[MUD-Dev] called shots

Kwon Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Mon Apr 30 09:24:28 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "shren" <shren at io.com>
> From: "Josh Rollyson" <dinodrac at summit.magenet.net>

>> When I played D&D we had called shot rules, you could try to aim
>> for a percieved weak spot in an opponent's armor, or for the
>> opponents head (possibly getting a critical hit of successful) or
>> to maime the opponent, so that they couldn't fight effectively -
>> cutting off an unprotected hand for instance.

> get.  In a real combat, the exact nature of the opening would change
> from second to second, based on terrain, the last strikes, and a
> hundred other little details.  Just having one to hit roll and
> assuming that you're just trying to do a damaging connect is

IMHO, the computer cannot match the computational power of a single
human, in order to take all possible factors into consideration you'd
generate major load for just a single action.  Some abstraction is
necessary to keep things at a level that the computer can handle
without generating lag for everyone else.

> Or maybe they do.  Maybe you implement a system that solves this.
> Maybe repeated critical strikes to the same area get penalties.  Any
> really systematic approach to this, however, just opens up exploits
> where the players will do the most statistically advantageous
> strikes repeatedly.  "Dude, do aimed strikes, go head, torso,
> stomach, repeat.  You do more damage this way."  At this point I
> think that the average sane admin would wonder why he put aimed
> shots on in the first place, with players across the mud doing the
> three step tango to be competitive.

Rather than a set AI saying "I'm getting hit in the head, time to
block", a reflexive system would work better, "He's swinging high, I'm
in a position to block so try to block, I'm not in a position to
block, step back", etc...  It'd use less memory (you're not storing x
attacks past), and likely less cpu (you're not having to look at
previous attacks to decide what to do, just reacting to the current

Also, I'd make called shots have less chance of connecting, it's alot
harder to hit a specific location on a target than it is to generally
hit the target.

> I guess if I were writing an aimed shot system, I'd slow down the
> swings and build it into the combat system, so instead of the
> players picking aimed shots, the system offers them good shots.
> Like, halfway through the combat, you get the message:

>   "His guard drops some and his head is vunerable.  Do you want to
>   go for it? (y to take the aimed shot)."

Might work, but then with a bit of net lag, and suddenly instead of
his head, you accept attacking his foot... oh well, now you just left
your own head open.

> It might add some nice flavor to combat, maybe even a tang of
> realism.  After all, any combatant from martial arts or fencing will
> tell you that you don't pick the good shots.  Your opponent does, by
> making mistakes.

True, openings are made by an opponents mistakes, but don't be fooled,
ussually a mistake is an incorrect counter move... things are
relational in IRL combat...

-- Kwon Ekstrom

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