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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Tue Jan 5 11:49:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Koster, Raph <rkoster at origin.ea.com>
To: 'mud-dev at kanga.nu' <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Tuesday, January 05, 1999 11:24 AM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD Design doc - Combat

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: J C Lawrence [mailto:claw at kanga.nu]
>> Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 12:29 AM
>> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
>> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD Design doc - Combat
>> 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
>> enter-command-and-sit-back-until-desired-state-accomplished.

I've already mentioned my instant-combat method. Enter command, done. ;)

What I'm still primarily stuck with ATM is the problem of how to make team
cooperation desirable. Given the instant combat  method, having multiple
people enter the same combat is not really possible. Given the pure "to the
death" combat mode and the semi-permadeath structure, stacking up five
people to go in one by one is not desirable (the first guys in... die).
Clearly, there should be some other method of making the team more than the
sum of its parts.

>There's one darn good reason to have the latter--it's less vulnerable to
>latency. The more interactive, the more vulnerable the player is to loss
>of connection or packet loss or plain old lag which causes them to miss
>or mistime crucial input.

It's a difficult task, but I've been trying to strip out all the time
critical parts of the game. The only thing I can't really resolve is race
conditions between players -- if you want to dock at a port and buy
something, and someone else does too, the faster connect wins. This is
annoying, but can't really be helped. The faster typist or script-automated
ship will always beat the slower, more methodical player.

Query: Do other people see this as a similar problem in their systems, and
how do you resolve it? Is it acceptable to just note the problem and ignore
it, or should the fast-connect people be somehow penalised to level the
playing field? Should some method to reward slow connections be placed?

Thought: This idea comes from MUSH. Whenever you enter a command, you get
charged some amount of MUD-money. The person who enters more commands pays
more to enter them. If this also scales with personal power and wealth, a
command from the powermonger costs more than the same command from the
newbie. What is your general reaction to this? Is this a good idea? A bad
idea? Where are the pitfalls and problems in it?

| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/
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