The idea is to allow for a lot of different types of
> > > simulations cooperating on the same battlefield. It all boils down
> > > to human players generally not wanting to play cannon-fodder roles
> > > such as infantry charging against a machine-gun nest (though I
> > > expect some players would like to sit behind that machine-gun
> > > instead), so the AI is there to take care of that. In addition,
> > > the AI will make it possible to run large-scale scenarios where
> > > only a small fraction of the individual units are controlled by
> > > human players. 
> > 
> > This sounds a whole lot like a number of ideas that Ling has been
> > talking about for a while now...
> 
> Oh, is this a prompt for ME! :)  How timely!  I've just been doing some
> thinking along those lines.

I did not realize that you had some similar idea brewing -- please tell us
more about it. 

> Firstly, there was an earlier mention about cyborgs and their rather
> horrid affect on gameplay for players that are not assisted by chrome. 
> I think the game design should account for it as it is inevitable.  How? 
> I have no idea at present, will get back if I ever.  A gentleman's
> agreement obviously won't work for being a) sexist and b) trust based. 

I am prepared to accept cyborgs as inevitable as well -- players will get
pissed off, but good server admins will be able to boot them. Also, I
think it might be useful to build in some sanity checks in the game at
server-level such as not allowing the player to fire in a direction he is
not facing (Quake has/had a problem with this, I seem to recall), and
limiting the turn speed and so on to prevent bots from zipping around on a
dime and nail another player half a mile away (this would have to be done
anyway to deal with hacked clients). Not sending the player information
about foreign objects he cannot see from his current viewpoint might also
be important. 

[snip Urban Assault example]

> The last one prolly wouldn't a problem in a real MMPOG (horrid acronym)
> but the need for orientation will be there and something like a cyborg
> to give the player a chance wouldn't go amiss.  It'd be better than
> having players 'flash' invulnerability for a few seconds (which defeats
> the point of not knowing that you're fighting against AI).

Not sure what you're getting at with "orientation" here, but I tend to
agree on the cyborg bit (if I understand you correctly). Dying as a GI in
an Omaha beach scenario would probably transfer your control to another
soldier in the same unit (or at least someone of the same rank and class) 
-- if the cyborg did not take care of diving into cover automatically, the
player might find himself walking through a line of characters in a few
seconds' time if that MG-42 opens up at an unfortunate time. 

> I also have to note the implications real time joining, can you imagine
> the havoc (and fun!) that'll be caused if there was a mass defection!  

Indeed!

> Or what if the person next to me joined the game on the opposing side to
> act as a spy for me?  

Well, this is a potential problem in almost any multiplayer game, but in
practice, it doesn't seem to be much of one. I have never noticed anything
special, at least.

> Personally, I love the idea.  I don't mind being given orders to run
> around and do things, so long as the orders are broad bounding, like go
> capture something, we don't care. 

Right. I think many gamers really would like to take part in a large
organization and work for a common cause -- just witness the popularity of
team mods such as CTF and Team Fortress for Quake and other first-person
shooters. Players don't have to save the world on their own all the time
-- it is equally rewarding to save the world TOGETHER with lots of other
people. This feeling of shared purpose is desirable and rather hard to
come by on the internet, at least currently. I, for one, would absolutely
*love* to participate in a massive undertaking such as D-Day, knowing that
hundreds if not thousands of my fellow players are all striving towards
this end. Introducing a higher-level command mechanism such as ranking
officers (you could rise in ranks as you play, thus gaining command of
platoons, companies, etc) and real-time strategy interfaces (such as those
of StarCraft and Command & Conquer) would help to strengthen the
cooperative experience even further (all orders would be more like advice
when it concerns players, of course -- we could not force them to do
things). 

>   |    Ling Lo (aka Hyperactive Lad, for today)
> _O_O_  kllo at iee.org

-- Niklas Elmqvist (d97elm at dtek.chalmers.se) ----------------------
  "The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to 
   pray to."
		-- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods





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