Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

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Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Teron » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:15 am

Greetings.

Crumbs made a nice exp-tracking script and it became completely obvious to me that exp per mob/area is diminished, if it takes a while to walk between mobs. In fact, it's so obvious I mentioned runs in a post about making better areas before Crumbs even showed me the results of the script:
So, as you can see, I like areas that have:
- ...
- short runs between mobs
- safe runs between mobs


Fastruns will allow you to increase engagement and retention at all levels.

1. Increase new player retention by increasing engagement and progress

So while thinking about what would keep new players on the mud, I thought that perhaps adding speedruns to newbie areas would be helpful to increase engagement, progress and enjoyment, as well as adding some comfort level to playing the mud. This completely eliminates the need to think that there might be a website or a map shop to get directions from, then the need to follow those directions manually, etc. For newbies, it'll make exceptional difference.

fastrun blaster
You start running to the Blaster's Temple:

The Intersection of Main and Fargo Streets
Main Street
The Intersection of Main and Granite Streets
Main Street
Main Street
Main and Fathnir Street
North Gate of Newbatia
The North Road of Newbatia
The North Road of Newbatia
The North Road of Newbatia
Edge of an Enchanted Forest
Exits: North East
A mystical bugbear wanders about the sacred land.
A mystical bugbear wanders about the sacred land.
A mystical bugbear wanders about the sacred land.

<373hp 173ma 137mv>

Since it's easier to keep a new player, than an old player, making an improvement at lower levels should make a more noticeable effect, which you can measure.

2. Make running easier for all players to slightly increase exp and retention
An added bonus to adding fastruns is increased conveniency and enjoyment of old players, who can run easier, get more exp and stay more engaged/satisified by the MUD, which goes well with this goal and improvement:
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=3822

3. Keep the dangereous runs
I have to mention that I understand why some runs have to be long and dangerous (DWeb, Moors, Dmount, Volcano), but for grouping, long and breakable running in Moria kills area exp. You can keep the mob aggro, while on the run, but just make running faster - potentially, with unlocking doors, if the key is in the inv/keychain.

I talked to Crumbs and he said he had already suggested the idea of fastruns to be unlocked by the level.

I also suggest measuring before and after the change on how it affects the gameplay:
- measure mobdeath per area per week
- measure number of visits to an area per week
- measure visited rooms per area per week.
- mobs killed per player per day/week

Thanks.
Last edited by Teron on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Filk » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:17 am

How that differs from your own personal run alias in your client, which you could make with all doors, flees, shifting ferrets etc? I see only skipping description part in your message. But they dont make runs any noticeble slower. as i see on my own speedwalk sets.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Teron » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:43 am

1. Newbies don't:
- find the mapmaker quickly enough unless there's an obvious autoquest (there isn't). There might be a newbie guide in the inv, but I'm not sure how often it's used.
- go to the map section and find the dirs
- know they can run faster with flee.

And if they do all the above (about 5-15% by my estimate), they'll need to spend the time to do it, which they'd rather spend on exploring the mud and getting the first exp to level.

As for experienced players, I agree that the effect will be minimal, if any. At least I'll be able to ask ppl to reliably run to Fiends, DWeb or Dragonmountain.

2. There is a room movement lag. If you go to an underwater area, you'll notice that you move slightly slower.
You already know that you move, when fleeing, faster, than you walk. I propose making fastruns move faster, than the normal walk, to speed up the runs as well.

P.S. I'm now considering adding speed-running aliases in addition to group-friendly ones. Fastrun would remove the requirement of personal aliases, though I wonder if you could take a group w/ you on a fastrun alias. Will have to think about it, if there's any movement in the fastrun direction.
Last edited by Teron on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby *Splork* » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:14 pm

Its not a terrible idea just one which I don't think would as much an effect as you think it will.

We would never add something which took away the danger of runs to and through aggressive areas though...
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Teron » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:13 pm

I agree that aggro needs to stay. Who doesn't want to be ripped apart by a beholder in a nocast room.

If we agree that the idea of fastruns is valid, then we can try to find a solution to keep aggro:
- don't do anything that'll remove mob reach to the running mortals
- if that doesn't work, increase mob reaction speed to running mortals proportionally to the speed difference
- if anything, make it harder to get long and dangerous runs: an autoquest or a complete area exploration, for example.

I'm sure you or Teker can offer a way to keep aggro w/o unnecessarily complicating things here.

As for impact on newbies, I agree that it is no magic pill. I still think that a bigger help would be a newbatia college w/ educational quests and an area with lots of mobs.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby cyprimus » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:28 pm

maybe just add a run command.

you run you do not see roomname, description or content..and don't update prompt etc.. till run is over.

also cannot run while hiding sneaking et.c..
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby *teker* » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:50 am

So is this a feature to run to the entrance of a zone? Or would it be used to run around inside zones also to get to the next mob? How would I get a list of potential destinations?

Can you run to shops or other important locations? "Run bank" or "Run docks" or "Run recall" or "Run vault"?

Currently players can execute a command every 250ms but mob aggro only gets checked every 10 seconds. Would the run execute that fast?

Do players run through underwater areas without water breath? If not, are they told before they start running or do they run up to the water's edge and then stop?

Are there other terrain types or exit/door types that prevent running?

Can you run in the dark?

Can players stop running midway through?

Is there an extra bonus hit chance and/or damage if mob aggro takes place while running?

Do players consume movement points faster when running? This is a huge problem for new characters - especially casters. It's easy to run out of moves on VK as is.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Filk » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:42 am

I guess you dont expect answers on these questions, but just displayng that such addition is quite complicated for the output :lol:
Though i could add several more questions and problems to that list, but dont doubt that was just quick review of the idea, so no point in that :)
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Teron » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:22 am

Fluffy, these questions are good product questions that needs answers. So ask more questions, so we have a deeper understanding of the mechanics, so that we have a more useful feature that imms can develop faster.
- So is this a feature to run to the entrance of a zone? Or would it be used to run around inside zones also to get to the next mob? How would I get a list of potential destinations?


The run starts from the continent recall, unless you can make it start anywhere on the continent, provided the rooms are connected (an added value).

Yes, to the entrance.
2nd iteration is for players to mark a spot/room that needs to run to.

For example:
Bottom of the Stairs
run mark

Run dweb runs to the entrance
Run dweb spot runs to my spot.

I specifically don't mention it to be a gatable spot, because some areas are nogate, e.g. CF.

Some areas need waiting to get there, such as UD2 and Infernites, so I'm not holding my breath on the runs taking me longer, then the rooms I need to wait in. Though, if you do find such a challenge interesting, that'd be very useful.

If there are any technical limits on the amount of spots players can store, limit those spots or add quests to get them. Then again, quests may be not a scalable option, if there are lots of areas that need a restriction.

- Can you run to shops or other important locations? "Run bank" or "Run docks" or "Run recall" or "Run vault"?

Yes, while in town.
Also, run alchemist/potion also works.

Afaik there's only one vault per person per continent, so yes, it runs to the vault and unlocks and locks the door afterwards, as long as the key is in the inv. If the trigtrap is purchased, it uses the trigtrap.

- Currently players can execute a command every 250ms but mob aggro only gets checked every 10 seconds. Would the run execute that fast?

Maybe it's my perception, but I do get caught often, if I don't make precautions. Is it really 10 seconds, not 1-2 seconds?

Yes, the whole idea is to make the run be fast, maybe 50ms per room. Aardmud run command moves at about 3 rooms per 250ms. 100ms per room might be acceptable.

Can you make aggro mobs fast-to-attack running ppl, so the aggro rate is the same, compared to walking ppl? Any ideas about this?

- Do players run through underwater areas without water breath? If not, are they told before they start running or do they run up to the water's edge and then stop?

Players are subjected to the same restrictions they have, when not running.
So yes, they can move, while choking, as they can now.
Thus, players run where the command takes them. If they forgot wb and decided to run to poseidon's realm, their fault.

If they need fly somewhere and decide to run, their fault.

- Are there other terrain types or exit/door types that prevent running?

Same as with regular running: magic warded doors and locked doors the player doesnt have keys to.

- Can you run in the dark?

Yes

- Can players stop running midway through?

Yes, if you are fast enough to press |. There may be a specific command, if need be, since pipe only clears player sent command.

- Is there an extra bonus hit chance and/or damage if mob aggro takes place while running?

No, unless the mob is wielding a spear or a sword :)

- Do players consume movement points faster when running? This is a huge problem for new characters - especially casters. It's easy to run out of moves on VK as is.

No, the mvs are consumed as usual.

Tl;dr: Still need ideas on how to save mob aggro from a technical side. Since I haven't seen the code nor know C, I have no idea.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby cyprimus » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:05 am

I have also seen bypassing it with portals to area entrances in town... and teleports... but they ignore the intervening areas.. and usually take you to the last safe room on the way... ie-not past aggro mobs.

maybe a forge like the invitations etc.. but requires you to have completely explored area, and have track and shadowwalk? maybe area keys too.. maybe even require convo.. and use mana to work on group?

5 am.. lots of idea.. wonder how stupid they will be after i sleep..p
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Teron » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:08 am

Portals from forges or autoquests can be a good idea, as well. Unfortunately, it doesn't help newbies a lot, because it is invisible to them, unless they get a portal in the inv or from newbie college.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby Dragoth » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:28 pm

Before wasting coder's resources to add or fix stuff shouldn't we first figure out the issue that we are trying to address ?

You say that fastruns would be nice to have to increase exp rate, but is this a priority for anyone ? There are much easier ways for immortals to increase our exp rate and doing it through fastruns is quite dubious at best.

More convenience ? Again, is this a problem for anyone that needs fixing ? I think that this goes against some of our MUDs core principles, where good exp rate areas are nearly always hard to access and make you feel badass simply for being able to reach them. I could probably understand a forge/portal type of thing like they have in aard, where you get ease of access to an area as a reward for doing a quest/forge, we already have this for some areas and making it for every area has to be properly weighted, but I personally think that overall, this whole ease of access to areas for experienced players is a non-issue, we all have clients that have fast-runs and aliases already.

It's true that I have suggested idea of fastruns to Splork before, but my main reason was newbie-oriented, as I felt newbies could use pointers about what areas to hit and how to get there without spending hours searching the website to figure out what they can kill and how to get there. I constantly heard newbies asking on gossip about what they can kill and I thought that some pre-programmed area level-list and fastruns could make life a bit easier for them and keep them interested a bit longer, although thinking about it now, it's coming to me that convolution and harshness play an important part in sloth, so making newbies search and research and die while simply trying to get to an area is an initiation of some sort and making them learn this principle early on isn't such a bad idea. Yes we lose players, but it kind of also weeds out the lazy ones early on and the ones that stay are the ones that can take all the pain and hardships that they will have to go through during their time here.

Either way I think I have to agree with Splork, this function isn't going to have that much effect and it probably doesn't warrant all the time that'll have to be spent to implement it properly.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby *Splork* » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:02 pm

I am still having a difficult time understanding how exactly this would help real newbies to Sloth. I have used fastwalk/run on some other muds and found that its not really as useful as a newbie as I thought it would be. A player needs to know different aspects of the game before it actually becomes useful such as names of areas you want to explore, names of mobs you want to visit, etc. I can't count how many times on other games I have speedwalked to an area, died, and not had a clue how to get my equipment back.

I see the feature as having little to no effect for the rest of the playerbase. These players all already have nearly every area aliased or more importantly, they know the runs to speedwalk them. They also have the benefit of skills/features which partially does what Tarons "2nd Phase" would do which is find a particular room and run to it (lloyds, greater lloyds, clan recalls, etc, which is why we wouldn't add something like that... we have enough).

Call me old school, I believe a player should learn an area. Why would a player be able to speedwalk/run to an area they have never visited before? :mrgreen:

For the record, I am not for or against this type of feature. I am against anything which removes any danger from running to areas or the game in general.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby *teker* » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:05 pm

I'm going to go ahead and continue posing questions about this particular feature request to see how it hashes out. I think the question of where resources should be spent would probably be better in another thread where we look at a variety of ideas from a higher/less detailed level.

Teron wrote:The run starts from the continent recall, unless you can make it start anywhere on the continent, provided the rooms are connected (an added value).


Yes, the run could start anywhere without much effort. It would use the existing hunt/track code to find the route which can start anywhere.


Yes, to the entrance.
2nd iteration is for players to mark a spot/room that needs to run to.


I think these could be done as a single item where "waypoints" are saved to the database as either "global" or "personal". I would probably use the same "run <waypoint>" command and allow players to override the global waypoint by specifying one with the same name.

Some areas need waiting to get there, such as UD2 and Infernites, so I'm not holding my breath on the runs taking me longer, then the rooms I need to wait in. Though, if you do find such a challenge interesting, that'd be very useful.


Not sure what this means as I'm not familiar with these areas. If you mean waiting, like for a boat or event to happen, then no, it's probably not something I would look to automate. Best path would be to have a waypoint at the wait spot (system or personal depending on where it is) and then have a second one you could run to after the event.

If there are any technical limits on the amount of spots players can store, limit those spots or add quests to get them. Then again, quests may be not a scalable option, if there are lots of areas that need a restriction.


I imagine we'd come up with some sort of limitation to prevent players from putting them everywhere. Actual datasize of a waypoint would be something like of 9 bytes + 1 byte per character in the name.

Maybe it's my perception, but I do get caught often, if I don't make precautions. Is it really 10 seconds, not 1-2 seconds?


It should be 10 seconds. Not all the mobs are processed at once so if you're in a room with multiple mobs their 10 second check happens at different times to make the game run smoother.

Yes, the whole idea is to make the run be fast, maybe 50ms per room. Aardmud run command moves at about 3 rooms per 250ms. 100ms per room might be acceptable.


We could probably do this. Easiest first pass would be to do it in bursts (2-3 rooms every 250ms) but it may be possible to make it more even.

Can you make aggro mobs fast-to-attack running ppl, so the aggro rate is the same, compared to walking ppl? Any ideas about this?


We can run a check when the player enters the room to see if they're running and give the mobs some sort of chance to jump early.

Thus, players run where the command takes them. If they forgot wb and decided to run to poseidon's realm, their fault.


Not very newbie friendly.
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Re: Add Fastrun to the MUD to kill mobs faster

Postby *Breeze* » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:02 pm

#
We can run a check when the player enters the room to see if they're running and give the mobs some sort of chance to jump early.
#

would go well with the idea I had to add in dodge/agility stats.
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