[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Mon Jan 18 16:33:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Fri, 15 Jan 1999 22:03:12 -0800 
quzah <quzah> wrote:

> From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com> 

>> I suspect that the main problem with the combat model of most
>> MUDs is that it is survivable.  What seems the real solution:
>> Make combat deadly and make combatants very short lived.  Yup,
>> there are people who try and live/play by killing things.  They
>> don't live long (say a few days RL time), but they make a lot of
>> noise.  There are also more moderate players, active in a wide
>> range of areas -- they tend to live far longer due to the lower
>> risk levels.

...description deletia...

> Anyway, combat was very leathal, very final, damn fast, and loads
> of fun. I hope to bring this aspect to MERC, because combat takes
> far too long. There is no way I should be hacking some one with a
> sword for 50 hits. One good hit is all it takes.

I've been aiming at something not very far from this, but with the
following modifiers:

  1) Minimum combat length is two blows IF the attacker is intending
to kill (as versus any other goal), the victim is moderately
healthy, and all damage is done by overtly combat related commands.

  2) On variously rare occassion, non-combat related commands can
kill in a "blow".  (eg magical nuclear weapons are unsubtle that

  3) I attempt to always warn the attacked that they are (about to
be) under attack.  This leading window is not necessarily large (can
be less than a second), but is (almost always) present.  The reason
for the lack of a flat guarantee is that I can't guarantee logical
correctness for this.

  4) All physical combats (ie bodily attacks) intelded to kill the
opponent are expected to take less than 10 blows and to average 4 to
5 blows (notice that a weak attacker, intending to kill a strong
defendent who is merely defending and thus not attacking back can
last significantly longer).

My expectations:

  -- Only novices will bother with overt physical attacks as their
primary combat mode,

  -- Experienced player combats will never last more than 3 blows
due to the facts that magic is too powerful, too configurable, and
the world too amenable to manipulation to hidden ends.  The real
combats will involve careful scene setting, traps, and the very
brief and trigger-based release of massive force.  It is the up to
the automated defenses of the target to save him.  I'd guess that
few combats at this rank would be fatal.

  -- Very experienced player combats will be single blow
insta-kills.  A significant majority of these combats will kill both
parties (or least the attacked plus s stooge purported to be the
source of the attack).  This will be the same careful arrangments as
above, except that conclusion will be a battle between the scene
setting on the one hand, and the automatic defences on the other.

I don't want combat to play a large part in the game.  I do want it
to be valuable.

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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