[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Kwon Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Fri Jun 7 19:37:27 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "John Bertoglio" <jb at co-laboratory.com>

> As I said before, I like the idea that a world should have
> physical rules. They do not have to be the same as our world, but
> they should

The physical world is not and never will be balanced.  There will
always be someone who is bigger, tougher, meaner...

> most balance problems derive from not using some kind of physical
> model as a basis. Most advancement/damage models are built on the
> desire to reward user participation and loyalty. Because they have

Most balance problems are dirived from a lack of understanding
and/or preferences of the administration.  I've balanced several
systems on existing muds and it's simple tweaking and a hell of alot
of testing for the most part (Generally I was right on the first try
but I always test my stuff, sometimes things don't always measure

> or less. Because these designers use real world physics as their
> baseline, they get close to balance on the first pass. The weapons
> they model were all designed for the same purpose and reflect
> standard engineering trades-offs. Tweaking the balance is required
> because the simulation cannot fully reflect reality.

I'm sure there's alot more than simply using real world physics.  In
the real world, any firearm has the potential to kill in a single
hit.  In a game sence it's not fun to be killed in a single hit
unless it's extremely difficult to score the shot.  Snipers simply
have a much longer range.

> were trying to avoid the situation where a low level mage has
> spell power that is the equivalent of throwing rocks and a high
> level mage has spells with the power of a 16inch naval gun (along
> with a rate of fire admirals only dream of). An important
> component of the

Admirals no longer dream of 16" naval guns, if you've looked at
recent destroyer design, a modern US Missile Destroyer packs a much
bigger punch than a WWII Battleship.  It's capable of launching
hundreds of missiles in a matter of minutes, each one individually
targetting.  That's a wide assortment of firepower.  Which is
definitely unbalancing in the world today (A single US Aircraft
Carrier contains more aircraft than the majority of airforces today)

As is, I see no reason why a low level mage would be considerably
less powerful than a high level mage.  Take DragonLance for
example... would you put a fresh magic user against Raistlin?
Doubtful even an experienced magic user would survive for long
against one whose magic was so great he thought to challenge the
gods themselves.

> By tying some of the power of magic to location, we have the
> effect of creating tactical differentiation.

Making your location a factor in magic could be useful "if" done
correctly.  There's alot of things that people do which are not done
correctly.  There should be ways for a magic user to tell (within
reason) how effective magic is at his location.  And it shouldn't be
the only factor of magic.

I'm a big fan of making magic "unbalancing" but "extremely
difficult" to use.  Magic should be more powerful than anything else
in the game, but it should have definite limitations forcing the
mage to use his/her brain.

-- Kwon J. Ekstrom

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