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Old 11-20-2006, 10:48 PM   #1
NotL337
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I have two questions.

First, as a builder do you prefer getting to use the basic up, down, north, west, south, east to build an area, or would you rather also have nw, sw, ne, and se directions?

Then secondly, as a player, would you rather have the basic six or all ten?



My personal choice as a builder and as a player is the same. I'd rather have the basic six for all but a very few special zones.

I especially like to have the basic six for the entire 'normal' mud, but if there are other 'dream' realms, or such, to have the ten. That makes it jarringly clear that you're in the middle of something different.
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:20 AM   #2
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I see no reason not to have all 10. It really just allows builders a lot more creative freedom. Why restrict that if you are going to have it anyways?
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:36 AM   #3
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As a builder, I prefer 10 so I don't have to waste a lot of rooms if I have a diagonal path.

As a player, I don't think I care either way.
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:05 AM   #4
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My preference is the same as both builder and player.

If the world is set out on a grid, so that (for example) moving north and then east is guaranteed to always reach the same position as moving east and then north, then I prefer to have diagonal directions as well. This requires no additional effort for builders, and becomes an optional shortcut for players.

If the world is not set out on a grid, then I prefer not to have the diagonal directions. As a builder it becomes more tricky to plan such areas on graph paper, and as a player I find it makes movement more confusing.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:10 PM   #5
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If this is a room-based system, my preference would be to support a dynamic list of named exits rather than a static list of directional exits, so that you can have as many as you like.

Provide all the "n", "s", "e", "w", "u", "d", etc commands as shortcuts for exits named "north", "south", "east", "west", "up", "down", etc, but also provide a "go" command for exits named "portal", "airlock", "gateway", "rabbit hole", etc.

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Old 11-22-2006, 03:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
but also provide a "go" command for exits named "portal", "airlock", "gateway", "rabbit hole", etc.
I am confused. Isn't that what you have the objects named Portals for? At least in the muds I play, you 'enter portal', or rabbithole or whatever the portal is named. You also enter vehicles.

That' said, I prefer to have just the basic six directions, both as a builder and as a player. As a builder because having to write an extra four direction descriptions is a bit too much. Building where I build is already complicated enough.

And as both a player and a builder, because I don't really see the point. What would a NE direction add, when you can get to the same point by walking n; e? Except to save you from walking through one extra room? It just isn't worth the extra hassle.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Nov. 22 2006,08:29)
And as both a  player and a builder, because I don't really see the point. What would a NE direction add, when you can get to the same point by walking n; e? Except to save you from walking through one extra room? It just isn't worth the extra hassle.
What 'extra' hassle?  You're letting the player move diagonally using half as many commands.  If they want to move 100 rooms north-east, it's actually more hassle to keep typing "n", "e", "n", "e", "n", "e" than it is to just type "ne", "!", "!", etc.

It's only when "ne" doesn't necessarily lead to the same location as "n" then "e" that it becomes a hassle.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:31 AM   #8
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Heck, why not go whole hog and have all 26: up-north, down-south, up-south-west...
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:59 AM   #9
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I like the idea of "northeast" not only for brevity's sake but for a better sense of realism. Let's look at it very simplistically:

There's a wilderness area with 4 rooms in it (told you this is a simplistic example). You are in the southwest room. You see nothing to the north, nothing to the east. You can't see to the northeast, even though its corner touches your corner. You -should- be able to get some idea of what's there. If there's some big bad nasty vile UberTerror of Doom waiting for you, you -should- be able to see it from your corner. And - it -should- be able to see you too, especially if it's an aggro mob.

In games that let you see more than 1 room away, you should at the very least be able to tell what is only 1 room away. And northeast is only one room away from southwest. From a very logical, pragmatic, and quasi-realistic point of view, you should be able to see what's there.

If your game doesn't provide the means of looking to other rooms it doesn't really matter. But if it does, then it does.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
That' said, I prefer to have just the basic six directions, both as a builder and as a player. As a builder because having to write an extra four direction descriptions is a bit too much. Building where I build is already complicated enough.
This confuses me a bit. In my mind, the extra directions don't
*have* to be described in each and every room...just the rooms
that actually have them. Does your mud include a description
for "up" in every room, whether it has an "up" exit or not?

Maybe I misunderstood the original question. My interpretation
was that it was asking whether it's worth making those directions
available to builders or not, not whether their description should be
mandatory for every room.

Did I misunderstand?

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Old 11-22-2006, 08:21 PM   #11
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A common theme in the discussion is "Why not, what do you lose with extra directions?"  

At Lands of Aethar we created a status ailment called "disorientation".  When a player is disoriented, they lose the ability to tell direction, and see things in terms of "forward", "backward", "left", "right".  Unfortunately, we're a SMAUG MUD with the diagonal directions (they were installed years before the disorientation code was).  Diagonal direction makes disorientation more awkward than I'd like.  If the disoriented player is facing north, they will see a northeast exit as "forwardright".  Rather kludgy.

But, then again, LoA is the only MUD with disorientation, in part because a feature like that requires sweeping surgical code changes to the deep core of the codebase, whereas the vast majority of "coders" know how to make minor text changes and not much else!

But on a "cookie cutter" MUD without advanced features, from a pure builder perspective, I'm very fond of diagonal directions.
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Old 11-23-2006, 05:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (erdos @ Nov. 23 2006,01:21)
But, then again, LoA is the only MUD with disorientation, in part because a feature like that requires sweeping surgical code changes to the deep core of the codebase, whereas the vast majority of "coders" know how to make minor text changes and not much else!
You'd have to add a variable to store their facing, a flag to indicate disorientation, the four new direction commands (each no more than a few lines of code) and add an extra check whenever a compass direction is displayed.  It sounds like a fun little feature, perhaps even worth turning into a snippet, but it certainly doesn't require "sweeping surgical code changes to the deep core of the codebase".

However you do raise an interesting point; the value of directional movement commands can very much depend on the features of the game.  In retrospect my original division of grid-based vs non-grid-based is a bit of an over-generalisation.  For example (although I'm not sure if he was being serious or not), I could see Kastagaar's 26-directional movement suggestion being very useful in a mud which strongly emphasises 3D movement (eg a mud where everyone is a dragon, or a fish, etc), even though it might seem a bit OTT for most muds.  Equally, Gromble's suggestion of named exits might fit very well in an RP mud which used a very small world, but could get uncomfortable if the player was expected to travel long distances (eg moving dozens - or even hundreds - of "rooms" to get to their destination).
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Nov. 23 2006,04:15)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (erdos @ Nov. 23 2006,01:21)
But, then again, LoA is the only MUD with disorientation, in part because a feature like that requires sweeping surgical code changes to the deep core of the codebase, whereas the vast majority of "coders" know how to make minor text changes and not much else!
You'd have to add a variable to store their facing, a flag to indicate disorientation, the four new direction commands (each no more than a few lines of code) and add an extra check whenever a compass direction is displayed.  It sounds like a fun little feature, perhaps even worth turning into a snippet, but it certainly doesn't require "sweeping surgical code changes to the deep core of the codebase".
To seriously "add an extra check wherever a compass direction is displayed", in a codebase as mature as SMAUG, would be a profoundly stupid endeavor! If this naive approach is how you think in general, then GodwarsII will soon become unmaintainable: every time you add a new feature, you double the number of tedious checks!

A much cleaner approach (for a MUD in the Diku family) is to let the "act" function do that nitty gritty stuff for you. This means setting up a way for act to identify directions and change them. Which isn't as easy as a search-and-replace, since an act like "The guard says 'the temple is north'" should not be affected by disorientation. If you don't count "act" as part of the "deep core" of a Smaug MUD, I dunno what does count.

And besides that, if you want to do it right, there are many, many other subtle things to consider. For example, how do you deal with sunrise/sunset, where the echo is generated one time (without any specific player to check for disorientation) and then mass-delivered to everyone outdoors? Again, how do you deal with the "exit" command, which mustn't be allowed to give players undeserved "hints" in the form of the order in which the exits are listed? All these little things are easy enough to solve in themselves, but there are literally dozens of such things to consider. This would be a very large "snippet" you are talking about!

Sorry to go offtopic like this

Back on the subject, you'll notice that in most MUDs with diagonal exits, the diagonal exits very rarely actually serve to really add freedom of movement. Unless the MUD admins specifically try to do otherwise, any generic "open plains" area will almost invariably consist of a bunch of rooms with just n/s/e/w exits, or more rarely, with just ne/se/nw/sw exits. Though, of course, this doesn't apply to "coordinate" MUDs like GW2. When I build on a MUD with 10 exits, I see the extra exits as a way to spice things up: break monotony in an area by having the player transition from a long run of "vanilla cardinal directions" to a run of purely diagonal "slanted" rooms, and so on. It's a great way to make that quaint village seem a little more natural and less boxy!
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Anitra @ Nov. 22 2006,02:29)
I am confused. Isn't that what you have the objects named Portals for? At least in the muds I play, you 'enter portal', or rabbithole or whatever the portal is named. You also enter vehicles.

That' said, I prefer to have just the basic six directions, both as a builder and as a player. As a builder because having to write an extra four direction descriptions is a bit too much. Building where I build is already complicated enough.
I think my point has been missed...

There are no "standard" fixed directions. Rather, there is simply a dynamic list of named exits.

Nothing prevents the builder from naming an exit "north" or "south" (which is where a command alias of "n" that equals "go north" is handy), but now the builder is not constrained and can have exits that are called "portal", "ladder", "trapdoor", etc.

The dynamic part I was referring to was where you may have exits come and go depending on user actions. For example, pulling a lever in one room may make a hidden passage open up in another room. A spell that opens a temporary portal is another example.

It's more immersive in my opinion.
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (erdos @ Nov. 23 2006,4:21)
To seriously "add an extra check wherever a compass direction is displayed", in a codebase as mature as SMAUG, would be a profoundly stupid endeavor!
[snip]

Quote:
Originally Posted by
A much cleaner approach (for a MUD in the Diku family) is to let the "act" function do that nitty gritty stuff for you. This means setting up a way for act to identify directions and change them.
In other words, "add an extra check wherever a compass direction is displayed".

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If you don't count "act" as part of the "deep core" of a Smaug MUD, I dunno what does count.
What I disagree with is that it requires "sweeping surgical code changes". It requires a few very simple commands, a little tweaking to existing code, and a few search-and-replaces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
And besides that, if you want to do it right, there are many, many other subtle things to consider. For example, how do you deal with sunrise/sunset, where the echo is generated one time (without any specific player to check for disorientation) and then mass-delivered to everyone outdoors?
By treating it as a dynamic flag, rather like a colour-code, which is changed depending on the viewer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Again, how do you deal with the "exit" command, which mustn't be allowed to give players undeserved "hints" in the form of the order in which the exits are listed?
Randomise it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
This would be a very large "snippet" you are talking about!
Like all things it depends how far you want to take it, but the functionality you've described would make for a pretty small snippet.
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:17 PM   #16
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Does that [snip] represent an amusing "editorial" joke by Kavir?

Or was his post edited by someone else?

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Old 11-23-2006, 12:22 PM   #17
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It was to indicate that I had cut a piece out of the original quote, and is a habit left over from my usenet days.
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Gromble @ Nov. 23 2006,10:55)
I think my point has been missed...

There are no "standard" fixed directions. Rather, there is simply a dynamic list of named exits.

Nothing prevents the builder from naming an exit "north" or "south" (which is where a command alias of "n" that equals "go north" is handy), but now the builder is not constrained and can have exits that are called "portal", "ladder", "trapdoor", etc.
FYI, this is what happens in the MUSH/MUX/etc. family of code. There isn't any coded preference to cardinal directions, though there is a bit of softcode for a command called +compass that can show you exits if they are given cardinal direction aliases.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:00 AM   #19
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For example (although I'm not sure if he was being serious or not), I could see Kastagaar's 26-directional movement suggestion being very useful in a mud which strongly emphasises 3D movement
I was actually being semi-serious. Allowing that degree of movement allows for the implementation of complex rooms. While I wouldn't necessarily advocate using all of the available directions for each room (unless, possibly, you were flying in the wilderness), it would allow for some other possibilities for more complex rooms.

For example, one could imagine a tall, wide hallway which leads north to a reigning monarch's audience chamber, and south to the portico. While rooms to corridors lead to the east and west (and possibly other corridors to the north-east and north-west), these exits pass under stairs which, in turn, lead to more corridors (up-east, up-west, and so on).

(for those that have played Suikoden V, I'm actually describing the hallway to the audience chamber in Sol-Falena castle).

Now, normally, even with 8-directional movement, this would have to be broken down into at least three separate rooms, even though they are conceptually the same space.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:53 PM   #20
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as a builder, I peronally prefer to have as much creative flexibility as possible when i create an area. If, for whatever reason, I decide that the altar of the temple of the moon (etc) i am building needs to face a particular direction, say the tip of a spire that the moon touches at a certain time of night, i might need to layout the exit in a northeasterly direction. if I were constrained in using only certain exits, it would alter my vision of the area and as any artist knows (and i consider building an art), when you have a piece of art in mind to create, you want it as you feel it. giving the OPTION of using diagonal directions is a step in that direction, and having the versatility to handle up-west directions as well makes me tingle with joy *my mud does, and though i might have to convince someone that i truly needed to use it, having the option makes all the difference*
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