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Old 05-21-2002, 07:56 AM   #1
nass
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Just curious, but what do people think would be the outcome of making equipment totally irrellevant. Ie no bonusses at all, all bonusses come just from level and stats.

The proponents say that equipment creates greed (I'll make a murderer character to get his heron-mark for my warrior), envy (must....  have..... trinket.....), barriers (can't compete unless I have the best gear) and cowards (I don't want to leave the safety of my clan home and roleplay because out in the real pk world I might get killed and lose my pretties!.

The detractors say that equipment rewards the better player (survival of the best in PK), it's an equaliser (I can take that level 51 trolloc because I'm level 35 BUT have great gear), it's a good motivator to get people to go into dangerous areas or do dangerous things (must....  have..... trinket.....) and it means the mud isn't entirely stats and level-based (ie adds more factors for success, more being better).

Me, I tend towards the latter. But that's because I almost exclusively imm, so I see the latter as "healthy" things for a competetive game. But many players prefer the former, especially the roleplayers who think they "deserve" equipment because they roleplay (whereas I think more in terms of survival of the fittest, ie if you're not actually any good at playing a warder you frankly don't deserve the best sword in the game, a heron-mark blade).

So anyway, has anyone tried losing all eq bonusses. What effects did it have? Or does anyone have any insights, as to what the effects might be?
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Old 05-21-2002, 09:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by
So anyway, has anyone tried losing all eq bonusses.
Yes, mostly. That is to say, a longsword still does more than a shortsword (not to mention having a longer reach), and a chainmail shirt soaks more damage than a cotton one, but there are no actual "magical" bonuses.

The result? People tend to wear equipment more for show, although they'll still grab a big weapon and put on some protective gear.
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Old 05-21-2002, 09:48 AM   #3
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I too belong to the school that prefers equipment with stats, (as long as it isn't ridiculously overpowered of course). I think valuable stuff should be EARNED by skill and perseverance, not bought. It gives the players something substantial to strive for, forces them to explore more - and good equipment has a high bragging factor... *snicker*

In our mud we tend to make the best equipment for each wear_loc the prize for some really hard quest, where you usually will have to show some patience and intelligence in solving puzzles, as well as killing one or several tough mobs. Rewarding people for actually THINKING, and not just killing mindlessly, appeals to me. Creating those puzzles is actually a special hobby of mine.

Naturally the players will do anything to cheat with the Quests, which is why we had to put in the 'tough mob' part, to stop older players from just telling the Newbies how to get the quest items. We've also had to add a lot of other anti-cheat stuff, like !summon-in rooms and 'private' rooms, so people will have to fight the mob single handed, flags to the pfile, so that you can only wear the equipment if you did the quest yourself, seveal step Quests, random elements to make it harder to peddle the solutions, etc.

For the Roleplayers we provide Roleplay equipment, which they can design themselves to fit their background story. There are actually 2 kinds; personalized equipment, where you exchange an existing piece of equipment for a new item with identical stats but new descriptions, and RP clothes, which are merely restrung items with no stats. The former is extremely valuable, and can only be bought for Quest Tokens, the latter costs only money, which seldom is very scarce in a mud.

The system isn't foolproof of course, but works fairly well. An amusing scam is players that make worthless RP clothes with the exact descriptions of top in-game equipment, and then sell them to unsuspecting Twinks. But then again - the world wants to be decieved, it seems, and I've even seen some con artists peddle deeds for a Dungeon as 'a comfortable one-room Apartment'... (yes, we do have crash-proof Player Houses too)
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Old 05-21-2002, 10:04 AM   #4
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We were considering changing to a system based on reach and speed, where bonusses would be more level calculated. Possibly similar to what you had, Kavir. Did you find any negative affects from it?
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Old 05-21-2002, 12:06 PM   #5
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Aside from a few problems with balance (particularly in regard to long weapons having a distinct advantage), the only real "disadvantage" was that people rarely changed equipment. However I consider that to be more of an advantage than a disadvantage. In a more HnS-oriented mud, it's fine for characters to constantly upgrade their equipment, but in a more RP-oriented environment I think it's rather silly - clothing, weapons and armour are a part of the character concept, after all. For example, you have a WoT theme, I believe? I've not seen your mud, but I would imagine that in a WoT themed mud the Asha'man would wear plain black coats with high collars, perhaps with one or two of the pins - I wouldn't expect them to throw away their coats just because they found a nifty dragonskin shirt which gave extra bonuses. Equally I wouldn't expect to see an Aes Sedai remove her ring so that she can wear two rings of MegaDamage. I wouldn't expect to see an Aiel using any type of sword, no matter how big the bonuses it granted, nor would I expect to see a Warder swap his colour-shifting cloak for a damage-enhancing one.
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Old 05-27-2002, 12:12 PM   #6
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I think greed and envy and barriers and cowards are GREAT things to have on muds. They can all spark conflict and RP situations.

As far as roleplayers who think they deserve good eq.. they do. The only reason why hack n' slashers would have great eq as opposed to people who primarily roleplay are a totally broken economic system and view.

Why is it that on the vast, vast majority of muds, you can find fantastic eq on random mobs with no explanation or backstory for it, but the best eq available for sale in the biggest baddest city is mediocre at best?

With a fully functioning economy (and I'm not just talking about some tradeskills thrown into the mix) where RPers can amass wealth through business endeavors and the like (and i'm not just talking about some merchant stalls thrown into the mix), wouldn't it make sense that they could buy top of the line equipment?

RPers should have much higher incomes than hack n' slashers.. that's what balances the players out, power-wise. The RPer may not be able to go toe-to-toe with the hack n' slasher, but that's what all his bodyguards and political connectins etc., are for.

But I digress. Equipment is a commodity, and all too often, it is the *only* commodity on a mud. As long as this is the case -- that equipment is the only thing of real and actual value (other than money itself), you've got a broken system. As long as the quickest and best way to acquire massive wealth is through killing mobs (ich in turn required good equipment to do), you've got a broken system.

If your system is broken like this, then I say that at least greatly reducing eq bonuses is in order, and just letting the players duke it out on the merit of their skill and characeter's skills is the best option.
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Old 05-29-2002, 04:49 PM   #7
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I think the original subquestion lingering which needs to be addressed first: is you mud based on killing players a lot, or more RP and exploration/eq-hoarding in nature?

If you like building areas all the time, getting players to constantly explore new places and encounter new problems, then having eq with stats and bonuses of various types is a fine thing, providing that you balance the equipment throughout the mud, and don't just throw a really cool mage area in, forget about the game, and let mages rule the world.

On the other hand, if you have some kind of pk-oriented mud in which people hiding in their clan halls causes some major problems to the overall balance of a game, and in which a player with a lot of really good eq can beat the hell out of everyone else in the game, you have a problem.

I address the latter of the two more often, because I'm a consummate pker. I've found that the easiest way to get around eq being a problem is to have it be abundant. Eq can be insanely powerful, unfair, and horrible in balance, as long as there's so much of it to go around that it becomes, in effect, worthless. Eq is necessary for function in the mud, but it isn't the focus of the game; you can get equipment so quickly that stockpiling it is easy. At that point you've also negated the annoying regeneration/re-eqing aspect of the game, which can detract from the actual mob-killing and pk.

Just my take on the thing,
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Old 05-29-2002, 05:28 PM   #8
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It depends on the kind of MUD you are running.

If you want it to be a Zen Buddist MUD, then take away the distractions of equipment

Over-powered eq is always a problem.

It often comes from the scenario where you have people building areas, and want to have "special" eq in their area (often better than anything else in the game, with the argument that it will be harder to aquire than any other eq in the game).

There isn't really a fool-proof way to make super-powerful eq only available to the extremely un-cheating deserving without a heavily monitored quest moderated by a few experienced imms under closed conditions.

It would be best to try and keep most of the eq balanced, and if an item has some super-amazing property, it should maybe also contain a detrimental property as well to balance it out a bit more.

Players are attracted to items just as much for how cool it sounds (or looks) and fits their character to how powerful it makes them.

A killer may have a strong desire for eq that doesn't appear to be special, yet has great stats. Little known eq that wouldn't include obviously lootable items.

A socializer would be more interest in cool looking garb, and fanciful trinkets.

An achiever would go for the most renowned and awe-inspiring eq.... do anything to aquire the best damroll eq around.

Of course the explorer would know how and where to get everything he or she needs. They'd probably be most interested in +str eq to help them carry truckloads of long lost trinkets from far away lands.

I think the best eq to have is a wide variety of interesting eq.

Make some stuff that sounds really cool... but is really of little value... and make some ordinary looking "junk" that has hidden magical properties.

We want people to have fun
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Old 05-29-2002, 05:40 PM   #9
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I think it's important for play that basic equipment is easy (but not free) to obtain.  If your economy is in balance, you can put simple goods on sale in shops for slightly high prices, and also have it freely available by defeating weak opponents or exploring areas.  Thus, when someone needs gear, money is a useful commodity- it saves you a little time- but not a necessity- if you're broke, you can go gather equipment yourself.

That out of the way, I think having a scale of higher-grade equipment is a fine way to motivate and reward players.  On Carrion Fields, we use item limits (only so many of each "very good" item exist) to create a situation where the best equipment is rare, and therefore owning/keeping that equipment means you have to outperform other players.  In a similar light, we can reward roleplaying achievements with gear- it's common for leaders of cabals to receive a good-but-not-supergood personalized weapon or other piece of equipment as part of the perks of leadership, and favored followers of a religion receive a tattoo that functions as a piece of gear that can't be stolen.  Since items are transient (can be sacrificed, melted, etc.), they also make good quest rewards- it gives the person something very nice, but unlike assigning them a custom skill, it eventually goes away.

Having equipment that is finite, transient, and valuable also creates a continuing motive for exploration and action- frequent trips into dangerous areas, active bartering, and a shift of power when an enemy with powerful items is brought low.  I think the problems people are citing elsewhere in this thread are the results of a poorly planned or overly simple system of equipment, and nothing inherent to the existence of an equipment system.
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Old 05-29-2002, 05:57 PM   #10
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This could be true, but let's take your example of having only a limited number of some eq in the game. For instance, a really cool sword.

The sword is put in, and let's say that someone manages to grab two of them from the outset, not necessarily uncommon. This is fine, until some random newbie who's never played the game before, stumbles upon this guy's corpse, loots the sword, and goes on a power-levelling trip.

Once again, not a big deal. But said newbie starts getting big, and realizes that this sword is a really good piece of eq, and although it's not necessarily any cooler than say the really good dagger for the thieves and the really cool wand for the mages, it's still very valuable.

So he singlemindedly kills every player in the game who has said sword, and hoards them all onto a carrier char which never logs on again.

Seeing the problem? I've actually seen it happen before; one guy who was very powerful from hours upon hours of character building, collected every valuable and hard-to-get piece of eq in the game, and then disappeared for 6 months. It can be a serious issue, and that particular rule/code especially has, in my experience, caused more problems than any other individual one.

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Old 05-29-2002, 06:59 PM   #11
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Visko, any system can look bad if you sufficiently mismanage it.

So he singlemindedly kills every player in the game who has said sword, and hoards them all onto a carrier char which never logs on again.

Carrion Fields is a roleplaying MUD, so it's not as simple as "kill every player in the game who has a sword". Also, why would you want more than a couple good swords? What's your incentive to gather 10 of these? To convince groups of enemies to come kill you for the extras?

Also, our rules forbid having two of your characters on, or transferring equipment among your characters via intermediaries. We also have code in place which searches out and purges limited items from inactive characters. Storage characters are expressly forbidden. Also, our object limits scale with the size of the playerbase, so as we grow, the limits do as well.

Seeing the problem? I've actually seen it happen before; one guy who was very powerful from hours upon hours of character building, collected every valuable and hard-to-get piece of eq in the game, and then disappeared for 6 months. It can be a serious issue, and that particular rule/code especially has, in my experience, caused more problems than any other individual one.

I think the problem isn't the equipment, it's permitting hoarding, multicharring, and storage characters. While we keep a lot of the details under our hats (because we don't want people skirting the edges of the system), I can say with confidence that you can build a system where this is not a big deal. We've had a limited item system for 8 years, and it serves us well, encouraging the sorts of things I mentioned in my post above.
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Old 05-29-2002, 11:33 PM   #12
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That's one way of doing it. Storage chars are, on a lot of muds, pretty annoying, and multiplaying is an arguably bad concept.

I had a couple of friends play CF way back when, BloodBath I think was their clan. It was IC for them to run around killing everything in sight at that point...

But if you put in the necessary code to limit eq hoarding, then I have no problems with it. Even without storage characters, however, there's always the possibility of someone stockpiling every single good piece of eq in the game...

And at that point, do you pwipe or just have them redistribute it? The solution on the mud I played was pwipe. What would you do in that situation?

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Old 05-30-2002, 03:09 AM   #13
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The example above is pretty extreme and probably wouldn't happen here on Carrion Fields.  No one piece of equipment is going to be so good that it would allow a new, unskilled player to completely dominate the game.  While good equipment will be an advantage, it certainly shouldn't be the deciding factor in terms of a fight.

The other problem you bring up is much more real, that being hoarding gear.  Getting a bunch of the shiniest things, then suddenly realizing you don't want to lose it, so you hardly ever log the character on, or if you do log them on, only when the odds heavily favor you.  There are several things you can implement to detract that kind of behaviour.  On the Carrion Fields, if you don't log a character on within so much time, any limited gear you have is automatically deleted.  This is pretty lenient since we realize there will be plenty of players who aren't able to log on every day, or even every week to play, yet still want to compete.  It will prevent the people who'll only log on like once a month to stare at their shinies, then log out.

The immstaff itself also keeps an eye out for this behaviour.  There are tools we use ourselves to help counteract the hoarders who skirt the line of our automated methods.  Either way, there will always be people who try such things, but there are things that can be done to counteract such behaviour.

I'm sure there are other systems that could be implemented, but we'd rather give the players the benefit of the doubt for the most part.  

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Old 06-16-2002, 11:29 PM   #14
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One of the things I dislike about Most MUDS i see these days (and why I prefer MUSHing) is that what your character can do means nothing. it's all cookie cutter you get power x, y, and z at level a. Dark Risings is one of the biggest examples of this breed of tripe. EQ is all that matters. Personally, I would LOVE to see more MUDS where EQ takes a back seat to the actual character skills/abilities/spells. It's a lot more personal, and people really earn it. It also causes a lot more variety.

So for my first post, I say DOWN WITH EQ!! WHOO!!

::straightens his tie and walks away quietly as he stuck his nose in::
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Old 06-17-2002, 04:35 AM   #15
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Heya all,

The game where I play is really eq based. That said I know the benefits and detriments of equipment.

First off all why would you wear equipment?
1. Well if you don't you're naked, we wouldn't want that.
2. To get some protection, ac in most cases.
3. To look better.
and 4. To gain some advantages that might have been magically bound on the item.

The 4th point is being discussed and I think on a mud (don't know about mushes, sorry) 4 can be a good thing if regulated well. Most code bases have some limited code already and this might work well for some time. But in the end people will start complaining. If you want to make equipment only for show then you should make sure there's another way of "increasing" your stats or make the stats not really important. The game has to be "skill" based in stead of "stats" based.

I found that equipment is really cool to puzzle with. Finding better equipment will make you puzzle again so you can fit it in. The mud where I play we have a random system for equipment. So you could go around and find pretty nifty stuff, but you could also be actively looking and find only a few weak magic items. There are also limiteds which are worn mostly by the really experienced players and the players that have be on the mud the longest (which I think isn't completely fair)

I myself have thought about a "meaningless" equipment system, so you only wear them to be pretty or have good armor rating. But I would give away perma stat points if they completed particarly quests or do something important. Of course a lot of spells that would improve stats would be handy.

Greetings Dre
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Old 06-17-2002, 09:08 PM   #16
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What I would like to see (and would do, if I knew the first thing about coding any style) would see special skills and spells given away for quests, instead of eq. Of course, some quests could be like adventures in RPG's, with a large plot not to be played in one sitting, like changes in the world ect.
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