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Old 07-31-2006, 05:50 PM   #41
DonathinFrye
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Well, we are in the process of changing our website entirely, so we haven't been as focused on the "old" site, which is probably why you wouldn't see it. If you logged onto the website's webserver, you could see the MOTD Board's notes on the system.

But sure, I can explain it in more detail. I'll try to use examples.


Typically, on most MUDs(DIKU, especially), the interface looks like some variation on this;

> cast fireball zombie
Donathin's FIREBALL immolates a Zombie![1852]


Clandestine used a similar interface previously, though our spells themselves were still cool - however, the gameplay for casters was direct, consistant, and unchallenging. Now, with the new system, you would see something like this;


KaVir's encircling attack does UNSPEAKABLE things to Donathin![11%]

Donathin begins to chant the Toxin spell.

KaVir suddenly multiplies his form, surrounding Donathin with images!

Donathin finishes chanting the Toxin spell.
Donathin's toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![2%]
Donathin's toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![3%]
Donathin's toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![4%]
Donathin's toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![2%]

KaVir's encircling attack does UNSPEAKABLE things to Donathin![9%]

------

Now, though at surface this seems like a purely superficial change - it is not, especially when combined with feedback and the new ranged attack system. See below, a first person caster viewpoint. Here, I show one usage of ranged attacking, as well as chanting's ability to allow you to continue to respond to things going on in combat even while preparing to cast(there is no post-casting lag for most spells, with only necessary exceptions). This allows me below to que up a series of attack spells and flee before he can "encircle attack(attack from the example above), which requires him to surround me with images first. Take a look;


>cast torment KaVir
You begin to chant the torment spell.

KaVir suddenly multiplies his form, surrounding you with images!

KaVir suddenly screams as the spirits of the dead torment his soul.

>cast toxin KaVir
cast toxin KaVir
cast toxin KaVir
cast toxin KaVir
flee
flee

You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.

You cannot escape!!
You have fled from combat!

A Bloodied Altar

Exits: South

You launch a powerful ranged attack!
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![2%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![3%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![4%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![2%]

KaVir flies in from the south.


>south
You run south.

Before the Altar

Exits: North, South

KaVir flies in from the north.


>south
You run south.

Inside the Church

Exits: North

You launch a powerful ranged attack!
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![3%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![3%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![3%]
Your ranged toxin does ETCETC things to KaVir![4%]

-----

In the above example, you can see how you are able to, while in combat, queue up a series of spells. Attack spells that are que'd can be used as ranged attacks in the new system. The counter for this is the feedback spell, which is demonstrated below, from KaVir's point of view;


>encircle donathin
You suddenly multiply your form, surrounding Donathin with images!

Donathin begins to chant the toxin spell.

>encircle attack

Donathin tries to flee!
Donathin tries to flee!
Donathin has fled!
Donathin runs to the north.

Attack who? Your target has left.

Donathin blasts you with a ranged attack!
Donathin's ranged toxin does ETCETC things to you![3%]
Donathin's ranged toxin does ETCETC things to you![3%]
Donathin's ranged toxin does ETCETC things to you![3%]
Donathin's ranged toxin does ETCETC things to you![4%]
>cast feedback
You begin to chant the feedback spell.

>quaff 'super heal'
You quaff a 'super healing potion'.[-8%]

You finish chanting the feedback spell.
You summon a surge of energy at the void, and channel Donathin's mana aggressively back at him![21%]

----

Now, because of this system of checks and balances, we have also added the "cast stop" command, which works like this;

>cast toxin kavir
cast toxin kavir
cast toxin kavir
cast toxin kavir
cast toxin kavir

You begin to chant the toxin spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.
You prepare toxin as a follow-up spell.

KaVir begins to chant the feedback spell.

>cast stop
You stop chanting toxin.
You stop chanting toxin.
You stop chanting toxin.
You stop chanting toxin.
You stop chanting toxin.

>wnah
You scream "WNAHHHH!!!!" and pummel KaVir![4%]

Kavir finishes casting the feedback spell!
KaVir is unable to summon energy from the void!

---

To note is that certain spells have remained instant-cast to avoid abuse, and that my hand-typing faked logs of the system is probably not the best way for you to understand the system(you'd have to play for that, probably), but I hope that gives you a more specific idea of how ranged attacks, chanting, feedback, and cast stop work. To be noted is that feedback/ranged attacks only are relevant to attacking spells, and not healing/lock-down/illusion/boons/curses or any other kinds of spells.
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Old 08-02-2006, 04:46 AM   #42
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Okay, so if I've understood correctly, it basically works like this:

1) Instead of the spell going off instantly followed by a WAIT_STATE pause, there is a pause first and then afterwards the spell takes effect.

2) If you try to cast a spell while already chanting, it is added to your queue.

I assume different spells take a different amount of time to perform?

What happens if a spell is popped off your queue and the target has gone - it just fizzles?

Can you choose to push a spell to the front of your queue, or does it always go on the end?

Any thoughts about applying the same approach to regular combat, or even non-combat activities? For example I noticed you quaffed a potion while chanting - that might be a good candidate for using the queued system.
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:06 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Aug. 02 2006,05:46)
Any thoughts about applying the same approach to regular combat, or even non-combat activities? For example I noticed you quaffed a potion while chanting - that might be a good candidate for using the queued system.
I know precasting/windups/whatever you want to call it has been pretty popular in games that used it heavily, among certain kinds of players, at least. I understand that a lot of Ultima Online players bitched up a storm when precasting (as they called it) was removed, for instance. Pre-casting was just the generic name for it regardless of the fictional form the actual ability takes (magic, non-magic, etc).

--matt
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:09 AM   #44
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Matt: Actually, yeah - the old Ultima Online is a continued source of positive combat examples when Clandestine is discussing combat and combat changes


KaVir: In reponse to your questions...

1) Yes, different spells take different amounts of time to cast. Some spells create an amount of lag post-casting also(based on the idea that certain spells would drain the caster physically, and also to keep combat balanced); some spells experience no lag after casting, and some spells are instant-casted(they don't use the chant system, but they experience heavier lag after casting, again - for balancing purposes).


2) One of three things happens if your target flees from a room after you initiate chanting a spell at them.
A) When the chanted spell is finished and cast, if they are not in the same room, you will receive a "fizzle" and a message to the tune of 'KaVir is no longer here!'
B) You can move while chanting a spell, so if you are able to chase them fast enough so that the spell "goes off" while you are in the same room, it will activate as it would've before they fled and hit them.
C) If the attack was a high-evel damaging spell, it will go through as a "ranged attack". How hard the range attack hits depends on howmany rooms away the target is from the caster when each one finishes chanting - to the point where eventually the target is too far out of the casters range.


3) Spells cannot be pushed to the front of the "queue" for balancing purposes. We've implemented the "cast stop" command, which immediately(without lag) clears the current spell queue. If casters could push spells up to the top of the queue, they would be able to cast magical augmentating spells first, that would help them "bomb" their opponents with very powerful ranged attacks afterwards. In our system, if you wish to cast a new spell immediately(healing, boosting, cleansing, etc) or target a new opponent, you have to call off your queue first, ending any ranged attacks you might've made. This keeps things balanced.


4) You got me. You can't actually quaff potions while chanting, I just hand-typed the log above. Certain skills cannot be used while chanting, for both feasable and balance reasons. As for considering a similar "pre-casting" or "charge up" system for other skills - we have, yes. There are other skills used by non-caster classes that act similarly to the "chant" system, though nothing exactly the same. For instance, you saw the "encircle attack" skill, which requires two steps to deal damage, a preparation step(surrounding them with mirror images of yourself), and then the attack. In encircle's case, there are also other functions for it besides attacking. Our Technomancer class has an ability to charge up "techno-crystals" with a single spell, many times, and this crystal can be activated on command to unleash whatever energy and spell they've been able to store up(with limits before the thing explodes, obviously).

There are a few other similar examples like this with other classes, but generally we have made an effort to blend preparation and instant commands in combat to keep timing dynamic - casters had just been, previously, a mostly stock class gameplay-wise with many awesome spells... however, the class being completely automated caused players with less skill to flock to it in an effort to compete with better combatants. With the new system, casting takes as much creativity and skill as any other class - perhaps moreso, even, depending on the situation.



Hope that clears up your questions, unless you have more - thanks for your interest.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:11 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I understand that a lot of Ultima Online players bitched up a storm when precasting (as they called it) was removed, for instance.
And yes, I was definitely one of those.
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:39 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Luvan @ June 08 2006,17:58)
There is an optional automap that you can choose to have, it can be turned off by typing automap. That should remove much of the nonsense you see room to room.

Also in the beginning zone there are a very large amount of rooms for a farm area that have ascii graphics in place of a actual room description, if you type brief it will completely shut off the room description and only show the room name, you could probably use that until you made it out of the area. After that there are very very few rooms (at least as far as I have encountered) with ascii grapic room descriptions.

Also there is a way to look at your score (which has lots of symbols etc in it normally) in another way which takes out all those extra symbols. The command is score2. (there are still symbols that represent your armor class, but your armor class is also given in numbers)

You can also configure your prompt (as you probably already know) to take out any symbols there.

I believe there is one more thing I was going to mention that may help but it has jumped out of my head. I hope this helps if you still want to play.
Just out of curiosity, would it not make sense to bundle these and any other changes to the interface that are helpful to blind players using screenreaders into one simple command and make sure the beginning of the game mentions this? You might not have a problem with some, like the previous poster, getting frustrated without realising you can turn off the things that are causing problems.
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:26 PM   #47
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It would be a convenient addition, yes - but not really necessary. Anyone wanting to alter elements of the MUD to make it more friendly to their screen-reader need only to ask in-game for assistance, and they'd be on their way.
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