Sv: [MUD-Dev] Balancing Melee vs Ranged Combat in Games Which Model Space

Travis Casey efindel at
Thu Apr 5 13:33:33 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Thursday, April 05, 2001, 12:23:08 AM, Kwon Ekstrom
<justice at> wrote:
> From: "Travis Casey" <efindel at>

>> Something I've noted is that the two replies so far have both
>> assumed a medieval-style mud, where magic hasn't been applied to
>> the problems of ranged weapons.  On a modern-day or SF mud with
>> some form of guns, you're not going to be able to use reload times
>> as a problem.

> I play on a full pk text mud that is post-apocalyptic, they use rate
> of fire and limited ammo to restrict weapons (more powerful weapons
> generally fire slower or have fewer rounds worth of ammo per clip)

I stand corrected.  :-)

>> Here's what we did:
>>  - Those with ranged attacks would try to shoot back.
>>  - Those without ranged attacks could do several things:
>>    - NPCs who were free to roam would move -- if possible, at a right
>>    angle to the direction the fire was coming from.
>>    - NPCs who were not free to roam would begin to dodge in place.
>>    - Area builders could set NPCs they created to be aggressive
>>    The first and third of these had fallbacks; the first would fall
>>    back to the second if it could not move away, the third would fall
>>    back to the first, and then to the second if that couldn't be done.

> Sounds like a fairly advanced system, myself, I would prefer to make
> sentinel npc's simply remember their starting location, and either
> finding help, or attacking directly.

We did have a method for sentinel NPCs to call for help from other
members of their group who were nearby.  I didn't mention that because
it wasn't a response to ranged weapons specifically -- they also did
that when attacked in melee.  Unfortunately, it wasn't automatic; area
builders had to specifically enable it, make sure that there would be
help nearby, and set up the helpers to know a path to the sentinel.
Because of that, it didn't get used much.

> You gave a somewhat detailed image of ranged combat, but I noticed
> you didn't mention anything about the types of arrows.  The
> projectile has as much impact to "midieval" ranged weapon as the
> actual weapon did.

> The english has a special armor piercing arrow that was used against
> armored targets or siege engines, I don't remember for sure, but I
> think it was a low profile iron tip.  They would use "normal" arrows
> unless they needed to fire upon an armored target.

The Chinese developed a lot of different kinds of arrows... there were
armor-piercing arrows (like those used in Europe), broadhead arrows to
do more damage, arrows designed for cutting ropes from a distance
(with a crescent-shaped head with the concave part of the crescent
facing forward, thusly:

  >-----------------|          not to scale!

), and arrows that had a blunt tip with a hole through it, so that a
message could be stuck through or an oil-soaked rag stuck through and
lit.  There are probably other types I haven't read about.

Enchanted arrows of various sorts are common in fantasy literature as
well... Rick Cook's Wizardry series has arrows that have death spells
on them.  In D&D games, I've known players to do such tricks as
putting a light spell on an arrow to use it as a signal or fire down a
corridor to see what's there, to enchant arrows with fireballs that
are activated by a command word and then have a short delay before
going off, to enchant arrows to create a short-duration dispel magic
effect (useful against wizards who are using magical protections
instead of armor), enchanted to rust armor, and with all sorts of
other neat effects.

       |\      _,,,---,,_    Travis S. Casey  <efindel at>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)   

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