[MUD-Dev] Web vs. Java client

Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes kamikaze at kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu
Sun Nov 9 17:45:07 CET 2003

Sat, Nov 08, 2003 at 06:37:15PM +0000 in
<Pine.LNX.4.33L2.0311081832020.23892-100000 at localhost.localdomain>,
Matt Mihaly <the_logos at ironrealms.com> spake:
> On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes wrote:

>> What do they do with it?  I'm having a hard time picturing
>> non-griefer applications.

> Oh, lots of things, ranging from setting up auto-harvesters (sad
> game design flaw that requires people to "harvest <plant>" over
> and over)

Well, I'm hoping to avoid that kind of repetitive activity in my own
MUD, as I hope everyone would these days.  If it's painful to play,
it shouldn't be there, and fixing it in the client is the wrong way
to go about it.  The server does a regular reset except for the
players, and only includes a few random factors, so you could "farm"
an area every day with a sufficiently advanced script, but
challenges and rewards scale up rapidly enough that it's not

Of course, repetitive activity is the core of most of the MMORPGs,
but they have to handle much larger player bases with less
interesting stuff to do per capita.

> to using it to help themselves out in combat. (Our combat is
> extremely fast and text-heavy. Most people cannot compete without
> some triggers, though triggers can also be used against a
> combatant if you know the combatant has a trigger to do something
> that uses up a resource.)

That's definitely in the "griefer" category to me.  If you run a bot
to "help" you in combat in an FPS, you're a cheater; try that at a
LAN center, and you'll be kicked out and banned for life, and kids
are likely to beat each other up over it.  I can't see how it's any
less cheating in a MUD; high-speed combat is less common, so it
doesn't come up as much, is all.

>> That's a good idea to implement, when possible, but in a
>> node-based MUD it's hard to do.  An earlier version of my MUD
>> used a coordinate system, but I ditched that after playtesting.

> That's what Zmud's auto-mapper does though. It auto-maps
> node-based MUDs.  Check out: http://www.achaea.com/maps.htm and
> click on "Layout version of the heartland of the continent". I
> believe those maps were made using Zmud's auto-mapper though I'm
> not absolutely positive about it (a player mapped it).

Looking at the zMUD page, they were probably reorganized and touched
up with zMapper, especially the submaps.  Achaea looks like it's a
fairly regular world, too.  With anything more convoluted, it
becomes extremely hard to generate a consistent layout; I've done
diagram generation before, and it's a hard problem.  Still, that's
something to shoot for.

Alternately, instead of inferring the world from the client side, I
could let PCs learn a cartography skill, and send them only the
known sections and exits from a pre-computed or hard-coded map
diagram.  Easy enough to add some more tags to my room database.

 <a href="http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/"> Mark Hughes </a>
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