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

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Mon Jan 3 10:12:38 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Mon, 27 Dec 1999, Travis Casey wrote:
> On Thursday, December 23, 1999, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> > On Thu, 23 Dec 1999, Travis Casey wrote:
> >> Combine multiple values in levels displayed to players.  E.g., a mud
> >> might internally use a linear system in which attributes average 50
> >> and range up to 200 for some attributes, but range up to 500 for
> >> others -- but remap all of them to show 5 as "average" to players and
> >> 10 as "maximum".
> > This seems more confusing to the implementors than anything else.
> > I don't see the point in obfuscating things at the implementation level.
> The point of having different scales isn't obfuscation; it's simply to
> reflect the fact that in reality, different "attributes" have
> different ranges.  Take strength and size, for example.  If we measure
> both in terms of weight, we'll find that the strongest people in the
> world are about four to five times as strong as an average person.
> However, the heaviest people in the world weigh more than 10 times as
> much as an average person.
> Thus, if we make 50 average for all attributes and use a linear scale,
> the human maximum for strength should be in the area of 200 to 250,
> while the maximum for size should be in the area of 500 or so.

Ahhhhhhh....okay, that's different.  I was thinking in terms of abstract
stats like "wisdom" or "constitution" which really have no real world
equivilents.  In those cases I like to use a fixed scale just to make
life easy on myself.  In the case of things that *do* have real-world
measures, however, I always use those.  For example, all the weights on
my mud are in grams, including character weight.  Sizes (eg, character
height, blade length, or armor thickness) are in centimeters.  Ditto
for temperature, time, or preasure.

I did go ahead and lump "strength" with the abstract stats, partially because
I'm used to that in RPGs anyhow, and partially because it's a hard thing
to measure.  Certainly you could say that strength is the maximum number of
kilograms that the character can benchpress or deadlift, but I find this
to be overly specific, so I stick with the abstract method.

> Other examples can be given, but the basic idea is that you could use
> this not only to obfuscate attributes some for players, but also to
> show all attributes to players on, say, a 0 to 10 scale with 5 being
> average while using different scales for different attributes
> internally.

Oh, sure.  Rather than saying "you're 1.9 meters tall" you can say
"you're very tall", depending on the relative scale of your world.

Certainly, I don't display any values in their real-world scales simply
because I don't want to break the mood.  Weights and lengths are shown
in stones and handbredths, respectively (until I can think of something
more creative).

> In fact, you might want to keep some attributes on "reverse" scales,
> with lower values being better -- e.g., a reaction time attribute.
> You could still remap such attributes to show "normally" to players.)

Yes.  The only 'reverse' stat I currently use is fatigue: at 0 you are
completely rested, and the number increases as you get more tired, with
no real maximum.


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