[MUD-Dev] Battle Systems

Ben Greear greear at cyberhighway.net
Sun Oct 3 23:11:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

Philip Loguinov -- Draymoor wrote:
> Ok, i've seen a lot of good battle systems on muds. However, they always
> seemed very automated to me.
> You attack a mob, then trade blows every round, perhaps casting spells also.
> Many times (especially with lower level stock spells), damage spells are a
> complete joke. Sure, the higher level ones are wonderfull against players,
> but the lower ones aren't any good(Is this because if it were more powerfull
> it wouldn't be fair on players?).

Many MUDs seem to have NPCs that are significantly stronger than PC's, except
that of course PCs can group and fight inteligently with various spells/potions
and other tricks that NPCs can't easily be made to use.  So, a spell that
barely scratches a high level NPC, may be powerful enough to completely
kill a high level PC.  Thus, spells are often watered down when used against
PCs.  Personally, I don't do this...but I know it has been done...

> Anyway, thats not the only problem i've seen. A complete lack of combat
> tactics. Sure, there are tactics involved with player killing (tracking,
> innitiating combat, fleeing), but in the actual battle, its a matter of
> trading more powerfull blows and lossing more hitpoints and being faster
> with skills/spells and lag then the other person. There is skill, but very
> little tactics.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Thats my premise, here is an idea i would like to bounce of you guys.
> My new battle system is based less on the combat round as the mud sees it,
> and more on a psudo initiative/action lag based system.
> Basicly, get rid of the auto attack function in a battle.
> If two players initiate combat, then don't do anything, nothing will happen.
> They will dance arround each other and thats it.

What I see here, from a player's perspective, is a lot of boring typeing,
after the first rush wears off.  They will find the best combination in
short order, and exploit it repettively, with a MACRO most likely.

I do like the ideas on lag...and I use that, but I use it based on rounds.
In other words, if you bash someone, then they will be unable to do any
other user-specified (ie not automatic) response for 1d3 rounds of battle.
Of course, I can use the pause to affect automatic (double-hit, wimpy-flee...)
responses too.  Actions can increase the pause to the actor as well as the

For example, bash doesn't do a whole lot of damage, but if you are fighting
a mage, it is very important to keep them from getting off one of their
deadly spells...so bash becomes very useful.

> Instead of multiple blows per round, what  you get is lag improvement.
> As you improve with the specific weapon, you also get faster with it, which
> results in less lag, which has the same effect as multiple blows.
> Haste and Slow spells act by affecting lag for everything you do.
> Etc.

I think I'd like to just make the battle-rounds finer in granularity, and
have less going on in each round (ie pause could be used more regularly..perhaps
calculated from DEX & weapon weight, etc).  I would still want it to be automatic
to cut down on repetitive typing, and to protect from lag (it is un-predictable
by nature...you can't always avoid it.)

> -With this system, we can make mobs a lot smarter, easier.
I don't see how this gives any unique advantages here, though it definately
shouldn't hurt..except the default case would be harder (it probably shouldn't
be just to stand around and do nothing while the PCs whale on you!!)

>     Using fightprogs, we can script their actions. A smarter
>     mob is 10 times more deadly then a dumb mob.
>     A couple examples:    In my mud, a mob is set with what
>     skills/spells/abilities it has and how good they are.
>     With a good scripting language for them, it would be
>     possible to make strategies and combo moves.

Yes, if your builders will take the time...  I tried to base my AI off of a
couple of variables: benevolence, bad-assedness, spell/skill-activity,
and defensiveness.  This allows the builders to easily affect the behavior
of the NPC w/out a lot of scripting, and allows me to more easily balance the
game. (I've got one huge, ugly piece of AI code that has a zillion different
cases to deal with different levels, classes, and opponents, while taking the
afore-mentioned variables into account.)  It's far from perfect...but
seems to work ok...

> -Philip Loguinov.
>     -Draymoor Spellcleaver


Ben Greear (greear at cyberhighway.net)  http://scry.wanfear.com/~greear 
Author of ScryMUD:  scry.wanfear.com 4444        (Released under GPL)

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

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