Author Topic: Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills  (Read 12059 times)

LoD

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Interpretation.
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2003, 10:58:11 PM »
Carnage, there are a few things I'll help clear up from my last post.

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Maybe you're slightly mistaken and thinking I'm using the same NPCs over and over. I'm not. You should explore more if you think only a small group uses that ability.


If you read my words, you'd have noticed that I mentioned other groups in the world using the same script we were discussing.  The point attached to the paragraph dealing with these scripted menaces is that they are few and far between.  That they are not 'around every corner' waiting to kill every newbie that doesn't know where they are headed.  This said, I don't believe that their presence is so gross that it unbalances the game, especially with regard to PC vs. NPC ability.

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I'm sure that if I played the game for 7+ years ... I'd call it balanced too, since one or two NPCs are the only thing that would pose a -remote- threat. Those are the ones with instant-kill scripts that I won't name. A mobile death trap.


What do you think I did for those 7+ years.  Could it be...learn?  Trial and error?  Mapping?  Time well spent learning my environment through both death and life until I had a reasonable understanding of my surroundings, their dangers and importance.  The game has a tremendous amount of history, culture, rules and documentation that this time will help cultivate and develop.  To try and jump feet first into Armageddon and expect to have even an inkling of what is going on, much less how to survive its complicated and multiple levels of danger, is never going to happen.

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Unless I'm mistaken, you're trying to say that difficulty = fun. That has to be one of the most naieve things I've ever heard.


You are mistaken.  Again, what I said was that these scripts are in the game to enforce a consequence to the character's choice to go there.  They are along the same line of thinking as...if you wander the wrong neighborhood in Chicago, you can end up dead.  If you're a female wandering in a dark park late at night, there is the potential for rape.  These situations (manifested by the AI scripted NPC's) are there to accompany bad decisions.  It is -possible- to go in these places, but you must be well prepared to handle the dangers.

And before you retort that these people are placed 'along the common path' or in a 'highly trafficked area' - let me just say that you may or may not be aware of why they are stationed there ICly.

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Like you said, it's a harsh desert world. You pretty much just said Zalanthas isn't fun. Maybe you should follow your own advice and go to www.mudconnector.com <http://www.mudconnector.com> and find a world that is fun for you.


I don't believe he was saying that Zalanthas wasn't fun as a player, Carnage, but that it's a rough life for any character venturing into an area that isn't walled in and relatively safe.

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Actually, your logic is faulty. Players make the characters and design them based on what and where they want to play.


Players also should be making their characters to fit realistically into the game world as they will enter the game world, without a very strong support from the code toward their abilities.  While they may want to play a 'badass loner ranger in the tablelands' - they must understand that there are several IC obstacles and dangers they will be forced to face.  They must also understand there is little room to bitch if one of these AI scripted groups eats them for breakfast if they haven't had sufficient IC and in-game training for how to avoid, combat or escape them.

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In real life, people have always flocked to cities despite the lack of a 'harsh and dangerous' world. How do you explain that? Animals as big as houses don't roam the land anymore. How do you explain New York City and Los Angeles, when the cities are more dangerous than the woods?


His point was in reference to your arguement that because the numbers listed the other night showed most PC's were in a city that players preferred a safe environment or that they are avoiding the desert and its dangers.  People stick to cities because that is where the people are, the businesses, the politics, the jobs, civilization, convenience and a host of other qualities that place us apart from a group of gortok.

People prefer safe environments over dangerous ones?  Hrmmm, who would've ever guessed?  Of course they prefer cities over the desert.  It isn't because they'd all prefer to be roaming the desert, but can't because of the physical and animal dangers there - it's because of all of the contributing factors listed above in ADDITION to the protection offered from stone walls and a couple hundred thousand people.

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Part of my beef against the game is that it's a system that pretty much makes new players sink while the veterans swim.


Sort of like how someone that's played football for 10 years is better than someone who's never played before?  Here's a hint for the rest of your life : That's how life works.

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Considering the game rewards exploration with death most of the time and discourages exploration, many newer players turn to use maps and other OOC spoilers. My underlying point of this whole thread was that the harshness of the world forces people to find other means to learn about the world and until it's changed, people are going to continue doing it.


Whether they choose to turn to OOC spoilers or information or if they choose to organize groups of PC's to travel together for safety or enlist with a clan that does a fair amount of travel is up to them.  Claiming that there is no alternative but to seek these OOC spoilers or maps because the game is too difficult is simply wrong.

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The game is probably one of the most newbie un-friendly games I've ever played. It calls for a steep learning curve and punishes ignorance with swift death.


Armageddon is what it is because of its harshness, complexity and high expectations from its players.  If it was easy for anyone to grasp, it wouldn't be the challenging, deep or intricate world that we players have come to know and love.  There are many ways to learn that don't involve OOC secrets and hidden whispers in AIM corners if players so choose.  Helper players will be more than willing to work with new players that want to make the effort to learn.

Bottom line is that we want players who are willing to push past the difficulty and learn to play the game.  This is entirely possible and to those players that refuse or write us off, I say that is their loss, not the game's.

-LoD

Plazgoth

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2003, 11:03:56 PM »
I am sorry Carnage but I simply must comment on this:

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Telling a person new to the mud that they should play an idiot character who doesn't know his way around the city or which way to hold a sword is probably one of the biggest reasons why Arm has trouble keeping new players. The game is probably one of the most newbie un-friendly games I've ever played. It calls for a steep learning curve and punishes ignorance with swift death.

Who is telling people new to the mud that they should play an idiot character? Most people suggest that newbies join an organization like the Byn, which is extremely newbie friendly. They provide food, water, and things to do for a new player to learn all the wonderful assets Armageddon offers, from the combat code to the emote code. On top of that they offer many chances to explore outside the city. I would agree that the learning curve could be steep, but anyone who is not looking for a challange probably should not be trying to learn Arm. And for your last comment, if you put yourself in the shoes of someone from Zalanthas it makes perfect sence that ignorance is punished with swift death.

Vox

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The sound of one hand smiling
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2003, 03:58:49 PM »
I'm sorry but I have to toss in my two obsidian.  :D

I'd like to commend LoD and Feydakin for their detailed and enlightened responses to Carnage... Honestly, between the two of them and Sanvean there is little else to add.

Why am I posting anything then? A fair question  :wink: I'd like to simply reiterate the conceptual response in other words.

The anger which bubbled forth from Carnage's original post seemed to be that of one who had recently met their fate at the hands of an NPC. Something we have all experienced at least once in our history, and for those recently joining us simply know that your time will come.  :twisted: So, the frustration of a lost character is something we can all relate with and by that token I think everyone reading this thread can in some small way empathize with Carnage. The key here is to not allow our frustration and mourning to find inappropriate expression; i.e. blind rage directed towards the existential world of NPC motivation and ability.

I say this is inappropriate because to allow this is to forget several important facets regarding NPCs.  The most important facet here is that every NPC has a background, just like your character. Contained within that background are the sparkling gems of a mysterious life which most PCs will never see.. Nor should they in general.  For example, there is an NPC in the 'rinth, I'll not tell you exactly who it is, but part of their background is that they used to be a gladiator... Let those words resonate through your mind a little.. 'used to be a gladiator'. The fact that they are still alive means that they have seen more combat and death in their lives than all of your past characters put together.  Now, working with this example let us then examine your current PC who runs into this 'ex-gladiator' in a dark alley somwhere...  You type score and see that you have a little over two days logged onto your character... This will coincide with less than a month of IC game life... So, even if your character happens to be a warrior who trained every day for that 'less than one month' time frame would it be reasonable to assume he would be able to stand up to a seasoned veteran of the Allanaki Arena? Do the math.

I think we all tend to forget that 2 days of playing time... or even 6 days of playing time... is not enough to turn you into a well-oiled machine of death.  Why? Because we're still talking about less than a year of actual IC game time.  Now, it's obvious that not every NPC is an ex-gladiator who could kill you with their pinky finger from the next room, and Kurano illustrated that very nicely. He didn't have to do that for us, but it offers yet another example of the care and time the staff put into not allowing our busy little  minds to become disillusioned.

It's all about perspective... How quick is too quick to recollect a weapon in a fight for one's life?  Not quick enough if you ask me.  More importantly, if your character was good enough with disarm, he could knock his opponent's weapon into the next room.  What does that tell us? Well, LoD said it best.. 'No NPC is unbeatable'.  Does this mean your 3 day old warrior will destroy the toothless tregil standing before you? Well, yes of course.. How about the razor-toothed tembo who just hunted you down because its a fierce and predatory animal? Well, probably not.  

Perspective. When should a warrior feel confidant enough to face a lone gith in the sands?  The answer should be a resounding "NEVER" because to feel that way is to assume there aren't three other gith hiding behind the dune waiting to jump you.. Will a 20 day old warrior be able to hold his own against a gith or two... Most likely. Does that mean he can lumber across the wilderness without fear? NOPE.  The most powerful warriors ARE the most powerful warriors because they CHOOSE their battles and LEARN from their defeats AND stay alive to fight again.

Jeez, this is turning into a way more than two 'sid.  :shock:  heh, well... Even though my post has become somewhat verbose, the purpose of it is to illustrate the concepts already presented in other words in the hope that they will allow those who feel the same as Carnage a different way of seeing things.

I'll end by offering another 'rinth example as that is the place focused upon in Carnage's original post.  I had a 20+ day old pick pocket who spent some time in the Byn and survived a number of fights in the 'rinth through luck and quick-thinking.  He was a decent scrapper who could hold is own in most fights.  However, he was killed by a group of NPC thugs who blocked off the alleyway while another of their number slid an obsidian dagger into his ribs. I think I managed one emote and a failed flee before the three other NPCs assisted the backstabber and I was cut down in a bloody mess.  20+ days invested into that character, he had connections everywhere.. Was I sad? Sure. Was I pissed at the NPCs? Nope. Why? Because Zagren's new 'rinth code is INCREDIBLY realistic... That's how it works realistically... Overwhelming numbers make for a VERY successful gang of muggers. In this case it was 4 on 1, I didn't have a prayer... Was it unfair? Nope.  That's the nature of the 'rinth. You eat or you get eatten.  You wanna live in the 'rinth? Then you better learn how to live with fear. It's as simple as that. And that's how it should be.

The NPC scripts are swift and brutal, yes. Are they unfairly so? No. Why? Because you don't have to play a 'rinth character. Nobody is making you go anywhere that these 'seemingly' ungodly NPCs hang out.  But, if you do decide to try and live there... Don't complain that things are too harsh, it's actually kind of silly.  :wink:

In conclusion... Nobody is stopping you from making a character that likes to travel around and explore, just as they are not forcing you to make that kind of character. Use your imagination in character creation, just because you the player don't know about every nook and cranny of the world doesn't mean you have to make a character who goes to all the places you've never been. Wouldn't it be a novel idea to have your character explore places you the player have ALREADY been with past characters for the sole reason that your PC has not been there?  And if you decide that your character is the solo-adventurer type, wouldn't it make sense to get your character the desert survival training necessary to do such? Just because you include it in your background does not make it so... I discovered that myself the hard way when one of my characters talked up a big game about how they were the warrior-leader of their dwarven tribe. Davaz showed me otherwise.  It was a harsh lesson I don't think I was ready to learn at the time, but in retrospect I would like to thank Davaz's player for that experience.  Sometimes we all need a lesson from the school of hard-knocks.   :D

Delirium

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2003, 04:46:53 PM »
I have nothing really to add that hasn't already been mentioned, just wanted to say that I think Vox's post is a great one.
"There are no happy endings, because nothing ends." - Schmendrick

Stroker

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2003, 05:24:17 PM »
I enjoy playing in the environment in which the rinth is set. However, I've had three characters who died there. I wouldn't mind if it was some death by a pc band or killed in a tavern or something of that sort. But what pissed me off is how the npcs would guard the exits and my char couldn't leave, while being beaten by three or four npcs. That's what I didn't like about it.
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Angela Christine

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2003, 05:34:43 PM »
Quote from: "Dirr"
I enjoy playing in the environment in which the rinth is set. However, I've had three characters who died there. I wouldn't mind if it was some death by a pc band or killed in a tavern or something of that sort. But what pissed me off is how the npcs would guard the exits and my char couldn't leave, while being beaten by three or four npcs. That's what I didn't like about it.


I hate those guys!  It doesn't seem to mattter what you are wearing or doing either.  Stupid twink NPCs.

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Carnage

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2003, 05:38:34 PM »
Plazgoth

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Who is telling people new to the mud that they should play an idiot character? Most people suggest that newbies join an organization like the Byn, which is extremely newbie friendly. They provide food, water, and things to do for a new player to learn all the wonderful assets Armageddon offers, from the combat code to the emote code. On top of that they offer many chances to explore outside the city.


Many people have said to play foreigners to the cities and such because people don't know the way of the world. Second, the Byn doesn't 'offer many chances to explore outside the city'. Many of the leaders go from point A to point B with a few rest stops along the way. No 'exploring'.

LoD

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Sort of like how someone that's played football for 10 years is better than someone who's never played before? Here's a hint for the rest of your life : That's how life works.


Yeah, see, your example would work well if it actually applied to the game. Coaches encourage players to learn. Players that try harder than the rest are rewarded. How is a newbie who tries to learn and play more rewarded and encouraged? If anything, the game's mechanics encourage finding one way that you're successful and repeating it. 'Join clan xyz, spar, tavern sit, spar, tavern sit, spar, tavern sit'. Ad infinitum. On the other hand, the guy that tries to explore the outside world is often found dead a few steps away from the gate. Sorry LoD, but you picked a poor analogy.

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Whether they choose to turn to OOC spoilers or information or if they choose to organize groups of PC's to travel together for safety or enlist with a clan that does a fair amount of travel is up to them. Claiming that there is no alternative but to seek these OOC spoilers or maps because the game is too difficult is simply wrong.


Clans with a fair amount of travel? I can think of one or two in the entire game, and they usually only go from point A to point B unless they're in an RPT. Claiming there are clans that do a 'fair amount of travel' and explore is just as wrong

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Armageddon is what it is because of its harshness, complexity and high expectations from its players. If it was easy for anyone to grasp, it wouldn't be the challenging, deep or intricate world that we players have come to know and love.


The reason that Armageddon is a success is because of the level of roleplaying here. If you think that bahamets that can kill you with a few hits or anakore that yank you under the sand are the main selling point, maybe you should go play EverQuest.

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Bottom line is that we want players who are willing to push past the difficulty and learn to play the game. This is entirely possible and to those players that refuse or write us off, I say that is their loss, not the game's


Actually, I've tried to bring some damn good roleplayers to the game. They thought it was too harsh and weren't interested. I don't want players who are 'willing to push past the difficulty and learn to play the game'. I want players who can create interesting characters and are fun to play with. Anyone can just come in and say, 'hey cool mobs i want to kil one'. Take a look at EverQuest. Many of the level 65 characters are jackasses and jerks. Yet they were 'willing to push past the difficulty and learn to play the game' and devote time to it.

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What do you think I did for those 7+ years. Could it be...learn? Trial and error? Mapping? Time well spent learning my environment through both death and life until I had a reasonable understanding of my surroundings, their dangers and importance.


You have no problems with there being a 7+ year learning curve for a text adventure game that's supposed to be focused on roleplaying. I don't think I even need to comment on how wrong that is.

Fedaykin

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Where does it say that exploration is supposed to be rewarded? Where does it say it is supposed to be safe to explore? People play here because of the harsh setting.


See, it's kind of good practice to keep players interested in the game by giving them the opportunity to play city-dwelling characters. People don't play here because of the harsh setting, people play here because it's a roleplaying game. Saying that the main reason people play here is because it's a challenge is an ignorant statement, considering that there are many other 'harsh' MUDs out there that aren't roleplaying enforced.
Carnage
"We pay for and maintain the GDB for players of ArmageddonMUD, seeing as
how you no longer play we would prefer it if you not post anymore.

Regards,
-the Shade of Nessalin"

I'M ONLY TAKING A BREAK NESSALIN, I SWEAR!

Plazgoth

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2003, 05:56:27 PM »
Quote from: "Carnage"
Plazgoth

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Who is telling people new to the mud that they should play an idiot character? Most people suggest that newbies join an organization like the Byn, which is extremely newbie friendly. They provide food, water, and things to do for a new player to learn all the wonderful assets Armageddon offers, from the combat code to the emote code. On top of that they offer many chances to explore outside the city.


Many people have said to play foreigners to the cities and such because people don't know the way of the world. Second, the Byn doesn't 'offer many chances to explore outside the city'. Many of the leaders go from point A to point B with a few rest stops along the way. No 'exploring'.


As a sergeant in the Byn I took men out on many explorational type contracts, which took us all over the known world. If you are a Byn member talk to your superiors and give them ideas, I am sure what sounds fun to you will sound fun to someone playing a leadership role. Or become a sergeant yourself and get contracts that let you lead your man on damgerous missions around the world, it's al lup to you. At the end the amount of fun you have while playing is directly proportional to your actions. When I am in a clan and things are not the way I like them I try to change things, and it usualy works. The major point which you did not respond to is the fact that the Byn is friendly to new characters, which was my main purpose in posting. So Arm is not as newbie unfriendly as you make it out to be.

Sir-Emotes-A-Lot

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2003, 06:02:15 PM »
Carnage:

Your argument is so all over the place that it's nearly impossible to follow it. First you claim you love mobs that are more intelligent and act outside of code, saying that this is a great thing. Then you complain repeatedly about mobs that run on scripts and actually do function intelligently.

Secondly, you say that you're here for roleplaying. However, your complaints about NPCs being too hard sound like the complaints of a frustrated hack-and-slasher. You claim your roleplaying friends felt the game was too harsh? Perhaps they'd be better off on a MUSH. Here's the fact: it's a harsh world, deal with it. If you think the game is too harsh and you feel that you should be able to waltz around killing anything you like, then go find a MUSH. You can make your own mobs, emote killing them all you like, then change them into dead mobs after you're satisfied you've killed them.

If you have actual suggestions for improving the game (I've yet to see you offer anything in this thread other than whines, complaints and vague threats of how you're going to refuse to act realistically where NPCs are concerned), then email them to the mud account or post them here. Otherwise, STFD and STFU.

Carnage

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2003, 06:05:01 PM »
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The major point which you did not respond to is the fact that the Byn is friendly to new characters, which was my main purpose in posting. So Arm is not as newbie unfriendly as you make it out to be.


When a game has a steep learning curve, piles of documentation to read (and the applications of those who don't read it are posted on the GDB board for all to see and laugh at), and players with elitist attitudes, I don't consider it newbie one bit. The Byn isn't any more friendly to new characters than any other clan. The only difference between the Byn and, say, a noble house is that the Byn accepts anyone with 300 'sid while a house takes more time.

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If you have actual suggestions for improving the game (I've yet to see you offer anything in this thread other than whines, complaints and vague threats of how you're going to refuse to act realistically where NPCs are concerned)


Actually, I did give a suggestion for improving the game: tone down NPCs. Since you obviously didn't take the time to even fully read the first post of the thread, I'm not even going to bother with an anonymous argument containing invalid points. If you don't like the thread, skip over it. You have no obligation to read it or post.
Carnage
"We pay for and maintain the GDB for players of ArmageddonMUD, seeing as
how you no longer play we would prefer it if you not post anymore.

Regards,
-the Shade of Nessalin"

I'M ONLY TAKING A BREAK NESSALIN, I SWEAR!

Sanvean

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2003, 06:06:38 PM »
I'm seeing people edging over into the realm of flames, and I'd ask that posters try to avoid that territory. I'm also seeing misrepresenting other people's arguments in order to score points, and that's equally tedious as well as undercutting one's credibility when posting.

A simple word of caution to think about what you're posting and stray on the side of civility. Thanks.

God aka Kalden

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2003, 08:24:59 PM »
I can easily see Carnage's point, and agree with him on most of them, so I'll try to explain them more clearly.

First of all, he talks about how veteran players have a strong advantage over newbies in surviving. For example, a veteran player may know that he can't take a mekillot(or whatever, I'm new) at day one, whether his character knows it or not, and avoid it. A newbie ranger sees the animal, and thinks that he can take, despite his background of years in the wilderness, will try and kill it, and die horribly. The veteran player usually uses his OOC, hard-earned knowledge to survive and never makes the mistakes that his relatively new and inexperienced Warrior would make. That's called twinkishness, folks.

Now, this is a thing to think about, but we can't really do anything about it, and I don't really know how people can solve it, except by realizing that your characters aren't all knowing, and make mistakes. Your character probably won't realize that a bunch of gith will come in hiding after you attack one(not sure if they do this). He won't know all the secret little places to rest. He won't know that a kick works well against whatever creature, ect.

When you're 'rinther dies after a day for no apparent reason, it really makes you wonder how he survived to adulthood, doesn't it? Maybe we need some sort of OOC tips helpfiles to give us newbies the knowledge that these veterans have. One example: a helpfile for the rangers detailing how powerful each common creature is in combat. Course, I don't love this idea either, but your survival shouldn't be dependent on slowly learning little OOC tricks to surviving.

Onto the twinkish npcs. And a lot of times, they are twinkish, it sounds like, especially when they band up and kill your character for no apparent reason. Are there any common npcs that don't really know how to fight at all, or does everyone in Zalanthas fight as well as the Warrior class?

One complaint that sticks in my mind is the fact that npcs always choose to fight against the pcs, no matter what. Some people have tried to make allowances, but the truth is it's just stupid code, and it could be changed. In the 'rinth, an elf attacking a human should not be aided by a bunch of humans. Therefore, I have an idea.

1.Only npcs which have been coded to be a group should be able to work perfectly synchonrized(ie, one attacking while the others guard the exits), and usually only they should work together.

2.When an npc sees two people in combat, he can either join the fight, or stand by, depending on the npc. He would decide who to join based on race, clan, or whatever else. It could be random, if neither matters and the npc is the type who would join in.

I just hear the complaints of overpowered npcs - I'm only on my third character, a Bynner, so I don't know if npcs are truly that overpowered or not. Also, the Byn does not really help in exploring that much, but it is newbie friendly.

Callisto

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2003, 09:08:11 PM »
At the end of the day, an NPC is still an NPC.

An NPC doesn't take time out of its day to enjoy the game or spend hours of its life looking to flesh out its character and interact with others. When an NPC (or group of them) can walk into a room and butcher a PC in less time then it takes for the PCs movement delay to wear off, we have a playability problem.

This is a fact that isn't up for debate in my opinion; when the price of realism reaches the point that it becomes impossibly unfair and lowers peoples enjoyment of the game for players, then the price has become too high.

Do you remember the Blackmoon issue? The PC raiding clan that was the cause of much argument and debate? One of the huge issues involved with them was how those people went about raiding - walking into a desert room and subduing without emote, walking onto the north road and guarding all exits and attacking or subduing, etc.

I don't want to open that up too much since it was one of the worst times I can recall in my few years of playing here, but the jist of it was a lot of people were outraged that this sort of thing was going on. It wasn't being accepted by the player base and once that became clear, the clan just sort of disappeared.

If this kind of thing was not acceptable by PCs back then, why is it acceptable by NPCs now?

When Carnage made the point about people seeing NPCs as mindless programs or whatever? He has a good point. When things are pushed to the point of being inhumanly difficult to escape - never mind winning, just escaping - then it becomes difficult to see those NPCs as a real part of the game world.

After several disappointing experiences with player-controlled NPCs (EX: Templars half-giants, nobles bodyguards, etc.), I am unable to view them as characters in the game. To me, as soon as a player takes control of an NPC, that NPC is no longer a character in the game world. That NPC is now a spam-dispensing death-machine just waiting for a nice locked room to introduce me to my old friend, the mantis head.

Likewise, I can imagine people getting annihilated by those NPC 'rinth gangers will have a hard time seeing those NPCs as characters. When something becomes such an impossible threat that peoples first thoughts aren't that of the characters, but that of the player looking for a way - any way - to escape and avoid the sheer force of coded death and disappointment, then it is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Iím all for a harsh game, but its getting to the point where people fear NPCs more then their fellow characters, due to the massive coded advantages NPCs have. Iím aware LoD would argue that things are not unfair or unbalanced - thatís fine, but what these old players seem ignorant of is that not everyone has been playing for five or ten years, not everyone knows every tweak of the code in order to make impossible situations just difficult.

I feel for the average newbie just starting out in the game, as I had a hard time when I started out even being in the BynÖ and I started out when the game was easily ten times easier then it is today.

Just something for you all to chew on for a while.
quote="Teleri"]I would highly reccomend some Russian mail-order bride thing.  I've looked it over, and it seems good.[/quote]

Fedaykin

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Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2003, 10:02:51 PM »
Quote from: "Carnage"
Saying that the main reason people play here is because it's a challenge is an ignorant statement, considering that there are many other 'harsh' MUDs out there that aren't roleplaying enforced.


As Sanvean said, there is certainly misrepresentations of arguments going on, in this case my "ignorant statement."  People play for the setting Carnage, the Roleplay within this world being a part of that.  I didn't say they play the game because surviving can be dificult or challenging for players.  That is just the reality of Zalanthas life.

Quote from: "Carnage"
On the other hand, the guy that tries to explore the outside world is often found dead a few steps away from the gate.


While your statement is a heavy overdramatization of the issue, even if that were the case, thats simply a-ok.  You've spoken of roleplay more than a few times.  Tell me why it is realistic roleplay for characters to go exploring aimlessly in a harsh world instead of living out their lives?

Create characters realistic to the world and roleplay them accordingly

What good is exploring if everyone could easily do it and everything were so common place.  The defeats make the victories greater.  To steal a line from Vanilla Sky, "Without the sour the sweet isn't as sweet."  Doing what you seem to want to do is not impossible, but it is extremely dificult and rightfully so.

Quote from: "Carnage"
Players that try harder than the rest are rewarded. How is a newbie who tries to learn and play more rewarded and encouraged? If anything, the game's mechanics encourage finding one way that you're successful and repeating it. 'Join clan xyz, spar, tavern sit, spar, tavern sit, spar, tavern sit'. Ad infinitum.

(Boldness added)

Let me clue you in on what I believe your biggest issue is.  Reward.  Reward?  What reward?  Why should you be rewarded?  Is anyone rewarded?  What is this "rewarding" you speak of Carnage?

We can tone down the NPCs, let every newbie explore everywhere he wanted free of trouble so we wouldn't scare them off by "rewarding" them with death.  We can give them a special steel longsword and a pat on the ass too while we're at it.  There are alot of things we can do try and get more players.  Unfortunately, that isn't going to preserve the world of Zalanthas or the game of Armageddon.  

You can't win Armageddon.  No matter what any character you ever play will achieve the only thing you'll ever be rewarded with in the end is a mantis head screen, your memories and a chance to repeat the process.

It is no secret that this is what the game is all about.  If this isn't the sort of world someone wants to play in, then they don't have to.

Learn it.  Live it.  Love it.
iva La Resistance!
<Miee> The Helper Death Commando is right.

Sephiroto

  • Posts: 2830
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2003, 10:35:32 PM »
In response to the original argument:  

I myself believe that specific mobs are very hardcore.  I personally do not like it sometimes, yet I do not wish for the coding to be changed.  The only thing that I would possibly like to see changed are a few scripts with lightning speed.

A personal statement to some things that I have read:  

I think that the singular reason that one should play Armageddon should be not for the harsh environs, the hack and slash of hunting, exploring, or roleplaying in particular.  I believe that it should be for fun.  I say fun because I've expereinced a little of everything on Arm.  If a particular script bothers me, if I'm bored of strict role-play, or the same o' same o' then I take a break as I have just done.  There are an infinate number of things to do an Arm and any of the such can please one who has a desire to play.  But without the desire to play, there will be no enjoyment.  If the rigors of abiding by the rules frustrates you or is no fun, take a break or quit playing, be it permanant or only temporary.

Once a player of a 10 hour a day average I say that a break for a few weeks of Arm can leave you with a refreshing feeling.  It revitalizes your roleplaying and ideas, as well as your performance and relationships with the other players and their characters.

If you're not having fun, don't play.

Fedaykin

  • Posts: 474
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2003, 10:57:51 PM »
After going back and reading through everything again, I found this particularly interesting:

Quote from: "God aka Kalden"
The veteran player usually uses his OOC, hard-earned knowledge to survive and never makes the mistakes that his relatively new and inexperienced Warrior would make. That's called twinkishness, folks.

Quote from: "God aka Kalden"
Maybe we need some sort of OOC tips helpfiles to give us newbies the knowledge that these veterans have.


I'm confused, Kalden.  If this practice of veterans somehow abusing their knowledge of the game to survive is twinkish in your eyes, why and how would giving everyone/newbies that information, and therefore by your own statement allowing them to act twinkishly, somehow rectify the situation?

Also, I'd like to point out that stating that veteran players usually do not impose a lack of knowledge on their characters or, use their veteran knowledge to prevent thier characters from making mistakes they realistically would make, is in an unsupportable statement, and one I believe to be false from what I've seen over the years from veteran players.
iva La Resistance!
<Miee> The Helper Death Commando is right.

LoD

  • Posts: 1363
Surviving the Game.
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2003, 11:03:48 PM »
I'm not really interested in going back and forth on many of these issues, because the Imms have made their statements near the beginning and I agree.

What I do wish to simply mention is that ArmageddonMUD is a game which allows you the unique chance to be part of what I've always considered a living novel.  You are able to weave intricate plots, delve into political games, live the life of a simple farmer or of a diseased street whore.  The choices are possibilities are as endless as one's imagination.

ArmageddonMUD has many challenges, however, that aren't always as interesting.  New players may not always understand why.

Newbie Challenge: Coded Combat

Everyone starts on an even slate.  No matter what their background says that are, every single warrior begins at the exact same level of skill.  This usually puts them at a lower curve than most of the NPC's in the game who have been around, established and whose ability often DOES reflect the coded skill level their background and station claim.

What this forces is new players to have to move through the steps that most books will leave out, because they are boring.  The learning.  You won't find many books entitled, "The day-to-day progression of a swordsman over 20 years" because it'd like be the most boring thing you ever read in your life.  Repetition, muscle training, trial and error.  These are realistic things that the game imposes upon all players and that often don't make for very interesting parts of their character's life.

You can emote, you can talk, you can develop styles - but if you want the code to respect your work, you're simply going to have to practice hard to reach the goal you desire in your character's life.  While you do role play through these sessions, which can be long and tedious, they are still seen as a chore by many players, because they just aren't that interesting.  That isn't my personal opinion, but that of others I've spoken with during my time playing the game.

So, when a player comes to ArmageddonMUD for the first time to role-play, it may be difficult for them to grasp the fact that there is a significant amount of repetitive and mundane work spent on behalf of their character to achieve the RP goals they have.  If they want to be Captain of the House Guard - they probably want their coded skill to be high enough to manage a street urchin.  The code won't recognize anything besides in-game time spent developing this.

So you have new players that envision a perfect swordsman, master assassin, slippery thief, political titan or merchanting success when they create their first character.  They don't understand the amount of work and effort that is going to go along with those desires.  That is often why there is a support system for new players.

Helpers

Veteran players and elitists are not the same thing.  Many of them have the helper tag beneath their name and are there to help anyone that has a few questions about how to acclimate to the game world, how to succeed or how to go about creating/playing a character.  These people are a human resource there for new players to draw upon if they should so choose.

Documentation

Armageddon has probably the most documentation, history and helpful files of any MUD I've ever poked around on.  Along with the 1000's of commands, there are also help files to educate players on the game world, its different peoples, places and societies so that they can help themselves if they so choose.

Newbie-Friendly Clans

Anyone that argues the T'zai-Byn is not a newbie-friendly clan simply hasn't grasped what that means.  Many of the other clans in the game have high expectations of a player in terms of what they should know about the game.  Places they should and shouldn't go.  People they should and shouldn't bow to.  Demographics, politics, beliefs of the city's people and the dangers of the world outside.

The T'zai-Byn offers new players a chance to enter an extremely well developed and detailed course of play where they will learn the game mechanics, the commands, the battle system without fearing for their life, and an ability to ask questions of veteran players (usually playing officer roles) on any part of the game they have a question about.

Newbie Challenge: Harsh Environment

Another challenge new players face is when they enter the game, many of them choose to spend quite a few characters trying to get a good idea of the environment, dangers, secrets and 'areas' of the MUD so that they can decide where and what they'd like to play.  The problem is that the game is tough.  It's chess, it's not checkers.  Exploration is often met with swift and vicious death at the hands of evil, nasty creatures that live in the low-fantasy desert of Zalanthas.

Comments have been made about veteran players having an advantage because they know how every NPC works and have been everywhere.  I think this is simply not true, I know it's not true for me.  I haven't been HALF the places that some new players have been.  I don't know HALF the things that I used to see flinging about between some of the newer players about which weapons were better, what made this tablet, where I can find this creature, etc...after 10+ years of playing, there are still many mysteries Armageddon holds for me and that is why I keep playing.

What I learned is that it was dangerous out there.  I learned that if I wanted to live longer than a few days, I needed to play by the 'rules' of the game and avoid the areas that would bring about mass death.  I learned that I needed to stick to concepts that would fit the reality of the world and the society in which I played, or face the consequences.  Is it hard for new players, yes.  But there are many new players that have lived for many RL months with their very first character because they didn't immediately choose to run into the desert or kill anything.

They respected the harsh conditions set forth by the game.

This is much the same as if you traveled to the Amazon jungle and your guide told you - if you want to live more than 5 months here, don't go into the west section of the jungle.  Well, perhaps camp is boring and it's not what you're looking for and you wander into the jungle and die.  Guess what, they told you that it was hard.  It is hard.  If you go there, you should be prepared and learn.  If that takes you 2 months, so be it.  If it takes you 2 years, so be it.  If you never learn it - well, good luck.

I go back to what I said before, if it was easy for anyone to stumble across and instantly jump into a role with little preparation, effort or willingness to learn - it wouldn't be the game that it is.  It'd be checkers, not chess.  And how many of you still play checkers?  Not many.  Because it isn't as challenging mentally as other games.  It is the same with Armageddon.  The challenge is there to constantly learn new things, to create new stories and interact with the world in new ways.

Newbie Solution: Good Starting Roles

If you have many friends that feel the game is too harsh, then my suggestion is for them to amend the type of role they want to play until they get a better grasp of the game.  Play a crafter, merchant, aide or some non-combative character to get used to the game world, its rules, its people and the elements involved.

Then, when they want to play a combative role, join a clan like the T'zai-Byn or one of the Merchant Houses and approach learning combat through their more gentle sparring training.  Learn how combat works and get a bit more comfortable.  Then when you feel more comfortable with the way the game works and want to explore, make an intelligent and informed decision with the things you've learned and head out.

If you go out alone, expect to be killed.  If you travel areas that are highly dangerous, expect to be killed.  If you disregard natural dangers, the reality that the desert world is filled with creatures as big as a house waiting to eat you, expect to be killed.  But come back, learn and try again.  The game is worth it.

Conclusion

Understand that playing this game requires the following things:

>The desire to role-play and develop a living person within the game world.
>The desire to learn and adapt to a challenging and harsh desert environment.
>The patience to suffer through setbacks, challenges and obstacles that WILL present themselves.

If you can handle those three steps, anyone can learn to play the game.  It's hard, just like anything else that has decades of development, history, culture, rules and things you need to learn.  No one should expect to be able to grasp it in a few days, months or possibly even years.

LoD

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2003, 11:11:16 PM »
Quote from: "Fedaykin"

Also, I'd like to point out that stating that veteran players usually do not impose a lack of knowledge on their characters or, use their veteran knowledge to prevent thier characters from making mistakes they realistically would make, is in an unsupportable statement, and one I believe to be false from what I've seen over the years from veteran players.


I think it has an element of truth.  If you are exploring and you find fruit on a certain plant, eat the fruit, and then die because the fruit is poisonous to humanoids, and then sometime later you have another character find a similar plant with similar fruit, you'll probably find a reason not to eat the fruit because you OOCly believe it is poisonous (you could be wrong, someone might have deliberately poisoned the fruit and then put it back "in" the plant).  If you find a mysterious door in a cool cave, and then you go through the door and discover a deathtrap on the other side, you probably won't willingly send a later character into that cave and through that door.  

I don't think this is particularily twinkish, unless your superior tells you the fruit or cave is safe, and orders you to eat it/go through it, and you refuse the order despite the fact that your character usually obeys orders.  If you just happen to encounter the fruit, you don't have to eat it again just to prove you are a good RPer.

Once you know a certain activity is lethal (even if you are wrong) you can come up with a reasonable reason for later characters to avoid it.  Once you know mooning a templar is lethal, your later characters just aren't likely to be the kind of people that moon templars.   :wink:

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Plazgoth

  • Posts: 315
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2003, 11:16:58 PM »
I agree with everything AC said except the mooning of templars. I could never get enough of it. I have lost 100+ characters to templar mooning and each time is just as much fun as the last.  :lol:

By the way LoD, very well put in your last post, lengthy but very in-depth and well thought out.

House Rising Sun

  • Posts: 519
vets
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2003, 11:43:56 PM »
Another thing about veterans having the advantage over newbies: Most things that I can think of that a veteran player might know are things that can be learned from reading documents or talking to other pcs. Though I can think of plenty that can only be figured out through actual time in the game, the ones I've heard here are arguable. Meks are described as nothing but extremely dangerous. If a newbie tries to stand toe-to-toe with one, well, then his problem isn't with the game, it's with common sense. I'm not sure if fruits and such are well-described in the docs or not, but even so it still falls on common sense. If a character is desperate enough to take that risk, I think even a veteran player's pc should bite down. I know I would, if my pc was dying of hunger or thirst and HAD to eat something. If he wasn't, well, then common sense says "don't eat the mysterious fruit," and neither newbie nor veteran character should do it.

There are, of course, things a vet would know that a newbie would only have to experience to find out. Locations of quit rooms (even with directions, until you've been there you don't know), certain dangerous spots in the desert, etc. But hey, that's just one more thing that'll make wilderness play that much more fun: the incredible risk of exploration.

And no, it's not twinkish to avoid a deadly place or food in most situations if you know the threat oocly. The only other option is to force yourself to put your pc in harm's way to avoid looking like a twink when presented with the choice, and that's just unreasonable.
Dig?

creeper386

  • Posts: 2583
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2003, 04:37:33 AM »
Well, although I've only played for 10 months or so, I think some scripts and such can really suck. Especially getting gang banged by a group of prostitutes. It was funny, but the raping with daggers thing isn't cool. Within a few seconds I was dead.(Was attacked not literally raped).

I don't think it's a problem with skills, just how some NPCs act. Especially alot of times with how QUICKLY the react which really sucks when they are just snap snap snap, at getting things off.

I do thing veterans do have a BIG advantage, but normally it's not an extreme thing or something that is a big deal when it comes down to it. I think here more docs on common things could be handy but isn't needed. I think the main advantage though isn't in combat but in crafting and the such. I've played only a few crafters, but I know hardly nothing because I couldn't find anyone IC to learn from. And although alot is common since it's hard to put all of it together, figuring out what you want, finding the things needed and all that.

Oh, and...
Quote
We can give them a special steel longsword and a pat on the ass too while we're at it


Could we here more about the ass patting? Whats you ideas on implementing it?


Creeper.
21sters Unite!

Bakha

  • Posts: 493
Players treating NPCs as equals and beefed up combat skills
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2003, 10:12:16 AM »
Just a few quick interjections on the particular script that seems to be at the heart of this thread:

1) The NPCs do not target anyone and everyone that cross their path. There is a logic to their actions. If you follow the "rules" of the Labyrinth, you should be able to pass by unmolested.

2) The script is not intended as an instadeath trap. If it is functioning as such (which I do not believe it is), it is not the intention of the staff for it to do so.

3) There are many misconceptions on this script as evidenced by this thread. If you have suggestions for improvements, complaints about it, or specific troubling instances with it, I'd direct you to email the mud account. There you can go into specific IC and OOC detail about your experiences and hopefully your information will assist the staff in working out any kinks in this and future NPC AI. By posting fuzzy details and incorrect assumptions on this board, the fires of inaccuracy are only being stoked.

Have a nice day,
Bakha
ack to retirement for the school year.

Sanvean

  • Posts: 2720
    • My Website
Thread
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2003, 11:34:16 AM »
I'm going to move this thread to the archives, because there are some posts in it I think should be preserved. As Bakha says, emailing in script suggestions to the Labyrinth staff member (Zagren), cc-ing mud, would probably be the most productive way to address perceived problems with that.