[MUD-Dev] Character Restraint & Capture.

Brian 'Psychochild' Green brian at psychochild.org
Sat Feb 28 03:25:04 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


An interesting bit that caught my attention:

Damion Schubert wrote:

> At least in the commercial games, pretty much any feature that
> steals the ability of movement and decision making from the user
> is going to cause ire and frustration.  Common examples also
> include:

>   - Long stuns and paralyzes, such that Meridian and DAoC had.

[snip]

>   - Blind, such as Meridian had.  Nothing like not being able to
>   target or tell where you're hightailing off to.

> A good rule of thumb is that any time a player can sit back from
> his keyboard and say, "Well, now all I can do is sit here for 20
> seconds and watch my character die"... it probably needs to be
> toned down.

> So all of these drove players nuts.  Does that mean don't do 'em?
> Not really - more like 'exercise extreme caution'.  What will the
> counters be?  Can any single individual do it, or does it require
> teamwork?  What are the risks of pulling off a 'capture attempt'?

This is one of the main reasons why I drastically toned down the
duration of the hold and blind spells in Meridian 59, and why there
were counterspells implemented.  While there is still some
frustration on the newbie end of the scale, at the higher end these
spells are tactics to use to gain an advantage, not an obvious "I
win" button.

I think the biggest sin is to make the duration too long.  Give the
attacker a free attack or two; this is generally enough of an
advantage for the aggressor to use without the victim feeling
absolutely helpless. Also give effective counters to these
strategies.  Some of the worst PvP was when I had to stand around
stunned watching my party getting killed one-by-one by an opposing
realm.  Some of the best PvP I've been in was when I was able to
escape from someone holding and blinding me in M59 (usually with an
ally's help in removing the spell), heal up quickly, then go back
and pwn the manaless fool.  The difference is whether I felt that I
or my allies had any meaningful way to overcome the situation.

In short, I agree with Damion.  Exercise extreme caution and these
types of things can add a lot to your game.  Make them overpowering
and make the victim feel powerless and it can take away just as
much, if not more.  Using shorter durations and not having
area-of-effect spells of this nature are the key to keeping it
interesting.

My thoughts,

--
"And I now wait / to shake the hand of fate...."  -"Defender", Manowar
          Brian Green, brian at psychochild.org  aka  Psychochild
         |\      _,,,---,,_      *=* Morpheus, my kitten, says "Hi!" *=*
   ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_               Meridian 59
        |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'        http://www.meridian59.com/
       '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)          PvP and full player interaction
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