[MUD-Dev] The quandry of mob combat in MUDs

Edward Glowacki glowack2 at msu.edu
Mon Apr 29 10:28:45 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Fri, 2002-04-26 at 12:40, Peter Tyson wrote:

> So while I very much enjoy tackling the risky creatures, (where
> perhaps a variety of combat techniques have to be employed) I
> really can't afford to do this unless I want to be dying far more
> frequently than is acceptble.  Instead I bash the same weaker
> creatures over and over for smaller reward and quite a lot less
> fun.

It's not the size of the mob that counts, it's how you use it. ;)

Honestly, I think the problem is as much with the balance of skills
and tactics in the game as with the actual mobs themselves.

In most games I've played (Medievia [MUD], Diablo II, etc.) you use
a very small subset of your known skills for a very large percentage
of the time.  Take offensive spells for example.  You may have one
for a room full of opponents (area effect), another for single
opponents (max damage), and possibly a third for special cases (such
as magic missile to destroy mirror images or hurt something that is
immune to your primary fire spell).  The other 15 spells in your
offensive repertoire go unused because they are: 1) comparably
weaker in the general case, 2) very powerful, but only in specific
situations, 3) no longer useful because you have the improved
version of the same spell (or similar effect) that costs less and
does more.

You build up a generic technique that works well in most situations,
and you use it until it doesn't work anymore or until you get the
next powerful spell/skill that replaces it.

A lot of monster-stomping games (i.e. Diablo II) are intense to the
point where you can hardly see what you are doing, so you can't
afford to say "fire for this creature, ice for this one, and
lightning for the big guy."  There are just too many targets and
you're just frantically clicking all the time, strategy and tactics
don't play as much of a role in the game.

That being said, I do enjoy the games where a variety of skills come
into play, and on occasion when the game doesn't provide that
challenge I've gone as far as mixing in weaker skills just to "be


Edward Glowacki			glowack2 at msu.edu
Michigan State University	
"...a partial solution to the right problem is better than a complete
solution to the wrong one." (http://uiweb.com/issues/issue14.htm)

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