Discussion Index

On second thought...

1998 Topic Index

Posted by Rufus on 11/05

Well, yesterday I finished up some major modifications and additions to areas. I added in some con weapons and dex weapons with nifty bonuses, added the ability to parry back into the Gae-Bolg, reworked some mob xp so that they were really worth the trouble killing them.

But thinking back on it, I don't think I'll install it.

Surely I was listening only to a minority on making these changes (thanks Rath, for pointing this out), so I'll leave them out for now.

And to address the problems of money for equipment (with the new earrings and such that have gone in) you really have nothing to save for, I have no itention at this point to complete housing. I have no desire to stand up to the amount of 'suggestions' that will result.

This has a firm impact on the ability to form clans on the fly, and I guess that will have to be a consequence. I have not the patience nor the dilligence to deal with the outcome, no desire to make sure everyone gets reimbursed when we decide to yank it because some people think it's unfair that they can't afford it, no real wish to trouble myself to figure out the rest of the code problems associated with making the system completely automated.

As I read my e-mail, I see the two-tick backstab thing is going to be removed again, and I had some nifty suggestions for making shoot more powerful and some modifications to backstab so that the two-tick wait wouldn't be debilitating (such as not setting the alert flag on missed backstabs) but I don't think I'll make them to the coding list. It's not worth my time, and surely, I'm only listening to a minority when I'm making decisions to attempt to make the skills all add up.

Oh and there's a bug in one of the tumble formulas, it doesn't include perception in the tumble formula like it's supposed to. I was going to fix it tonight, but on second thought...

On second thought, I think I'll go read a book. I think I'll work on some code project that doesn't involve Legend. I think I'll set aside the hours upon hours of coding, building, testing, playing, working, studying, and learning that I do for this mud and find something to occupy my time that doesn't piss people off and increase the potential for my ulcers to flare up.

On second thought, that sounds pretty good...


From: Poetry Sunday, November 01, 10:03PM

Rufus, please understand that we were told none of that! We just got a oneline post from ea! that backstab was going to be changed for no apparent reason to once every 2 ticks. Maybe Ea! should be more resposible with how he posts as to not cause the hysteria. With tumble accounting for perc, and no alertness flag on missed backstabs and better shooting, 2 tick backstabs seem more bareable. Now it all makes sense to me, at least.

But simply making backstabs work half as often for no apparent reason is going to upset people. I like what you did so far with the shoot code and I hope you get over the stubbornness and implement whatever you have now.

From: Papercut Monday, November 02, 01:05AM

Surely then, why don't you simply resign your post as an imm, and simply cut ties to this mud, if you prefer that? The fact is, a lot of us here have heard the same story from you for quite some time now. I don't blame you; imming is a thankless task, something you can only do if you care more of the mud than you do about how others perceive you. Not every player will even come close to understanding what efforts you put in, maybe excluding those that know them RL/OOC.

Why? Because, just like Poetry says, all of this happens in the background. Rightfully so, you may think, since it'll ruin the fun for those of us who find it challenging to find out about them by ourselves. But then again, we all know this mud is a giant beta of sorts, planned on public release when all the bugs have been flushed out.

In that sense, every one of the players here are beta testers, and some of us are more aware of that than others. We understand changes must be made, and we toil along in the imperfect system because we also care about this mud.

However, we also have a perspective that is untainted by the knowledge you as imm's hold. We know what it is like to be a player and only a player, and lacking that insight an imm has, it is our primary resource upon which imm's can and should draw upon to make this place user-friendly and fun.

Not all of us are as hand-picked like the staff, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when the majority of us are sour grapes, bitter and whiny to the end. But there are some of us who care, who would like to see this mud balanced, and who would ultimately like to enjoy the experience here.

If you keep witholding the planned changes, whatever that comes to mind, and the reasonings behind them from players, don't expect us to understand and see them as doing us any good. This discussion board, as much as it may seem like a discussion board, is nothing but a REACTION board, and reactions are what they are.

Given the seeming care that each change must be given before its fruition, i don't think it'll be too hard to entertain them if the changes were brought up, to see what the player's reaction to those would be. I'm sure each of the coding changes must have pre-alpha, alpha, and beta stages before they're implemented, so there's plenty of time and room for not just feedback, but a preview and sampling.

I personally am fed up with imms whining that players are ungrateful. How do you expect them to be, when you fling changes without rhyme or reason given, and respond to the reactions as if they didn't matter? Not in one response of any change so far do i EVER recall things such as "that was brought up by imm such-and-so as well, but we decided.." or "we did think about that, but.." or "this was decided because.."

Even after all this brew-ha-ha over backstab, i have yet to hear the exact reasoning as to why the thought was entertained in the first place. We are not immortals, we are not omniscient, and lacking any sort of reasoning on your part, some of us will just assume that you acted blindly.


From: Arsene Monday, November 02, 10:07AM

None of this gets mentioned at your Q and As, frankly no one usually shows up and stays who knows whats going on and can talk about it. And papercut is right, it seems lieka fly by night operation here now. Not to mention how many times I've heard the no major code changes till trees put out when changes are asked for, then all of a sudden new and unexpected changes happen.

Why not use the coding board to post weekly or so about whats on the table in temrs of code changes, and allow for player input.

You may playtest these changes some , a lot , or whatnot, but real mud experience and input from people who play coudl be Very useful. Its kinda like trying to backcheck your code for mistakes, you only see what you want to see, while an objective person(one not involved with the theory) can pick out points that will cause problems. It doesnt hurt to ask the people who continually play and test things out with NO knowledge of the code.

From: LadyAce Monday, November 02, 11:22AM

Some comments on the posts above...

1 -- 95% of all Q & A sessions are run by me and Ea. If you want to hear an explanation of a coding change, come to the Q & A session. Or ask.

2 -- As far as the reasoning behind the change to backstab....which is not going in right yet, but is still in line to go in soon. It was pointed out to the coding staff that snipers were able to backstab, flee, and then snipe. Since backstab has a special bonus based on it being used to initiate fights, backstab/flee/snipe was judged to be too overpowering. The alertness flag change was designed to counteract that.

While I find it admirable that players put a great deal of thought into their posts on this board, with strong arguments and comments, I suggest that you consider discussing the issue with the immortals who can answer questions immediately, whenever that is possible.


From: Deirdre Monday, November 02, 12:09PM

Please also realize that there are plenty of players here that do appreciate the jobs that the imms do. We may not always be vocal about it, but we are here.


From: Papercut Monday, November 02, 04:36PM

It seems that you missed one of my main points on the post. Discussion or Q & A or even asking an imm, that's all a REACTION. Those of us that are not happy about the changes are not just unhappy about the seeming absurdity of the changes, but more of changes that seem to be made out of nowhere. I want to hear of changes when they're being considered, not after they've been coded. Much more efficient way to do business, since right now, as minimal as it maybe regarding the amount of work put into the recoding of backstab, it is being delayed simply because there were points that failed to surface on discussions among imms.

Also, as far as a para and a snipe go, here are my thoughts on that:

Whoever that employs that strategy in pk, must be fairly sure of himself to actually think of wasting a para bs on a chance that he/she may snipe. Or simply have no idea in general. The amount of damage a sniper can do on a para backstab is 200 pts minimum and if the sniper has enough time to set up 5 aims during the para, the opponent is effectively dead (5 aims, 5 rounds.. that's at least 2 more backstabs--in my case, upwards of 400pts including the first backstab).

I have never encountered a sniper who actually set up a shot after a para, and imho, it just goes to show how distant the thoughts entertained by those who make changes and those who participate in the system differ.


From: Cianor Monday, November 02, 05:14PM

Some of us are not in a time zone that allows us to get to the Q and A sessions. This board is the only way we can find out about queries we have and things.

In terms of Rufus's post, well, what can I say. I have enough characters now that almost any change made will benefit some, and disadvantage others. In terms of the global changes..exp scale being the biggest, I like it. I'm not going to gush on because most people consider that to be sucking up to the imms and I have no idea on their opinion with it. All I can say is that I think things are better than they were 2 years ago. 15 round stuns are gone, there is more gear, and way more strategy available. Roll on the changes I say.

The only other thing that I would add is related to what I said before. Almost any change will disadvantage someone. I almost expect those people to whine, and I would certainly expect the imms to expect someone to speak out. After all, it goes with the territory.


From: Oompa Monday, November 02, 05:29PM

You're right, almost any change will disadvantage someone which

From: LadyAce Monday, November 02, 05:06PM

In response to Papercut:

It is simply not possible for you to hear about all changes before they are coded. Some changes, which coders work on over a matter or days or weeks or months, are developed with accompanying faqs and goals and plans. And some of them take 2 seconds.

Perhaps the organizational and bureaucratic methods of the immortal staff don't interest you, but let me tell you that if a coder, or a builder for that matter, had to run every single thing they want to do past the staff before it could go in, nothing would ever get done. And that's a committee of 15 or so. How much worse a committee of 600+ would be! For a change tha t takes two seconds to write, why would a coder spend hours and hours of time explaining the change before they feel like they're allowed to go and actually type in a few lines of code? They generally run it by a few peopl e to get other thoughts, code it, test it, post to the other coders about it, wait a few days, post to the imm staff about it, wait a few more days, post to the mortals about it, wait, put it in.

In the case of this particular change, here's what happened...

- Five or six players complained to Ea! that backstab-flee-shoot was overpowered.

- Ea looked at the problem, and agreed. He made the change.

- That same day, an imm noticed the problem while morting, and reported it. This reinforced the idea that the change was a good idea.

At the same time, Ea also responded to the 5 or 6 players who complained about bash by applying the damcap before the 70% instead of after. (from reports thus far, this change may be insufficient, but don't say we don't listen just because we don't get it right the first time)

Is this an example of imms that play and imms that work being a different set? Hardly. The most active imms on this mud are also the most active players, almost across the board, in every department. I know for certain that the department heads in particular spend a great deal of time playing their mortal characters, and I see the comment on imm channels very frequently 'Off to mort, bye' and 'I noticed this problem while I was morting...'

Whether you want to believe it or not, fight system changes are heavily, heavily based on player comments. Not one player or a set of our 'mort favorites' (I'd argue that we don't play favorites, but that's a separate discussion). I'm talking between 5 and 20 players, who then either show us the problem, or we then go experience it for ourselves. And if you're in the set of people who only react to changes, rather than commenting on them after the fact, if you've been bothered by a balance issue and didn't bother to bring it up, then you have only yourself to blame.

Don't tell me that we don't listen to your ideas, go look at the board and count up the number of changes listed, multiply the number by five, an d you'll see how many ideas we've listened to and acted on in the last week. Maybe your favorite change isn't listed. Maybe we heard your idea an d even followed up on it but due to volume or the phase of the moon or whatever, we didn't get anywhere with it. Then ask about it again. And if you're getting a negative reaction, ask why. If it seems like we're biased against you, ask if that's the case. More often than not, you will find that it's your attitude we're reacting to, not some mental database of all your characters and their life histories.

At any rate, I hope this sheds some light on the issue at hand. If you have a suggestion on a way to fix the backstab/flee/shoot problem, other than the one which Ea thought of, then please feel free to suggest it.

Love to all,


From: Oompa Monday, November 02, 05:30PM

Hmm.. Zmud crashed, anyway.

You're right, almost any change will disadvantage someone which along with the drastic change to the speed at one can level a new character adds to the argument that the current 1 clanned only arrangement should be looked into again.

I wouldn't mind being unclanned for a whole month if I could archive a clanned to make way for another to adjust to the most recent changes. So often these changes have been beyond what one may find an acceptable reduction in ability but lead many to perma and start over to remain competitive.

Sure that may seem silly to some but many keen pkillers have been doing that over the years and now it's just not viable.

Without a change to the clan system, many are going to be complaining louder than ever before and some may well just give up and quit. (the change in the xp scale is probably enough for some already)

From: Oompa Monday, November 02, 05:50PM

In response to LadyAce.. Would you consider throwing ideas for changes that may be a long way off on to the board?

Surely that'd reveal any problems that may be overlooked by just a few and most likely enhance what would have been. It'd probably even save you time in the end..

I see only one problem with this however and it probably should have been brought up in the past..

I can imagine the motivation behind most of the imms work is being able to present "their" masterpiece of creativity and hope for a positive response. Once deligated, where's the motivation?

I guess it depends whether the goal is personal satisfaction

From: Deirdre Monday, November 02, 06:41PM

Just to continue my previous append further, the fact that those of us who do appreciate what the imms do, and who are willing to give new change a chance before bitching about them aren't always the most vocal players here doesn't mean we don't exist. Quite the opposite-I think that the fact that the majority of players here tend to keep quiet about new changes is a testament to the fact that most of us do enjoy this mud, and do appreciate the work that the imms do. I think the player base here, for the most part, isn't an especially bitchy, whiny one when it comes to changes. The majority of bitching about changes tends to come from the same people, no matter what the change is. Please note that I'm deliberately distinguishing "whining" from "criticism." There's a huge difference. The first is annoying and spammy and serves no real purpose, while the second can make everyone's time here a lot more fun. For an example of what I consider good, constructive criticism, I'll use Papercut's post "Snipers". While I don't agree with all of it, it seems like a lot of thought went into it. It's definitely -not- something he dashed off in a hissy fit, damning the new changes and the imms that made them.

I also think that the majority of code changes which get put in are put in without much criticism. For example, has anyone complained about the change lowering the cost of damage spells? As another example, I've not heard -one- person complaining about the new time system and non-tick based regen rates.

Yes, there are whiners here. The fact that they might be the most vocal players here shouldn't be construed to mean that they're in the majority.


From: Poetry Monday, November 02, 07:07PM

In response to LadyAce,

So 5 or 6 people complained that backstab flee shoot, and you changed it based on that? What perc skills are there? backstab, and shoot.

Why not listen to the 20 people that posted that your change to backstab is ridicules instead of listening to the 5 people that complained about it? And Id like to say that I agree with Papercut that fleeing after a parabackstab to try a snipe is the most ridicules thing. And I doubt that any sane sniper ever tried it. In fact, fleeing after a backstab and re-entering to backstab again is probably a tactic that takes the most skill for any fighter on legend. Any moron can type bash and rely on the code to do some damage. Fleeing and finding your way back takes knowledge of the mud, and skill. You have to know where you are, process what direction you fleed to, and move fast before you lose the chance. Only the best fighters can pull it off successfully.

And what kind of people complained of backstab flee shoot? What else can a sniper do? DEX PERC Perc is backstab and shoot, and Dex is flee. Listen to me, listen to Papercut. Dont listen to wimpy pkillers that fear anything that can kill them. Those are the 5 or 6 that complained. You you didnt hear me complaining about being bait for every type of attack until you threaten to HALF my only special that does damage.

Any pkiller that a good PLAYER makes is going to be hard to kill. Dont confuse good players with overpowered skills.

I take back all I said. I want my backstab. I dont even care for the fact that perc doesnt calculate in tumble. Tumble has always sucked for me and I never complained. I worked around it. Tell those 5 or 6 players to work around it, and keep the 20 others that posted happy.

I swear, you imms just dont understand the meaning of balance. Its so delicate you have no idea. You make a sniper try a few backstabs and then change something drastic. I have never before been so shocked by the naivity of an imm coder. Sorry, I wish I had good things to say. But this change is simply no good.

Poetry Ramona

From: Danar Monday, November 02, 10:07PM

Just wanted to note that if I had to take the amount of crap I have seen the immortals, and especially the department heads, take on a regular basis from the players, I would no longer be here; nor, I suspect, would many of the people who eagerly supply this crap.


From: Papercut Monday, November 02, 11:08PM

In PK, it pays to make sure you are listening to the right ppl. What defines that? I would personally say those that have been active for a while, those that are active now, those that have tried enough char types, and those with the frame of mind to stick around with his/her type even when things are rough.

Those that you probably should listen to with skepticism are those who created their chars because everyone else told them to, cuz they saw others being effective with them, etc.

As little as i believe in actual 'skill,' i do believe that the planning and knowledge of the player counts for a lot in pk, and what counts more, in my opinion, is their mindset.

In my view, there's only two types in pk. Those that seek, and those that hide. Seekers are those that derive most of their enjoyment from pkill, and invest the most time actually killing. Those that hide, perpetually hi de until one day they break their self-imposed shell and find out that the tables turn as soon as you become more active. Comments from those that haven't broken this shell stem from paranoia. Of course their points are valid to a limited degree--whatever they see that kills them most will register in their mind as being overly powerful, because they have made chars that others told them would be competitive, but keep getting killed without seemingly doing much harm.

Unlike the popular belief, the hunters are more or less independent of the changes. They complain like anyone else when they have to work around new problems, but being hunters, they will find ways to get to the prey. They will simply draw much more from the mud instead of their chars to bring their characters up to par.

This is why certain chars will do well in a clean-room environment, such as the pk tourney. The environment is controlled, the knowledge of the player minimized. Nothing to draw upon but your character. Also, it helps to take away the prey mentality from some players, making a better show as to which chars are actually overpowered in the pure sense.

I can almost guarantee you that it won't be a sniper char that will win in the heavyweight system, unless he/she is blessed with some incredible string of luck. Instead, chances are, it will be a mage-fighter that will prevail, because they are the most powerful chartypes in the mud.

To further prove my point, i could compare fighting, say, Kurik and Nothin g. On the surface, they are almost identical characters, and both are quite deadly for a sniper to fight against if properly employed. Yet, if you as Kurik, snipers will be so darn powerful that they have to be reduced. Ask Nothing, you'd probably get something close to sympathy for the poor little fellas :P

I honestly don't know which 5 or 6, or which imm that morted that proposed this problem. Asking snipers around, i've heard, and know, from experience that targets will wake up by the 3rd or 4th aim at best. And none i've talked to seemed to think it was anywhere close to a smart idea shooting the stunned person instead of fleeing and backstabbing them.

I have pk'd in this past year so much that I did develop a huge ego in this past year. I admit that, but I also still remember what it was that divided that line. It's not that i've suddenly become privvy to the secret vaults of pk; my knowledge of pk remains largely unchanged, if not actually decreased since the new changes that went in. But I did accumulate quite of bit of experience pitting char types against each other, unclanned 3 pkers this year each time clanning something fairly different from the one before. I've met chars that didn't play anywhere NEAR to their potential, and chars that were milked beyond me to become more competitive than i would have imagined on a piece of paper. The player makes a huge difference simply because of his attitude, and if you aren't listening to the hunters, you will downgrade every char type the hunters play, until only the prey's chartype remains. And then, we'd have another cookie-cutter mud like before.


From: Prospero Tuesday, November 03, 03:32PM

Yeah listen, I play a clanned sniper, from old days of ID to the current one of whatever, things have flowed from good to bad in terms of balance, but NEVER have snipers been omnipotent, or overpowered. Even now, talking with people, a sniper is maybe 3rd or 4th on the list of what is the 'best' pkiller.

Most of these complaints are coming from people who arent lvl 50, or are on their first pkiller. There are right now, at least 15 different types of characters that could pkill successfully(I gor bored and started putting all the ideas of stat combos on paper).

The key to a sniper right now is knowing you are dependant on getting a good backstab in, taking shot at a stagger shot if that doesnt then stay out of the fight till it ticks

Thats about all you can do really, you cant tank people down with kick and choke is ludicrous vs a lot of other chars, so they require a para. Its the responsibility of the opponent to realize hwo to combat a sniper for their char type, and everyoen has a goo sniper attack.

From: Payne Thursday, November 05, 07:50PM

i still think my solution works best, when outmatched and outclassed... bring an equalizer. this comes in the form of various wands, poultices invis healers, or a wolfpack partner :)



1998 Topic Index