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Old 09-15-2003, 10:33 AM   #1
Adelai
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I was recently asked by a builder (I’m head builder on the mud, though not by name) if we could have a sort of department store, a stock place where we would have a certain number of generic pants, generic shirts, boots, furniture, and other items which a builder could then draw from. We’re having some trouble with disk space, and this would help.

I worry about not only the depressing effect that might have on creativity (and on our mud, creativity’s unfortunately at a premium) but I’m a firm believer that not every NPC needs to be wearing in-game clothing – just put it in the description. Others disagree. Even accepting that, I don’t see that 50 mobs with the same three sets of clothing is any better than 50 mobs with clothing only in their look descriptions.

I’ve been accused of not understanding people’s time constraints and expecting too much of the builders. I think I’m making things easier by putting clothing in descrips instead of having it made separate, and stock.

Anyone use this sort of system? And am I out of line for originally denying the idea?
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Old 09-15-2003, 11:11 AM   #2
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I don't think you're out of line at all. I dislike that idea immensely.

First of all, it's just a little too lazy to have everyone wearing the same thing, or even close to the same thing. I don't know anything about your mud, but if there are developed cultures at all or if any of the cities have established character, then surely people in those cities wear different clothes from one another. I think players will detest it too. Players often like to collect a set of clothes they like for rp and the like, and this requires diversity. Maybe your mud isn't an rp mud, and that might mitigate these objections to some degree.

I do like for mobs to have an item or two on them, but sometime I just stick it in the desc too, and making one item for each mob in the area is not that much work (I'd rather have close to a 2:1 item to mob ratio). Mobs that have lots of items on them are great now and then of course, but I think if every mob has a bunch of items on them it: a) lessens the distinction of those mobs that are cool and unique and would normally have a bunch of items on them, and b) could annoy players. If you're walking around with autoloot on and every ****ant mob you kill has four pieces of clothing on...
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Old 09-15-2003, 07:55 PM   #3
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I think it's absolutely ludicrous to outfit all mobs with a complete wardrobe, not only because there’s really no use for the clothes (I mean, what, players can sell the orc’s undies for 2 gold?) but storage of object data could certainly be put to better use. Ask your builders what they would rather have, a thousand t-shirts on orcs or a thousand more orcs? I have always written clothing into mob descriptions and only make droppable items for quests or special rewards--of course, I worked on a MUD where players had trade skills for armor, weapons and clothes (forging and tailoring) so needing loot from mobs wasn't really a priority.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:42 PM   #4
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If your mud is not roleplay then you have nothing to worry about, who cares if the npc is naked or not, you are not roleplaying so it's irrelevent. Save your disk space and leave 'em nekkid.

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Old 09-15-2003, 11:14 PM   #5
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I would say some clothes are fine, it may add some variety to the items that players can find and use/wear.

Perhaps having templates for keypoints in describing mobs (eyes, clothes, demeanor etc) on the website would help out the builders some. The same goes for objects. I keep a list of templates available for all my builders such as what the keypoints in describing a sword would be.

Not to mention having this on a website rather than having a 'warehouse of generic items' would be much more beneficial for your MUD space

It's definitely not recommended to outfit all your mobs, some are fine for flare, but not all.
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:28 AM   #6
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If it's a roleplay mud then every NPC should be outfitted. Why? Well chances are not every NPC is going to get killed, in fact, laws should cut down killing to a large degree, so when someone DOES kill an NPC, it would be a real **** to have it be an NPC without clothing.

Now should they have unique clothes? Definitely not. IMO all clothes should be craftable, and NPCs are your ordinary people, so they should have ordinary commoner clothes. Now that doesn't mean every NPC is going to wear the same clothes. Look around yourself, does everyone wear the same clothes? Making different combinations of clothes will help develop their character.

Clothes are an important factor in developing an NPC. There's nothing more jarring then seeing a bartender shoeless because of a lazy builder.

However if it's not an RP mud, then I agree with Delerak, make 'em go nakked.
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:46 AM   #7
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I don't think it'd make much sense to have every mob in the game have the average 3 items of clothing per mob.  That's an awful waste of space for unimportant mobs.

Not to mention putting clothes on shoppies, why it may be a good idea, won't produce any clothes for looting.
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Old 09-16-2003, 07:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Crystal @ Sep. 16 2003,02:46)
Not to mention putting clothes on shoppies, why it may be a good idea, won't produce any clothes for looting.
That's the difference. I don't see giving the main purpose for giving NPCs items is to loot, I see the main purpose is to flesh out the NPC and to add to the atmosphere
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Old 09-16-2003, 08:27 AM   #9
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If this is an RP MUD (I mean a real RP MUD, not a H&S where RP is "accepted"), then the NPCs should have clothes. After all, they're really no different than the PCs in the game and should be treated the same way by player and builder alike.

Now, as far as what they wear, it doesn't have to be much different from what the PCs themselves wear. An NPC walking down the street can be wearing one of the same shirts available in shops or worn by PCs.

If you want a realistic environment, then the NPCs need to be wearing clothes. Why? As I've brought up before in another discussion, why go for realism in one element of the game and not in every other aspect. Therefore, NPCs should be given a shirt and pants, dress, shoes or boots, perhaps a belt and/or cloak, maybe a pouch on their belt, weapon, maybe even armor. It's all dependent on what the NPC is of course.

Now, if you're talking about a H&S MUD, then no not every NPC needs clothes. In fact, they probably don't even need descriptions. After all, the PCs are just going to kill them, so who cares what they look like.

But on an RP MUD, all NPCs should have clothing.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Sep. 16 2003,08:27)
But on an RP MUD, all NPCs should have clothing.
I think Jason nailed it.  I would expect NPCs to be properly dressed on an RP mud.  However, on Necromium, I have never asked our builders to do anything of that nature.  We are heavily H&S, and the extra junk items just cause clutter.

Of course, I think the main thing you need to achieve is consistency.  As long as all of your NPCs are designed the same in terms of clothing (ie they have it or they dont) then you should be alright.  However if you just have one zone with naked NPCs, it is going to look terrible.
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:47 AM   #11
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Many thanks, TS. Nice to see you again. Hope you're doing well.

Based on your comment about unnecessary clothing, is it possible that the tattered (burlap) smocks have been removed from your game?

Later,

Jason
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:50 AM   #12
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*cough* Realistically though, disk space can be problematic, especially when you get popular. I'm head builder on a busy mud which has 150-200 people on at peak times, and where there are a minimum of 100,000 objects in play at any given time. At the moment, the average is about 3 items per mob -- which isn't that bad as plenty of mobs don't wear clothes (ie bears, deer etc). Whilst we try and make the mud as realistic as possible, and I encourage my builders to, it certainly isn't the case that every mob has every wearposition filled. But, I suppose it depends on the audience you're shooting for?

With us, ours is mixed, and at the end of the day if people quit, saying "ohmigod I'm not playing here because the bigFoobars don't have anything on their wrists", that's just one of those things where everyone's performance needs outweighs a few people's desire for the superperfectly dressed mud. Cold, but that's just life.
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Old 09-16-2003, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (nass @ Sep. 16 2003,10:50)
Realistically though, disk space can be problematic, especially when you get popular.
Well Armageddon gets about 60 players peak time and has NPCs clothes perfectly fine But then again, I guess when you say popular you certaintly meant more then 60 at peak time considering how popular your mud is
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Old 09-16-2003, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Sep. 16 2003,10:47)
Based on your comment about unnecessary clothing, is it possible that the tattered (burlap) smocks have been removed from your game?  
Ouch!
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Old 09-19-2003, 08:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Treestump @ Sep. 16 2003,12:13)
Ouch!
I'll take that as a no. Heh, heh, heh.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 09-19-2003, 08:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (nass @ Sep. 16 2003,10:50)
"ohmigod I'm not playing here because the bigFoobars don't have anything on their wrists"
If someone's saying that on a RP MUD, they've either lived a sheltered life or they're too used to H&S MUDs where every piece of eq adds to their stats.

Not every NPC is going to be wearing something on their wrist.  How many peasant farmers would?  How many merchants?  Street peddlers?  Not many, if any at all.  But they'd all be wearing something to preserve their decency as well as something to protect their feet.

Those who would feel every slot must be filled and those who feel that not every NPC needs clothes, look over yourself right now.  What articles of clothing, jewelry, etc. are you wearing at this moment?  Assuming you're at home, what what would you be wearing if you were at work?  What if you were to run to the local grocery store for a dozen eggs?  Now, apply those to NPCs in a similar fashion.  Would an NPC merchant be wearing no shirt or pants?  Would an NPC walking down the street of a town be wearing no shoes or boots?

On a RP MUD, not every equipment slot needs to be filled though, and that goes for PCs as well.  Both they and NPCs should be wearing what would be typical for a person in that situation.  So, while a noblewoman at the King's court would probably be wearing a beautiful bracelet around her wrist, a nobleman would be less likely to have wrist attire (and certainly wouldn't be using a shield). A tavernkeeper would be even less likely, regardless of their gender.

When in doubt about what an NPC would wear, ask yourself, "WWIW":  What Would I Wear (in their place)?

Take care,

Jason
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Sep. 19 2003,08:20)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Treestump @ Sep. 16 2003,12:13)
Ouch!
I'll take that as a no.    Heh, heh, heh.

Take care,

Jason
Yes, our wailing lepers still wear their tattered smocks, which clutter the donation room. Such things are tradition!
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Old 09-20-2003, 09:32 PM   #18
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I hate it when you can't pick up and touch what you want in a game. Suppose I wanted to tear up a shirt, maybe to make an RPed bandage? Or I wanted to dye all of a passed-out drunk NPC's clothing brilliant yellow as a joke? My thought is that sometime, somewhere, someone will want to use something in a description, and they won't be able to. This also goes for room descriptions. I always love having the ability to manipulate the game world, so why not have that chandelier on the ceiling destroyable? Think about this situation for a moment: I'm part of a large, raging army, pillaging from a city that we have just conquered. I enter a noble's house, I see beautiful paintings, statues, a wooden staircase with a delicately carved hand-rail. I'm in a destructive mood, but not really blood-thirsty. Now in a conventional MUD, the only interaction I would have would be going upstairs and slaughtering the noble, his wive, his servants, and his five year old daughter, and then maybe taking the daughter's toy doll, MAYBE being able to cast a spell to destroy it (for some reason it's completely immune to the slash of a knife). None of this would affect the game world, but that's another topic. Isn't this all just a little stifiling?
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Old 09-21-2003, 02:28 PM   #19
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While I won't disagree that it is nice to be able to interact with objects in the world, in an rp game where killing is not a priority, I would much rather not see objects actually on the mob.  Think about it this way: How much detail can you do on your average short description of an object?  Look at the difference in these mobs when you look at them:

Mob 1 Description:

A shock of midnight black hair is wrapped into thick braids around the lean, tanned face of this young woman. Bits of loose, short hair streak around the edges of her temples in clear contrast to the soft hues of her sun-kissed skin. Her eyebrows arch sharply, and her dark eyes grant her a foreign, romantic cast. Wrapped in a dress of raw silk, the purple hue is inviting and bright. Billowing sleeves are adorned with tiny, rune-etched buttons and a platinum ring is set with a glittering black stone. Dozens of silver bangles adorn her arms, jingling in an oddly compelling manner with the slightest move of her slender wrists.

Mob 1 Description + Objects:

A shock of midnight black hair is wrapped into thick braids around the lean, tanned face of this young woman. Bits of loose, short hair streak around the edges of her temples in clear contrast to the soft hues of her sun-kissed skin. Her eyebrows arch sharply, and her dark eyes grant her a foreign, romantic cast.
[body] a purple raw silk dress with billowing sleeves
[hand] a platinum ring set with a glittering black stone
[wrist] a dozen silver bangles

Mob 2 Description
Gnawed fingernails are as red as the short, spiky hair of this lanky girl.  A brass hoop hangs from a piercing at the top of one ear and her slender neck is decorated with a loop of rawhide suspending a copper charm. Her collarbone is prominent, pushing its way past the top of a threadbare cotton shirt.  Narrow wrists and ankles emerge from clothing hemmed too short while a small waist is nearly lost within the wide band of her pants. Jerky movements characterize her gestures and flashing eyes are alive with  humor and determination.

Mob 2 Description + Objects
Gnawed fingernails are as red as the short, spiky hair of this lanky girl.  Her collarbone is prominent and narrow wrists and ankles extend from her clothing, her narrow waist lost in the wide band of her pants.  Jerky movements characterize her gestures and flashing eyes are alive with  humor and determination.
[head] a brass hoop earring
[neck] a loop of rawhide suspending a copper charm
[body] a threadbare cotton shirt
[legs] a pair of denim pants with a wide band at the waist


Now, I don't know about you guys, but I would much rather the first description on both mobs for two key reasons:

* If the clothing can be used to express the personality and details of the mob, as done with the second one in particular, you lose a lot by making those items.  If you attempt to keep the detail in the mob, you end up being repetative.

* You can go into more detail about the clothing than a short description allows, including how it hangs on the body of the mob.  Yes, an extended description could do this also, but on most games, you cannot see the extended description unless you have the item in your hands or it is on the ground.

While it may be fun to see the dress as available to have for your own uses, if this is a mob that no player is likely to ever have a reason to kill, as it true with many mobs on an rp mud, why should the detail be sacrificed for the quality of the feeling inspired by the mob?

Qualification to everything said previously: One of the things that can be powerful on an rp-intensive game is to minimize the differences between 'mobs' and PCs.  If you assume mobs are alive and often see game staff manipulating the mobs in the world, there is a great deal to be said for making those mobs as 'real' as the PCs.  However, this requires consistency, descriptions equal to the detail often found in the PC descriptions, and clothing quite appropriate to the particular station and activites of the mob i.e. generic would only go so far.  A cotton shirt on a smith will not look the same as a cotton shirt on a barkeep.  One will have visible sweat and grime staining it.
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:49 PM   #20
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I have played a game (which I won't mention the name of) where items can be physically present in a room or (I think) mob description. That is, it flows with the rest of the description, but you can still manipulate that item. It's difficult to do, of course, mainly, I think, because of grammar parsing for when that item is suddenly absent. An alternative to ponder.

You could also not list what any mob has, and let the builder make sure that he includes everything visible on that mob's person be present in the desc somewhere. This leaves the option of suprising a player with a moderately valuable silver wedding ring on the presence of a beggar, hidden by those tattered gloves (or if you want to be boring, a pair of undergarments under a person's pants). An heirloom, perhaps? This basically removes the possibility of thieves stealing your pants off of you (is that a loss?), unless, like above, you could update that description, and then you might as well implement the rest of that idea.
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