[MUD-Dev] Re: mobile movement (the fault of tracking)

quzah quzah
Wed Jan 13 19:34:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com>
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 1999 12:33 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: mobile movement 

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Holly Sommer <hsommer at micro.ti.com>
>Date: Wednesday, January 13, 1999 9:53 AM
>Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: mobile movement 
>>Different terrains would display varying degrees of resistence to 
>>"trampling" -- that is, the more frequently any thing moves over them, 
>>the quicker a "path" is formed. 
>Useful also for *very* detailed tracking and hunting skills.

Which quickly brings me to a problem I have with "tracking". How is it
you can "track" me if I have never been in your location to leave tracks?
I hate this. You should not be able to track anyone that has not left the
tracks in the first place. The skill should be called "psychic-seek" or
something equally stupid. I was once on a mud that left blood trails in
rooms if you were wounded and running about. Seemingly it would be a
simple task to have "tracking" work the same way.

Take into account the terrain type of the current location. Depending
on ground cover and terrain type, more tracks can be left in the room
without omitting the old ones. Some places would leave no tracks at all.
This makes the "tracking" skill now be "read tracks" as it should be.
"Read tracks" would allow you to look at the tracks in the room and
check and see if you recognize them - or the type of creature they are

Example: Boffo runs through the room. Biff knows Boffo, and has seen
the style of tracks that Boffo leaves. Buffy wears the same style of
boots as Boffo, and has also ran through the room recently. Now then,
Boffo is an ok tracker, so he gets something like this:

   There are two very similar boot tracks in the mud. They both
   arrive from the east, but the first set fork off to the south,
   while the second pair continue straight through to the west.
   In addition, you see some tracks which look to be deer tracks.
   They run in a north to south direction.

Were Boffo a great tracker, he may see something like:

   Two pair of tracks, made by the same type and size of boot,
   enter from the east. However, you notice that the first set of
   boot tracks belong to Boffo, due to his heavy step, and slight
   inturned left foot. These tracks take a turn southward. The
   second set of boot tracks are not as deep, indicating a lighter
   person. They have a bit more spring in their step. These tracks
   continue off in a westward direction. [more about deer...]

This is much more desireable for me, as it gives the skill some
real meaning. It's failure is a misinterpretation on the character's
part, rather than a "The tracks lead north." screw up error message
that typical track code has.

This is the type of tracking code I hope to implement. It needs no
path finding algorithm, as it is not a "psychic-seek", rather it
will be an actual tracking/read tracks skill. This lends itself in
a nice way to its counterpart, "cover tracks", which explains itself.

As for the terrain issue, I to have though of this, and still like
the idea. Though I have not given actual implementation much deep


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