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Old 06-11-2010, 06:29 AM   #21
KaVir
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Because, as I said in my first post, "More choices mean more customisation, and many players love customisation".
But if there is only one "correct, mistake-free way"...why bother?
If there's only one viable route, then clearly you've failed to offer your players any meaningful choices. But by offering many good choices, you're also increasing the number of bad ones.

To give an example, in my mud there are over 150 abilities called "talents", and every starting character has 3 of them. There are hundreds of good builds you can make by combining 3 different talents - but if you just picked 3 at random, there's a very high chance that your character would suck.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
If I'm fighting a warrior, I'll just change my attributes with a trigger/macro, whatever, everytime I encounter I warrior. I'll have one setup for every single class I meet. That's boring and repetitive, too. What isn't boring or repetitive is meeting a warrior one day who is purely a melee offensive fighter and has stats set that way...and the next day, finding a warrior who may have stats set purely for defense and my spells won't land at all.
My players can only rearrange their characters while on their home plane, not when "out in the field" - so you can't just set macros like that. It's more like the second example you gave, where you meet a character one day who's purely offensive, then the next day they're purely defensive...except in this case they're both the same character, and he's redesigned since the last time you encountered him, after realising that his pure offense build didn't really work very well.

This means combat is not repetitive, because skilled players will continually tweak and adapt their characters. It's not uncommon to watch two players stress-test new builds by duelling several times in a row, becoming increasingly evenly matched with each fight as they probe for weaknesses while patching their own.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
I'm not saying they were playing 5 years as a cleric. What I'm saying is an experienced player decides to make a cleric. They know the game better. At creation, they should make a better cleric then me.
That's very much the case with my mud as well. The difference is that the experienced player doesn't need to recreate just to correct mistakes they made while learning. That same character will instead be tweaked and refined over the years, as the player's experience grows.

Otherwise you end up with a scenario like Elvarlyn described earlier, where new players have to spend time reading through forums before they create their character, or they'll end up with sub-par choices that haunt them for the rest of their character's life.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
Yes, I said the numbers were the same. But it's entirely different aspect to your character, not a "distraction"...I have my base character, stats as they are. I, however, want to go hunting for equipment that makes up for the areas in which I lack. Equipment is a very important part of many, many, MUDs. Equipment is cherished by players! Quests are distractions, not equipment. There's a lot of meat n' potatoes in equipment.
I think perhaps you misunderstood what I meant. When I say equipment is a distraction, I mean the term - the label - is just cosmetic justification for a specific type of ability. If a game designer want certain abilities that players can earn, lose and trade, then it's very convenient to describe them as "equipment".

In a futuristic mud you might do it the other way around - perhaps "equipment" refers to cybernetic implants that cannot be removed, while "skills" are pure data that can be uploaded and downloaded Matrix-style.

There is some value in breaking the abilities down to their raw mechanics: it makes it considerably easier to balance character builds that cannot use equipment with those that can.

Thus in my mud, some dragons wear barding, while others wear nothing at all - but both options are equally viable.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
Skills and stats are two different things and vary a lot depending on what kind of MUD you play. Equipment isn't an "ability" either...equipment simply gives better AC, improves attributes, adds HP, etc...
They all give quantifiable bonuses. To give a really simple example, there's no reason why a mud might not have a "Constitution" stat, an "Athletics" skill and a magical "amulet of health", each of which gives exactly the same bonus.

If you then say that werewolves get +1 Constitution, but cannot wear amulets, then you've just shifted the source of the bonus from one type of ability to another, without changing the character's total bonuses.

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Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
I don't know enough about your MUD to comment. Again, I only know what's important when it comes to PK and fighting MOB's...and that's attributes. And the extra push that EQ gives to those attributes! Which you can change however you'd like over at your MUD as the situation demands...so...what else could even be important to make it like a MtG deck?
You can't rearrange your MtG deck in the middle of a game - likewise, players cannot rearrange their characters in the middle of a battle. But if they do badly, they can "go home" and redesign their character, much like a MtG player can redesign their deck, assembling it from a wide range of different options.

You don't have to throw away your MtG cards if you want to build a new deck.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #22
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

Unwritten legends handles this.

There are definitely ways to mess up your stats, but they're mostly covered in the various help files for each class.
Also, if you really mess up, you can reroll on demand. It resets you to level 1 with your default skill levels and allows you to change your stats. You do lose anything you're carrying, but inn rooms are saved, along with owned animals. So you can just dump all your stuff and money in your inn room first. You just have to leave the key somewhere you can find after the reroll.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #23
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Originally Posted by Ghostcat View Post
Unwritten legends handles this.

There are definitely ways to mess up your stats, but they're mostly covered in the various help files for each class.
Also, if you really mess up, you can reroll on demand. It resets you to level 1 with your default skill levels and allows you to change your stats. You do lose anything you're carrying, but inn rooms are saved, along with owned animals. So you can just dump all your stuff and money in your inn room first. You just have to leave the key somewhere you can find after the reroll.
Out of curiosity, if there are such basic measures that can be taken to circumvent item and money loss, why not just eliminate it entirely?
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:58 AM   #24
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

I first encountered permanent damage to your character based on leveling choices on Hidden worlds; not only were practices dependent on wisdom, but in order to maximize hitpoints and mana you had to wear max stat and -hp/-mana equipment when leveling. The difference between using full leveling equipment and not made the difference between 650/325 and 800/400 hp/mana. As part of the Alaska crew, we had a common storage char with pretty close to the best 'legal' leveling equipment on the game. Most other players did not, and it showed.

When I started Alter Aeon, I kept the same system, largely because I didn't know any better. Over time, I realized my game wasn't fun for me; I always felt the need to maximize my levels, which was time consuming and irritating. I also started to realize that the leveling system was grossly unfair to newbies. Once leveled incorrectly, your character was permanently damaged.

My solution to this has been to make stat gain from leveling either constant or parametric. Hitpoints, mana, and movement are parametric, in that they are a function of your instantaneous levels and stats. Number of practices per level is a constant.

In addition to this, pretty much everything is 'fixable' if you screw it up. Changing from primary mage to primary thief is possible, it's just expensive. Learning the wrong skills and spells, or training stats you don't need, is irritating and may hinder you in the short term, but it's always possible to get the practices you need to fix it.

This kind of 'forgiving with penalties' environment seems to work pretty well. It discourages people from arbitrarily changing everything on a whim, but allows a reasonable exit from bad decisions. It's also made the game a lot more fun for me to personally play, as I no longer have to waste my time in order to level optimally. I just level whenever I want, wherever I want, content in the knowledge that when and where makes no difference in the end.

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Old 07-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #25
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Re: Avoiding mistakes in char gen/early game

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Originally Posted by Elvarlyn View Post
Out of curiosity, if there are such basic measures that can be taken to circumvent item and money loss, why not just eliminate it entirely?
Pretty sure it deletes and remakes the character, including everything worn.
Since there's no floating vacuum labeled "inventory" all held belongings are stored in worn clothing and equipment.

I'm not in a position to know the exact details though.

*Now that i think about it, every character is gifted with randomized matching clothes, pouches, and a bit of money. So, it probably overwrites anything already worn. You can even change your description in the process. (though it's discouraged if you've rp'd with people already)

Last edited by Ghostcat : 07-18-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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