[MUD-Dev] Law of Resource Congestion

Nathan F. Yospe yospe at kanga.nu
Fri Aug 18 03:33:50 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Matthew Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> said:

> On Thu, 17 Aug 2000, Nathan F. Yospe wrote:
> > Matthew Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> said:

> > And adding some unique wire or gemwork to the hilt (quite doable) would do
> > the job, for those who actually had the money to invest with someone who
> > had the skill.  Mind you, the more unique, the harder to obtain...
> > do have the use of a partial form of the builder engine, but it takes
> > to use.
> If artisans have partial use of the builder engine, what can they modify?
> How do you stop them from writing inappropriate things? I've always wanted
> to give artisans the power to alter clothing descriptions as such, but I'm
> aware that were I just to give them the power to do it, they'd be making
> bulletproof vests, giant dildos, and all manner of ridiculous things that
> don't belong in the context. How do you screen for that, without having to
> have admins read everything?

That's partly due to the fact that, outside of updates to the global
thesaurus/context/dictionary/connotation files, the builder engine has
no ability to modify text.  What it does is allow piping, stringing, and
assembly of objects, using materials available or created (builders with
a certain trust level only), and processes limited by trust level.  There
is no way for an artisan to "create" an object their character wouldn't
be able to... what they can do is tweak the structure or shape of the
objects in question, based on what they allow.

To a text client, this produces a description derived from the shaping.

To a graphical client, this allows rendering of the actual shapes, to
some degree.  I don't store enough for an angel on the head of a pin,
in most cases, but if the tools specify that granularity (jeweler's tools,
for example, invoke the builder engine with micrometer granularity), the
object will store with that detail level absolute.
> Actually, scratch that, I can think of one method. Certain players in
> Achaea have the ability to re-write certain room descriptions. The
> Chancellor of a city state and his aides can do it, though it costs the
> city a fee. We've not had a problem so far with players writing
> inappropriate descriptions, probably largely because a player doing that
> would quickly be kicked out of power by the other players.

I like that.  Given what you've described of your mud, it seems quite
desirable as a solution.  I expect mine to attract too many twinks and

> I'm not sure how you'd apply that to the idea of an artisan (who shouldn't
> need to be elected or whatnot), but I'd feel comfortable giving an elected
> position the power to alter clothing or whatnot, and trust them to do it
> appropriately. (Just thinking out loud here, if any of my players are
> reading this, that's not a promise!)


> > > But again, so what if lava and rust would mess it up in reality? Muds
> > > not reality. (Granted, I realize that you, Nathan, try to simulate
> > > reality, but I must respectfully question whether a mud that attempts to
> > > simulate reality as strictly as you seem to want to will ever get any
> > > significant playerbase.)

> > I doubt you're right.  So long as Vernor Vinge, Jerry Pournelle, David 
> > Drake, and other such writers have a following, my type of mud does too.

> > Besides, have you seen the anticipation around Halo?  I rest my case.

> Is your mud a graphical game? If not, the comparison is not apt. A
> baseball simulation in graphics is fun. In text, it's just pants. Text
> cannot do some things that graphics can do, and vice-versa, at least in my
> experience.

Client dependant, but the prototype client was mixed text/animation in some
dozen windows (not all needed to be up at once, but minimum of two... one
text, one control doohickies) where one of them was nice splash screens
and animation (which could also be set to a faded backdrop to the text)

Still, Halo's wow! factor is as much how real its engine is as how good
the pictures are.  And the writers are all text. >:)

And the reason I went the way I did is that my first twenty beta testers
(non mudders) all instantly found ways to confuse the poor engine's text
parser and then, once they got around that, asked why they couldn't this
or that, where each question could be answered, "It's not a simulation".

So I decided to create something for those people.

Mind you, one of them asked why she couldn't try to tame a starving wolf
that was stalking her...  I expect the answer now would be, "because the
wolf doesn't like you..." instead of "because I haven't implemented that

nathan.yospe at isearch.com      Born In     Don't mind me, I'm just insane
New home page TBA           The Year of       there's someone else
Other contact info           the Tiger                      in my brain.
available by request      Riding it Forever After               -wibble-

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