[MUD-Dev] UI Issues: Anti-scripting techniques

Brandon J. Rickman ashes at pc4.zennet.com
Mon Oct 6 11:49:00 CEST 1997

On Sun, 5 Oct 1997, "Travis Casey" <efindel at polaris.net> wrote:
>Well, one question is in how you divide up skills.  For example, one
>could simply have a "cooking" skill, or you could divide it up into
>"short-order cook", "baking", "barbecueing", "haute cuisine", etc.  Thus,

If you talk to someone who has taken a baking class they will tell you
that baking is an art, cooking is a science.

This was just a one-off reply, but I started thinking about the idea of
familiarity skills as a refinement to more general skills.  (This is, of
course, nothing new, but I gotta keep that signal level up.)  Instead
of having a million skills in bar-b-que, short-order, campfire, &c, these
could be tracked as "familiarities" instead of skills.  This distinction
makes more sense if you restrict the possible values of the familiarities,
like bar-b-que could range from 0 to 7.  Byte-conscious programmers love
this kind of thing.  The point is to make the general skills more adaptable
without complicating the skill web.  A master chef with no campfire
familiarity might have problems keeping ash out of the scrambled eggs,
but they would taste better than expected.

This is useful for hard-to-fathom skills like music.  Having a high
music skill doesn't make one a virtuoso on all instruments.  But a
good musician can pick up an instrument they have never played and
quickly make some musical sounds with it.  Because of this fiddling, their
familiarity with the instrument would go from 0 to 1.

And, of course, this gives some granularity to combat skills.  In 
Stonekeep (an essentially single player CRPG from 95(?)) this added some
hidden refinement to combat as your character developed a familiarity
"skill" with each different weapon used.  Even if your combat skills
didn't increase you would fight more effectively with the same weapon
after some time.

Old hat?

- Brandon Rickman - ashes at zennet.com -
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