Combat Numbers

Discussion concerning the upcoming Toril 2.0 update as well as general 3.5 edition D&D discussion
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Postby Jurdex » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:32 pm

Another question after reading the weapon enchantments thread and seeing the awesome screenshots Shev posted..

So we won't be seeing actual numerical feedback on our damage?

For example, it won't tell us our critical hit caused 137 points of damage or that our full heal mended 533 hit points, etc?

I was hoping perhaps there might be a way for us to see the actual numbers with 2.0, or perhaps a way to toggle the display.. for those who prefer more role-play and theme they can see the "extremely hard slash" and for those of us who want to see what we're doing from a numerical standpoint how about a display allowing us to?

Thanks. :)

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Postby Shevarash » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:40 pm

Jurdex wrote:Is there anything being done in terms of prestige?


No. 2.0 is all about the core game play - combat, spells, skills, feats, character attributes, equipment, etc. Other aspects of the game - such as prestige, guildhalls, trade, etc - will be addressed after 2.0 is done. To use an already overused analogy, we're building a solid foundation so we have something stable and balanced to build off of...
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Postby Shevarash » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:55 pm

Jurdex wrote:So we won't be seeing actual numerical feedback on our damage?

For example, it won't tell us our critical hit caused 137 points of damage or that our full heal mended 533 hit points, etc?

I was hoping perhaps there might be a way for us to see the actual numbers with 2.0, or perhaps a way to toggle the display.. for those who prefer more role-play and theme they can see the "extremely hard slash" and for those of us who want to see what we're doing from a numerical standpoint how about a display allowing us to?


No, it doesn't show the numbers in the combat messages. However, all of the numbers that determine your damage are viewable in your character record (the 'record' command replaces score/att) so you can easily figure out the range of damage you are doing without having to get spammed by the numbers on every hit.

That said, a toggle to display the numbers right in the combat messages is a possibility if that's something that people really want. Personally I'd like to avoid it as I think it would be somewhat garish and spammy, but I'm open to hearing more arguments for it.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:00 pm

How would it be more spammy?

Your mighty blow barely scratches an aboleth.

vs.

You hit an aboleth for 27 points of damage.
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Postby Shevarash » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:04 pm

I was referring to the content, not the length. It just seems like the numbers in a huge battle would be difficult to digest in any meaningful way.
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Postby Birile » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:42 pm

Shevarash wrote:I was referring to the content, not the length. It just seems like the numbers in a huge battle would be difficult to digest in any meaningful way.


People want to say, "There was this one time when we were fighting X mob that I did X amount of damage in one hit! Beat that!"

It's bragging rights--not digestability--that people want, Shev. :)

You can't 100% say you had the hardest hit ever if you got a text message saying you hit really really hard and twenty-five other people got the same text message if that message has a numerical damage range associated with it.

Edit: If we do start posting numbers on each bit of melee damage produced, we should post numbers for each amount of magic damage produced as well. Actually, I'm sure an Invoker wouldn't mind knowing their Inferno made a mob "Extra Crispy" or just "Luke Warm" or something... :lol:
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Postby Arilin Nydelahar » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:24 pm

I personally wouldn't mind it, but if a toggle is made(not sure how you envision it) but why not make the toggle only visible to the person hitting so it doesn't spam everyone else, but jsut the person seeing it?
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Postby Birile » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:02 pm

Arilin Nydelahar wrote:I personally wouldn't mind it, but if a toggle is made(not sure how you envision it) but why not make the toggle only visible to the person hitting so it doesn't spam everyone else, but jsut the person seeing it?


Because then there would be false braggarts posting false logs!
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Postby Tral » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:27 pm

Birile wrote:Because then there would be false braggarts posting false logs!


How about something like a 'fightstat' - that gives a record of who did what after 'You receive your share of exp'.

Maybe gfight - shows record of last fight... Anyone in the group can see it.

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Postby Sarell » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:21 am

The command we use to have to see what damage we did in any fight or over given time was neat. Overall I prefer the mystery and learning what your spells do exactly through use however, even as far as being able to see the numbers on your sheet. A1M1.
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Postby Jurdex » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:28 am

Well, in D&D 3.5 you do in fact see your damage numerically. You don't slash it extremely hard, you actually see the damage as you fight. I suppose as you level up it would be nice to get instant feedback on the damage you do, but I don't think it would make much difference in a zone. If you do in fact get to see your damage done via the record command, that should solve that issue.. however will it say you did a total of 437 damage for the last fight, you missed 11 times, you've done 420,490 damage overall and missed 917 times overall? Or will it show the individual damage strikes you had on the last fight so you can see what specifically your critical strike did?

I think we'd need to see it on an individual attack basis because with the threat range on some weapons being very low with keen and certain feats, you can score crits pretty often.

Also, I don't know if it has been covereed, but how will Damage Reduction work in 2.0? Will it exist?

Thanks.

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Postby Shevarash » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:37 pm

When I referred to the character record sheet I meant that you can see exactly what your damage dice and Strength bonus is, so you can calculate the range of damage that you're doing. Of course when you add in criticals, weapon enchantments, feats, etc that can get a bit harder to calculate.

I like the idea of an individual toggle to display damage either descriptively or with numbers.
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:24 pm

I do too. No, your brain won't be able to process numbers at MUD-scroll speed, but you could set up a trigger set to rip the data and crunch some numbers to see how you're performing.
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Postby Birile » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:52 pm

Shevarash wrote:I like the idea of an individual toggle to display damage either descriptively or with numbers.


Cool... could you set this up so that if I toggle to see the actual numbers that I can see the numbers for everybody, or would I just be able to see my own numbers?
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Postby Shevarash » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:33 pm

You would see everyone's.

The toggle would just shift all combat messages between numbers/adjectives for the user.
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Postby Ashiwi » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:42 am

You can see everyone's damage...

Ugh, nasty. Can we just remove all pretense of a fantasy RP game and just leave the Matrix-like number scroll, please? Thanks.
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Postby Arilin Nydelahar » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:33 am

Ashiwi wrote:You can see everyone's damage...

Ugh, nasty. Can we just remove all pretense of a fantasy RP game and just leave the Matrix-like number scroll, please? Thanks.


It'd be a toggle, so YOU could see everyones. If you still had it off, you wouldn't see it.

So, if you don't want it, you don't have to use it. I'd like to know personally so I'd use it.
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:35 am

It doesn't appeal much to me either, frankly, but I can see why some people would enjoy it. I can't really see how it would affect one's personal game experience to let another user view numbers if they so choose.

And as for impacting roleplaying, well...D&D manages to tell you all of the numbers in excuciating mind-numbing detail while retaining that RP feeling...

I'm completely open to feedback about this topic.
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Postby Jurdex » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:44 am

Ashiwi wrote:You can see everyone's damage...

Ugh, nasty. Can we just remove all pretense of a fantasy RP game and just leave the Matrix-like number scroll, please? Thanks.


Well, in some ways it's advantageous to have it not showing you numbers. For example, if you enshroud it in a mist of blood you know it's just about dead, but seeing you hit it for 37 damage won't tell you that (unless it says you enshroud the boar in a mist of blood for 37 damage!), heh. The role-play aspect is there for those who want to take advantage of it right now. This would just be allowing a hack 'n slash aspect for those who want that aspect.

As has been said, the individual toggle would allow for those who wish to role-play and maintain the theme of the mud to keep that alive and well.. while also allowing those who want instant feedback on their prowess to have it.

Plus, it is much more D&D like, as Shev pointed out.

Also, I liken this toggle to the old argument of not being able to see your EXP unless you spoke to your guildmaster versus seeing an EXP progress bar anywhere in the game. We've had the progress bar for years now. Has it had an adverse impact on role-play? Hopefully not.

Questions:

1) Will evil-aligned dwarves be allowed in Mithril Hall? (I'm not sure if this is a FR theme thing or not.)

2) When we're a higher level than a mob, is there any consideration being given to giving us a chance to see the mob's level and classes? I mentioned this before, but as you become a much more experienced and proficient adventurer you're going to be able to pick up on what a combatant can do, especially when you've advanced beyond him/her's abilities. Perhaps some mobs might retain the mystery a la !id items. (Not saying that's good or bad, but I just find it odd that there's so few descriptions for mobs lower level than you when you're 50..)

3) Will there be any differentiation on damage reduction? i.e. DR against physical attacks, DR against magic attacks, and true DR which works against everything?

Thanks. :D

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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:04 am

Sorry, I find the idea of everybody so easily knowing everybody else's numbers kind of repugnant. I know that my numbers don't come anywhere close to Teba's, but do I want everybody sitting around and comparing how far I fall short? Not really.

I already have to listen to "You really don't have a second khanjari?" more than once EVERY time I log in. Zoning where the topic of conversation in gsay is "Damn dude, you only do XXX, but Tweedledum does ZZZ" has absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever.

Sure, D&D has numbers, but it also has a foundation of roleplaying. I don't see anybody having to adhere to "just like D&D" on that side of the coin. Oh, but did everybody miss the fact that when "characters" and the D&D world interact, it's RP? There's so much more TO D&D than just the numbers, and that's why it works. D&D is the limited RP events we have now throughout a full campaign... with everybody involved. You're meeting people in the fantasy world, you're interacting, you're going places and doing things, you're gaining the gold to buy a keep, you're gathering lands, you're playing at politics and pulling off coups. D&D is... now sit down for this... a roleplaying game.

Maybe I'm just jaded. You can strip all the mystery away from the game and make it just like the mechanics of D&D, but I don't think you're going to succeed at what you're reaching for. The farther you step away from an immersive RP world, the more you lose what's at the heart of D&D.
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Postby Shevarash » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:06 pm

Ashiwi wrote:Sorry, I find the idea of everybody so easily knowing everybody else's numbers kind of repugnant. I know that my numbers don't come anywhere close to Teba's, but do I want everybody sitting around and comparing how far I fall short? Not really.


Well, I respect your opinion on this and I suspect that you speak for a lot of people. After deliberating on this for the past week, I think that the compromise of allowing you to explicitly see your stats and calculate the average numbers for yourself but not see the numbers in the damage messages is probably the best way to go. Plus, this is the way its already coded. :)

I realize that many MMORPGs allow you to see the numbers in a text display, but in those games the text output is obviously secondary to the 3d graphics. In Toril, the text is our only display and our only way of conveying any type of atmosphere, so we need to be very hesitant about changing it in a way that might sacrifice that atmosphere.

Feel free to discuss this more...
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Postby Gurns » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:07 pm

I’m one who prefers fewer numbers, so Yay! :)

It sounds like we’ll still be able to calculate our average damage numbers with precision. Is that still too much information? If I know that my average damage is exactly X, I can use that to figure out mob hps. With some error, yes, and more error if a mob loads with a range of hps. But if I kill that mob 100 or 200 times, I can get a pretty precise estimate of its hps. It'd be a lot of work for even one mob. But knowing the hps of even one mob lets you figure out spell damage, the proc damage of weapons, etc. Tons of work, even more than reverse coding race stats, but it's possible.

I don't know how secret that sort of info is supposed to be in 2.0.

Shevarash wrote:I can't really see how it would affect one's personal game experience to let another user view numbers if they so choose.

And as for impacting roleplaying, well...D&D manages to tell you all of the numbers in excuciating mind-numbing detail while retaining that RP feeling...

The thing is, D&D keeps an RP feeling, in spite of all the numbers, because you’re constantly being forced to act as if the world is real. Whatever happens in the world can affect you. Whatever you see or hear or smell can affect you, and if the DM is good, you really have to watch out for all of that. In addition, the way you play D&D, the way you describe what you are doing, reinforces that reality.

On this mud, people aren't forced to deal with the world, with that reality. We aren't forced to read/listen to the room descs or the mob descs. We don't have to eat, we don't suffer if we get rained on or freeze. We never have to decide whether to negotiate with a mob or kill it. We never have to decide what items to carry and what to leave behind. And the commands don’t act to reinforce reality like D&D actions: "Kill podling" doesn’t have the weight of "I cross the room and attack the podling with my sword."

So on the mud, it's much harder to maintain that RP feeling, to get immersed in that reality, than it is in D&D.

One thing that helps or hinders my RP feeling on a mud is the conversation of other players. On this mud, when I want to have any chance of making the world feel real, I have to turn off OOC, LFGC, and NHC. Even then, I walk past players talking about RL stuff, or about where a level 5 can kill mobs to level the fastest. That OOC conversation pushes the world of Toril away. And game numbers of almost any sort are an OOC thing that other players talk about, which makes it harder for me to feel and act as if the world is real.

It's a bigger problem than numbers, though, it's the long-term trend of the game. On Toril 1, that RP feeling was encouraged, even required in some ways. Ever since then, the mud has been moving away from that end of the spectrum. Now, the game is firmly at the other end, where there is little of that RP feeling left to the world. That statement isn’t quite correct: There is RP feeling in the world, but players are free to ignore it. And it is mostly ignored by the players. "Reality" is reserved for special events.

Certainly the pbase is mostly powergamers and metagamers these days. But it's also where the mud itself has gone. Convenience of zoning and speed of leveling are given more importance than a broad, immersive, real-feeling Toril experience.

I agree with Ashiwi, it should be a roleplaying game. Not that people should have to "do RP" all the time. But I wish the game would do a great deal more to encourage, immerse, and yes, force that RP feeling on players, the feeling that this is a fantastic but very real world they are in, and they have to deal with the whole world. I hate that players can treat this huge world, with all its content, richness, and potential depth of reality, as little more than a text based, multi-person shooter.
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Postby amolol » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:36 pm

why not just show a total of the damage you have delt at the beginning /end of every round. not showing it per hit, just showing howmuch you did in a combat round... seems like it might be a nice compromise...

i could care less either way in DnD you see the numbers and do all the math yourself... yo know howmuh you hit for... i dont see how it would affect the game that much. but i can see where it would feed that need to have all the best gear and the best damage and everything that we need to stear away from.. its pulling the mud down imho
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Postby Cap'n Touk » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:39 pm

Loved that post by Gurns, it made me remember when I just started zoning and how it was actually scary! I remember being in CC for the first time and I had no idea where I was, everything was trying to kill me, I got summoned to who knows where, almost killed, and then promptly appeared back at the group by a quick cleric. I was like.. what the crap!? Holy.. who the?...!! what just happened.. I almost died! that was awesome!

Now it's just.. oh.. ghouls.. stupid illusionist.. pay attention gawd. Push '1', regroup.. go get a drink, check a forum, wait for the rogue to drag me. *yawn*

oh.. and I'm anti-numbers in the display.
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Postby Talona » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:56 pm

Since nobody asked me: I'm anti damage numbers being displayed too -- just for the record.
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Postby Thilindel » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:17 am

I'm anti-numbers
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Postby Jurdex » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:13 am

Ashiwi wrote:Sorry, I find the idea of everybody so easily knowing everybody else's numbers kind of repugnant. I know that my numbers don't come anywhere close to Teba's, but do I want everybody sitting around and comparing how far I fall short? Not really.

I already have to listen to "You really don't have a second khanjari?" more than once EVERY time I log in. Zoning where the topic of conversation in gsay is "Damn dude, you only do XXX, but Tweedledum does ZZZ" has absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever.

Sure, D&D has numbers, but it also has a foundation of roleplaying. I don't see anybody having to adhere to "just like D&D" on that side of the coin. Oh, but did everybody miss the fact that when "characters" and the D&D world interact, it's RP? There's so much more TO D&D than just the numbers, and that's why it works. D&D is the limited RP events we have now throughout a full campaign... with everybody involved. You're meeting people in the fantasy world, you're interacting, you're going places and doing things, you're gaining the gold to buy a keep, you're gathering lands, you're playing at politics and pulling off coups. D&D is... now sit down for this... a roleplaying game.

Maybe I'm just jaded. You can strip all the mystery away from the game and make it just like the mechanics of D&D, but I don't think you're going to succeed at what you're reaching for. The farther you step away from an immersive RP world, the more you lose what's at the heart of D&D.


Ashiwi, I've never been one who cared about one's gear or their damage output, and I think the people that I took in groups over the years (albeit many years ago now) can attest to that. Gear will always be secondary to ability, in my view. You can't put a pricetag on skill. And skill can be honed when the person is a) interested b) willing and c) intelligent. Those were the three characteristics I looked for, as well as a good personality. That matters more than having khanjaris.

With that said, the absolute best experience I've had on this mud came in my early years here on Toddrick's quest. It was absolutely like playing a D&D campaign, only on the mud. It was fantastic, immersive, and wholly addictive..

Little did I know how fortunate I was to be invited on that quest, as since then there has been nothing that compares. Nada. There was actual interaction with mobs. Players actually had to make sacrifices. Mud knowledge as well as reasoning and game skills were required. In the end it was exhausting, and rewarding.

I think everyone should have an opportunity to go on one such campaign, but that's a mighty tall order.

Outside of that, eh, there is very little role-play on this mud. There never has been. I know I personally have RP'd some with a few stalwarts, but they are few and far in between.

I don't see how a toggle would somehow break the theme or flavor of the mud. All it does is please a segment of your playerbase that would like to on occasion see their actual damage output. What's wrong with that? I wouldn't care if I only saw *my* damage output. But it's certainly not going to hurt people who play here. You may find that some who join the mud or have played here a long time find that new toggle wonderful. If you don't, don't use it. If you do, turn it on.

What's wrong with giving us more options and choices?

And if anyone would sit there and dog you for their damage, well, something tells me those aren't the kind of people you want to be around anyway.. and they'd probably be dogging you anyway by just looking at your gear and totalling your plus damage. What's the difference?

Everyone thought adding the exp bar was going to ruin the flavor of the mud. I don't think it did. How is showing us our damage output going to? This is a mud where we kill mobs and gain gear. There's very little else to do. Why not allow those who want to see their damage output while killing mobs and gaining gear see it?

*scratches head*

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Postby daggaz » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:48 pm

Im anti numbers, and anti xp bar. My favorite was when you could only get a vague idea of your progress from your guildmaster.
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:50 pm

There is a difference between personally preferring to see vague messages, and being in favor of forcing EVERYBODY to see vague messages.

I would want a toggle for myself. When I feel like crunching stats, I would want to see numbers. When I want to watch lines of text scroll by, I would enable vague messages. I think a toggle would be the best way to go, self-visible only. Those who are anti-numbers would never have to see numbers.
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Postby Shevarash » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:34 pm

Split this discussion into its own topic.
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:10 pm

I don't have any problem at all with any player on this game being able to see their own numbers and being able to toggle to their little heart's delight. I don't like the idea of anybody and everybody seeing everybody else's numbers. While I'm happy to share my information with anybody who wants to know, I think it should be my decision to make whether or not I share it. I don't want that information on anybody else in my group; I don't need that information on anybody else in my group; and I can't for the life of me think of anything that I would do with that information on anybody else in my group.

So... besides prestige, what other uses would there be to being able to keep track of everybody else's numbers?

I won't even go into the whole issue of "how would turning battle into Matrix spam hurt the game" after the walk down a "fantastic, immersive and totally addictive" Memory Lane.

By the way, Shev... thanks.
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Postby Sarell » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:14 am

1) Great post Gurns!

2) I think being able to calculate exactly what you are doing to a mob in one fight or one hit detracts from the game experience; the opposing side being having to work it out over time and get a feel for what works best in different situations. The last thing I'd want to see is posts comparing the damage output of every weapon or the average hit points of every boss mob. You know the exact stats in DnD because YOU have to work them out, you don't have shev coding a program that calculate every instance of combat for you providing an even more immersed gaming experience!
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Postby Gurns » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:53 am

Jurdex wrote:Everyone thought adding the exp bar was going to ruin the flavor of the mud. I don't think it did.

The exp bar didn't ruin the flavor. Letting people see their own damage numbers wouldn't ruin the flavor. But the change in the exp bar did, and numbers would, take a little bit of flavor away. There isn't any one thing that, in itself, has ruined the flavor of the mud. But there are many things that have nibbled away at it.

Ragorn wrote:There is a difference between personally preferring to see vague messages, and being in favor of forcing EVERYBODY to see vague messages.

Definitely.

One of the great things about this mud is that it's a lot more truly multi-player than most online games. We need other people to play the game, and what you do affects me. But that means that what you can see and do affects the flavor of the game I'm playing.

Player behavior and conversation changed when the exp bar went in, and you could see and hear it. People started talking about the numbers, assessed mobs by the numbers, focused on their own numbers, did xp by the numbers. That part of the game went from "making progress toward leveling" to "getting 4% from this mob". Even if I gagged my own exp bar, I couldn’t avoid that. It made the the world of TorilMUD a little less real, have a little less flavor, for me, for them, and for everyone on the mud.

That's what's wrong with giving us more options. Some options, if used by anybody, take away some of the mud flavor for everybody.
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Postby Jurdex » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:13 am

Gurns wrote:
Jurdex wrote:Everyone thought adding the exp bar was going to ruin the flavor of the mud. I don't think it did.

The exp bar didn't ruin the flavor. Letting people see their own damage numbers wouldn't ruin the flavor. But the change in the exp bar did, and numbers would, take a little bit of flavor away. There isn't any one thing that, in itself, has ruined the flavor of the mud. But there are many things that have nibbled away at it.

Ragorn wrote:There is a difference between personally preferring to see vague messages, and being in favor of forcing EVERYBODY to see vague messages.

Definitely.

One of the great things about this mud is that it's a lot more truly multi-player than most online games. We need other people to play the game, and what you do affects me. But that means that what you can see and do affects the flavor of the game I'm playing.

Player behavior and conversation changed when the exp bar went in, and you could see and hear it. People started talking about the numbers, assessed mobs by the numbers, focused on their own numbers, did xp by the numbers. That part of the game went from "making progress toward leveling" to "getting 4% from this mob". Even if I gagged my own exp bar, I couldn’t avoid that. It made the the world of TorilMUD a little less real, have a little less flavor, for me, for them, and for everyone on the mud.

That's what's wrong with giving us more options. Some options, if used by anybody, take away some of the mud flavor for everybody.


It can also be argued that the archaic exp format of having to go to your guildmaster to find out your exp would have eroded the already dwindling playerbase at a far quicker pace.

The exp bar isn't the problem, it's the system of exp distribution and the lack for anything better to do with your time that is the problem. Other games that tell you what experience you're getting don't have that problem. I'm not complaining about this, and Shev has said he's working on fixing a great many of those issues, but that doesn't change the fact they exist. And they are glaring.

I think Ragorn said what I was trying to better than I could have.. why force everyone to see vague messages in lieu of giving them a personal choice -- a choice many might well enjoy?

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Postby Yayaril » Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:49 pm

8)

I personally hate the damage messages. You're smashing away at your foe and you get a critical hit that 'barely scratches' them? Give me a break. I'd rather see numbers, as then I can somewhat put together a mental issue of what the blow did as opposed to being spammed by the banal 'barely scratches' over and over again until they get down to pretty hurt. For all I know, I could be doing 1 damage or 5000 damage and the hit only registered for a percentage of my foe's life that tabulates out to 'barely scratch'.

I'm pro numbers! My own imagination is strong enough to handle seeing a number and constructing some sort of mental image out of it. The damage messages do nothing for me as they are currently and other muds that have displays based on the damage numbers instead of the percentage of health removed end up with goofy messages like 'AnNiHiLaTeS' and 'eViScErAtEs' to show the higher damage amounts.
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Postby Grumdikanikus » Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:54 pm

You forgot my personal favorite.....



*****UNEARTHLY***** damage
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:39 pm

Gurns wrote:That's what's wrong with giving us more options. Some options, if used by anybody, take away some of the mud flavor for everybody.

First of all, we're just talking about player damage numbers here. It's not like we're pushing for an option that would let players see mob hit points, mob experience totals, mob proc rates, or anything like that. It might be possible to extrapolate mob hit point totals from the damage information, but only if 15 people go into a fight with damage trackers running to total up the damage. In essence, the player damage numbers are useful for self-tweaking, but they're not going to shatter the flavor of the game.

I understand the desire to keep the game immersive. However, I'm not sure exactly what "mystery" is being sacrificed by letting a player see "You deal 43 damage" rather than just knowing that they're hitting for 2d8+34. Especially if you, the roleplayer, have the option of turning that information OFF for yourself.
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Postby Glorishan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:32 pm

Ashiwi wrote:I don't have any problem at all with any player on this game being able to see their own numbers and being able to toggle to their little heart's delight. I don't like the idea of anybody and everybody seeing everybody else's numbers. While I'm happy to share my information with anybody who wants to know, I think it should be my decision to make whether or not I share it. I don't want that information on anybody else in my group; I don't need that information on anybody else in my group; and I can't for the life of me think of anything that I would do with that information on anybody else in my group.

So... besides prestige, what other uses would there be to being able to keep track of everybody else's numbers?

I won't even go into the whole issue of "how would turning battle into Matrix spam hurt the game" after the walk down a "fantastic, immersive and totally addictive" Memory Lane.

By the way, Shev... thanks.


While I don't feel particularly strong on either side of this argument, I do have an opinion about your argument. While you're probably right that for some people they'd like to see your numbers for the prestige factor, I think it would have a different effect for another group of players... Newbies

Part of what kept me here in the beginning was seeing what all the elite folks were able to do. Seeing their eq, the proc's, the artifacts, their spells, etc... I think if a newbie is able to toggle your damage to see the insane amounts you're doing, it might excite them and get them to maybe stick around a few more days, maybe just long enough to get hooked.
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Postby Gurns » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:48 pm

Ragorn wrote:It might be possible to extrapolate mob hit point totals from the damage information, but only if 15 people go into a fight with damage trackers running

Exactly. And that would be done as soon as people decide they want to know mob hps. So, like, the very first day it goes in.

Ragorn wrote:I'm not sure exactly what "mystery" is being sacrificed by letting a player see "You deal 43 damage" rather than just knowing that they're hitting for 2d8+34.

Nothing, if that’s actually your damage. But if your actual damage is 2d8+34 times some unknown modifier for Str, weapons skill, and other factors, then you lose mystery by showing damage numbers. And showing numbers lets people crack that formula, even if the modifier is based on half a dozen different things. We might think no one would ever go to that trouble, but people have done similar stuff, I believe.
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Postby Gurns » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:13 pm

Ragorn wrote:not going to shatter the flavor of the game.

Agreed. But more numbers make the flavor a little worse.

My argument isn't just about the damage numbers. It's about the flavor of the game. There are lots of things that players request or that have gone in that are in this category, like damage numbers. None of them individually shatters the flavor, ruins the immersive-ness. But each of them has made it a little less, a little worse.

IMO, the lack of flavor, the lack of a consistent, fabulous and wonderful reality on the mud is a big reason people are bored and leaving, and a big reason we're not getting more new people. Why should people play this mud? What’s special about it? What flavor does it have that you can’t find anywhere else? What does it have that grabs you and sucks you in?

To me, game mechanics give a mud a basic flavor, but they aren't immersive, they don't grab me. Yes, I can study them, and sometimes enjoy that. But if I am playing the game, I don’t want it to be about the mechanics. I want it to be about the fantasy. I'm not here to roll dice, I'm here to be a Hero.

It's the theater of it, that’s what’s immersive. If I’m thinking about the technical details, I can't get into it. But if I can suspend disbelief enough to pretend it's real, or at least real enough, that's when it’s a great show, a show to watch and participate in.

A lot of people here don't play with much immersion these days. They go through the motions, but they play a step or two removed. Hit a zone, chat with their friends about RL, have triggers to do some of the work, never bother with inconveniences that imply their PC is a real, living person, zone's done.

I don't get it, because, to me, that sounds really boring. I understand about RL and time problems. But I'd rather play a demanding, addictive, immersive, fantastic game two hours a week, where I have to set aside the time to devote solely to the game, than a game where I can drop in and out, any time I want, but never have to get involved. A game where I'm hardly encouraged and never forced to accept the world as a real and fabulous place, and my character as a real and unique person.

If the imms and the players want a causal, mechanical, non-immersive game, then I’m obviously in the wrong place. But I don't think we want that. I think the game we fell in love with, the game we want, is the one that grabbed us and sucked us in because it was fantastic and real.

Fixing the combat engine, xp, the economy, gear inflation, etc. will help a lot. But even all that won't do it, not with all the other muds and MMORPGs out there. The game's fantasy needs work. It's a fantasy of a difficult and dangerous world. It’s a fantasy where you get to be a Hero but not a Superhero. It's a fantasy of a rich world, with lots of things to do, not just killing mobs. It's a fantasy of modified but still obviously FR. It's a fantasy where PCs are supposed to be real and unique characters that their players can identify with (that's a huge reason for the success of D&D and that's really hard to do here).

MMORPGs can get away with all the numbers, tabletop can get away with all the numbers, because those games reinforce the fantasy in other ways. MMORPGs by graphics, tabletop by you saying what your character is doing, in character, every step of the way. What reinforces the fantasy here? And if more and more stuff takes away from the fantasy, what's going to be left?
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Postby Gurns » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:20 pm

Glorishan wrote:Part of what kept me here in the beginning was seeing what all the elite folks were able to do. Seeing their eq, the proc's, the artifacts, their spells, etc.

Yes! You were excited by the flavor.

Glorishan wrote:I think if a newbie is able to toggle your damage to see the insane amounts you're doing, it might excite them

I don't think you meant it exactly like this, but *wince*. I'd like newbies to say "Let’s go to Toril, it's awesome!" not “Let's go to Toril, it's awesome, people can do 250 damage there!â€
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Postby Yayaril » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:12 pm

8)

The vast majority of RPG games out there allow you to see how much damage you're doing and I feel no 'loss of fantasy' towards those games. The grand majority of the game functionality is explained in WoW and I feel no loss of fantasy for it. People can choose to roleplay and people can choose to number crunch. The lack of numbers to crunch will simply cause the mud to lose that kind of player. Is one form of play style inherently better than the other? No. Both types of players are perfectly justified in having fun in their own manner.
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Postby Ragorn » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:41 pm

Gurns wrote:Exactly. And that would be done as soon as people decide they want to know mob hps. So, like, the very first day it goes in.

No, I call bullshit. I think this is mostly a knee-jerk reaction. You might, at some point, see a guild of people do a run on a boss mob with damage trackers running. And they might, if they care enough, total up all the figures and check the math and come up with a hit point total for some mob somewhere.

But we're NOT going to get information on mob hit point regeneration rates. Some monsters in D&D, (and almost all monsters at high levels), regenerate hit points every round. We'd have no idea who regenerates, and by how much. Could be 3 hit points a round, could be 50. Depending on how it's coded, we might or might not get information about a mob's damage and magic resistance included in the damage message. And we'd have no idea how many damage is absorbed by a mob's buffs, or how many hp it regains if it heals itself.

At best, even with damage trackers running, you might be able to piece together an approximate value for a mob's maximum hit points. But seriously... who cares? Does that break your immersion? Does it really shatter the game if someone tells you that Surtur has something like a million hit points? I mean, half the zones in the game were written by people who play mortals. You already HAVE people on the mud who know the EXACT hit point total for hundreds of commonly fought mobs. How much has that impacted your immersive experience over the years?

Ragorn wrote:I'm not sure exactly what "mystery" is being sacrificed by letting a player see "You deal 43 damage" rather than just knowing that they're hitting for 2d8+34.

Nothing, if that’s actually your damage. But if your actual damage is 2d8+34 times some unknown modifier for Str, weapons skill, and other factors, then you lose mystery by showing damage numbers.

Unless Shevarash has some trick up his sleeve I don't know about, there are no unknown modifiers. Your damage will be easily calculable, because damage dice are weapon-specific (all longswords are 1d8 crit 19-20, all greataxes are 1d12 crit 20x3, etc). There are no weapon skills... either you're proficient in a weapon, or you aren't. There is no "1h slashing" skill in D&D, and there is no nebulous "offense" skill. All of that is going away. You might not know how much damage a unique weapon proc does, but you WILL know how much damage the customizable weapon enchants will provide.

So what we're talking about is what I outlined above... a toggle that will display "43 damage" instead of "2d8+34." If people REALLY want to figure out a mob's approximate hit points, even without damage messages, they can always just multiply their average damage by the number of attacks. Forcing people to use the vague messages doesn't even really solve the problem you want to solve...
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Postby Tasan » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:07 pm

I find it utterly sad that this is the topic you all choose to argue about.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:37 pm

I don't remember asking you what makes you sad.
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Postby Thilindel » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:43 am

it'd be cool to toggle it on and test it out after thinking about it
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Postby moritheil » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:51 pm

Speaking of parsing . . .

Ashiwi wrote:You can see everyone's damage...

Ugh, nasty.


Out of context, there are many ways to interpret this. I found that amusing.
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Postby malakwee » Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:54 pm

have a suggestion that is not totally related to this but may be worth considering.

Whenever u look at someone u see all their gears... why not design a way so that a player can 'hide' the gears that they are wearing and show something else instead under some other guise. That guise can even be designed to fit the player's RP theme.

look playerA

[Yada yada yada description]
playerA is in excellent condition.

PlayerA appears to be garbed in [a random description generated by
the mud mebbe based on the type of materials used on his
major gear like onbody]
PlayerA appears to be wielding a broadsword

That way u can actually play a character/ and RP the character to your heart's desire. and be totally anonymous... and still keep your gears which only you can see. Mebbe set a toggle to hide/ unhide gears shrug.

Just an idea anyway.
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Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:12 pm

OR, you can earn restrings RPing, so that your character is ALWAYS the character you RP him to be. Different topic, but had to get that in there :)
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Postby Gurns » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:08 pm

Yayaril wrote:Is one form of play style inherently better than the other? No. ...players are perfectly justified in having fun in their own manner.

I agree, and I would like to see a variety of players enjoying a variety of play styles on this mud.

Unfortunately, the great majority of changes to this mud over the last 6 to 8 years have been good for hack n' slash and bad for all other play styles. The changes have been good for the powergame at the cost of RP, good for easy zoning at the cost of exploring and discovery, good for fast and safe xp at the cost of a "real enough" reality, good for convenience at the cost of FR canon, good for the meta-game at the cost of game immersion.

The end result is that the mud is little more than hack n' slash with chat channels. It's long-term fun for one and only one variety of player. That's bad for the mud as a whole.

It's a mud. It's supposed to be an RPG. That means "acting somewhat like a real character in a real fantasy world " shouldn't be something "you can do if you want to". That's the whole premise of D&D, of muds. The basis of the game is being someone/something else in a different and dangerous world, and being forced to deal with a variety of challenges.

Yes, even challenges you don't want to deal with. When the DM makes you hunt for information, or figure out how to get through a magically locked door, or whatever, you don't get to say "Nah, I don't wanna, just bring on the next fight."

A mud that is only a powergame is limited, weaker, less challenging, less fun. One big reason the current game is not engaging is because the non-fighting challenges of the mud have been discarded or made irrelevant. Instead of an interwoven series of diverse challenges requiring active player involvement and management, instead of a rich and complicated world, it's become a mob smiting, level-grinding, loot-dropping exercise.

I find it odd that people will post that the current game is boring, but then offer suggestions for even more of the same. Easier xp, faster leveling, fewer "inconveniences", less immersion. That's what's been happening for the last 6 to 8 years. Are you having more fun now?

Ultimately, it depends on what the imms want for the game. If they want a variety of players and play styles, then I expect they will add stuff to attract those players and support those play styles. But the current balance is so tilted to the powergame, I doubt the mud will be successful in attracting such players unless the imms go back and undo things. There is too much stuff that some, even many, current players may like, but that shove aside and degrade the fantasy, RP, discovery, exploration, FR, atmosphere, and all the other things that make a mud something more than a text version of a shooter.

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