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21 Apr 2017 Port

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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Zax » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:10 pm

Well, I may be luckier than most and it may be that some of what I've gotten since the new code went in came from expiring players and not from the % load factor but here's list of items I can remember grabbing lately:

Cloud Armbands x3 (one on Zax, one on Brienne, gave one away, ).
Denethor Talismans x3 (one on Zax, two stored for soon-to-be-made next pc)
Cloak of Major Protection x2 (gave one away)
Crimson Sash x2 (one on Prax, scrapped one while getting it. DOH!)
Diamond Belt (on Vax)
Wall of Thought (gave it away)
Holy Avenger (on Prax - pretty sure this was Valentine''s)
Lightbringer Helm (on Prax - may also have been Valentine's)
Shield of Disruption (on Prax)
Sword of the Gypsies (on Zax)
Cloak of Storms (On Trax)
Black Gypsy Boots (and some still load regularly)
Emerald Encrusted Shield x2 (one on Vax, one on Trax)
Ebony Mesh Gloves (gave away)

I also know other players have grabbed the following:
Black Dragon Plate
Cloud Armbands
Cobalt Rings
Black Mace

I've also picked up a lot of other rares to equip my and others' new PCs but I doubt they were maxxed.

As for people's habits not changing, well what works is what works. Yes, there have been adjustments to races and classes that help promote more variety in those. But the basic game and zone mechanics haven't changed so the best class combinations remain the best class combinations and the equipment that was best suited for each class back then is still the equipment that is best suited for each class today.

On the number of active players, yes it's low but each has multiple PCs. I have a Ma/Cl/Wa, a HG, a Dr/Ra, a Monk, a Ma/TH, and a Paladin. made in that order. I'm currently leveling up a Ma/Cl/Th to replace the Ma/Th and as my HG is getting old, I plan to soon repalce her with a new evil-male HG. One thing I learned early on after finding GNSMud was that with the player count so low and ppl going and coming , I'm playing alone for the vast majority of the time. So to get by, one needs a stable of PCs to cover the needed classes.

A Ma/Cl/Wa is pretty much a must have, as is a HG. Some sort of Druid and a Thief is next on my list of priorities. Paladin is a bit of a luxury but since I grabbed a Holy Avenger it's very handy to have. Monk's are also a luxury class in my opinion. On the advice of someone who knows vastly more than I do about playing this MUD, I made one in lieu of a thief to pick pocks and leveled him up. While somewhat fun I never fully figured out what to do with him so I made a Ma/Th and the Monk mostly sits in the closet. I then decided I needed another locator so I'm now leveling up a Ma/Cl/Th and transferred all the eq from my Ma/Th to him. Psis have their uses but I haven't figured them out yet so I don't have one, but others do. All this is to say that even with 5 active players there could well be 30-40 semi-active PCs, each wanting to have the best gear available to them.

Now to the suggestions. I like the idea of gear expiring in rent before the player does. But losing all one's gear at once seems harsh. Maybe have one rare item disappear every two days starting at day 20 (and starting with maxxed items) . In that case, by day 60 they will have lost all their rares. At some later point (3 mos, 6 mos, 1 yr?) you can wipe the player and the rest of his gear.

I think the quest items and services are pretty good. I've already bought some items and plan to spend more in that shop. So that's a valid gold sink for me. Maybe expand the list to include adding attributes to equipment (like +HnD to a held item or maybe TS or invis to some worn item). Or maybe even toy with the idea of "special ordering" a maxxed item for some exorbitant price. Maybe you could get it right away or maybe you pay the money and the next time one pops you get a message telling you it's ready for pick up.

I don't like having to pay rent. If rent comes back I'll probably stop playing. I like the actual rent charge mechanics just the way it is. You have to have enough money to rent for one day but you only get charged 30gp per day.

I also don't like scrapping. Or DTs for that matter. It's really just a bothersome pain in the ass and not necessary in my opinion. It's not like in the MUD's heyday where whole factions of ppl were running around competing with other factions of people to scarf up the best eq. The people playing today seem to be quite willing to share beyond what they need for their own PCs. So say, if Nikthil scrapped a DPM, I think everyone playing today would work to help him get it back. In fact, some time ago I DT'd and lost everything. With Valer's help I got everything back except a BDP. Acele had came across the BPD without knowing I DT'd. After hearing about my DT, she sought me out and gave me the BDP. So scrapping doesn't help eq change hands right now. It just annoys ppl. I'd vote for suspending scrapping altogether [and disabling all DTs as well :) ]

I suggested something similar to loot boxes earlier, in that equipment doesn't pop until the mob that loads it is killed. I now see that would be far more frustrating that what we have now, unless the load rates are vastly increased. It's frustrating enough to have to check a zone 10, 20, times a day to see what loaded, let alone to have to kill each mob of interest in each zone that many times to check on eq.

Not sure what you mean by an auction command. There already is an auction channel. But auction isn't really viable right now I don't think. The people currently playing seem willing enough to share out their extra stuff as needed. I've given, received, and seen given and received, many maxxed items. I don't think any current active players are hoarding extra gear other than what's on all their various morts, however infrequently they may be played.

How would insurance work?

How would luck potions work?

To sum up then, the current system is working for me but I can see how others might still be frustrated. Increasing load rates would be ok with me. I like the idea of a gradual gear-wipe followed by eventual p-wipe, I don't like paying rent, scrapping, or DTs. I think loot boxes, if I understand how they work, would be more frustrating that the current system. For the most part, everyone playing today is cooperating in obtaining and sharing equipment without need for auctioning, scrapping, or otherwise artificially forcing equipment to circulate. I like the current quest sytem and would be happy to see it expanded as noted above.


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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Glenn » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:08 am

Yeah, Zax pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one. I don't wear a dpm though ;) I'm 100% sure though if I scrapped my Robe then yeah, everyone would help me go get it back. That's the community you have here. We have an auction channel, but again, we don't sell things to each other, we freely give them away. I'm also against scrapping and DTs but they are already there so we deal but that is something that happens rarely mainly because what you have here is a group of experienced players. I'm actually quite happy with our current quest systems (huge gold sink, if you think we're actually sitting on our gold it's just we're waiting to have enough) and with the max item/load rate. I just don't like having to load a zone 20-40+ times just to get an item to load. Pretty much our response to that has been we just farm our work out to each other, we talk about what we want and then everyone tries to keep that in mind when they are looking around. Also the removing items from people over time will do nothing, most of us play often so if it's just a time spent rented thing that's probably not gonna come up except on the few casuals and newbies, who you don't want to have to deal with this. If it just randomly removes an item every x days, don't you think considering our current players we'll just go recollect that item for that person? Most people I've talked to have been stoked about the changes, but the only complaint I hear is the only one I have, and that is the load rate.
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby luna_sexton » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:12 am

Perhaps removing artifact flag from the game and making things easier to scrap?
(Only a few things that are not a quest item that isnt an artifact.)

How about changing rent around a bit, perhaps characters lose all their gear after 20 days, but don't get wiped til 500 days?
(I would hate to grind for weeks for a piece of gear just to get busy at work/life and lose gear. I think gear wipe at 60 days is fine.. but delete at 180.)
I would like to get an auction command working. (I have seen automated auction that delivers an item from your inventory to the recipient.) (Also maybe a player can have a list of item they are selling... or create an auction house you can go and look at a list of items)

Insurance? (Insurance could work to keep gear on the character after being gone over 60 days)
Luck potions? (+load rate %?) (I had an idea about luck..)

What about loading loot boxes instead of maxxed gear, check is made on open rather than on init. (Can we locate loot boxes? If a monster has a loot box will all items on the monster have a chance to load?)
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Luck Stat and load Rates

Postby luna_sexton » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:28 am

Good discussion on this topic. We knew we would have to review load rates and how the mud is looking after the quest shoppe and 1mil per quest point vendor. With the load rate percentage going into affect we are getting good feedback on the current state of the mud.

My thoughts:

1. Change all %load from 1/1000 to 1/100.
This might help certain items load more often, and give people access to certain 1 or 2 max items.

2. Add a LUCK stat.
Everyone starts at 9. Out of 18.
Humans +1
Halflings +2
Troll +1
Goblin +2

If you initiate (open) a zone then the mud checks the players luck and adds it to all load rates.
Basic items will go from 40 to 50%, but unique items will go to 10% to load.
Luck can be increased in quest shoppe for quest points.

What does luck do for other classes?
Single Class thief gets extra damage on crit?
Level 50 thief has a 50% chance to add luck to superior executions?
Can luck be checked for mages/clerics to add Luck to mana regain?
Warriors get luck added on hp regain and vitality?
Monks get mana regain?

Just some thoughts to increase loads rates, and allow players to play more with what they have wanted to play for years, but were blocked by one person who kept an item for years.

As always, feel free to come to build, and create a zone if you think the mud is missing something. I made the Sawmill because I thought we needed more axes!
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Maxum » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:16 am

Posting a reply here that relates to both this topic and message board:
First up, yes the forum is slow. There is a reason for this. Drongo and Luna pay for this server to be hosted. When it was setup, we decided that we would rather the smooth, lag free running of the mud, and its supporting build site be a priority. The mud runs in a full debug mode that saves everything in the event of a crash, so Drongo can find and fix any crash errors that happen.
The forum (which was my idea) was to be secondary, and is set up to use minimal resources. Given the current usage I cannot recommend to them taking any CPU away from the mud (or purchasing extra).
This forum is also heavily moderated and has a deliberately obscure registration. I was getting 6-8 bots a day trying to sell viagra, or a russian bride.
There is also an error in the PHP where the forum is not able to email me when it needs attention, I have to check it manually, and sometimes forget. If anyone knows PHP and IPv6 protocols please email me.


What is GNSmud?
GNS's
Not
Shadowdale



Basically (short version) three friends who met on Shadowdale got together and decided that they didn't want to see the mud die (which it was doing at the time). They wanted to see new zones added. To allow old gods the chance to finish partial zones if they wanted to. To fix things that, to them, needed fixing and to take the code forward and add new ideas to it.
My commitment to GNS is this: If Luna and Drongo are prepared to pay for the server, I will make sure that it stays operating and the mud is hosted on it. Everything else is voluntary. Everything Drongo and Luna do is voluntary.
We do tend to fall into roles for the things we do. My responsibility is the /lib. This means mostly build, and player files. Help files and stuff. I do ports of new or changed material from build to play.
Luna does mobs and items. His years of playing set him up for this even if he didn't want to. If an item or mob is too strong or to weak, or just plain irrelevant, he tends to spot it and bring it up for the three of us to consider. In most cases I can find the original version of this item (if it was altered in the 2000's) and we discuss if it should be restored or changed. It gets updated on build, and eventually ported to play. If it is urgent, we change it directly on play.
Drongo writes the code. He is responsible for ensuring what is uploaded to the server will run, and for adding or changing any code. We are currently at 1-2 crashes per year, and in the last four years have had only one down period.
Also a shoutout to Aria who wrote the excellent QP vendor code, and also some other things I am forgetting.
We don't like making core changes to the game code without talking it through a lot. Does it need tweaking or fixing or removing? What was it about Shadowdale that makes people come back to the code base after 20 years? and argue so strongly about it? Are we going to remove that? What roll on affects is it going to have? And then after we have decided, what priority should it have?

Now, in the case of maxed eq, it sorta went like this:
Luna mentioned to me that players were having trouble getting maxed items, and that some of these items he hadn't seen in years.
I thought a lot of this is because of the removal of rent. People who have the gear are not in danger of loosing it anytime. This is our fault because we didn't think through fully the implications of removing rent.
Re-instating rent is still not a good idea, you can probably read elsewhere the arguments for and against it, but at its current state, we don't think adding rent back in would be helpful.
So, quickfix lets put in a slim (#1000) chance for gear to load, rush it through with the new content port, and start looking at a permanent fix that works for everyone.
So I asked Drongo to stop whatever he was working on and code in this for us.
Getting close to the new content port and the code was not ready (hey we are volunteers and we have lives as well), I looked at the code myself.
The code was a mess, scattered across 5 different files, and more than two versions of item loading, plus I could not understand how the mud was counting items.
It took Drongo and I both about three weeks to come to agreement with what functions should be doing what, and what they should be called. Then how the calculation should look.
We are now on about version 7 of the zone init code. When you fix one thing, something else breaks. You would prefer it that items actually load right?

We got the code into play probably around two weeks after the content port.
The current version is now logging all attempts to load max eq, how many of these items are in existence, and how often over-maxxed eq is loading.
But you probably don't care about that right?

There are currently 222 maxable items, with a count of 637 in use.

Assume 5-6 players, thats over 100 maxxed items each and the problem is we aren't working on the code fast enough?

Now recently, I have had some conversations with people, that went like this:
Someone DT'd, we think DT's should be removed from the game.
Can't get my maxxed Eq back, I think maxes should be removed from the game.
One of the items I want needs a HG to bash, I think tri's should be able to reinc to giant.
You haven't done this yet, you are being a jackass.
Also cos elves can't have 18/00 str you are stupid and have made +str gear worthless.
You are just doing this to flex your muscles.
I don't care if you have to revert the code later, cos once I have my maxed eq I don't give a shit.
I can't think of any reason at all why you should not remove maxes.

The last two bug me the most. People are stating they don't care about game balance, continued play-ability, or anything other than themselves.
And the last one? Not one single reason why maxes were implemented in the first place that might still be relevant, what affect if any they had on the way Shadowdale felt and played, and no roll-on affects for removing them?

If you are only playing for nostalgia, then first up you shouldn't be pushing for any changes, and secondly you might be more comfortable playing on Mike Wilson's version of the code. Someone in the Shadowdale Facebook group should be able to provide you with the details.

This is not urgent to me, I am still content to wait until we have developed some better tools to sift the data, and make a final confirmed decision.

If you want me to push for this urgently you will need a few things:
What adverse affects is this going to have and what can we do to lessen them?
Why I should email Drongo (who is on holiday) and ask him to stop whatever hs is doing and upload a new version of the mud with these changes in place.
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Zax » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:26 pm

Well, Maxum's post brings up a lot that I'd like to address but it will make for a very long post...

First of all, I like GNS mud....a lot....a whole damn lot!. It's tons better than old SDMud. It's more stable and I love the new features like the quest shoppe, lores, etc. And I get to play on this MUD for free! So let me just say I appreciate the hell out of the time and effort and energy and money Moxum, Luna, Drongo, and Kahil put into getting this MUD up and running and improving it. I don't code and I don't have the patience for the tedium of building, but I'm willing to help, and try to help in other capacities as I can.

Next, before we get into arguing about who said what, I want to clarify that I brought up the topic of eliminating DTs. I did that without having recently DT'd myself and before another player DT'd which kicked off the most recent discussion on eliminating item maxxes. So to different topics advocated by two different players with two different motivations. I understand how it's hard for Maxum to keep this all straight, especially with how fast it was coming at him from all sides the other night on the MUD. But just wanted to clear that up.

On item maxxes, I see both sides of the argument and ultimately can accept either path. I think it's fair to use an example to support Maxum's concerns about making core changes without due deliberation and consideration...

A player recently DT'd and lost some (over)maxxed items and now it's difficult to replace those items because the load rates are low. Let's consider what would normally happen with original maxxes in place and no %load and assuming no artificial loading from other sources..A player who DT'd with a maxxed item could be assured that his maxxed items would soon reload because the items are no longer maxxed. In the current environment, with the cooperation of the other few players on the MUD, he would be able to replace those items in relatively short order. I know this to be true because I DT'd twice in two days back in March or so and got all my stuff back each time within a few hours

With the new %load rate (and because some items were artificially loaded back when virtually no one was playing and now sit in storage) most of the most desirable eq is overmaxxed. So now if a player DT's, he no longer is assured that the items he had are now undermaxxed and will repop quickly. Instead, he faces a long, frustrating cycle of checking zones to see if perhaps a %load will be fortunate for him. This is one of the unintended consequences of implementing %load, which was implemented to allow others a chance to get eq they otherwise would never see.

Is removing maxxes altogether the answer? Perhaps. I really don't know what other ramifications that might have. Off hand I don't see the downside. Yes, maybe every one of my PCs will then be outfitted with re:Blunt & re:Slash and the best weapons and be dragon armored and delivering tremendous damage. And so might every other player's stable of PCs. What are the negative consequences to the game if that happens? I'm sure there are some but I can't name any significant ones at the moment, other than perhaps instituting a sense of sameness and eliminating a major risk element of the game.

But again, I'm just damned happy with having this MUD available as it is. There's still so many zones, mobs, and yes, great eq out there that I don't even know about. I plan to keep exploring and mapping in any case.

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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Glenn » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:46 am

I assumed that the goal with no rent and now a %load on max items was to move from a mud where the items are strictly limited to one where everyone can get all the nice items of their choosing with at least a little bit of effort beyond the killing of the mob to get the item itself. I think there should be at least a little effort involved with going around and locating for things, but I think that initial effort is a bit much right now. Hence me pushing for the better load rates. I think we've created a fairly workable system in this as far as having gear available. I don't think removing the max on items is the answer. Seems like that would be more work to try and make workable. I think what we all want is for the system to be viable with the least amount of work for you guys.

The downsides to this system, yes over time people will in general look same-ish but there will still be some variety in gear preference. I have different things I like to wear than what zax or tyme or deshora or mirage likes to wear. Even with everything being relatively available we will have small differences in gear.

Even having everyone have everything relatively available I doubt the difficulty of the mud will change that much, most groups tend to form with whatever characters in their stable has the best equipment. If anything I guess groups might end up being more diverse because people will bring out those third or fourth alts more often.

As far as I understand the exceptional strength change was an attempt to encourage other races to be chosen. The problem with this as it stands is rolling a new character more often can be a pain and the de-aging you can get from quest points is extremely expensive, so we still choose elf and take our lumps on the strength. This has had the unintended side effect of making a variety of strength item choices useless, which under this current system we are working with promotes even less item diversity. If you want to leave it where elves have 18/0 strength cap and try and promote more racial diversity then you will probably need to drop how much it costs to de-age characters quite a bit. Or restore the strength cap to normal and let the fighter classes be what determines whether you get exceptional strength again (although there were a couple races that couldn't have exceptional strength already, halfling and goblin maybe?) I'm not really sure even with lowering the cost to de-age to a qp or two would even be enough to make us not choose elf, although that might even have the side effect of making us all go troll or dwarf or something that has exceptional strength or unique abilities.

On DTs, I really don't care but it can be very painful to try and get it all back with 'overmaxxed' items. I did really like the idea of making DTs just take your money and lag you for a while and send you to stoal (or maybe even wherever you are currently rented at.) If you increased the load rates to a more manageable number then you probably don't have to do anything here.

Restrings are sort of an answer to everyone having a mostly same look about them but DTs and general item scrappiness make them less appealing in system such as ours. Doing something with DTs might make these more appealing. Honestly the only reason I haven't done any restrings is because I already have so many quest items I want to buy ;)

On creating an economy, I just don't see it happening. It's been so long since items have had any gold value. Even with rent and hard item caps for a long time no one has really successfully sold items and I'm pretty sure the few who did it successfully had already spent more gold than they got renting the item than from the sale itself. Things like automated auctions and custom shopkeepers and all that fun economy stuff sounds exciting but this community has been the way we are for so long I think it would be wasted work.

Thanks for all the work you guys have put into this. I do really like all the changes that have been implemented. I personally don't care about how long you take to get the coding stuff done, it's your free time after all, I just wish our discussions and resolution of said discussions could move along faster.
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Scalamoosh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:54 pm

Reserving my input until I finish trying to gear up... Question about the existing system. Sounds like not all rare items are on the 1/1000 list, is that correct? Wondering if i'm wasting time with locates on very rare items.
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Glenn » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:19 pm

It's #/1000 where # is whatever the max number is for that item. It's possible some very rare items aren't, but there have been several known 1 max items that now have more of them. With that low of a chance, it's really hard to tell.
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Re: 21 Apr 2017 Port

Postby Zax » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:29 pm

Maybe it's time to start a new thread with a more specific title for the load rate discussion but I'll leave that to others...

A couple of (admittedly probably half-baked) ideas on modifying load rates...

1) Leave the item load rate as is (#/1000) but have it increment by 1 every time the zone inits until the item pops, then reset the rate. Count any pop for a reset, whether anyone grabs the item or not. So if someone runs through zone, pops the item but doesn't stop to locate and grab it, the load rate resets anyway.

2) Increase the load rate but moderate it by using a "soft max" check as is done for limited items under 5k rent. For example, say the max on cloud armbands is 5 (I don't know this to be true, just making it up for the example) and someone inits Dloft. If three players are in the game, each with 2 clouds, then another cloud definitely won't load. If there are less than 5 clouds in the game, then the (new, higher) load % applies.
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