[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills, who uses them and when.

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue Jan 12 19:14:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Fri, 08 Jan 1999 16:40:00 +0000 
Mik Clarke<mikclrk at ibm.net> wrote:

> You might want to consider using total skill points for the
> overall eval and maybe figuring combat ratings based upon attack
> and defensive skills. I currently have a compare command that
> computes an attack rating (level + attack skill with current
> weapon), a defensive rating (level + highest defensive skill + 1/3
> of other defensive skills), effective hit points (hits scaled by
> armor) and effective level (level adjusted for special abilities -
> much like the AD&D xp calculations).  This gives the character
> some idea of whether or not they want to take the other one
> on. Once I've worked out how to make predictions from it, most of
> the information will vanish.

At one point I spent a lot of time trying to get a decent CONSIDER
equivalent working.  In the end I abandoned the effort and removed
all traces of it for the simple reason that I make it far too easy
for a character to hide or over-state his apparent capabilities.
Further, in the line of defensive capability, magical triggers (cf
Mage2Mage's conditional system) render the whole point moot:

  > ...set up magical trigger to fireball any person wearing a red cloak...
  > attach fireball_demon to bubba
  > l
  Boffo is here.
  > l at boffo
  He is wearing a red cloak.
  Boffo walks towards Bubba.
  *WHAM*!  A fireball leaves a small greasy smear were Boffo was

It is my fond hope that such shenannigans and worse, as well as more
simple watchdogs for characters will be common.  I've failed to
arrive at a combat system that is sufficiently dangerous and
unpredictable because of its native mechanics.  So, I've changed the
target.  Instead I'm making combat dangerous and unpredictable by
rendering prediction impossible, even if the target is freshly
created with cakes of soap behind his ears, and dangerous by
allowing raw characters to mess with forces capable of rendering
most things into atmomic mist.

Combat is gonna be cangerous damnit, damngerous, unpredictable, and
_extremely_ rewarding.  Players who specialise in combat are going
to live very short and rarely glorious lives.

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

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