a lil concerned
Currently, the ability to hunt allows someone with really high level and perception the equivalent of standing on the west coast of the united states and track someone moving around in Europe. SILLY! Not even the best tracker can do this! Frankly, spy sattelites are about the only thing with this much accuracy. The prereq's for hunt are so low, however, that nearly everyone can get it.
So you have someone with decent mind... say a good 80-90, and 100dex, who has enough req's to cast all their own spells without spamming at all... hmm, they can also be a master hunter... Not only that, these prereq's allow them to be a 'master tailor' (which is really now rather simple, but will more of a distinction under skill trees), if you pick one of two hometowns, you can also be a fairly established herbalist, or even, with the stats above, a decent though not specialized bowman.
Hmm, what can't that character do? Well they can't trueform, some can some can't repair. But they never have the need to buy food and water's always at the nearest well. Sounds like everything's all packaged up.
I'm afraid however that you'll be sorely disappointed with way hunt changes if you are so dependant on it now. First off, you will only be able to hunt mobs that move. Sentinal mobs are going to be virtually unhuntable. Why? They never move, and something that never moves, never leaves tracks in the room for you to pick up a hunt trail on.
But players move, don't they? Sure they do, but have they moved through the room you're in in the past 12 ticks or so? I mean, tracks can vanish after a while...
Frankly, I think the skill req's going up for this is a good idea. Consider yourself the average Joe in RL. You have average perception and all, if you were dropped out in the forest, could you manage to follow a really worn set of tracks to a deer for a quick meal? Maybe maybe not. Not everyone is capable of learning, and not everyone has had the time to hone that skill.
The tradeoffs? I had someone comment as they were chasing my clanned around 'cut that out! I almost hunted you into a deathtrap! that's not fair!'... well under the new code, that won't happen since you will see the actual path they took rather than the shortest path between two points. Hunters will also have other woodland-related skills that will prove very very useful.
No, not everyone will have hunt. Right now the mud is so dependant on hunt that I find it really, really sad. I remember being level 5 or so with my first character, not knowing that hunt existed, and getting thorougly lost nearly everywhere! In fact, my first character didn't have hunt until well into the 40's as far as level goes. What was the result? I can now get darn nearly from any one place on the mud to any other place on the mud in the dark (I don't do well blind, the 'exits' command is still a useful tool =) but I know the areas.
Granted, I use hunt probably as much as anyone else does, but I have characters who have the req's for it but refuse to get it based on principle (EEW! that's a nasty ranger skill!). I won't miss it when it's gone, and I won't be disappointed when not every Joe on the mud can track me down from virtually 5K miles away.
And as for the locate person spell, for a pure mage (and yes *gasp* there ARE some of those around), the mana cost is really a drop in the bucked and can be regained in nearly 1 tick. Oh my, that 75 seconds is SUCH a pain to sit through!
umm, just don't forget what games are about, they're an escape from reality, removing nice features from the mud whether realistic or not isn't going to make the game any more enjoyable.
I think i see where you guys are going with these skill trees, and it all goes back to this mud not being classed, everyone has always been able to do everything, and now this isnt real enough for you
Raising the pre-req's for combat skills will hurt everyone, but as far as I know, it will hurt the current 2nd-circle-cause-from-tara-that can-brew-backstab-kick-bash-headbutt-warcry-flavor-and-what-not types as it is very feasible to make a character like that, with virtually no shortcomings (granted, they do not possess any super-powerful edges either, but the lack of shortcomings itself is a big advantage, imho) I mean, I find it very silly that a person who has supposedly devoted much of his life in magic can be just as devastating in combat as a thief or warrior who spend more time honing and perfecting their skills.
By raising the pre-req, hopefully we will rid of mages that do not have any disadvantage whatsoever against a pure fighter. Hopefully they will only be granted one or two combat skills (maybe more but hopefully not as proficient) to compensate for their power in magic.
Besides, if as many new skills are introduced as promised, even by maximizing one stat, you should have just about enough options in a pk-bout as you do now.
Oh yeah, regarding more restrictions on hometowns--i personally think that was probably the worst idea there ever was, as you would be choosing classes by choosing your hometown. The idea of a hometown having restricted access to stuff is already very against classlessness (didnt we talk about this before?) and i think the best way for hometown restrictions is to have proficiency on some skills go up faster, degenerate faster, and whatnot, with only one skill or so available (preferrably for any stat that is maximized) to add flavor to the character that hails from that hometown, when compared to somebody else with exact same stats and another hometown.
Currently, the intent is for hunt to be redesigned in such a manner that you can only track people who have actually passed through the room you start to check the trail in. Yes, this removes a major standard feature found on most muds, which is the extreme-long-range ability to locate a creature even if you have not seen it before. But hunt is considered indispensable here, and really should not be; on most classed muds, hunt is reserved to a ranger class--heck, a few years ago, few muds HAD it at all--and everyone gets by just fine with mapping and other methods.
Beam said, "I think I see where you guys are going with skill trees, and it all goes back to this mud not being classed, everyone has always been able to do everything, and now this is not real enough for you." The fact is that everyone has NOT always been able to do everything, but we sure have slipped into that mold in the last year. Which is a shame, as it reduces the variety of characters that can be played, as Beam said in a previous post. The intent was always "jack of all trades but master of none", but most people currently master many trades. So the skill trees are not a change in design philosophy, but rather an attempt to make the original design finally come true.
I LOVE Haul's idea about removing hometown restrictions and having them affect atrophy and learning rates. We'll be looking into how feasible it is. The main problem I foresee is that magic makes very specific use of the hometowns, and it could create some major imbalances to suddenly switch over in that way... dunno, but yu can be sure that we will look at it!
Again--relax about skill pre-reqs. In the end, the PLAYERS will have the final say about them during the playtest period.
Belmat, the Rivan Sorcerer that can walk from Agrabah to Tara in the dark
This is not to say that said games are not fun--countless pk-only muds have thrived on having play of ONLY that type. But it does tend to overwhelm the other methods of playing a pkill-enabled character. In the last few days in the context of the newbie-helping discussions, the factor of "I can't help newbies because I am liable to be attacked at any time" has come up on several occasions; this is a sign of a pkill culture that doesn't really fit with the rest of the mud very well, IMHO.
Again, I don't dislike the style in itself, I dislike how poorly it fits with the rest of the mud. Maybe two muds is the answer. :P