[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

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Tue Jun 4 13:02:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "Matt Chatterley" <matt at eldoops.co.uk>

> A magic system based on material components, syllable-stringing
> and gestures (or any of these) might require real brain power
> behind it, quick thinking and creativity from a player (I'm
> certainly planning some sort of free form magical interaction
> along these lines), but to gain this new style of play, will it
> take too long for the average player to pick up and use? Instead
> of typing 'fireball <target>', they find that they have to acquire
> the spell, its ingredients, and then perform the right sequence to
> use it .. would this put them off?

90% of all MUDs I've found (been doing a lot of MUD-hopping the last
2 weeks looking around) are all very very similiar and in all cases
melee ruled the day for "efficiency."  If you then want to tack on
making the spells that much "harder to cast" as well as start
requiring components then those particular spells had -REALLY-
better be worth it.  Most MUDs have imbuded/proc-items so the
players many times don't NEED the caster's spells for day to day.
Sure, they may increase the productivity of the group, or be usefull
in certain situations, but hey...a warrior can still solo, get
float/fly/lev gear and really not need a caster.  Yet that same
level of "dependence" doesn't work the other way where a caster
REQUIRES the "tank" due to low hps, finite mana supply,
bash/trip/gesture-time/etc. Hmm....doh. </rant>

Point: If you want to further hamper casters, make sure that the
effect is REALLY worth it or those spells simply won't be used in
most situations.  ROI and all that.  UO did a pretty good job, but
warriors/archers still own PvP, and I can keep swinging LONG after
you're out of mana/reagents.  Melee are dependent on hps, and
possibly stamina/movement depending on the MUD.  Melee have more
hps.  Now you have a caster with LESS hps, usually less moves, a
finite mana pool AND reagents.  *shrug*

> Is time-scheduling a good thing for a semi action centered game?
> Initiative based handling of combat allows sequencing of attacks,
> and a structured approach to what can sometimes simply become a
> speed-typing competition. Or will the lack of macro-able
> situations and more complex combat requiring some planning and
> forward thinking not be appealing to people who want to play the
> barbarian hero and rampage a path of destruction through hordes of
> orcs?

With clients like Tintin or ZMud macros are all over.  Clients will
be almost 100% required to play if you want to be efficient...esp if
you're using somatic/gestures.  With a custom client, though, you're
introducing a whole lot of typing.

> The old player-killing chestnut pops up too -- should I choose to
> allow or disallow it? If disallowed, should it be in-game
> 'illegal', out-game 'illegal' (fairly pointless?) or just not
> possible? What can this add to a games atmosphere -- and does it
> scale badly to certain playerbase sizes?

IMHO, and I'm -very- pro-PvP, I'd put it in.  Many MUDs I've seen
have GREAT PvP aspects and great in-depth combat systems but
basically squash PvP. (Achaea comes to mind.)  Loved the combat
system and flexibility, but PvP was all but dead according to the
few imms and players I chatted with.  Not a bad thing...not everyone
like PvP and that's fully understandable.  Personally, I think it
adds an element of danger...of the unknown.  You can't just "sleep"
anywhere or people may attack/rob you.  It slow the players down
since they have to be far more alert.  They can't level as quick if
they're dead.  They have more incentive to level, though, for
revenge or protecting their friends/guilds.  I don't know what the
"critical mass" point is for griefers, though.  On smaller play
scales of 50-200 I don't think it's a problem.  Above 200, even 1%
being griefers starts to pose a problem.


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