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The State of PK (and a couple other questions)



  • KurdockKurdock Posts: 6Member
    I think scripts are fine and actually good although I don't code much myself - and here's why:

    MUDs are text-based and therefore they're extremely easy to bot. You're fighting a losing battle when you try to ban bots; you end up just separating those who are smart enough to hide their automation, and those who unfortunately got caught botting. I think IRE made a very good decision to balance their game around bots, because then they won't have to waste time trying to check and punish botters. You'll just end up with smartasses who script in tiny random amounts of delay before their trigger fires - how to know if they're a bot, or just a really quick typer?

    Dodger said:
    Whether you are fighting someone who automates every action or someone who only manuals or something in-between, you are still pitting your knowledge of combat against the knowledge of another human being. Machines are as fallible as their creators. There is no 'perfect system'; there is always an error or overlook in the code to seek out and exploit.

    Combat is always about exploiting openings and errors that your opponent makes. If two people have the same error in thinking, it is going to be exploitable whether they code it into their system or process it in their brain. Even the difference in reaction time between man vs machine is made moot by the command queueing system that exists in every IRE game and probably will exist in Starmourn.

    At the end of the day, it all comes down to who knows more. Knowledge is power, and it doesn't matter how you implement that knowledge, whether you put it into code or type it with your bare hands. Everyone can be beaten regardless of how they choose to play the game, and if you believe otherwise, you've already lost.

    To be honest, I think this is nonsense. Are there actually any combatants who waste time trying to find an exploit in their opponent's system, rather than playing it the normal way? A system has thousands of potential exploits. To be honest, I've always felt bored by Achaea's PvP. Almost everything has been solved, people have calculated the different types of preps and affliction combos ... it doesn't feel like I can discover new tricks, new ways to fool around with people.  Sairys said:
    But really scripting your input to the game doesn't necessarily make you faster as you're still subject to balance/gcd.
    Try healing, curing and attacking without using scripts. Attacking will be easier because of the queueing system, but hell you'll waste precious time trying to cure all the afflictions being thrown at you that you'll probably also lose some attack rounds as a result. Sairys said:
    If being able to react at a certain speed was a sign of automation then it would be a relatively simple matter to determine who is and isn't doing so. Similarly, balance times could be lengthened to account for this.
    I'm all up for increased balance timers that could level the scripting field ... but the combat would become slower-paced which some people might not enjoy. Perhaps ship combat would be slower-paced, but IRE combat would feel weird if balance took 10 seconds per attack, lol. Also the slower pace would allow more time for decision-making, and people would make less errors (so fights could stalemate a lot because everyone makes perfect decisions) As to your first part, as I said earlier, it's not impossible for a smart coder to implement a delay between receiving triggered text and sending a response. Those people would become gods of combat in the game because it can't be proven that they bot, yet they'll still be faster than their human opponents.
  • BandusBandus Posts: 46Member ✭✭
    The "balance" game mechanic was something I was unaware of and I definitely feel it does help mitigate the advantages of automation a bit. It certainly makes it about more than who has the best automation.

    Thank you all for providing additional info on this and for the discussion!
  • PollivarPollivar Posts: 61Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    In Lusternia, old warriors used to be entirely contingent upon figuring out how to exploit an opponent's system. People would automatically parry body parts based on how damaged they were, so the point of 'being a skilled warrior' was 'can you figure out their parry weights and avoid them.' The entire skillset was reworked semi-recently, but parry is *still* a thing, and that's *still* a thing that warriors have to do if they want to be useful, at all.

    So yes, figuring out how other people's systems work is important at least in the game I'm from.

    It used to be the case that most people would always parry the legs after being hit in them once because they wanted to avoid knockdown or other similar movement-robbing effects, so with people with basic systems like that I'd alternate head, leg, head, leg, head, leg, and then they'd die since head was important.
  • ArsentarArsentar Posts: 32Member
    Figuring out how people fight is obviously going to be important, whether people use a system or not. The process would still be the same, watch and try to avoid what they might try to do.
  • MaximusMaximus Posts: 3Member
    By less adaptable I didn't necessarily mean that good scripts are inflexible or set in stone. What I meant is that when something arises that the scripter did not foresee that they are less immediately adaptable, and I don't think this is an unreasonable stance as it's often the counter argument to automation. I don't feel any particular way towards either side of the argument, but do feel that the person who knows his class and others intimately will always have an advantage in reacting to certain scenarios, whether it's group combat, 1v1, or some combination thereof.

    Now, certainly the person who knows his class inside and out and uses scripts to augment his class is probably the person who sparks such debates, because they become very, very difficult to beat. 

    Regardless, I still believe that IRE as a whole does a good job of creating a game where both types can be reasonably successful with some time and effort invested.
  • DodgerDodger Posts: 54Member ✭✭
    Why is everybody trying to imply that coding a system means you don't know how to use your class or react to real-time scenarios? That literally doesn't happen except for people who are actually legitimately bad at PK. A good coder makes his system as adaptable as a human being can be, and has functions for every possible kill route, and handling for special conditions.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with coding your own system and using it to help you fight others. You're not fighting a robot. Having a system, even buying one, does not mean you magically faceroll everyone without a scrap of knowledge about how the game works. Those kinds of people are easily defeated because they don't know how to fight in the first place.

    It's time to stop the unjustified discrimination against coding. Just because someone doesn't or can't rely on twitch-based skill and physical reflexes doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to play the game at your level.
  • SairysSairys Posts: 129Member ✭✭✭
    Bandus said:

    While my concerns have been mostly allayed by the idea of "balance" which sounds like it will govern scripters versus typists, I think I'll need to see it in action before I fully feel comfortable with it. Not that I have to feel comfortable with it, of course. It is what it is and in defense of your position, it has apparently worked for other IRE games. With that in mind, I think people who haven't experienced it before should at least try it once Starmourn releases, before deciding they hate it.
    Another option could be to try out one of the other games quickly, probably not Lusternia cause no inbuilt curing automation yet. 

    While they have two balances (equilibrium and balance) it might give you an idea about some of that stuff?

    The other consideration is that the community tends to have people that will share their scripts. 

    I wasn't even an hour into Aetolia last time I visited there before I had someone point me in the direction of a public system that took care of a bunch of things for me. (Bashing, gathering this energy stuff).
    Avatar by berserkerelf!
  • KabaalKabaal Posts: 12Member
    edited August 2017
    There are minute gaps in what my system in Imperian knows, aside from what's expected. At the top level, your attack script matters less than your application. That is amplified in group combat. With the removal of 'afflictions' in the sense that they exist in other IRE games as stated by an admin somewhere here or elsewhere, both curing and extensive tracking scripts are made irrelevant. One of the best PvPers I know basically hit a row of very basic attack aliases plus aliases for directionals, room effects, and comms. Probably *the* best PvPer could do what he does with Templar/RG (when he's a mirroring punk) with basic aliases if toxins were removed or changed. And he's blind.

    The real issue with scripting is its ability to make an activity whose limit is supposed to be how mind-numbingly long it takes less of a hassle, creating a pretty vast income disparity. If they avoid 'kill trash mob x 1000' here, that becomes less of an issue.

    You can take it or leave it, but I do a lot of coding and a lot of fighting.
  • ScathainScathain Posts: 27Member
    edited August 2017
    Scripting was very dominant in Midkemia. You had an attack balance, a defense cooldown (for possibly avoiding attacks), a focus cooldown (for healing afflictions), an overdrive cooldown (for healing health), all of which would last a second or so (so 4 intelligent commands per second), and then you had psionists which had a seperate mental balance on top of that. Even with aliases, that is a lot to type. I could usually get an attack and a focus command each second typed in, with overdrive when needed, but defenses would usually fall by the wayside. And that was back when I was in practice. Not to say that absolutely no one could manual successfully, there were a couple that managed to put up a fight, but it was definitely a major help to those who had some sort of automation, at least some sort of defensive/healing automation, especially since MKO combat was heavily built around afflictions. So the concerns are not coming from nowhere. There were free systems developed in MKO to help with this, though (I just chose not to use them).

    That said, it sounds like we will be getting a built-in automated healing system, which will mean that everyone will essentially start with the necessary level of coding, which should reduce things to a much more manageable 2 commands per second or so.
  • zacczacc Posts: 19Member
    edited August 2017
    Parsing and compressing all the MKO combat spam into something remotely readable was a task of its own. Triggers, scripts, etc. were a huge advantage with that. I can't imagine how anyone PvP'd manually without something handling the rapidfire scrolling (group combat was -brutal-). I hope Starmourn doesn't take the same spammy route.

    I'm curious to see how the "take cover" system will turn out. I have a feeling it's going to be convenient and a neat bit of immersion at first but eventually grow into a must-script feature.
  • ScathainScathain Posts: 27Member
    As someone who did entirely manual PvP (with no filters or such), and focused on large group combat (I generally wouldn't show up alone except to defend Hush or a Siegegrounds, the latter of which was quite depressing when it happened), I was lucky to keep track of who was in the room at any given time and keep track of the afflictions directly impacting my ability to attack, let alone figure out fully what was going on. There were many telegraphs missed on my part, and if anyone bothered to use decapitate against me, it generally hit.

    That said, it still worked better than 1v1 combat, especially before the accuracy penalty. Between large-scale tactics such as pyrotraps (Scathain loved his traps and room-wide effects) and the fact that most people decided to target someone else first as I clearly wasn't the threat (making me able to focus solely on attacking), I was able to contribute a decent amount in group combat, though I would not describe myself as being actually good at it. I ended up adopting my inability to deal with the combat spam into my roleplay (when he mentioned extreme tunnel vision verging on blindness, that was what he was referring to).
  • tarktark Posts: 5Member
    Something to keep in mind as well is that a decent chunk of the community tends to release various scripts to the general public. I know I released several UIs during my time in Lusternia (and honestly, I even though I retired I should probably go back in and make a noobie and throw out an overhaul/refreshed version for all the changes that have come down) and there's always someone willing to help with scripting on the forums.

    That being said, with serverside curing being built in from the get go, the barrier to entry has gotten a lot lower. You'll likely want to optimize things, possibly have some aliases to change things up on the fly, but that'll be knowledge that comes with playing the game.
  • bairlochbairloch Posts: 134Member ✭✭✭
    hey, tarxui! I used that for a while.
  • ArcherArcher Posts: 56Member ✭✭
    I think there's some great dialog in this thread about automation, scripting, and combat.  I consider myself to be a strong Achaean combatant. I knew absolutely zero about coding or muds or combat when I started playing, but I wanted to learn it and I stuck with it.  It definitely took a long time, and my combat system is probably on it's 10th iteration over the years, but you can absolutely get there.

    You just have to want it bad enough.  You have the support of some great scriptwriters on these forums that will help with pointed questions, I know I'd help, but you have to take the first step for wanting to get there.  A mud by it's fundamental nature lends to scripting, and is something that will always be there.

    What I love the most about Achaean combat is there's no limit to theory and imagination. Even today, years later, we still chat about timings and theory for combat perfection, and on the rare occasion somebody invents a new way to do things that nobody had done before.

    Just my .02
  • RetherianRetherian Posts: 22Member
    Just be cheap and learn the nexus coding lmao or rather like I did upgrade to outdated zmud...I wasn't too bad but I did use aliases to make reaction curing easier to script...I still did all the choosing...I wasn't bad...but I wasnt good and I'm alright with that....-cries silently-
  • RetherianRetherian Posts: 22Member
    Edit question: are they still using nexus as a base client? Or is it something else now?
  • ZionZion Posts: 50Member ✭✭
    Both Tecton and Aurelius have stated that one big change in the game is less need for coding. And yeah, still nexus. 
  • RetherianRetherian Posts: 22Member
    Zion said:
     And yeah, still nexus. 
    oh yeah give me them sweet triggers and aliases!
  • TCXTCX Posts: 12Member
    Considering the fact English used to be extremely different less than a thousand years ago from now, I wouldn't be surprised if 'sup became some other gibberish like hayu (how are you) and most of today's phrases are replaced with alien loandwords

    it should probably be done like the 'common' language in other IREs. Or just treat it the same way foreign languages are treated (if there's a system for that).

    in fact it would be pretty cool if Starmourn let you get your native language and one or two others so there'd be players you can't communicate to without a translator. But that'd be problematic unless there's already a lot of players.
  • AureliusAurelius Posts: 317Administrator Starmourn staff
    TCX said:

    in fact it would be pretty cool if Starmourn let you get your native language and one or two others so there'd be players you can't communicate to without a translator. But that'd be problematic unless there's already a lot of players.
    You're in luck! Universal Language Translators (ULTs) are built into everybody's mindsim.
  • SatomiSatomi Posts: 72Member ✭✭✭
    Don't worry, everybody! ULTs can't translate gibberish! You can still have your nonsensical Earth-based garbledygook speak!

  • TNATNA Posts: 78Member ✭✭
  • DPierreDPierre Posts: 8Member
    Aurelius said:
    Iarri said:
    Is the plan to have less classes as well? I have always found (in Lusternia) that the sheer number of classes, while they share things, tends to obfuscate stuff, because you have all the flavor text stuff. I mean, even monks from different cities, with different weapons and different afflictions were hard to keep track of. 

    Well, the plan is to have five classes at launch, because that's all we can manage. If we could have 15, we'd have 15. :)
    I'm cool with small amount of archetypes but many ways to customize that archetype that rewards those that specialize but also makes them less versatile.
  • AureliusAurelius Posts: 317Administrator Starmourn staff
    > I'm cool with small amount of archetypes but many ways to customize that archetype that rewards those that specialize but also makes them less versatile.
    There's basically none of that I'm afraid. It would just mean that either a) the person who is specialized is overpowered or b) the person who is specialized is easier to defend against as she's less versatile. It's also a balancing issue - every variation of a class that's meaningful is effectively some portion of a separate class to be taken into account when balancing, and balancing is an n^2 type of problem. So if you have 1 class, think of the 'difficulty' of balancing as 1. Two classes would be a balancing difficulty of '4'. Three is 9, four is 16, five is 25, etc. Changing a few abilities isn't the same as balancing an entirely new class of course, so I think of those as partial classes. Same logic applies though. 3.1 classes would be a difficulty of 9.61 instead of 9, for instance. 

    That logic isn't perfect as it's not truly n^2, but some curve that's a little less steep than that. It's still a handy way to think of it though, and it's why we don't do a lot of alternate builds. In a PvP first game, balance matters a lot. In a PvE game, it doesn't matter nearly as much.

    What we've done in Achaea for knights, for instance, is let them choose whether to specialize in sword and shield, dual-wielding edged, dual-wielding blunt, or two-handed weapons, but it doesn't 'reward' them in the sense of making them any more powerful than anyone else (at least not on purpose...balance can never be 'perfect', whatever that means). It's another way to play that class. Most classes don't have variations like that though, and it'll be the same in Starmourn most likely. 

    (You can see what I'm talking about here btw:
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