Mob Item Drop Systems

 
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Timothy



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Mob Item Drop Systems Reply with quote

I'm hoping to spur a discussion about different types of loot dropping systems. I'm not entirely sure on this, but I believe that most Diku-based MUDs have mobs drop whatever objects they are currently carrying in their inventory. Although somewhat realistic, I wasn't very happy with this and found that it isn't very fun.

That being said, I enjoy the system that World of Warcraft has implemented. Where every NPC or mob has a loot table which stores loot that it can drop and a percentage chance of dropping said loot. This isn't at all realistic of course, but I think it works great in context to a game, and have implemented it on my MUD. I'm sure that WoW's looting system isn't original, so do any of you also use such a system?

I'm really just curious how all of you handle this. Do you just have mobs drop what they carry, do they randomly drop items found in their loot table, or do you use some other system?

My MUD is pretty much just a pet project of mine and has no real players. Do your players enjoy the system you use?

As a side note, World of Warcraft's system encourages farming, but I don't really see this as a "problem".
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not entirely sure on this, but I believe that most Diku-based MUDs have mobs drop whatever objects they are currently carrying in their inventory.


They create a corpse object named after the creature, and move all of its equipment into the corpse. The same approach is used for both players and mobs.

Quote:
That being said, I enjoy the system that World of Warcraft has implemented. Where every NPC or mob has a loot table which stores loot that it can drop and a percentage chance of dropping said loot. This isn't at all realistic of course, but I think it works great in context to a game, and have implemented it on my MUD. I'm sure that WoW's looting system isn't original, so do any of you also use such a system?


I've never played WoW, but my system seems to be somewhat similar to what you've described. I define a treasure list for each creature, and the mud selects one at random when the creatures dies. For example a mountain troll has "3:none chaos *battleaxe" (3 in 5 chance of nothing, 1 in 5 chance of a chaos orb, and a 1 in 5 chance of a magic battleaxe), a young treant has "*ring,ironwood *quarterstaff,ironwood" (1 in 2 chance of a magic ironwood ring, 1 in 2 chance of a magic ironwood quarterstaff), a crocodile has "4:none belt,crocodileskin,green gloves,crocodileskin,green boots,crocodileskin,green" (1 in 7 chance of each of belt, gloves or boots, coloured green and made from crocodile skin), and so on.

I'm not particularly fond of animals dropping clothing made from their hide, but as they're not actually using anything they could otherwise drop I think it's about as reasonable as I can manage (barring a crafting system).

Quote:
Do your players enjoy the system you use?


There are occasional complaints from people who want to get all the stuff the creature is wearing, but it generally seems to be accepted.
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BobTHJ



Joined: 19 Nov 2005
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My MUD (which is also still in the pet project stage) uses a loot table system. Each loot table is stored as an XML file, and they can be referenced by another loot table.

For example:

<loot>
<item chance="35">Orcish Blade</item>
<table chance="10">Rare Orc Items</table>
<subtable chance="20" reroll="true">
<item weight="1">Orc Hat</item>
<item weight="5">Orc Belt</item>
</subtable>
</loot>

The parser examines each element in turn. So, for this table, here's what would happen:

1. The dead mob starts with no loot.
2. If the 1d100 roll is less than 35 (ie 35% chance) then an Orcish Blade will be added to the loot.
3. 10% that the "Rare Orc Items" table would be called. This is just another loot table XML file (like the one above). Any loot rolled on that table would be added to the total loot for this mob.
4. 20% chance that loot is rolled on the sub-table, if not, we're done with loot.
5. There is a 1 in 6 chance that an Orc Hat will be added to the loot. If not, add a Orc Belt to the loot. (The weight values determine how likely the item is to be included).
6. Try rolling the sub-table again (20% chance) if so, return to step 5. This is due to the reroll="true" attribute, which will continue to add either Orc Hats or Belts until the 20% chance fails.

I hope that makes sense Smile I wanted to create a system that allowed for flexible and fixed loot drops like WoW, and at the same time not requiring each type of mob to have a loot table a mile long (thus the ability to call other loot tables).
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MikeRozak



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 15
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thoughts...

- WoW uses random loot and NOT what the creature is carrying because (a) weapons and armor in WoW are valuable, and (b) players can carry a huge amount of stuff. Giving players that much loot would unbalance the game.

- Oblivion loot is exactly what the creature is carrying. They can do this because (a) weapons and armor are not as valuable, (b) players can only carry a few pieces of looted weapons/armor before they're overburdened. Thus, most bits end up lying on the dungeon floor, unless players want to repeatedly go back and forth to empty out the dungeon's contents. Furthermore, this approach might not work in multiplayer games where some players would end up specializing as body looters, looting bodies after their killer has left the area.
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: Emily's Shop

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I'm not a rabid proponent of realism for realism's sake, having monsters drop items that they weren't carrying before they died is a bit of a kick in the teeth from an immersion perspective. It might make sense to add items to the corpse that represent the creature's actual body parts, but if there's going to be a dagger on the body after death, it ought to be possessed by the creature beforehand as well.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
While I'm not a rabid proponent of realism for realism's sake, having monsters drop items that they weren't carrying before they died is a bit of a kick in the teeth from an immersion perspective.


I think it really depends on the item - and the mob. I wouldn't want to see a swarm of insects dropping a breastplate (like they do in Diablo2!) for example, but I wouldn't have a problem with mobs dropping something they could realistically have hidden on their person. A guard shouldn't literally have to be carrying a small iron key in order to drop it - but if he drops a heavy wooden shield, I agree that he should also be carrying it when alive.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timothy,

Out of curiousity, what was it about the DIKU system you thought was not "fun"?


Sandi
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Kaz



Joined: 05 Jun 2005
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Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it, in the original Diku system, mobs were loaded up with a particular set of equipment - the same set that mob was always loaded up with. So, killing a mob the first time yielded the same equipment killing that mob any other time would.

There advancement that I usually see from this approach is to spawn an assortment of equipment when the mob first spawns. One mud I played on had a mix of the two - when a mob was spawned, each item in its standard set of equipment had a low probability of being replaced by some other randomly generated item whose power level was based on the level of the mob. This had advantages and disadvantages - like the Diablo games, there was always a "better" item out there to obtain. Meanwhile, some mobs, notorious for their relative easiness to kill (they weren't in a highly populated mob area, for example) were farmed to death, and most players' items came from them.

In fact, that's not too different in principle from Diablo II, where bots were made to hunt Mephisto and another super-unique whose name escapes me, who were two of the four (I think) creatures in the game who could generate any possible item.

Edit:

To add to my own post, the MMO Earth & Beyond, may it rest in peace, had a drop table for each mob type in the game. This had different balance issues, the most prominent of which is that the high level warriors classes, who were the only ones who could defeat certain enemies, dominated the economy by camping and hoarding certain mobs which were known to drop extremely rare unique items.
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: Emily's Shop

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
I think it really depends on the item - and the mob. I wouldn't want to see a swarm of insects dropping a breastplate (like they do in Diablo2!) for example, but I wouldn't have a problem with mobs dropping something they could realistically have hidden on their person. A guard shouldn't literally have to be carrying a small iron key in order to drop it - but if he drops a heavy wooden shield, I agree that he should also be carrying it when alive.

Yes, exactly: if a guard was carrying a wooden shield, why wouldn't he be using it in battle?

Obviously it depends on whether you actually have any means of finding out what mobs are carrying before they die. Combat equipment (armour and weapons) generally is visible. Some MUDs allow a thief to determine what's in someone's inventory while they're alive. Such a thief might reasonably expect to be able to scan a monster's pockets to see if it's worth the risk of a backstab.
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Timothy



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it really just depends on the atmosphere of the MUD you are creating. I'm not talking about just having random rare weapons drop off of insects or animals here. I am mainly talking about making "boss" mob encounters repeatable in that a person will probably have to group to kill a boss multiple times to get a wanted item. Granted, if your MUD doesn't focus on objects/gear, this probably is not too appealing.

If a mob uses a shield, he should have the shield in his loot table as a possible drop. However, in this system, it shouldn't necessarily always appear in his corpse after death.

Although, I also think such a system would work well for ordinary mobs as well. For example, Bob is a hunter looking for only the best otter pelts. Now, realistically, not all otters are going to have the best pelts. So, not all of them should drop the "Perfect Otter Pelt" object; only some should.

Just my two cents.
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thyrr



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am mainly talking about making "boss" mob encounters repeatable in that a person will probably have to group to kill a boss multiple times to get a wanted item. Granted, if your MUD doesn't focus on objects/gear, this probably is not too appealing.


I'm not sure I like the idea of having to repeat "boss" battles to get eq. I'd be really disappointed if I went through an epic battle and the item I wanted didn't drop. Re-defeating bosses -- especially in WoW-style raids where it's like a bi-weekly event for guilds -- seems a bit silly and unrealistic in general.

Now, over on TMC I suggested a "fair" per-player drop system -- you have a pretty good chance of getting a particular piece of eq the first time you kill the mob, but your chances drop after the first successful drop. So you might have a 5% drop rate if you've never gotten the rare Potato Salad Sword before (or possibly even 100% for a boss fight), but you're less likely to get a second one, not particularly likely to get a third, and forget about getting a fourth. The odds would eventually (slowly) return to normal in case you lost your last one.

Not particularly realistic -- not that any random-drop systems are -- but it discourages farming and ensures rarity. It makes a little more sense for rare "boss" rewards than ordinary mobs.

One excuse you might give is that the item was irreparably damaged during combat. Or something.
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timothy wrote:
I guess it really just depends on the atmosphere of the MUD you are creating. I'm not talking about just having random rare weapons drop off of insects or animals here. I am mainly talking about making "boss" mob encounters repeatable in that a person will probably have to group to kill a boss multiple times to get a wanted item.

I've no problem with a monster's equipment list being different each time it is spawned; I was complaining about the idea of determining what equipment the corpose contains only at the moment of the monster's death rather than making the decision at the moment the live monster is spawned.
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shasarak



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: Emily's Shop

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timothy wrote:
For example, Bob is a hunter looking for only the best otter pelts. Now, realistically, not all otters are going to have the best pelts. So, not all of them should drop the "Perfect Otter Pelt" object; only some should.

That should also be strongly dependent on how the otter dies. If Bob repeatedly slshes the otter with a longsword then the pelt will end up full of holes or in pieces and stained with blood. If he cleverly gets the otter to eat poisoned fish, the pelt might be in much better condition.
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shasarak wrote:

I've no problem with a monster's equipment list being different each time it is spawned; I was complaining about the idea of determining what equipment the corpose contains only at the moment of the monster's death rather than making the decision at the moment the live monster is spawned.


I agree. The loot that an NPC has should be usable by the NPC. It adds another degree of newness to a repop (if that's the way you are handling mobs).

While I understand the need for rewarding players for victories, I also think that it would be best to reward players for quick victories. Say for example that the NPC loads with three healing potions. If players know this, they also know that the quicker they can kill the NPC the less likely it is that the NPC is going to quaff those potions.

Now before someone jumps in and mentions that this would encourage players to attack lower level NPC's, I agree that it might. But I'm of the belief that just like in D&D, that the equipment and magical items that an npc has, is part of their Difficulty.
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use something totally unrealistic for some of my quests.

The death script makes the Mob check for a flag, set on the player by the quest. So, for instance, if the player has found his way through the tunnel maze into the Dungeon of Doom and read the Message of Ultimate Wisdom on the wall there, then and only then will the evil wizard that owns the castle drop his superwand on death. Any other player who kills the wizard without having that flag set, will just get a generic wand without special powers.

On a side note, scripts are often more versatile than hardcoded systems, since with scripts you can tailor each Boss exactly as you like it.
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