[MUD-Dev] How much is enough? Communication design

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Fri May 3 09:18:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Damion Schubert
> From Miroslav Silovic

>> What you just described could be easily prevented if battles are
>> non-reproducible.  For instance:

>>   - Make daytime, weather and season affect the player's combat
>>   capability (ever tried to run in a full chainmail during
>>   summer?)

>>   - Make each monster unique and variable. Make their power vary
>>   with tribe and group, and globally vary them between spawns (if
>>   you have spawns).

>>   - Add attributes to the player that go up and down, in
>>   semi-long term. Ideas could be morale, mood, wakefulness,
>>   fatigue, hunger, thirst, etc. If you make these affect the
>>   to-hit chance and damage, well, any result of the experiment
>>   would be pretty much useless.

> But at the same time, you've made combat so unpredictable that you
> risk driving people away, since they never know when everything is
> going to align against them, and they are going to lose whatever
> they lose when they die or fail combat.  The lack of 'Quicksave/
> Reload' really limits how far they can go.  Unless, of course,
> they reverse engineer it anyway, which as the Dragonrealms
> incredibly complicated combat system has shown, players are more
> than capable of doing.

I completely agree. If you want to add sophistication to combat, the
key is adding factors that a player can factor in and mitigate/take
advantage of if they are smart enough to spot them. Its essential
that these factors aren't trivially reducible (i.e. why on earth
would I ever want to do x, y always works better). There's actually
a fair amount of discussion on all this in the archive from about a
year ago.

The quicksave/reload cycle in PC games is an evolutionary dead
end. It just facilitates sloppy balancing and fortunately doesn't
seem to be a mechanism MMOG's can ape. When I play them, I find
myself saving before I enter every room, entering and then reloading
once I've seen which 6 directions I'm going to be shot from (not
mentioning any names 'Max Payne', 'Jedi Knight2' & etc.) If this is
necessary, the game is too damned hard and 'Halo' proves it isn't
necessary.

Dan
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