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MUDII Forum Index General Chat A few game suggestions
Author A few game suggestions
Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 16-10-2008 13:10   
With the new version of the game on the way, and prompted by some players I've had discussions with, I'm posting a few ideas which I think would improve the game.

1. Touchstone.

The way the TS works currently is that it has a % chance to kill you each time you use it, with that % decreasing as your level goes up. This creates a situation where the game can randomly kill you for no good reason, completely unrelated to your skill or any mistakes you might make. However it is important that the game provides a mechanism for punishing those who are careless and lose magic.

I propose that at level 7 and above, a persona's first attempt at the touchstone is guaranteed. Subsequent attempts would have have a lower chance of working than currently, thus providing some extra risk for players who lose magic. With this proposal, the TS would kill players for a reason (being careless) rather than for no reason.

2. The dragon

My view on this is similar to the touchstone. I'm all for mistakes leading to possible death, but I dislike situations where you die or lose points randomly. Currently, the dragon has a chance to attack you instantly when you enter its room, meaning that no matter how good or fast you are, you will end up fleeing sometimes. Of course fleeing to the dragon has a random chance to kill you. So again, the game is killing players for no reason. However, the dragon is meant to be a difficult and risky challenge.

A solution therefore needs to make it theoretically possible (if you're good enough) to survive the dragon every time, whilst increasing the difficulty (because it would be too easy if the death element was removed whilst keeping everything else the same). I haven't perfected my solution to this but a couple of ideas I had were:

(i) Significantly increase the dragon's speed and have a minimum half-second delay before it can attack (similar to many other mobiles).

(ii) Set the dragon breath damage range to something like 99 - 119. This gives the possibility of fleeing at full stam to guarantee survival (at the cost of a 4x flee loss) as well as the possibility of attempting to flee at some stam value close to maximum (saving flee points, but risking death). Also if you get hawumph'd for 119 this adds the risk of collapsing unconscious at 1 stam, for which countermeasures will have to be considered.

I don't think either of these are particularly ideal so if anyone has a better idea I'd be keen to hear it.

3. Undead blocks

Currently, in normal circumstances, if you walk into a room with a zombie or a skeleton, you will have a hard time leaving the room. Sometimes it will take several dozen attempts before you can succesfully leave. I believe the original reason for this feature was to stop people using long and complex macro strings to navigate the game. However the current situation I think is unproportionally detrimental to skilled players. Put two competing players in a set of equal skill. If one player ends up in a room full of zombies whilst gathering kit, this can significantly swing the advantage to the opponent, unrelated to the skill of either. Further, a player who has good map knowledge and is fast will suffer more than a player who can't nagivate very well anyway. And if nothing else, undead blocking is unneccesarily annoying, for no real reason.

The solution I think is simple. Increase the odds of getting past a zombie or skeleton to a much higher value (e.g. 1 in 3, regardless of how many of that type of mobile are in the room). The original anti-macro objective will still be achieved.

Some of you will have realised that this will negatively affect another aspect of the game. I propose modifying that aspect so that it is more universal but also less guaranteed. (if you know what I'm talking about, hopefully that will make sense to you).

Thats it for now. I might post other ideas later.


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Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 16-10-2008 14:24   
4. Magic & attack delays

Currently there is a delay from when you enter the tearoom until you can attack other players, and a delay from when you go north until you can use magic on players/mobiles.

I think these delays are unneccesary and should be removed. Here are the problems I see with them:

(i) The game is designed so that a player who has aleady been north for some time has a very large advantage over a player who enters the Land later. The magic/attack delays exacerbate this problem by limiting the newcomer's ability to gain a quick edge.

(ii) Players who are inclined to abandon a set when another player appears are hard to catch because they have plenty of time to QQ before the newcomer can do something.

(iii) When a fight takes place very quickly, an advantage is gained by whoever's magic warms up first. I dislike game mechanics which reward players by chance rather than skill.


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royston
ranger

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1217
From: Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Posted: 16-10-2008 17:33   

On 16-10-2008 13:10, Armand wrote:
With the new version of the game on the way, and prompted by some players I've had discussions with, I'm posting a few ideas which I think would improve the game.

1. Touchstone.


It is a matter for debate whether the game should depend entirely on skill or if there should be some small element of luck. I don't think it follows that everyone thinks the same way. Afterall, RL is unfair so why should MUD be different? As long as the unfairness is written into the game itself and is random towards all players, it does give it an extra spice. If the unfairness could be directed in someway against an individual or a group, then that would be clearly UNFAIR.


2. The dragon

There is a way of killing the dragon every time. It just depends keeping your nerve, being quick at the appropriate moment and not doing something stupid like leaving the necessary kit behind.

This method takes up a lot of time and is suprisingly nerve racking, but it can be done. But that's why I do not go after the Dragon all that often.




3. Undead blocks


Again I cannot see much of a problem here, if you are blocked by a z, you kill it; if you are blocked by an sk, you think about killing it. I see your agument that this takes up time. But again it does bring in a slight element of luck. You are dealing with the undead while someone else is gathering all the good kit. But it could have been the other way around. A skilful player should be able to ride these minor delays and still come out on top.


As I am clearly not a member of 'some of you', I cannot comment.

4.Magic and Attack Delays.

I have to admit this has always puzzled me.

Well for what it's worth, that's how I think.

[ This Message was edited by: royston on 16-10-2008 17:36 ]


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Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 16-10-2008 17:57   
Interesting comments regarding the dragon. I can't really say much more on that without giving too much away, but maybe I'll chat to you in the game about it some time.

As for luck vs skill, I don't think RL should provide the template for the game. I'm not against the idea of luck in general, for example when determining damage and hits/misses. The game would be boring if everything was completely deterministic. However random catastrophic events such as TS and dragon deaths seem to me to serve little purpose.


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Tharg
friar

Joined: Sep 23, 2001
Posts: 78
Posted: 16-10-2008 18:34   
Generally I disagree, I think things are fine. A few points / questions though.

Ts change. The ts can be used for at least one thing other than becoming an mu. Would you modify the chance of this not killing you similarly? If so I disagree 100%.

Draggy. There's something I do, it's become a superstition, and I have never been killed by Barry while doing it. It's a simple little thing. I could just have been lucky, or perhaps I know something you don't.


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Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 16-10-2008 18:43   
Ah, more things we can't discuss on here. This is making for an interesting forum thread.

If the thing you are referring to is what I think it is, then I do believe it is superstition. I'll do some extensive testing and get back to you.

Yes, I would leave that aspect of the TS the same. Again, assuming we're both on the same wavelength.


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Vulnax
explorer

Joined: Oct 19, 2001
Posts: 639
From: North West
Posted: 16-10-2008 20:42   
Psssst ... I thought it had been proven after extensive loss of life that the draggy is a Girl!
Quote:

On 16-10-2008 18:34, Tharg wrote:
Generally I disagree, I think things are fine. A few points / questions though.


Draggy. There's something I do, it's become a superstition, and I have never been killed by Barry while doing it. It's a simple little thing. I could just have been lucky, or perhaps I know something you don't.



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Vulnax
explorer

Joined: Oct 19, 2001
Posts: 639
From: North West
Posted: 16-10-2008 21:40   
My replies are based on old lore and previous discussions / debates with key game persons ... all in a IIRC mode..

1. TS
Set with random death as it SHOULD be a great achievement to gain magic. At any level.
Disagree with any guarantees for first touch at any level, as that takes away any sense of achievement ( ok it IS frustrating if once dead you quickly work up a new personae and the TS fails ). Also encourages people to try playing as non musers to a higher level, sometimes!
Agree somewhat that those who over rely on magic & lose it should have a more significant risk of getting it back though ... as you say, lack of skill or even spamming spells should be punished.

2. Draggy
Not sure the draggy will attack on the instant you enter HER room, but a quick in and out mostly works... I only usually die to her if I mis type / she has moved while I type, etc. as long as I do /have the rest correct. If she DOES attack on sight the odd % of the time, yes, a 1/2 second delay would be beneficial in most players cases.
Fleeing/flaming ... currently it is set to a certain range which is selected randomly, 80-120 hit IIRC. So still a fair ( 20-40 % ) chance of surviving, but those figures need amending for % of time a top level flame is used... pretty most any 120 stam personae should escape and as you flee out to a different room even collapse should still retain life.
Anyway, only need to flee draggy if you got it wrong ( in most cases .. assuming your auto attack on sight proposition is correct ), so personae loses as they got something wrong! Penalise them as you suggest!
Making it a cinch to survive every time if you "are good enough" - fast enough, know enough, got the right stuff etc. - leads to elitism and will reduce the likelihood of the "normal" players having a go at the draggy. IMHO. Death must stay for doing draggy, agree there. It's ( one of ) the biggest rewards / challenges in the game and needs to remain so until something bigger and better comes along.

Point ii) - answered above. Flaming hit range is already better than 99-119. IIRC.


3. Blocks
Other mobiles block too, dwarfs, goblins for example and some livestock.
It's annoying I agree. It was as you say to stop macro users doing a long run.
But I see no reason for people who have extensive maps / memorise the routes being less blocked than newer or less knowledgable players.
You could liken your example to 2 skilled players but one goes for one lot of kit the other some other kit ... widens the knowledge of what kit is where if primary kit is taken.
But I do agree it would be better to limit the time / no. commands the player is blocked to 3 - 5 max, not the 10 - 20 we all have found at some time, usually when on a run somewhere! Although I think it should still take account of how many of that mobile are present .. but maybe adjust to lower limit of blocks per mobile?
This avoids your issue of speeding up the other aspect of the game ( I have a couple in mind but maybe not same one/s as you? )

4. Magic/atack delays
IIRC this was to avoid spam attacks from novices? Or people with a vengence after an attack?

Since players know there is a delay before attacking/ magic then their game play should allow for this? Are you really likely to go out mid set and attack someone in the first 30 seconds... need the kit run first unless a spam / revenge attack!

Players QQ when a threat enters game? erm, yes! So the player who QQ's is a "better player " as he watches WHO and takes action, to leave and survive! Don't penalise more skillfull players. )

Speed of magic warming up in a fight - unlikely to happen it's unless a revenge/spite or spam fight? Don't recall, but can a player actually be attacked in this warm up period in the Land ? Not tried it !


Phew, wasn't going to write a lot, was only going to say - Armand, ask The Games creators on Saturday for more info on why these measures went in and what may happen if they are removed. Will be interesting.

Erm, what's the new version look like, changes wise, if you know?



V




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Heiach
Wizard



Joined: Oct 31, 2001
Posts: 515
From: I can't remember!
Posted: 16-10-2008 22:20   
I could say A LOT more but I'll pose this question. Why are the anti-macro fixes no longer needed? Are there less people? Do less people try and macro their way to easy kit-runs? Why the sudden need to change the way blocking etc.. works?

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Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 16-10-2008 23:37   
Ok lots of points there.

Vulnax, dragon does sometimes attack instantly (or at least within a "game instant"). I can be 100% certain of this due to the method I use. Also just to clarify (due to people in-game telling me dragon shouldn't be made easier) I was suggesting it be made harder, but with increased possibility to avoid death. However it seems that a number of players believe themselves to have methods that do exactly that, so maybe I have something to learn there

To answer your question about attacking someone in first 30 seconds, yes that is something I have often found myself wishing I could do in the past (against players who will insta-QQ). Kit run can be irrelevant in certain circumstances. I disagree that QQing when another player turns up is a "skill", particularly if there is zero ability for said player to attack them first.

Yes, you can have a fight without warmed magic - I've been there many times. You're right that these things were implemented to stop people doing "n.blind <player>.qq", but one aspect of magic warming could be retained to this end: namely the loss of magic points if you QQ without magic warmed up. This could be ramped up to 99% magic point loss for example, whilst still allowing you to cast spells as normal while magic isn't warm.

Blocks - I can live with your suggestions there (i.e. a reduction in blocks somewhere between what it is now, and what I suggested).

Heiach - I never said anti-macro measures aren't needed. Just that it doesn't require 20+ blocks to stop a macro. Any amount of random blocking (even just once) will break a basic macro. Unless the macro is using triggers, in which case no amount of blocks can ever prevent it.

[ This Message was edited by: Armand on 16-10-2008 23:40 ]


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Richard
Arch-Wizard



Joined: Sep 05, 2001
Posts: 6
Posted: 17-10-2008 10:50   
As I happened to be passing...

>1. Touchstone.
>This creates a situation where the game can randomly kill you for no good reason

No, it is a good reason. It's a good reason for several reasons, of which I shall state several here:
1) As a player, when you get magic it MEANS something.
2) In narrative terms, the cave is the "belly of the whale" of a hero's journey, and the touchstone is the "guardian". If it couldn't kill you, you wouldn't feel reborn as a mage. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth .
3) In design terms, it gives you an interesting choice: do you go with a lower-level character that has a high chance of failing but whom you can level back up quickly, or do you go with a higher-level character that has a high chance of success but will be more painful to lose? This is intended to make you think about your relationship between yourself and your character.
4) The touchstone says something about MUD2: it is a game where death really means death. All players need to understand this, and the TS places it in the starkest terms. It's there to show that the threat of death is unavoidable and even capricious. Removing it would signal that The Land was something it isn't: safe.

In terms of your proposed change, there are already some items that can increase your chance of success. No, they don't increase it to 100% ever, but they can lessen the odds by a significant amount.

>2. The dragon
>My view on this is similar to the touchstone. I'm all for mistakes leading to possible death, but I dislike situations where you die or lose points randomly.

The dragon isn't like that. You can kill it 100% of the time if you do things right. Even if you do walk into the wrong room at the wrong time, you have a chance of escaping if your stamina is high enough. In the past, we've had players who killed the dragon almost every reset.

I'm not saying it isn't dangerous to attempt the dragon, but this is one area where skill really does play a part. It's the antithesis of the TS.

>Currently, the dragon has a chance to attack you instantly when you enter its room

So don't enter its room.

>(i) Significantly increase the dragon's speed and have a minimum half-second delay before it can attack (similar to many other mobiles).

Macro triggers for victory!

>3. Undead blocks
>Currently, in normal circumstances, if you walk into a room with a zombie or a skeleton, you will have a hard time leaving the room.

That's if you don't want to kill it, yes.

>I believe the original reason for this feature was to stop people using long and complex macro strings to navigate the game.

Yes, that's correct, although it also plays a role in fights.

>Put two competing players in a set of equal skill. If one player ends up in a room full of zombies whilst gathering kit, this can significantly swing the advantage to the opponent

And what rooms full of zombies are there?

>Further, a player who has good map knowledge and is fast will suffer more than a player who can't nagivate very well anyway.

If they have very good map knowledge, won't they avoid the zombies?

>And if nothing else, undead blocking is unneccesarily annoying, for no real reason.

All mobiles have their own personalities. You hate zombies, because they block you. If they didn't block you, they'd be no different to regular mobiles. The fact they block you is what makes them what they are.


>The solution I think is simple. Increase the odds of getting past a zombie or skeleton to a much higher value

OK, so here's something you maybe should know: every time you try to get out of a room with a zombie in it and fail, it causes the zombie to reset its own "will I move from here?" counter. In other words, if you wait a few seconds then the chances are that the zombie will wander off of its own accord, but if you try to leave then it won't.

Also, there's at least one item which, if you're carrying it, you won't be blocked by zombies.

I realise I've knocked every one of your ideas on the head here, and don't wish to discourage you from posting new ones. It's just that "no good reason" often depends on the perspective of the person looking for the reason.

Richard


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Armand
explorer

Joined: Nov 20, 2006
Posts: 530
Posted: 17-10-2008 13:16   
Hi Richard,

Thanks for the reply! Those are some good points, although I clearly have yet to discover the 100% success method for the dragon. I'll have to work on that one.

Also very interesting comments regarding the zombies, and yes the item you mention is what I was being cryptic about earlier.


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Samson
friar

Joined: Oct 28, 2006
Posts: 105
Posted: 17-10-2008 17:13   
RICHARD -

You've mellowed


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Vulnax
explorer

Joined: Oct 19, 2001
Posts: 639
From: North West
Posted: 18-10-2008 00:04   
Mellowed indeed, didn't correct me once on my half assed reply!



V

[ This Message was edited by: vulnax on 19-10-2008 21:52 ]


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