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

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Wed May 1 12:11:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "shren" <shren at io.com>

>   I followed the development of Ultima Online 2 pretty closely.
>   One of the things they were planning on doing was spawning the
>   monsters as the players approach the site of the monsters, so
>   the monsters don't have to stand around eating memory when
>   there's nobody there to kill them.

> If you're doing that, if you're aware of what player you are
> filling your encounter for, then you could always try counting the
> number of times the player does the encounter (say, in a byte).
> Then, make each of the first 255 times a player does the encounter
> slightly different.

> The first time you do the encounter, there are 10 kobolds around a
> campfire.  The second time, there are 9 kobolds around the
> campfire and one walking towards the campfire from the north,
> armed with a bow.  The third time there are are 11 kobolds around
> the campfire, and one of them is a healer.  You could store the
> differences between each visit in a table, and probably generate
> the table randomly.  Write 30 different places kobolds could be,
> and 30 different ways each kobold could be slightly tougher
> (healer, archer, shaman), then pick (visit number / 10) + 10 of
> the first and (visit number / 20) of the second.  Thus, each
> situation may not be life threatening, but it's tactically
> different.

An interesting idea.  To take it a step further, some basic
evaluation of the battle (player damage taken, mana used, overall
length of the battle, whatever) could be used to apply this scheme
to an evolutionary model, where fitness was determined by which
arrangements were the most formidable, the most "fun," etc.  And a
sufficiently high mutation rate would gurantee that the arrangements
remained somewhat unique.

I wonder how well evolutionary programming might be applied to
creating "fun" encounters, dungeons, etc.  And how would the
entertainment value of such a thing be quantified?

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