[MUD-Dev] trade skill idea

Brad Wyble wyble at wjh.harvard.edu
Wed Oct 4 10:55:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Matt writes:

> Interesting. I'm of the opinion that combat is a virtually completely
> skill-less activity in the big graphical MUDs. It's all about your level
> and your equipment.
> --matt

It can be, but often there is alot of player skill involved, depending on
the game and the class of the character (wizard, fighter, etc).
In Asheron's Call, player skill is probably the most important of the big 
three. There are
a simply staggering array of options available to the well tuned combat
player.  Where to stand, where to move to take advantage of terrain
(particularly for archery), what combat mode to use, when
to drink this or that potion.  Then of course there are the spells which
most everyone has available.
In EQ and UO you see the same thing to a slightly lesser degree because
options are more limited.  But to say that combat is skill-less is flat
out wrong.

The true test of this is to put a new player in a high level player's
character and see how well they do in comparison.  I've seen this
first-hand in EQ during the beta, when character levels are buffed up to
test high level dungeons.  The short of it is that they do terribly.  They
cannot use their new abilities effectively and what would be a simple
monster to defeat with an experienced crew of the same level tears them to

I think this impacted Verant's testing of high level places in fact,
because some of their balancing was done with these "buffs"(players given
artificially enhanced characters).  The test players got routed by
dungeons or 
planes, so Verant assumed these areas were of adequate difficulty.  But
when level 50's who actually earned the level got to those areas, they
quickly learned to dominate them, and Verant had to boost the
difficulty of these areas to keep it challenging.

-Brad W

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