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

Quzah quzah at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 18 08:56:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


From: Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com>

> On Fri, 17 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:
> 
> > On Thu, 16 Dec 1999 18:02:36 -0800 (PST) 
> > Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com> wrote:
> > 
> > > 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?
> 
> Darn right they do. Most players know _exactly_ the stats of their
> favourite swords. If they get a sword with particularly good stats, they
> would be furious to have it reduced, as the distribution is a bell curve,
> and getting ahold of a good sword is a fantastic thing for

That being the case, who in their right mind would toss their long
sword of ass beating into a pile of 49 other visibly identical long
swords? Do you know how much of a pain in the ass it is to get the
right long sword out of a stack even when they have different key
words and there are only five or six of them?

There is no practical way they could even hope to find the sword in
a stack of 50 grabbing one out at random, let along complain that
they didn't snag their "super sword". I suppose they could get a
bit ticked if they:

  for each sword in stack
    take a sword from stack
    carry sword to a seprate room
    identify sword
    drop sword if not "super sword"

And when they got to the last sword if none of them was the
super sword, they'd be a bit angry, but again, who in their
right mind would do such a thing?

I have on occasion had "identical" items, three or so, in my
inventory. One of these had been enchanted by a scroll or some
such. Do you (any players out there??) realise what a pain in
the ass it is to select the right one to use? Now magnify that
up to 50:1 odds.

The point is, if you are foolish enough to toss your one super
sword into a pile of 49 other visibly identical swords, then
you deserve not to get the right one back ;)


> > > 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.
> 
> Well, in my experience in most certainly is true. I am quite sure my
> players would be extremely annoyed to find their groups of weapons being
> averaged together stat-wise (and I don't like it design-wise either, as I
> like there to be a disparity in the quality of things).

The real problem then lies with your statistic model, not your method
of handling objects. Let's talk physics for a moment. A sword of a given
mass, with an edge of N thickness, swung at X speed, with Y given arm
length, has Z force behind it. Therefore, magic aside, all swords with
NXYZ similarity will in fact do the same amount of damage given that
their physical composition is the same. Period. Yes, you can make one
a tiny bit sharper by lessening N, and you can get a bit more force
behind it by increasing either X or Y, but all in all, they *WILL*
be the same.

Therefore, the problem is not tracking stats, but the way you use
your stats. Fix that and you don't have to worry about players
getting bitchy because their sword doesn't function like they think
it should. Fix that and they will function as they should even if
you don't bother to store all of the objects stats. In fact, you
won't even need to bother storing their stats.

Use templates, fudge a bit. (Which I suppose is what MERC does,
even though their stat model sucks.)

Quzah.




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