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Old 04-05-2004, 03:56 AM   #1
Vhaemiel
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The thing I love about mudding is that written descriptions spark my imagination and create scenes more fantastic than anything rendered in 3D. Second, mudding is closer to tabletop gaming also due to the fact that everything is described the way a narrator or DM would. What I don’t like about the more descriptive MUDS during combat is the intense battle spam inevitably created with more than 3 or 4 party members against multiple creatures. Although my favorite muds have used very detailed combat messaging, you find yourself scanning for highlighted phrases or keywords to see what’s going on. Anyway, my question is how feasible would it be to code a turn based combat system? For example, initiatives are rolled and a queue system and timer control the action. If the active person doesn’t react within a certain number of seconds it jumps to the next person in line. I haven’t seen combat handled like this in any mud thus far and wondered if this were a technical issue or simply the personal preference of the code writers/players.
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:35 AM   #2
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This is a good question - and one I hope more people will respond on.  I've been thinking about using something like this for my Mud, but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested.

I was thinking of creating a system that used something along the lines of "combat states", and "commands".  The "combat states" would be like:  Offensive, Defensive, Reckless, maybe a few others that aren't coming to mind.  As for the "commands", that would be a large list some of which might include: Dodge, Parry, Shatter Shield, Block, Massive Cleave, Circle, etc.

Combat would work like this:
Every combat round, the game would check to see if any combatants had a "combat command" waiting to be processed.  Any char that had a command waiting, the game would use that as the next combat action for that character.  If there wasn't any actions waiting for a character, the game would default to whatever combat state the character had set.

Every attack's success would be based on each combatants combat command or combat state, their skills, their strenght and dexterity, maybe even a few other factors.


Since it's late and I am EXTREMELY tired, here's an example:
An aggressive NPC "attacks" Player A, which sets its combat state to offensive.  Initiative is rolled, and let's say Player A wins initiative.

The game tells Player A that the NPC screams and attacks, but nothing happens quite yet.  Player A would get a BRIEF chance (whatever the length the combat tick was) to type in a combat command.  Let's say at first, the player is caught off guard (they only have maybe a RL second or two at most) and doesn't type anything in.  So the game would default to the char's current combat state - lets say it was set as defensive from before.  Then a function would determine if the attack was a success as stated above.  It hits.

As that was getting printed out on the screen, the player enters in "parry".  Next combat round, the game recognizes that Player A has "parry" waiting as his combat command - and passes him up for his initiative and goes to the next one - the NPC - which is still in offensive state.  So this round, the combat situation is different, and the success of the attack might be different.  Since Player A is very good at parrying, he is able to deflect the NPC's attack.

Player A then enters in "cleave" and the NPC is still in offensive state.  The game would cycle through combat again, checking combat commands and states as appropriate to determine each attacks success.


I think this type of system would allow for players to "react" to combat more, and add a deeper creativity to combat.  But this system is still in the design stage, and I am sure there are things I am missing.  Any ideas on it?  Strengths, weaknesses?  Is this something you might like to play?

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Old 05-31-2004, 06:03 PM   #3
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Funnily enough, this is something I was discussing with my father just a little earlier, trying to hash out some ideas for turn based combat.

As far as MUDs go I can only cope with two systems, a fully automated system that I can inject additional commands into as it fights for me, or a proper turn based system.

The major reason I stopped playing Imperian, despite pumping money into it, was that I couldn't stand the combat system. Everything was too fast and I couldn't keep up with it.

I think the ideal system is similar to the current manual systems, just with enforced time before the next combat round begins, to give you time to type in what you want. Ideally it would be configurable, with a maximum time.

Then, for PvE, it would use the configured roundtime. For PvP it would use the slowest speed set of all the players involved, so that nobody is disadvantaged.

I would love to be able to use a tactical combat system, with multiple moves, aiming at different parts of the body, and so forth, and only a slower turn based system is going to allow me to achieve this.

So, implement this on your MUDs and I promise to come play them.
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Old 05-31-2004, 09:58 PM   #4
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Disclaimer: I’m not a coder, never have been and have no idea what is viable.  That having been said, I had an idea regarding MUD combat.

I'm glad to find this topic active, as I've been having thoughts to this end for a while now.

Frankly, I'm surprised that there hasn't been a whole lot of innovation through the years in MUD combat, namely a combat system that is more interactive and customizable.  As opposed to MMORPGs where complex textual commands would be impractical, clunky, and out of place, such a system (from my meager understanding) of input seems very fitting for MUDs.  I had something rather specific in mind that I think has some merits (fun factor being one of them):

In real life, hand to hand combat basically consists of a complex process of feints, direct attacks, blocked strikes and the struggle to conquer your opponent's armor (if he has any).  The system that I dreamed up (remember I'm not a coder, so don't go postal on me if it's not viable.) would require an attack to be initiated through an attack command, though combat wouldn't begin immediately following the input of that command as it does in many muds. it would merely cause initiative to be ‘rolled’ and prevent both combatants from simply moving out of the area (a flee command/skill would have to be utilized if he wanted out of the combat, which would then force him to run in a random direction, which happens to be whatever direction he's able to escape to.).  Initiative would be a function of a few things: Range, weapon speed, and overall encumbrance.  Once these are all tallied the initiative would be determined between the two combatants, and the first actoin would be given to the winner, obviously.

At this point, the winner would be given the opportunity to act… most likely to attack if he initiated the conflict.  It’ll be easier to describe the ensuing sequence in an example:

As the winner of initiative, Joe has three choices.  He can make a direct attack (high, low or middle), which does slightly more damage than a feint but has a greater chance of being blocked (unless the defender misconstrues it as a feint, and blocks high, low, or middle in an attempt to guess the real trajectory of the attack.)  Or he can feint one way and strike another (high to low, for example).  While this does less damage, it has a good chance of fooling opponents that have less coded skill points. Lastly, Joe can try to run away, if he doesn't want to risk death. His opponent will know that this is what he's doing, and will be given the opportunity to attack (and hit him, if he fails his flee).

So Joe decides to Feinthighlow (feint high, and follow through with a low attack.)

The output line to the opponent (let’s call her Jane) if Joe’s skill check succeeded against her’s would look something like this:  Joe brings his sword to bear and his swing arcs high.

The output line to Jane, if her skill check succeeded against Joe’s, would like something like this:  Joe brings his sword to bear, feinting high with his swing but obviously moving to go lower (Not sure whether it should tell the player exactly where it’ll hit… just if it’ll go higher or lower.)

At this point, Jane has a few options.  If there's a magic system, she could cast a spell and forfiet any chance of negating the attack, as well as possibly rendering the spell useless once the attack has landed.  Otherwise she has the option to run away, parry the blow (which, depending on exactly where the attack was aimed in comparison to where the parry is aimed or if the enemy is launching a feint, may have a chance of failing), to flee (and accept the damage from the attack in the case of failure) )or go samurai, accepting the attack and trying to land her own blow on the enemy.

After this round, if both combatants are still alive afterward, initiative would be rolled (similar in concept to dnd, but try not to think in those terms, as the combat system is vastly different.  It's simply a neccesity to reflect the advantages of bearing a lighter load, having a faster weapon, or having superior reach.  

This is a very basic, very raw idea that could prolly use some fleshing out and detail.  As it stands, it's simply a solution to the monotonous, almost skillless battles that consist of the combat systems of most MUDs that I've seen.  I do think that in game skill still should play a major factor in how well someone can fight, to give imms a sense of control and so that random killers don't just join the MUD to wreak havok, but there should be a better, more realistic and subtle way of utilizing it.  Such as the ability to recognise feints, amount of damage that one is capable of inflicting with a weapon, and probably parrying ability, to an extent.  I also had a thought that parrying, blocking and such actions should be interwined into a general skill category... maybe give the player the option to develop his own fighting style, the skill with which will translate into more efficient blocking/parrying (if you parry low you'll also have a chance of covering an adjacent area. something of that nature.)  

As I may have mentioned, this combat system would call for a long enough pause between turns to help combat lag and to give each combatant a little time to think of what they'll do and register what their opponent is doing.  After a certain time has passed without input from one player, an automatic decision would be made by the ai for him/her, so he at least has a chance.  I think this system in it's most basic form could be fleshed out and made more complex and interesting for the players, though I have no idea how viable it actually would be in code...  That's partly why I'm posting it here... to get opinions.
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Old 06-02-2004, 03:35 PM   #5
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I would be interested in playing a mud with fully turn-based combat, without a timer or anything like that (Well, a rather high timer so you can't just sit there for 10 minutes to be a jerk), like that found in most console RPGs (Final Fantasty, anyone?). It would be a refreshing change. Oh, and there must be unique combat messages, because every time I go into a mud that looks like this

Your slash MUTILATES monster!
Monster's claw MUTILATES you!

Your fireball CRUSHES monster!
Moster's stab slashes you!

It's boring, and having the same messaged for every type of damage is terrible. I just can't stand seeing my Fireballs crush the enemy and my lightning bolts mutilate them. I want to see them getting burned and electrocuted, #### it!

Ahem. That's all for now.
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