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Posted by Manticore on 01/15

I vaguely agree with everything that's been said on the entire string of discussions, just about. Partly it's cuz I've lost my near-psychotic energy i used to put into mudding that makes me able to just easily nod at people's opinions, but in any case, what people experience are just that, experiences, and though some may be prevented, repeated, or isolated, they still happen, and there's no right and wrong about people speaking about what happened... Having opened the post with a very hazy 'iloveyouall' kinda msg, i'll get to my points. With the possible exception of Infidel, i dare say i've tried enough char types to call myself a big whacked broken achiever and know what i'm talking about when it comes to pk. My answer to the imbalance is, it's all up to the person's view on pk. Poetry, and most others, probably enjoy pk where it is balanced to such point that everyone with any char has the same chance of winning regardless of what char they use, provided they have the same "pk ability." People like that would probably not mind the tournament settings and some may even think that's the ultimate way to test pk-ability. Me, personally, I could care less which char is overpowered and which chars aren't. If i'm sick of losing, i'll just make myself an overpowered char (Agni, Mo), and if i'm sick of abusing the system, i'll make a silly char (Papercut, Wuss, Manticore) and sometimes i'll even try a run-of-the-mill when feeling i should try pk'ing on even ground (Vajrapani, Darkheart). Yes, not everyone has the same kind of time and energy to put into mudding as i used to, churning, retiring, reenabling in a matter of months, but no matter what fix goes in how soon, unless you adopt at least such an attitude you'll always be discontent. Why? Because this mud changes, for better and worse, and not one of the coders can come up with something that's new, refreshing, and will make everyone happy. I consider myself as one of the stressers on this mud, one of those players that make tiny problems surface and make it an abuse. Am quite proud of that, and yes, i enjoy it. Oh all the silly healers and the mobs, room acts, transes i've used in pk... yah, almost everyone is about frustrated when they fight me, because fighting me is fighting the mud and all of its problems. Have this feeling that some people will consider the mud balanced when i can't drudge up any more silly 'tactics' in pk :p Anyway, I'm content to be where we are and look forward to where we are going, and will always know that this mud will never reach it's destination, but always be on the move, changing. We're much better off than way back when dex ruled, and we're much better off than not so long ago when spam rocked. I'm sure most people agree with that, and having done so, ask yourself this: did you not enjoy pk back then? I'm sure most of us experienced pkers enjoyed pk at almost any stage of the mud's growth. And will probably continue to do so as long as one element is in place: Competition with non-artificial intelligence. Sure this doesn't mean that we don't have to fix the problems we are faced with today, but at least we can refrain from sounding too much like a backseat driver. Despite the fact that i'm not happy with the rate of change, i still trust the imms to have change take place eventually. Tho it may initially be way off (chortle, the no-weapon shoot thingie was just too amusing) and produce some problems, in the end kinks will get evened out. Finally to name a successful sniper and a fighter that won more fights than they lost, i'd simply name Papercut and Wuss. They may not be successful char TYPES, but asking for a char TYPE that is successful is silly as it will eliminate the element of 'pk ability.' It is impossible for all char types to be successful, winning more than they lose... even on a perfectly balanced mud, the best we can hope for is char types that win just as many as they lose. I consider my pker successful when I have fun playing. Sometimes it's fun just pulling one move that startles the opponent (with this char, i enjoyed conjuring a dop at dying, hiding, and fooling fright for a second in thinking that he had landed a killing blow on me, or having killed the behemoth the same round nicky shot me in a snipe attempt fooling her into thinking she nailed a snipe on my dop)... Manticore

From: Manticore Monday, January 10, 01:41AM As far as str and damroll eq goes, unless there is a cap in damage, abundance of such eq will always be beneficial to non-str. If those gear were non +stat or follow more internal reqs other than rent and stuffs (say, damroll given cannot exceed half their weight, for every 3 damroll given the gear's net value must be decreased by 1, etc) abundance of them wouldn't be a problem, but as of now, non 100 str can easily cap, and that's fairly wrong :) Augment, I don't have a problem with, only problem i have with it is the way ppl use them. Some go to safe rooms to use them, or hide in their houses. That i have problem with. Otherwise, there's enough ways to heal myself not consuming any of my mana, and if it is a kill i want, i'll simply jump the person. Strength mages capping... requires enough hitroll for them to make them susceptible to no-backlash stun them. On a stunned target, they'll cap as often as they'll decimate otherwise. Bless becomes extremely overpower ed as does limn for str mages, which is a bit of a problem, but otherwise they suffer from what most str fighters suffer -- very uneven damage, with the occasional dreaded 0 damage rounds mixed in. Inspire and stoneskin... the problem there is inspire, not stoneskin. Stoneskin itself is pretty silly. Any sniper with enough brains can send stoneskin away in 2-3 fight rounds (if they notice it)... problem there is inspire, since there isn't enough ways for non-mage/surgeons to get out of them. One way to handle that problem is to up inspire stat to the previous meditate req or current surgery levels, and the other would be to have it last for a tick, or having low spirit be resistant to inspire -- making augmenters, surgeons, mages more susceptible to inspire than fighters and snipers :) Healing.. yeah, the renter/healer is quite ridiculous even considering the few restrictions on him. More ridiculous is the suger's chalice on a 3c cause... if you simply decide to adopt the attitude of a create mage and go into pk fights at starching as they do starving, you get to regener ate a whpping 200 mana instantaneously. Not to mention a certain singing shaman. Tho not as easily used in pk for obvious reasons, a cause mage can go on a non-stop rampage with him. Or a super-quick comeback strike. As far as wfw, para, etc go... yah, it's pretty silly but that's mostly cuz they allow idiots to win fights. Fighting a non-idiot, it could matter less, as an extra tumble, skill failure, or balance failure will spell the same difference. It probably would be much easier to balance the system if everything was like kick. You succeed, it never does more than damage, you fail, you fail. Having skills that aren't kicks will always place luck in the list. Para warcry, backstab, staggering headbutt disorienting elbow, successful tumble, failed bash, wfw stun... If you don't like such things, just use in-game healers. Manticore

From: Poetry Monday, January 10, 09:25AM You are a special breed Manticore. It is true that anyone can win by transing and spamming attacks on people that you know are about wake out of the trans when they follow. Its also true that if people just raced eachother to all the healing mobs, that the aliased character has huge advantage. But if we were all like that.... no one would fight.. cause no one would want to follow the other into the traps. Yes, you are right, any character could "win".. but its all about fun, isnt it? What fun is it playing like that all the time? I couldnt be bothered. And most people cant. I would rather my skill beat someone, not me being insistant on hanging around some big mob to crash them into. Therefore, I favor more balance and less abuse of mobs like corentius that heal like crazy. Anyone can win if they get 800 hps of heal from him.. yes you are right. Poetry

From: Manticore Tuesday, January 11, 12:51AM Yep, anyone can win. Any char can win. And it's all about whether you want to win it that badly. Dunno how it is for most of you, as i can only speak for myself. For me, there are times when I could care less about the result of the fight, or so I try to convince myself. But most of the time, it's luck that decides just about all the fights anyway. A lucky tumble here, a lucky skill failure here, a wfw there, a para here, a stun shot here, a sprawl there... Skill? Haha, I laugh at the use of that word in pkill. There is no such thing. It's all about luck and the current code flaw at the moment. Take a fight with two of the same chars, for instance. You yourself said it's just like flipping a coin. What skill is involved there? Can you make your headbutts land more often than the opponent by typing it in at a certain moment in the pulse of the game? If you can do that, there'd be skill involved. But as far as I know, the best people can do is type time and start the fight when they find it most desirable, or they'll just prep a bit more, learn the opposing char more, and most importantly, just have confidence in the stuff they're doing. Skill is a myth. Experience and knowledge isn't, but skill sure is. And what is experience and knowledge? Two big things. One is knowing your opponent's char, the other is knowing the opponent's player. (assuming you know yourself and your char) So it doesn't matter whether the char types are balanced or not. If i know my opponent will chase me around, i play along with that, leading them into traps. If they're not the type to chase around, i simply jump them and reengage them whenever it is convenient for me. If they're the type that are deluded into thinking pk is about skill, well, i post and say it isnt :) Any idiot can win if they do what i do. Any idiot can win if they do what Poetry does. There's nothing other than a severely buggy connection and luck that prevents anyone from doing what the other does. Lacking a client will probably hinder some, but then again, anyone can download and learn to use a client, too. So why is it that people don't win as often as some of the others? That's not a code flaw, or a game imbalance. It's the individual players' viewpo ints and attitudes in action. I put just enough effort to make the game enjoyable for me, they do their share to make the game enjoyable for them. My balance is a bit different from others, as i derive my fun in setting people up. Some would just like their char to be built better... but heck, there's more luck involved there. Nobody gets to choose the exact roll they want during char gen, and most mortals usually have to rely on sheer luck when it comes to a new piece of gear getting coded, whether their chars' roll can accomodate it or not. There isn't skill involved in creating eq lists either. I don't deny that I'm one of a kind. Actually, as I often state, i'm proud that i am. I am able to try char types most of the 'skilled-haha' players will ditch cuz they aren't 'competent.' I mean, snicker, a create str 3rd circle mage was a joke, a bashing sniper was a joke, and boo hoo, what about an augmenting str/con with tumble? A 3c cause deadeye? But did i not have fun with them? I'm sure ppl thought i had the time of my life with those idiotic chars. Some were soooo convinced that they copied some of those chars. Sure I don't win in tournament settings. I don't deny that. It's not fun for me. Boohiss, you walk up to the other char and do your special. Wow. Fun. I'd much rather walk up to the other char, tease him/her, lure them into some nasty trap and make them feel they've been tricked. Badly. So anyone can win doing what i do, but if they did, do you think i'd just keep up doing what i am doing at this moment? I'm not an artificial intelligence that is stuck in one type of game play. If people change their styles, I'm confident that i'll come up with other styles that will take advantage of theirs. And then ppl will say, "you're one of a kind, if ppl do what you did, anyone would win." Anyway. I could care less what people think about my style of pk, and they are free to copy everything from my char to my play style if they so desire. Heck, they're even free to keep running away from me if it is beyond them to fight me. And then what? Lure me into tourneys, beat me there, and say "i'm more skilled than you?" If that's the way the game works for you, go ahead. For me, I like my chars to be integrated with the rest of the mud. I like intimidating others into thinking they're fighting not just me, but the entire mud. I like others to worry and be on their toes when i run, thinking the fight isn't over just yet. I like it when i can win wolfpacks simply because ppl are afraid to follow me int o unknown terrain. And most of all, I like it when it seems so simple and easy to do what i do, yet people dont. It is here when I can say you people are idiots. If it's such a troublesome feature, abuse it. It'll get fixed. Promptly. Manticore

From: Poetry Tuesday, January 11, 09:26PM Off all your post, all I saw was "any idiot can do what Poetry does". That wasnt very nice, but oh well. So anyway, I invite all the idiots of legend to do "what [I] do". Whatever they think that is.

From: Beam Tuesday, January 11, 10:19PM The main skill in pkill I think comes from char creation. In fact you can control what stat roll you get. Just make a char and if its not want you want make another. I rolled up probably 20 or 30 chars before I made the first iteration of Beam.

From: Manticore Tuesday, January 11, 11:20PM Mmm, funny how you didn't object to "any idiot could do what i do" :p Anyway, if target == manticore then "t manticore let's restrict areas" if instance == manticore tells you 'no way' then "t manticore then i won't fight you" if instance == manticore tells you 'sure' then "set wimpy max, kick manticore, stun manticore, and immolate manticore, cure crit when needed" if target == sniper char then vanish/follow skin/inspire, immolate til dead. if target == fighter char then do whatever feels fun atm. ... Yah yah yah, i've fall into the trap of overgeneralization and everything else, but no matter what you wish to think requires skill, nothing i've encountered thus far requires any more skill than having a good memory (so you can hit/flee better, run better, chase better, etc) Char gen is a joke, even if you do get the exact rolls you wish for, unless you can predict the next overpowered item to be coded (still think herne's are overpowered, as are starseed boots, etc) it won't do you any good. The surest way to tell if something requires skill is this... have somebody else control your char, with you only telling the person what to type and when. Barring typing skills, it is most likely that the person sitting in front of the computer, however ignorant to mudding, will be able to produce the same result as if you'd been there. Why? Cuz there isn't anything in the code, or at least anything a person can do that requires hitting the enter key at a very precise moment in time. To compare that with something that requires skill... try telling a person to play the piano or the violin by simply putting them in front of the piano or equipping them with the violin and telling them what to do. 9/10 they won't be able to reproduce the results. That's skill. Mudding isn't. Manticore

From: Beam Tuesday, January 11, 11:47PM Wow, quite a bit i disagree with there. If one piece of eq, makes your char obsolete then that has nothing to do with char generation. It just means its time to generate another char. Personally I don't see it happening. One piece of eq isn't a big deal. What is a big deal is major changes to the fight system, but hey. Then its time to create a new char. I think whoever says theres no skill is sorta talking out of their butts. Yes there are things that are based on luck. but theres also typing ability, and how well you set up triggers aliases etc, all this goes into skill. Do you really think someone without a client just trying to type everything out is going to look skillful? Hell no. I think what your really trying to say is being good at pkill isn't something that should cause others to worship you for it. Seems everyones upset about the balance issues, the luck factor etc. Noone is able to dominate all the time. This leads to people pulling out all the stops in order to win, healing strategy etc, using mobs, transes etc. So there is skill involved but the amount of luck involved causes one person to win one time and another the next. Heh, why don't someone run a pkill mud, based on old legends code? Would anyone be interested in that?

From: Manticore Wednesday, January 12, 12:55AM If anyone thinks for any length of time that there is skill involved in mudding, i'd say they're seriously mistaken. On second thought, there's one aspect of the game that i can think skill involved, and that's being able to read as much of the text that scrolls by. Yah, i guess that's skill, since it's not something anyone can just tell you to do and you are able to reproduce it. And as far as chars going obsolete... they can with one piece of equipment, or a change of one. Else they'll have to deviate from their original strategies and find something else to work with. Personally think the introduction of the eye of the dragon upset things a great deal, esp for fighter chars who weren't designed to have +that stat in that slot. Considering fighter chars need to rack up as much -spi as possible to have chance at competing, such a stir could decrease competibility by 5 stat points or more depending on other eq that may be thrown in. Introduction of ody bow prolly threw off a few sniper setups too who previously prolly thought of using the composite and didn't see those particular stat mix coming in. "time to make a new char" is such a general statement, and that statement will most certainly fix all the balance issues. Why bother with balance if you can simply say "time to make a new char?" Manticore

From: Beam Wednesday, January 12, 01:07AM Me personally, I dont think an kracken eye would make my fighter char obsolete. You don't have to have the absolute maximum stat totals to be good, but I see were your coming from. If you think you need that then it wouldn't require skill. You could just show ppl your stat total and say look my char is better why should we even fight.

From: Manticore Wednesday, January 12, 01:13AM Nope, you don't need that, and that's why there isn't skill required in building chars, contrary to your very first statement. Manticore

From: Beam Wednesday, January 12, 01:16AM geez you want it both ways dont you. You want to say that one piece of eq makes a char obsolete, but then say that its not necessary to use the best eq. Also any type of char can set up ambushes its the ambush that causes the win not the char type, you said yourself you don't do well in tourneys. I would say that make a char that does well in tourneys is more the char type generation im talking about. If you can't win a fight in an arena were your on equal footing with your opponent and must rely on trapping or tricking thats just different type of fighting. Granted it can be a lot of fun, and I never did particulary well in tourneys either, course we only have tourneys once in a blue moon.

From: Manticore Wednesday, January 12, 06:30AM The reason I said one piece of eq makes a char obsolete is cuz of your opinion that char gen is skill. If it was skill, then one piece of gear should make a diff, esp when you need exact rolls for your char... as you've rolled 20 to 30 times for Beam. If one piece of gear can't make a diff, as you say it, then where does skill come in? Any roll will amount to any kind of char, in that case. No, it doesn't require any skill to choose one hometown from the next, as much as it seems pressing 1 is a tad bit harder than pressing 5 on the char gen screen. As far as your next point goes, i've totally lost it... and equal footing is just as much a myth as skill. There is no such thing unless you're fighting the guy sitting right next to you in the same lab or something. Somebody's bound to have a better connection, somebody gets hit with a wave of lag when the other doesn't, and guess what, somebody gets to be luckier than the other. Manticore

From: Beam Wednesday, January 12, 09:40AM Geez Manticore the skill comes in deciding what stats to go for. As far as equal footing goes I mean like an arena. No point arguing anyway, it's not that I feel that strongly or anything but I always have trouble following your logic.

From: Danar Thursday, January 13, 04:57AM Manticore is drawing a distinction you're missing. Any White Wolf "Monster: The Abstract Noun" player will immediately catch it, though; it's the difference between a "skill" and a "knowledge." What Manticore refers to as a skill is something that is a result of training and instruction. Playing the piano is a skill, because you can't just tell somebody exactly when to hit what keys; they have to practice and learn to do it. What you are referring to is knowledge. Knowledge is, plain and simple, having information available to help you make decisions. Manticore's point is that knowledge CAN be written down; he DOES, after all, have a section on his website detailing the different stats for different character types. I have to agree with Manticore; mudding is about skill exactly as far as typing goes. Sure, if you don't have a reasonable level of that skill, you're going to be in trouble, but being a master typer will almost never win you a fight (except in trivia, which is a whole nother animal). The primary ingredient in successful mudding is having vast quantities of knowledge about the mud and the way things work at your fingertips at all times, and that doesn't require skill; you could write a book that would give ANYBODY this knowledge. Danar

From: Poetry Thursday, January 13, 08:25AM My apologies to Manticore. I didnt mean to imply that "his" style of pk is for "idiots". All I really said is that if everyone fought like that, pkill would be no fun cause nothing would happen. However you define skill, there is something involved that makes some pkillers win 24/25 fights. If any idiot could do that, then believe me, everyone would, cause every little 14 year old "idiot" wants to win everytime. There is obviously some sort of something that makes some players win and others lose.. knowledge, character generation, and resourcefulness, and even the ability to read the screen really fast. When I dueled you, Manticore, I asked for the duel to limited to a city or something.. Somewhere were we were on an even playing field... If I didnt do that, you would insist on staying in places that were underwater, so that I could immolate, etc or something like that to give yourself an advantage. You refused a place like Agrabah cause you though that there are too many mobs there to crash you into.... The place we finally agreed on, was even. All this was cause I absolutely hate a style of pk that involves racing each other to healers the moment you are 100hps down... and waiting at every trans. To me, that "style" of pk is so irratating, that yes, I would rather not duel you under those circumstances. You had an option to refuse this "even playing field" duel, and you did. I had an option to refuse the "uneven playing field duel" (the one were you would wait in underwater rooms and refuse to budge) and I did refuse. I find it interesting that you consider playing on an even field... to your disadvantage. You didnt have to accept if you didnt want too. What really bugs me, is that it was all in a friendly tone with the acknowledgement that we dont have to fight if you dont want to. I refuse to duel you anymore. Its either a no-fun fight that lasts 20 mins, and uses all the healing sources (including that BS healer corentius) that you love, or its an even-playing field fight that you seem to hate. I guess my preference is too have fun. And certain styles are no fun. In a non-duel situation, I wouldnt even bother. I hope you can acknowledge people with different styles than your own. Dont forget, this entire string started with your statedment about "Poetry's post" and how there isnt actually a base for what I was saying. And when I ment one-of-a-kind, I didnt necessarily mean it in a good way.=p Poetry

From: Beam Thursday, January 13, 09:01AM Ok, I understand the point about playing the piano. But, you can give all the info you want on your site about building chars and how to play the game and all that, but theres still some people thats gonna be a lot better than others. Why is it that some people do well in Tourneys? Did they make the right choice in char gen? Is it completely luck? I say not, or they wouldn't continously do well. Considering you said you don't do well in these settings and admit that you don't like fights on equal footing, I would say that your beliefs are a sour grapes type thing. I'm sure you belief this, but I think its disallusion. Not trying to be mean saying that, but I do believe there is a bit of skill in pkill.

From: Mugwump Thursday, January 13, 09:31AM The whole premise of this argument is flawed. To say that there is no skill involved in something because there is luck involved is ludicrous. Ask anyone who plays poker. Of course, if everyone uses the same character designs, and the same tactics, it does increase luck factor tremendously. And there is an awful lot of copycatting of successful characters in pkill. Still, there is some skill in making decisions in the heat of battle when to flee, when to headbutt, when to run away and where to, what kinds of rooms/mobs/etc. you can make use of. Being able to recall and use that kind of knowledge improves with practice, so by the above definition it qualifies as skill. Using Manticores example of telling someone else what to type while you stand next to them doesn't disqualify the skill involved either. A surgeon could do the same thing, and surgery sure qualifies as a skill (even in real life!).

From: Manticore Thursday, January 13, 11:02PM Pshrug, I had a choice to accept and decline the duel in any circumstance, and I accepted it, we duelled, period. I don't recall in any of my posts complaining that i've lost due to unfair settings or whatnot, it was a dec ision I made to get a duel and although I'm not happy with the outcome, I don't think i ever bitched and moaned about how it would have been different had it not been restricted to an area. I did, however, say some things about luck, and i don't deny that.. personally think there was a fair bit of luck involved there whether you agree with me or not. As far as beam's comments go... they're just from a viewpoint i totally disagree with entirely, something like a parallel universe. The best i can accomodate his view is that, "skill is the ability to exercise the knowledge of the mud under pressure." brb, sammael is bugging me like nuts

From: Manticore Thursday, January 13, 11:10PM Okay, where was i. Oh yah. "skill is the ability to exercise the knowledge of the mud under pressure." Although for me, knowledge presumes the ability to use it, for some i guess there is a difference in knowing and putting it into practice. If that's the way ppl want to think, fine, they can say mudding requires skill. Back to Poetry... dunno what you consider fun, but for me fun isn't about building the most competent char on the mud at the time and going around proving it playing on "even ground" all the time. Who defines this even ground, anyway? So some ppl think a mobless vaccuum is even ground, and design their chars around that. I incorporate the mobs i can use into my chargen, and i design my chars around that. Who are you to tell me that one is even ground and one isn't? Why, did i ever make a vow to create chars that are to function only under "even ground" settings? For me, even ground is when both chars are at full, and if you're create, when your char is at starving. That's even ground for me, no more no less. Though the fight may start in a place it may be slightly disadvantageous to me, or advantageous, it's still even ground... provided that there's always an option to move it somewhere else. And there always is. Even I will venture into unfriendly terrain if i roll the die in my head and think it still ending up in my victory. And I know most others will too. So the trick for me is always convincing them it will be worthwhile chasing me, and proving them wrong... at least that's what i try, anyway. If you're somebody that whines about a duel going nowhere, and happen to be somebody I like, well, then i won't duel you, or will just duel you under circumstances that make you happy, and still try to have my fun out of it. I'm sure you didn't find my effort lacking when i fought you in a duel where you've delayed it til all my nifty preppies wore off :p And if you're somebody that whines about my fighting style and happen to be somebody i dislike... well, tough, i'll be breathing down your neck at all times and engage/disengage whenever i see fit. If you want your shot at me, you play along my rules :) Bottom line, I know how to stalk and hunt down prey, and i derive a bit too much fun doing that. One successful stalk/hunt makes my day, i could care less about a dozen failures in which i end up losing my prey or worse, losing to my prey. And better yet, if i fail a stalk so badly yet they fall into a trap i've set up and die... dang, go me, that will prolly make up for all the hours of stalking :p If you don't like the style of play i use, either just stay on my good side or keep running away whenever i engage you, since you know so well that in the end i'll outheal any augmenting conmage. Heck, i could prolly even crash ppl with my blinding flash, who knows. Manticore ps. oh yah, about copying others' chars, styles, etc... you'll have to copy their aggressiveness and attitude too to be anywhere near half successful. If i let others dictate when and where to fight, i'd prolly find all my healers spent :p


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