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Old 04-27-2003, 02:14 AM   #1
Shao_Long
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This is going to be short..
Guess everything is said in its name

I'm just curious, were like adaptive mobs implemented anywhere, and if they were - how did that look and work..
I had in mind something like mob which, like, "learns" from "experience".. for example evil people keep bashing it, and it starts using some "counter action" on every attempt of bash after some time.. Or a mob is being hit by fire attacks over and over - and over time it develops some fire resistance, and so on. (not meaning one mobile here, but like, "population" of this mobile class, ie it would get say 1% fire resistance over every 20 or 50 or whatever fireballs casted on it or something)
Perhaps possible "counter actions" could be pre-defined, and mob would actually have to lose some of abilities to get some other..
For example mob is being hit by bash, and after time starts using some, say, gouge to hit every basher.. Then people start hurting this mob with some bladestorm (names dont matter i guess), and it starts gouging on bash less often, but actually begings to gouge on bladestorm..

I hope this all is not too blurry..
And what I want to hear, is ..
Was anything like that implemented, and how actually did it look, and did people like it, etc..
or something. Discuss!
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Old 04-27-2003, 03:13 AM   #2
Blobule
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I haven't actually seen any adaptive code (but then I don't look at others'
code). However I have heard a fair amount about this topic and been
giving it thought myself. With a good scripting language (something I've
been working toward a lot) it is simple to do as you suggest via persistent
variables that allow the mob to remember various fighting methods and
styles. As you said this can then be used to help the mob adapt to given
styles. Another thing that can be done is to base the adaptation to the
results of a quick profile of the oppponent (mage, warrior, cleric -- when
not on a class-based mud). Our mud has several 5 types of variables that
can be used in the scripting, one of these is a persistent variable by vnum
which allows for all mobs of the same vnum to share the variable values.
This is extremely useful for what you suggest since the adpatation would
propogate through all instantiations and future instantiations of the mob.

Cheers,
Blobule.
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Old 04-27-2003, 04:56 AM   #3
Molly
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Molly will become famous soon enoughMolly will become famous soon enough
We have a pretty funny script in our mud, which makes a mob pick up things you say to it, and use them as retort. It has a pretty large number of random one-liners to start out with, and as you talk to it, it adds whatever you say to its list, so its vocabulary gets longer the longer you talk to it.

Obviously the players like this, because they can teach the mobs to praise themselves or slander their enemies, saying things like 'Molly is a moron' or 'The imps are all powertripping bastards'.

It's a neat script, and it could easily be adapted to work on fight skills, but it would be a bit risky, since things like that can easily disrupt the balance totally.
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Old 04-28-2003, 02:42 PM   #4
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Hehehehe, I should hook up a preacher to random verses of the Bible
and have him wander around preaching to the players

Cheers,
Blobule.
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:48 PM   #5
Brianna
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On one of the muds I build on, We have a customized quest code where the mobs adapt to your stats, the stronger you get the stronger they do too..

I don't know all the specifics of the code part but I thought this might be along the lines of what Shao was asking about.

If you want to know the name of the mud you can private message me. I don't wish to advertise outside of the proper forum.
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:59 PM   #6
enigma@zebedee
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Hmm, that sort of adaptive code for combat is something we have looked at occasionally but we don't add as a general thing for the simple reason that players learn what skills work well on what monsters - and that is a part of playing well.

Adaptive monsters make it impossible for players to do this since if they don't kill a monster for a month then its stats might have changed totally since the last time.

Instead what we do is write complex monsters, such as my thief which uses all the thief combat abilities intelligently (including using appropriate abilities for the targets class). That monster provides a nice challenge and adapts to what you are - but he doesn't change if you go away for a while and then come back.

We do have learning monsters, for example there is a creature you can tame and teach to do feelings, but in generally we dont have combat learning monsters and we don't have monsters which learn from the death of a previous monster by the same name.
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Old 04-29-2003, 04:54 PM   #7
Blobule
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It strikes me that it's all the same really. Your creature adapts during its
current lifespan, but no other mobs share that learning. This is merely a
variable scoping issue. On our MUD we support 5 types of variable scope,
3 of which are relevant here. Global Perisistent vnum scope -- variable is
shared by all instances of the the vnum (type specific, objects and mobs
of same vnum don't share data) and data persists through server reboots.
Global non-persistent -- same as above but reset during each reboot.
Instance specific -- variable has the same duration as the life of the entity.
Thus depending on which scope I use I can achieve any of the above
styles of adaptation.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:23 AM   #8
enigma@zebedee
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Indeed, there is no technical issue with monsters learning from previous deaths...or with them knowing nothing about them.

It's a gameplay/balance issue.
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:06 PM   #9
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The mud I play already works this way to some extent, but not quite what you're talking about. All npc's have skills just like the players, which can be improved after enough combat. When killed, their skills go back to the default levels, so there's no balance problem with that. (Although I once heard of a guy teaching some npc to the point where he was able to kill newbies fairly easily heh.) However, we also have "allocations" which determine which skills you use the most when fighting (i.e. whether you hit really fast or really hard, and so on). These allocs are impossible for the npc's to change during combat, as far as I know. This is, I presume, to make sure they're still valuable sparring partners for players to learn combat with, since if they change their allocs they might either be super-npc's, or players would learn different skills from them than usual. (Of course there's also the fact that the combat code is so ancient and complex that the creators are afraid to touch it. )

I do rather like the idea of critters that adapt though, as long as the ways they adapt aren't too fast or sweeping for players to adjust to. For instance you might have a critter who keeps getting beat up by elves and ends up running whenever they show up. Or perhaps it develops a hatred for dwarves and attacks them whenever they wander by. Animals who usually wander around solo could develop herd behavior, or animals who usually travel in groups might eventually decide to spread around because people hunt them too much that way. One type of animal might even decide to help out another type of animal that gets beat on too much, providing it doesn't look too tasty.

Lots of things are possible with this, and not always the immediately obvious applications.
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