[MUD-Dev] (no subject)

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 12 10:56:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Monday, July 09, 2001, 3:03:32 PM, J C Lawrence wrote:

> On Thu, 5 Jul 2001 22:16:54 -0400 
> Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:

>> Of course, to answer these, you have to answer a more fundamental
>> question first: What constitutes a combat system?  

> <<Deliberately misinterpreting your question>>


> I've been looking in this area again trying to resolve a few areas
> I'm still stuck on:

>   1) How to build a round based combat system into an otherwise
>   free-paced MUD

>   2) The reduction of combat into a resource management problem
>   (something I want) which means that most combat is now
>   manipulation of second and third order effects which aren't
>   really combat actions (and so are difficult to fold into rounds
>   given that they are normally unpaced).

> Which lead me to the general question:

>   What is combat and how can it be determined that an arbitrary
>   action is or is not combat related?

Here's my answers:

 - Combat is what happens when one character attempts to harm
 another, and the character that is the target of the attempt knows
 about it.

 - Whether or not a particular action is combat related does not
 matter.  What does matter is these things:

    - Whether an action initiates combat.
    - Whether an action takes place in combat.
    - How does one determine when combat is over.

Thoughts on these things:

 - Any action that could harm someone, and that they're aware
   of, should initiate combat.  Note that that initial action might
   not take place in combat time; e.g., a sniper shot doesn't itself
   take place in combat time, but it does start combat time.

   Note that I'm thinking of "harm" as being interpreted fairly
   broadly; such things as casting a mana-drain spell around someone
   who has magical defenses up would be considered "harm".

   The "could" part requires a bit of leeway as well.  In cases, like,
   say, dropping rocks, you might initiate combat time if the rock
   strikes within a certain distance of another character.

 - Does an action take place in combat?  That's an easier question to
   answer:  if the person taking the action is in combat, or if
   someone would be affected by the action who is in combat, the
   action takes place in combat time, and causes the person taking
   that action to join that combat.

   (An alternative might be to give everyone aware of a combat
   starting the opportunity to enter that combat, and anyone who
   becomes aware of it gets the opportunity when they become aware.
   If the enter the combat, they're placed in combat time.  If they do
   not enter the combat, they cannot do anything to harm anyone in the
   combat until the combat ends.

   A further alternative on that last part might be to give them the
   option to join the combat, or to consider.  If they choose to
   consider, they'll be asked if they want to enter/not enter/keep
   considering each round of the combat.)

 - How do you determine when combat is over?  To me, this is the most
   difficult of the three questions.  Here's a few ideas:

    - A combat must involve multiple participants.  When only one
      participant is left active (due to death, unconsciousness, or
      whatever), the combat is over.

    - A combat can end by mutual agreement.  A combatant can make an
      offer/request to end combat with a command.  All other
      combatants are then informed of this.  If everyone else in the
      combat chooses to accept, then the combat ends.

    - Separation may end the combat, if neither of the combtants is
      now in a position to harm the other.

> and came right back to the old question of second and third order
> effects and their use by players as combat mechanics in manners
> similar to innocent/accidental use.  <sigh>

> Need to cut the loop.

> The standard scenario for the list on this has been UggUgg's fight:

[snipping the fight, since it's rather long, and there's a link to it
here anyways]

Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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