[MUD-Dev] Playing catch-up with levels

Travis Nixon tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com
Tue Apr 27 11:21:49 CEST 2004

From: "cruise" <cruise at casual-tempest.net>

> It's logical, surely, to expect a character to not be as skilled
> at something they don't do very often?

Sure.  The problem I have with a system like this is not that I lose
skill by not using it.

It's that I lose one skill by gaining another.  Is it logical to say
that, if I become a master chess player, then become a master
swordsman, I am suddenly a hopeless newbie at chess?

The short answer is that skill systems that implement decay are
fine, in my opinion.  Skill systems that decay based on caps are
not, unless they give the player control over what decays and what
does not.  If you're going to add artificial limitations on the
system, you HAVE to provide the players a way of managing their
preferences artificially.

> I'm sure there are many, many solutions to such a problem. Why
> this attracts me is because it so intuitive. It's how we expect
> things to work from real-life.

No, actually, its not, unless there's no overall cap.  Most of the
discussion so far has been about capped systems, where skill A
decays because you gain skill B, and there are a limited number of
points.  As opposed to an uncapped system, where skill A decays
because X time has passed without using it.

The uncapped system IS what we expect from real-life, although
skills gained in life never decay totally.  I skateboarded a lot in
high school, and could ollie two and a half or three feet high,
about park-table height.  20 years later, I certainly can't pull
that off, but I can certainly jump on a board, ollie a foot or two,
and land a significant percentage of kickflip attempts.  :)

A capped system is completely artificial and un-natural, and as
such, practically requires you to give equally unnatural and
artificial controls to the player.
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