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Old 03-05-2003, 02:15 PM   #1
Eagleon
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On some major MUDs, that I would LOVE if they didn't have this, it drops your equipment when you quit. WTF?! This doesn't even seem realistic to me. Why would an advanced MUD still have this? It's simply annoying to rise up, get some needed equipment, and then when you have to quit, be put back in net worth to almost the beginning. Is it harder than I think to implement equipment saving? If there's things you don't want people keeping beyond a single session, why don't you drop those only, and let my cheap, but necessary for my craft and thus lifestyle, little knife be?
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Old 03-05-2003, 06:21 PM   #2
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Au contraire, it is more realistic than saving equipment. After all, do you go to sleep holding everything you use in the course of your daily existence?

You might try arguing that saving eq increases playability, though even that argument makes several large assumptions.
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Old 03-05-2003, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Au contraire, it is more realistic than saving equipment.  After all, do you go to sleep holding everything you use in the course of your daily existence?

Do you often wake up and find everything that you own vanished?  Saving equipment increases both playability and realism IMO.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:23 PM   #4
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It's one way to avoid having to code up a decent item economy.

And a decent economy is hard, much harder than coding item save :-)

It avoids the tremendous item inflation that plagues most MUDs, though it does so at a severe cost.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:27 PM   #5
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For the longest time, I wouldn't touch with a bargepole any MUD that didn't save equipment at logout.  I do find disappearing equipment unrealistic; even if you equate logging out with going to sleep (and not all MUDs use this paradigm), why should the leather jerkin I was wearing when I fell asleep not still be there when I awake?  And besides, it's just plain annoying.


That said, I have seen a "rent" MUD that puts the lack of saving to good use, and which has made me rethink my stance (somewhat).

On DartMUD, your character drop most of his or her equipment when you quit.  DartMUD is one that equates logging out with "going to sleep", and you don't drop your clothes (or some other personal items).  I guess the case could be made that the items your character does drop are the ones they would remove before retiring to bed (although personally, I wouldn't remove my trusty leather jerkin if I was camping out in wolf-infested woods).  

The equipment, however, doesn't vanish into the aether.  If you quit somewhere far from the madding crowds, it's possible that it might still be there when you awake.  But if you want more of a guarantee*, you can hire a room at an inn, rent a cottage, or swear feality to a landed Baron, who'll provide you with (amongst other things) free board.

And herein lies the beauty of the scheme.  Because you must return to your abode when you wish to "sleep", these places tend to become foci of character interaction.  Want to find a friend?  Chances are reasonable that they may be at "home", where they are storing their equipment, so you can go around and pay them a visit, just as you might do IRL.  This beautifully provides a way for characters to find each other without having to resort to (not always believable) tells or global channels.

Another up side is that the attainment of a place of residence is quite an achievement, and as I've stated elsewhere, I like to be provided with goals by my gameworlds.

Food for thought.


Maia


* Not an absolute guarantee.  You are still at risk of filfy feeves, but that in itself is quite elegantly implemented in DartMUD.
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:12 PM   #6
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I didn't want to name any muds with my post, but DartMUD is one of the ones I'm angry with. I don't think qutting should affect _anything_ in the gameworld, as it is done OOC. The sleep explaination is completely unrealistic, as you could be "going to sleep" for more than a week irl, while your character is "sleeping" for months because of time acceleration. And then, while you are playing, you stay up for days at a time without so much as lying down (apparently impossible in DartMUD). Personally, if I was in such a dangerous place as a MUD IRL, I'd keep my weapon handy when I was sleeping, even if "handy" is sitting beside me where I can wake up as I sleep lightly. You say an item economy is hard to implement? That's the kind of thing that you need to implement, things that improve the game. It's hard, yes, but it seems very necessary for a good game. Try making things harder to get, maybe? Accursed Lands, now that we're mentioning names, has equipment saving. It's based off of DartMUD I believe. I think the reason it works is that the skills are harder to get than DartMUD, and more valuable than the baubles in the long run. Things are still expensive, but people still love to buy them, if not for their value as defense or offense, at least for the status that it brings. It's hard to play, yes, but so is DartMUD.

Edit: I'm sorry if this seems very hostile, but it's just so annoying to me. I love DartMUD except for that one little detail which has made me quit before, and is making me consider quitting again.
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:25 PM   #7
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It's not that it's hard to make everything save. It is a choice we made. There are many ways to save your equipment. If your equipment is disappearing, you are stashing it in the wrong place. Unlike some less stable LP muds, Dartmud reboots once every 1-2 weeks, not once every 24 hours like some I've seen.

(Lying down is impossible in Dartmud? When climbing maybe, or in water, but anywhere else you can sit, lie down or kneel on the ground, and you even wind up lying down when you fall or pass out.)
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Old 03-06-2003, 12:06 AM   #8
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Must have been something weird the time I tried it. It works fine now. Heh. *embarrassed*

And I know it's your choice, it just seems strange to me. Could you maybe explain why you did it? I'd just like to know.
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Old 03-06-2003, 02:45 AM   #9
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Accursed Lands, now that we're mentioning names, has equipment saving. It's based off of DartMUD I believe.
*grins*

Hope to see you in the game then, Eagleon; Accursed Lands is one of my current favourite haunts.

Funny you should mention the two of them.  Accursed Lands was derived from DartMUD.  In fact, it's still occasionally refered to as DartMUD II, although both games have developed considerably since 1997 when AL was launched.  AFAIK, the relationship between the staff of the two is amicable, and there may be some cross-pollination of ideas.  I'm always delighted to see good code bases go forth and multiply.


I not so long ago abandoned DM in favour of AL, for reasons I don't want to go into here for fear of getting even further off topic than I have already.  Suffice to say, AL fits my style of play better.  However, it wasn't due to the equipment saving issue, and I do believe that DM has some really great features that AL lacks (or at least, lacks so far).   Credit where credit is due.


One criticism often levelled at AL is that the gameworld is just huge, which in itself is a good thing, but due to the lack of tells or global IC channels, finding your friends (or enemies) can be very difficult without resorting to extramural means such as ICQ, the use of in this manner being (thankfully) illegal.  It was this problem that highlighted for me the community-building advantages of the equiment handling scheme DM uses.

(There are means of addressing this issue without removing equipment saving, and I was thrilled to learn that some of these may be in the works at AL, but still.)


Regardless of my observations as a player, I'd be really interested in hearing the "official" reason why DM chose the equipment saving scheme it did (Ogma?) and also any further thoughts people have about the influence of "renting" on gameworld economies, communities, etc.


Maia, curious
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Old 03-06-2003, 10:40 AM   #10
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This thread seems to have become "Why does xmud handle equipment saving this way?", and as such it's not really a coding question.

It's easy to add the saving/reloading of equipment in an LPmud (most LP mudlibs already have it), though it's rather more difficult to errortrap it fully so that faulty equipment doesn't mess up the loading of the rest of the inventory.

On the question "why save/don't save", personally I'm strongly in favour of the "save" option, and I mean "auto save at logoff", not rental of storage space.

The choice does strongly influence the feeling of the mud - to me, having to return equipment to a storage locker changes the mud from being immersive to something akin to "entering a theme park to play paintball, then storing your paintball gun in the locker room on the way out."

I can understand that there are compensating advantages - ie the "locker room" area becomes a social gathering point, though it seems a little OOC even if you disguise it as a lodging room provided by the local Lord.

The other problem I see with the "non-save" system is that it favours the frequent/long session player, against the occasional/short session player (and also discriminates heavily against those who lose their links, or have to log off suddenly and unexpectedly).  This penalty comprises the time taken to travel between the locker room and the "playing area" at each end of the session, or the time taken to acquire the "lost" equipment in some other way (buy/beg/steal/borrow/loot or whatever), and the cost incurred in that (eg a daily/weekly storage charge, which penalises the occasional player).

An alternative that seems more logical (though it would seem strange to "traditionalist" players) would be for the player's character to become a npc when the player logs off, until the player logs back to take control again.

The points above are most relevant to a mud with a strong "hack and slash" element, where a player would not wish to lose his "+6 longsword of troll-slaying" after spending the whole session killing the appropriate monster to acquire it, and would be somewhat less valid where the aim of the mud is something other than the "kill monsters, get better equipment, get experience, get levels" scenario. Nevertheless, it seems that RP-oriented muds would also see significant problems with hand-crafted and personalised items that don't save.
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Old 03-07-2003, 02:18 PM   #11
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On Ages of Despair they opted for a non-save approach. They had two reasons, the first was the decision to use a locker system to limit the ability of low level players to aquire massive amounts of EQ. The lockers only store 10 items and you can only have one at a time. However, as a reward to those who play longer or just spend a long time making lots of cash, there is also the option of buying a house and chests. Once you have one then up to five other people can share it, but since the houses are part of the character record you need to be careful who you pick to be your land lord. If they get nukes, so does all you EQ.

This is on one hand a nice system. I happen to have a 100 room house that, when I add in all the additional rooms that I plan, will eventually have around 160. It also means that you do have to either make at least one friend or do some real serious money making if you plan to get the best equipment. You can't simply steal or buy it and magically be able to keep it. For me, as a healer, druid and cleric, this is a major issue, since when working solo I need to have the best defensive EQ I can get my hands on, but when in a party I need to boost my spells as much as possible with less protective wisdom boosting EQ. It wouldn't make a lot of sense for me to be able to lug around 4 sets of equipment all the time. That is 2 sets solo eq + 2 sets party eq, the extras being backups for use on the rare cases where disaster strikes and something between me and the mud goes down over a reboot.

That of course is the drawback. Besides the fact that houses are not intended to be 'permanent' user added places that other people can see, when the mud does reboot and you can't get back on you loose stuff. If the problem is universal enough, then you get reimbursed the lost items, but it is annoying, especially if it was something local that went down and no one else on the mud was effected.

I personally think that there isn't anything that directly excludes a rental/house purchase concept 'and' still auto-saving EQ. Things like druid potions when stored properly already do, but the decision was made early on to have it this way and so far no one has been able to get the admin to agree to change things any. A fact that is quite silly since probably 1/3 of the mud has to have multiple equipment sets like I do and both lockers and houses qould still be needed. Sigh...

NOTE: Ages of Despair is currectly down for anyone planning to take a look at it. Some ass tried to hack an IRC server on the same university network and trashed most of the network in the process. The lab monkeys (volunteer students) have been too busy with other things to get around to bringing the muds server back up and as a result we don't even know yet how much damage if any was done to it. Needless to say the admin are seriously considering finding a host that places AoD slightly higher on their priority list than the clowns that have left us hanging for a month do.

I'll go back to writhing from withdrawal pains now... lol
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:14 PM   #12
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You say an item economy is hard to implement? That's the kind of thing that you need to implement, things that improve the game. It's hard, yes, but it seems very necessary for a good game.
In principle, I agree. In practice, getting a good in-game economy requires a level of expertise that very few people have. For instance, Ultima Online, Everquest and Asheron's Call all lack one. So does almost every DikuMUD and their descendents. The exceptions I've seen tend to be MUDs where the economy is a fundamental part of the whole game design and one of the most important things in the game (like Achaea). That's fine, but it requires economic expertise that few MUD designers have, and it requires it to be present from the very beginning.

Players absolutely hate losing all their items on logout. They also absolutely hate equipment decay, money paid to NPCs that doesn't flow back into the economy, and essentially every other possible money-sink in the in-game economy. With no money sinks, inflation runs rampant immediately. Did you know that of the three big MMORPGS in the US (same three mentioned above), only Ultima Online has even a single sink for money? That sink is purchasing reagents, and it's only a sink because they get used up when you cast spells. Nothing else removes total value (in money plus items) from the economy in any of those games.

Sadly, most hobbyist MUDs have the same problem to a similar, horrific degree.
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Old 03-08-2003, 03:46 PM   #13
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Well I'm a casual gamer. Now, I can only play at least twice a week - if I'm lucky.  No-save games are a real pain to me. I've tried one of the no-save games listed before and it seemed to be a great game, except for that one feature.  I asked for help outside of the game and was told to meet more PCs or join a house - which is a very hard when my schedule only permits me to play on off hours and only once in a while.  

This is not a knock on that game; the people who play the game seem to really enjoy it. But they also (from what I've heard or seen, of course) play almost or close to everyday.

Basically all I have to say is, in my opinion, the system is bad for the casual gamer. But heck, nobody's making me play. So I'll just have to pass on that game.

My two coppers.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:55 AM   #14
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Well i personaly dont like eq saving.
i will show two different approaches: in delhine mud, eq saves when you quit, when you die, it saves ALL the time. no way to lose it. thats ****e imo. in zebedee when you quit you lose eq, when you die you lose it too. That brings noe more nice aspect to game - eq stashing. you hide it somwhere on some monster and then if noone have found it you can get it next time you login.
Our mud reboot every 1-2 weeks too.
Its fun challenge to see who can kit up and get all items needed faster, some racing, some older players even say that kiting up is one of game parts wich is still fun after years of playing.
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Old 04-04-2003, 04:54 AM   #15
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EQ Saving has been a bit of a thorny issue on Zeb for at least 5 years now.

We have limitted saving in the form of:
1. Special items - these stay with you when you quit (and in some cases when you die) - even over a reboot.
2. Lockers - You can stash basic items (but no uniques/etc) in lockers which are hired for a certain time (lockers work over a reboot too).
3. Stashing - Find a good place to hide stuff (and some classes like thieves have abilities to help with this). Obviously this doesn't work if someone find's the stash or if the mud reboots (but reboots are only every few weeks).
4. Obviously you keep money too.

We have looked at this many times, because it does turn quite a few people off the game, but we always end up leaving it as it is for a number of reasons (listed in no particular order - and just off the top of my head, so I probably missed some):

1. Game Balance
If we allowed EQ saving then everyone would always have the best possible equipment for their class/level. Part of the balance of classes is the relative amount of time they need to spend kitting up. (For example mages and necromancers are quite capable of playing with no equipment at all).

2. Unique Items
We have large numbers of items there is only one of each on the game at a time. How would that work with equipment saving?

3. Challenge
As has been mentioned one of the things seperating our experienced players from the others is the ability to find their own equipment. It is also an incentive to explore and find new items.

4. Money
One of the problems we are working on is sorting out our economy, generally high levels (and especially legends) have too much money at the moment. If they never have to spend money kitting up then that will grow even worse.


Our experienced players (myself included) are all generally in favour of the current situation over equipment saving when polled...and while all of the above problems could be solved we have far more interesting things to spend our time on at the moment.

So in conclusion, we haven't written off the idea of equipment saving - but we also have no plans to implement it any time soon.
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:53 AM   #16
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I'm a big fan of the way DM does eq saving, and lack thereof. When I log onto a mud where everything you have saves on you, I'm like wtf? going to sleep with 6 potions and a suit of armor and a kitchen sink? (I'm also not a fan of muds where you can carry infinite items without a pack regardless of how many hands you actually have, but that's another rant entirely.)

On DM, the only things that save on you are things you'd typically wear when going to sleep - clothes, jewelry, keys/keyrings, amulets, and moneybags. And when you die, if you lay there long enough to rot, items which could concievably rot (food items, cloth stuff, etc.) do so. Which means if you're lucky enough to have an amulet and live in a castle, some guy could just stumble upon all your castle keys and be able to break in, so you'd better be sure you can get your stuff rescued fast.

Anyway back to the main topic. I like it because it gives people who live somewhere a HUGE advantage over the homeless. This gives people an incentive to socialize and get to know people well enough to join their guild/castle. Or they can rent an inn room and when someone robs them they get to chase after the thief, so it adds to RP in that way too. In fact, some people won't even craft things for people who have nowhere to keep them. Now it's been said that this system isn't very friendly to people who don't play that often, but I know plenty of people who don't play every day and still manage to do quite well for themselves. All you really have to do is prove you're reasonably intelligent and you've got it made.

Of course it also makes it a lot easier for new mages than new fighters. Mages don't really have anything that needs to be saved, unless they start learning crafting early in their career, whereas a fighter pretty much HAS to get good enough to kill npc's for their armor/weapons before they can make much progress. I remember many many times of logging on and using a rat corpse to parry the guy I got my shield from. However, people capable of it are usually willing to get you simple weapons or armor, and there's places where these items are stored for public use as well (although sometimes people will grab and sell them without thought for anyone else). But if you wanna learn crafting, you almost HAVE to have a place to live and keep your stuff, either that or find really good hiding places for it and hope the mud doesn't crash or reboot before you get back to it. However, even then you can make friends with house crafters and gain access to some materials, or get rich doing quests and buy them when you need them.

So while you have a HUGE advantage if you have a place to live, a resourceful player can almost make up for that regardless of their situation. I know of one guy who's got quite a bit of money, a lot of spells, and a considerable amount of social influence, and he's never had a home in the 3+ years he's been alive.
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