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Stat training

Well, I found my old proposal for stat training. It was originally posted on the in-game idea board, and later on the previous incarnation of this board. If Puma's desired system of stat/skill advancement becomes reality, most of this becomes irrelevant, but a few of the ideas might well be worth coding just for the sake of the fun they'd be.

Hi, I'm here to spam the boards again. Elffy has this idea, see. He suggested that stat training proceed via interactive games, "like Magicball, but strenuous". My initial response was that it all depended on what sorts of games they were, but that it was an intriguing idea, since I'd really like to see stat training be challenging but fun, instead of horribly tedious. This is a game, after all, and it would be a better game if all aspects of it were fun. So, whilst walking tightropes and training lions, I did some brainstorming and came up with suggestions for games for all 6 stats. Some of them are a bit off the wall, but they're just suggestions. All of them are amenable to variability between the costs of low stats and high. Very likely it will be appropriate to charge fees for playing all of them, to continue the tradition of death resulting in financial penalties. But all of these are ideas promise to be rather more entertaining than current forms of stat training. They will also encourage more direct player interaction, and competition on an equal footing between players of all levels. Obviously instituting all of these would be a vast job, but I also think it would be a vast improvement. While I was coming up with them, I ran them past people on the gossip channel, and most responses were highly favourable.

One last note: Give Elffy all the credit for coming up with the concept as a whole. I will however accept credit for the particular ideas.

Intelligence: Set up an 8 room by 8 room arena. It contains various chess pieces, set up so that white can mate in 1. You have to map out the position and figure out the move, then pick up the piece to move and set it in its new position. Then you go to a corner room and push a 'submit' button. If you did it right, you make progress towards an int point. There's also a 'reset' button that will bring up a new problem, if you're hopelessly befuddled, and an 'exit' button to get out. Problem: this would require a very substantial number of problems to be stored or everyone will know that all you have to do is check three squares to figure out which problem it is, and then make the prescribed move. But if you had 50 or so problems it chooses between randomly, this would be 'strenuous' and tied to int, and kinda fun.

Problems raised: tough to code, and raises a problem for anyone who doesn't know chess.

Response: the problems could (hopefully) be lifted from chess books easily accessible at a library, and the code for each problem only has to contain the initial locations of the pieces, and the correct locations for the solution. Possibly some would have two or three solutions. Since these are mate in 1 problems (I agree that mate in 2 problems would be a nightmare to code, because you'd have to have black make a response move), they shouldn't pose too much of a problem even for those who don't know how to play chess. They will, of course, have to learn the basic rules, but they don't need to become proficient.

Strength: A pk dueling arena, of sorts. Except that when you're in the arena, everyone has the same offense, defense, and hp. And everyone is pk, of course. No gcommands or regular gear are useable. You get boxing gloves, maybe, when you enter, and you try to beat each other up. There's no penalty whatsoever for dying in this arena, and enough kills will get you a str point. To add to the fun, make special attack commands that work only in this arena. Say, a half dozen of them. Various punch combinations and holds, perhaps. Even better, make each of them 2 or 3 line commands, and have each of them have counters that will make them ineffective, so if you recognize your opponent about to put you into a headlock you can try to give him the slip.

I think this is just flat out cool, and would love to see it coded even if it didn't train con.

Possible problem: I have no idea how hard it would be to code a room in which everyone has the same hp and offensive and defensive skills, and that's crucial - that everyone be equal in this room. Perhaps damage could be done on an hp % basis, and attacks wouldn't bother checking combat skills, or would assume set values.

Dexterity: An obstacle course race, modeled after the sort of thing you'd see in a boot camp, perhaps. Once again everyone is equal while racing (probably this just means no skills are checked at any point). A course is set out, numerous rooms long. Each room contains some sort of obstacle. A rope to climb, barbed wire to crawl under, a mud pit to swing across on a rope, etc. To get past the obstacle, you'd have to, for example, 'swing on rope'. If you were successful, you could progress to the next room. If you were not successful, you'd have to try again (in the case of rope climbing, say), or climb out of the mud, if you fell off the rope. You get 1 point for each player you beat to the end of the course. Enough points will get you a dex point. To add spice, make it possible to mess up other players, by pushing them into the mud or down from the rope. Naturally outright pk attacks wouldn't be allowed....

Constitution: Endurance test. Once again a special single room arena, where everyone's hp is equal (alternatively hp damage could be done by % of a player's total). Inside the room there are a number of deadly perils. Jets from the side of the room spout flames. Giant steel balls swing through on chains. Spikes jump out from the floor. Each of these perils gives a tell-tale signal just before it occurs. 'You feel the temperature rise' before the flames shoot out, and 'You notice the floor shaking' before the spikes jump up. If you're observant, you can enter a command that will enable you to avoid damage. Ducking will protect you from the flames, dodging will avoid the swinging balls, etc. You get a point for each player who dies (again without any penalties) before you do, and enough points get you your con point. Again it would be fun if you could mess up other players. Push your opponent into that swinging ball, he won't mind.

Charisma: Win an election. The 'arena' in this case is a town square, comprised of a half-dozen or so rooms. Each room contains numerous citizens. You have to run from room to room and 'convince' people to vote for you. A couple tactics can be used. You can buy votes. Bribing people is a time-honoured way of winning elections. Some sort of limit on spending might be needed to prevent low-level characters from having no chance. You can get up on a soapbox and give a speech (this would be a single command, but would take some time). Citizens in the room are swayed towards you to an extent. Another time-honoured way of winning elections is to intimidate voters. You can menace voters in hopes they'll be scared not to vote for you. And, naturally, you can focus on a negative campaign. Find the room where your opponent is giving a speech and throw eggs at him. Everyone will laugh and his speech will backfire. Outbribe your opponent, though of course you won't know who he's bribed and how much he's given them. When he's trying to threaten people, run in and slap a clown nose on his face and watch everyone laugh. After 5 minutes or so of running from room to room and trying to get more people on your side, the votes are tallied, and you get a point for everyone you beat.

This might be tough to code - each citizen needs to have an 'inclination' that can be modified by the various tricks. Naturally everyone in the same room will be influenced by the same events, except for bribes, which would be to individuals not rooms, so there'd need to be some random elements. This might have to be limited to a two-player contest, since having just one variable could track a voter's inclination between two people, but you'd have to have multiple variables if there were more than two, and things would get messy.

Wisdom: Meditation contests. First you have to enter a trance. Naturally there are mosquitoes that distract you. You can swat them and start over, or you can try to ignore them. Once you're in your trance, you have to walk across the fiery coals. Lose your focus, and you have to start from the very beginning. On the other side of the coals is a bed of nails. Lie down on it and maintain your trance. Lose focus and once again you have to reenter your trance and try again - though you don't have to cross the coals again. A couple more such challenges, and you're through. At any point you can also attempt to distract the others, though of course doing so will wreck your own trance, plus they might succeed in ignoring you, and you have to be on the same task as the other person, or they're out of range. Probably each challenge is in a separate room, like the dexterity obstacle course. Once again you get a point for every person you beat to the end, and enough points get you a wis point.

One major problem with several of these is the possibility of trigger abuse. It's not too hard to see, for example, that you could set up triggers to counter each of the moves in the combat arena, or triggers for each of the perils in the endurance test. The only counter for this that I can think of is to set things open for such trigger abuse in three stages - the first is the cue that tells you the specific response required. The second cue is the same for all parallel events. Commands entered between the first and second stages are ineffective. The third stage is the actual event, and commands need to be entered between the second and third events to work.

Example from the constitution idea: You feel the temperature begin to rise. Hp: 1302/1302 Sp: 297/297 Gp: 198/1179 [GOSSIP] Whoever: yadda yadda yadda You'd better do something or you'll get hurt. Hp: 1302/1302 Sp: 297/297 Gp: 202/1179 Flames shoot out from the wall and burn you to a crisp. Hp: 1172/1302 Sp: 297/297 Gp: 202/1179

In order to avoid the damage, you need to 'duck' after you get the 'You'd better do something or you'll get hurt.' message, but before the 'Flames shoot out message'. If you duck before the 'do something' message, you stand back up in time to get roasted. So if you put a trigger on the specific event, it won't work. And all the various possible perils have the same middle message, so you can't set a trigger to get the right response. There might be ways around this with complex triggers, but I think this would make it difficult enough to make botting not worthwhile.

-- ElffyB - 31 Jan 2003

I quite like this as a technique of raising stats. I have a different issue to raise however.

I suggest that we should not allow players to raise stats.

This has the following effects:

  1. Stats start to play a signifigant part in the game again, right now they are just something that you all raise until they reach the max at which point everyone is identical - we get back the ability for people to create characters that are unique and have strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Don't lower stats on death - introduce an alternative penalty which is out of scope for this discussion.
  3. You get to rearrange just the once and you do it to create a balanced character, not the "cha=3, str=20" chars that we get now.
  4. We can start adding items which give stat raises while used and they will be valuable due to the ability to essentially gain 2 extra stat points relative to all other players in the game
  5. We can make the high-end stats very valuable to skill bonuses. Right now the advantage of an 18 vs a 17 in a stat is not very large - we use a linear increase in bonus vs stat. We could go almost exponential.
  6. We can have quests which allow you to raise a stat.

-- FantoM - 31 Jan 2003

Just adding a note that we could have other stats than what we now have as well. -- PumaN - 31 Jan 2003

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