Author Topic: Ranger Listen  (Read 3016 times)

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Ranger Listen
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:08:00 PM »
I know this has come up again and again, but this is a different take on it -- plus, the sling discussion got me thinking.

For the most part, skilling up in Arm is pretty natural: you do the activity, and you get the skill (eventually) over time.  Moreover, you can do the activity in a way conducive to RP -- you can improve scan, for instance, by going out with a hunting buddy and watching the movements of the animals, or sneak/hide this way too.  You can actually talk about improving the skill in game without breaking character or immersion.

However, listen is an outlier.

So, recently I was asked by a hunter I was training in the game: How do I improve my ability to listen to creatures?  (I was teaching them how to improve scan through some RP of looking at hidden creatures.)  I drew a blank on what to say.  I certainly didn't want to say: Go sit on the listening nook at the Gaj for a few RL days, which is how you actually skill up listen.

Rangers get listen and presumably this is for a reason, although I haven't really ever figured out if it has any coded advantage while hunting.  According to the help file 'listen has some effect on the detection of stealthy activities that can make noise'.

I dunno, I guess I'd like to figure out a way to allow us to train listen in a ranger-like way -- split it from the listen that indoors guilds (pickpockets, burglars, assassins get) and have it trained via animal noises?  But that's a lot of coded work.  Sometimes, I just wish it were removed entirely, as I at least haven't been able to make sense of my ranger having a skill that is only useful inside the city.

So: how do you RP the listen skill as a Ranger?  Do you just pretend it isn't there, but find it useful when you go inside the city?  Do you have some training scenarios you go through to train it?
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 01:13:01 PM »
I don't RP the skill. Sometimes I will stop and RP that I'm being still and listening to my surroundings, but I don't RP it in the same way that I RP, for example, skinning.

I hate the listening skill. Even more so because almost all of my rangers have been northern which means I can sit in the bar for hours without even anything to listen to.

I have not found any way at all to raise it in the wild, which in my mind, is where a ranger ought to be developing his skills.

Maybe make a goudra chirp or something that gives a listen check.

Delirium

  • Helper
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Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 01:29:23 PM »
How do you train listening to creatures? Hang around sneaky creatures and try to detect them.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

Harmless

  • Posts: 2627
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 10:23:24 AM »
There really aren't enough sneaky creatures in the wild. The ones that exist are <redacted>
Useful tips: Commands |  |Storytelling:  1  2

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 10:26:55 AM »
How do you train listening to creatures? Hang around sneaky creatures and try to detect them.

Are you saying that being in the room with a sneaky creature is a listen check?

That would be a surprise to me. I've seen advanced scan and novice listen many times now. You'd think I would have at least gotten a few accidental fails from passing though rooms infested with sneakies.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9377
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 11:05:26 AM »
How do you train listening to creatures? Hang around sneaky creatures and try to detect them.

Are you saying that being in the room with a sneaky creature is a listen check?

That would be a surprise to me. I've seen advanced scan and novice listen many times now. You'd think I would have at least gotten a few accidental fails from passing though rooms infested with sneakies.

Being in a room where someone or something is using sneak, while moving.  Not just being in the room.  There aren't a whole lot of mobs that are a) aggro and b) use sneak, but they're out there.
Quote from: WarriorPoet
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Quote from: Smuz
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Quote from: Vanth
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Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2016, 11:13:19 AM »
I know a ton of the sneakers in the north. Not so much in the south.

I didn't know that being in the room with them would raise my listen. I guess you're saying that they have to move in or out?


Riev

  • Posts: 4722
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 11:17:02 AM »
You train listen by there being something you couldn't normally hear (footsteps, whispers, talking, etc) while listen is on.

Most animals don't do these things.

Maybe +1 to random zone echoes that attach to an hemote?
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1840
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 12:29:20 PM »
When playing a ranger who doesn't spend much time in population centers, it's hard to have the listen skill keep up with the scan skill in terms of progression. I often have to do silly thing to get skill gains because I figure it's time. I'll have scan at master and listen at novice. Either I'm doing it wrong by not getting enough exposure to sneaking things or there could be more effective ways for a ranger in the wilds to progress their listen skill.

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2016, 12:33:59 PM »
When playing a ranger who doesn't spend much time in population centers, it's hard to have the listen skill keep up with the scan skill in terms of progression. I often have to do silly thing to get skill gains because I figure it's time. I'll have scan at master and listen at novice. Either I'm doing it wrong by not getting enough exposure to sneaking things or there could be more effective ways for a ranger in the wilds to progress their listen skill.

This has been my experience too.
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11452
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 12:34:16 PM »
From the help file from help listen:

"Notes:
Listen has some effect on the detection of stealthy activities that can make noise."

Extrapolate. :)

I agree that there should be more sneaky critters.
"Our whole lives are just stories." - Vikings

I get wherever I'm going, I get whatever I need
while my blood's still flowing and my heart still beats

zztri

  • Posts: 29
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 12:54:25 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

Riev

  • Posts: 4722
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 01:00:11 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

The issue people are describing is that they don't WANT to be around elves, and rats, and alleyways, to get listen to go up. They want to play the Wasteland wanderer who isn't but hardly INSIDE the city walls.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9377
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 01:03:35 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

That's a cute point of view...but uh...if you only use a skill when you "need to," it's gonna fail disastrously.  That's just a fact of how the game works.  You need skills to do stuff.  You start out with skill levels that do not allow you to do anything but -barely- fend for yourself--if you get lucky.

So, if you only ever use 'listen' in the wilderness, it's only going to fail the 1 or 2 times a d-elf sneaks up on you to peep you out, then wanders off.  Eventually, a d-elf or three is going to sneak up on you and you won't even know, because your listen skill is still at like 10%.  On the other hand, if you train listen by using it to do other things, that you may not even care about, and it's sitting at a nice 80%, the next time someone sneaks up on you, you -might- detect it (probably not, but that's another discussion about the relative powers of stealth vs. detection skills).
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5918
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 01:06:21 PM »
You do you, Zztri.

Sounds like you found the way you enjoy the game, and yes, there are events in the world that make it so you only need to use it when you see fit.  What synthesis means is that in the skill-oriented side of the game, you'll lag behind people who have the focus of making things improve as much as possible rather than as needed.  As long as you acknowledge that and continue to enjoy the game, you're good!
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1840
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2016, 01:13:00 PM »
Yeah, the underlying issue (for me at least) is there are skills listen branches to that make a ranger a better hunter. The skills that branch from listen are complementary to some othe the other hunting skills a ranger branches and it creates a bottleneck when some of the skills aren't available. It's like a chef having the skill for applying salt to a dish yet lacking the skill for applying the pepper. It's a simple analogy illustrating the skills work together.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 01:17:58 PM by Molten Heart »

zztri

  • Posts: 29
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2016, 01:20:26 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

That's a cute point of view...but uh...if you only use a skill when you "need to," it's gonna fail disastrously.  That's just a fact of how the game works.  You need skills to do stuff.  You start out with skill levels that do not allow you to do anything but -barely- fend for yourself--if you get lucky.

So, if you only ever use 'listen' in the wilderness, it's only going to fail the 1 or 2 times a d-elf sneaks up on you to peep you out, then wanders off.  Eventually, a d-elf or three is going to sneak up on you and you won't even know, because your listen skill is still at like 10%.  On the other hand, if you train listen by using it to do other things, that you may not even care about, and it's sitting at a nice 80%, the next time someone sneaks up on you, you -might- detect it (probably not, but that's another discussion about the relative powers of stealth vs. detection skills).

... Isn't that how it should be? If you're a hunter who ever, never had anything ever sneak up on her, she'd fail to recognize the threat and die. If she knows he will be facing desert elves, let her find someone who can sneak, let her pester her superior to find such a person and let her train with someone sneaking upon her. *shrug*

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9377
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2016, 01:28:50 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

That's a cute point of view...but uh...if you only use a skill when you "need to," it's gonna fail disastrously.  That's just a fact of how the game works.  You need skills to do stuff.  You start out with skill levels that do not allow you to do anything but -barely- fend for yourself--if you get lucky.

So, if you only ever use 'listen' in the wilderness, it's only going to fail the 1 or 2 times a d-elf sneaks up on you to peep you out, then wanders off.  Eventually, a d-elf or three is going to sneak up on you and you won't even know, because your listen skill is still at like 10%.  On the other hand, if you train listen by using it to do other things, that you may not even care about, and it's sitting at a nice 80%, the next time someone sneaks up on you, you -might- detect it (probably not, but that's another discussion about the relative powers of stealth vs. detection skills).

... Isn't that how it should be? If you're a hunter who ever, never had anything ever sneak up on her, she'd fail to recognize the threat and die. If she knows he will be facing desert elves, let her find someone who can sneak, let her pester her superior to find such a person and let her train with someone sneaking upon her. *shrug*

If my PC has been a hunter all her life, before I started playing her, wouldn't she -already- be good at that?

We roll PCs that are 20-35 years old at chargen with skills so low that starving children in the 'rinth can punch you to death if you aren't careful.
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

nauta

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2016, 01:29:10 PM »
From the help file from help listen:

"Notes:
Listen has some effect on the detection of stealthy activities that can make noise."

Extrapolate. :)

I agree that there should be more sneaky critters.

Ah, this actually answers it for me.  I had noticed the line in the help file, but I thought that that sneaking animals weren't making noise -- that is, that it was something the scan was useful for not listen.  So makes sense for me, and even better it's something we can incorporate into our RP without breaking immersion.

I still think for realism reasons that there should be city listen and wilderness listen, since eavesdropping/lip reading is quite a different skill from detecting the twig-breaking movements of animals.

But I'm not about to suggest this change, since (a) I love rangers and (b) I hate not having the ability to eavesdrop on others at the bar!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 01:34:21 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

zztri

  • Posts: 29
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2016, 01:41:23 PM »
I am a player who played in this MUD for just a few days, so there may be something I don't know but I don't see the problem. Your "listen" skill is not improving? Good.. There's nothing sneaky going on around you. You don't need the skill. It'll improve when you need it; when there are sneaky creatures around you.

Even though I play when there are about 4-5 people in the world according to the "who" command, my listen skill is improving. There are elves and rats in the least. And when it stops improving, I won't worry, knowing I don't need it higher.

That's a cute point of view...but uh...if you only use a skill when you "need to," it's gonna fail disastrously.  That's just a fact of how the game works.  You need skills to do stuff.  You start out with skill levels that do not allow you to do anything but -barely- fend for yourself--if you get lucky.

So, if you only ever use 'listen' in the wilderness, it's only going to fail the 1 or 2 times a d-elf sneaks up on you to peep you out, then wanders off.  Eventually, a d-elf or three is going to sneak up on you and you won't even know, because your listen skill is still at like 10%.  On the other hand, if you train listen by using it to do other things, that you may not even care about, and it's sitting at a nice 80%, the next time someone sneaks up on you, you -might- detect it (probably not, but that's another discussion about the relative powers of stealth vs. detection skills).

... Isn't that how it should be? If you're a hunter who ever, never had anything ever sneak up on her, she'd fail to recognize the threat and die. If she knows he will be facing desert elves, let her find someone who can sneak, let her pester her superior to find such a person and let her train with someone sneaking upon her. *shrug*

If my PC has been a hunter all her life, before I started playing her, wouldn't she -already- be good at that?

We roll PCs that are 20-35 years old at chargen with skills so low that starving children in the 'rinth can punch you to death if you aren't careful.

"All right, I'm making a sixty-year-old mage. I win."

Based on my very, very limited experience, skills improve incredibly fast anyway, faster than a few popular MUDs.. I literally made my first character last wednesday. My character came from "please let me not starve" to "should I rent a luxury apartment now" point. And I swear I'm not trying to up my skills at all.. I'm just doing whatever a [class deleted] would do in that condition.

I don't see the point in your comment. You want all 'rinth children (about whose proficiency I don't have an idea) weaker for logical reasons? Use the bug command. Then the staff would possibly have to add them in groups and nothing will change. Or they'd simply respond "67 children were there. The strongest survived. He knows to defend himself.". I'd say guardians would accompany the kids but seems 'rinth is a place where it's a inhuman nightmare - I can't wait to roll my second character there.

You want perfect "listen" skill? Good. I want perfect "fireball" skill. We both won't have it. In MUDs skills begin at the very bottom and you mature as you play, whether you've started as a 7 year old or 70...

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9377
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2016, 01:42:41 PM »
You're not getting it, but I'm not going to argue it.

Try avoiding hyperbole, next time.

My point is this:  if you play how you suggest you are playing, it is unlikely that your average PC will ever get to the point where they reasonably should have started at from chargen.  It is unlikely that you will ever branch "core" guild skills that rely on mastery of some marginally useful skill.

But, fine...if you want to play like that, it's your business.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 01:48:04 PM by Synthesis »
Quote from: WarriorPoet
I play this game to pretend to chop muthafuckaz up with bone swords.
Quote from: Smuz
I come to the GDB to roleplay being deep and wise.
Quote from: Vanth
Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

solera

  • Posts: 1750
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2016, 02:55:31 PM »
I play like zztri, or try to. Now I have learnt belatedly, how sneak branches ( I didn't know for any of my rangers) , if I want a sneaky hermit, I will be choosing a subguild to match.
Incidentally, for my last city character, I maxed listen without trying, through hearing conversations next door, or at the next table.

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7454
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2016, 04:14:16 PM »
zztri, don't pay Synthesis any mind. He's a code-junkie min-maxer, who wants us to believe that he sincerely feels that the code dictates the roleplay. I don't know if he actually believes this, but that's how he comes across, regularly - so I have to assume his presentation is intentional.

I admire your perception of the game and the code supporting it. It looks like I'm not the only one, and we're not talking about "oh innocence, le sigh" here. You're someone who roleplays his character's role, and uses the code to support that roleplay rather than putting together the character via the code, and then using roleplay to support the coded selections. Your way is how Armageddon should be played, in my opinion, whether the code allows us to play it that way or not. So here's to you, and have a Bud Light :)
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

zztri

  • Posts: 29
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2016, 06:34:23 PM »
Yeah, the underlying issue (for me at least) is there are skills listen branches to that make a ranger a better hunter. The skills that branch from listen are complementary to some othe the other hunting skills a ranger branches and it creates a bottleneck when some of the skills aren't available. It's like a chef having the skill for applying salt to a dish yet lacking the skill for applying the pepper. It's a simple analogy illustrating the skills work together.

That, I knew nothing about... sorry..

I still won't worry a lot.. It's slowly improving on its own and that's enough for me but only because the world's new to me. Even a rat corpse on a street is something fun to play along yet, I look at, assess, sniff at and even lick everything. Maybe in my tenth character I'll start worrying about that skill.

But I had warned you, I'm a complete newbie in this MUD. Sorry, that new information changes stuff. I'm just learning the branching mechanism. Then there could be a way for ruggedly handsome hunters of Zalanthas to improve the 'listen' skill codedly, like lizards with high stamina wanderlust, changing rooms frequently and sneakily.

Now I'll go drink coffee with my husband and tell him excitedly what I did tonight to him, he'll act like he's interested because he's nice like that.

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5918
Re: Ranger Listen
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2016, 06:39:50 PM »
I wouldn't ignore Synthesis entirely.  He's essentially giving you a leg up on understanding mechanics of the game, because mechanics save you or kill you in the game a lot more easily (and commonly) than any grand plot or storyline.  That's often a complaint, but I find it kind of fitting for the world; bad hunters die, regardless of how interesting they are.

I was just letting you know that you don't have to slip into complete skill focus if you don't want to, as long as you understand what he's telling you, which is that skills will at most levels determine your survival.  This only changes once you get deeper into politics and manipulation, which some new players get the hang of a lot better than others.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger