Saturday, November 13, 2010

MUD client offense tracking

While I've been trying to figure out what curing system I need to move to in Lusternia, one thing that's become clear to me is that I don't need a dashboard of my own status nearly as much as I need a dashboard view of the status of my targets. This, however, would have to be completely tailored to different classes and skillsets.

As a bard using Glamours, it's vital to keep track of whether my target is blind or deaf, whether she has any of the spikes afflictions (and if so which ones she still needs), haunting level, whether she's blacked out, and what if any conditions she has that are holding her in place (perfect fifth, pinleg, webbing, swamp smudge, etc.) and thus might set the stage for a death song. Most people use echoes for this and keep it in their heads, but I always have trouble with that in the spam of group combat. This is even more so since I usually have several targets and have to cycle quickly between them because any given one of them is probably running away from the fight, so if all that information were to show on several rows of a dashboard display, one per target, with a key to quickly switch targets, that'd be perfect. I'd like this to be a floating window that I can open only when I need it (but zMUD has always been slow at handling those).

My Researcher character doesn't care much if the target is blind or deaf, but certainly has other things to track, most obviously timewarp and rubies. So while the underlying idea is the same (multiple targets are probably also necessary, though less vital since her city's opponents are less likely to constantly be fleeing battle and returning to it) the specific things being tracked are completely different.

A warrior needs to track rebounding, stances, and wound status as well as selected afflictions in the same way. I'm sure a similar set of things could be identified for each class. Probably if one were carefully selective one could fit all the most vital things for a target onto a single row of indicators which showed you opportunities at a glance (or without even glancing, just by perceptual osmosis). I don't know if that would help everyone as much as it would help me, but it seems clear it would help anyone, and I wonder why no one's done it, so far as I've ever seen.

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