[MUD-Dev] The grass is always greener in the other field

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Fri Dec 17 21:24:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Thu, 16 Dec 1999 18:02:36 -0800 (PST) 
Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:
>> On Thu, 16 Dec 1999 14:06:43 -0800 (PST)

>> Consider:
>> 
>> You have 50 handmade short swords.  They all have individual
>> "unique" stats and other qualifiers.  You put them in a pile in
>> the corner of the room covered by a blanket, and then pull out a
>> random sword.
>> 
>> Do you really care that that sword was #438 and that its stats
>> etc are XYZ, or would you be just s happy with a shortsword which
>> had a generated set of stats which fit the basic distribution
>> model?

> Yes, absolutely I care! I care because the players care! 

Do they really?  Will they remember or really be bothered that they
put in a sword of stats X/Y/Z and that not one of the swords they
pulled out *quite* matches that, but that they all come somewhere
close?

> A player is going to be AWFULLY pissed off if he puts his
> collection of kick-ass swords under a blanket, and then pulls out
> an average sword. 

Which is not what I wrote.  The set of 50 swords has a distribution
model which the resulting aggreggate ur-objects can maintain.  There
remains the possibility of putting 49 mediocre swords and one
known-excellent sword into the pile and then pulling out 50
almost-mediocre swords, but that's definitely a corner case that I
suspect your players will overlook, and if not, that can be handled
by your aggregate object observing and refusing to aggregate objects
with non-median values.

> A player expects, reasonably so, that sword #438 will have exactly
> the same stats today as tomorrow. I suspect I may be
> misunderstanding you though, as this seems obvious to me.

I rather doubt that this is true, especially when they are dealing
with 50 swords as versus just a couple.

>> I see little reason that a decay time need define a unique
>> object.  It merely defines an object as a member of a class of
>> objects with similar decay stats.

> Hmm, yes, I see what you are saying, but I'm not sure it is worth
> it. Many of the items in Achaea are differentiated by a number of
> stats (in the case of vials...type of vial...there are 20 types,
> what's in the vial, how much of whatever is in it is left, how
> long efore it decays, what sigils may be attached to that
> individual vial (ie are in that vial's inventory. That's not
> actually stored on the vial itself though. Just a pointer on the
> attached items.), who made the vial, and so on.

Which my first tendency at representation would probably be a base
object which contains an attribute list of modifiers.  The list
would be of various length, and would contain references (pointers
if you wish), to the modifiers to the basic object type (the sigils,
type variations, yada yada).  You can then collapse all reasonably
equivalent vials (same modifier list) to merely being references to
the same base object and modifier list, instantiating only when an
object deviates from the base by more than N (local lists on
references of modifier over-rides).

Of course you'd have to do some statistical profiling of your vial
distribution to see if this would save anything.

--
J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--


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