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#1184 - 02/01/08 01:24 PM Special areas?
Cerberus Administrator Offline
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Whatever happened to the infernal forge, or the ichor pit, or any of those "only in <this place>" type of abilities? Does anyone know why they're no more? I'm dreading hearing any one of the answers I think may be coming:
  • We don't know - AHH!! No news was posted? No one noticed that an area's cool special feature just stopped working?
  • It was unbalanced - Again, insert hair-pulling scream. Things can be rebalanced without removing them, can't they?
  • <Player> whined - heh. My dog ate it is almost as good a reason.
Maybe I'm off-base and alone, but I think these should be pretty high up on the list of re-enabling. Maybe not as they were, but certainly with a little bit of love and a whole lot of review. Anyone got any thoughts on the topic?
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#1186 - 02/01/08 02:36 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: Cerberus]
Charon Offline
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I for one am for special locations having special abilities. The better the ability the harder the place should be to get to (and no trans runes to that location!).
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#1213 - 02/07/08 08:52 AM Re: Special areas? [Re: Charon]
Charon Offline
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I'm curious what everybody thinks of special places that do special things and the restrictions on them.

Harold and I tossed around a few ideas for bonuses including (and some I'm just tossing in now off my head):
- forges create better/superior weapons
- boost in forge armour that would allow forges superior to the hard-capped forge
- special abilities of some nature

Ideas for limitations include:
- significant xp loss during or upon completion of a bonused item.
- DC during or upon completion
- time limitation, can only do one LT in that area every so often. Perhaps one piece of super-armor forged per mud year.
- permnament stat loss or some kind or hp loss (one levels worth perhaps?)

These areas of course would be protecte appropriately. Needless to say that we want these measures in so that equipment made from such sacrifice and work isn't the "norm" like TA laen is today.
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#1340 - 03/01/08 05:53 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: Charon]
Kim Offline
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Well, I think you have answered why those places were removed, basically. The drawbacks you have posted were either meaningless (DC loss, time limitations), or so harsh the only way anybody would do them is by doing non-interactive I'm-just-a-tinker-bitch characters (perm stat/HP loss). XP loss falls into the later category, maybe not obviously. But.. level up the tinker bitch, get the necessary skills, and then who cares about the tinker bitch losing XP, once you have the skills?

I have yet to see a good reason WHY some places should give special abilities to forged stuff. It really doesn't add anything except imbalance.

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#1343 - 03/02/08 08:55 AM Re: Special areas? [Re: Kim]
Charon Offline
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I think people misunderstand what balance is. A Mage and a fighter being able to level combat with the same effort and the same results isn't balance.

Special areas add a couple of things. First they add a destination which is important. Next it allows people who are willing to put in the extra time and energy to get something for it.

If everybody who put in 50 days of playtime had exactly the same equipment and abilities as somebody with half that time, that is poor balance.

If putting in the extra time and effort, which is the idea behind special areas, the implementation has yet to be decided, results in the same results as not putting in that extra effort then there is truly something unbalanced.

Let us take for example an extremely high level nightblade. Such a character could kill almost anybody. Does that make them unbalanced? Perhaps, but levels are one way the mud rewards effort. I understand this isn't perfect of course but the idea is still valid.
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#1351 - 03/03/08 02:59 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: Kim]
Cerberus Administrator Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Kim
Well, I think you have answered why those places were removed, basically. The drawbacks you have posted were either meaningless (DC loss, time limitations), or so harsh the only way anybody would do them is by doing non-interactive I'm-just-a-tinker-bitch characters (perm stat/HP loss). XP loss falls into the later category, maybe not obviously. But.. level up the tinker bitch, get the necessary skills, and then who cares about the tinker bitch losing XP, once you have the skills?
I agree with the point that some drawbacks are irrelevant. Deathcheck is meaningless, but time limitations aren't a drawback at all they're just a check on the rate at which new <whatever> can enter the game. By tweaking that rate we can (to some degree) balance the amount of new power coming into the game, and it gives us time to consider the ramifications before things get out of hand.

This talk makes me think that dev costs are a better drawback for the infernal forge in particular, whether directly or indirectly - of the forger or user.

Direct: It will cost you 120 development points to forge a <weapon> at the infernal forge. Would you like to continue? (yes or no) -OR- It will cost you 3 development points to wield the <weapon>. Would you like to continue? (yes or no)

Indirect: Your soul howls as it is flailed by unseen demons! You have lost 1% to your <skillname> skill. -OR- <critical effect> The demons bound into <waepon> seep into your soul, wreaking havoc upon your mind! You have lost 1% to your <skillname> skill.

Obviously these drawbacks fall into the harsh category. Thoughts on the idea? (Note: idea, not plan, not waiting-to-be-implemented, not on the horizon. In fact, think of it as musing, not even wistful musing, about the potential for innovative code.)

 Originally Posted By: Kim
I have yet to see a good reason WHY some places should give special abilities to forged stuff. It really doesn't add anything except imbalance.
 Originally Posted By: Charon
... they add a destination which is important. Next it allows people who are willing to put in the extra time and energy to get something for it.
Think of the mud in terms of creative space. If everything was exactly the same except for descriptions, there'd never be a reason to go anywhere but the place closest to the most stuff. By opening special abilities anywhere to anything we open a draw for players to spend time in a particular area. That particular area goes up in importance to the game, and it encourages players to explore other areas whose creative space might be more hidden.

As to why special abilities should be added to forged equipment, currently I can't give an irrefutable reason why equipment should be made any more special or unique. That's a failing of the power level of our current equipment, in my mind. Anyone should be able to get the best of anything not because of their intimate knowledge of the system, but because of the time they've spent obtaining those items.

Spending 18 weeks to figure out the most powerful combination of equipment is not the same as spending 18 weeks making a character who can obtain the most powerful piece of equipment at some peril to life and property. Both are valid, and both add a great levle of interest to some people in games. I am of the opinion that by opening the creative space that makes players spend some time outside of their safe zone you open the possibility that those players will be actively engaged rather than passively present.
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#1400 - 03/10/08 09:45 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: Cerberus]
Garkin Offline
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Registered: 02/05/08
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Going back 10+ years ago, I remember when the infernal forge was in the game. I remember when it was taken out, too. I believe back then it had the property of taking a very common mineral and randomly forging it into an item of a different material type.

And so players would form a party, loaded down with tons of cheap mcgrail, fight their way down there, set up transport runes to their castles and mines, and forge unlimited powerful weapons.

Until maybe Shadowraith learned about it. Then the entire world of Darkemud witnessed a terrific moving of the earth, and a volcano spewed ash, covering the world in darkness for two days. And when it was all over, the forge was no more...

(Essentially, it was crazily unbalanced and was taken out.)

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#1410 - 03/11/08 11:44 AM Re: Special areas? [Re: Garkin]
Cerberus Administrator Offline
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So is the general belief that there can't be special areas that are balanced? Should we abandon the idea of adding new specials and continue to remove the unbalanced specials we find, or strive to balance these features?

I am personally vested in special features because I like to program them, and as a player I like to strive to obtain or use them. If the only impetus for seeing these in game is in my own thoughts, they should be abandoned and those resources placed elsewhere.
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#1411 - 03/11/08 12:03 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: Cerberus]
MacTORG Administrator Offline
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could we have special items that can be only used on a per person bases and only when they are online? and if they log of it gets sent back to the special area?
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#1413 - 03/11/08 12:20 PM Re: Special areas? [Re: MacTORG]
Cerberus Administrator Offline
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Yes, without any effort what-so-ever. With any effort at all we could have special items that go to random locations (or random within a designation) when the player logs out, drops, or unequips the item.
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