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

Dundee SkeptAck at antisocial.com
Thu Sep 16 14:15:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Wed, 15 Sep 1999 23:10:23 -0700 Thu, 16 Sep 1999 01:12:37 CST, J C
Lawrence <claw at varesearch.com> wrote:

>   Players expect, even demand, that the game will always reward them
> for their time investments, and doesn't remove those awards once
> gained.

Aside relative to the powergamer vs. non-powergamer thread:  Using a =
of this-skill-checked/all-skills-checked would mean if you didn't use any
skills at all, then your ratio would never increase or decrease - the
powergamers using 80 skills per minutes wouldn't get any more or less an
advantage than the quadriplegic who types with his tongue.

But then, this isn't really a "build your character" kind of system.
Essentially everyone stays the same from day one, just moving points =
if they start using different skills.

> This is directly parallel to UOL's fishermen who where incensed when=20
> they found out that they could fish all day and not be able to sell
> their caught fish for much more than peanuts.  (Raph, don't you have=20
> a law here?)

I think the beggars complaining about their poverty were even more =
I mean... they're *beggars*.

> A few days later others have been beating up on their Fireball
> skill, unbeknownst to me, and the ratios, and my position within the=20
> ratios, have changed.  Now my fireball spell succeeds one tenth of
> the time.  GooGoo eats my arse.
> Predictability dies.

Sounds like you want to see GooGoo's stats.

The mobs would have ratios, too (essentially, the mobs get the average
ratio plus or minus some "weak mob" or "tough mob" modifier), and those
would change - at least relative to any given player - just as your own
ratios change.

If your ratio drops relative to the average, then essentially that means
GooGoo's been practicing more than you have (based on the mud average as =
is).  He's gotten better, and you haven't.  Same thing happened you vs. =
of those other players:  Not just (or even at all) because you've gotten
worse, but because they've gotten better.

So it's not *just* that your skills decayed (unbeknownst to you), because
in fact they didn't decay, but the mobs' skills can also change, from =
to time.  Hopefully nothing too drastic.

> Supporting predictability, in general, especially if it is player
> extrapolation of observed phenomena is a Good Thing as it directly
> leads to logical consistency (it does it here, it does it there,
> therefor it does it everywhere) and a sense of location and world.

Doesn't the model of static mobs and dynamic PCs sort of run contrary to
that idea though?  I mean, the player get better or worse at skills, but
the mobs are always the same.... when they are really all supposed to be
creatures of the world, after all.

Apart from "bunnies will always be much weaker than the average player" =
"dragons will always be much stronger than the average player", =
else is a factor of not only you abilities, but also of the abilities =
the thing you are fighting has... PC or mob.  There is a certain degree =
randomness there - in that you can't see the other fellow's stats, and =
like your own stats, they could change over time.

I guess it might just be a degree of how drastically the average stats
might change in a given period of time?

> Losing that predictability is actually a betrayal, by the game
> designer, of the player, his observations and understanding of the
> game world.  This is not necessarily a Bad Thing, but it is not a
> thing to do gratuitously and with great selection.

Yah... but as I said, hopefully there wouldn't be any drastic over-night

Still thinking about the issues raised in the email last night.  I think
maybe not figuring newbies' ratios into the mud-average would address =
of them - one shot characters, sudden influx of newbies, even muling =
isn't much concern on this particular mud)... that sort of thing. =20

But those were all raising the same concern I think:  How to keep the
mud-average from changing drastically and suddenly so that players would =
able to reasonably predict how skilled they really were.  GooGoo could
gradually get more or less powerful, but no fair if you can whip him one
day and he hands you your head the next.


MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list