[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Chatterley matt at eldoops.co.uk
Fri Jun 7 10:34:26 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, Marian Griffith wrote:
> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Tue 04 Jun, szii at sziisoft.com wrote:
>> From: "Matt Chatterley" <matt at eldoops.co.uk>

[Just a quick point; the section below is wrongly attributed to me] :)

<EdNote: There's nothing below attributed to you.  Remember:
Attributions for a given text are at the next lower quote level.>

>> 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>

> Basically this is a balance 'error' on the mud. Not that each
> class needs to be exactly as powerful, but at least they must be
> true to type. If a mage is supposed to be low on hitpoints she
> must have a high damage ability to compensate.  If she does not
> then obviously there is something wrong with the balance.

Aye. The ideal model for me would be one which encourages group
play, but for the right reasons. You take fighters along because
thats what they do.  When things turn ugly, they push peoples faces
through their heads. You shouldn't take them along so that they can
stand in front of you and soak up the damage.

The cleric tags along incase you meet undead, or as a healer and
utilitarian spellcaster, and because they tend to be reasonable
warriors, too.

You get a wizard because you might be facing enemies with magical
powers (which otherwise you may find yourself ill equipped to
combat), and because they come in handy with locked doors, magical
traps and so forth.

The thief makes a good scout, can add the sneaky blow that might
turn the tide of battle (backstab, anyone?), is adept at spotting
traps and hidden doors, and a decent lockpick, too. Of course, their
inclusion can be problematic. They are, after all, highly trained,
dedicated thieves, at the end of the day. ;)

> The obvious solution is to put some 'realistic' constraints on the
> physical fighters too. Which is really very simple to do. Just
> make it so that any movement of equipment eats into the movement
> points.  That includes just walking, and certainly to swinging a
> sword, mace and shield. Better armour offers (much) better
> protection, but at a cost of heavier weight, which means that the
> fighter can only swing that sword and shield for so long before
> getting tired (and slowing down).  It automatically also explains
> why mages do not wear heavy armour and weapons. They need their
> strength and movement points to maintain their static spells and
> to cast offensive ones and can not afford to waste it on lumbering
> loads of metal around.

Yup. Stamina is an important concept for balancing games, IMHO. I'm
toying with a hitpointless system right now, which works on injuries
and stamina (stamina being a measure of how tired the character is;
at 0 stamina the character would collapse from total exhaustion, and
their performance would degrade as their stamina was used up). I
might still track some form of hitpoints internally; but bleeding
and broken limbs should be part of the final result. If you get hit
with a sharp sword, your immediate problem is that it hurts. Your
long term problems are that you are now bleeding and you need to
stop it, and that this blood loss will tire you out quickly.

> For all this to work you need a much finer grained speed though,
> so that being encumbered by armour makes you slightly slower, and
> that you have to make a trade-off between being slow, but well
> protected or fast, but vulnerable to a glancing blow.  Added to
> that you need different fighting style to match these choices.  It
> has the added advantage that it makes your combat different from
> what you usually see on muds.

Aye. Hopefully my scheduling system will scale well to
this. Currently it works in 'ticks' which are equivalent to 1/100th
of a second each, allowing me a lot of space to maneouver in terms
of sequencing events. And different combat is one of the elusive
creatures which I enjoy chasing. :)

As a bit of a side track, in an attempt to make combat more
tactical, I'm considering an alternative battlefield view. Eg. If
you are in a narrow corridor (a party of 3 PCs), and encounter the
enemy (a group of 5 orcs), you may see a display such as:

  |  o  o   |
  |__  o ___|
     |  |
     |3 |
     | 2|
  ----  ----

In one corner of your screen (or perhaps alongside the battle

This representation of the place in which a fight is taking place
may allow tactical placement of persons, and so
forth. Implementation issues aside, would an overhead (roguelike
game) style view be beneficial in combat? It certainly makes the
issue of ranged combat clearer!


MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list