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

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Mon Sep 20 12:52:18 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On 09:18 AM 9/20/1999 -0500, I personally witnessed Travis S. Casey jumping
up to say:
>
>To me, saying that he's "rich" means that
>he'll be able to automatically make a great deal of money off of it -- I
>don't consider "having something highly valuable" to be the same thing as
>"being rich."

I have to agree. I have two partners with whom I've planned no less than
three reasonably surefire businesses. If we had a quarter of a million
dollars to finance one of them, they might be more than just ideas. Two of
them are very similar to concepts currently being pursued by other
companies with (respectively) eighty million and a hundred and sixty
million dollars in backing. They're doing it wrong. We know what they're
doing wrong, why it's wrong, and how to fix it. Unfortunately, without a
large backing fund, we can't prove it. All we can do is point at them and
say "I told you so" when they fail. 

This is about the same position the warrior is in; while he HAS a
tremendously powerful spell, all he knows is that he MIGHT have a
tremendously powerful spell -- he *could* be wrong. Compare potential and
actual energy. While a heavy object held at a great height has enormous
POTENTIAL energy, it's not generating any right now. 

>IMHO, the problem with "word-combination" spell systems is that finding
>spells is being made a player-level puzzle, rather than something that's
>done on the character-level.  

I *like* player-level challenges!

>At the player-level, players can help each
>other out easily.  If spell knowledge is moved back to the
>character-level, it becomes much easier to restrict.

Consider this. 

Take 36 icons. Use them to represent spell gestures, words, and components.
Modify the effects of spells based on several factors: the caster's level,
because experience counts. The number of times he's cast this spell,
because practice makes perfect. The number of symbols in the spell, because
a player who discovers a twelve-section spell should certainly get a better
result than someone who discovers a three-section spell. 

Take some other value from each character -- something which will not
change over time, such as an ordinal player number, which the player has no
control over and CANNOT SEE. Use that value to modify the offset into the
spells. So when I make a fist, say "mumblefrotz", and throw a spiderweb
into the air -- poof, a magic bolt flies out and hits my enemy. But when
*you* make a fist, say "mumblefrotz", and throw a spiderweb into the air...
nothing happens! If you want a magic bolt to fly out and hit your enemy,
you have to wave your hands over your head and say "furblesnatch" while you
burn incense. Why? Because wizards are all different. (This is also a
rather rational argument for why Bubba can't just mimic what he sees
wizards doing and cast spells -- if you don't have it, you don't have it.)
This has the additional benefit that it does not impact teaching; your
in-game "mentor" NPCs can teach the spell based on the individual caster by
referring to the appropriate value. 

-----
| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 
| Darklock Communications          http://www.darklock.com/ 
| U L T I M A T E   U N I V E R S E   I S   N O T   D E A D 
| 774577496C6C6E457645727355626D4974H       -=CABAL::3146=- 


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