Persistence

 
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Gromble



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Persistence Reply with quote

I'm curious as to whether there are any MUD servers that sport a truly persistent world?

By "persistent", I'm talking about finding a dusty corner of the MUD world, dropping/burying an item, and then finding it still there weeks later after the MUD server itself has undergone a few reboots.

Putting the interesting technical aspects of this aside for the moment, what would you say are the pro's and con's of this type of world?
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Kjartan



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A con is the accumulation of garbage, or the requirement for adding a mechanism to clear out the garbage. Also, the coding effort. I'm having trouble thinking of a pro. We have player "vaults", which I think are a pretty common feature, where players can buy secure persistent storage. You're talking about semi-insecure persistent storage, and I think that our players don't have much value for that. We thought about adding it at one point, the reason being that we have player-thieving and there are rules (enforced by the game engine) preventing stolen-from-players loot from being stuck in the secure persistent storage, but we thought it could be left in the insecure persistent storage, basically to give players a chance to get it back in exchange for letting the thief log off without necessarily losing the stolen stuff.

I think a good general approach would be to decide what exactly you wanted to persist and why, and then make a special mechanism for that particular thing to persist.
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Gromble



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a hard time thinking of pro's as well and am wondering if persistent worlds are more suited to MUDs where the players are able to affect said world more than just slaying the inhabitants and leaving trash behind. Otherwise yes, there seems to be very little point in persistence.

On the other hand, if players had ways to affect the environment (establish towns, dig mines, build roads and bridges, etc) then I think you definitely would want the means of persisting that investment of time and effort.

Doing so in a way that is entertaining versus what would seem to just be builder priviledges is another problem.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
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Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MUSHes offer a persistent world. They address the "trash" concerns by providing a means of recycling the memory, not just the objects. I know one MUSH has a virtual "business" that's still operating, albeit under new ownership, over a decade after I coded it. Wink
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Munich

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Persistence Reply with quote

Gromble wrote:
I'm curious as to whether there are any MUD servers that sport a truly persistent world?

By "persistent", I'm talking about finding a dusty corner of the MUD world, dropping/burying an item, and then finding it still there weeks later after the MUD server itself has undergone a few reboots.


I did that with my old mud. After a few months the world was like a graveyard - everywhere you went, there were piles of skeletons, bits of bone, and rusty old weapons.

You can have a certain amount of persistence, but you can't keep everything.
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Re: Persistence Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Gromble wrote:
I'm curious as to whether there are any MUD servers that sport a truly persistent world?

By "persistent", I'm talking about finding a dusty corner of the MUD world, dropping/burying an item, and then finding it still there weeks later after the MUD server itself has undergone a few reboots.


I did that with my old mud. After a few months the world was like a graveyard - everywhere you went, there were piles of skeletons, bits of bone, and rusty old weapons.

You can have a certain amount of persistence, but you can't keep everything.


I think this is an interesting and probably crucial point. Corpses stacking up and up into mountains of dead is most certainly a problem. What one might to address in issues such as these is to allow corpses to rapidly decay or (for "theme") be devoured by wandering bands of scavengers. So, when a player kills something, they have a limited time frame to harvest any possible productive commodities from it (i.e. bones, skin, meat, etc...) and then if it is left out in the game-world somewhere, it will decay/be devoured and disappear. However, let's not rule out the option of taxidermy if a player has a morbid side and wants to remember a particularly gruesome or fun hunt.

A MUD I tried for a while had this problem with harvested commodities from the world as well as weapons and the like, eventually, things came to a point where wandering in the wilderness you would happen upon scores upon scores of logs or piles of spears, breaches and daggers or whatnot.

Persistence can be good, but you do need to narrow down exactly what it is you want to persist and how. Things like burying items to squirrel them away for later obviously should be persistent, to an extent. In a system like this, you will have a flood of items if you don't filter all items out of the system regularly, so all items (even those held, worn and used by players) should decay, become damage and break over time, forcing the player to buy, find or create new ones.

The same should be said of things on the ground or buried or stored in a safe or whathaveyou. They will last for a certain amount of time, perhaps burying them or storing them in a safe will "slow" the process, as will wearing them and whatnot, but make the decay rate for those items left littering the ground rather quick.

My two cents, something to chew on,

Vopisk
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have some persistent things in our mud.

One of them is magic trees, that grow from saplings to petrified over a period of several weeks, regardless of crashes or reboots. There is a set max number of them, and if you chop one of them down for timber, a new one sprouts in a random location. The older the tree gets, the more valuable it becomes, if you want to make a magic staff from it.

Another thing is mining, where the exits to the tunnels are created by the players digging. This too saves over reboots, but to keep the mines dynamic, the tunnels are set to cave-in randomly at given intervals, leaving room for other tunnels to be dug in new directions.

Come to think of it, the heaps of discarded equipment and other trash that are left behind by players on a killing spree really IS a nuisance. Some players sac it to avoid littering, but most don't care. Scavenger mobs are a nuisance too, at least to the players. So maybe there should be a way to code it so that stuff like that decays afer some RL hours, but only if it were dropped from a corpse? Having it decay together with the corpses would be a bit too soon, I guess. (This is probably elementary to all you coder guys, I just never thought along those lines before).
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Molly O'Hara wrote:
We have some persistent things in our mud.
Come to think of it, the heaps of discarded equipment and other trash that are left behind by players on a killing spree really IS a nuisance. Some players sac it to avoid littering, but most don't care. Scavenger mobs are a nuisance too, at least to the players. So maybe there should be a way to code it so that stuff like that decays afer some RL hours, but only if it were dropped from a corpse? Having it decay together with the corpses would be a bit too soon, I guess. (This is probably elementary to all you coder guys, I just never thought along those lines before).


It's the same decay as would be used with the corpse, only perhaps slightly slower. I think RL hours would be pushing it, as garbage would still be able to accumulate in huge amounts in that time, especially if characters were on a killing spree. I would have to suggest 30 minutes or less for something dropped and not looted from a corpse, this suggest that its killer didn't want it, and scavenger players are more of a nuisance than scavenger mobs, so we don't really need to worry about them. :p

My two cents, something to chew on,

Vopisk
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