Author Topic: lights, lighting, ambient light  (Read 3420 times)

Offline Kalixt Shawxo

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lights, lighting, ambient light
« on: November 21, 2007, 09:15:25 PM »
This is a weird problem.

I made a virtual area (a basement) that is supposed to be dark, no working lights, and I configured it by walking thru with my admin character. The idea is if you don't have a light source (flashlight, torch, whatever) then you can't see anything. It seemed to be working, but then I went thru with my regular character and my daughter's character... it's not as dark, and you can navigate fine.
I even went so far as to lower all the lighting and it can still be seen.

Here's what the lighting settings are :
Code: [Select]
    SetClimate("indoors");
    SetAmbientLight(0);
and
Code: [Select]
SetDayLight(10);
SetNightLight(10);

the results of looking at the same room at the same time by two different characters are as follows;
my admin:

 Kalixt /domains/zombieland/z-hotel ]> l
It's too dark to see.
 Kalixt /domains/zombieland/z-hotel ]>

and my regular character:

> l
The hotel basement
You are in a large basement. The lights do not appear to work, or you simply
can't find the right switch, there are no windows, and the walls are plain grey
concrete. There seems to be various piles in the darkness.
It seems to be even bigger than the hotel above it.  There is a door to the
North.
Obvious exits: n, s, e, w, se, sw
You smell something rank in the dark.
First Admin Kalixt is standing here.

they are both in the same room. both are human.

any ideas?  Running 2.6

Kalixt

Offline cratylus

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 09:31:15 PM »
Newbies can see in the dark, and can understand all languages.

It's kind of a legacy feature from before I picked up maintainership...
I've thought about getting rid of it because it's confusing, but I
think it has upsides as well.

http://dead-souls.net/ds-admin-faq.html#38

-Crat

Offline Kalixt Shawxo

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 10:40:46 PM »
okay, guess I missed that in the faq... I'll have to adjust it.

thanks!

Newbies can see in the dark, and can understand all languages.

It's kind of a legacy feature from before I picked up maintainership...
I've thought about getting rid of it because it's confusing, but I
think it has upsides as well.

http://dead-souls.net/ds-admin-faq.html#38

-Crat

Offline quixadhal

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2007, 12:24:45 PM »
Personally, I'd vote to get rid of it (not that votes count *grin*).

While I don't want to go out of my way to torture newbies, I also don't think coddling them is a good idea.  If they get used to things being easy and simple, they get more upset when things get hard and complicated later on.

For example.  If you allow newbies to see in the dark, they'll get used to just always being able to see and not bother learning light spells, buying torches, etc.  Then, when they move on and suddenly find themselves in the dark and can't see... they'll whine up a storm in chat.  If they also happen to get killed because they stumble onto an aggressive mob a step or three after nightfall, they'll scream and quit.

OTOH, if they experience the normal effects of night or darkness while still in the starting area (where there are no grues waiting for them, and no cliff edges to fall from), they'll learn and be prepared by the time they get out into the world.

Basically, in my experience, players always optimize out what they deem useless.  If your game has language support, but it has a "common" tongue, *everyone* will use common all the time.  Anyone who tries to use anything else will be yelled at or ignored.  If there is no "common" chat option, people will start learning other languages as they group.  This happens faster if the NPC's all speak in non-common and refuse to trade or interact with folks who speak a "foreign" tongue.

My 2.3 cents anyways. :)

Offline daelaskai

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2007, 02:46:39 PM »
I agree with Quixadhal.  While some admins would want to baby newbie players,
I don't feel that course of action has any benefit.  It lends to a more believable
atmosphere with newbies having the same standards as everyone else.  NPC's
that don't speak one of the languages that you know will likely not deal with you.

Daelas

Offline petriomelony

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2007, 08:21:10 AM »

Offline quixadhal

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 08:20:34 PM »
Yes, I saw the link in Cratylus's post.  I was providing my thinking to support the idea of removing such features from the mudlib, should he desire to do this.

You might think having everything and the kitchen sink as a configurable option is a good thing, and you'd be right ... as long as YOU aren't the one having to maintain the core mudlib code. :)

Every option that's configurable adds a huge amount of complexity to what might be otherwise simple code.  If 1% of the population actually uses a feature, IMHO it's actually damaging to the mudlib's development to leave that code in there.  Why?  Because as other code gets shifted around and modified, it might introduce bugs which only that 1% will ever encounter.

Now, if Crat doesn't mind maintaining all the various code paths to support lots of options, all is well.  Just don't complain if the updates slow down as more features get added.

Personally, I'd rather have those kind of things as extra downloadable packages with some instructions on how to replace the "stock" code with the "alternate" code.  Unless the plan is to follow DGD's kernel lib model (having a rigid directory structure with some parts being declared off limits), once your game starts getting interesting it won't be auto-patchable anyways.

I'll go back under my bridge now and wait for the next thread to pass above. *grin*

Offline askrius

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 01:02:23 PM »
For example.  If you allow newbies to see in the dark, they'll get used to just always being able to see and not bother learning light spells, buying torches, etc.  Then, when they move on and suddenly find themselves in the dark and can't see... they'll whine up a storm in chat.  If they also happen to get killed because they stumble onto an aggressive mob a step or three after nightfall, they'll scream and quit.

Oooook. So, I guess its best to just assume that your player base will be morons....


Offline quixadhal

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Re: lights, lighting, ambient light
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 01:58:14 PM »
Oooook. So, I guess its best to just assume that your player base will be morons....

That may be true, but my example doesn't require it. :)

Humans learn by analyzing patterns and drawing (hopefully) logical conclusions from those patterns.  If I log into a mud, especially if I've never played a text mud before, and I see a description of the world everywhere I walk, indoors, outdoors, during the day, at night, in the middle of a blizzard; and that description always shows me what's in the room and where I can go, it's pretty reasonable to assume that those conditions will always apply unless something extraordinary happens.

Suddenly, I'm outside killing villagers and I see:

Dusty Road.

You are on a dusty road which serves as a corral for helpless villagers.
A small burn barrel sits off to the side, and blood marks the ground where
many villagers have been slaughtered by adventurers like you.

You see a villager dejectedly holding a sign that says, 'Kill me for XP!'

> kill villager

You swing your rusty tin opener at a villager.
Your tin opener *@!**MEGAOBLITERATEOMFGBBQS**!@* a villager!
A villager dies.
You gain 37283823 experience and 1 copper piece.
Congratulations!  You've gained a level!

> look
A Dark Place.

It is too dark to see anything.  You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

>

I dunno about you, but I'd find that a bit disconcerting.  What happened?  Did I get the killing-villagers-makes-you-go-blind curse?  Did the wind whip dust in my eyes?  Am I being punished for leveling too fast?  I didn't get a message about the sun setting, and it was the middle of the afternoon a moment ago.  I'm not in combat, so nobody cast blind on me.  What gives?

Nobody told me that my reward for not being a newbie any more was that I'd have to carry torches or not be able to see anything.

I don't think being a moron is a prerequisite for confusion here.  This is especially true if the player in question hasn't played a text game before.  If they come from a graphical MMO, night isn't typically so dark you can't navigate (at least not in modern ones).  If they've never played one of these at all, they don't even have any preconceptions.

In text games, the words you see as you walk around are the only input you have when trying to figure out how the game works, and what you're supposed to do in it.  Every single inconsistency makes it that much harder to succeed.

Surely some of you remember the "guess the verb" games we used to play when trying to solve quests.  That's the whole reason Lima (formerly ZorkMUD) came into being, to try and force common verbs so you didn't have to sit and try "turn knob", "twist knob", "pull knob", "push knob", "kill knob" for a month.

Now, one could put a hook into the gain level code so that once you pass newbie status, it tells you about the changes to the game rules.  However, that's more code to maintain, and if other things are added which work the same way (such as not needing to eat or drink, not leaving a corpse when you die, etc), those all have to be added to the text too.

That's why I'm making the argument.  Not because I think mud players will be morons (they may be, but I'm holding out hopes that most of them have moved to WoW).  Not even because I hate coddling newbies (I do, but that's my preference).  Because I think it brings added complexity to an increasingly more complex code base, and because it introduces inconsistency in the game environment.

Put another way, if you want it to be forever bright to the newbies, why not either disable night for the newbie zone, or put light sources (street lamps, torches, bonfires, glowing magical garden gnomes) in every room in the newbie zone?