[MUD-Dev] Befriending Critters (was: Random Resets)

Arthaey arthaey at hotpop.com
Sat May 4 19:21:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

At 12:41 PM 5/1/2002 -0400, John Robert Arras wrote:

> What I do is I set aside a block of vnums to make "forest mobs". I
> might set aside 50 vnums for small creatures, 50 for medium, 50
> for large, and 50 for huge.


While reading about your random reset system, I wondered about
non-repopping mobs in a largely random repopping area, and came up
with the following, which is admittedly only loosely related to your
original post:

Allow players to "befriend" non-aggie critters -- for purposes of
this example, say squirrels. PlayerA is hanging out in the forest a
lot, and at some point tries to befriend SquirrelB by setting some
foodstuff on the ground in front of it. The first several times
SquirrelB runs off the moment PlayerA moves toward it, but
eventually PlayerA can pet SquirrelB, maybe at some point even walk
around with the critter on his shoulder.

SquirrelB would be taken out of the repopping population and given a
very high probability of running away from a battle with a bashing
player before a killing blow, as PlayerA would be upset if the
squirrel he'd befriended was killed by someone looking for a little
xp, squirrel skins, what have you.

Normal squirrels that repopped in the area that is now permanently
inhabited by SquirrelB (as he no longer repops) would have a certain
percentage chance of having "heard" from SquirrelB that PlayerA is a
friendly fellow, and the other squirrels might start visiting
PlayerA more often than they do other players.

Conversely, if PlayerC spends every waking moment slaughtering the
poor squirrels, squirrels repopping in PlayerC's bashing area would
have a certain percentage chance of having "heard" to steer clear of

Obviously, the people who choose to wander in the forests a lot
might think that having a following of squirrels is a cool enough
reward on its own, but that seems kinda lame even to me, and I _do_
think it's cool on its own. What practical advantage might having a
squirrel following (or sparrow, or fish, or wolf following -- should
it be limited to at least semi-intelligent critters?) provide? The
potential advantage of a specific critter-friend should probably be
proportional to how hard it is to befriend.

What does making the squirrels flee on sight of PlayerC accomplish
besides pissing PlayerC off? ... PlayerC would have to go hunting
something else, somewhere else, for a while. Is that a good enough
reason? ... This idea also seems to mimic some of the features of a
full ecosystem, in that a heavily hunted area will become
increasingly harder to hunt in, since all the critters will
eventually be running away from everyone. Meanwhile, this idea seems
easier to implement than a true simulated ecosystem with NPC
predator-prey relations and food caps, etc.

I only thought about this idea for a few minutes before writing it
down, so I'm sure there are plenty of unintended consequences that I
haven't thought of. Comments?


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