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Old 06-29-2002, 08:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 123
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One of the major problems in muds is how to keep vets from being more knowledgeable than their characters are. This can be a problem when designing quests, skill and spell systems, practicing and training systems, and pretty much any process that is intended to be learned ICly.

Some solve this problem by assigning random elements, and making those different for each character. However, that makes it a problem for a character to ICly teach another character. That might be plausible in some spell systems if, say, the magic has to be tuned to a person's body chemistry or something, but it wouldn't be plausible for more ordinary areas of study.

Rather than random elements, what could be assigned instead are elements that change over time but are the same for al characters at any particular time. By changing elements over time, I don't mean manually upgrading each of your quests every so often...though if you have time to do that, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Rather, I mean that you could take the same numerical elements that were once random, and any other applicable numerical elements, and have them each shift over time in a way that is predictable over the short term, but unpredictable over the long term.

For instance, for element A, with an original value of a, you could randomly pick a value b, towards which a would progress at random acceleration c over a short course of time. When a equals b, or when time runs out, assign new random values to b and c, and start over, with a starting from its new position.

Players could predict what is happening while a approaches another value, but what comes after that would be unpredictable until it happens and is studied on its own.

The final part of solving the problem in this way would be delaying the player from jumping back into the quest or whatever for long enough that the values would be new to him. That really isn't so hard, considering most quests and whatnot already have such delays on them in terms of levels. The player's new character will not be able to handle the mobs in higher-level quests, and will not have the practices for higher-level skills or spells. The player's old character has already solved the newbie quests the max number of times and no longer often uses his low-level skills, so he isn't likely to have kept up with the change in values as time went by. In short, the systems will be nearly as new to the player as it is to the character.

One weakness of this solution is that you must be sure to include elements that may plausibly change over time, and in some mathematical fasion. You can't use this solution to, say, change the riddle on a rock face. If you want to do that, sooner or later you will have to manually write a new riddle. On the other hand, this particular weakness also exists in the solution that randomly makes everything different for each new character; so a player switching from that solution to the one I outlined above wouldn't be losing anything...unless there are relevant matters I have failed to consider.
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Old 06-30-2002, 03:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 65
Dre is on a distinguished road

Sounds like a plausible idea to me.

The mathematical approach doesn't have to be a limit.
The "riddle on the rock" can change as well as long as you have defined a few. If you have like 10 riddles you can shift in between, which might give a real experienced player a hint of what the limits are at his 15th character (that is when every character can do the quest only once) or so.

Personally the in game quests are always a limit and I prefer admin/imm run quests, since they can be alot more interactive and complexer then any other quest.

Greetings Dre
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Old 07-02-2002, 01:11 PM   #3
Alexander Tau
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 101
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What the original post is suggesting is adding Change into the model in a very dynamic way, a good idea for sure.

To be programmed or scripted you do have to use some form of math model that has numbers that can be tested. I really like the idea of picking a point on a spectrum, and having the current value slowly move towards it.

The trick comes in finding enough elements to add into the system to make it really effect the players lives. I agree you could have 10 different versions of a riddle, and move back and forth by the numbers, but what would that be based on? It has to be something understandable so the players have a chance to figure it out to some degree.

If you had a game that had fundamental forces, like oh say gravity, you could alter its effects in the suggested fashion. As the planet orbits the strength of the gravity field changes. Basic movement would be effected, the amount you could lift would change, and spells would have to be altered in some cases to compensate. Perhaps during certain time periods the gravity goes WAY up and things slow to a crawl.

Socially this might create a sort of siesta-like time that affects all creatures on the planet. For a few weeks people do not move much, talk a lot, but otherwise simply cannot be up and about too much. This is a seasonal example, but perhaps the gravity is affected by the amount of magic done on the planet, heh.

I could see a system where a few forces are the basis of magic and they change over time. Other aspects of the game though would not be as easy to abstract into a numeric spectrum.

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