[MUD-Dev] Too much magic?

Miroslav Silovic miro at puremagic.com
Mon Feb 16 17:01:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

Damion Schubert wrote:

> As an added minus, players feel they must feel every slot with
> armor, or they are behind the Joneses.  This is especially true in
> PvP games such as Shadowbane, but it also resulted in my EverQuest
> experience devolving into a world where everyone wore largely
> identical tin cans.  I want a world where playing a bare-chested
> Conan-type is viable!

> If nothing else, magic can actually help the situation.  If a
> player randomly finds a 90% breast plate with some kickin' magic
> on 'em, at least at that point he has an interesting option from
> the otherwise always superior 100% breast plate, and maybe there's
> a chance that he won't end up looking exactly like every other
> heavy armor wearer in the world.

You don't need magic to put extra attributes on an armor. Consider
(and this is just being realistic, an abstract combat system can go
way beyond this list):

  1. Noise. Tin cans are noisy as heck. Chainmails are (I think)
  even worse.

  2. Heat. You don't want to wear thick leather armor (or a tin can)
  at +35. You don't want to wear rusted metal in sunlight (metal
  oxydes absorb visible light but don't emit much infrared)

  3. Cold. Clothing is good.

  4. Diseases. Allow for skin rash if a player is wearing large
  ammount of armor for a large timespan.

  5. Fatigue. Weight hurts.

  6. Speed and coordination. Heavy armor slows you down.

  7. Coverage. Various armor types cover differing percentages of
  the body.

  8. Fire. Both mundane and magical fires make things 'interesting'
  for the people in metal armors. Think closed oven.

So no armor at all makes you very fast and sneaky, and you can
function for long periods of time in a hot weather.  Leather armor
protects somewhat, with most of the above qualities, if you don't
mind the smell and the lice.  Metal armor is unusable if you want to
move quietly. Can get hot in the sun. Slows you down, making you
easier to hit and slower to counterattack. Hard to get into or out
of. You *really* don't want to be covered with oil and ignited (not
that it's much better without metal armor). You can't run very far
or very fast.

Also, the notion of 'best' of anything is strictly tied to the way
characters advance. Add something other than combat record as a
requirement (or at least means) to advance and you'll have much less
of a problem.

That said, I still prefer having magic. Remember that even in a
world where magic is assumed to Just Work, it's by definition
mundane. It's part of the world setting, after all. It adds
arbitrary (presumably large) number of potentially tweakable
attributes and toys. It's also an excuse to add the cool particle
effects. :)
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