Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > Advanced MUD Concepts
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-02-2002, 12:05 AM   #1
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
The idea of "monster generators" was discussed on MUD-DEV recently, and I've been thinking about the possibilities such a feature might provide. For those not familiar with Gauntlet, a "monster generator" (unsurprisingly) is a "thing" which generates monsters - the stronger the generator, the stronger the monsters it produces.

Within a mud setting, I envision the generators being scattered randomly around the landscape, with the appearance of a small settlement. Over time they would grow from village into town and eventually into a city - and send stronger and better armed monsters out into the surroundings. Players could fight these monsters (and indeed might be forced to, should the settlement grow too strong), but could also weaken (or even destroy) the settlement itself (although this would be significantly more difficult). When this occurs, I would suggest that a new settlement be created somewhere else in the world.

Each generator would be based around a specific race, although it might have different troop types - for example a dark elf settlement might also include driders and various summoned nasties, while an undead "settlement" could have several types of undead. Different generators would fight each other, although it could be possible to have alliances between generators of the same type. This could allow regular player-run cities to get caught in the middle of NPC wars, which would be rather fun IMO.

It's a fairly simple concept, but I think it could work quite well. I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on the matter (as long as your thoughts are more than two words in length:P).
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 12:19 AM   #2
Sidmouth
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 35
Sidmouth is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Sidmouth
I played a mud based a lot like this not too long ago.

Gateways were scattered around the areas (always in preset positions unfortunately) and each gateway was labelled with the type of monster it generated.  So you might see a 'Blood Skeleton Hellgate' for instance.  For extra spice, four grades of each monster could come out, from particularly easy to quite hard.  At the top of the spectrum were 'unique' monsters, who had names and were impossibly difficult.

One of the weaknesses of this mud was that players were unable to destroy these gates.  I think when I saw they were a feature of the mud I had something very much like gauntlet in mind, so it seemed to me like destroying the generators should not only be possible but necesarry and not terribly hard.

Along those same lines, I would have liked the generators to, well, generate more.  Monsters trickled out of the things, which made it feel not much different from traditional repops.  Thinking of gauntlet again, I was expecting relatively easy monsters to pour out.  You would be confronted with great numbers but the monster themselves would be quite easy.  Naturally it would take some balancing to make such a thing difficult (wouldn't want stock rom monsters who miss anything 10 levels higher than them).  If one is going to do the generators at all though, I think this is a crucial point.  If a player can't experience the flow of monsters and see them popping out at the gate, it is really little better than a repop.

I like the idea that they spread too... perhaps the player run city pays hunters quite well to roam outside the city and control nearby populations.  If not enough hunters can be found or they don't properly execute their job, direct defense of the city might become a necessity.
Sidmouth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 12:20 AM   #3
Xanferious
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: The Void
Posts: 490
Xanferious is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to Xanferious
i think this si the best idea i have seen posted in awhile, even the old forums didnt have that many good idea's but this ne is the best, some ideas for it.
eachnpc settlement has a growth rate this way make it from 0-100% and you can control how strong they get, like a %50 rate they would make a new room once every 3 days or so.
a settlement would be like 5 rooms, a village would be like 40 a town 100 and a city 500, this way it would give more control over it.
Xanferious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 12:24 AM   #4
Koryon
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 50
Koryon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Koryon Send a message via MSN to Koryon
If they are represented as what we traditionally call areas, so players can attack, invade, whatever them, how do you go from one stage to another?

Being a player in the settlement and moving around in a fortified castle wall to find that your next step leads you into a village seems silly, so the most obvious way would seem to be on a reset pulse change from type to type if no players are in it.

But in the meantime, it would be eye-candy to have dynamic descriptions, say, watch the well armed battlements you must first scale crumble after a while of fighting, and having buildings catch on fire and eventually be razed. Since you would be attacking the settlement to end the evil scourge of the NPCs, throw in some charred, strung up corpses of women and children for effect .
Koryon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 12:35 AM   #5
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
This would be best suited by some sort of coordinate based system IMO (room based or otherwise). If (as some muds do) you depict a city as a small location on a map, which you travel to and then "enter", the settlement could be handled in the same way - which means you wouldn't have to worry about it growing. If you wanted a "full sized" (on the map) settlement though, it would require extra effort. I'd suggest that the settlement couldn't grow TOO close to another settlement (or city) - which means that sooner or later the monsters would start smashing up the city to make room for expansion.

Equally, if you have an expansion like that it's probably best if the monsters have to actually build it themselves (which means you could stand in the room and keep killing the builder monsters before they had a chance to finish constructing the next room). This approach would also allow you to slowly weaken the settlement rather than simply destroying it on one go.

I'd suggest that the regular PC cities (ie the starting locations) have a central "core" which is pretty much indestructible, protected by guards which are pretty much unkillable. The city could expand further, but the extentions would be vulnerable. But the centre should remain untouched - I really wouldn't want to log on to discover that the entire starting city had been destroyed and newbies were starting play in the Goblin Chef's cookpot (some players love to wait around at spawning sites so that they can kill mobs, but I don't think they'd like mobs waiting for them at THEIR "spawning" sites!.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 12:36 AM   #6
Lotius
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: IL, USA
Posts: 17
Lotius is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Lotius Send a message via AIM to Lotius
I believe I saw something like this in a thread before..

But the basic idea is that the mobiles themselves kind of "construct" the areas/settlements. For say, a small village that is just starting out, the game generates a layout and some NPC's to populate it. The NPC's then begin to build. This could be time-based (An NPC has to work for X amount of time for a house to be fully built) with some messages thrown in for spice to any players that are watching or in the area.

As time goes on, and it is time for the village to upgrade, the game generates a new, larger, more complex layout, and more NPC's to fill it. Most likely with more types of buildings (churches, taverns..). Once again, work begins on the new layout and all existing structures are upgraded as well. It would seem more gradual and realistic that way, instead of having it just repop as a brand new area.

Sounds good in my head anyway Maybe someone can expand on it a bit.

Lot
Lotius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2002, 03:37 PM   #7
Ashon
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 75
Ashon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Ashon Send a message via AIM to Ashon Send a message via MSN to Ashon Send a message via Yahoo to Ashon
I wonder though, will this cause the EQ 'camping' problem. Players know where the monsters will come out so they get a guild together and 'camp' a site not letting anyone else attack the city?

I've often thought of this problem as I am against static repops, and mindless mobs. So I thought about spawning locations, and decided that it would be the best solution. But then how do you keep the campers from camping? And so I decided on a Spawned_Invis timer, so that the mobile can wonder a bit before becoming visible. This would of course have to be coupled with a check to make sure no players are at the location.

Here's what I like about spawn locations/generators. If they are objects they can be aware of locations that they are supposed to fit into: Goblins in rocky areas (suitable for warrens), Drow Underground with an exit to the surface, etc... and if a location or place grows to hostile to the requirements of the object the environment would destroy the generator. Or spawn a new one wear the environment was changed to be acceptable.

I've always been a pusher of a more IF/simulation type system then anything else for MUDs, so this is a great idea to me! (Read: ME TOO!

-Ashon
Ashon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 03:54 AM   #8
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I wonder though, will this cause the EQ 'camping' problem. Players know where the monsters will come out so they get a guild together and 'camp' a site not letting anyone else attack the city?
So imagine the scenario...your guild have found a bugbear village, and have built a defensive parimeter all around it to stop anyone getting in or out. When the bugbears try to get out, they are killed and skinned, and their hides turned into guild armour. Any players trying to tresspass in are warned off or killed outright. This alone would take a huge amount of manpower.

Several game weeks pass, and the number of bugbears coming out are getting fewer and fewer, until eventually no more come out. A scout is sent inside, where he discovers that the creatures have starved to death - they weren't able to get any food, so the whole settlement died.

Of course depending on the race, they might turn on each other, or rally for a final attack (ie every last living member of the settlement charges the weakest point of the defensive parimeter).

I suppose the guild could get around that as well, by dropping off food, although depending on the requirements of the race (eg needing human flesh) that might not be feasible. Just as the settlement would need to collect wood or stone for new buildings and metal for new weapons, so it would need food for more members (as well as maintaining the existing ones).

You could also have a natural migration of settlements - some races are particularly well known for not staying in the same location for long. You could "guard" the settlement with your guild, but what happens when they pack up and move on? You'd have to fight every last one of them, and you'd no longer get the exp for destroying the village. Other settlements might eventually just "die out" or from age or disease, or be force out by bad weather conditions.

Besides which, there would be a fair number of settlements/generators, so even if a few were guarded, it shouldn't prove too much of a problem.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 05:23 AM   #9
Ashon
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 75
Ashon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Ashon Send a message via AIM to Ashon Send a message via MSN to Ashon Send a message via Yahoo to Ashon
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ May 03 2002,03:54 am)
Besides which, there would be a fair number of settlements/generators, so even if a few were guarded, it shouldn't prove too much of a problem.
Of course, this is dependant on the size of your playerbase. But, assuming a mid to small sized mud, the players would not be able to camp <i>all</i> of the settlements. Then they would of course lead to a natural progression of camping the ones that offered the best ratio of returns vs investment. You'd get natural selection leaving the the easiest controlled villages to run rampant, and the other settlements to be 'farmed'.

Yes of course though, you are right in the fact that if you build in decaying conditions for your settlements it will solve many of your problems. But players will work out a system, sooner or later, that will keep their mob farm operating at full potential.

The best solution to this problem of course would be to work out a way for the mobs to 'burst' out. To try and break out of their 'prison'. But I fear that this would eventually become a autonomous response, and become boring.
Ashon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 06:52 AM   #10
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Of course, this is dependant on the size of your playerbase.  But, assuming a mid to small sized mud, the players would not be able to camp all of the settlements.  Then they would of course lead to a natural progression of camping the ones that offered the best ratio of returns vs investment.  You'd get natural selection leaving the the easiest controlled villages to run rampant, and the other settlements to be 'farmed'.
But what if the returns of a settlement were based it's size?  Guarding the settlement would stop it from growing in the short term (it would have nowhere to expand) and actually make it shrink in the long term (all of its resources would be going into "breaking out") and thus the other settlements would start offering better returns.  The larger the settlement the better the returns - and the more players required to guard it.  But by guarding it they'd end up making it shrink again, which means that if you wanted to "farm" a settlement, you'd need to do it over a short period of time before moving on.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 07:36 AM   #11
Alastair
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 120
Alastair is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to Alastair
I've been giving some thoughts to such systems for a while now.
Along with the growing of the settlements, I'm also pondering mob lifecycles in general. After all, it does seem a bit strange that a fully-grown mature dragon appears at the same spot over and over. Don't they have to mate and hatch at some point in time?

Which leads me to mob specialization. To grow a settlement, I'd envision any type of mob colony needing the following functions:
- food producers and gatherers
- construction resources gatheres
- builders
- manufacturers
- warriors
- guards
- breeders

Obviously, the amount of functions needs not necessarily to match the amount of different mob types - this would depend on the kind of society organization they have.

Also, to add more depth, you could imagine that the evolution of a colony changes according to the type of construction resources which can be gathered, meaning you'd have to provide different versions of a same room. The dynamic room descriptor system KaVir uses is certainly a major asset here

The ultimate sophistication, IMHO, would be that those settlements are not thought in terms of mobs as I did here, but more generically as NPCs. There's no reason these generators shouldn't be of playable races too. Meaning, for instance, if you do use alignement actively, that a PC couldn't just camp any settlement for XP without suffering consequences according to his own race. Conversely, there's no reason barring players to actually use such auto-generated town's services. Why not generate shops whose content is based off a catalog which in turn depends on the gathered resources lists, and the price on the amount (representing ease of raw materials acquisition)?

Finally, to add more immersiveness, nearby town could auto-generate quests for the downsizing of a nearby colony if it generates trouble - while the colonies themselves could generate quests to come to their rescue.

The possibilities are nearly endless.
Alastair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 10:06 AM   #12
Yui Unifex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 323
Yui Unifex is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Yui Unifex Send a message via AIM to Yui Unifex
Question

Alastair raises a number of interesting points, and generally parallels my own thoughts on the matter of monster generation as a function of a kind of NPC society.  I'm sorry if this strays off the path of the gauntlet-style monster generator =).

I wrote a rather lengthy post about my thoughts of individuals in the societal unit.  In that post, I described three needs: Survival, reproduction, and societal.  I believe those needs are what may solve a few of the problems and questions raised here, such as camping and the nature of specialization within the settlement.

So you've got a society of mobs sending raiders and scouts to the surrounding area.  One of them happens to drop some nice equipment, and a player takes notice...  Now players try to farm the settlement.  Hardly an orc raiding team can leave without being accosted and obliterated by those bloodthirsty players.  Those poor, defenseless orcs.

I think the solution to this problem lies with the fact that the settlement doesn't care about its raiders, and is entirely self-sustaining.  Because the settlement/generator keeps sending raiders to certain doom, players are rewarded for camping.  And because a settlement/generator can keep sending raiders without worrying about resources, players will be rewarded.

So we need to make it so the NPCs in our settlement understands that sending raiders out is a death trap, and cannot keep sending raiders without an influx in resources to create them.  We can accomplish the first through a survival need, that is the prospective raider does not wish to take that job because of the high mortality rate.  But that kind of forward-thinking is hard to code, so it's most likely that we'll accomplish this through a social need, where there are different weights on the different jobs that an NPC would choose to take.

If parties of raiders are constantly wiped out, the society could do two things:  Increase the amount and strengths of the raiders in hopes of wearing down the players, or stop sending raiders entirely.  I believe the first would be preferable if the society had bigger and badder types of enemies that it could send out.  But if the players still persist, or the society is too small, I think that we should decrease the societal need for a raider, thus decreasing the overall number of NPCs from that settlement that choose that job.  So a player would likely see a steady rise in the toughness of raiders, then a drop in the number of them.  This effectively removes the reward.

If that wasn't enough for you, we can try tackling the problem from a resource perspective.  Not alot of muds have a good resource model, however, so I don't think this solution would be as simple as simply giving weights to types of jobs for societal needs.  Nevertheless, it does provide a few interesting consequences.

Say that the society is set to produce 10 worker orcs, 20 fighter orcs, and 5 master-fighter orcs a week.  It costs the society a bit of food and iron/steel (for weapons and armor) to create the workers, a bit more to create the fighters, and lots to create the master-fighters.  When a player camps -- the quality of the equipment dropped should probably be proportionate to the amount of resources that went into creating the unit killed.  Master-fighters would naturally drop better equipment.  But if the settlement only has a finite amount of resources, they may not be able to produce the same quality of resources for their fighters because of farming.  Thus, the quality of the equipment goes down and the reward is removed.

But this also leads to strategic planning on the part of the players.  Do they take a note of that fledgling encampent that's next to a rich iron vein, possibly coming back to it later once it's started producing top-notch soldiers?  If the top-notch soldiers are too powerful for them, do they cut off the line of workers carting iron from the mines, and does the society react to this by placing guards in that area?

The more we can make these generators do, I think, the better =).
Yui Unifex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 10:30 AM   #13
Alastair
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 120
Alastair is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to Alastair
Question

Expanding on Unifex's idea a bit.

A resource gathering mob who finds a resource reserve somewhere and brings it back establishes a supply line (Fortunately, Solestria's resource model supports this ). Once one supply line exists, the colony will send out more gatherers until the resources are depleted or the supply line is interrupted.

If the line is interrupted, depending on the colony's society behaviour, they will try to send out a certain fighter parties to restore the line. If they never return, the society will send out resource gatherers in other directions, and start fortifying / guarding against the direction where the block occured.

Which leads me to realize that mapping out auto-colony spaces should provide not only the rooms where the buildings will expand, but probably a security perimeter (which could be walled off in case of needs). Within this perimeter you could imagine having already a set of basic resources (wood and food comes to mind), provided of course the society model supports this.

Technically, the crux of the problem is probably to build an efficient pathfinding AI, but the rest is relatively easy to code
Alastair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 11:43 AM   #14
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Yui Unifex wrote:
I think the solution to this problem lies with the fact that the settlement doesn't care about its raiders, and is entirely self-sustaining.
Oh, but it does care. A simple Gauntlet-style "generator" doesn't, that is true - it just churns out monsters. But I'm thinking of something more along the lines of a hive mind - or, perhaps a better way to describe it, the generator IS the mind. It performs the same sort of tasks you might expect from a computer opponent in Warcraft, or Age of Empires, or any other sort of tactical game. It manages the resources, discovers what it is short of (and what it has plenty of) and compensates accordingly.

If you've played SimAnt (an old game) then you've probably got an idea what I'm thinking of. In short (for those not familiar with the game) there are three types of ant - workers, warriors and breeders. The queen ant decides the distribution, depending on the needs of the colony. Warriors can act as workers, but they use up a lot more food. Breeders are needed to form new colonies, but they do nothing else (other than use up food). It's all about balance. As an initial draft, that alone should suffice to create a fairly reasonable system.

Once that was in place, you could allow for things like the specialisation which Alastair mentioned. Also, as you suggested, greater resources could allow for better mob equipment as well as variations of each mob type. The major difference between what you suggest and what I suggest is that you're placing the AI with the mobs, while I'm placing it with the settlement (although the mobs themselves might have a few basic individual drives, but these wouldn't be able to override the requirements of the settlement itself).

Now imagine combining that with something like Sugarscape:

http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev...2/msg01275.php

Except there would be several resources, and different types of creation might require different amounts of each - thus elves might gravitate towards forests, while dwarves tended to live in mountains. There would be exceptions, but the majority of each would live in their specified location.

Technically, I suppose, there's no need to even have a "normal" city - players could choose their starting city (at creation time) from among the existing settlements appropriate to their race. You think the risk of "permideath" adds to the flavour of play? Imagine fighting a battle knowing that - if you lose - your entire hometown will be razed to the ground and everyone in it will be killed or enslaved...it should at least discourage people from killing the shopkeepers
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 12:17 PM   #15
Alastair
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 120
Alastair is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to Alastair
Personally, I wouldn't go as far as removing manually-built settlements entirely - at least capitols should need some "local" feel to them to add depth and flavour.

About the specialization according to society model (and race), another layer of immersiveness would be to add a faction framework on the whole game.
What are factions?
Preset groups of players and monsters, which can represent a combination of:
- nations
- races
- classes or equivalent
- alignment or equivalent
- trade
- religion etc...

A player's faction influence any kind of interactions with the game world: how much he's charged in shops, wether killing a mob will earn him respect or a bounty on his head, (and where), the type of quests he can get, the type of reactions in dialogue.

In our place, the setting involves strongly present nations, based on races. You could hence further imagine trans-national factions with dual loyalties.

Finally, this could also open up additional types of interaction for players, aside from "go destroy the such-and-such hive":
- As already suggested, your faction might rather require that you defend a place
- If the engine supports it, you could support a colony by assisting in the resource-gathering - for profit, of course.
- Capture-the-flag type missions where instead of destroying a hive you capture it for another faction. In that case, you could further envision that player groups have the option to change the type of hive to suit their faction's preferences - a change somewhat limited by the surrounding terrain type, of course, but you could for instance replace orc caverns by dwarves etc...

This all interests me in the context of the whole challenge of giving players more things to do in game terms than merely camp & slash - without the constraints of free-form or staff-driven RP.

As an aside, I love such discussions. Reminds me of the old and regretted Game Commandos </nostalgia>
Alastair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 05:14 PM   #16
Ashon
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 75
Ashon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Ashon Send a message via AIM to Ashon Send a message via MSN to Ashon Send a message via Yahoo to Ashon
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Yui Unifex @ May 03 2002,10:06 am)
If parties of raiders are constantly wiped out, the society could do two things:  Increase the amount and strengths of the raiders in hopes of wearing down the players, or stop sending raiders entirely.  I believe the first would be preferable if the society had bigger and badder types of enemies that it could send out.  But if the players still persist, or the society is too small, I think that we should decrease the societal need for a raider, thus decreasing the overall number of NPCs from that settlement that choose that job.  So a player would likely see a steady rise in the toughness of raiders, then a drop in the number of them.  This effectively removes the reward.
By the community sending out better equipped, stronger mobiles, you will make players want to camp a settlement more. The cycle will only be shorter. The players will actively attack the settlement until the settlement increases it's defeneses, and thus the players will reap bigger rewards for their attacks. Once they've demolished one settlement, they move on.

This too will change the dynamics of the farming. Why would they camp a tougher group, when they know that by camping and raiding a weaker group the payoffs will be better in that they have less challenge, and maybe a little smaller amount of resources farmed.

You will make it so that one of nessecity must join a guild to be able to attack a settlement. Simply because the guilds are blocking the lower level settlements because of the payoff ratio. Leaving the stronger settlements to grow stronger.

Mind you, I'm not saying it's not a great Idea, I'm just playing the Devil's Advocate here.
Ashon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 06:53 PM   #17
Yui Unifex
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 323
Yui Unifex is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Yui Unifex Send a message via AIM to Yui Unifex
Question

Ashon, you raise a number of good points, and I'll attempt to extrapolate solutions and clarifications here. Please let me know if there are any holes in my logic =).

Quote:
Originally Posted by
By the community sending out better equipped, stronger mobiles, you will make players want to camp a settlement more. The cycle will only be shorter.
Two points: I believe that the cycle should have definable lows and highs -- the cycle wavelength will be as long as the amount of change necessary to incite the societal need for better defenses, times the amount of time it takes to gain the necessary resources. In my mind, this might take quite some time (RL weeks or months, depending on your game flow). But I do see how it could become a problem (all other things not considered) if your game flow is very fast.

The second point: Sending out better equipped, stronger mobiles is most certainly a good thing. How does one have NPC wars if the NPCs don't adapt to their opponents tactics? This problem would likely to be easily solved under a good system. If the settlement invests more resources but has the same return, I very much doubt that a sound AI system would keep sending better equipped raiders. By then the survival need should overtake the societal need, and nobody would take those jobs. Or the societal need for those jobs would fall with no success.

Strategic potential with such a system is wonderfully high. Imagine a king that knows he is hated by the surrounding nations. He might wage a proxy war by sending small units to attack the outlying settlements, so that when his enemy's army rolls through, they are weakened by the bolstered settlement's attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Once they've demolished one settlement, they move on.
Then we simply make it so it is not in the player's best interests to destroy a settlement. If a player depended on settlements for supplies and equipment of their own, they might wish to protect their favored settlements, or hometowns as KaVir noted. Players would likely have a vigor for defending their hometown, and quite possibly the settlements that their hometown depends on for trade and defense. If settlements are neutral and underpowered, I doubt that players would have any qualms with destroying them. But if they're destroying them so that their own nation gains more territory, we lend a great strategic credence to their continued survival.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
You will make it so that one of nessecity must join a guild to be able to attack a settlement. Simply because the guilds are blocking the lower level settlements because of the payoff ratio. Leaving the stronger settlements to grow stronger.
I'm not so sure about this. Maybe if your system is designed poorly, this would happen. I can't see how one would necessarily have to join a guild unless your world is very tiny. Even then, stronger settlements could get so strong that they branch out and smash the lazy camping guilds. If growth were exponential, players would be forced to face the larger strongholds lest their own nations be overcome.
Yui Unifex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2002, 07:14 PM   #18
Molly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sweden
Home MUD: 4 Dimensions
Posts: 566
Molly will become famous soon enoughMolly will become famous soon enough
This may be a bit of a side-line, but it's an example of different ways in which ‘developing mobs’ can be put to use in a game. Both the examples below are up and running in our mud, although the second isn’t quite finished yet:

The first example is an abandoned spaceship, in our Future Dimension. It is drifting around helplessly in space, and at first when you enter, it seems pretty empty. But there is this Room - (I think it’s the Freezer) - with a large WARNING! sign on the door. If you open that door - (which no player can resist doing, because of the sign) - you let loose a swarm of giant mutant cockroaches (the initial number loading is related to your level). The minute they are released they start swarming out of the door and breeding like rabbits, and soon the entire ship is infested with them, unless they are disposed of.

They start out as pupae, and after a given time develop into mature cockroaches, which of course are much more powerful, and which in turn immediately start to breed more pupae. So getting rid of the pupae first makes things a bit easier. But to stop the bugs from breeding totally, you need to find and kill the Mother Queen.

It is all done with scripts, which also control the max number of cockroaches. This is important, because the bugs are confined to the spaceship, and if allowed to develop uncontrolled they would eventually crash the mud, when someone enters an overpopulated room. (This happened with a couple of early attempts at a similar concept).

It is all rather simple, the cockroaches do nothing but breed and fight, we haven't coded in any ecology, since it's not really needed for the purpose. But the second feature is quite a bit more advanced.

This is the possibility of breeding cattle, in the Old West Dimension. The cattle mate, give birth, mature, grow old and die in a set life cycle. When a bull and a cow meet, there is a set percentage chance of them mating and the cow becoming pregnant. When two bulls meet, they fight till death. Only mature animals can mate and conceive, of course. There are also some predators that attack the calves, to keep the population down. And if the cow is in the same room, she naturally defends her offspring. We have the same concept working for horses and sheep too.

There is also the option to fence your herd in, since the ranching is based on a grid zone. In this way you can control the population, make the animals breed faster and protect them from predators. The natural life cycle prevents overpopulation, and we are experimenting with having the animals die of starvation, if some lazy player confines his herd to a too small corral. This will be based on the sector type, the animals will be able to graze more times in a field room than in a mountain one, before they run out of food.

The animals can also be coded to roam about in search of food and water, moving more often when they are hungry and thirsty than not. (But I am still not sure if this is worth the effort, it would be a nice thing to have, but there is always the question whether it actually adds something to the Game, beside the satisfaction of having a working ecology. I think very few players will understand and appreciate the mechanics. And after all, it's for the players we create our stuff).

It’s done with a mixture of code and scripts. The basics are hardcoded; like the mating and the animals following each other so that they stick together in a herd. When one animal moves, the entire herd moves, (with the odd exception of a few strays, which also is coded in). The life cycle is done with simple scripts; after a given time each mob loads a new and older one, before purging itself, and at the last stage loads a corpse, which decays like any other corpse.

The main objective with this feature is for the players to breed the cattle, horses and sheep for their hides, wool, meat and milk, and they can also be herded to a cattle market and sold, with the aid of a shepherd dog. The shepherd dog is the only way to really control the herd, and it answers to some simple commands, like ‘herd <direction>’ ‘sit’, ‘stand’ ‘attack <mob-name>’ etc.

So far this is only up and running in our test Port, because we still have to add some handicraft skills, so the players can use the products they get from their ranching. (Tanning, carding, spinning, weaving, leather-making, tailoring etc.). The breeding part is all finished though, the cows hump to their heart’s delight and the population seems pretty stable.
Molly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2002, 06:22 AM   #19
kaylus1
 
Posts: n/a
After reading this, I have started my own work on the matter.

I'm talking of the NPC villages more with RP in mind, though the same engine would base a few monster villages to borg, along with the static fighting areas.

From what I have started (which is basic), the settlement starts out with 2 Workers and a Warrior, also with a set number of "warcraft-like" supplies. Enough gold but not enough food to create another worker. So the only way to start out would be just collecting food until they had enough extra supply for another worker. (2 1/2 mud days app. 5 hours). This continues on building who they need (with a balance ratio. So many Warriors per Worker.. etc).
Say the workers can collect 4 food each, making a total of 8 per day. The workers eat 1 each and the warrior 2. They have 4 left over. After enough storage they generate the next worker. This one will probably mine, noticing they are getting excess food still and have no gold, lumber.. whatever.
You get the picture.

The workers can be of almost any type, depending on what the village currently needs,
   Hunter/Gatherer, Builder, Lumber, Miner, Farmer

They can also morph one way into say, a Mayor. Or a Shopkeep, which consume more food.

The towns eventually will hit a max amount of people, and be doing well. Building a church here, a shop there, a tavern, etc. I have coded the base object already for these buildings. They have a maximum amount of "life", 2000, these degrade at a set amount of 100 per day.
At different levels it adds to the description of the room abit about the building i.e. at a low level "The rotting husk of a building protrudes from the ground, vines have entwined the entirety of the forlorn structure." etc. , and without maintenance will detoriate. You would have to make this easy for the NPC's to maintain them, so they don't spend all time doing this.

That was easy. What will it serve? Hopefully one will be able to get a balance amongst NPC's and the players will soon learn. Especially if this is your hometown and someone comes through, slaying all the workers and the town was too low on resources to pull another one. The town would eventually deteriorate and rot into the ground whence it came. I thought about this too, setting a limit of 5 maximum cities randomly placed would be efficient enough. A settlement restarts somewhere else when one is destroyed.

Now,  you must add a small mindset to these townfolk.
What are they interested in? Religion, Battle, etc. My idea is simple and stupid and easy for me to code. Basically a list of types like that and randomly set the villager on creation. The town will have one prevalent mindset and this will control to a degree how the town forms.

After all that though you just make things a little more visual from the player perspective. Watching that male worker (building a small house), build that house over 2 days. Watching the smith/shopkeep create weapons for his town.

It sounds very complicated, though actually is not too hard. Given a Diku-type I would be lost in how to code this, but using LPC I can see completing this project, I haven't much done but the rotting buildings, and base objects for workers and warriors.

The way I perceived the idea would be more suited to role-play than pure hack'n'slash. Though it could be suited to this as well, considering the playerbase has intelligence enough to let the towns grow a little before deciding to sack them. Though this might make a person who has it as their hometown a little testy, or a cleric who setup church their a bit angered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
But I am still not sure if this is worth the effort, it would be a nice thing to have, but there is always the question whether it actually adds something to the Game, beside the satisfaction of having a working ecology. I think very few players will understand and appreciate the mechanics. And after all, it's for the players we create our stuff
Very true, it also makes me wonder if completing something like this topic states wouldn't be more for myself than the players. I think, to me, it is worth the effort in self-satisfaction alone, regardless of whether it gets realized. (though a helpfile explaining it wouldn't hurt!

Imagine logging into your mud and walking through an area you didn't build. Seeing shops, houses, churches... people walking to the cemetary to bury a fellow worker. (hmmm.. cute idea) Come to think about it, would I want players to log in if I ever got around to completing it? I might catch SimGod fever!

Kaylus@Solice
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2002, 01:33 PM   #20
Ashon
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 75
Ashon is on a distinguished road
Send a message via ICQ to Ashon Send a message via AIM to Ashon Send a message via MSN to Ashon Send a message via Yahoo to Ashon
No holes, just ideas and extremities....

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Two points: I believe that the cycle should have definable lows and highs -- the cycle wavelength will be as long as the amount of change necessary to incite the societal need for better defenses, times the amount of time it takes to gain the necessary resources.  In my mind, this might take quite some time (RL weeks or months, depending on your game flow).  But I do see how it could become a problem (all other things not considered) if your game flow is very fast.
If you set it as defined by Kavir, where they increase the strength after losing resources and to protect themselves, a guild could result in guerilla tatics to shorten the cycle.  If the needs are First and foremost food, and then defense.  by attacking the food, the need for defense will be increased...  the players are influencing the cycle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by
The second point: Sending out better equipped, stronger mobiles is most certainly a good thing.  How does one have NPC wars if the NPCs don't adapt to their opponents tactics?  This problem would likely to be easily solved under a good system.  If the settlement invests more resources but has the same return, I very much doubt that a sound AI system would keep sending better equipped raiders.  By then the survival need should overtake the societal need, and nobody would take those jobs.  Or the societal need for those jobs would fall with no success.
I'm sorry, I did not mean to imply that stronger mobs were bad.  But imagine this scenario, a guild finds a settlement of goblins, with an ample source of coal and iron, and little food.  The guild boxes in the settlement, raids the only food supply and cuts off the food.  The goblins start raiding the players, sending out armed warriors.  After not defeating the players the mobs send out more 'feelers' looking for more food sources.  The Guild kills the feelers.  This time stronger armed goblins hunt the guild.  While the hunt is going on, the players 'drop' food in the settlement.  While the guild keeps the mobs from having a food resource, but still feeding the settlement, the settlement will be sending out stronger goblins.  or is that not the way people have been proposing the system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Then we simply make it so it is not in the player's best interests to destroy a settlement.  If a player depended on settlements for supplies and equipment of their own, they might wish to protect their favored settlements, or hometowns as KaVir noted.  Players would likely have a vigor for defending their hometown, and quite possibly the settlements that their hometown depends on for trade and defense.  If settlements are neutral and underpowered, I doubt that players would have any qualms with destroying them.  But if they're destroying them so that their own nation gains more territory, we lend a great strategic credence to their continued survival.
Yes, but I'm looking at the settlements full of goblins or other mobiles, not nessicarily player settlements.  Not every settlement can be a hometown, or if they are, of importance, to protect.
Ashon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Monster Generators - Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Monster Maker shemer77 Advertising for Staff 2 07-06-2006 06:54 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014