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On points from Medevia

1999 Topic Index

Posted by Rufus on 01/12

Okay, T-bone hits on some basic game design principles that make legend very different from other muds... I'll go at them point by point... One being NO WAITING, shops open all hours, regen to full in no time, fast repop times on mobs, no WAITING quests etc. In every town there is at least one shop with most necessary items that is open 24/7. Not all shops will follow this, for the sheer fact that legend does attempt some movement towards realism (not in all aspects, but in some). Personally, I'm not happy with the repop times on here, and I've been looking into ways of correcting this in a logical manner (You have to understand, resets are a pain to deal with, and there's TONS of them, and... not all mobs use the reset table to reload...) And quests that wait here are few (there's three, maybe four) and some of those have very good reasons (the quest requres sneaking in at night, it takes time to make a sword, etc). As much as waiting through the beowulf quest is a pain, it would not be nearly the epic quest it is without the waiting periods. As far as regen, legend is a slower paced mud than most, and a lot of that has to do with pkill and the average damage things do. On many diku variants, players able to do hundreds, even thousands of damage a round is not unheard of. That would destroy the game balance we have here entirely. Regenning based upon actual time rather than relative time to the numbers we use would be suicide. As a side note, however, I did increase regen rates once, and I'm still not happy with them. I agree that waiting too long is boring, however, if you make regen happen too quickly, then it eliminates the need for healer types in all but a select VERY few areas of the mud. In comparison to most muds I play, Legend is very docile. You can walk to 90% of the rooms freely without being attacked, etc. The number is nearly opposite on most muds. You can read news and use chat channels while sleeping even though regen is super fast anyway. Reading generic boards from anywhere will be reconsidered when we rewrite the board files. It has been discussed heavily in the past, and is just not terribly possible with the board/note system we have now. Identify is free in donation rooms & for spellcasters and cheap for other classes.. It must put people off coming from other MUDs not being able to find out whether what you're wearing is worth peeing on til lvl 10. Very little gear on legend is detrimental, which is not the case I find on other muds. Another part of legend's basic design is that there is a mystery to the game itself (those of you who are hardcore paper RPG fans might appreciate that fact more than others, however). Hence we do not readily give ample information of exact numbers and statistics of items in the game. They are there for discovery as well as for increase in abilities of the wearers. MOST eq on mobs is at least worth something to someone. More areas aren't needed to increase the amount of useable eq here. MOST eq on mobs is useful to SOMEONE here. A small rent cloak that gives a few AC points is a good item for a newbie. Again, this reflects upon the point of how legend is designed from a balance standpoint. We have limits based on objects and also limits based on logical relations of objects to their stats. As far as the second sentence above, I'm not quite sure I'm parsing it correctly, so I'll pass on that for now... (more in the append)

From: Rufus Monday, January 11, 10:16PM

There's plenty of useful wands, staffs, potions, scrolls etc, they're cheap and you're not limited to just a few as you are here because of rent. Again, we have logical restrictions placed upon such objects. Legend's game design basis lies primarily in history, not in fantasy where such items are more apt to be found in abundance. As far as the rent, that is something I will be addressing in the near future with the builders because I feel too that the rent of such items is a bit steep at the moment. No xp loss from death! Yes you heard right, why should your poor link or circumstance set you back an hour or 2 after all. You do however get turned into a zombie and need to wait 10 mins before praying at an altar will restore you. Okay, another game design perspective. Legend is not that dangerous. In general, if you lose link, you're not going to die. Even if you do, a couple hour setback isn't really that harsh. Death on legend is SUPPOSED to be a penalty and stands that way from a game design perspective. It is one of the few penalties we actually have here. Items aren't left on your corpse either, they're restored when you are. A much better system IMO. That is one of only a couple muds I know that does this. Most either leave them on your corpse or the mobs loot them. I think Legend strikes a balance, considering 90% of the time you can recover your eq yourself, without assistance. Everyone is able to pkill but only in certain areas, most are no pkill, others are NPK and then there's CPK. If you get killed in NPK, you lose nothing and are pretty much were you were b4 dying only transfered out and requiring a heal. CPK is more like what we have here, I haven't even visited such zones and probably won't til I can hold my own. Not going to happen. One of the many things that makes legend unique is the way it handles clans and pkill. It's a legacy carried over from Carnage and one that allows Legend's other capacities (roleplaying, etc) to flourish within a logical boundary. Just one more for now, and the most important to me.. Not being able to screw up your character by wasting prac points! Considering how many you get (54? 53? one of the two, it's late) screwing up a few times on your first char isn't going to be entirely detrimental. A certain rare item may be found which loads randomly on any mob in the game may be offered at a place for prac points. You may also venture into the catacombs and collect eggs which will get you a lesser amount of pracs but are also required for multiclassing which in turn keeps the economy rolling as they fetch high prices along with other randomly loaded items. One goal of legend is to create an economy that is interractive not just supportive. The econonmy of which you speak in these few lines is just the latter... it's entirely player sided with no interaction in the world itself. Also, you hit on something that basically separates legend from many other muds. It's unclassed, and will become moreso with skilltrees. Multiclassing in a discussion on legend has no place, nor any reference. Don't get me wrong, I've played medivia (medevia? it's late) before and I liked the game system. It has its good points and some of the theories behind them may be incorporated into what we have here, however the implemenation and basis from which they come on a game design perspective are entirely different, so different, in fact, that if we were to copy them verbatim, we'd likely destroy this system. They're nice features in a game that is designed to support those features. Unfortunately, the direction legend is heading in has promise in offering up a broader spectrum of things to offer, and a game design which we hope will be revolutionary and fun, but most important, very, very different. Hope this clarifies at least my thinkings on some of the above items. Again, I don't totally disagree with all of T-Bone's points, however, I can see their application in certain systems and not in others. The last thing I would ever like to see sacrificed is anything that makes legend unique, be it the hometown/ axiom concept, the non-centralized mud basis, the superior writing, the vast depth and detail of descriptions, or the logic by which it is all laid out, or the pace which we achive by not going overboard with numbers... It's not a perfect system, yet... by any stretch of the imagination, and yes, we're entering basically the fifth year of Beta testing. So expect, until we officially release LegendMUD 4.0 (skilltrees, etc), it probably won't be as polished as some muds who claim high playercounts. -Ruf

From: Adolfus Monday, January 11, 10:38PM

I agree with just about everything you say Rufus, and can see your point of view in the others. I see more subtle things that legend could possibly learn from medievia. No waiting, I agree that it would be hard to change the wait states on even regen on legend. What could be done is if not allow one to speak on channels while asleep, it could be made that you could hear them anyway. Also you can recieve tells there while asleep. Which may sound silly, but when you consider you shouldn't be able to tell anyone in the first place...they actually call it telepathing there, which makes more sense overall I think, not counting how everyone would be telepaths. Along the same lines as wait states and being able to do high damage etc, and no xp loss from death. Hopefully legend can become a bit more dangerous, where dying is a more regular occurence, and mobs come after you etc, along with more mobs with improved AI like the dhurtah. The amount of xp to level could also be raised a great deal. I have no problem with leveling being extremely hard to do, as long as the mobs are fun to kill and challenging. Making it much harder to level and making the mobs more powerful, would allow a greater variety of other things, such as usable staves potions scrolls and spells. Spells like charm animal or charm person, wands sold in stores with these spells on them etc. In my opinion legend has never been very hard to play after you get past the learning curve. ie in the old days after you figured out what eq to get and actually got it, playing a dex char was simple. Now its very possible to play con and str chars were before it was extremely difficult. The main difficulty in legend is the first time through, learning who teaches what skill and what spell, theres room to raise the difficulty if it would improve gameplay and add a few more options. This would allow lower wait states, at least in regen, basically now if you got the heals, theres not much stopping you from killing anything. Example, green potions on medievia are in abundance, you can buy them in backpacks on auction 74 at a time, for a couple thousand coins, and they do around 30 hp heals, but you can only quaff one each fight round. As for identify on eq, I like the system ok here, its nice to have a learning curve, where newbies arent handed everything, but you must also realize that legend is more complicated eq wise than most muds also. Not only do you need to get good ac damroll and hitroll, you must worry about raising your fight stat and manipulating other stats around a bit. I think this is what most people are objecting too when they say there isn't enuf +5 stat eq. Raising your stats is hard and there arent many eq choices compared to other muds, Even if every piece of eq in the game was +5 stat, there could still be a huge variety in eq. While this would be vastly different it would allow builders to add other things to eq, like protection from fire, protect from pierce etc, not that there arent these things now, but they are mostly unusable. Any eq that isn't +5 is a big decision to decide to use, this just isn't the case on other muds and theres more variety because of it. Not really asking for +10damroll swords or anything, hrm well I won't make an example I figure you know what kinda eq is possible, its just that because of rent costs and the need to have +5 stat its usually unusable here. Pk Legend wouldn't have to be pk for everyone, leaving the choice to enable the same, it could be made where most of legend is neutral pk, where you keep your stuff and just need to heal, and only a few areas are chaos pk, where your stuff is left with your corpse. (not sure exactly how they do it there) Also the majority of legend could be made no pk, and only some areas made npk and cpk, this would broaden legend a great deal I think in terms of how many ppl would be active in pkill. Having areas where one could be save from pkill totally would get more ppl to enable, having npk areas would get more ppl actually pkilling, and cpk would satisfy those types that would actually like to loot a corpse when they killed someone, without making everyone a target. Its a very elegant solution imo. I think its important when looking at other muds, not to look to changing the system carte blanc over to something like medievia, but to pick and choose what could help legend out. One key to the npk and cpk areas on med is that they are some of the nicer or more dangerous areas with more of the more desirable eq in them. SL would be a prime canditate for cpk. All the decent xp areas in indust would be good canditates for npk. Of all the things on medievia I think the way they do pk has the most promise to help legend out. Adolfus/Beam

From: Rufus Monday, January 11, 11:16PM

The main logical problem with nopk, pk and cpk 'zones' (legend doesn't have 'zones' btw) is that if I step into this room I can kill you, I step out, I can't. I don't think that's a leap of logic this system is willing to take.

From: Adolfus Monday, January 11, 11:29PM

One could also argue, that having one person in your level range you can kill and another person in the room you cant kill is a leap of logic also. Pkill definately is super hard to manage once again I will give this link to a good article about pkill. imaginaryrealities.imaginary.com/volume1/issue2/beyond_pk.html Also its easy to find reasons not to do something, specially if there the type where you say that just wouldn't seem right in our system. Actually I think it would fix all problems with pkill here, having no pk zones would allow all to enable, having npk zones would give ppl a place to pk for no costs, ie no eq loss no xp loss, and cpk could cost full loss of xp same as dying to mobs and loss of eq. Just think ppl could rp being bandits and ambush ppl in npk areas and the only hard feelings there should be are that the victims char actually died, which does tend to piss some ppl off even if they dont lose anything but a bit of time. I urge you to look hard and see if you can find any merit in this way of doing things Rufus. And I must say your being very reasonable discussing this with us, and its commendable, and all anyone can ask for really, is for their ideas to get a fair shake

From: Papercut Monday, January 11, 11:45PM

cpk and npk and stuff, where it's one room and then not the other.. are pretty much like safe rooms imho, just in a much larger scale. the thing with zones is that it divides ppl into the city slickers and the adventurers :p. would be interesting tho, to have an experimental area where everyone becomes enabled upon entering :p

From: Adolfus Monday, January 11, 11:51PM

I agree thats just what it is, most of the mud would be a safe room, and other small areas could be npk and others cpk. Nothing could happen to you unless you went in these areas, and even if you went in an npk area there would be nothing to lose except a little face maybe. And medievia even makes you do a quit y type of thing before entering cpk where you have to type yes, so there wouldnt be any problems where someone could say, oh i was minding my business and so and so killed me for no reason. Also if you consider how legend is mob wise we are very much in a type of system that is similar to it now. If your not pkill enabled on legend and know the areas you are safe, and remain safe until you decide to go into a dangerous place. This is very much like life, you would have an idea when you were entering a nonsafe area, and most of the time probably nothing would happen but there would be a risk involved in going into certain areas. Now that article goes into it in detail, but some muds do a justice code etc, with mobs patrolling the towns, etc. It could be made where only the towns and close surrounding areas were no pkill or npk, and the very dangerous off the beaten path type places could be cpk. If it would be better to have all rooms except the safe rooms there are now be npk and only a select few areas be cpk, then that would be an improvement imo also.

From: T-Bone Tuesday, January 12, 02:23AM

You make valid points but it's easy to find a reason not to do something. I'd be more inclined to implement changes where the good points outweigh the "possibly" negative else very little would get done.

From: T-Bone Tuesday, January 12, 10:29AM

You mentioned keeping regen rates slow to keep healers useful yet other MUDs seem to do manage both fast regen rates and healers being desirable in groups? One problem here is that healers that don't spam aren't self sufficient enough but that alone isn't enough to keep regen rates as they are considering the above. Hmm, druid types need shapechange & a portal type spell to get groups around the MUD quick'n easy. Perhaps players would be more helpful if one could pop from London to Tara with such a spell. I also think MacDonald had a good point in a previous post in more mobs should hunt, perhaps make it the default requiring you to blind a mob to prevent it hunting. Mmm, going off topic again.

From: Ronnie Tuesday, January 12, 03:32PM

An idea. Since there is already a certain island on the mud that is a total safe zone, from what someone told me, I hanvt had the oppurtunity to test it myself, why not just one place set aside where anyone could kill anyone else? The challenge wood itself is a good idea, but maybe this feature could make the place itself more intresting?

From: Adolfus Tuesday, January 12, 07:47PM

I think originally, correct me if im wrong, that the challenge wood was gonna be an arena where one could use the feature seen at the last pkill tourney where all could watch the fights. And at least for a while it was considered for it to cost no xp loss, or possibly less xp loss for clanned than nonclanned. But that somewhere along the way this idea was set aside or discarded.


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