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Author Topic: Help File Information  (Read 6826 times)

Darkozx

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Help File Information
« on: February 27, 2018, 4:40 PM »
I'm not really sure where to post this but I figured this was close enough. After seeing people show interest in the way we show damage formulas in our help files, it makes me wonder how other MUDs handle it. So let's start up some chat about how your MUD sets up help files and the reasons why. It'll be interesting to see the different methods and reasoning behind them. Maybe we can stir up some change and get some ideas sparking.

As for my reasoning for showing damage formulas, I just don't see any reason not to show it unless you're a strict RP MUD. It originally started with a nonstop swarm of questions about what does this ki attack do and how much damage. Plugging in low, medium or high damage was not enough to tame their interests, the playerbase wanted to know. After all the ki attack help files showed their damage formulas, it more or less became my goal to make help files as detailed as possible. Still to this day I'm happy to update or fix any help files that need it.
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Jodah

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 6:23 PM »
The more info the players get, the better, I applaud it.  I hate muds that hide damage messages, or even worse, damage stats.

Ateraan

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 6:43 PM »
As for my reasoning for showing damage formulas, I just don't see any reason not to show it unless you're a strict RP MUD.
I agree with you. In most cases it doesn't hurt and even helps to show these things similar to D&D gaming.
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Darkozx

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 1:36 AM »
Don't be shy people, let's get some responses going. I'm sure others would love to see how different MUDs handle their help file system.
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Zandy

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 1:46 AM »
The mud I play uses adjectives to describe damage instead of giving absolute numbers.  However through the years it's been determined how much damage each adjective is.  In the past few years the imms have really relaxed a lot of the in game info that's allowed on public channels.  Used to be nothing could be given publicly but now any stats and info can be discussed aside from quest info.  The imms will even give some general info on how things are calculated.  They might not dig into the code and give the formula but they'll at least help you out now.  This being the first mud I ever played it's what I'm used to but I do like it when I try another mud and I can see exactly what I'm doing as far as damage.  But for some reason I still like a bit of the mystery on my original mud.

Darkozx

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2018, 2:08 AM »
Zandy was that a strict RP MUD? If not, why would they be so strict about damage numbers, especially on ooc. I'm sure players just used another chat client to talk about the damage numbers.
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Zandy

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 11:16 AM »
It's definitely not RP required, or even encouraged I don't think.  There are some that do but really it's more that some characters have a "theme" rather than an RP.  Of course I started playing it back in the 90s and it was the only mud I played for many years.  I didn't realize probably until sometime in the 2000s that muds showed damage numbers.  I never questioned it really and it's just what I'm used to so it doesn't seem odd.  And yes we talk with each other and the imms are fine with that.  I suppose they just want there to be a little mystery.  There's never been a real "uprising" or anything about knowing the actual numbers.  We even have a website that lists all the eq on the mud and many of the quests.  The imms know about it and are ok with it, but it's a real faux pas to complain in game about info being wrong on the website. :)

Hades_Kane

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 1:17 PM »
I see both sides...

On one hand I can see a MUD not wanting their game turning into "let's crunch numbers" and more "let's make a build and play it"... but on the other, you'll always have players who tirelessly run scripts and data collection TO crunch those numbers, and then they end up being on an entire other tier vs. the others who have not collected the information, so showing the numbers has the chance to even the playing field AND save some of your players the headache of collecting the data to begin with.

I see where Zandy is coming from on mystery or character theme, and that would be one reason we haven't just pasted damage calculations because part of me hates to "lose" that mystery, the other part being the time involved in combing through and saying "bam, here's the code".

Like Epilogy said in the other thread, though, players having this information is probably useful for bug catching and I would wager even helping adjust balance.

I do think we went more for a middle ground, though...  For example, this is how we put out some of the information on our skills... using kick, trip, bash, and uppercut for instance:

Quote
KICK is a skill that provides a character with an extra attack in combat.  It
may only be used within combat, not to start a fight.  Success depends on the
character's PWR vs. the victim's VIT, while damage is maximized with high
points in PWR and AGI for the attacker, and low VIT in the victim.  This skill
will induce a brief stagger on your opponent.
 
TRIP is a skill that is best suited to the agile.  It may be used to start a
fight, but is useless against flying enemies.  Success is determined by how
agile both the attacker and victim are, while damage is measured by the
attacker's AGI and PWR, with AGI being the victim's defense.  This skill will
induce a brief stagger on your opponent.
 
BASH may be used to start a fight as well and may have a number of additional
affects.  When a bash fails, the attacker will often times find themselves
prone to additional attacks, while a successful bash can often affect the
concentration of someone casting a spell.  Success is maximized by high points
in PWR and VIT, along with other factors such as how much a character is
carrying, their size and level.  Damage is maximized with PWR and VIT,
while VIT is the defending stat.  This skill will also induce a brief stagger
on your opponent.  SHIELD BASH is a skill that allows one to use bash when
using a shield and when using defend or guard.
 
UPPERCUT is a skill that may only be used within combat.  Its chances of
success are largely determined by the AGI of the attacker and defender, while
damage is modified by the attacker's WIL and PWR and the victim's PWR.

It might not be the calculations, but there's no mystery in what stats you need to be effective with the skills, nor is there any mystery as far as what weak spots you should/can target on an enemy.  Our stat cap is basically limitless (there is a hard cap, but no means to ever reach it), so some players opt for highly lopsided builds (all AGI and WIL, hardly any PWR or VIT... or all WIL and virtually no VIT), so many of our skills allow a player to take advantage of that.

At this point, though, I probably have no real issue with just putting the calculations out there; its more just a matter of if I want to take the time to comb through the code and do it.
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Darkozx

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 3:17 AM »
A little warning though if you do decide to add in damage formulas or more detailed stat information to your help files. Your playerbase will start to demand nerfs, buffs and all sorts of constant change for a "meta" that they created. Numbers create the meta and there's nothing you can do to stop it haha. I do have to say I like the briefness of your help files and how they are also informative, Hades.
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Hades_Kane

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 1:26 PM »
A little warning though if you do decide to add in damage formulas or more detailed stat information to your help files. Your playerbase will start to demand nerfs, buffs and all sorts of constant change for a "meta" that they created. Numbers create the meta and there's nothing you can do to stop it haha. I do have to say I like the briefness of your help files and how they are also informative, Hades.

Oh wow, I can only imagine lol.

Its sometimes difficult to separate legitimate input from self serving suggestions.
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Epilogy

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 3:09 PM »
A little warning though if you do decide to add in damage formulas or more detailed stat information to your help files. Your playerbase will start to demand nerfs, buffs and all sorts of constant change for a "meta" that they created. Numbers create the meta and there's nothing you can do to stop it haha. I do have to say I like the briefness of your help files and how they are also informative, Hades.

Some MMOs are smart about it... some players will collect, and compare data until they're able to accurately determine the calculations. For some, the meta is all there is. You'll hear the <redacted> neckbeards sometimes refer to it as "theory crafting". These are the ones who refine, spreadsheet, etc. the data until they've worked out the most efficient means of doing rotations, farming, etc. often creating the 'cookie cutter' effect where everyone uses the same perks, same equipment, etc.

I think balance is a myth, anyways. The only balance is 1:1, and you're not going to achieve it unless everyone is exactly the same. Many games balance things around top-tier play, leaving newer, or those less capable (read, 98% of the game population) pretty much floundering about because they can't, or won't treat it as anything more than a game.

I think the meta people can foster a dangerous attitude of "DO WHAT I SAY, BECAUSE I HAVE THE MATH PROVING I'M RIGHT!" and at that exact moment that people listened..... everything you've created before that meta kicks in is meaningless. Anything outside of what that meta tells you is ok is pointless. Any players not performing in the game in the way that they mandate results in "L2P scrub" as they fap to their dps meter.

So.... I'm happy with players getting numbers, and suggestions, but outright display the calculation sounds like bad times from an admin perspective.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 3:14 PM by Epilogy »

Thraxian

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 3:55 PM »
I've created a new topic to discuss balance over here, and invite everyone to participate.  I have some thoughts on the topic, and did not want to hijack this thread any more than necessary.

On-topic, as a player, I really appreciate when mud admins provide detailed information about what skills do and what skills/stats/conditions influence their effectiveness.  In most places I play, it's not possible to "unlearn" something once you find out the skill is absolute rubbish, so I'm left with some never-to-be-used-again skill that I've invested in, to the detriment of some other skill or attribute.

I don't feel that knowing the specific formula used in calculations is absolutely necessary, particularly when there is a great deal of RNG involved.  However, knowing certain thresholds is often helpful.  For instance, at what point will raising my wisdom stat give me an additional practice?  How much intelligence do I need before my fireball will cause burning?  What dexterity break-point will give me that extra attack?  Often, it's hard enough finding out why I should choose fireball or lightning bolt when a level 1 magic missile does more damage....

amir.dratgard

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2018, 7:57 PM »
Thought:

Basic formulas can be made public, such as basic combat rounds or other calculations.
   Example:  Just a weapon skill vs weapon skill formula, with stat mods etc

More formulas can be accessible when the PC knows and improves upon the skill, or the PC has some sort of teaching skill that is relevant to providing the information.  Advancing in that skill will eventually provide even more calculated information.

   Example:  Simply knowing the "Parry" skill would divulge some information, like key statistics used.

   Example:  Having an advanced "Parry" skill would provide approximate calculations when self-contained.

   Example:  Having related skills ("Dodge", etc) would add additional calculations to what is shown.

   Example:  Being a master or in effect a master at "Parry" would not only provide exact calculations but even calculate your approximate equation with your stats/items built in to the output.


Darkozx

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2018, 1:33 AM »
Immersive help files only go so far in helping a newbie. Sometimes a little bit of detail information will encourage that newbie to continue playing. Too many MUDs have lazy ass help files that only take up space. Adding in help files that "evolve"....ha...funny.
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Zandy

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Re: Help File Information
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2018, 9:42 AM »
Played a mud once where you could only read the help file if you qualified for the skill.  Not quite the same as evolving help files but similar.  That was very frustrating.