[MUD-Dev] The Best Guy on the Mud Thing

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Thu Sep 16 10:30:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Wed, 15 Sep 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:
> I play for a week or so and get to the point that I know that
> roughly one fifth of my fireball spells will succeed.  On that basis 
> I also know that I can go whup GooGoo without too much bother.  
> 
> A few days later others have been beating up on their Fireball
> skill, unbeknownst to me, and the ratios, and my position within the 
> ratios, have changed.  Now my fireball spell succeeds one tenth of
> the time.  GooGoo eats my arse.
> 
> Predictability dies.

This reminded me of something else similar but not really related:

Most MUDs have all the magic users running around casting the same
spell, for the simple reason that there is one 'best' spell, and you
get it at level X.

Arctic is a lot more interesting because once you get past the early,
basic spells, you have to get them all from spellbooks, which are aquired
from treasure chests and NPCs.  The very best spells are practically
impossible to get, which means that few mages actually have them.

I was working on a system a while back where mages would have to tote
around spellbooks filled with their favorite spells.  You could 'study'
a given spell for a while, rapidly pushing its skill level up very high
(perhaps maximum, guarenteeing no failure when casting).  Once you
were doing anything *but* studying, however, the skill level of the spell
started to drop.  Thus, mages needed to haul around spellbooks in order
to keep themselves in tip-top shape.  It also meant that they must jealously
guard their books; another mage could steal it, and potentially learn all
the spells in there, basically for free.

Now, this raises the question - why would Bubba the mage, being the nice
kinda guy he is, not want to loan his spellbook to Boffo the mage, so that
they could both have all the spells at their disposal?  This led me
to the idea that JC's scenario reminded me of: making the spell's power
be relative to the number of times it has been cast recently.  In addition,
spellbooks (or rather, scrolls) with new spells would not "pop" staticly
on mobiles: as an admin, I would place a scroll into the game world ONCE.
The first person to find this scroll would be the ONLY one to ever have
it, unless he gave copies to his friends.  (You could 'scribe' copies of
spells if you knew the skill, and you could even translate it into
different languages to try and throw off potential spell-thieves.)

At this point it would be in his or her best interest to keep the spell
entirely to themselves, in order that it might retain its maximum amount of
power.  As soon as he or she shares it, the power of the spell quickly
becomes 'diluted' - perhaps to the point that the spell becomes completely
worthless and everyone discards it, until a while later when it has
'recharged' and the whole process starts all over again...

Adam





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