[MUD-Dev] Quality Testing

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Fri Oct 26 10:39:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: J C Lawrence [mailto:claw at 2wire.com]

>> How about a spell system where you have to type into the numeric
>> keypad with numbers corresponding to runes. The computer then
>> measures the rythym and depression time and that corresponds to
>> your intonation, affecting the spell in a multitude of ways. That
>> adds some player skill, and for me thats depth.

> Trivial to macro.  Do a set of various timings, track which were
> more successful, and then bot/macro that timing set.  If you add
> random environmental factors then you've just added enough entropy
> to the event then it truly is random, and thus infinitely shallow.

Well potentially, the runes don't have to appear in the same place
each time - i.e. you hit the initiator button, and a 3x3 grid of
runes appears on screen, you select one, and the grid morphs to
another one and so on until you cast the finalisation rune. Or how
about the terrain has a ley-line type magical energy, so that the
timings need to be adjusted to compensate for the field strength
where you are. To stop it being too random, you could display some
kind of graph on screen that helps you judge it - so its both
determinstic but hard to macro. Of course I'm beginning to feel this
is like one of those golf games where you have to time your

Furthermore, there shouldn't be such a thing as a perfect spell -
they should be totally situational, so you are tuning the type of
attack and how much power you are channeling depending on how you
interact with the runes.  If you want to cheat, you are going to
need a lot of macros and you are going to be inferior to a well
practised human. Of course you need to make sure that optimal
incantation choice really is situational. I was thinking along the
lines of those programming language type spell descriptors, whereby
you could actually save a lot of channeled energy by flicking a
nearby boulder at someone as opposed to actually materialising fire
for a fireball. Or even better, flicking the fireball the other
caster is materialising into their face. It just takes more
interactive environments and higher granuality of casting. Anyway my
main point is that you can design your way past the macroing problem
and that I definitely agree the system has to be deterministic or
become infinitely shallow. It's just a case of using graphical
information to counfound the macro programs :)

>> Then when someone proclaims to be the best, its because they are
>> demonstrably better at something, not just because they happened
>> to camp/ebay purchase/whatever some marginally better gear.

> Or, more simply, "How topical and timely are your responses?"


>> I think its time to jettison 'autoattack'.

> <nod>

> This is the core of the reason that I split stats into physical
> stats which bound to the player body, and entropy modifiers which
> stored against the account (eg karma modifiers).

I'm not sure I follow what you mean?

I'm all for removing all stats and going completely skill
based. After all, just because someone has learnt every way to kill
a man doesn't mean you can't drop a boulder on him when he's not
looking. It would solve the gimped newbie character problem and
eliminate the leveling treadmill both of which really put me off
investing in new games.


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