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Old 07-29-2008, 10:09 AM   #1
Will
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Which MUD has the best combat system?

I know this is a completely subjective question, but I'm truly curious.

Where do you find the most interesting, most intense PvP and player vs. mob combat in the MUD world?
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

I'm biased, but I like Legends of Karinth for its complete strategic flexibility (don't like your stance and style of combat? find a trainer, erase the skills, get the training hours back, and try something new).
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:12 PM   #3
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
I know this is a completely subjective question, but I'm truly curious.
It is indeed completely subjective. Combat plays an important role in many muds, and people tend to stick with the systems they like, so I suspect the majority of players consider their favourite mud to have the "best" combat system.

You might find the responses more interesting if you try and move away from the more subjective criteria. What combat systems allow you to use each weapon in a variety of different ways? What sort of support do different combat systems have for ranged weapons, two-handed weapons, shields, improvised weapons, etc? What type of injuries and penalties do combat systems support other than hit point loss? What sort of armour systems are utilised by different muds? And so on.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Though it lacks a decent ranged component, I always liked Simutronic's Gemstone for the timed, non-auto melee combat. It was varied enough to provide a wide range of outcomes, but simple enough to be able to learn (the basics) in a short period of time.

A few links to illustrate:
Gemstone Combat
Gemstone Armor
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
I know this is a completely subjective question, but I'm truly curious.

Where do you find the most interesting, most intense PvP and player vs. mob combat in the MUD world?
Indeed subjective. For PVP I'm sure most would point to PK devoted games with complex systems if they like that. Some might say PVP in what instance, because does PVP mean PK PVP or just conflict player vs. player. And do you like robust, complex combat with with a thousand variables and ranged weapons, guns, lazers, armour, shields, etc. Or do you like simple melee? All based on player preference, I'd say.

Then you turn to PvM which can include another variety of styles from simple mobs and solo fights to huge groups, combined combat and intelligent mobs. Which all leads back to player preference.

Personally, I like large campaigns utilizing multiple skills, but not ultra complex so that it becomes impossible to figure out what is effective or not because you have 100's of varying styles of defense or offense (eg. Simple punch - Balled fist with pinky showing/hard fist/knife hand/knife hand 3 fingers/fist with thumb extended/half fist...etc etc.)
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabus View Post
Though it lacks a decent ranged component, I always liked Simutronic's Gemstone for the timed, non-auto melee combat. It was varied enough to provide a wide range of outcomes, but simple enough to be able to learn (the basics) in a short period of time.

A few links to illustrate:
Gemstone Combat
Gemstone Armor
Yeah. I'm a huge RoleMaster fan myself. Simutronics' implementation of the RM system used to make for intense team hunts. Then they dumbed everything down. It's hard to judge Gemstone as a platform for character vs. character conflict, since Simu always kind of discouraged it. The biggest problem I have with Simutronics' combat system is that higher level usually determines the winner in a fight. Great hunting mechanics, though.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

I think it's important to note that best combat system and best PvP are pretty different domains.

With the caveat that I've never played Simutronics or IRE games, I'd say Legends of Karinth, GodWars II, and Blood Dusk, in no particular order.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

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Originally Posted by Ide View Post
I think it's important to note that best combat system and best PvP are pretty different domains.
Care to elaborate?

To me, a "combat system" comprises the mechanics through which characters engage in battle, whether they are fighting mobs or other characters. I do realize that, in some games, the way you attack a character is very different from the way you would attack a bot. In any case, they are all "combat systems." I was just hoping people would share opinions regarding which ones are most interesting/intense/fun, and maybe tell a little bit why.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Indeed, Iron Realms is known for their PvP systems. Players maintain a website to archive Iron Realms Combat Logs, if you are the type of person who likes reading combat logs. Judge for yourself!


(Oh, Lusternia is the best of course.)

Last edited by Estarra : 07-30-2008 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
Care to elaborate?
The combat system is only one of the factors that contributes towards a decent PvP environment. Some of the most famous PK muds used combat systems that were little more than stock, yet they still provided a very enjoyable PvP experience. Equally, it's perfectly possible to have completely non-PvP games which utilise highly complex and enjoyable combat systems.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #11
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
The combat system is only one of the factors that contributes towards a decent PvP environment. Some of the most famous PK muds used combat systems that were little more than stock, yet they still provided a very enjoyable PvP experience.
Honest question: How do you provide exciting PvP with stock mechanics?

Quote:
Equally, it's perfectly possible to have completely non-PvP games which utilise highly complex and enjoyable combat systems.
Simutronics used to do a good job of this. Gemstone combat mechanics weren't exactly complex, I guess, but hunting was a blast.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
Honest question: How do you provide exciting PvP with stock mechanics?
Well firstly, 'stock' doesn't necessarily mean 'bad' or even 'boring' - it's just old hat for someone who's already played a lot of muds.

But as I said, the combat system is only one of the factors that contributes towards a decent PvP environment. It's certainly possible to make the mud exciting by focusing on other aspects of the game - for example, you might have an intricate clan system which supports faction wars and a range of team-based events. Or you could put extra effort into character customisation, allowing players a huge amount of tactical freedom (as well as artistic licence) in designing a character tailored to their personal playing style. Even the cosmetics can make a big difference, particularly if you're trying to appeal to fans of a specific theme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
Gemstone combat mechanics weren't exactly complex, I guess, but hunting was a blast.
Well there you go then - another example of how features other than the combat system can make PvP exciting.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:03 AM   #13
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
It is indeed completely subjective. Combat plays an important role in many muds, and people tend to stick with the systems they like, so I suspect the majority of players consider their favourite mud to have the "best" combat system.

You might find the responses more interesting if you try and move away from the more subjective criteria. What combat systems allow you to use each weapon in a variety of different ways? What sort of support do different combat systems have for ranged weapons, two-handed weapons, shields, improvised weapons, etc? What type of injuries and penalties do combat systems support other than hit point loss? What sort of armour systems are utilised by different muds? And so on.
Agreed. Complexity isn't the same as quality, in any event. It also depends on how long you expect people to stay with your game-- the casual vs. hardcore gamers question.

There's a design decision there, but you're essentially choosing your audience. Some players won't touch a highly complex system, even if the initial stages are fairly simple. Conversely, the simple-and-light approach often lacks the depth to stay interesting for more than a couple weeks for many players.

Take your example of "What combat systems allow you to use each weapon in a variety of different ways?" If the various techniques are different in more than cosmetic ways, an experienced player now has an advantage over a newer player-- they'll make successful choices more often. Is this "newbie-unfriendly" and therefore not "best"? Entirely a subjective call.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:53 PM   #14
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

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Originally Posted by Valg View Post
Agreed. Complexity isn't the same as quality, in any event. It also depends on how long you expect people to stay with your game-- the casual vs. hardcore gamers question.

There's a design decision there, but you're essentially choosing your audience. Some players won't touch a highly complex system, even if the initial stages are fairly simple. Conversely, the simple-and-light approach often lacks the depth to stay interesting for more than a couple weeks for many players.

Take your example of "What combat systems allow you to use each weapon in a variety of different ways?" If the various techniques are different in more than cosmetic ways, an experienced player now has an advantage over a newer player-- they'll make successful choices more often. Is this "newbie-unfriendly" and therefore not "best"? Entirely a subjective call.
All true, and I was hoping people would offer their opinions.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:19 AM   #15
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

I like muds with a combat speed or attack speed, where different characters attack at different rates depending on stats.

I know that Ebon Mists and Thunderdome had a system like that, and End of Time is running something like it now. Are there any other ones like that?
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:30 AM   #16
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Smile Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

I've played a couple different MUDs, and usually they all come down to variants on the "Combat begins. Our characters start hitting each other, and occasionally we use abilities" setup. The trick comes into what else you add to that. A few keep points I've found that have helped:

Pacing:
If you're sitting there forever as the text slowly scrolls by, spamming the same command over and over, it gets boring real fast. Faster combat, where you have to be prepared to run, heal, or otherwise change tactics on the spur of the moment add a lot to the excitement.

Unpredictability:
If (A > B) { A wins }. There needs to be some random factor, as well as an element of player skill, even in games that do a lot of character leveling. I've played some games where if you fight a monster, you'll either win every time or lose every time, except for a small number of extremely closely matched battles. Things like stunning effects, critical hits, randomized special attacks, and so on, can do a lot to change that, so that even a tiny foe can still threaten you if they get lucky enough and your guard is down.

Stakes:
When the stakes are higher, you enjoy it more, but keep in mind that everybody loses eventually. If you have nothing to lose, the fight isn't terribly exciting, but if you lose everything, you may be unwilling to go into danger or simply give up as years of playing get wiped clean from one permadeath.

Complexity:
Ranks of combat, complex party interaction, status effects, elemental multipliers, summonable pets, teleportation, ranged/melee combat, stealth, environmental effects, spell/skill interruption, and a great variety of non-redundant character types, races, weapons, and so forth, can go a long way to making any fight interesting. This comes not only in player-side game mechanics but in opponent-side as well. PvP is the easy way to get the opponent to be smart and original, but even in PvE, I've seen some great stuff done in the past, from simple things like shapeshifting and tactic swapping over the course of the battle to more complicated things like ambushing the players after a retreat, summoning members of the group back, even constructs who disconnect their fingers, allowing them to sneak up on the players and hide in their backpacks (to later explode, if not discovered in time). Levels of flavor beyond just the basic autofight (parry, hit, hit, parry) and damage dealing skills in an all-human world of fighter/mage/thief/cleric are a fantastic way to keep things lively.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:45 AM   #17
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kereth View Post
I've played a couple different MUDs, and usually they all come down to variants on the "Combat begins. Our characters start hitting each other, and occasionally we use abilities" setup.
What you're describing is a typical automated combat system, but there are other approaches. You might find this link of interest: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ad...t-systems.html
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

Obviously, there's no such thing as a "best" MUD combat system. There are, however, two very broad categories of MUD combat mechanics:

1.) Combat mechanics that allow and encourage liberal use of triggers, scripts, variables, combination aliases, and other client-side automation features. Since most players will inevitably use these automation features to their advantage, you'll be compelled to do the same if you wish to remain competitive in PvP. Collections of such automation features are often referred to as "systems."

IRE MUDs fall squarely into this category.

2.) Combat mechanics that disallow and discourage the use of triggers, scripts, variables, combination aliases, and other client-side automation features. Such mechanics are usually intended to level the playing field, so that certain people won't be at an advantage over others simply because they're experienced programmers or expert client scripters.

Threshold and The Eternal City fall squarely into this category. Threshold enforces its no-automation rule with threats of dire punishment (because violations are difficult to detect), while The Eternal City only allows players to use a proprietary client, which has built-in automation limitations.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:12 PM   #19
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

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Originally Posted by Suicide Boy View Post
Obviously, there's no such thing as a "best" MUD combat system. There are, however, two very broad categories of MUD combat mechanics:
Those that result in "dire punishments" from the admin if exploited, and those that don't? :P There are many different ways to categorise combat mechanics, but that is quite possibly the strangest I've ever seen.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #20
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Re: Which MUD has the best combat system?

For me combat includes magic spells or class/guild powers. I find that they often are what spice things up. Knowing that those Roots that trapped you are vulnerable to fire attacks for example. (MUME) Or guilds that have all sorts of neat abilities (especially if not copied from D&D) like on GateWay. On the other hand I quite enjoyed the stock D&D classes and spells on the Silly MUDS like Rocky. Variety is nice especially since after a while of playing you will inevitably learn what works and what doesn't. Either that or the older players tell you. Heh. Spoilsports!
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