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Posted by Cyrnon on 02/03

The talk about skills, balance, spamming and delay has me wondering about the way skills are performed on Legend. Like most other MUDs, you use a skill and then are assessed a time lag. Given that this is followed only out of tradition, some MUDs have gone the other way and have the skill lag before the skill goes through. Ie, you have to prepare your spell components, do your chant and wave your arms a certain way to summon and control the magical energies for your spell. Once the spell is released, you can then start another action. I find this to be just as arbitrary when applied across the board to all skills and spells. If you're familiar with the terms in title of this post, you should see where this is leading. Instead of having all of the skill lag either before or after using a skill, I suggest that be split. There should be a small delay before a skill is used and another after. You shouldn't spend two rounds recovering from an attempted kick. Nor should you spend two rounds preparing to kick an opponent. You should spend one round preparing, kick, and then spend one round recovering. This could be applied to most skill and spell use. Of course, not all actions have the same delays, or even always have the same delay time. For instance, bash has a three round delay if you fail and four rounds if you succeed. I imagine that it is quite possible that in this case, you would spend two rounds preparing to bash somebody and if you succeeded, you would then have to spend more time regaining your balance, consuming two fight rounds. If you failed, you wouldn't have shifted your balance off quite so far and would only spend one round returning to your optimal fighting stance. Compared to the current system, a few fight rounds with kick might look like this: Current (postfix) Suggested (infix) - kick - prepare recover - kick - recover recover - kick - prepare recover - kick - recover recover In the middle of a fight, it take just as long to perform any action as it does now. The delay between repeating the same action would also be the same. Given this information, what's the point in making such a change? I see three good reasons; realism, variety, and less spamming. [continues]

From: Cyrnon Tuesday, January 30 2001, 10:43PM I already gave some descriptions of how it would be more realistic to use infix actions. As another example, consider punching somebody. First you draw back your arm and shift your weight to the balls of your heels. (I haven't been in any fights in RL, recently, so I might not have a perfect technique. ;) Second, you strike, hopefully aiming well enough and moving fast enough to connect. Third, you move your arm back and shift the weight on your feet so that you can maneuver to another angle from which to strike. Of course, this is contrived, in RL it would be much more complex. Instead of withdrawing to punch again with the same hand, you could grab them and swing with your other hand, draw your arm back and swing again without shifting your weight or many other things. Still, this change should add realism without becoming overly complicated. How would this add to variety if all it does is shift when actions occur? Just as it doesn't make sense to apply all skill lag to one side of an action, it doesn't make sense to always have it split. Obviously, skills like rage with only one round of delay can't have the delay split. There could be situations where you can start one skill, finish it and in the same round use a second skill which would then have its own lag. Also, if you have to prepare to use a skill before starting a fight, your potential target, PC or NPC, should she you doing so and have a chance to react... most likely, this would be important in pkill. I think that surprise attacks (backstab!) would not give the victim a warning that they are about to be struck. Hidden, sneaking or invis characters should also receive some benefit when initiating combat with a skill. However, chanting a spell or using certain skills might give away your position. With skilltrees, the variety achieved would become more obvious and valuable (without requiring more skills). Right now, characters can spam skills while waiting for their victim to arrive. I don't see how this can be justified IC. You must look pretty foolish bobbing your head up and down, swishing your leg back and forth, or grabbing at thin air. Skill lag for preparing to use a skill, should always be applied. This may seem harsh for people who regularly spam skills, but remember that when your opponent enters the room, they also have a delay if they are using a skill. The advantage goes to whichever player is better prepared. Of course, if your foes keep sneaking in to stab you in the back, you might wish to avoid waiting around in the first place. Undoubtedly, there are pitfalls to changing the way skill lag is applied that I haven't considered. Most obviously, the coding staff would have to decide what delays are appropriate and change the skills for them. Players would also have to accept that their character's way of life would be different. However, I feel that, overall, the change would be for the benefit of Legend, making it more interesting and enjoyable. Cyrnon

From: Testboy Wednesday, January 31 2001, 02:06AM On duris casters have lag before the spell goes off, sometimes many rounds worth.. Unfortunately assassins can backstab the hell out of them and they can't do anything due to the lag. Lag on backstab before you execute it? People would spam kill to stop you backstabbing, lag on kill? nah that'd suck. I haven't read all your post, I don't think I need to.

From: Chanel Wednesday, January 31 2001, 02:37AM As someone who likes to play dex, one of my strategies in mobkill is kick/flee, particularly in situations where I don't have the HPs to tank. If mobs could attack me upon re-entering the room, before I could land my kick, where's the point in kick/flee? Coco Chanel

From: Sasha Wednesday, January 31 2001, 08:38AM Do you really think it would be worth the effort? It seems to me that this is a lot of work for a small reward. Personally, I'd prefer to see the imms working to fix things that are actually broken. I kinda like the idea in theory, not in practice. Sasha

From: Vampyr Wednesday, January 31 2001, 10:25AM I don't think this would be to the benefit of legend :P i say if you want a mud like this go back to the one that had this implemented already :P

From: Cyrnon Wednesday, January 31 2001, 12:59PM I'm not surprised that there is little support for my suggestion, but I had thought the dissent would be more vociferous. Trying to keep my post short, I glossed over and ignored some details. Should lag when inititating a fight with a skill/spell be the same as in a fight or shortened? Spamming with the kill command instead of a skill. I hadn't considered that, but when you can set up your own ambush with hide and backstab or drawing people out with throw or shooting them, it shouldn't be too advantageous. Certainly, it would be less powerful than spamming any skill like now. I must add, given your previous posts, Testboy, your behavior now is certainly odd. ;) The whole concept of attack/flee is based on a flaw in the MUD's design. You set your wimpy to max to avoid the lag created by using your skill or spell. The point of wimpy is to allow people who have slow modems or poor connections to escape instead of suddenly being spammed with a bunch of fight rounds and their death on info. It's also extremely convenient and I use kick/flee often myself, particulary when I am severely wounded and trying to finish off a mob. However, I still don't think I should be able to use it this way. If I were to rely on manually typing the flee command, I would have to wait for skill lag to clear. Should I, somehow, magically, be allowed to ignore the commitment I've just made to a specific action? If I didn't think it was worth the effort, I wouldn't have posted my suggestion. ;) Would it really be much effort though? All skills and spells would need to be evaluated to determine what the best way to apply skill lag. A few lines of code would have to be added to each and another line would be modified. Easy to do, but tedious. For the most part, it would only need to be done once though. I consider this less of an addition, than several bug fixes rolled together. ;) While I have played on many MUD's, and feel that people who only play on Legend are missing out on a lot (including an appreciation of what Legend is), I have never seen skill lag implemented in this fashion. Fear of change is not uncommon nor always bad, but to survive requires the ability to adapt. Cyrnon

From: Chanel Thursday, February 01 2001, 01:33AM I see I missed your point. The whole point of your idea is to kill kick/flee. Sorry, but I like to play high dex/low HP chars. This idea of yours, if imped, would make them all worthless, cos they don't have the HPs to tank out the bigger level 50 mobs. As someone who played this char type, even when it wasn't fashionable, I think your idea would change dex from its slightly overpowered current position to -severely- underpowered, in mobkill at least. Coco Chanel

From: Cyrnon Thursday, February 01 2001, 11:00AM Perhaps... or it might change so that you have to use skills with short skill lags like backstab. Flee after one round if you fail. Also, instead of using a bug or flaw in the game's design, you could push for more defensive skills like parry, dodge, and tumble to survive combat. Dex characters could remain IC and use their dexterity as opposed to an OOC 'tool'. Cyrnon

From: Vampyr Thursday, February 01 2001, 11:44AM this "wimpy full" has been in for like what, 4 years, the coders haven't changed it because they didn't see this as a bug, and they have coded the mud keeping in mind this very option. If you change this it will most likely have a vast impact on how legendmud is played, yea this is a change, but it doesn't really benefit us in any way. It's a bunch of coding done to really, just change the way people fight, which makes no sense :P How would this benefit the players?

From: Vampyr Thursday, February 01 2001, 11:46AM oh and the reason i said wimpy full has been in for 4 years is cuz i don't remember before that :P

From: Giordano Thursday, February 01 2001, 12:10PM The length of time something has been in has nothing to do with whether it is a problem with the game design or not. There are lots of problems which took years to fix (timed items not decaying in bags, hps depending on con at levelling, etc etc). I have the feeling hit/flee would be perceived as a problem because it is so powerful, everything else has to be designed around the assumption dex characters will use this strategy. Lots of 'cheats' that people hate, like mobs that land a special in the same pulse that you enter the room, are put in to try to defeat the kick/flee method, but they also disadvantage anyone who flees in the normal way just to heal a couple of times during a fight, and they tend to be unpopular. Also the methods tends to mean that priority plays a major role in who wins a fight, which it probably shouldn't play. If the hit/fee method was removed, dex would obviously need to be upgraded some other ways to compensate. I think these ideas are interestin but the question is, how would they fit in with long term changes that are planned? If there are already going to be other major changes in the fight system eventually, then it probably wouldn't be worth the trouble for the imms to do all that re-balancing instead of working on the long term goals, but if it is planned long-term to get rid of kick/flee that might be an interesting way to do it. Giordano

From: Testboy Friday, February 02 2001, 06:06AM People still hit/flee? I thought the priority 'fix' killed it. Now, I'm curious what you mean about my behaviour being odd? Cos I mentioned something on another MUD that's no good? I'm not biased and I wouldn't mention other MUDs just to get at the IMM's, I've better things to do. Anyway, the reason this pre-skill lag kinda works there is that most pk is done in large groups, here it's mostly one on one and you'll find some char types just won't be able to fight each other.

From: Giordano Friday, February 02 2001, 02:15PM I still use hit/flee, and find it very powerful for low level dex characters killing mobs 20 or more levels higher, especially my Liman character with a poisoned weapon and first aid. The only effect of the priority 'fix' is that sometimes it in necessary to abandon a fight and try again later. This is just a slight inconvenience really.

From: Nepon Friday, February 02 2001, 04:27PM this sounds to me like an idea specifically designed to make dex/str type characters and their fighting strategies useless, or at the very least easier to deal with in pkill. now remember not everyone on this mud is a pkill character and these types of changes are the kinds of things that mobkillers dont want to see because mobkilling has beenmade extremely diff icult for a solo non-mage non-con fighter. if you want to get rid of my ability as a dex fighter to hit/flee then i want to get rid of con fighter ability to use weapons that do alot of damage, and mage's ability to create charmies and heal themselves. i say leave things alone because its this "well you have to learn to adapt to the new system" crap that has depleted our character base over and over again for the last 5 years (maybe more). changes like this go in and people's characters become less suited for what they were designed to do so people quit. Alot of good honest nice friendly people have left this mud for these types of things and lousy mean spirited jerks that only like to cause problems have replaced them. so i say leave it alone! and also, this sounds yet again like some- thing specifically targeted at dex characters (because they are the ones that would stand to lose the most from it) and i seriously doubt that the imms will do anything that doesnt screw over everyone- not just one character type, or anything that doesnt help every type of character that is probably the only reason those of us that have stayed for all these years have stayed. so dont plan on seeing this go in. -my 12 and 1/2 cents!

From: Chanel Saturday, February 03 2001, 03:33AM Even with prio the way it is, kick/flee is better than straight tanking. Even if the mob has prio, you're still only there for one round between specials, not two. And of course, you can always decide to give up if you realise you can't do that mob without prio. Coco Chanel

From: Skar Saturday, February 03 2001, 05:14PM Cyrnon is exactly right: wimpy is a feature that was intended for people with lagging connections, so that they could be yanked out of combat automatically if their hp got too low. Setting your wimpy to your max hp is an abuse of this feature, in my opinion. When I use headbutt, I get two (count 'em -- two!) rounds of skill lag. That means I get two (count 'em -- two!) rounds of damage. When you use wimpy in this fashion, you get two rounds of skill lag, but only one (count 'em -- one!) round of damage. I was here when the new (to me) fight system went in, and at no time did the imms say, "strength fighters will do more damage, con fighters will have more hp, and dex fighters will always use wimpy." Dex fighters aren't supposed to get hit as often, sure, but they're also not supposed to be unfairly waiting out their skill lag in another room. All I suggest is that wimpy not activate if you're suffering from a skill lag. If your connection is truly lagged, you won't be using skills. And you'll still be fleeing, but it'll be after two rounds, not one. If this downgrades dex fighters too much, then compensate them, by all means. Just stop wimpy abuse. Oh, another point. One way to address someone who abuses wimpy is to spam headbutts or some such in the hopes that you can hit them when they come back before they kick you. Mages can't spam spells, which is yet another unfair advantage to wimpy abuse. Mages should be able to spam spells just as you can spam fight skills.

From: Huginn Saturday, February 03 2001, 06:22PM Personally I think the kick/flee strategy is a bug that's being exploited, regardless of the length of time you've been able to do it. However, I highly doubt it'll be changed without a strong look at dex characters, so doubt get all nervous about it. :-) Huginn


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