Someone suggested I make a new thread instead of reusing the old one, so I'll my application here.
I've been an event/scene Immortal on three different muds. None of them are DBZ themed muds, however, they were Wheel of Time based muds, and one mud based on Dune.
I keep odd hours, leaving me available late into the night, when most other immortals don't seem to be available. I enjoy role-playing more than anything, my mechanical knowledge is fairly extensive, and what I don't know I'm willing to learn.
Although I'm open to try and fill in wherever I'm needed, I'm primarily applying to be a grader to help lift the weight off, some, since I've heard that it can get rather hefty, and I spend my idle time reading other people's logs anyway.
In any and all cases, though, I'd like to join the team and help out if you guys finding yourself a little short staffed. Thank you.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a post by me that is anywhere close to as long-winded as I anticipate this one to be. I've had this on my mind for a long while now, and I've bounced it off of a few other players and admins in an unofficial "discussion" capacity. I believe, however, that it is important to write all of this down and flesh out all of the pros/cons of implementing a new system.
With the above statements in mind, allow me a modicum of cordiality. That means:
PLEASE keep conversation civil. This is not the flame arena.
PLEASE be constructive when replying. I don't have all the ideas, I don't know everything. Being confrontational about an idea being presented does nothing productive, save betraying your own inner internet-asshole.
Leveling Should No Longer Require RPP
This is the thesis of the entire post. There are, of course, pros and cons to the massive paradigm shift this would cause in DBAT, but I'm inclined to believe that the pros far outweigh the cons.
The first thing we need to understand is why RPP was implemented as a requirement for leveling in the first place. I wasn't here for this. I only know what I've been told. My understanding is that RPP to level was implemented because there was a need for players to be reigned in from leveling to 100 and beyond without ever having to RP. So you'd have these massively strong PC's that nobody knew even existed in an IC sense.
We have successfully implemented a "level cap" system, whereby admins can control the highest level a current PC can climb. Admittedly, I really like this system. Some people didn't. Most of us agree that there is always room for tweaking it and finding the right balance of where things should be capped and for how long. This, however, is another discussion in and of itself, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to call the level cap system a much more favorable look for the MUD than RPP requirements for leveling.
So if we have effectively solved the initial concern that brought about RPP requirements for level gaining, why do we still have RPP? <sarcasm> Might as well just get rid of them altogether. Mirage, Your idea is dumb, and what about all the effort so many of us put into getting our beloved RPP and now the RPP creep is going to skyrocket out of control, so what's the use in them? </sarcasm>
RPP can still be used for many things. How about getting your character some gold? Skill points? Skill reskinning? Customs? EVERYTHING in that RPP store is valuable. Everything in that store does one of two things: Saves you time from doing things -other- than RP'ing, or allows you to make grinding experience easier. Both of those are -amazing- reasons to keep RPP and the ability to get them.
I know for a fact that if I didn't need to spend all of my RPP on leveling, I would have spent so much more time not grinding off on my own and training in a house with no RP to be had by me. I would spend even more time than I have this era (which I fancy is waaaaay more than anyone else) so I could buy all the cool stuffs. Restring my whole set of gear, buy xp, buy my skillslots. Buy Zenni, Buy a house, etc.
Ask yourself this question: "Would you rather someone spend 500+ hours grinding all on their own in their house to get their stats up and soft-cap and max their skills, or would you rather that person spend that 500+ hours RP'ing, and just buy all those things with the RPP they garnered?" If you're here for the RP and care so much about RP, and worry about RP going away because we don't -need- them to level, then the answer to this question is a no-brainer. Gimme more RP and let'em have their cake and stats and stuff for contributing to the story.
<rantish counter-argument> But Mirage, what about RPP power creep. What if someone has a full set of custom gear, customs are too strong for level caps early, and now everyone would have a bunch of them under your communist regime </rantish counter-argument>
This is a solid concern when it comes to level caps. But what is the real crux of the problem, here? Is it that people are unkillable? That's patently false. There are a number of ways to kill people even with customs pre level 20. Get creative. I do admit this is almost a petty response by me to the argument, so let me elaborate. The -real- problem is the armor index a custom provides, I believe we can all agree on that. The -real- problem only exists at level 40 and below, relatively. But you know what? Created gear is a huge Armor Index booster as well. That makes two sensei's, who are arguably two of the best in the game already, super powerful pre-40 also.
Using Customs as a scapegoat for level-cap system being poor is a very thin argument. I don't have the solution for customs, but perhaps we ding down the armor index? perhaps make it 8k each piece? I know that'll get some panties up in a bunch, but hear me out. The amount of RPP it takes to purchase a custom is equivalent right now to putting a character at level 50. That's higher than 80% of characters (a guess, might even be a little low) even make it on this game. And why do almost all of those characters not make it to level 50? Because they don't have enough RPP.
The people who will have customs would have had them anyways. At level 1. Regardless of a level cap system or RPP to level system. Customs aren't causing any problem that wasn't already present if we switch from RPP/level to a no RPP to level system. Stop trying to use that argument.
How many new players on a weekly basis do we lose because they hit level 15 and all of a sudden they can't level anymore because they haven't earned their first RPP. I can't even begin to tell you how many new players I've personally seen leave because of this. I have tried my best, and my logs will prove it, to RP with each and every new player that comes. Even still, they go through the two or three RPP they earn for that first log, and then quit because they can't find RP to level more, or see the absolutely daunting amount of -logged- RP. You see that there? Logging. It's a huge undertaking for a new player. Writing solo logs? Writing Quest Logs? Logging RP. Following all the rules of posting?
This is seriously a huge turn-off to even the most avid and enthusiastic Roleplayers we have come through our doors. Wonderful RP'ers just quit because, well, "Yeah Fuck that.". I quote directly from a new player when I described to them the system for getting RPP. Now, if I told them they need to do this if they want custom gear? If they want free practice sessions, free zenni, restring their stuff? That's no so bad. But to -play- the amazing codebase we have? The above sentiment is what I've found in almost all cases. We have so many new faces and so few stick around, and I firmly believe that our RPP to level system has a huge part to play.
If we want to keep new players, and by god I think we do, we need to have a more accessible game. The learning curve is steep enough here, as the codebase is so different and specialized. Even seasoned veterans of muds, and even CircleMud codebase still get overwhelmed at times.
I love playing multiple characters. I have the benefit of having the time to do it. You know what I don't love? Feeling like I can't play my other characters because it takes hours and hours and hours of RP to even get them to the maximum level, not to mention get their skills and stats up to a point where they are viable characters.
How many times have we heard someone say, "We need more villains? We need antagonists?" I know I myself have heard it innumerable times in the past two months alone. Without needing RPP to level, anyone could make a villain. Our people with loads of time to invest in the game could make villains. We could play the bad guy, and get wrecked, or perhaps win a few, and not feel like that's all we can do in that era. We can be invested in the RP of our characters - not in the time-sink of gathering RPP, or only doing it half-heartedly and stopping at level 15 or 30 depending on the race because we'd be "wasting" our valuable RPP we need to level our "Main" character.
We've had many instances of new players who actually stay and play. And find themselves really enjoying DBAT, only to find out once they've hit level 45 that not only is their character build is sub-optimal, but that the sensei or skills they've chosen to take don't act the way they thought they would. So they want to start over. But they can't, because they'll lose 15 of the RPP they've spent on leveling. That's a huge amount to them. So they stick it out, and then give up once they hit level 50 or 60 because they're now utterly sure their character is absolute garbage mechanically.
If we didn't have RPP required to level, they could just remake the character. Do it right the second time. And catch back up. AND CATCH BACK UP. I put emphasis on that piece because that's another huge complaint I've heard many many times. Even falling behind ten or twenty levels because you took a break for three weeks makes it nigh impossible to catch back up because of the weeks of RP'ing you missed out on while the cap was in effect. Now you can't level, you can't catch up, and you lose all motivation to play. Again, no RPP to level fixes this.
What about the people who don't have the time to devote 3+ hours a day when they play. What about the filthy casuals that can only play for an hour or two when they do get the chance to log on. They are either stuck in -one- RP scene, where they may or may not get five or six posts in maximum, or they can go spar/mob/train. I'm willing to bet you large sums of money (that I don't have) that the players will go spar/mob/train until they hit the cap, and then -RP- for the remainder of the time their character is at the cap. It won't be such a chore to RP.
They aren't doing it so they can progress. They're doing it because now that we're at the cap, and have been for a week, or two, they can relax. Quit running the rat-race, and just develop their character and story. We have many players that fit this description. They'll come back if we give them the reasons.
Here's where things get sticky. I admit I don't have the answers to this. I have some ideas that I'll throw out for your considerations, but honestly I'd much rather have the problem of too many people who're too strong than nobody playing. So here goes: What to do about the insane power creep of post-100 gains and no reins to keep people in check?
I say we implement post 100 caps too. My first thoughts were as follows: keep the RPP requirement to increase your post 100 gains to be allowed past a certain level.
This idea has merit. It makes it so RPP is still required to be the very best, like no one ever was. It gives a solid RPP sink if the above mentioned power-creep of RPP isn't enough to satisfy the avid and prolific RP'ers massive stores of points.
It also has some downfall. What if a person has 180 RPP when they hit 100? They can just buy all the caps outright in the beginning, and scream ahead. Then we've got someone now who is almighty god. Now, they've earned it. They've RP'd. They put the grind time in, I say good for them. I realize how self-serving that sounds with someone like me who is in this current position. So I'll concede this may be severely off-putting to others.
Why though, would we change a system that is already proven to be effective? What are levels in DBAT? Is there a hard-coded THACO, or level-based difference in ability to handle a mob/situation? Levels are an OOC construct that really only serve one purpose: holding power back. So why would we alter how we handle level-capping, or, as I'm gonna call it now, power-capping? Why not have for the first 5 weeks of post 100 the limit be 5 billion, or 15 billion for non-trans races? This would be easier to enforce, and require less notation and constant checking on the admin responsibilities. No cross-referencing whatever spreadsheet or forum post you have that says who's paid for what. Just a quick, Hey man, you're up at 15.5 billion right now, cap is 15b, so I'm gonna set you back down. It's clear-cut. It's easy to police. Hell, even afford androids the same benefits of their softcapping: they can't be over 45 billion combined strength at that cap.
Having a system like this would -also- encourage more characters via alts. You could feasibly get more than one character to the cap at post 100. You could play that villain. All the way through, and still be viable. And play your side character, who is a do-gooder. Or a support character for that other clan you're in. THIS COULD WORK.
This system would also have cons, but I'd rather have these problems to contend with than nobody to RP with.
This is possibly, and from my understanding of history, very probable to be the most concerning consequence of implementing the system. The Hermit. That bastard who just logs on, grinds his face off, gets huge, and nobody knows what he's doing, who he is, etc. This is the reason we implemented RPP in the first place. This is what we are trying to prevent in DBAT, right?
Firstly, I'd like to just throw out a thought on the subject of the Hermit. That is, Why do we care? If they're showing up to RP scenes and ruining them, or not playing in-character when they should be, or are taking IC actions and not justifying them IC'ly, then they can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the admins. If they're literally just keeping to themselves, grinding, contributing nothing to anyone's story, but not disrupting it. Not trolling on SNET. Not harming anyone, just sitting in their house grinding all day. Or farming mobs all day. Why do we care?
If they're clearing newbie areas for the sole purpose of keeping new players from being able to progress, that's a sure-fire issue an admin could handle.
But, is it so bad to have a hermit if they aren't harming anything? It's not like, if we implemented post-100 caps in -either- of the ways I've outlined, and we had level caps already implemented for pre-100, that they could do anything to actually contend with the top players. And if they do...GREAT! Now they're RP'ing. Now they're in a scene. Now they're getting a taste of how awesome our community can be to one another.
If they just start PK'ing people, or griefing players OOC'ly, those are both covered in the rules. Those are both offenses that will get the hermit banned/punished. These are all situations where a small bit of oversight and reporting from players will go a long way to either encourage the hermit to contribute and enjoy this place with us, or go on his way to a grind/slash game elsewhere if he/she cannot leave well enough alone of our IC interactions.
To me, these solutions are easily implementable. -EVEN IF- it is not easily hard-coded to remove the RPP requirements for leveling, I have an idea for you. Make everything in the RPP store cost "banked" RPP and removed the rpbank command. Then give every new account 9999 RPP. Done. It can be done on the fly. All rewards given to players for logs/etc are given to their bank. This will make it so that players with massive stores of RPP at this time in their bank aren't penalized.
If it can be implemented to not require RPP for each level easily enough, then let's have a real discussion about making this happen. Soon. There's like...4 people at 100 this era. Maybe. I speak for 25% of us when I say I couldn't care any less if everyone got RPP restrictions taken away -right- -now- and let them level. I wouldn't be salty, even though that is hugely "unfair" to me. You know what's more unfair, I got nobody to play with.
Even if we wait until next era, I am a huge proponent of "boost 'em to 100 for 30 RPP" going in again. And soon. let's give people a chance to play this game post 100 who've never experienced it. Let's keep the pay RPP to increase your cap, or hell, maybe we even make a schedule for power caps through the end of the era. I don't know, but let's do -something- to invigorate.
Here we are again at the dawn of a new era. Suzumebachi has been hard at work getting everything rolling. The "patch notes" may seem rather sparse, but they involved a lot of work. We all know what that is (probably), too!
What does that mean for us?
A few things, namely that all ki abilities now have a cast time and a cooldown. This isn't MMORPG-level cooldown, but something to make the "bigger" skills a little more rewarding to use.
While casting you will be unable to move about.
You can cancel your skills mid-cast.
Your cast can be interrupted.
How else does this effect us?
The formulas involved are altered slightly to depend more on the time-to-cast and, more importantly, how much charged ki you use. As an example, even though you will cast less Kamehameha Waves in the same time, you will do approximately the same amount of damage (in terms of raw numbers). Obviously this might come to be viewed as a very large buff for Ki skills in terms of raw damage output (dealing too much in one hit), but we will be taking measures against this. As with every other era I've presided over the changes, please keep an eye on this and inform us if anything seems out of the ordinary. While we try to accommodate for all possibilities, we are only human.
What might the side effects be?
You might notice us slightly altering how the other disciplines are handled to accommodate these changes (H2H and Weaponry); you might notice us change a damage formula here or there involving the ki skills. A lot of the skills will play a lot differently, in terms of speed. You might notice some beam struggles every now and again. You might notice that the cast time might differ from time to time (sometimes feeling lucky is important!).
WAIT A FUCKIN' MIN--
That's right ya sheepy cunts, mother fucking BEAM STRUGGLES. They'll basically operate in a mini-game fashion, with pushing and pulling. Injecting more ki into your attack will increase the cost of your ability, and will increase the damage slightly (but not by a huge number, mind; they're still putting their own effort into the struggle). Of course by using more ki you also increase the cooldown =]
A lot of the ki stuff can be better clarified by Suzumebachi.
Miscellaneous Code Changes
- Re-stringing will be made available to zenni as a means of payment.
- Transformations will (once again) require RPP for the first transformation.
- Namek racial changed to -40% stamina regen, up from -50%
- Saiyan racial changed to +40% experience gained, down from +50%
- Mutant racial changed to -20% regen, up from -25%
- Kai racials changed to +15% damage received, up from +20%; TNL changed to +10%, up from +15%
- Half-breed racial changed to +35% experience gained, down from +40%
- Hoshijin racial changed to -40% chance to train weapon/physical skills, up from -50%
- Extra Feature reduced to 1RPP
Rules, Administrative and Miscellaneous Changes
- We will be much more lax with the IC/OOC separation for a variety of reasons, namely because we feel it impacts the new player experience too much. More to come on that at a later date, where I'll lay out some qualifying scenarios and such. This is not to say that it is completely gone, and I implore you to err on the side of caution. I should have it finalised before opening.
- Custom Houses and Ships will make a return, however they will be strictly RPP-related, and will incur a "renters fee" at era switch. It is not likely to be very high for the renting fee, and I will speak with my fellow immortals to work on some costs for these, as well as downsizing the "variables" in purchasing them (e.g. you won't have to differentiate between small/medium/large for different costs, you wont have to pay 500 zenni for a chair). We will retain the prior 15-room limit, however you may use as little as you wish for your home.
- This of course means the housing capsules will have their costs tweaked (and also are still useful because garden, hint hint).
- Gmork is no longer with us.
Future Roadmap, Possible Plans, etc
Where do I begin? I've been, I believe, very vocal in the direction I'd like to see DBAT take. Code stuff? I'd like to get a lot of work put into the creation of a Truffle-exclusive sensei, which would involve the creation of a lot of new skills with fancy status effects. This would be our first foray into creating skills for the game so I think it's kind of a big deal. In the process I'd like to re-visit how our current status-affecting abilities play out (paralysis, solar flare etc). I opted for Truffle for a number of reasons, namely being their RP potential. It's no secret I'm a very big fan of the race RPly, but that's because I feel they have so much exploitative potential and creative directions.
I'd like to see a lot of QoL stuff incorporated, both building-wise and code-wise. The ability to hide your tail for Saiyans, for disguise to work in a meaningful manner (and mimic too; you aren't forgotten lovely Hoshi's); to not drown leaving Roshi's island, or because you went too far in your direction spam.
I'd also like to re-visit things like preference, genomes, some racials.. It's no secret I dislike the finality of preferences, and especially with the advent of our Ki rework, I think we should probably take another look at them. Genomes and mutations are for the most part okay, but yknow. Racials I'd like to get into the nitty gritty with, especially because I'd like to address things like Demons; I'd like to see them gain a transformation: Demon Form of some sort. Essentially along the lines of "Demon form" and "Mortal form". This allows them a little lee-way in terms of walking into a room and not having someone go "hey demon guy". There would be some other facets involved, but yknow. Maybe also it's high-time we do away with "A male Bio-Android walks into the room." as well?
I'd like to bring our currently-built areas up to a more respectable design in-line with making everything more immersive. We haven't had a new zone released in a while, though.. that may change soon, if you na'mean. It's for a number of reasons, but first and foremost is because I fully believe DBAT should be more about the experience, and not gaining experience. While the latter is necessary, I want it to feel like an aspect of play, not the primary means of play.
Our suggestions board is loaded with ideas, and honestly a lot of them are really good. I assure you that every single one of them passes before my eyes, that's a promise I will gladly make and keep. They take time to implement, figure out how to work out, etc. We are a small staff with a very big plate, and a lot of personal constraints. We haven't lost interest, we haven't abandoned you, we are still here in some fashion. Like most of you, we all have things that require our attention elsewhere; sometimes it is more than we'd like. I would love nothing more than to be a programming prodigy and just slam out changes, and forego all commitments to just build, grade, code, everything for this place. My love for it is irrational. We are all adults with responsibilities.
All major announcements, notices and whatever else are all posted on the forums. That being said, I would love to extend my hand to invite you to join us on Discord if you haven't. I'm usually very active there because it is easy to open my phone and check in there. It is not easy to do things MUD-side when I'm not at home.
Despite this nonsensical rant, I hope you guys enjoy the hard work Suzumebachi has put into this era, it was a truly monumental task. I hope we can put out more like it in reasonable timeframes for you, and not all of them will require era restarts.
Any changes made after this is posted will be added in to a reply, except for further clarification or explanations, which will be added in with a note.
When you use Grapple, it's Grapple (target) (type of grapple) instead of Grapple (type of grapple) (target) like other abilities akin to it. It feels clunky and weird to use.
When playing a Bioandroid, Extracting from a KO'd person can occasionally have them dodge even though they're unconcious.
Not sure if this needed an entire thread, but I felt like they should be pointed out in the interest of having cleaner code.
Grapple could easily be changed, and the reason it is the way it is was pointed out by Rukh. The different types of grapple were added after the original grapple, and I personally see no difference between having them either way. I guess perhaps for ease of just using anything and having similar syntax structure for your commands, but very few are really that similar to one another other than attacks. Changing it would be as easy as switching the string variables being checked. One takes the first argument used with the command grapple, and uses that to check for an appropriate target based on matching the argument to their name. The other is checked by some individual segments of code handling each type of different grapple. It can easily be changed by switching the names of the strings (such as arg1 arg2) with each other. Then changing the syntax responses for a bad grapple command to reflect the grapple (type) (victim) order the code now recognizes.
Solving the KO issue is something that should be relatively easy. Dodge is handled in one specific place, if a check for KO is placed there and modifies the chance of dodging to zero (or even negative for outlandish surety of failure) then there would be no more KO dodging. Unless you are specifically speaking of zanzoken, which would mean adding it to every attack that zanzoken can evade, since zanzoken is handled as an old easy code segment within each attack command, instead of being referenced by each through passing variable values to an independent function. This was never changed over to such an easy to modify system (such as how dodge was) probably due to a combination of time crunch before a new era and laziness. This could probably be rectified by me (as in I'll design the function, and what each command needs to pass on) and Rukh can edit each command replacing the old zanzoken code within them with the new function call. There's probably a few other things I could optimize about attack commands, which are by far the largest commands outside of a few others here or there. Before I optimized attacks as much as I did, they completely filled up the file to the point where the editor I was using couldn't even save them. Now for example punch (and physical attacks have far less code) has 267 lines of code, and it is probably the shortest physical attack command concerning code. If I went crazy on it I could probably reduce most attacks to 1/3rd or at least 1/2 their current code, but would have to write large functions that can handle variables from a lot of uniquely functioning attacks.
In my early days before DBAT even reached beta I often avoided streamlining, because; A: I often coded (and still do, lol) from scratch with no pseudo code or concrete plan, I would think of what I wanted the function to do (or in this case attacks), and then write the code from there. Usually this was done as a way to save time, since I could catch bugs more easily and not have to waste time planning everything out when ironing out some issues was usually faster.B: I intentionally made my code as obtuse and hard to modify by a second party for security. If anyone managed to steal the codebase (as I have had happen in the past) I wanted them to have as hard a time reverse engineering it as possible. It was only in recent years that I went through and added a bunch of comments to the code so anyone working on it could have an idea, and even that was incomplete due to time constraints and laziness. C: I saved time just copying an old attack's code and modifying it toward a new attack, and this speed spoiled me toward putting in extra time to go back and streamline previous attacks, especially when many attack functions had already piled up and manually editing them or replacing them would have been a bother. D: Laziness.
My assembling code for a particular function on the fly without bothering to plan lots of it out allowed me to churn out code like crazy in the early years of DBAT (when I could put in hours of work.) I often procrastinated even then until the last minute and would get dozens of heavy things coded in a few days. I'd say I was working on it at a particular time and that it would be done on such and such date, but would most often not start working on it till such and such date. Often this was due to placing more value on my time doing something else (like playing games), but sometimes this was due to bug complaints bogging down my coding schedule. In the early days about 2/3rds of the bug complaints were intended features that were poorly documented or cramped the complaining player's desired playstyle, which would increase my apathy toward coding since bugs are a priority over new code, and sifting through poorly explained or erroneous bug reports made me wish to do something else with my time even more.
tl;dr sometimes things are the way they are because Iovan is a lazy maverick genius and not so much a professional.
As I have posted in the POI thread a few days ago there was an accident in my family. My father goes in for surgery monday morning at 7:30 for skin grafts on his arms and hands. There is concern his heart might not be strong. I was raised to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So in preparation for the worst I am going to taking a brief pause on my IMMs duties till I know more of what is going. My head is not right and I do not wish for that to impact the game in anyway more than it already has.
Posted by Lone_wuelf
on 16 February 2015 - 11:05 PM
The names Wuelf, Lonewuelf. I’ve been playing DBAT since July last year, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. It’s been a blast watching the community interact, and then slowly but surely becoming a part of the DBAT family. While DBAT isn’t the first MUD I’ve played, it is certainly the first RP-enforced MUD I’ve really gotten into. One of the reasons I’ve stuck with DBAT is the people, I was taken under some players wings pretty early on and their guidance has really helped shape my experience of the MUD. Now that I’ve learned a few “tricks of the trade”, I’m looking for ways that I can do the same for new players.
The reason for this post is simple enough, I’d like to raise my hand as a candidate for immortality. I am online pretty much every day, and I actively seek to help new players whenever I can. As it stands I already read literally every single RP post, as I am always looking for chances to validate other players RP and create a more unified RP universe. Being on a separate time zone to most other current immortals means I can grade in their “off-times”.
I also have an interest in helping to build or potentially in the future, code. Virtus has already shown me several commands on the Test Port, and I found it to be intuitive and easy to learn. The system makes sense to me, and I’d like to test my limits and see what I am capable of creating.
Ultimately though, I am interested in helping people. Whether that is as an immortal, or as a player - I will continue to do so.
I feel that if you remove RPP to level it's going to kill ANY real RP that happens on this game.
Look, I've played on RP enforced MUDs before, some of which were very large and commercialized. Mechanically, your characters advancement was not tied to your RP in any way, however, it would be nearly impossible to enjoy any of the social aspects of the MUD (which is a pretty big deal) if you didn't RP. You didn't even have to RP well, you just had to be willing to try, and I never ran into the problems which everyone seems scared of here.
This is an RP-enforced MUD and anyone who came and didn't at least try to RP and fit in would be ostracized and probably banned. In fact, any ass-hat could join the MUD at any time and run around acting OOCLY and making a fool of himself but he'd almost certainly find himself banned pretty quickly (assuming the players didn't run him off first).
Removing the RPP requirement wouldn't change this. If someone joins and feels they don't need to RP because there are few mechanical requirements to do so then he would get taken care of by the systems which we already have in place.
Anyhow, it sounds like attempts are being made to improve the MUD and I'm really happy about this. We really need to look at all of the systems we have in place, one at a time, and evaluate what is working and what is not, as well as how it can be improved. I'm glad we picked the RPP system first because it is the most unappealing aspect of this MUD to me, and really, there isn't much here that I find unappealing.
I don't know what kind of response this is going to bring, so if I'm slow to respond at first, be gentle with me and understand there's a lot. If it's pretty quick, well, shouldn't be a problem.
What I mean:
You take your favorite skill, say... Death Beam, because it has a high chance to hit. You pretty much get to make it what you want, within reasonable boundaries; e.g. no Stare of Supreme Sexiness, or what have you. It must be somewhat/kinda thematic to the MUD (e.g. no force chokes), and is not restricted to what it used to be. Just because it was death beam before doesn't mean you can't have your pet turtle come out of your pocket and fire rockets from his shell.
Possible restrictions and what not:
Originally perfectable skills (Kamehameha, Galik Gun, etc) will not be perfectable, in the sense that the new skill will not be perfectable. Kamehameha and Co. will still be perfectable; just not your personalised version.
Tier 5's will not be personalised.
Abilities using items (tsuihidan, ice wall, etc) will not be personalised.
Passive abilities.. may or may not be personalised (say, Kaioken). I haven't looked too much at them, and they ill require a lot more effort regardless. The first one to ask about abilities like Kaioken/Barrier/etc will be the first ones to have me take a gander and will either be denied, accepted or asked about additional charges.
On to the only thing people are going to read:Costs!
Starting cost: 50 RPP (banked or not, doesn't really matter since you can move RPP to bank)
End of Era refund cost: 20 RPP
Buyback for subsequent Era: 30 RPP
Skillslot for the ability will be provided via RPP menu -- you WILL be required to autotrain it up. Because we're mean.
What else is required:
You must already know the base skill. e.g. A Frieza student can not personalise Kamehameha.
The base skill must be at 100.
Descriptions. I need three of them from you.
1) What YOU, as the skill-user, sees: "You throw a kiball."
2) What the person being HIT sees: "You get hit by a kiball."
3) What everyone else in room sees: "Rillao throws a kiball at Virtus."
Note: Prices are subject to change; If I feel a particular skill warrants a higher cost (e.g. Kaioken, if I get there), player will be spoken to ahead of time. If they do not accept, cost is refunded and they will not receive the skill.
Again please bear with me with this process.
Please PM interest and necessary information to me on the forums, or contact me in-game (Rillao) if you have questions.
Semi-related to this topic, I've been thinking about allowing a secondary sensei to be trained under after a certain player level (not decided on what level), but having skills learned from them take up more slots than usual to balance it out (going to be adding some skill slot increases to the MUD as well)
As for the topic, I am not against restricting sensei based on alignmen, or offering good/evil/neutral variations of skillsets (with meaningful differences.) It wouldn't be too hard in some cases, such as Roshi(Good)/Krane(neutral)/somenewguy(evil), Nail(Good)/Piccolo(Neutral)/Slug(Evil), etc. Neutral sensei teaching either alignment. This obviously isn't something that can be done this era change, unless it bleeds over or the wipe is postponed. Current sensei related bonuses would apply to all the variants if I did this. No way am I making that many different specializations.
I re-read through most of the thread, figured I'd step in. I'm not going to necessarily counter every point, play devil's advocate for everyone or any of that. I'm just going to ramble and hopefully someone can make sense of it.
I'm an older player, and not the only one. I remember what it was like during the tail end of Era One, what the immortals were like, how things functioned, how things were received, how some of the old rules were set up -- That doesn't make anything from back then 100% right, then or now. I mention this because communities evolve. The whole "mechanical sensei differing from IC sensei" wasn't done back then, though people would purposefully not list their sensei in their posted biography. The general idea is to not reveal all of your tricks, because little birdies talk (nor do I mean OOCly specifically -- IC relations are a thing too.)
The only true "locked behind alignment" we have currently are the Evil and Good trainers, which went under discussion a while ago (couple of months), and while the general idea is to be kept, the intent is to expand upon it.
I don't support "base sensei being restricted by alignment" because a) it stifles creativity, it allows for less flexibility later in the era. There is nothing wrong with someone gradually alignment-switching over the course of time.
The general idea I go with is I like to talk to people about their bio's before approving them, find out why they're that alignment (if it doesn't seem to match up well with the feel of the bio).
The largest unfortunate part is so many things happened early-on this era, before I became a part of the clouds. It's both unfair and rude to begin imposing stricter rules on certain things happening in roleplays/biographies/etc in the middle of the era after others have gotten away with a lot.
tl;dr it's not about changing, it's about allowance. Shit that people got away with this era (and there was an amazing amount), won't happen next era.
Most of them left the moment they lost their advantages above new players when the RPBank system was implemented and they were no longer able to stack up RPP between eras in order to not worry about RPing before hitting level 100 within the first month.
The whole "newbies shouldn't have it easy because us vets had to learn it all on our own" mentality is what can lead to people being turned off from this game and reduce the amount of potential players sticking around. Giving more information and clarity about systems and mechanics is a good thing, because it means players actually know wtf they're doing on a basic level or what to look for doing. There are a bunch of newbie traps in this game as well as things that vets have held above newbies' heads in the past. If the system is purposely designed in a way to weed out around 70-80% of the people who actually try to dip into the RP here by creating biographies and the like, then I guess it's been doing a great job of that so far. If we're actually trying to get more people into the game so it doesn't keep having dead months, easing up the newbie experience by way of giving them more information is one way to help move things towards a more populous future.
That said there's a difference between providing clarity of systems/mechanics and then just telling people where to go/what to do/etc.
A newbie guide is already done in basic form with the iMuffin, but can be expanded further to give people a sense of direction to start off with. After that, yeah players should discover things on their own or make connections with those who can help them out. But helping newbies ease into the game can go a long way in enticing them to stay around, which leads to more RPers in the game which leads to more RP and less periods of inactivity due to a few key players getting bored.
It's inherently problematic that you're automating a process, a rather large element of DBAT I might add, that is intentionally not automated to begin with. Not only that, but it is giving you quite clear advantages over anyone who isn't using your script or a variation there of. Be it combo bonuses, or intrinsic value to pvp/whatever.
Furthermore, by allowing this, it provides a bit of a slippery slope conundrum for the current immortal staff. In allowing this, there wouldn't really be any argument for automated scripts with additional reactionary functionality, be that heals or something else entirely.
As for command stacking; it isn't really automation given the nature of the beast and the scope of its advantages are incredibly limited by comparison in combat (and more often than not non-existent, really).
Take this post with a grain of salt though; it's entirely possible that how the current immortal staff perceive botting and the rules associated there of are different now and thus potentially conflicting with this post.
A rumor system where you can pay bartenders zenni, they pass you a drink, and tell you a rumor based on your PL/level. Not directions to quest NPCs per se, but a jist for characters to give them areas to check out. Different bartenders have access to different rumors and can offer more clear information based on how close they are to the rumored location/person, and different Bartenders have different costs for their info.
That way, too, you can just add a tooltip "If you ever feel lost, your iMuffin may give you ideas of places to go, or you may find some rumors in the bars of the galaxy."
Thavius' father made it through the surgery and is currently in recovery. Thank you to all for the well wishes and positive thoughts. Further information will be shared by Thavius should he choose to do so.