[MUD-Dev] A new combat system

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 14 16:08:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Friday, July 14, 2000, 12:55:16 AM, Ryan P. <ixiterra at earthlink.net> wrote:
> At 10:52 AM 7/13/00 -0700, Joe Russo wrote:

>>In this kind of system I think that having "rounds" only confuses things. I
>>think that Dexterity bonusus and Hastelike effects would modify the speed of
>>weapon or your action (certain tasks where time is a component would
>>obviously have
>>a fixed speed). This way you get the same effect as far as a quick attack
>>but you dont have the confusing rounds or the idle time that people would
>>from speed points 100-132. If anyone has played in a rolemaster campaign you
>>what I am talking about.

> As I said in my earlier post, this is sort of a kludge to bypass MudOS
> deficiencies. MudOS can not resolve something down to less than a second.
> Now if I had my way, I'd like a swing to be swung as soon as it could
> be; unfortunately, I have to deal with MudOS's low points and I have to do
> it in a round-by-round system. Although I do think there may be a way I can
> get around it, but it may be very CPU intensive with lots of players. I'm not
> sure yet. I don't know why rounds are confusing to you, they are pretty
> simple to me. And idle time?? Now you're starting to confuse me. =)

I would guess that Joe is referring to an effect that happens in some
round-based paper RPGs that have action points and use them for
timing.  Namely, characters who have fewer action points suffer an
apparent "freeze" or "idle time" at the beginning of each round.

Here's a simple example; this is the same in principle as many paper
RPGs, but isn't exactly like any one in detail:

Buffy has 50 action points per round.  Xander has 20.  (So I'm not
using Boffo of Biff -- sue me.)

Action points are used for timing -- time is counted down through the
round, starting from the value of the highest action point total of
any combatant.  The number of action points an action takes determines
when a character gets their next opportunity to act; e.g., if an
attack takes 10 action points, Buffy could attack at 50, then choose
another action when the count gets down to 40.  Some actions may be
able to be taken even when it isn't "your turn" -- defenses are a
common example.  Taking them still reduces your action points, though.

So, what happens if Buffy and Xander fight?  Every round, Buffy can do
three attacks before Xander can possibly get to act.  Once Xander begins
acting, they move at the same speed -- if Xander doesn't defend, he
can do two attacks at the end of the round in the same time it takes
Buffy to do two attacks.

This "I can't move for a while, then I'm just as fast" method makes it
seem as if the slower characters are periodically "freezing" or

If everyone starts acting at the same time, then uses the same number
of action points to do things, you get the reverse effect -- namely,
that the slower characters "freeze" at the end of each round.  Either
way, it doesn't feel right.

Now, it is possible to build action-point systems that don't have this
problem, but such systems are usually more complicated.  (Typically,
they involve faster characters not getting more action points, but
instead being able to take an action by spending fewer points than

       |\      _,,,---,,_    Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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