[MUD-Dev] [MLP] Why care about levels? (was: The use of ecolo gy models)

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Tue Apr 30 10:41:52 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


According to Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com:
> From: Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu

>> I'm still confused why levels work at all. All I can say is that
>> they do.  What is the distinction between stats that matter and
>> stats that don't?
 
> Everyone ignores stats that don't matter. You see this a lot in
> Everquest where most casters only care about 2 of 10 stats (I
> think its 10 =/) and most melees only care about 1 of them (at the
> highest level).

Everquest, in particular, has a big distinction betweens stats. In
practice, there are 15 "stats", some of which are linked together
(i.e.  one influences the other). There are 7 "primary stats", 5
"resists stats", AC, HP and MANA.

Trick is, by design (ok, by protocol and database design, which
reserved a single byte to code them), the primary stats and the
resist stats are all capped at 255. No matter what you do, none of
these can go over 255. Be it equipment, be it by spells, it caps at
255.

However, the last 3 stats do not have a cap. They are open-ended;
they can go as high as you want. And while AC has a diminishing
influence (when you go over the monster attack rating, it doesn't
help much), the HP and MANA are as useful, whether they're the first
100 or the last 100.

In EQ's high end game, player look at an item and note first how
much AC it has (for melee) and how much HP/MANA it has. The rest is
near meaningless (and given how "moderately balanced" items are, the
rest of the stats come on its own). I did a quick profiling, picking
for a given class (a warrior) the items that had the most HP,
without regard to any other stat, and everybody agreed upon looking
that this was probably the best equipped warrior anybody could
have. Warriors do not care about STR or STA; in a high level
situation, magical buffs put them at the max of 255 anyway.

In the same manner, in the high-end game, casters look for two
things: the +MANA and +HP on the item, and the effect, if any.

If the strictures of the game engine were lifted (stats could go
over 255), I suspect some stats would be considered important again
besides AC and HP. As it is, some of the latest items discovered
from the current highest level zone of the game had people
drooling. Not because they had big magical resists (which it
had). Or big INT bonuses (which it had).

But because that was the first item of its category to have
+125mana.

--
	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)
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