[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD Design doc - Combat

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sun Jan 3 22:29:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Mon, 28 Dec 1998 02:54:46 -5 
Jon A Lambert<jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> On 17 Dec 98, Emil Eifrem wrote:
>> At 04:31 AM 12/17/98 , J C Lawrence wrote:

> I've always hated how automated combat systems continue until one
> side or the other is dead.  

I have a simpler dislike:

  I dislike the assumption that all combat is for the purpose of
killing the opponent.  

I equally dislike the simple variation which substitutes
"incapacitates" for "kill" in that sentence (ie the ones where combat
continues until the opponent is unconcious and it then requires and
explicit command to actually kill per se).

Done correctly combat can have many purposes: demonstration of skills,
education for both or either the opponent or onlookers, diversionary
or time consuming tricks, physical maneuvering of the oppoent(s) or
other objects into particular positions or states (health, damage,
possession state, etc), manipulation to be able to employ other
efforts (eg magic). etc.  

  What if I don't want to kill the guy, but I merely want to cut, and
thereby scar, his face for future identification or possibility of
confusion with a similarly scarred individual?  How about if I merely
want to maneuver him in front of the BogoMachine so that my accomplice
can use it to suck the NogoJuice out of his miniscule brainpan?  How
about using combat mastery (without injury) to demonstrate genetalie
size to onlooking fems?  Or getting him to be the one to stand on the
trap door, and thus also the one to get the brunt of the trap?

I *really* dislike generically automated combat.  There's a balance
there between control and amusement.  I'd rather not enter commands
for every beat of my character's heart.  I'd also rather not see

Where is the sweet spot?  Depends on game design and purpose, levels
of interactivity, the definition of in-game time and synchronisation,
LoD, and a raft of other bits.  I'm still not happy with any model
I've come up with.

> I've also dislike terminating combat by fleeing to another room or
> recalling to base.

Ditto.  Its a crass assumption that combat is automatic given

> Why should an automated combat system force Sir Gawain to strike a
> blow on an unarmed combatant when he desires to wait for the
> opponent to retrieve the weapon?

Good point.

Its the old battle between interactivity and "don't bother me with

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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