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Old 04-11-2006, 02:45 AM   #81
Davairus
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What about being forced to fight multiple targets?

Sure you can script chess, its a 1 on 1 and you can see every piece on the board. But what about say, poker against 7 people? Then you have a whole bunch of unknowns, and in addition, there's the strategy of bluffing, going all-in, etc.

I'd think its years away before anyone's making a zmud plugin to clean out a full team of skilled poker players, if ever. Surely it can't be that hard to base a mud combat system on it.

-----
As for the combat systems, I guess I'll mention the warrior at Abandoned Realms. It is a diku derivative with the usual auto-combat, hitroll, thac0, bash/kick etc, with more complex manual elements & skills. e.g. .. the three combat styles (2H, dual wield, shield) are good vs one style, poor vers another. And weapon types (blades-sword/dagger, shafts-axe/mace/spear, segments-flail/whip) are good vs one type, poor vers another.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:11 AM   #82
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Who would be behind those multiple targets though? Players? In team combat in most combat systems that I know it's best to take out the enemy one by one instead of splitting your targetting, so that usually doesn't make fighting much more complex so far as targetting goes.

And if they aren't players, they'd have to be MUD-run, which in the end will be predictable enough to script around.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:23 AM   #83
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And scripting for combat isn't actually always bad, a lof of IRE players get half of their enjoyment from doing that. It's a new and genuine feeling - it's like building your own Mech.
We aren't talking about IRE players, though, we are talking about complex MUD combat systems - if IRE has fostered a combat environment that encourages or causes a large amount of reliance on scripting, then that is very different than what most PvP MUDs which I have encountered(which is to say, a very, very, very large amount), as most PvP focused MUDs try to discourage scripting for the previously posted reasons.

Yes, it might be fun for the MUDer to write scripts and compare scripts - however, again, the target there is for the average MUDer and not necessarily the MUDer seeking a game whose point itself is the PvP combat. As most PvPers will say(and they do say in forums and online conventions), heavy use of scripting certainly takes away from the adrenaline rush and immediate excitement.

Naturally, opinions on this will differ - especially if you are used to PvP on a MUD that fosters the use of heavy scripting.

It is obvious that you and I will differ in our opinions of whether or not heavy scripting is a positive force for a MUD combat system, but you do not even need to look further than this very thread to see that others agree that heavy scripting can (and should) be discouraged for advanced combat systems.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:27 AM   #84
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IRE players are just like any other MUD players. I don't see how you can try to somehow discriminate against them and say the ones who enjoy PvP in IRE are different from other PvPers on other games.

Most PvP MUDs try to limit scripting because:
A) That's the intuitive thing to do.
B) Because not all players will want to or will be capable of scripting and hence that will lead to a drop in population.

While B is indeed factual, A is simply assumed. I don't know about another MUD that benefits as much from scripting as IRE MUDs do, however the players who come to them for PvP (and they are a large part of the demographic) do enjoy them as such and will actually defend the way combat works, scripts and all. The pleasure a player gets from scripting and then putting their script and their skill to the test is different from what most people think of when talking about PvP MUDs, but it isn't irrelevant.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:34 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ April 11 2006,02:32)
I believe you can also reach the point where a skilled player can do just as well without scripts.

I've been thinking about the assertion in that sentence and I'm not sure that's true unless the system is solvable, in which case the optimum decision at any point in the decision tree is already known, so human and computer can follow that branch with equal facility.
That assumes there is an optimum decision.  What about a system in which there are numerous viable decisions at each point, each with their own pros and cons?  With the random element, no decision is perfect, and some may well be more risky than others.  The script would be able to avoid the bad choices, but there would be no optimal good one.

Actually this rather reminds me of the rock/paper/scissors discussion on mudlab.  Building on Greggen's RPS example, imagine a very simple combat system based on the following five options:

1. Thrust (advantage against slash and feint)
2. Slash (advantage against pummel and feint)
3. Pummel (advantage against thrust, equal against feint)
4. Riposte (advantage against slash, thrust and pummel)
5. Feint (advantage against riposte, equal against pummel)


There's no way to know what move your opponent is performing.  Each move takes 5 seconds to execute, although the defence part (for the purposes of advantage vs disadvantage) is in place the moment the command is entered.  Your base chance to hit is 15%, +5% for every second you wait before entering the command, up to a maximum of 40% after five seconds.  Your chance to hit is doubled if you have the advantage and halved if you have the disadvantage.

Which is the optimal choice?  What is the optimal time to wait before launching your attack?  How would you set up your script to fight in such a situation?

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On the other hand, you have the example of Go, in which humans still kill computers. It's inevitable that computers are going to surpass human Go players, but the equipment isn't there yet. So, do you think that it's possible for a human to match a script of unlimited processing power (for the sake of argument) in an unsolved formatted-text PvP system? I would tend to think it isn't.
Given unlimited processing power you could script anything - but obviously nobody has unlimited processing power.  I think it's possible to create a reasonable combat system that cannot be feasible scripted to be better than a human player.  People who use a mixture of scripting and regular play will most likely still have an advantage, but you can certainly force the scripting to take a secondary role.

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Originally Posted by (Hardestadt @ April 11 2006,02:47)
Sure, as long as combat involves guessing which type of flower is represented in the ascii picture that pops up on your client before your opponent does.
The point I was making is that not everything can be feasibly handled through scripts.

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Originally Posted by (Davairus @ April 11 2006,09:45)
Sure you can script chess, its a 1 on 1 and you can see every piece on the board.  But what about say, poker against 7 people?   Then you have a whole bunch of unknowns, and in addition, there's the strategy of bluffing, going all-in, etc.
Interestingly enough my 'war' combat system is based on poker, and does often result in battles between large numbers of players - and, indeed, I've yet to see anyone script it.  Admittedly it's turn-based (3 actions every 60 second turn), but even so, people will sometimes miss actions - so obviously thinking speed is still a factor.

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Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ April 11 2006,10:11)
Who would be behind those multiple targets though? Players? In team combat in most combat systems that I know it's best to take out the enemy one by one instead of splitting your targetting, so that usually doesn't make fighting much more complex so far as targetting goes.
That's assuming the only way to fight is to inflict pure damage, though.  What if you want to stun one of your opponents so that he can't heal his friends?  What if you've got an attack which allows you to hurl one of your opponent's at another, allowing you to injure two people at once?  What if you're fighting on the move, and only have to inflict enough damage to knock your opponents off their horses?  What if you're able to inflict damage-over-time (poison, bleeding wounds, etc), and can therefore do a larger amount of overall damage by splitting your blows between your opponents (once one opponent is poisoned you move on to the next)?

Then there's also the question of defence.  Maybe you want to focus on one opponent, but you're still going to have multiple people focusing on you.  Will you go pure offense in the hope of evening the odds as quickly as possible (or at least taking someone down with you)?  Go pure defence in the hope that an ally can reach you before you die?  Assume some sort of balance between the two, so that you can survive long enough to inflict reasonable damage?
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:43 AM   #86
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That assumes there is an optimum decision.  What about a system in which there are numerous viable decisions at each point, each with their own pros and cons?  With the random element, no decision is perfect, and some may well be more risky than others.  The script would be able to avoid the bad choices, but there would be no optimal good one.

Actually this rather reminds me of the rock/paper/scissors discussion on mudlab.  Building on Greggen's RPS example, imagine a very simple combat system based on the following five options:

1. Thrust (advantage against slash and feint)
2. Slash (advantage against pummel and feint)
3. Pummel (advantage against thrust, equal against feint)
4. Riposte (advantage against slash, thrust and pummel)
5. Feint (advantage against riposte, equal against pummel)

There's no way to know what move your opponent is performing.  Each move takes 5 seconds to execute, although the defence part (for the purposes of advantage vs disadvantage) is in place the moment the command is entered.  Your base chance to hit is 15%, +5% for every second you wait before entering the command, up to a maximum of 40% after five seconds.  Your chance to hit is doubled if you have the advantage and halved if you have the disadvantage.

Which is the optimal choice?  What is the optimal time to wait before launching your attack?  How would you set up your script to fight in such a situation?
If decisions have totally unpredictable outcomes then the only thing that would really count as skill is intuition. Could you say that you're very good at RPS even if you play it a lot? A combat system, in my opinion, has to give you a lot of room to grow and perfect your skills - if the system is reduced to each move having a no more predictable effect than the other then you're operating on pure intuition, not skill or experience. And the moment you reduce the ambiguity of the decision making, a script system can be made to make the best decisions based on the present knowledge.

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That's assuming the only way to fight is to inflict pure damage, though.  What if you want to stun one of your opponents so that he can't heal his friends?  What if you've got an attack which allows you to hurl one of your opponent's at another, allowing you to injure two people at once?  What if you're fighting on the move, and only have to inflict enough damage to knock your opponents off their horses?  What if you're able to inflict damage-over-time (poison, bleeding wounds, etc), and can therefore do a larger amount of overall damage by splitting your blows between your opponents (once one opponent is poisoned you move on to the next)?

Then there's also the question of defence.  Maybe you want to focus on one opponent, but you're still going to have multiple people focusing on you.  Will you go pure offense in the hope of evening the odds as quickly as possible (or at least taking someone down with you)?  Go pure defence in the hope that an ally can reach you before you die?  Assume some sort of balance between the two, so that you can survive long enough to inflict reasonable damage?
Oh certainly, if you change the mechanics around you can cause situations that are more and more difficult (but not impossible) to script. That's very much in line with what I was suggesting about making the circumstances vary too wildly and putting the focus on the player's flexible thinking rather than reaction time.

What I actually didn't agree with is that simply introducing multiple targets would make a difference. You can have multiple targets or a single target and still be equally limited in your 'best' decisions. However, you can have multiple targets or a single target and still have a wide array of 'good' decisions all with their long-term tactial pros and cons.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:54 AM   #87
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IRE players are just like any other MUD players. I don't see how you can try to somehow discriminate against them and say the ones who enjoy PvP in IRE are different from other PvPers on other games.
I'm not discriminating against IRE players, as I have been, myself an IRE player. I am however making the point that the reason why scripting is so easily accepted as a possitive force in IRE is because that the system and administration itself fosters a pro combat-scripting environment.

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Actually this rather reminds me of the rock/paper/scissors discussion on mudlab. Building on Greggen's RPS example, imagine a very simple combat system based on the following five options:

1. Thrust (advantage against slash and feint)
2. Slash (advantage against pummel and feint)
3. Pummel (advantage against thrust, equal against feint)
4. Riposte (advantage against slash, thrust and pummel)
5. Feint (advantage against riposte, equal against pummel)

KaVir - you should check out the link below;

http://www.ringsofhonor.org

It is a matrix based dueling system set up to work in a similar way to what you are describing in very basic theory. It has, however, been running for over 15 years now, and supports a very large playerbase. It won't be the thing for most PvPers, but its system can certainly be taken into consideration when developing one's own system, and it could also potentially make a solid system for a friendly-dueling mini-game.

Our own system, with Utopia, gives each attack command a "focus" on the opponent's body. By using an attack command that has an opposing focus, players can set-up combos and high-combos. That is a very very reader's digest version of the Utopia focus/counter system, but it certainly makes use of a form of matrix, or "rock-paper-scissor" using system.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:05 AM   #88
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If decisions have totally unpredictable outcomes then the only thing that would really count as skill is intuition. Could you say that you're very good at RPS even if you play it a lot?
Apparently. However what I described is far less predictable than RPS.

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A combat system, in my opinion, has to give you a lot of room to grow and perfect your skills - if the system is reduced to each move having a no more predictable effect than the other then you're operating on pure intuition, not skill or experience.
But I'm not suggesting no predictable effect. Even the highly simplified example system I posted provides you with a number of ways to try and outwit your opponent. There's certainly an element of chance, but you have ways to turn it to your advantage, through a mixture of second-guessing your opponent and deliberately biding your time.

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And the moment you reduce the ambiguity of the decision making, a script system can be made to make the best decisions based on the present knowledge.
Only if there is a 'best decision'. Thus my example.

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What I actually didn't agree with is that simply introducing multiple targets would make a difference. You can have multiple targets or a single target and still be equally limited in your 'best' decisions.
Yes, but I believe the point Davairus was making is that introducing multiple targets dramatically increases the complexity required for a script.

As I've said before, from a theoretical point of view anything could eventually be scripted (even the creation of a mud). But from a practical point of view, many things simply cannot be done, or are not feasible, and the advantages gained from what is possible can potentially be minimal.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:22 AM   #89
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Rock-paper-scissors is the extension we made to AR's diku pvp combat system. I guess I'll call it that now I know it has a name.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:30 AM   #90
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I'm not discriminating against IRE players, as I have been, myself an IRE player. I am however making the point that the reason why scripting is so easily accepted as a possitive force in IRE is because that the system and administration itself fosters a pro combat-scripting environment.
That's actually not true - there have been several changes set up precisely to make scripting more difficult. The best example of this was changing a trigger line for a particular affliction so it was particularly difficult to catch with regular expressions. I'm fairly sure Matt has spoken out against scripting in his MUDs. It isn't that the administration is actively supporting it, it's that the combat system in it's current form provides many benefits to scripting players. I'm fairly sure that wasn't intended in the first place. However, it seems to have worked out in it's own favorable way.


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But I'm not suggesting no predictable effect. Even the highly simplified example system I posted provides you with a number of ways to try and outwit your opponent. There's certainly an element of chance, but you have ways to turn it to your advantage, through a mixture of second-guessing your opponent and deliberately biding your time.
But is second-guessing an expression of skill or just intuition? If you don't have good options and bad options then the player can't make mistakes.

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Only if there is a 'best decision'. Thus my example.
Eventually there should be a 'best decision', but one that is not linearly deduced - rather one that is part of a flexible combat strategy. The problem is with making that decision more difficult to script than is practical and removing the desire to script in the first place by keeping the pace to something that is humanly manageable.

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Yes, but I believe the point Davairus was making is that introducing multiple targets dramatically increases the complexity required for a script.
What I'm saying is that this isn't necessarily the case. You can raise the complexity by introducint multiple targets, but only if you implement the already discussed flexible decision making as a part of choosing the target. If you have a 'best' target then adding more targets changes little.

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As I've said before, from a theoretical point of view anything could eventually be scripted (even the creation of a mud). But from a practical point of view, many things simply cannot be done, or are not feasible, and the advantages gained from what is possible can potentially be minimal.
Most certainly, that is true. However, I feel it isn't so much that effort has to be made in restricting the player's ability to script something, but rather in making the combat system exciting without making it so the benefits of scripting are particularly large.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:25 AM   #91
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But is second-guessing an expression of skill or just intuition?
It's the same sort of skill used for games like poker - you learn your opponent's patterns.

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If you don't have good options and bad options then the player can't make mistakes.
There can still be good options and bad options - the trick is not to have a best option.

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Eventually there should be a 'best decision', but one that is not linearly deduced - rather one that is part of a flexible combat strategy.
I strongly disagree - a 'best' option results in linear gameplay.  You can have some options being better at certain things, or providing advantages in certain situations, but there should never be an option which is the all-round 'best'.

The most accurate attack might also be slow.  The fastest attack might also inflict the least damage.  The most damaging attack might also leave your defences wide open.  A knockdown attack might inflict no damage, but leave the enemy open to followup attacks.  A bash attack might do very little damage, but disrupt your opponent's moves.  A disarm attack might have a low chance of success and inflict no damage, but leave your opponent without a weapon.  Yet none of these moves are innately better or worse than the others.

To use the chess analogy again: What is the 'best' opening?

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If you have a 'best' target then adding more targets changes little.
Once again you're using the word 'best'.  Who's the best target, the warrior who's hitting you or the cleric who's healing the warrior?  What if the cleric has spells which deflect your strongest attacks?  What if your weaker attacks result in damage which the cleric can't heal?

Multiple targets results in more tactical options, which in turn increase the difficulty of scripting.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:45 AM   #92
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It's the same sort of skill used for games like poker - you learn your opponent's patterns.
Perhaps this is personal preference speaking now, but I don't particularly like the idea of a combat system functioning under rules similar to poker rules. While there is surely skill in poker, a large part of it is trying to stack probability in your favor and then depending on chance. If one player is significantly more skilled than another, I feel that that player should win consistently until the other works up to the his/her level. Losing because you got a proverbial 'bad hand' would cheapen the experience, for me at least. It's possible that this is down to personal preference, of course.

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I strongly disagree - a 'best' option results in linear gameplay.  You can have some options being better at certain things, or providing advantages in certain situations, but there should never be an option which is the all-round 'best'.

The most accurate attack might also be slow.  The fastest attack might also inflict the least damage.  The most damaging attack might also leave your defences wide open.  A knockdown attack might inflict no damage, but leave the enemy open to followup attacks.  A bash attack might do very little damage, but disrupt your opponent's moves.  A disarm attack might have a low chance of success and inflict no damage, but leave your opponent without a weapon.  Yet none of these moves are innately better or worse than the others.

To use the chess analogy again: What is the 'best' opening?
I'll use the chess analogy to demonstrate what I mean. The 'best' opening in chess is the one that is most in line with your strategy. The 'best' move in chess is the one that moves you further to your goal in a long and complex, dynamic sequence that changes along with your opponent's moves. I don't think chess would be a good game if every time you managed to maneuvre your pieces in a strategical way, you had to roll to see if you actually get to take the opponent's piece - that lowers the value of strategic thinking and instead takes too much control out of the player's hands.

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Once again you're using the word 'best'.  Who's the best target, the warrior who's hitting you or the cleric who's healing the warrior?  What if the cleric has spells which deflect your strongest attacks?  What if your weaker attacks result in damage which the cleric can't heal?

Multiple targets results in more tactical options, which in turn increase the difficulty of scripting.
I'm saying that so long as you have a 'best' target, the number of targets doesn't matter. Multiple targets don't innately cause more complexity, they only do so if the choice of target flexible instead of linear, which isn't implied automatically.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:04 AM   #93
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I said multiple players increase the amount of unknowns (hands, and playing styles). Uh, when a system has more interwoven unknowns in it, I call that a more complex system.

Are you using a different definition of complex here?

BTW, the target in poker is the pot, not another player.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:14 AM   #94
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It will usually make things more complex to some degree, yes. We're not talking about a specific system though. In a system where damage is the main fighting component multiple targets wouldn't really mean all that much since usually all attacks will be directed at a single target. In a different system picking a target can be a very strategical and dynamic choice, of course, I'm not disputing that. I'm just saying that multiple targets versus single targets don't make the difference between having a flexible choice and having a linear one - it's not implied.

And the point about poker was unrelated to the multiple targets point, I'm sorry if I wasn't too clear on that.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:20 AM   #95
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Perhaps this is personal preference speaking now, but I don't particularly like the idea of a combat system functioning under rules similar to poker rules. While there is surely skill in poker, a large part of it is trying to stack probability in your favor and then depending on chance. If one player is significantly more skilled than another, I feel that that player should win consistently until the other works up to the his/her level. Losing because you got a proverbial 'bad hand' would cheapen the experience, for me at least. It's possible that this is down to personal preference, of course.
Well as I mentioned previously, I've created a minigame "combat system" roughly based on the poker rules, and it has resulted in some very skillful and tactical play.  People will occasionally draw bad hands, but probably no more often than rolling a fumble in your standard tabletop roleplaying game (and even if you do draw a bad hand, there are ways to get around it).

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I'll use the chess analogy to demonstrate what I mean. The 'best' opening in chess is the one that is most in line with your strategy. The 'best' move in chess is the one that moves you further to your goal in a long and complex, dynamic sequence that changes along with your opponent's moves.
However if you've played chess, you'll know that there are often a number of different strategies at each decision point.  Do you take a pawn, knowing there's nothing they can do about it?  Do you sacrifice your own pawn, strengthening your position on the board?  Do you take a risk which, if they don't notice what you're doing, will give you a quick checkmate?  None of these moves are innately 'better' than the others.

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I don't think chess would be a good game if every time you managed to maneuvre your pieces in a strategical way, you had to roll to see if you actually get to take the opponent's piece - that lowers the value of strategic thinking and instead takes too much control out of the player's hands.
I disagree, although obviously it's a matter of personal preference.  Most wargames are little more than an advanced version of "chess with dice", after all, and yet they can allow for a great deal of strategic thinking.

Indeed, if you wish to better simulate a combat situation, the element of chance is pretty much the only way to take into consideration the countless tiny factors which your game can't realistically simulate.  The wind blows a fly into your eye at a critical moment, the blood and sweat weakens your grip on your sword, your opponent slips on a patch of mud, and so on.

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I'm saying that so long as you have a 'best' target, the number of targets doesn't matter.
And I'm saying that there isn't necessarily going to be a 'best' target.

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Multiple targets don't innately cause more complexity, they only do so if the choice of target flexible instead of linear, which isn't implied automatically.
Unless combat is designed to only support one-on-one fights, there will always be an element of choice involved.  Even if there's an obvious target for you to focus your attacks on (which is by no means guaranteed), you'll still have to handle your defences against the multiple attackers.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:17 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by (Hadoryu @ April 11 2006,02:58)
When you have many paralel tasks to keep track of (multiple ways of curing and multiple ways of attack) and they interwind, that will often make many of the calls very circumstancial. You might not think that's easy to script and generally you're right, but it's not particularly difficult to script either. The number of significant variables in a decision is often not quite so large as to be impossible to consider.

The things that make scripting important are fast pace, repetativeness and complexity. These are instances in which scripting will be valuable enough to a player. If those things aren't present there's no real need to script and no great benefit to it - however it's difficult to balance that with keeping combat exciting.

And scripting for combat isn't actually always bad, a lof of IRE players get half of their enjoyment from doing that. It's a new and genuine feeling - it's like building your own Mech.
I've played and enjoyed some games that were pure scripting exercises. Having a decently strong computer science / AI background, I generally do well in them. It's just not what I personally find enjoyable in a MUD.

There's a lot you can do as a game designer to limit the strategy of ganging up on one guy in a group vs. group fight. For example, maybe the more people are trying to focus on one opponent, the more they get in each other's way and prevent attacks, making it a matter of diminishing returns.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:27 AM   #97
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Well as I mentioned previously, I've created a minigame "combat system" roughly based on the poker rules, and it has resulted in some very skillful and tactical play. People will occasionally draw bad hands, but probably no more often than rolling a fumble in your standard tabletop roleplaying game (and even if you do draw a bad hand, there are ways to get around it).
If it's possible enough to overcome bad luck with good decision making, then that's good enough. But if a bad hand dooms you from the start, I feel it's going to reduce the role tactics play in deciding the victor.

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However if you've played chess, you'll know that there are often a number of different strategies at each decision point. Do you take a pawn, knowing there's nothing they can do about it? Do you sacrifice your own pawn, strengthening your position on the board? Do you take a risk which, if they don't notice what you're doing, will give you a quick checkmate? None of these moves are innately 'better' than the others.
Of course, I completely agree and that's my point. There is no innately 'best' move in chess. There's a best move when considered in the context of a strategy - i.e. a sequence of moves and predicted opposing moves. You don't need an element of chance there, because your opponent is unpredictable.

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I disagree, although obviously it's a matter of personal preference. Most wargames are little more than an advanced version of "chess with dice", after all, and yet they can allow for a great deal of strategic thinking.

Indeed, if you wish to better simulate a combat situation, the element of chance is pretty much the only way to take into consideration the countless tiny factors which your game can't realistically simulate. The wind blows a fly into your eye at a critical moment, the blood and sweat weakens your grip on your sword, your opponent slips on a patch of mud, and so on.
If the system ends up one that you can lose even when you do everything right and the opponent doesn't, then I'd consider this a bad thing. Adding in an element of chance can bring about that sort of outcome. If the element of chance is insignificant enough to be overcome then the system won't lose much and the small difference chance can make would 'spice it up' as it were. If however the element of chance isn't possible to overcome or is hugely detrimental, you'll end up with a toss-up rather than a real fight in most circumstances.

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And I'm saying that there isn't necessarily going to be a 'best' target.
I never disagreed with that statement. I was simply trying to add to it and say that the presence of more than one target doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't going to be a 'best' target.

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Unless combat is designed to only support one-on-one fights, there will always be an element of choice involved. Even if there's an obvious target for you to focus your attacks on (which is by no means guaranteed), you'll still have to handle your defences against the multiple attackers.
That's still heavily dependant on the system, of course. I'm guessing some systems don't provide you with any real way to defend yourself other than running. In most cases team fights will be more complex than 1vs1 fights, but there's no guarantee that every system is going to become more tactical the moment there is more than two players involved in a fight.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:03 AM   #98
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If it's possible enough to overcome bad luck with good decision making, then that's good enough. But if a bad hand dooms you from the start, I feel it's going to reduce the role tactics play in deciding the victor.
A run of bad luck is certainly possible, but unlikely. You can do a full discard/redraw as your first action of the first turn if you wish, which still leaves you enough actions to get a full defence in place by the time your opponent is able to attack. Equally, you can use bluffs and weak attacks to clear out unwanted cards, distracting your opponent long enough for you to build up a reasonable defence.

If you're only playing one-on-one, and your opponent gets a really good hand while you get a really bad hand (even after your redraw), and they know what they're doing, your chances of survival are very slim. But that's not something that'll happen often.

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If the system ends up one that you can lose even when you do everything right and the opponent doesn't, then I'd consider this a bad thing.
Equally, if the system ends up with one that you always win if you do everything right, I'd consider that a bad thing. It's too predictable, and promotes complacency. No longer do you have to worry about the unexpected, or prepare backup plans. Where is the thrill and excitment in that?

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Adding in an element of chance can bring about that sort of outcome. If the element of chance is insignificant enough to be overcome then the system won't lose much and the small difference chance can make would 'spice it up' as it were. If however the element of chance isn't possible to overcome or is hugely detrimental, you'll end up with a toss-up rather than a real fight in most circumstances.
Well yes, it all comes down to how much emphasis is placed on the element of chance - there are many shades of grey between "chess" and "snakes and ladders".

A fight is likely to require many attacks, so the law of averages will probably make it very unlikely to win through luck (unless the fight is very short). What's more likely is that an otherwise very close fight may shift sufficiently in one direction to give one player the edge. In this respect, small errors of judgement can sometimes be 'forgiven' by the combat system, rather than ensuring defeat.

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In most cases team fights will be more complex than 1vs1 fights, but there's no guarantee that every system is going to become more tactical the moment there is more than two players involved in a fight.
Well no, I don't think we can really make any guarantees about "every" combat system - but the point is that multi-way fights can be used as a way to add tactical options to a combat system.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:17 AM   #99
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A run of bad luck is certainly possible, but unlikely.  You can do a full discard/redraw as your first action of the first turn if you wish, which still leaves you enough actions to get a full defence in place by the time your opponent is able to attack.  Equally, you can use bluffs and weak attacks to clear out unwanted cards, distracting your opponent long enough for you to build up a reasonable defence.

If you're only playing one-on-one, and your opponent gets a really good hand while you get a really bad hand (even after your redraw), and they know what they're doing, your chances of survival are very slim.  But that's not something that'll happen often.
So what happens if your redraw is as bad or worse than your initial draw? I can see chance 'setting the stage' as it were, but I think when it 'plays the parts' it's going too far. If chance is such that it can often punish sound tactical decision then that would make the system counter-intuitive.

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Equally, if the system ends up with one that you always win if you do everything right, I'd consider that a bad thing.  It's too predictable, and promotes complacency.  No longer do you have to worry about the unexpected, or prepare backup plans.  Where is the thrill and excitment in that?
Oh, surely. However, just the fact that you're fighting another human being means that you won't be facing the same number of choices over and over. Your opponent can be unpredictable enough to make any element of chance unnecessary. In fact, that's the way many games function, chess included.

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Well yes, it all comes down to how much emphasis is placed on the element of chance - there are many shades of grey between "chess" and "snakes and ladders".

A fight is likely to require many attacks, so the law of averages will probably make it very unlikely to win through luck (unless the fight is very short).  What's more likely is that an otherwise very close fight may shift sufficiently in one direction to give one player the edge.  In this respect, small errors of judgement can sometimes be 'forgiven' by the combat system, rather than ensuring defeat.
Well, the law of averages will give you a general idea of what the most likely scenario is. However, if you get some multiple cheap wins/losses, even as an exception, the law of averages won't matter. The way I see it, the larger the element of chance, the more control you take away from the player and the less responsible the player is for the outcome of the battle.

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Well no, I don't think we can really make any guarantees about "every" combat system - but the point is that multi-way fights can be used as a way to add tactical options to a combat system.
I'm just disagreeing with the correlation multiple targets => tactical combat. Team fights usually have much more potential for tactical systems, of course - in that case team fighting acts as an amplifier to an already existing tactical element instead of just creating one by itself.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:41 AM   #100
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So what happens if your redraw is as bad or worse than your initial draw?
Then I'd be at a disadvantage. What I'd probably do is move some junk into my offense hand until I had enough to build up a reasonable defence, then clear the offense hand with a weak jihad (particularly if someone had attacked me, as it'd force them to shift back to rebuilding their defence) and start building up a proper offense. If I was still struggling after three or four turns I'd burn a resource I didn't need to bluff an attack, hopefully giving the impression that I was in fighting shape and encouraging my opponent/s to waste resources pumping up their defences.

Of course that wouldn't help one-on-one against a player who goes pure offense...but if you think they're going to do that, and you have a bad hand, you could call their bluff and go for a pure offense as well. You'd both die, resulting in a draw.

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I can see chance 'setting the stage' as it were, but I think when it 'plays the parts' it's going too far. If chance is such that it can often punish sound tactical decision then that would make the system counter-intuitive.
It's not really a case of chance punishing tactical decisions, but rather the tactical decisions having to take into account (and make the most of) the resources that chance has given you.
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