[MUD-Dev] Re: combat

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Sat Jan 30 18:29:20 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Sat, 30 Jan 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Jan 1999 14:50:32 -0800 (PST) 
> diablo <diablo at best.com> wrote:
> > In fact, no. The difference is that what you are trying to do in
> > combat on a mud (at least what I was always trying to do) when
> > killing someone was break their spirit. 
> And one wonders why I like permadeath systems...

We'll agree to disagree here. 

> > Death in a mud (at least in the ones I'm interested in) is not
> > permanent like real life. Killing someone repeatedly is analogous to
> > 'breaking' a wild horse. You heap death upon death on someone,
> > repeatedly strip them of everything they own, and never let them
> > walk the land without constant fear of You. 
> In a permadeath game this is equivalent to repeatedly attacking them
> and either bringing them close to death, or making your threat of
> death very real.  The mechanics are the same, its just that death is
> no longer a waystation or counting statistic along the process.
> Instead the metric is, "How often did he get me in a position where I
> was at direct risk of dieing?"

Assuming I'm playing a sadistic player, why would I not just kill the
person? I don't know how your method of combat works of course, and I
believe I recall you mentioning that you don't want combat to be a huge
part of your game, but I am a large fan of player vs. player combat for
the simple reason that it allows for adrenaline rushes in a text game and
for real person to person conflicts. It is like the rush of competing and
winning or the rush of competing followd by the depression of losing in an
athletic event. There is a real sense of being bested or besting another.

I guess I don't see counting up how many times I was at direct risk of
dying as arousing particularly strong emotions which, to me, is one of the
major points of player vs. player combat in a mud.

> > Eventually, if they do not quit the game (acceptable losses), you
> > can show them a little bit of kindness (give the horse a sugar cube)
> > and then their soul is yours.  
> I have yet to see this work.  More typically I see, "See how cool I
> am, I can really kick your arse!"  Followed by, "I helped you a whole
> bunch, so I'm not really a Bad Guy!"  There's a fair frequency of the
> initial victim then returning the favour by using the skills learned
> (often from his initial attacker) to drive his initial attacker from
> the game (revenge).

Sounds like your average 15 year old's mentality. It only works on someone
who is so addicted that he or she can't quit the game, and when you are
good enough or your opponent incompetent enough that there is no real
chance of him or her ever besting you. If they have that hope, then it
won't work, as they'll sit there endlessly plotting against you. They also
can't think that you h ave some sort of in-game advantage that they cannot
gain, as then they'll just write off the defeats. The idea is that they
have to feel that you are not only a superior character but a superior
person, at least in every way that counts in the game.

> Revenge relationships tend to be much more tenuous and vastly more
> indirect in permadeath games.

I'd imagine so, though I have not ever played one. I can certainly see the
value, especially as far as the quality of roleplaying goes, in a
permadeath game (at least if it isn't easy to kill someone permanently).
It's a different sort of experience than what I aim for in my game though,
and I don't think the two are reconciliable differences. I find both
attractive, but as someone who runs a game where players sometimes invest
thousands in their characters, I don't have the option of killing off


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