[MUD-Dev] Containing automation?

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Wed Aug 11 19:51:07 CEST 1999

From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com>

>On 11:07 PM 8/10/99 -0400, I personally witnessed Jon A. Lambert jumping up
>to say:
>>Have you thought about using "upgrade paths", "prerequisites" and 
>>"corequisites" similar to WarCraft, Civilization or Age of Empires. 
>There is absolutely no sense to having prerequisites for equipment. That's
>like saying you can't buy Miracle Whip except as a mayonnaise upgrade. It's
>so ludicrous I refuse to even consider it.

Then just present all 500 pieces of equipment at once.  There are games that
do that.  RoleMaster (the old edition) presented an endless array of skills and
options.  The end result was it took one several hours to generate a character.
> Would you play a MUD like this?

Hehe, yes I have.  It resembles Zork.  It does have a nice questy feel to it.   ;)

>In the context of the games you mention, it's not purchasing equipment that
>has prerequisites. It's *creating* equipment. (Well, maybe not in Warcraft.
>I haven't played Warcraft in forever.) This is a wholly different animal.

Complexity is reduced by using the timeframe or technology levels; and
it fits in "naturally" within these games.  The user is presented with options
that are available within a certain timeframe.
The point I was trying to make is that you can use different (or arbitrary) scales 
to reduce the immediate complexity presented to a user, yet still retain a
complex game with thousands of pieces of equipment (and software) that
interacts subtly or overtly when used in combination.  

Having a option list presented to the purchaser that has been reduced by the 
system is a good way to reduce information overload.   It can be reduced by what 
the ship owner already owns, the equipment that is obsoleted by what he owns, the 
availability of such items in a given port, the amount of credits he has on hand, 
upgrades that he cannot use, categorically by nested submenus, etc. 

While the LIST and BUY xxxx commands are traditional to muds, they may not
make much sense in a Space game, where players have to stock and equip
one ship and even less so if it's a fleet of ships.

J. Lambert

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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