[MUD-Dev] Tracking

Mordengaard mordengaard at btinternet.com
Fri Apr 6 09:02:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


From: "Hulbert, Leland" <LHulbert at czn.com>

> 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 immediately.

> 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?

Yhared MUD uses a similiar system to this, but our weather system has
the ability to mess with tracks too... rain will wash tracks away, but
will also make the ground muddy for fresh tracks to be imprinted, snow
will cover up tracks but will also make new tracks very clear (until
the snow melts).  Hard surfaces such as ice and rock make leaving a
track a very slim possibility, but there is still a chance that a
faint track will be left.

Wounded creatures also leave blood trails unless they're bandaged up,
which makes the tracker's life a lot easier.  You may also want to
consider the fact that tracks aren't just about impressions in the
dirt.  A bloodhound can follow a very old scent trail for miles over
rock, and someone pushing through dense brush is going to leave broken
twigs and torn leaves (as well as scraps of clothing or fur/hair).

Mordengaard

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