[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu Jun 6 13:21:03 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

shren writes:
> On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 szii at sziisoft.com wrote:

>> 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, fizzles/interruptions/concentration/
>> bash/trip/gesture-time/etc. Hmm....doh. </rant>

> I've always thought that this should be faced by making different
> 'skills' able to do different things, functionally.  You can
> inflict ranged damage with a bow?  Fine, but why do you need
> another source of ranged damage other than "bows"?  It seems you
> then end up trying to balance bows, slings, and crossbows with
> "magic", which never seems to work.  One is more powerful than the
> other, always, and any attempts to balance them never seem to work
> out.  Melee weapons should do melee damage, ranged weapons should
> do ranged damage, and magic should do all sorts of useful things
> that arn't melee damage or ranged damage.

Hear hear.  Keep all the various systems orthogonal to a large
degree.  And this type of thinking has led me to consider that magic
should be a 'scenario modifier'.  It should be used to do a variety
of things that change the tactical situation.  Throw a muffling
spell on the guard.  Throw a slippery floor spell in front of the
charging guards.  Cast a flash spell at night.  Throw a 'bad smell'
spell into a crowded room.

This all assumes that characters care about the smell of things,
that they can slip and fall to their detriment, that night vision
can be ruined by bright lights and that guards yelling actually
accomplish something.

If you want to do damage, get a sword.


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