09 Jul, 2009, Hades_Kane wrote in the 41st comment:
I may add some enhancing foods in the future, but right now the only thing you can do with food in our game is lace it with poison :)
That's about in line with us :p
Actually, eating does give very small hp boosts… something in the range of like 10-15 hp. Nothing major, but enough to where its not pointless to have food. I've also added in the ability for builders to script what happens when someone eats an object, so we may see more interesting applications for food in the future.
Other things I've done is Vampires can gain hp/mp by drinking the "pools of blood" that remain sometimes after killing an enemy, our Undead race gains a decent hp boost from eating the brains of things they kill, and I think I gave Lycans a little hp boost for eating certain body parts as well as long as they are in Lycan form.
Edited to add: One thing I found amusing is with our "crazy" flaw, one of the messages you have a chance at seeing once in a while is: You are Hungry. You are Thirsty.
I enjoy putting in small easter eggs like that which refer back to stock roots, even if its a nod to something that was annoying :p (We also have a beastly fido roaming one of our main cities)
I think most games these days have moved away from penalties for not eating and drinking and instead offer bonuses in the form of stat enhancing food and drink. Of course if the game is balanced around the assumption that characters will have eaten these foods then it's arguably no different from having a penalty for not eating.
I balance the bonuses with penalties - eating food restores health, but also lowers speed. As a result, most people don't bother eating during combat unless they're desperate, or unless they've designed their character around it (eg a werewolf with Powerful Metabolism and Greater Shark Spirit, who 'eats' bits of his opponents as part of his bite attack).
I like the idea of keeping the need to eat and drink, adds realism, which is part of the reason i stopped running godwars muds, and switched to rom. Although godwars pk is sweet… Though it is a lot easyer to get a good pbase with godwars than rom, probably due to there being a lot less GW around than roms and the fast maxing and pking. I have a lot of skills/spells but they grow more powerful with levels. Personaly id rather see a huge list of spells/skills when i type prac rather than 40 or less.. .but have each of the fire spells have a secondary effect differant than the other fire spells.Thats probably due to a lot of hours (thousands) playing the Rom Clandestine. As far as some admins allowing players to practice skills/spells to 100 percent, my GW came stock with prac all, which set all skills/spells to 100. I removed that and made it so you could only prac one at a time and only up to 75 percent with a chance for improvement on usage.. It was resembling a rom more and more until i just switched over.. -Xrak
10 Jul, 2009, Hades_Kane wrote in the 45th comment:
I like the idea of keeping the need to eat and drink, adds realism
Is there any penalty other than just annoying players?
That's the thing, realism isn't necessarily a good thing unless it actually adds something to the game or serves some sort of function.
I understand that the early design of it might have been to help add a money sink, but most games you log into, you can find really cheap means of satisfying the hunger/thirst, from widely available temple fountains that fill you up in both regards, low cost wands of magic mushroom, etc. Almost every game I've seen, the -only- incentive to eat/drink is to keep the annoying tick messages from appearing.
I don't think forcing your characters to engage in certain behaviors just to keep from being annoyed is good game design.
If you are concerned about realism, though, I have some suggestions, because as it is, stock ROM eating/drinking isn't realistic at all. I would suggest adding timers that if the person hasn't drank in a certain number of ticks, they become afflicted with dehydration, which then begins to incur stat penalties. For each tick that they haven't drank after dehydration sets in, the affect compounds making the penalties higher. Once the level of dehydration reaches a certain point, the character is then unable to move or perform many normal MUD actions, until eventually they suffer death. Probably something similar with hunger would be needed, although that could be stretched over a much longer period of time.
On the same note, if the character didn't defecate or urinate frequently enough, there could be a number of things that happen, including dexterity and hitroll penalties, and maybe even a roll for the character to soil themselves, which could then actually stink up the room, deducting their chances for things like sneaking, hiding, being invisible, stealing items, etc. This could even lead to a constipation affect that might could be induced by certain attacks to certain parts of the body or even spell affects, which then would cause the character pain and small amounts of hp damage, incur the "haven't used it recently enough" stat penalties, among other things.
Anything less for an eating/drinking system isn't realism, it's just unnecessary annoyance for a character.
You might also consider making sure a character gets at least an accumulative 4-6 hours a sleep every MUD day, or else they begin to suffer negatives to their mental stats and magic. Sleep deprivation could be another status affect that appears if they haven't slept enough, and again compounds based on how long they go without it. Maybe after about 36-48 hours, the character then has a (high) chance of randomly falling asleep, no matter where they are. Maybe you could even add in stimulants like caffeine or meth that players could ingest in order to help stave off the sleep deprivation affects and lessen their chances of falling asleep, but of course, for the sake of realism you would probably want to consider adding in the chance for addiction and the host of things that entails. This could also pave the way for an insomnia status affect that could be inflicted through certain skills or spells that would cause a character to be unable to sleep and forcibly incur the stat penalties that sleep deprivation entails. If a character does manage to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a comfortable location (a piece of furniture, for example) then you could give them the 'well rested' bonus that would increase their regen rates and maybe give them a slight bonus to their core stats.
So yeah, if you are concerned with realism, these are some suggestions you might consider. Eating and drinking is a necessary part of daily life, and realistically, if you don't do that, bad things happen. Likewise, if you are going to force your players to eat and drink, its very unrealistic to not also force them to expel that which they take in. Sleep is just as much of a necessary, daily part of anyone's life, and if you are going to have your players need to eat/drink for the sake of realism, you should make them have to sleep as well.
Also, in the vein of wanting realism in your fantasy text-based game, you might also consider perma-death, since dying and easily being able to be brought back to life is probably the most unrealistic aspect of most ROM games.
After all, if you are going for realism, and fall short of that, you are just supporting a system that isn't realistic, but that are just hoops you are forcing your players to jump through in order to cut down on unnecessary and annoying spam.
So you have to ask yourself, how committed to realism are you?
-1 REALISM~ Realism seems like a good idea for a roleplaying game, as the more realistic it is the easier it should be to forget it's a game. However, I once played a game where you had to take off each shoe before removing your pants! Sure, it was realistic, but it was also tedious. While I have tried to increase the realism, I've also tried to keep the game from being annoying. Should something seem irritating, please check the helps for a work-around, and if none is found, please drop Keriwena a note.
One thing in ROM that bothered me was the feeling I was a big trailer truck, lugging enough stuff to fill a house. Thus, here I limit your 'inventory' and provide houses and rooms for storage. I also felt like I had a lightpole grafted to my shoulder to hang a lantern, and I must have had three hands, as there were separate 'slots' for two weapons. I have tried to make you feel like you really have just two hands, limiting many commands regarding object handling, but I've tried avoid tedium through automation and loopholes.
If this is your first MUD, then you'll likely find this realism makes things easier as things will behave closer to your expectations. If you have been on other MUDs, then you may have to deal with a few 'gotchas', but I believe in the long run you'll find the extra attention to detail and ease of play make for a more satisfying experience that will be adequate reward. And again, the help files are your friends, but I'm always open to feedback. ~
All of our entertainment genre are unrealistic to some extent. And all of them, especially RPGs, require, to some degree, "willing suspension of disbelief". The art lies in striking the balance between what can be believed, and what breaks the mood. Too much realism is just as bad as too little. Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors largely because he can get us to swallow almost anything. His characters, while being superficially ridiculous, warm our hearts with their humanity, and his settings drip with realistic details that make us feel like we're there, despite the fact he insists the world is flat.
I think in choosing where you draw the line between realism and expediency, you choose the maturity and intelligence of your players. ROM became so popular because it drew the line in just the right place - attempts to improve on ROM are often like an attempt to improve on Schulz's 'Peanuts'. Charlie Brown wouldn't be better character if drawn by Dave McKean. That said, there's much wrong with ROM, but the trick lies in not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
My Blades Code seemed a great success, and players were quite happy with it. Maintaining the look and feel of ROM was the goal, with particular attention payed to playability. But having done that, I wanted something more, and embarked upon DeepMUD. DeepMUD is more realistic, more complex, and so far, not likely to maintain the interest of wandering gamers. I haven't really promoted it though, and I suspect many of the log-offs are other developers just checking things out. Yes, I have eating. I have three food types, and a diet balanced for your race is required for maximum regeneration. The penalty for not eating properly is you'll be stuck sleeping as much as you did on ROM. :evil:
10 Jul, 2009, Hades_Kane wrote in the 48th comment:
I don't care about realism. I just want something fun to play, but maybe that's just my personal taste.
I have to actually -agree- with Runter for once, lol!
I enjoy roleplaying, but too much "realism" can spoil it, and again, too much realism can made a game annoying and tedious.
Sandi seems to have actually incorporated some sort of gameplay value to eating, which makes that infinitely better than the typical stock eating. We've also approached the wear slots in a different way. I've noticed on a lot of games, there were slots for shield, primary weapon, held, used as light, and optionally a secondary weapon. Four-Five slots for two hands seemed ridiculous, and generally seemed poorly coded as with many games, there were loopholes or bugs you could use in order to technically have more than 2 of those slots have something in them. We've changed to "Primary" and "Secondary" hand slots. Anything you can hold generally is able to be used in either hand, whether it be wands, scrolls, a shield, weapons, etc. All of our wear slots are visible in 'look' and 'equipment' regardless of whether or not something is equipped there (we also drastically reduced the number of wear slots as well). We also added in a 'both hands' slot that will appear in place of the primary/secondary when something is gripped in both hands. So yeah, this was an aspect done for the sake of realism that also added to the gameplay in my opinion, and that's where the distinction can be drawn I believe.
I just think its important to consider, when trying to figure out if you want to add/keep something because its realistic as to whether or not it actually has any real benefit or positive affect on the game, whether it deepens/enriches the experience of the player, or if its just an annoying thing that people have to stomach in order to play your game.
Eating, drinking, movement points, the need for lights at night in outside rooms… I've done away with all of that. There are a lot of things like that which seemed to be unnecessarily annoying. I can understand some gameplay designs that might make use of movement points, and I can see why some area designs might like to make use of dark rooms, but in the general sense, all of those always seemed to hamper the game than enhance it in my opinion. Besides, its entirely possible for a builder to script needing a light to get through a dark area (and probably make it more interesting in the process) if someone really wants to do that.
On the subject of movement points, I use them as a measure of exhaustion. That is, the fewer you have, the less often you attack, and each attack drains your points further. So the longer you slug it out, the more exhausted and slower you get, unless someone casts a refresh on you. I saw it as a way of balancing melee against magic (which burns mana instead), where overuse of either leaves you vulnerable.