[MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

Scion keeler at teleport.com
Thu Aug 10 01:42:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

At 12:08 AM 8/10/00 -0700, Patrick Dughi wrote:
>	I have seen a previous post which develops a description in a
>Diablo/Might & Magic-type manner, deriving the name of the item from it's
>various material and enchantment types.  This is like hanging a steak
>around a kids neck so the dog will play with him.  You still have an ugly
>	I'd like to see something a bit more involved

[ Interesting, highly detailed descriptions snipped ]

>	Of course, you'd fill in the missing bits of data... You wouldn't
>want "hilt simple affair hide silver wire ties", but "The hilt is a simple
>affair made of hide affixed with silver wire ties"
>	At least one problem is that you'll have to expand the adjectives
>from a simple to mutable form, and use the correct one based upon the
>description format! You wouldn't want to say "The hilt affixed with silver
>wire ties made of hide is a simple affair"...well maybe you would but
>it looks off to me. I'd use "The hilt consists of silver wire ties affixed
>around a piece of hide - a simple affair."

I've actually attempted this on my former MUD, Rogue Winds. It's derived
from Smaug, which just got to be too much for me, so I left it in the
capable hands of my assistant coder and went off on my own to write a new
codebase in Java. That's the history.

Some time ago, I set up a zone specifically for 'stock objects'. These
objects have basic, average settings for their statistics, and have names
such as:

%s long sword
%s plate mail

We also have an online material editor, which defines types of materials
objects can be built from. They all have a basic 'ore' form, such as a lump
of iron or a bolt of cotton. Each material has specific modifiers it adds
to the stock object it is made into, and a flag to designate whether it is
metal, cloth, or other. Of course, metal materials can only be made into
metal objects, etc.

Materials also have a percentage for how often they load in the game, and
some have a race upon whose corpses they load. Therefore, when a player
kills a particular type of mob there is a chance of a strip of hide, some
scales, or a lump of metal to be in the corpse.

Players can take several pieces of material and combine them using a
combine skill, which makes them into a single object with combined stats..
eg. Someone combines a ruby (adds 2 to strength, let's say) and an emerald
(adds 1 to charisma, let's say) and each weighs 1, you wind up with a gem
that weighs 2 and adds 1 to cha and 2 to str. Of course, there is a skill
roll for each affect, and for successfully combining the materials.

Now for the fun part :P

Using the 'fashion' skill, a player can take a chunk of ore and build an
item out of it. The mud takes the stock object and applies the affects and
modifiers from the ore used, and replaces the %s's in the object's name
with a race tag, an ore tag, and an 'a', 'an', or 'some', depending on the
context. For instance:

% long sword

..built by a dwarf from steel turns into:

a dwarven steel long sword

This may still fall into your "ugly kid" category, but I thought it might
be helpful to someone :) It seemed to work very nicely. There are some
other skills that alter the names of items, such as engraving, dyeing, and
affixing gems. There are also a few spells to enchant items with. I believe
there are between 100 and 200 stock objects, but I haven't checked lately,
and it's not my game anymore (don't wanna go back or they'd put me to work!).

Admittedly, I didn't deal with generated detailed descriptions. I did
generated long room descriptions instead, before I got tired of how C
handles strings and moved on to Java...

-- Peter K. (Scion, the Recently UnMUDded)

"The great thing about senseless, sadistic policies is that they don't
require a lot of explanation." -- Catbert

-- keeler at teleport.com -- peterk at gemstone.com -- ICQ: 1824934 --

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