[MUD-Dev] Tracking

Hulbert Hulbert
Thu Apr 5 12:01:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Does anyone have ideas on a fairly simple way to allow tracking in a
MUD?  I have an idea, but was looking for other options.

My first idea was to make anyone leaving a room automatically drop a
'track' object.  This object would have some strength attribute, so
that an elephant would leave a Str-1000 Track, a person maybe a Str-25
Track, while a mouse would leave a Str-10 Track.  All Tracks would
have their Str erode at some rate, I'm not sure whether a linear or
geometric rate would be appropriate.  Some conditions would change the
Str of Tracks left behind.  A muddy floor would double the Str of a
Track, where a flowing stream would possibly destroy a Track

The Tracking skill would give a player the ability to see these
objects.  The level of skill would determine the threshold of Str that
a player can see.  A player with a skill level of 10, would have no
problem spotting the elephant, would see people tracks for a short
time, and would have some small chance of noticing the mouse tracks.

I suppose a Track when it is dropped should immediately degrade other
Tracks in the room that have a lower Str, so the Elephant Tracks would
obliterate the mouse Tracks, and make people tracks difficult to find.

I'm sure I'll need to tweak the numbers to make a reasonable skill,
but that's my basic plan.  I'm wondering how long Tracks should last,
on average, and whether it would be appropriate to eliminate Tracks
when the person who dropped them is off line.

Anyone have any suggestions, or other tracking systems?

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