[MUD-Dev] Re: combat

Trillion trillion at mudhole.spodnet.uk.com
Tue Feb 2 11:40:52 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

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

> Usually becasue actually killing another player's character is either
> difficult or involves repurcussions to your character that are
> unwelcome.  Quite a bit of fun can be had on the repurcussion side:
>   -- make the character increasiningly unlucky or difficult to
> advance/play.

Unlucky a la adom could be interesting.  Of course if Gods are involved,
then all manners of curses could appear as an interesting side-effect of
killing a God's favoured disciple.  Such as a curse that causes items of
certain types to crumble when touched - apply this to gold and watch a
player's supply of golden coins diminish.  Or some curse that causes the
player to involuntarily shout things at random times - really annoying to
the assassin that's trying to sneakily kill someone.  I'm sure there are
many, many curses that could be applied.

>   -- make the character increasingly unable to defend against attacks
> from characters played by that player in the future.

>From a roleplaying consistency point of view this isn't too hot.  Why
should another character played by one person gain from something another
of their characters did.  I like to see all characters that one person
plays be played as separate characters, not as extensions of the owner.

I'm not even sure why it should really apply in a non-roleplaying
environment.  But that's just me. ;-)

>   -- increment some sort of "sin" value which (dependent on threshhold
> value typically) raises some sort of feared threat (eg Island's court
> system).  

An as ex-player of Island (albeit as a second mud) I didn't find the court
something to fear.  It wasn't much of a deterrant against committing
'sin'.  Rather than prevent a person from doing something it generally
seemed to annoy other players who were hauled to the court to vote.  Any
pressure from that really came from the peer pressure of other players
getting fed up of going to court and TELLING you that they were fed up
with it.

I don't know if a modified system would work.  Sin would need to be gained
for only the more serious of things (I.E. more serious than mispelling
'weird') and punishments given out by the court would need to be
meaningful to the extent the seasoned player doesn't say, "Oh, I just lost
some money, wow."

>   -- In M59 style, launch revenants against the killer.
>   -- Make the character more likely to be attacked or attractive to
> certain forms of NPC's.

Do you mean things like city guards, etc, who may well have heard about
the person murdering someone?

Reputations could be interesting.  A player gains a reputation (either
good or bad) and various NPCs behave in certain ways towards them based on
the reputation, and how much of that reputation is known in that area.  If
a person commits murder 5,000 miles away on a world with next to no real
communication between far off places, then the guards there aren't likely
to know about.  Whereas if that person committed murder in the city where
the guards are, they are very likely to know about it, and to some extent
citizens may know about it if there are 'wanted' posters up, etc.

Of course, the severity of the repercusion probably really depends on how
much you want player killing to feature in your game.  On Abandoned
Reality we require a roleplaying note for every attempted player kill in
an effort to reduce the number of non-roleplayed killings that happen.
We're pretty strict about the quality of these notes, and to some extent
they do appear to stop players going on totally mad rampaging killing
sprees.  Those who do roleplay usually have no problem fulfilling the
requirements of the PK note given that they just describe the events as
they were roleplayed in the note.  

Also, those who do a lot of player killing will find their corpses rotting
rather more quickly, until they get just fifteen minutes to retrieve it. 
(Player corpses are saved for a maximum of four online hours, dependant on
number of completed PKs.) 

Other possibilities include:

  * Put a bounty on the player's head.  Allow player and NPC bounty
    hunters to hunt them down, chop off their head and collect the bounty.

  * If the game supports binding and gagging players once subdued, a city
    can offer a reward if the person is brought to the justice system, at
    which point they can be put in prison for a period, or have limbs cut
    off, or all manner of things. :)

Basically, I'd like to see the repercusions get stronger and stronger the
more kills a person does, with some way to reverse the effect (but
probably difficult and involved).  I'd also personally like to see the
differentiation between players and NPCs reduced as much as possible.  It
makes no sense to me that a player can go and kill an NPC without anything
happening to them, yet if they go and attack a player they can be struck
down by x, y, z, or even just get a killer flag in some games.  I accept
that for games where PK is supposed to be an option (rather than a
mandatory thing to cope with) then players expect some sort of protection
and this is maybe what killer flags are supposed to do, but I find it hard
to believe that it's possible to effectively have PK and NPK people play
the same game without the fun being ruined for *someone*.


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