[MUD-Dev] Scripting Languages and Magic

Alex Chacha achacha at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 10 14:54:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

The basic concept of having a scripting language sounds very useful,
but as you have stated the complexity may be too overwhelming and
people will not enjoy doing it (writing magic scripts).

I often hope that I could implement different properties for spells.
A spell maker should be able to chose the elemental base for the
attack (ice, fire, force, etc) then chose how powerful it is (to
allow mapping to a mana cost) and duration of the spell (for damage
over time components) then have the ability to add the type of a
spell it is (target, self, area, chain, etc).  The latter attribute
is what scripting will resolve.  Spell maker may want to create a
chain lightning spell and based on their skill/components may affect
1 or more enemies, even self.  Conventional spell making systems
only allow you to specify the damage done, area of effect maybe and

Having a script system admittedly will allow spell makers to create
complex and often unique spells, but if the script system is too
complex it may never get used.

Ways to make it more appealing would be to give all spell casters an
ability to copy spells (at a cost) and give the spell maker the
ability to name their spells after their character... people like to
have their names in stars.

The other aspect is abuse, unless the system is relatively simple,
people will find ways to exploit the system and cause general havoc.
If they have the ability to create and control particle effects,
some may decide to create spells that generate enough lag to cause
the game to slowdown unacceptable, etc.  People find ways to misuse
anything that is not nailed down.

I am in the process of writing a spell building system with high
level of customization, but the scripting of spells is something I
have been pondering for a while and worrying about how to make it
useful enough and constrained enough to work with the general
concept of magic in MUDs.  My earlier effort was too open ended and
when I had to start thinking about debugging this spell script and
writing debugging tools for it is when I decided to rethink the
problem at hand.
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