Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > MUD Builders and Areas
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-12-2004, 04:30 AM   #1
Molly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sweden
Home MUD: 4 Dimensions
Posts: 566
Molly will become famous soon enoughMolly will become famous soon enough
It seems our last thread about Builders' tricks got erased for some reason, so let's start a new one. Sharing ideas is usually good for the community.


To kick things off, here are some tips about making mobs more 'intelligent':

There are several methods with which you can make mobs more challenging; most of which involve using scripts (mob_progs).
The classic method is having the mob load a helper. You hit the old lady in the street, and her big, muscular son jumps out from behind the fence and whoops your behind.

You can also set mobs as certain classes, giving them class-specific skills and spells when fighting, which of course makes them a lot harder to beat. Many mobs in our mud have the same skills as the players. Mages cast spells on you, priests cast ‘thorn shield’ on themselves, fighters bash you, trample you and disarm you. We also have a multi-tiered system, making a tier 4, level 50 mob a lot harder to kill than a tier 1 of the same strength. Naturally the high-tiered one give proportionally better rewards too.

Wimpy mobs are always frustrating, and to go one step further you can make the mob teleport far away, when its hitpoints become low, which makes the pursuit a lot harder. Some of them can take off with their gear, and drop it in a separate room, which has to be sought out. On the opposite side of the scale, vindictive mobs with memory will track you all over the mud and hunt you down, to get even. Some of the nastier ones might even gate to you, if you have an object that they want. And we have a few mobs whose ghosts will appear from Hades to persecute you, each time you use the item you killed them for.

You can also reset the mob in a peaceful room, which makes it tricky, but sometimes not totally impossible to get at. It is quite fun to watch the players invent ways to get at this mob. They shoot at it, to make it rush out in pursuit. They try to push it, charm it and summon it. In one case, when the mob was set as !push, !charm, !shoot, and !summon, one inventive player finally figured out that she could tame and mount the mob, and ride it out of the peaceful room

We have some mobs that can only be killed if you wield a certain magic sword or if you wear a protection cloak given to you by a mage in return for a favour. And in one case the mob can only be killed if you fight it barehanded. (I am actually thinking of adding a Gladiator pit too, where you would have to strip naked to fight).

We also have a very neat feature called ‘fused’ or ‘segmented’ mobs in our Mud. This can be used for instance for an octopus; each arm is a segment, but you only see one mob. You have to kill the ‘brain’ of the segmented mob to finish it off, and that part is of course reset at the bottom of the room, and probably not set as Helper or aggressive either.

And then there is of course the totally unkillable mob. The easiest way to achieve this is to set the mob as a shopkeeper, but it can also done by a script that makes the mob regen at a certain hitpercent. This method should be used very sparingly, because it is extremely frustrating and not very fair to the players, when something is totally impossible to do. But there are cases when it is justified. Shopkeepers and healers are two examples, you don’t want those killed, since that makes things harder for other players.

And there are of course the Quest mobs. A mob holds a certain item, which you need to finish a quest. You cannot steal it, because the mob is set as aware. You cannot kill the mob, since it regens. So you have to use your brains to figure out how to get at the object. In some cases the solution is as easy as just asking politely for it. In others you may be able to trade it for some other item that the mob desires.

The neatest solution I've used so far is a hostage situation. The unkillable mob has a kid sister, who is considerably weaker. At a certain point in a fight, she begs for mercy. If the player spares her life then, she will become hostage and follow him. Take her to her big brother and he will give you the item you desire in return for his sister’s life.
Molly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 08:33 AM   #2
Angie
Member
 
Angie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Prague
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 134
Angie is on a distinguished road
It's wonderful to see this thread continue - even though I did not participate in the last one, I have actually more than half of it saved on my harddrive (so if anybody needs it, I can send you what I have).

Since I code on an LP mud, the possibilities are almost endless. My main advice would be: think out of the box. Try to come up with behaviour that no other mob on your mud has, but at the same time keep it in theme. Make it react to a wide range of player actions and give it a wide selection of spells or attacks to use, so that the combat is never the same. That goes not only for the mobs themselves, but also for their equipment, rooms they are in, the surrounding rooms etc. Always consider the whole situation, not only the mob itself.

Mobs that chase you, gang up on you, run, summon help, heal, increase their immunity to the damage type you use, morph into a different creature when almost dead, disarm, steal and destroy equipment or throw you out of the room can be made much more interesting if there is a way to play smart against them, if the player is given a choice between simply toughing it out or going to a little extra effort to make the combat easier.

For quest mobs and fun mobs, lots of interaction is good. Try to think of the possible syntaxes and keywords players might use, including different capitalization and whole sentences (for example using regexp to check for keywords in whatever the player says). Ideally, if you have a mob that players have to ask about an old mage named Saran and the key he is hiding in his bookcase, the mob should respond not only to "mage", "old mage", "Saran", "key" or "bookcase", but also to a player who will ask "Can you help me find the key?" or "What do you know about Saran?". This seems trivial, but I have spent hours on some muds trying to come up with exactly the right word or sentence the coder had in mind. That's not challenging or interesting, just boring and dumb, and it throws you right out of the story or quest you are pursuing.

Enough of stating the obvious for now, I may be back later with more (obvious or less obvious).
Angie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 02:34 PM   #3
katywollups
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 2
katywollups is on a distinguished road
Smile

My favorite tricks for spicing up otherwise dull areas:

1. In large zones such as city streets, forest, desert, etc., create a base inheritable for all the common describes, zone designations, light levels, room chats, sounds, smells, including those things which change by night or day. I don't reuse room longs, but this helps me a lot for filler/atmosphere rooms and speeds up the qc process since I only have to correct spelling mistakes in one room rather than tracking down all the rooms where I misspelled part of the description for 'leaf/leaves'.

2. Create a base inheritable for monsters that share the same behaviors. They can still have their own unique fights, but I have used this technique to make them go home at night (or come out at night), stay within their districts if they wander, check the same array or add to the same array if they defend each other - or in one case, the array is read by the local law enforcement to see who's murdering town folk.

3. In the case of wandering 'average joe' city folk:
a. Create an array of first names and surnames so that these are randomly generated at creation, giving the illusion of the population being quite large since with a combination of 50 names in each of the arrays, the mix and match is quite varied. Sites such as http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/ can help get names filled out.

b. Create a mapping that chooses a trade, gender, size, parses a unique racial description and fleshes out what would normally be a boring city person.

c. For their treasure, make a similar object that randomly generates a type of armor a city person might wear - i.e. rough tunics, leggings, doublet, hose, etc. To reduce the object load, in their base inheritable, make it a chance and give coin half the time rather than an object. Not all of them are going to have usable items after all.
katywollups is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2004, 10:41 AM   #4
Neranz Laverani
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The States
Posts: 116
Neranz Laverani is on a distinguished road
The previous thread had scrolled off the screen, but was still there. I was able to view it by adjusting my dates.

I pinned them both so that doesn't happen again.
Neranz Laverani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2004, 11:44 AM   #5
Vilgan
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Vilgan is on a distinguished road
I liked the thread, but in general it seemed to be a long discussion on writing descriptions rather than actual building. I (personally) never gave a hoot about descrips as a player and see it as a necessary evil for building. There was a really good (imo) post by erdos and it was unfortunate there wasn't more of that type. It focuses on coding/olc tricks rather than debating description quality.

Few tricks I've started doing myself:

There is always a hidden room players can't get to. This is a great place to run background stuff that players cannot ever mess with or interfere with.

All important fight progs now work outside pulse violence. Keeping it outside makes it a lot more "real" feeling, as well as making the actual pulse a lot less spammy. The system erdos described seemed a bit complex, I just utilize mob echo, trigger via act off that echo (in the hidden room) and then have a short delay before it heads over to do the fight prog. Obviously you need a few checks (like if players == 0, break in the room).

The entry idea was pretty nifty. My key mobs have predefined paths via mprog so I include the mob echos there. But for ones who just wander randomly, sneaking + entry mob echo seems like a really good idea and one that I'll utiilize more in the future.

Less on coding, but imo the most important part: know your niche you plan to fill going in. Why will people go to your area? What does it offer? Is it a leveling area? Is it an endgame area? Is it a quest style area? Is it a combination? What is "special" about this particular area? If you write the most immersive area on the planet but it fills no niche, then your average player won't even bother to go there.

Vilgan
Vilgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2004, 11:50 AM   #6
Vilgan
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Vilgan is on a distinguished road
hrmm maybe I was a bit harsh, when commenting on the last thread I didn't notice this thread was a lot better. Hopefully more ideas and concepts will be posted that all can benefit from.

Vilgan
Vilgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2004, 08:10 PM   #7
Ruobhe
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 68
Ruobhe is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to Ruobhe
Quote:
Originally Posted by
For quest mobs and fun mobs, lots of interaction is good. Try to think of the possible syntaxes and keywords players might use, including different capitalization and whole sentences (for example using regexp to check for keywords in whatever the player says). Ideally, if you have a mob that players have to ask about an old mage named Saran and the key he is hiding in his bookcase, the mob should respond not only to "mage", "old mage", "Saran", "key" or "bookcase", but also to a player who will ask "Can you help me find the key?" or "What do you know about Saran?". This seems trivial, but I have spent hours on some muds trying to come up with exactly the right word or sentence the coder had in mind. That's not challenging or interesting, just boring and dumb, and it throws you right out of the story or quest you are pursuing.
An idea that might be of some help codewise, though it might be unnaplicable, is to create markers for the questions, so that the player could ask "what do you know about #Saran#?" or "do you recognize someone named #Saran#?" or anything like that. I don't know how could it be done code-wise, although it would be a great thing to add.

Just my thoughts.
Ruobhe
Ruobhe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2004, 04:20 AM   #8
Molly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sweden
Home MUD: 4 Dimensions
Posts: 566
Molly will become famous soon enoughMolly will become famous soon enough
Angie:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
For quest mobs and fun mobs, lots of interaction is good. Try to think of the possible syntaxes and keywords players might use, including different capitalization and whole sentences.
...
I have spent hours on some muds trying to come up with exactly the right word or sentence the coder had in mind. That's not challenging or interesting, just boring and dumb, and it throws you right out of the story or quest you are pursuing.
I always try to avoid entire phrases as keywords, so as not to limit the script too much. Unless of course the phrase is some kind of 'invocation', in which case I always make sure that the EXACT phrase is written down somewhere in the zone, (maybe on a paper that the absentminded mage put in a hidden drawer, to remember the wording himself). But otherwise I just use single keywords, and try to guess at things the player might say.  

In DG_scripts there is a very useful if-check:
if (%speech.contains(keyword)%

This enables you to use the same script for as many keywords as you like, meaning that you'll have one long script instead of several short ones.

Using the if-check you can for instance make the mob respond with the same phrase to the same keyword with and without questionmark:

if ((%speech.contains(john)%)||(%speech.contains(john ?)%)
 say whatever
endif

( The || sign stands for 'or' )

You can also make the same script respond to an infinite number of names or keywords, giving different responses to each name.

In some of our zones the heavily scripted quest mobs may answer to around 30 different names or words, sometimes giving random replies to the same name. This makes for a great variety, and also makes the mobs seem at least semi intelligent. You can actually engage in a conversation with some of them.

Usually it is set up so that one response from the mob would automatically lead to a new question from the player, and in this way they can work their way to a solution by just talking to a mob. In other cases the mobs are just set up to drop random hints, so that you may have to speak to 5 different mobs before you figure out what to do next. And in yet other cases the mob responses are just set up to add to the atmosphere of the zone, like citizens of a town exchanging idle gossip with a stranger.

It's always up to the player to decide what is useful information and what is not.
Molly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2005, 10:09 AM   #9
Mellie
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5
Mellie is on a distinguished road
Question

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to drag this post into the present (hoping people will continue the thread) by thanking all the posters on here for sharing such valuable information.

I used to think I was a good builder, but thanks to all of you I am now armed with more info on what it really takes to make or break an area and I felt you should all know that you contributed to that, even if I'm just one gal on just one mud.
Mellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2005, 07:56 AM   #10
Berg
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 7
Berg is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Berg
This thread has very interesting ideas.

I would like to ask about adding extra descriptions for example when you want the player to look at the sign I dont want to make an object to attract there attention but at the same time placing in the description "there is a sign here" erks me...

Often I think  I'll make the mob greet folks with.
Mob says "Look at that sign some one misspelt LOOK SING"

Maybe adding a greet program to the room with "The wind rattles the sign post" or even make it a random event?

Just wondering!
Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2005, 01:51 AM   #11
karlan
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 74
karlan is on a distinguished road
I need to specify a caveat with this suggestion - it is not appropriate in many cases.

Whne I have a cluttered room, one with many fixed objects, that need to be described as objects (the sign above), say a market square, I tend to make a signs objects, or a market stalls object, some object that can be representitive of many things at once.

In the market example, if there are 10 stalls around the square, it is messy to enter a room and see 10 different objects, if they are a point of interest, then they should possibly have individual descriptions, a well written main desc (for the stalls object) removes the clutter when just looking at the room, while the different extra descs can give the level of detail for each one of interest
karlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2005, 09:14 PM   #12
spindiggy
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 6
spindiggy is on a distinguished road
I have a few tips for builders...

Having titles, exits and room descriptions together is fine but each should be on a new line.

-title
-exits
-description

- mobs in rooms.
- objects in rooms

-space before prompt

Some of this would pertain to the coder in a sense, but when it comes to the builders. Here are a couple tips.

1) room descriptions should never wrap by them selves. you should limit the length of each line.

2) mobprogs should not be so long that they wrap either. use extra emotes, pmotes or whatever as needed.

pmote says "How are you today?"
pmote says "Welcome to the realms of whatever. If you"
pmote says "need any help at any time, just ask on nchat"

There are allot of things that can be done to keep the in game design to a standard. Areas/Rooms that are hard to read can just be annoying. If you need ideas for colors, here is a base set that is getting popular.. I'm very partial to color and very picky so I know it's well liked..

Room titles in yellow
Exits just below titles, default white
Room Descriptions, default white
Mobiles in Rooms, Cyan
Objects in Room, Green

Says = green
tells - magneta
emote, pmote, echos, green
mobprog output, green

chat, cyan
nchat, cyan
eqlists, inventory ect, yellow/cyan

These are just ideas but when put together, make a nicely outputted format in regards to text and it's easy on the eyes. I used this for years and never once got a complaint on color. Also, As I mentioned, I'm very picky when it comes to this myself so these are just ideas..

Just some ideas,
Chris
spindiggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2005, 09:55 PM   #13
Jazuela
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 843
Jazuela will become famous soon enoughJazuela will become famous soon enough
I think it depends on your target audience. Personally, there isn't enough money in the world that would get me to play a game that forced colors by default. Spending hours UNdoing all that gobbledigook so it reads more like a book and less like a carnival marquis just isn't worth the effort to me.

Oh and yellow for room titles and exits on white would mean I wouldn't be able to read them at all. I like MY backgrounds to be white, or a very pale shade of grey. If I have to endure a black background I might as well just go back to using a teleprompt terminal from back in the days before Microsoft.
Jazuela is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2005, 10:06 AM   #14
Parnassus
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 23
Parnassus is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by (spindiggy @ April 09 2005,22:14)
Having titles, exits and room descriptions together is fine but each should be on a new line.
As a Smaug builder, I often see areas built using ORB. While this is a more efficient use of online time, I can often tell that ORB has been used because:
1. If there is an exit description, the room name of the room looked at will be on the same line:
>look east
A busy street awaits you.A City Street
2. Mobs with mob descriptions will have the health status attached to the description
>look guard
You don't want to mess with him!The city guard is in perfect health.
3. Quite often, the lines wrap one or two words for me since ORB seems to use a longer line length than my client.

Of course, many areas made through ORB don't have exit descs or mob descs so it won't show so much but this is dull.
>Look east
Nothing special there.
A City Street
>Look guard
You see nothing special about him.
The city guard is in perfect health.

My recommendation is to write the exit and mob descs and make sure the tildes are in place so that ORB can make the proper newlines.
Parnassus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2008, 02:41 PM   #15
Mugo
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 18
Mugo is on a distinguished road
Smile Re: Builders' Tricks II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
I think it depends on your target audience. Personally, there isn't enough money in the world that would get me to play a game that forced colors by default. Spending hours UNdoing all that gobbledigook so it reads more like a book and less like a carnival marquis just isn't worth the effort to me.

Oh and yellow for room titles and exits on white would mean I wouldn't be able to read them at all. I like MY backgrounds to be white, or a very pale shade of grey. If I have to endure a black background I might as well just go back to using a teleprompt terminal from back in the days before Microsoft.
Harlequinesque color schemes are teh suck!

I like black and white as well .. but often struggle with it and find it monotonous. Guess everybody has a personal preference. If ansi, it should be one or two colors and not bright ones!
Mugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2008, 10:04 PM   #16
prof1515
Senior Member
 
prof1515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Illinois
Posts: 791
prof1515 will become famous soon enoughprof1515 will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to prof1515 Send a message via Yahoo to prof1515
Re: Builders' Tricks II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berg View Post
This thread has very interesting ideas.

I would like to ask about adding extra descriptions for example when you want the player to look at the sign I dont want to make an object to attract there attention but at the same time placing in the description "there is a sign here" erks me...
The first things I ever built when on the staff of SoI was a series of rooms comprising part of a building in Osgiliath. In the description of the central room was mention of a mural on the wall. If one typed look mural they'd get a very generic description of it. If, however, they proceeded to other rooms that comprised the balcony, they would get a slightly different take on the mural and if they approached the south wall from one side of the balcony, they would see more detail including a reference to a feature of the mural. Looking at that feature would give a vague description as it was too far away to make out. But if you progressed to the other balcony across the room and looked at the mural, you could make it more clearly and looking at that feature would reveal what it read.

Long story short, it's up to the player to make what they will from a room description. I always put a bunch of them in every room I build. If the players don't bother to read it, that's their loss. The key is consistency though. If players discover that many rooms have embedded descriptions, they're more inclined to look for them. But if they're too rare, players will give up trying to find them and will miss those that you want them to see. In other words, don't do it half-arsed.

Take care,

Jason

Last edited by prof1515 : 11-08-2008 at 03:28 AM. Reason: Correction of typo
prof1515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Builders' Tricks II - Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coders/Head Builders/Builders/Idea Makers Wanted xunil Advertising for Staff 0 05-23-2005 05:29 PM
Builder's Tricks Molly MUD Builders and Areas 62 12-29-2004 04:04 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014