[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Vincent Archer archer at frmug.org
Tue Apr 8 12:14:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

According to Ryan S. Dancey:

> ...  If and when such a beast is truly realized (which may not
> even be possible with today's tech and bandwidth limits) the "d20
> System" rules should be able to support it fairly well.  A

I have to disagree a bit about bandwidth limits. The main things
preventing a "real" AD&D Online today are more constraints about how
to recreate the proper AD&D game experience rather than mere
gameplay.  AD&D, as it stands, almost require a GM to moderate a
game (less so if you have a strict scenario that the players can't
deviate from at all, like the various Bioware games), so yes,
technology to have the game properly adapt to player actions is
still missing.

> Some examples:
> Typical MMORPGs have a dozen base creatures, mabe a half dozen
> exceptional creatures, and dozens of variations of size and color
> (and damage/armor potential).  Each expansion to a popular game
> may add a dozen or so more basic creatures.  D&D on the other
> hand, includes more than 300 >different< creatures in just the
> first Monster Manual, which has already been augmented by
> significant additional releases. (MM II, Fiend Folio, Monsters of
> Faerun, etc.)

This isn't by design, but by constraints. Each creature requires
extensive design and 3D modelling. The game implementers aren't
limited by lack of imagination or reference manual, they are limited
by the amount of art and animations the graphical dept. can produce.

Even NWN, which is pure 3D edition, shipped with only a minor
fraction of the Monster Manual. I mean, how long did we wait to get

> A typical MMORPG has a combat system that consists primarily of
> trigger actions.  Characters "attack", "run", "dodge", or take a
> special action (cast a spell, drink a potion, etc.) D&D, for
> example, has more than two dozen codified actions that can be
> taken in combat.  In addition, using feat trees, characters can be
> specialized into about a dozen different "types" of combat
> specialist, each with different strengths and weaknesses (which in
> turn combine with the huge tree of weapon specialization types to
> create a nearly infinite potential pool of combat routines).
> While

This is also the point where all computer implementations have to
depart somewhat from AD&D "purity". The main problem of the AD&D is
that it's turn-based. The whole structure of segments and combat
turns is a real problem, specially if you move away from the now
classic Bioware system and go all the way into a complete immersive
3D world MMORPG.

Not that I wouldn't absolutely love an AD&D-Online (which would
probably be required somehow to be a kind of Forgotten Realms
online, if you really want to capitalize on familiarity).

	Vincent Archer			Email:	archer at frmug.org

All men are mortal.  Socrates was mortal.  Therefore, all men are Socrates.
							(Woody Allen)

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