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Old 05-08-2002, 05:23 PM   #1
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I've had this idea jumping around my head for the past few months...

There are lots of player wars in muds, PvP wars. What would be really awesome - if a player could join up in a military, and go on campaigns with that military, which perhaps controlled by an immortal, or a high-leveled player, that goes into mass battles. The player would fight other soldiers, mostly NPCs, and perhaps even fight other players if they happened to have joined on the other side of the battle.

These battles would take place in player v. player areas, and each player would receive a certain amount of enemies to fight at one time, depending on the size of the battle, number of troops, to defeat. You couldn't tell the difference between players and NPCs until you actually got into the battle with them.

Commands like engage, retreat, in which the player could go further into the lines, or retreat farther back, either diminsihing their chances of getting into multiple fights or harder fights, or increasing the amount. They could engage as far as the front lines, and retreat as far as a healing place.

Long post, I know. What do you think?
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Old 05-08-2002, 08:07 PM   #2
Alexander Tau
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I have usually created games where War was an essential part of the
mix. Certainly not the exclusive focus, or a constant part of play, but
when they do happen they tend to involve everyone in some way.

Are you thinking of a normal MU* map and battles between groups
with some geography to fight for, or something a little more abstract?

The use of special commands to advance for example lead me to think
that you are thinking more of a constant battlefield that would be rather
different than most MU* designs. Both kinds of idea have potential.

I could see for example a vast map of territories, each territory consists
of some number of rooms and is controlled by a single Faction. A wargame
style Master Control Program would keep NPC troops active and respond
to player or NPC incursions.

You could make this sort of combat almost totally replace the normal
population of monsters and other things to kill.

The big trick would be making the number of areas that can be controled
large enough to keep the game interesting for long periods of time. Dealing
with what happens after someone wins total control is something else that
would have to be considered.

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Old 05-08-2002, 10:44 PM   #3
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I've thought of two possible scenarios.

1) An actual use for wilderness areas. Say you have an army of 100 mobs, and perhaps five players. First designate how many mobs and players can be in one room, so I would say 20 perhaps. You spread out the 100 over several rooms, say six rooms, with a direct commander who controls all action though a group command system, either to move forward or backward.

When the players march onto the battlefield, they are listed into one of the groups, which are placed in certain rooms. If they want to move around, they can do so if there is room in the battlefield. When the battle begins, the troops move forward. As a player, you have to choice to move in the direction the army is moving. So if everyone is moving east, then you can also move east and join the battle. Soon enough, you meet the enemy, and are presented with the command of whether to engage or not. If you engage, you are pitted with one of the enemies on the screen. If you don't make a choice fast enough, you are automatically engaged. If you are engaged, you can also retreat (or flee) back to safer ground. Of course, if there isn't room behind you, then you are stuck in the fray, just like in a real battle.

If you know how to do battle really well (ie: you are a fast surveyer), you can survey the battle for potential threats, and engage (insert name) on your own. You could also consider enemies to see if they match your own strength, to see who could win. Of course, this depends on how fast you as a player can process information and how fast you can type. Lagging would be a hinderance, but it usually is anyway.

The battle could be over a disagreement or land squabbles. Say, if you create X number of wilderness areas, and you as a Lord want those to build homes or buildings or streets on, then you may have to fight someone for those. Also, battles don't always need to take place over wilderness areas, they can also take place on ordinary streets. Movement might be a little trickier because everyone isn't moving in the same direction. It would make it interesting if buildings and objects were destructable, because then in a war you could destroy obstacles in your path.

2) The other idea, of course, is to hold battles over temporary rooms, created as the sole purpose of a battle, that are created at the start of the battle, and destroyed at the end of the battle. This might save on server restrictions. Ideally in a game where battles take place, players or NPCs controlled by IMMs could conquer specific places deemed conquerable, which I will call Kingdoms, for now. If you, as a player, stumble upon one of these up-for-grab kingdoms, you can assault it with an army you control or that you hire, and try and take it by force. A really interesting twist on things would be to make everything in the mudding world of your game up-for-grabs, towns, homes, castles, anything. Then, those ridiculous town guards in Asgard might actually mean something important, like actually protecting the town.
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Old 05-27-2002, 06:04 PM   #4
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Brian and I are planning something similar in nature for The Cathyle Project but the 'mass combat' is remarkably more detatched then the ideas the have been envisioned above. Because we're a roleplaying focused game and the most common roleplaying experiences occur from one player to another or from staff to player, we wanted to step away from characters forming massive groups of NPCs (mobs) and marching them throughout the countryside.

However, conflict is key in any roleplaying environment and I feel that it is important for a game to enrapture as many types of conflict as possible. One of these is the conflict of nations or powerful political factions within these nations.

We still have quite a bit to do before we encorporate our system and as such it's very rough. But stealing from AD&D's Birthright Campaign as well as numerous other systems, we're planning to have a mass-combat battle grid (think: a giant chess tournament) where units can be moved from one area to the next, though this takes a great deal of real time.

Depending on the type of unit, the amount of money a regent or monarch has locked in the treasury and other varying statistics: terrain, weather, morale, skill and attributes of player 'unit leaders' troops will engage in battle.

Mundane characters may see these troops as they pass by, but interaction with units will be limited.

War can provide interesting roleplaying opportunities, but not nearly as many as the effects that the war brings. That's how we intend to focus.


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Old 05-30-2002, 04:56 AM   #5
Alexander Tau
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This topic just happens to go along with a new game design I have been considering. It would be set in the Future and be based on exploration and colonization of a small number of planets. The initial set-up would be a large Space Station where hi-tech rules and everyone can live if they wish. But from the start a single Planet at least would be open for colonization.

I have always wanted to really do something with Building, so the Planets will be raw, filled wth animals, resources, any who knows what mind-bending things.

So for the planets I am thinking of a closed ecosystem where the sheer number of natural creatures is so large the players have to carve out, and defend, any attempts at settlements. Some NPC settlements probably would be on the Planet, along with all sorts of inhabitants. Starting with tents and inflatable domes, and setting up industry and such should be a challenge. The players will be able to lay roads, and make the home town they wish.

I think the system to maintain the creatures on the planets will have to respond to events, specifically loss or attacks on creatures. Some animals will run from attacks, some will fight back, and so on, but beyond that is a need to present the illusion of a well stocked world without having too many mobile creatures running around. Spawning creatures, checking on total living creatures, and adjusting for active players, most of that should not be too tough to do.

But when a group ventures onto these Planets at first, you will have mass battle. My thought is that a selection of creatures will be overtly hostile. These will have to be handled in a wide area right off the bat. Then you have a host of types that will attack when scared, and those that just retreat. Add a few other types and you have a nice mix for players to learn about.

For this sort of thing it helps if your map makes sense in normal coordinate terms, so you can scan and look at things by relative distance.

Falconer, most of what you said sounds fine, but I think legions of NPCs can really add to an RP game. There are any number of 'jobs' that are a significant part of adventure stories, and the armies are one of them. Having control over NPCs is usually enjoyable, and if they are designed to give reasonable responses and simulate life, so much the better. Combat itself should not be the whole point of a good game so in that sense I agree with you.

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