[MUD-Dev] The Relationship between pkers and monster AI?

JT Herring sypes at vrgames.net
Thu Sep 9 21:53:54 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


At 05:39 PM 9/8/99 -0700, Matt Mihaly wrote:


>I am a bit perplexed by all this discussion as to why people p-kill. I'm
>also annoyed by the characterization of p-killers as immature kids, etc.
>This may be the case in games with crap systems, but imho, a proper p-kill
>system is an integral part of the game. Why focus your game on killing
>monsters? Heck, you don't need a mud to do that. You could just play Quake
>one player, or Diablo with some friends. 

>Muds, unlike the table-top games
>which erroneously are used as the model for muds, allow you to pit player
>against player, and as someone pointed out, players are and are going to
>continue to be (for a long time at least), a lot more interesting as
>opponents than monsters.

That's not necessarily true. I think in a way, play some table top games
that require something like a DM in D&D type games are actually pitting you
against a real life person.  Doesn't the DM decide how the NPC's will react
to certain stimuli?


>The fact is, the AI on muds sucks. It's horrible (Achaea included). It
>doesn't deserve to be called intelligence.

I agree completely. Basically, playing against NPC is a lot like playing
against someone that is less than bright  - we don't do because we really
want to, we do it because in some ways it's required.  Why do we have to? A
challenge? No. We play (usually) because it makes the person feel good and
in turn we feel good about ourselves. A definite means to an end.  In my
opinion fighting a mob on any current AI is not usually fun. I only do it
for one of three reasons.
	1. Materialistic
	2. Experience
	3. Required for a specific quest/goal, or to help someone in trouble,
etc..

> Player vs. player goes
>beyond the game. It's real life. It's you, a real person, vs. another real
>person. The characters are just the method for interacting. You vs. a
>monster is just a trivial game, like Space Invaders. It's the sort of game
>where you will never experience great rushes of ectasy from victory, or
>crushing despair from defeat, because you aren't provided with a reason to
>care beyond the state of your character or some other fairly meaningless
>stat. Whatever you did to get those stats (whether it be xp, equipment, or
>whatever you lose when a mob kills you) can be redone, either with the
>same character or with a new one. 

I agree here also.  Not only that, but you tend to get into a set pattern
of fighting that works.  I've noticed that people playing the game
Starcraft(I know it's not a mud, but it's the first thing that came to
mind) tend to fight the CPU entirely different than a real person.  After a
while the entire game becomes another ruitine, which in turn becomes WAY
too close the parts of REAL life that poeple try to avoid.  

>Yes, it's a loss of time and energy (and
>in a pay game, possibly money), but you talk to any pro athlete, and they
>will tell you that losing the World Cup, or the Stanley Cup, or the
>America's Cup, or the Superbowl, or whatever is a lot less, in the moment,
>about money than it is about having _lost_. You just got your ass kicked
>by other people...people who are, apparently, _better_ than you at
>something that you try hard to be good at. 

It's much harder to rationalize it to yourself that way.  If the computer
wins it's easy to say 'The computer just thinks faster than me.', or 'It's
code won't let me win. It cheated.'. 


-JT




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