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The 40 letter limit on strings

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Posted by Alyxia on 05/20

I'd like to bring up for discussion the restriction on the short desc for strings. Personally, I feel that 40 letters is too small a number to allow creativity and personalization. Yes, most people still can find a way to fit their strings to 40 letters, but at the same time, they probably had a better idea beforehand, or had to cancel out certain nice adjectives just to fit the space. I know I did, and it honestly doesn't give the same feel/look/personal mark on it.

The whole costume and personal strings are a very important aspect of rp, if you're going to pretend to be someone, you'd want to look the part too, and you'd want to do your best and describe to the fullest the certain nifty details about your costume, that will differenciate others that might have a similar rp. Coupons are not that easy to come by, and I find myself reluctant to use it because the special things I think of have to be cut up. I mean, you'd want to use elaborate words, you don't want to say oh A nice thing, you probably want to use extravagant, exquisite, glittering, and other things like that, and just one of those words takes up about 1/4 of the letters you're allowed. I mean, just saying what it is, like a sword, already takes up almost 1/4 too, and then there's usually the words you have to use, like a, the, your spaces, with a, such that you can't really say what it is, and actually add symbols or details. Like I wanted:

A glittery staff with a globe encasing a shooting star

but the closest I could probably come to that is:

A staff with a globe encasing a star

And the latter, in my opinion, no way looked as special as the original. I feel I would probably do better mundaning all my stuff cos when it comes to describing clothes, and jewelry type things, you can only use so many short words to try your best to not make it look like an in game item. There isn't a point in using a non color when you could probably get something vaguely similar with a mundane. But then, it's not original anymore.

This restriction, I feel, is hindering rp, and for an illogical reason as well. Legend is mostly an rp type mud, that should promote rp, and not hinder one of the important aspects simply because it looks a little weird when your thing gets damaged and the word damaged goes over to the next line. I'm not saying we should have two/three lines long strings, but just the full length of that one line, like on a piece of paper or something. This is seriously bugging me, and I'd love to hear the opinions of others, whether you're fine with it, or whether you'd like more space too.


From: Drakkon Wednesday, May 01 2002, 10:11AM

jeeze that must be a new rule cuz it didn't apply when i made this one: a huge onyx broadsword, engulfed in black flames comf

From: Lachesis Wednesday, May 01 2002, 10:58PM

I would totally dig more than 40 characters for a string. Hell, i dont even mind it going over to the next line if the item gets damaged. Being able to customize a string (that's terribly hard to get anyways) without the restraints of cutting away the descriptive words that make it what you see in yer mind's eye would be awesome.


From: Dolor Thursday, May 02 2002, 01:16AM

Well, there needs to be some sort of limit, and obviously it's helpful to the imms if the limit is concretely defined (as opposed to the days when the limit was defined as "reasonably short"). Unfortunately, when the imms decided to define the limit concretely, they chose a limit much lower than what a lot of people (myself most definitely included) were used to. The argument, of course, is that with the limit given, then damaged eq tags won't spill over and cause undue spam.

Fact of the matter is, there's some regular eq in the game that does this to to us anyway (especially stuff with Glowing and Humming tags tossed on), and although some people have been able to make highly creative strings with only a few characters (on a per-character ratio, Craven's wad has to be one of the most creative and annoying strings in the game), a lot of us would rather be descriptive. I used to make strings without nearly as much concern over which words I should put in. Of course, strings had to be reasonably short so you still had to choose your words somewhat wisely; personally, I feel Alyxia's string example is a tad long (54 characters; you only get 25 more for the long description). But as I said earlier, the imms benefit from having a rigidly defined string length - and lately, the imms seem to oppose a lot of things that would require them to make any sort of judgement call. The string Drakkon shared with us seems to me like a good maximum length to me - it's not excessively wordy, and it's not un- manageably long.

48 characters seems feasible to me - you can do more with those 8 bytes, and it doesn't really tweak all that much. Or you could just go back to "reasonably short", but somehow I don't see that happening.

Oh well, probably doesn't matter much what we say down here on the topic, but that's okay, I can deal with that. I'm used to being wrong anyway.


PS, you may wanna get a copy of this post now, imms DO tend to get touchy about Craven's wad :P

From: Cheyla Thursday, May 02 2002, 09:33AM

Prior to this change (which has been around for several months), the rule was 40 characters preferably, going no more than 59. So, you had 40-59 characters on your string short... With such a range of characters, we found ourselves arguing with people trying to go over the 59 limit, and in some cases, these strings got approved when they shouldn't have. Some code changes have gone in since then to help mortals and immortals adhere to the rule with less manual counting of characters - from the LENGTH command to an actual hard limit on how many characters we can put in a string.

40 was decided on for a few reasons... The previous rule was too wishy-washy - there was no way for us to enforce the much preferred limit of 40, which was the real limit we wanted people to follow. 40 was the number of characters left over on an item that glowed AND hummed, and with so many people having permanent lights, lots of people have at least one item that glows and hums. 40 was also the number of characters left over on a plain item with the longest damage message. And the majority of the strings being done were 40 or lower. With 59 as an upper limit, we were also seeing a number of strings that had "shorts" longer than the "longs"!

Yes, strings can still wrap, normal in-game items can still wrap... glowing and humming items that are damaged, if you can see the other special tags on items, they may wrap, but with a limit of 40, it is less likley to happen. If we accounted for all the characters that could be seen on an item, you'd have no room for any description at all. :) Builders have tried hard to limit their own items to the same string rules, but there are a LOT of items out there that were under the old rules and they aren't always that easy to catch - I've seen a few bug reports for some of these items and know at least some of those have since been "fixed".

Does it suck to not be able to use ALL the long, descriptive words you wanted? Sure, but in a lot of cases when I've worked with people to get their string short within the rules, I've had comments that the final product was actually much better than their original idea. Get a thesarus (actual book or web site) and use it, you will likely find a similar word that is shorter and actually sounds better. Consider it an intellectual challenge to describe the item within the 40-character limit... And remember that you can also use the slot (within the rules) to flesh that description out more and, when you can get them, add-a-colors so you can leave out some of those descriptive color words if necessary, giving you more room for those long adjectives.


From: Craven Thursday, May 02 2002, 11:35AM

Personally, I could care less if things wrap. And if its that big a deal, why don't you just create a new command, like "dreport", which shows you the damage of all your gear, but it doesn't just ALWAYS show you. Or, make the DAMAGE reports shorter so that WE can have more room. In reality, I don't even really play here anymore, so I guess I don't care, but 40 sure seems short to me. I guess my last comment would be this. Items don't truely HAVE a long description. You may be able to SAY they do, and actually SET one, but I couldn't honestly tell you a single long description of any of my items. If they are laying on the ground for people to see, there is definately a problem.

- Craven

From: Boreas Friday, May 03 2002, 09:54PM

I sympathize with your problem of not being able to get the exact string that you want, and I have been there myself. Sometimes you want a certain thing to be so much and just can't fit it all in. But really, simpler is better. Many people only glance over strings when they look at a person (if they look at all), so very long strings may get skipped.

Also, if you put too much into it, it is a little overwhelming (especially colors!) and just looks like a painting that has been overworked. So think of the 40 char limit as a creative challenge which will end up improving your string. Also, you can fit some of those nice nuances into the slot string.

I like Craven's idea about having a command to see your gear's damage. Often I'll have things sit at slightly damaged for a long time, and only really need to fix it for aesthetic reasons. It is unnecessary to have to see it appended to the name all the time.

Boreas' player

From: Sigrid Monday, May 06 2002, 06:26AM

I like the 40 char limit.

It makes sure short descs are short and thus both easy to read and leaves space for imagination.

And if your items is 42 chars I know the number of some imms who'll first try help you cutting it down, and if that can't be done allow it. It seems some of them are indeed human.. or at least nice at times. So you can't dictate exactly what people should see when then look at you? Bad, too bad. Go play in RL if that's what you want. I call the right to imagine things. I call the right to have an axe named Swinebiter that not even I know exactly what looks like. I have a vague idea but other than that it changes with my mood.

To cut down unnessecary spam - as I seem to be talking for

S I - out.

Oh and death to the fakes and free luckstones for everybody.

From: Lilac Saturday, May 11 2002, 02:53PM

Personally, I agree with Craven about having a damage report I mean if its the issue of items wrapping.. I think the dreport would be a good idea to think about. I dont always repair on slightly damaged eq, but I dont see why your damage needs to be listed. I can tell when my items get damaged, and I just think a damage report would clean things up a bit, I mean for those of us who like our eq not to wrap. Heh I really dislike spam, spammy eq.. and spammy houses.


So maybe the damage report can be thought about as an option :) ok.. I have said enough :P


Anti-Spammer :P

From: Coma Monday, May 20 2002, 02:46PM

I absolutely think we should be allowed to have strings longer than just 40 characters. Think about this: Some non-strung items have more than 40 characters, and if you get something engraved it can easily have more than 50, depending on (Okay, truncating sucks...)

...longer than just 40 characters. Think about this:

Some unstrung items have more than 40 characters to them anyway.

Additionally, getting something engraved by a mob that offers that service can increase the number of characters on an item to 50 or more. So why are custom strings limited even more than some pre-existing items?


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