[MUD-Dev] DGN : Atomistic Creation

cruise cruise at casual-tempest.net
Mon Apr 25 21:56:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Jaycen Rigger wrote:

> I'm not talking about that kind of power.  I want to give each raw
> resource material in the game a set of properties.  The definition
> for what a sword is, for example, only defines the graphic, name
> and number of raw material units required to make the item.

> If this sword requires 5 material units to create it, the player
> has the choice of using any 5 material units to craft the sword
> that he likes.  The finished product carries the properties added
> up for each raw material unit.

> So, a wooden sword could be crafted using 5 logs.  Such a sword
> would be very light, but do little damage and have very low
> durability.  A pure iron sword would be extremely durable and do a
> great deal of damage, but so heavy it would make it difficult to
> carry the sword AND the treasure back to town.  The same sword,
> mixed with silver might do bonus damage to undead creatures.

> I also want to give crafters the ability to create "templates" of
> a particular item (crafted by that particular character) so if he
> finds a combination for a sword that adventurers really like, he
> can easily re-create that exact same effect in the future.

> Does anyone see any obvious flaws with a system like this?  Has
> anyone tried something like this?  Is it being done effectively?

Technically, you could say it's how the player characters are
already constructed - lots of little additions and qualities that
build to one gestalt result.

Personally, I always support anything that gives players more choice
and control. I wanted to do a similar thing with magic, various
runes combining to fashion a spell. Though it's probably easier to
work out the combinations on equipment.

The issue I can see stems from how many qualities you need to keep
track of, which is a product of how many types of items can be
constructed. The qualities that make a good item of clothing are
very different from what makes a good sword, from what makes a good
chair. Every class of constructable object will have yet more
qualities that every material in the game needs to have.

Two things lead from that. First, maintainability. Every time a new
property is added, that needs to be given to all existing
materials. Which interacts with the second point, unexpected
combinations of properties. It would be very easy to get bizarre
results like a sword made from cloth, wood and stone or something,
just because of the way the properties combine or offset each
other. If you didn't want that, then every new addition would
require checking the various new combinations for "unnacceptable"

Depending on how you want the game to fell, this may well not be
issues. Personally, I feel having oddball results like that
encourages players to experiment and test their ingenuity.

Of course, the other concern is how complicated you make the
process. A recipe should really require quite a lot of components -
otherwise there's no issues in just trying every combination. If
there is several thousand different /valid/ ways of making a sword,
then the one or two really good recipe's are worth finding - and
unless the person is really generous, a player crafter would likely
want to keep their secret techniques to themselves in those

Hmmm - I'll go have a play and see what I can come up with...

[ cruise / casual-tempest.net / transference.org ]
   "quantam sufficit"
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