Author Topic: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)  (Read 16198 times)

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« on: December 09, 2015, 12:04:13 PM »
-+- means it's been implemented.

A while ago (I can't find the post) there was some discussion on getting a player collaboration going on improving the HELP FILES (or the echoes) with the intent of helping newbies along so they don't have to break immersion to figure out how to use a coded skill.  Here's a stab at starting.  I'll try to collect suggestions up here in OP (this post) and if staff finds them helpful and implements them, I'll update the OP (this post) to reflect that too.

MAIN WEBSITE:

o Delete the second 'where':
Quote
It is a world where sorcerer-kings and their ruthless servants, the Templarate, govern the two main cities, Allanak and Tuluk. Any magick not granted by the Kings is feared and hated, and where the punishment of such a curse might be death. In this harsh realm, life is a constant struggle, and death may occur over a drink of precious water.



HELP FILES:

ANALYZE:

-+- Delete the line (because not codedly true anymore):  "This is a timely undertaking, as much studying of the object is needed as well as a knowledge of the skill employed in crafting it."

-+- Note: Your analyze skill does not improve -- it will remain forever at novice.  It's fine.  Just.  Weird.

ARCHERY:

o Add a help file 'SLING' to point to HELP ARCHERY.

o Since arrows are often very expensive, a good way to train archery is to use a sling.  (Let's face it, we all learned this OOCly from a mentor since it doesn't make too much RL sense.)

o Sling stones can be foraged (see FORAGE) and some can be broken down from larger rocks (see SALVAGE).

o You can sometimes recover sling stones or arrows from bodies by looking in those bodies or skinning them.

o Some clarification on the 'strength' of bows.  Here's the current language:
Quote
All bows, crossbows, and slings have a 'maximum range' and are designed for a particular strength (i.e., the strength required to pull the string back).
Perhaps it could be:
Quote
All bows, crossbows, and slings have a 'maximum range'.  Bows are designed for a particular strength, or pull.  Use 'assess' (see ASSESS) or 'view' (see VIEW) (if the bow is in a store) to assess its strength, or pull.  You may still use a bow that is too strong for you, but using such bows will wear you out more readily.  Likewise, you may also use a weaker bow, but such bows will do less damage. [NB: I'm not 100% sure if the last sentence is true.]
(I used to think if a bow was too strong for you, you simply couldn't use it, which is what the current language suggests.)

ARMOR:

-+- Add a missing parenthesis before 'used'.

-+- Append to this sentence the sentence in italics: "You will notice that an item is considered armor if its condition (used, worn out, etc.) is shown with the item's name (e.g., a used pair of studded sleeves)."

-+- Note that if the item is new armor, there is no condition shown with the item's name.

o Perhaps look into a potential bug with 'new' not being 'new' but actually used on some (all) pieces of armor?  It seems it goes: none, new, used, worn out, etc.  Also the used carru hide boots appear to not be used.

BACKSTAB:

-+- Append the bolded bit: "The skill is a generic term for 'critical strikes' against an opponent, be it an animal or a humanoid.

o Add: "Hence, practicing backstab during a sparring session is something that would require a good deal of role play to justify.  See BACKSTAB ROLEPLAY for more information.

o Add a help file 'BACKSTAB ROLEPLAY' with examples of backstab situations, similar to the PHYSICIAN ROLEPLAY help file.

o See this discussion: http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50925.msg937245.html#msg937245

o Perhaps change the default echoes to be something more 'generic' and less concrete.

o Perhaps add a command emote option.

o Similar changes could be added to the SAP help file.

BANDAGE:

o You can only bandage someone if they are injured enough.  (This was one of the more confusing things about bandage for me -- I kept getting the error message "You don't need any bandaging" even though I was 75% health.)

o You can either use bandages (see BANDAGEMAKING) or a scrap of cloth (see SALVAGE).

o Examples of bandaging RP?  E.g. (more controversial):
  (i) Even if you get the echo telling you that you can't bandage someone, it is good form to emote out the process first, then give the bandage to the patient or junk it.
  (ii) You might have to RP around the code with some injuries.  While there are some RP props like splints, slings, and so on, it's fine to add appropriate virtual items to the bandage RP, within reason.  
  (iii) Remember: Zalanthans are far more robust than Earthlings, so there's no need to make things overly complicated.  
  (iv) For examples of bandaging RP, see HELP PHYSICIAN ROLEPLAY.

o See also: scar, tdesc.

BASH:

-+- Add: "or the person you are currently fighting if no argument is given."

BREW:

-+- Note: The 'brew' command uses some old code, and so never fails.  In order to advance in the skill, you will have to utilize the 'craft' command and make items governed by the brew skill, such as soaps.

-+- Note: You can also use the 'craft' command to make certain items that are governed by the brew skill, such as soaps, candles, and incense [are there others?].

o Note: Stills and teapots (see STILL) are not governed by the brew skill.

o Remove alcohol (such a tease!)

o Note: At present, we are unable to add new liquid types, so you cannot submit a mastercraft for a new liquid type.

o See also: still

CAMPFIRE:

o Note: Only some kinds of dung objects can be crafted (see CRAFT) into dried dung.

o The recipe for a dung campfire is: craft X Y Z into campfire.


CLIMB:

o Add: "If you fail your climb check, you can still type 'up' (or the direction) and attempt to stop your fall, scrambling for purchase.  Note that this will sometimes incur damage as a result."

o Adjust the 'echo' to distinguish between places that are impossible to climb vs. places where you fail your climb check.

COLOR:

o Add: "Sometimes, players use Zalanthan words or plants to describe a color.  Some discussion is available on the general discussion board.  See http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,38103.0.html."

DISARM:

o Add: "or the person you are currently fighting if no target is given."

DISCUSS:

o Change the wording:  
Quote from: Before
To determine whether or not an npc has information to give you, try 'discuss <npc> hi' or 'discuss <npc> topics'.
Quote from: After
To determine whether or not an npc has information to give you, try 'discuss <npc> topics' (or sometimes 'discuss <npc> hi').

o In my experience, this line is not true: "When the NPC replies, you will be the only person in the room who can hear what they say." (Vennant, for instance, will broadcast his replies to the whole bar.)

DUJAT:

No help file.

FAQ 12

Still states that there are sixteen main guilds and that full elementalists exist.

FLIP:

New Help File. With certain exotic weapons, you may flip them around.  (You may also use the 'use' command to flip them.)  [NB: I seem to recall there being some important difference between 'flip' and 'use' but I can't remember it now.]

FLORISTRY:

o Add: "Skilled florists are also excellent noses, and can make perfumes and fragrant oils, as well as boquets.  They are also skilled in the preservation of herbs, leaves, and plants."

o Add: An example perfume recipe (for an ointment and for a perfume, maybe a boquet but that's obvious).

o Add a help file 'PERFUME' to point to floristry.

FOOD:

o Spruce up the help file with additional information on food spoilage.

FORAGE:

o Clarify the difference between:
Quote
You look around, but don't find any X.
And:
Quote
It seems that 'artifacts' cannot be found here.
(Or clean up the output.)

o See also: salvage.

FROWN:

o Example should include a target (frown <target>)

HIDE:

o To become visible, type 'visibile'.

o Note: Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if you are still trying to hide.

o Note:
  (i) [If hide is perpetual] Hide will never wear off; however, certain actions will break hide (see above).
  (ii) [If hide is not perpetual] Hide will wear off after a while; certain actions will also break hide (see above).

o Note:
   Some clarification on combining hide with movement and follow.  Does sneaking have a chance of breaking hide?  Does walking?  Does running?  What if you are following someone who is sneaking/walking/running?  What if you are shadowing someone who is sneaking/walking/running?  (NB: I'm not sure we can give answers to these questions on the gdb.)

o Perhaps provide us with an echo if an action breaks hide.

o Perhaps disallow the ability to follow/shadow someone who is hidden from you.

o Examples of RP with semote, hemote, and emote while hidden, e.g.:
   (i) It is often good form to emote before you type 'hide', especially if you are engaged in a conversation with another character.  Otherwise, you will just vanish from their sight as no echo will be sent to their client, which is jarring.
  (ii) Emote: If you emote while hidden, everyone will receive an echo.  However, if you are successfully hidden from someone, your sdesc will be changed to 'someone'.
  (ii) Hemote: If you hemote while hidden, not everyone will receive an echo, only those who are observant enough, as with hemote in general.  If you are successfully hidden from someone who detects the hemote, your sdesc will be changed to 'someone'.
  (iii) Semote: If you semote while hidden, only those who can see you will receive an echo.  Hence, if you are successfully hidden from someone, they will receive no echo whatsoever.
  (iv) When hiding, read the room descriptions carefully, and try to take those into account.  While sometimes the code will prevent you from hiding in certain places (well-lit rooms) -- although you will receive no notification if this is the case -- sometimes it will not, and so it is up to you to roleplay responsibly.

o Note: It is good RP-form to set your ldesc, to give some indication of where you are hiding (see LDESC).  CHANGE LDESC idoes not break a successful hide.

? Note: Most actions that break hide are obvious.  A few, however, are not: arrange (see ARRANGE), (others?).

o See also: semote, hemote, ldesc

LOAD:

o Add "For sheaths and knife belts..."

MELEE COMBAT:

o Delete this (as it is no longer true): "Bear in mind that fighting while mounted can be extremely risky, since characters are much easier to hit, and generally sustain worse wounds, due to mounts being less maneuverable than a character on foot."

PARRY:

o Note: A successful parry on the part of the defender is considered to be a failed hit on the side of the attacker.

o (Staff can sort out the precise language here, but roughly) Note: Owing to a complication with the code, when you reach the maximum proficiency with the two_handed skill for your given Guild [perhaps add a chart here: Pickpocket at X, Ranger at Y, Warrior at Z, etc.], you may request (via the request tool) the parry skill.  This is a quirk in the code -- parry will branch as normal from other skills.

PEEK:

o Change the echo if you don't have the skill: "You aren't really into peeking."  (The current echo is confusing.)

PICK:

? If you don't have the skill, you will never complete the action.  To stop, do X [I don't actually know what you do to stop it other than sitting then standing -- is there something?].

PILOT:

o Add Note: Even if you do not have the 'pilot' skill, you can still learn to pilot eventually.  Just keep at it and the skill will show up on your skill list eventually.

PLANT:

o Note: While steal (see STEAL) and plant allow you to pick up or drop objects in the room, palm and slip (see SLEIGHT OF HAND) only allow you to pick up or drop objects in a container (including a bar or table).

o Note: The 'plant' command is governed by the STEAL skill.

o Perhaps have a link to 'Plant Life' to disambiguate.

PLANT LIFE:

The old website has a very helpful guide to interacting with plants via code under 'plant syntax':
Quote
Plant Syntax

 There are a wide array of plants that your character might come across while venturing into the wilds of Zalanthas, and the proper syntax used to make use of these plants is likely to vary as well.

The most common kind of plant your character will come across is basically a container. Thus, typing something akin to: "look in plant" will allow you to see if there is anything that your character might be able to harvest. If there is, then something like "get root plant" will work for taking that item.

Other plants are objects themselves, and your character can pick up and take the entire plant by typing "get plant".

Other plants have 'pickable' resources, and in order to harvest these, you must type "pick flower plant" or the like to allow your character to make use of the flora. As a general rule, if a plant is 'pickable' it will tell you so at the bottom of the plant's description.

Still more plants might need to be broken in order to get at the fruits or blossoms they hide within. "break plant" is, in this case the proper syntax to use.

If none of the above work, there is also the possibility that the plant was not meant to be interactive, and does not yield any resources your character could make use of.

Hopefully this clears up some of the mystery surrounding syntax usage on plants in the wild. So go out and have fun!

The follow are not on the new system but still available on the old website:
Agastakee
Artotis
Asfadalar/Heartsolace
Ashkiss
Bhluang
Blood Mushroom
Cavern Lace
Chuci
Crone/Poxed Crone
Drovberry
Earummage
Emerald Fungus
Eynana
Fafad
Felaz
Glypah
Gohn
Heinspike
Japak
Japuaar
Jimpka
Kaya
Khee
Kumiss Saucer
Kutai
Kzul
Lady's Mantle
Lavender
Magnisa
Moon Rose
Mossbush
Murfa
Nemik
Oetir
Opsala
Panthis
Pelzaik
Petoch
Pickleberry
Precos
Quirritail
Saltbush
Severed Ear
Sicorra
Stalp
Templar's Heart
Tenichi
Ternak
Thilareyn
Thugi
Thumbberry
Tiktak
Virsha
Wylrith

READY:

o Remove 'sheath' from the Examples.  (You can't actually stow/ready from a sheath.)

RIDE:

o Add Note: Even if you do not have the 'ride' skill, you can still learn to ride eventually.  Just keep at it and the skill will show up on your skill list eventually.

o Alternatively: Change the echo when you do not have the ride skill at all from 'You have no idea how to ride' to something like: 'You have no idea how to ride, but keep at it.'

o Add note: Rangers experienced with handling animals can tame certain types to be used as mounts using the 'mount' command (see MOUNT).  This ability is governed by the 'ride' skill.

SADDLE:

New Help File.  [Unsure what content it should have.]

SAP:

? If you don't have the skill, you will never complete the action.  To stop, do X [I don't actually know what you do to stop it other than sitting then standing or fleeing -- is there something?].

o See the suggested changes to the BACKSTAB help file.  Something similar could be added here.

SIT:

o Note: If you are seated at a table, change ldesc has no effect.

o Add 'sit on' information -- You can sit on certain items that are large enough.

SLAVE:

o New helpfile.

o Discuss escaped slave option (see http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50273.0.html)

o See also: Slavery, Slavery in Allanak, Slavery in Tuluk

(Also: LOL that the 'See also' for 'Slavery' has 'Storage'.  Very funny guys.)

SLEIGHT OF HAND:

o Add information from HELP STOW and HELP READY into HELP SLEIGHT OF HAND.  (That is, make it clear that 'stow' and 'ready', like 'unlatch', 'latch', 'slip', 'palm', are commands governed by the sleight of hand skill and not independent skills.)

o Note: While steal (see STEAL) and plant (see PLANT) allow you to pick up or drop objects in the room, palm and slip only allow you to pick up or drop objects in a container (including a bar or table).

o Note: If SOH commands do trigger the crimcode, it might be good to include the language from HELP STEAL on the topic.  If SOH commands do not trigger the crimcode, it might be good to include that information in the Notes section.

o Perhaps look at the difference in echoes between drawing a weapon from a sheath (which says something about stealth) and using the stow/ready command.  Are both of these 'silent' (i.e., they don't echo to other players, they don't break hide)?  Are they silent only on some sort of check?

SNEAK:

o Remove (since not true[?]): "It functions for a certain time after a successful use."

o Add: If you character fails to sneak, you will not receive any notification at all.

o Notes: You can check whether or not you are sneaking only in the prompt variable (see PROMPT).

o Notes: You can add command emotes to directions, e.g., north (sneaking along sneaky like), and these will only show up to people who can detect you.

o See also: semote, hemote

SPECIAL APPLICATIONS

o Add a link to 'Skill Bumps' help file (not Skill Increases).

o Add a sentence saying "After your special application is approved, make your character as a new character the normal way in the character creation menu" or something similar

STAFF:

-+- The various sub-help files need updated.

STEAL:

o Note: The STEAL skill also allows you to plant items (see PLANT).

o Note: While steal and plant (see PLANT) allow you to pick up or drop objects in the room, palm and slip (see SLEIGHT OF HAND) only allow you to pick up or drop objects in a container (including a bar or table).

o Add a few examples of steal RP using 'hemote', 'semote', 'emote' on a steal attempt?

STOW

o Remove 'sheath' from the Examples.  (You can't actually stow/ready from a sheath.)

TABLELANDS DETAILS:

-+- Remove old information on the Red Fangs.

o Remove incorrect information about Benjari/Jul Taven (these are not open for play).

o  Also the line: "If you are an elf, you have a variety of possibilities, since elvish tribes come and go swiftly" is a bit misleading, as you can't role up an unclanned or virtually clanned desert elf.  Perhaps make it clear that while there are many elvish tribes that come and go, PCs must be in one of the clanned tribes.

o Akei Ta Var are not a tablelands tribe.  Rather they are Gol Krathu.

WEBSITE:

o Almost all the links/urls are old.  Probably just remove this HELP FILE.  Who wouldn't know the website?

WHO:

o Add: If you have the clan job 'whoc' (see STAT), you may type 'who c clanname' to see who is on-line in your clan.  Note: You can still hide yourself from this list, if you use barrier.

YOMPAR:

Helpfile is missing.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 11:42:34 AM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Jihelu

  • Posts: 2494
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 05:02:12 PM »
Oh god I did not know about the salvage command and stones.
Shade, profits, and George Bush did 9/11

555

  • Posts: 99
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 05:40:21 PM »
Oh god I did not know about the salvage command and stones.

Some [redacted] can work too, although I'd think that possibly bad RP.

roobee

  • Posts: 145
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 10:51:24 AM »
discuss help file says use discuss hi or discuss topics when you don't know if npc talks back to you. In my experience, topics works a lot but hi very little. Might wanna remove hi from the help file.

sap help file. Add that if you don't have the skill that it will take you a very long time for your sap action to complete. or just don't let people without the skill do it. Very frustrating when I used it and it said I prepared to sap...and then I waited...and waited...and got bored cause I didn't know why nothing was happening.

peek help file. Add that you can't use it if you don't have the skill. Current echo is something like "You do not see anything abnormal.", which implies that you can use the skill but that the target has an empty inventory.

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 11:10:41 AM »
Quote
peek help file. Add that you can't use it if you don't have the skill. Current echo is something like "You do not see anything abnormal.", which implies that you can use the skill but that the target has an empty inventory.

Can you clarify?  Is the problem that the echo that you get from using peek without the skill is the same as the echo you get when a target has an empty inventory?  That doesn't seem right.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 11:32:26 AM »
sap help file. Add that if you don't have the skill that it will take you a very long time for your sap action to complete. or just don't let people without the skill do it. Very frustrating when I used it and it said I prepared to sap...and then I waited...and waited...and got bored cause I didn't know why nothing was happening.

Yeah, I agree this was confusing: 'pick' is the same way.  I wonder if the solution is just to make the echo on skill use when you don't have the skill a blanket: "While you can emote this process out, you don't have the skill to do that."  (Or something similar.)  Is that harder or easier code-wise than changing the individual echoes on a case-by-case basis?

I can think of exceptions: skin, for instance, allows you to hack shit to pieces (very appropriate) without the skill.  Basic combat skills.  Others?
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

roobee

  • Posts: 145
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 11:36:41 AM »
Quote
peek help file. Add that you can't use it if you don't have the skill. Current echo is something like "You do not see anything abnormal.", which implies that you can use the skill but that the target has an empty inventory.

Can you clarify?  Is the problem that the echo that you get from using peek without the skill is the same as the echo you get when a target has an empty inventory?  That doesn't seem right.
I dunno what the echo for an empty inventory is. I'm just saying that "You do not see anything abnormal." would seem like an echo for an empty inventory for a new player

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 11:53:17 AM »
Quote
peek help file. Add that you can't use it if you don't have the skill. Current echo is something like "You do not see anything abnormal.", which implies that you can use the skill but that the target has an empty inventory.

Can you clarify?  Is the problem that the echo that you get from using peek without the skill is the same as the echo you get when a target has an empty inventory?  That doesn't seem right.
I dunno what the echo for an empty inventory is. I'm just saying that "You do not see anything abnormal." would seem like an echo for an empty inventory for a new player

Yeah, sap, peek, pick, and others all seem to be the same problem -- which I agree was confusing for a newbie: the echo suggests you are doing something, but in point of fact you aren't, since you don't have the skill.

I'm not sure if the solution is to add to the help file for all such skills (all skills?) the line 'If you don't have the skill, you can't use it', since that should be obvious even to idiot newbs like me.  ;D

The solution (ideally) should be to fix the echo, e.g., "You really aren't that skilled at peeking, but you don't notice much."  I'll let it simmer to see if other people have an idea on a fix, or to figure out how wide the problem is -- how many other skills are like this -- then add something in the OP about it.

ETA: (1) Two factors to think about: with sap and pick, you have to also know the 'stop' command to stop.  (2) The only way to tell if a command is associated with a skill or just a command (see PICK vs. PICK in fact) is to look at the help files.  I guess our target audience here is a newbie who has done the requisite legwork: they should learn how to do what they want to do to play a realistic character in the mud and to use the code from the help files alone.  (And funnily enough, I had the sap thing happen to me as a newb, and I had to wish up to figure out how to stop it.)



And Jihelu: I know, right?!  My third PC (my first Ranger) actually went around trying to buy friggin' sling stones off of people, because I didn't know about forage OR salvage.  I got totally elfed on a bag of stones.  The other player must have been thinking: dude, this chick knows how to play a complete and utter imbecile.  Gonna kudos that shit.  (Point of fact: I did get kudos on playing a very realistic imbecile on a character -- not that one though.)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 06:39:31 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

CodeMaster

  • Posts: 1031
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 06:25:11 PM »
ETA: (1) Two factors to think about: with sap and pick, you have to also know the 'stop' command to stop.  (2) The only way to tell if a command is associated with a skill or just a command (see PICK vs. PICK in fact) is to look at the help files.  I guess our target audience here is a newbie who has done the requisite legwork: they should learn how to do what they want to do to play a realistic character in the mud and to use the code from the help files alone.  (And funnily enough, I had the sap thing happen to me as a newb, and I had to wish up to figure out how to stop it.)

I don't know if stop is actually a concentration-breaking command.  I don't think it is, so you have to do something else (like stand) to break your concentration and stop attempting the sap/pick.
The neat, clean-shaven man sends you a telepathic message:
     "I tried hairy...Im sorry"

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 06:36:01 PM »
ETA: (1) Two factors to think about: with sap and pick, you have to also know the 'stop' command to stop.  (2) The only way to tell if a command is associated with a skill or just a command (see PICK vs. PICK in fact) is to look at the help files.  I guess our target audience here is a newbie who has done the requisite legwork: they should learn how to do what they want to do to play a realistic character in the mud and to use the code from the help files alone.  (And funnily enough, I had the sap thing happen to me as a newb, and I had to wish up to figure out how to stop it.)

I don't know if stop is actually a concentration-breaking command.  I don't think it is, so you have to do something else (like stand) to break your concentration and stop attempting the sap/pick.

You're right!  Oops.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11376
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 10:55:07 PM »
Yeah... I wanted to help fix the documentation. Then real life hits. I imagine the same is true for whenever staff has gotten a bug about it.

The documentation on the site IS a total mess, though. It's often confusing and occasionally contradictory.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

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no matter what they say, you've earned the right to be so bold

Akariel

  • Storyteller
  • Posts: 436
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2015, 01:44:51 AM »
ETA: (1) Two factors to think about: with sap and pick, you have to also know the 'stop' command to stop.  (2) The only way to tell if a command is associated with a skill or just a command (see PICK vs. PICK in fact) is to look at the help files.  I guess our target audience here is a newbie who has done the requisite legwork: they should learn how to do what they want to do to play a realistic character in the mud and to use the code from the help files alone.  (And funnily enough, I had the sap thing happen to me as a newb, and I had to wish up to figure out how to stop it.)

I don't know if stop is actually a concentration-breaking command.  I don't think it is, so you have to do something else (like stand) to break your concentration and stop attempting the sap/pick.

STOP does not interrupt your concentration. Confirmed.

nauta

  • Posts: 2151
Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2015, 09:40:18 AM »
Yeah... I wanted to help fix the documentation. Then real life hits. I imagine the same is true for whenever staff has gotten a bug about it.

The documentation on the site IS a total mess, though. It's often confusing and occasionally contradictory.

Yep, that's the conversation I was thinking of.  There are 1539 topics listed in the index (some duplicates, some animals, some plants).  Still. Overwhelming.  But there's hope in Linus' Law: many eyes make all bugs shallow. A systematic approach leads to despair.  So, here's what I've been doing (and would encourage others to do as well):

Every time I use a command in the game, I pop open the help file and ask myself: would a newbie be able to do what I just did based just on the information in the help file, or would they have to resort to an IG mentor (crappy for off-peakers, often immersion breaking) or the helper chat (immersion breaking)?

It's not just about newbies either -- my memory is for shit when it comes to code.

Another area that I haven't touched on yet (but which, as a newbie, I found overwhelming and mysterious) is the area of meta-gaming structures (CGP, the report tool, karma, and so on).  Are these well documented in the help file (especially some of the processes that have changed recently) or do you have to go to a thread in the gdb to figure it out?  Hopefully we can hit those up too.

(Obviously, no sekritz or magickz.)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 09:46:38 AM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2015, 10:08:02 AM »
Re: Brew.

As far as I can tell, brew never fails.  This might be confusing to a newbie who wants to 'train' up brew based on the information here:
Quote
When you fail in an attempt to use a skill or spell, there is a chance it will improve.
(From FAQ 9.)
In fact, I received OOC guidance from my clan on an alternative way to train up brew using the craft command to make a certain kind of item.

So, questions:

1. Is this alternative method (craft a certain sort of thing) too secret to put in the HELP BREW?  (Maybe it isn't even true!)

2. Is there actually a way to skill up brew USING the brew command (since, um, it never fails)?

as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

555

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2015, 10:13:43 AM »
Re: Brew.

As far as I can tell, brew never fails.  This might be confusing to a newbie who wants to 'train' up brew based on the information here:
Quote
When you fail in an attempt to use a skill or spell, there is a chance it will improve.
(From FAQ 9.)
In fact, I received OOC guidance from my clan on an alternative way to train up brew using the craft command to make a certain kind of item.

So, questions:

1. Is this alternative method (craft a certain sort of thing) too secret to put in the HELP BREW?  (Maybe it isn't even true!)

2. Is there actually a way to skill up brew USING the brew command (since, um, it never fails)?



Tablets and the like never seem to fail. There ARE, however, brew crafts that can fail (and therefor result in skill gains). I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say outright, so I'll simply say, think Fight Club.

nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2015, 10:21:31 AM »
Ok, this probably says a LOT about me, but all I can think of is fisting with a rubber glove.  We can brew that?!?!



More seriously:

HELP BREW only gives three types: tablets, vials, and alcohol.  

If I understand the gdb discussions, alcohol is actually just a tantalizing suggestion, since that code is broken (except for certain stills hidden away in the game, which don't use a skill at all).

I'm not too sure on this, but I think there are things that you can CRAFT that are governed by the BREW skill rather than (say) COOKING.  If that's the case, I think it'd be fair to put a list of such items (at least some of the more common ones) in the help file for BREW, but I'll see what others think.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 10:33:19 AM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2015, 03:26:42 PM »
Added some stuff on sneak and (contentious) hide.

SNEAK:

o Remove (since not true[?]): "It functions for a certain time after a successful use."

o Add: If you character fails to sneak, you will not receive any notification at all.

o Notes: You can check whether or not you are sneaking only in the prompt variable (see PROMPT).

o Notes: You can add command emotes to directions, e.g., north (sneaking along sneaky like), and these will only show up to people who can detect you.

o See also: semote, hemote

HIDE:

o To become visible, type 'visibile'.

o Note: Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if you are still trying to hide.  Hide does wear off after some time [is that true?].

o Examples of RP with semote, hemote, and emote while hidden.

? Note: Most actions that break hide are obvious.  A few, however, are not: arrange (see ARRANGE), (others?).

o See also: semote, hemote
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 03:53:15 PM by nauta »
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Riev

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2015, 04:37:45 PM »
[Contentious] Hide will not wear off with time, but with movement. If you're hiding in an apartment, watching people mudsex for hours, it won't break hide per se. However, if you move to a different room or start doing gross-motor activities (get, standing/sitting, moving) then it will break.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

solera

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2015, 05:07:15 PM »
A successful sneak does not break hide....?

nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2015, 05:19:02 PM »
[Contentious] Hide will not wear off with time, but with movement. If you're hiding in an apartment, watching people mudsex for hours, it won't break hide per se. However, if you move to a different room or start doing gross-motor activities (get, standing/sitting, moving) then it will break.

Hmm.  I guess we'll leave it open, since testing it in-game seems kind of daunting.  I'll toss up two options, and let staff decide which one fits the code -- assuming the 'contentious' qualification meant 'I'm not sure about this' -- if you are sure then we can go with option one (with my sneaks, I never left it to chance, since I had read in the SNEAK help file that sneak wears off -- which, ha!, isn't true, but I inferred from that hide wore off too, so I'd just re-hide every ten minutes or so):

o [If hide is perpetual] Hide will never wear off; however, certain actions will break hide (see above).

o [If hide is not perpetual] Hide will wear off after a while; certain actions will also break hide (see above).

Solera: The help file for both HIDE and SNEAK already tell us that hide and sneak are used in conjunction.  Should it be more explicit?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 05:49:19 PM by nauta »
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nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2015, 06:14:38 PM »
Added something to ARCHERY in OP:

o Some clarification on the 'strength' of bows.  Here's the current language:
Quote
All bows, crossbows, and slings have a 'maximum range' and are designed for a particular strength (i.e., the strength required to pull the string back).
Perhaps it could be:
Quote
All bows, crossbows, and slings have a 'maximum range'.  Bows are designed for a particular strength, or pull.  Use 'assess' (see ASSESS) on the bow to assess its strength, or pull.  You may still pull a bow that says it is too strong for you, but pulling such bows will wear you out more readily.  Likewise, you may also pull a weaker bow, but such bows will do less damage. [NB: I'm not 100% sure if the last sentence is true.]
(I used to think if a bow was too strong for you, you simply couldn't use it, which is what the current language suggests.)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 06:25:41 PM by nauta »
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whitt

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2015, 06:55:40 PM »
Use 'assess' (see ASSESS) on the bow to assess its strength, or pull.

or View if the bow is for sale at a merchant.
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Patuk

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2015, 07:20:36 PM »
I have no comments about the help files really, but this is an excerpt from our front page..

Quote
It is a world where sorcerer-kings and their ruthless servants, the Templarate, govern the two main cities, Allanak and Tuluk. Any magick not granted by the Kings is feared and hated, and where the punishment of such a curse might be death. In this harsh realm, life is a constant struggle, and death may occur over a drink of precious water.

Is my grammar sense way off, or is there a word too many in that sentence?
Quote
You take the last bite of your scooby snack.
This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

nauta

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2015, 07:24:28 PM »
I have no comments about the help files really, but this is an excerpt from our front page..

Quote
It is a world where sorcerer-kings and their ruthless servants, the Templarate, govern the two main cities, Allanak and Tuluk. Any magick not granted by the Kings is feared and hated, and where the punishment of such a curse might be death. In this harsh realm, life is a constant struggle, and death may occur over a drink of precious water.

Is my grammar sense way off, or is there a word too many in that sentence?

GET OUTTA MA THREAD!   >:(

Actually, yes, the grammar is terrible there -- delete the second 'where' and you are golden.

Yeah, main website stuff is fair game too!  I went ahead and put it up in OP for posterity.

whitt: Thanks! Updated.



« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 07:26:44 PM by nauta »
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Akariel

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Re: Let's improve the HELP FILES (newbie friendly)
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2015, 04:14:12 AM »
Brew has nothing to do with actually using stills/teapots, surprisingly. Tablet making uses a -really old-fashioned system that's a hassel to work with (and never fails.) Brew can also make use of the CRAFT system for things such as soap.