[MUD-Dev] MUD Wimping

&lt &lt
Thu Aug 3 13:37:09 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Lazarus wrote:
> [Regarding methods for removing overpowered items from the game]
> 1. Remove the overpowered item from the mud.
> 2. wimp the overpowered item.  This might be a one time wimp or a gradual
> wimp.
> 3. grandfather the overpowered item.
> [snip]
> Choice 1 breaks the 'don't take away' in a big way.  Buffy may only own one
> weapon and your taking it away can put them at a heap of hurt.
> Choice 2 is what many people do.  Some do it in one fell swoop and get major
> whining and some player loss.  Some do it as you recommend and shave some
> off one week, more off the next week, more the next and so forth until it is
> to level.  I have experimented with both techniques and found the following.

There's another way, but it is dependant on the level of persistence of items
in your world.  Simply remove the spawn point of the object (eg, an NPC,
a chest, a shopkeeper, or wherever it originally came from) from the game,
but DON'T remove the items that players already have.

Many (most?) muds have at least item damage or wear-and-tear, such that the
more an item is used, the more beat up it gets, and eventually it will
break.  Arctic has decay timers on many of its powerful items.  Deathtraps,
looting NPCs (AnotherMUD had tough NPCs loot player corpses and destroy a few
items at random), or any other item-destroying events also serve this purpose.

So you can remove the spawn point from the game, and then just wait.  This
also has interesting social repercussions - the item in question gets
expontentially more valuable as each instance is removed from the game.

Sometimes you get a case where you don't remove the spawn point of the item,
but instead just change the stats, so that there are now multiple versions
of the same item.  I suppose this is akin to what JC is calling grandfathering.

An interesting example: my then-roommate had an item called (I believe)
a bell-clapper on LegendMUD.  At some point it was deemed to be too
powerful, and the stats were modified.  He managed to hang onto his the
longest, and so for a while he had what was essentially a unique item,
referred to as an old-style bellclapper by the players.  Eventually
there was some sort of ceremony in which he voluntarily destroyed it.

Actually, this makes me think of an idea I had many moon ago for simulating
this effect (unique item that once it is gone is gone permenantly) that
doesn't require admin intervention.

The mud generates items semi-randomly, with spawn points given stats to
indicate what sorts of items they generate.  There are a number of base item
types, and then there are modifiers that can be added.  An excellent
system in this regard is the one found in the game Angband.  You have
base items like longswords, halberds, claymores, lucern hammers, etc.
Modifiers are things like resistance to fire, +N speed, +N attacks,
flamebrand, icebrand, lightningbrand, free action, and so forth.  On the very
high end you have Weapons of Westernesse (gives +1 STR, CON, DEX, and resist
something-or-other), weapons of slay animal/orc/dragon, and so forth.

Generated items look like this:

  a longsword (2d6) of slay orc (+3, +5)
  a battle-axe (2d8) of Westernese (+6, +9)
  a chainmail short of resist lightning
  a pair of leather gloves of slaying (+3, +5)
  an iron helm of telepathy

You could easily combine this with either a language generator (which have
been discussed here before) or just a huge list of potential unique names,
such that you can assign a name to generated items, ala:

  a longsword of Westernesse named 'Ringil'
  an iron helm of telepathy named 'Feanor'

Once the name has been used, mark it off the list so that it will never
be repeated.  (If you have a static table of names, this will require adding
new ones every so often.)

Once a unique item is lost or destroyed, that's it - you'll never see
that exact item again.  It becomes the stuff of legend.


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