Most MUDs have mobiles of very limited intelligence that stand around waiting to be killed and often don’t even bother to remember that you attacked them ten seconds ago. Some games have more intelligent creatures that actively try to defend themselves and take down the enemy by the most effective means (always fireballing trolls, dispelling undead opponents, etc.) What MUDs have you played with more advanced/detailed mob AI? What was it like?
Sure, there are the obvious ones from the Basternae ancestry, but I’m looking for the ‘best of breed’ so I have a standard to measure against.
I liked Sojourn/TorilMuds. Very simple but effective. I think for most zone writers you want to avoid anything “scripty”. Sojourns was called “mobprogs”. It was a separate file included with the zone and allowed you to program a “mob” action based on a players action from standard in-game lists. If you “kissed” a mob it may slap you. If you cast an offensive spell directed at the mob it could bash you or could randomly target your cleric/casters/weakest player. Very simple and easy to use which is the key for zone writers. It was something like:
Bit 1: Mob vnum
Bit 2: Combat or NoCombat
Bit 3: Trigger (i.e. cast, look, wink, smile, ask, etc)
Bit 4: Target (i.e. room, mob, player, object, etc)
Bit 5: Mob Action (i.e. say, cast, bash, whisper, etc)
Bit 6: MobTarget (i.e. player, self, random)
Anyway, was simple and allowed some dynamics for specific “mud” encounters.
bleh – that wasn’t what you were looking for. I don’t think I’ve ever played a mud with an actual AI. If it can be balanced, would add a unique dynamic to the fights. I mean, look at WoW’s AI: its all based off aggro range/damage and ‘runners getting help’ if you call that an AI.
Bast2 also had mobprog support, but as far as I can remember nobody used them. I’d like to build more of a point-and-click style “custom action interface” that can easily be used within the editor. The last thing I want is for a zone writer to have to write code, or something code-like just to make a mob call the player names when they’re fighting it.
AI really is a pretty broad term — Bast2 and most other muds like Toril had rule-based AI, i.e. if the target is a Troll, prefer casting fireball over cone of cold; stand up when bashed; track the enemy if they get aggro. Others I’ve played were really sad — mobs wouldn’t even remember aggro.
One of the things I want to do with Bast3 is variable aggro (hate) levels, just like you see on most modern MMORPGs. Actually, the mob AI and zone editing goals are pretty darned ambitious — I hope I can pull it off.
yeah I just found my “Toril editor” MOBPROG files and compared them to the “Duris Editor” MOBPROGS – night and day difference. DE MOBPROGS are much more scripty whereas TE MOBPROGS are simple & flexible to implement. I implemented some mobprogs on the “Temple of Strife” but as I recall Sarim had to make some code changes to get Bast 2 to run them.
Do you still have a copy of TorilEdit? I have the docs and wanted to add support for their format to the converter, but the download link is 404’d. I posted something about it in the TorilMUD forums, but all I’ve heard there is a chorus of crickets.