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This is a blog for informal commentary about the MUD - where it has been, where it is going, and where it is now.

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PK Reset, posted on Sun Jan 3 21:32:30 2016
Posted by: Aristophanes
Category: Special
When we carried out a general PK reset at the start of the New Year, the natural question on everybody's lips was: why?

There are actually several reasons.

It has been more than twelve years since the last PK reset, and in that time the game has changed a great deal.

The PK community and even players themselves have changed a lot. Some people have gone PK and enjoyed it, but others have subsequently grown to dislike it. Other people left the game for years, only to be killed minutes after their return, lose all their achievement XP and leave for good after that.

In short, there were a lot of PKs around who didn't really -- or really didn't -- want to be PKs at all, and even though we can say that they signed up for this when they applied to be a player killer or joined a PK guild, they are now PK in a game -- and a PK community -- that is potentially very different to the one they joined originally.

The presence of these reluctant PKs has a negative impact upon those of you who do continue to enjoy these aspects of the game -- do you really want to kill, rob, or loot someone who gets frustrated and upset by it rather than in the spirit in which it is largely intended?

Ultimately, the PK community here can thrive only if the members of that community want to be there.

Thus, it seemed like it would be appropriate to offer these players a way to lose their PK status again. But how best to go about this?

The natural thought -- simply offering a way to leave PK -- was highly open to abuse. Somebody might get some last-minute revenge killing or looting in before permanently hiding behind an NPK status. Typical suggestions to get around this -- such as a check that a PK-going-NPK hasn't initiated any player killing for a month -- are either very hard to implement, or also abusable. And besides that, we do want this to be a one-time thing: the intention was never to create a tool for PKs to go back regularly.

Thus, the simplest idea seemed to be to do a complete reset, and to avoid abusability it was necessary to tell no one beforehand.

Originally, we intended to do this as part of the combat changes. When many things change at once, we could throw in a PK reset as people re-evaluate how they play. However, as the changes progressed, three things became clear:

* Most of the changes can be done individually, rather than as one big package;

* It's going to take a long time before we're done;

* These combat changes are highly unlikely to make people who previously enjoyed the PK game want to become NPK as one of their major purposes is to ensure that every combat playing style has strengths and weaknesses.

Thus, as we had been planning the PK reset for more than a year -- and as it really isn't related to the combat changes -- we decided we'd simply do it as a Christmas present, and due to reasons of timing it became a New Year's present instead!

Pit and Aristophanes.

Combat Changes 1: Playing Styles., posted on Fri Jun 12 10:54:13 2015
Posted by: Aristophanes
Category: Special
====Where we're going and why.====

As you will probably have noticed, there have been a number of staggered changes

to various aspects of the combat system over the past several months. This is the

first of the posts that should begin to clarify the reasons for these changes, as

well as what these changes are ultimately designed to achieve.

This first blog post is going to talk generally about one of our aims: Playing


====Playing styles.====

The situation until these changes started was that there was one hugely dominant

playing style: dex-dominant melee weapons and dodge or parry as a main defence. To some

extent this is still the case as the most crucial changes are yet to occur.

This playing style is overly dominant in every guild, and there is a perception that the

dex-melee/dodge-parry build is a one-size-fits-all solution to combat on the MUD. It is

worth mentioning that this perception exists because to a great extent dex builds are

indeed "optimal" at the moment.


1) Ensure that a wide variety of different combat playing styles are feasible and

competitive with each other, rather than there being one dominant style.

2) Ensure that each of these playing styles has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Illustrative Examples:

If you fight using daggers, you might attack quickly, but each attack might deal

less damage and might be more easily absorbed by armour.

If you fight using a two-handed mace, your special attacks might do devastating

amounts of damage and be difficult to parry, but it may be easier for your opponent

to dodge your attack as you swing.

3) Encourage guilds' distinctiveness.

We don't want to create a game where you are limited - rather than empowered - by your

guild: the fact that you can use some wizard spells without being a wizard, or some

rituals without being a priest, is one of the most enduringly popular features of the

MUD, and we have no intention of changing that.

What we do want to do is ensure that there are genuine and concrete differences between

guilds: one guild should not be demonstrably better than every other in every situation.

Guilds - like builds and playing style - should have tangible advantages and disadvantages.

Illustrative Examples:

Wizards - Powerful offensively (and against groups of opponents in particular), but

vulnerable to attack, especially when lots of opponents concentrate on them.

Assassins - Can deal lots of damage in a short period of time, but less effective in normal

melee combat. Can create tactical advantages with the effective use of poisons and other


Thieves - Similar to Assassins in that they can deal lots of damage to opponents in a short period

of time. They can use theft tactically with their theft commands.

Priests - Great at protecting themselves and others with their faith shields with some

support abilities from healing and the tactical effects of offensive rituals. Still

able to deal a moderate amount of damage in melee combat.

Warriors - Arguably best suited to a "tank" build where they can absorb lots of damage

with their armour and high health. A broad range of combat abilities, and with the

highest damaging special potential when using the heavier melee weapon types.

Witches - Tactical advantages through the use of headology, plus support abilities in the

form of commands and potions/teas. Unique spells such as beesargh and bugshield give them

offensive and defensive abilities, but their offensive magic in particular is more limited

than that of Wizards.

====See you next time...====

We've broken up this series of posts into relatively small, self-contained units.

Next week's post will continue talking about our general aims; subsequent posts will

discuss how the recent changes fit in with these broader aims.



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