[MUD-Dev] Re: PvP and mob capacities (was "List Peerage")

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Mon Jan 25 13:32:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Cink <ranthor at earthlink.net>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 12:53 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: META: list "peerage"

>At 02:25 AM 1/25/99 -0800, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
>>Having been deeply involved in Telmaron, the first reasonably successful
>>commercial MUD provider, I take that a little personally. ;)
>I have to state that I was referring specifically to mudservices,
>and the mudservices clones that have been popping up like weeds in
>the last year or two. I meant no offense to your specific provider :)
>(Or to anyone's, honestly)

I know you didn't, but I still had to stand up and go HEY! ;)

>The goal of mudservices appears to get more new people into the market.

I think we've had several long and heated threads about whether this is a
good thing or not. ;)

>Somebody must know something tho, there's quite a bit of
>mud hosting available for purchase nowadays.

I think a large amount of the "profit" realised by a MUD provider is having
that T1 in the basement. ;)

>>Or, conversely, that if this is what PvP combat boils down to, something
>>seriously wrong with it.
>Actually, I think the problem is a lack of balance in the game systems.
>seen a lot of muds where the players are fairly well balanced against the
>mobs, but to make the players strong enough to kill the mobs, the players
>wind up being so strong they kill each other way too fast.

How I've dealt with this: a player is ALWAYS harder to kill than a mob. Mobs
just sit there and need to be smacked. Players can set decoys, lay traps,
and conceal their capabilities. I like to make the game something which can
be played deceptively. Look, there's a guy with only 200 fighters, and we
have 40,000! Let's kill him! Oops... he REALLY had 98,000 fighters... I
*hate* camouflage... I think I'll go back to whacking enemy fighters, at
least you know what you're getting into there.

>Maybe the problem isn't balanced PvP, but just general imbalance in the
>mud? My oldest and biggest mud pet peeve is that mobs can often do things
>that a player cannot do.

My system gives a LOT more capability to the player than to the mobs. Mobs
are pretty basic; they only really know "us" and "not-us", and their
standard mobprog equivalent would be "if not-us then
whack-repeatedly-with-big-stick". Not very sophisticated, I know, although
there are some mitigating factors like the "hit list": the enemy does
coordinate on a strategic level, but it's really sort of like overwhelming
the player with lots of angry hornets. All they know is that someone threw a
rock at the nest, and all they can do about it is swarm and sting. But that
doesn't make them any less distasteful to be around. ;)

>Every time a new mud starts
>up, it spreads the supply of people willing to work on a mud that
>much thinner. Every other mud has that much more difficulty finding
>builders and coders.

I would strike toward the root of this problem by examining the idea that
playing a combat MUD bears little or no resemblance to running one, which is
in stark contrast to MUSH and those other servers which provide a restricted
but reasonably equivalent coding/building interface to the playerbase at

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