Progress Reports (2003)

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Week 52

ending Sunday 28th December

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Still in the UK.

Week 51

ending Sunday 21st December

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No progress this week, due to real life obligations. Flew back to the UK on Saturday, for Christmas and New Year.

Week 50

ending Sunday 14th December

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Added plural descriptions, which are now used for the 'equipment' and 'look' commands when the player is wielding identical paired weapons.

Added a couple of new weapon types and a few new dual-weapon combos, bringing the total number of combat techniques to over 700.

You now suffer a penalty for wounds (see 'help pain').

Rearranged the score layout to provide the technique list and queue count for each location. Also colourised health and mana.

Week 49

ending Sunday 7th December

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Two-handed techniques now cooldown while performing attacks, and cooldown at double speed while not performing attacks.

Added a basic "Vehicle" Thing which you can enter and leave.

Week 48

ending Sunday 30th November

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Changed GP3 style bonuses to give +110%/50%/30% to the appropriate stats. This was primarily done because of Speed, which lost out on the half bonuses from Dual and Hybrid styles.

Shields now each give an extra +5 Defence, the main gauche has been seriously upgraded, and the rapier encumbrance has been increased from 1 to 2.

The techniques tables for your hands now show 'N/A' if that technique doesn't allow a defence. All tables now also display a definition for each command.

Tracked down and fixed a crash bug (hopefully 'the' crash bug which has been causing problems recently).

Added an 'info' command to display various bits of mud-specific information.

Updated the combat tables to include a field for 'other hand', so that is now finally possible to have techniques that require specific weapon combos - there is currently a dual technique called "Lunging Heads of Hydra", which works with most swords and daggers.

Also added an 'assist' command for unarmed hands, which allows that hand to assist the weapon in the other hand (ie, use it two handed). There are now 'assist' options for rapier, battleaxe, club and halberd, as well as a new bastard sword weapon (similar to the longsword, but with better bonuses - but most of its techniques are two-handed only).

The 'inventory' and 'look' commands now list a weapon as being in 'both hands' if one hand is assisting.

Fixed a typo in the dodge message, and redid the evasion messages to look a bit nicer.

Tepic has patched the magic item code to fix a compiler-related problem.

Week 47

ending Sunday 23rd November

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Began some experimentation with using magic within GP3, but had little opportunity to do anything else.

Tepic has provided an updated Makefile.

Week 46

ending Sunday 16th November

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Set maximum Encumbrance to 4*STR (4*Brawn in GP3). Changed the HINT messages from training to be less spammy. Stopped objects regenerating once they've been destroyed.

Week 45

ending Sunday 9th November

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After numerous requests, I've finally added a "self"/"me" option for the "look" command, as well as "." and "'" aliases for chat and say. Added ne/nw/se/sw directional commands.

Changed the way Defence works. The mud now keeps track of your Defence rating for each location (left hand, right hand and feet). It still still uses your best Defence as usual, but when a location is used to block/dodge a blow, it is unable to do so again for a 4-10 seconds (depending on encumbrance level) - and if that location is performing a technique, the timer stops until it is finished. This means that players who go for all-out attacks, or who are attacked by multiple opponents, are going to die very quickly.

Added a "black knight" mob to GP3, for players who want a real challenge. If you kill him, you earn a shadowcloth cloak, which will conceal your stats from other players.

Sorted worn equipment by location, and other things by distance from the viewer.

Added the option for personalised items - so far the code is only used for body parts, but it could also be used for other things.

Added some extra variables to prompts for technique queues.

Fixed a bug with object loading/saving, and another which blocked the technique queue if the queued command was no longer available for that location.

Week 44

ending Sunday 2nd November

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Opened GP3 to the public on Tuesday, and have made numerous minor fixes and balance changes following feedback.

Tweaked the GP3 (Gladiator Pits III) stats somewhat - each primary stat now gives 3 times Health bonus except Size, which gives 6 times, and no longer suffers the Defence bonus for every 3 points. With the bonuses the other stats gain, Size was becoming quite weak - and with no Athletics skill, everyone had pretty low Health ratings (although this may be changed back in the future if Athletics becomes available).

Added four duelling arenas to GP3 - only two players may be inside each at any one time. Also added a prison, where players can fight prisoners.

Changed the GP3 "who" list to display the current location of each player.

The GP3 "train" command now shows how many more times you can train, and there is also now a "reset" command to reset all your stats to 1. Redesign healing in GP3 to be much slower. The healing timer is now also reset whenever you hit another person.

Also added some extra hints to make gameplay easier.

Displaying the combat table for a location will now also show the action point cost of the commands, in brackets after each command.

The GP3 testing has revealed some minor bugs which have now been fixed.

Went through every combat technique, making sure they all had appropriate hit and death messages, and that they struck the correct hit locations. Also had to make some corrections to the combat code so as to take into account armour before deciding whether or not to send a "death" message.

Week 43

ending Sunday 26th October

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All combat techniques now target an appropriate body location (some have a random chance of targetting two or more locations, depending on the blow).

Added "kills" and "deaths".

Added a wide range of new weapons and armour, and implemented an encumbrance system.

Created a Gladiator Pits III mud, based on the God Wars II engine, which is now fully implemented (although it will still undergo refinements and updates). Everyone seemed to lose interest in beta testing GW2, so hopefully this will be a bit more successful in getting feedback on the engine. Gladiator Pits III should be open to the public by the time you read this progress report.

Week 42

ending Sunday 19th October

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Continued working on the new damage system. Now when you look at an item, it will show you which areas it protects, and how much damage it absorbs from each attack type.

The combat code has also been updated so that whenever a creature gets hit, a portion of that damage is spread across the equipment that protects the location struck. A selection of new (armour) equipment types have also been added. To test that the code works, the "clumsy punch" technique now strikes either the face or body, but I've not had time to update any of the other techniques yet, as I flew back to the UK on Thursday morning, and won't be back until Monday.

Week 41

ending Sunday 12th October

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Going through some of my original Gladiator Pits notes, I discovered some designs for location-based armour. I also realised that at the moment, GW2 doesn't utilise armour itself, only the bonuses it provides. Therefore I have now added three types of damage - cut, stab and crush - and assigned each combat attack (NOT each weapon) to utilise one type (for example a slash with a sword is "cut", a thrust is "stab", and a pummel is "crush").

In addition, each piece of equipment now specifies which locations it protects and how much damage it can absorb from each attack type (for example a chainmail shirt protects your front, back and arms, and absorbs 15% damage vs cut/crush, and 10% damage vs stab). Each material also provides a modifier (for example, if the aforementioned chainmail shirt were made of iron, it would provide +20% protection vs each damage type).

Week 40

ending Sunday 5th October

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A slow week, mostly due to the second (and final) week of the Oktoberfest.

Added a new "rapier" weapon - a variation on the regular sword that is faster but does less damage, and lacks specialised slashing attacks. Also added "longbow" (like bow, but slower, does more damage and has longer range), "main gauche" (like dagger, but unthrowable), and a selection of new objects.

Week 39

ending Sunday 28th September

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No progress this week, as I was entertaining friends for the Oktoberfest.

Week 38

ending Sunday 21st September

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Buildings can now set/get individual rooms. The specific room is displayed as you walk around inside a building. Unfortunately I had no time to do anything else, as I flew back to the UK on Friday afternoon.

Week 37

ending Sunday 14rd September

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After a few weeks break caused by hectic real-life situations, progress has continued.

Added a new "dirt" weapon type, which can accessed from the hands combat table via a "(g)rab" command (although you have to be ducking or crouching at the time). This allows less honourable fighters to scoop up a handful of dirt and fling it into their opponent's eyes.

Added a "wield" command which allows you to specifically hold an item which is normally worn (and therefore use it as a weapon). Also added four new weapon tables for improvised weapon types, so that all objects can be used appropriately in combat.

Continued designing and developing the Building class.

Added the basic ATTACK/DEFENCE/DAMAGE/REACH to the info displayed when looking at an object.

Week 31

ending Sunday 3rd August

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Super intensive German course week 2 - had absolutely no free time.

Week 30

ending Sunday 27th July

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Super intensive German course week 1 - had absolutely no free time.

Week 29

ending Sunday 20th July

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Made some further additions to the combat messages.

Changed the dynamic description code slightly to take into account a PoV, and used it to make the messages read better.

Updated several of the help files, and made a few other minor cosmetic changes.

Added soul points.

Added a few more help files.

Fixed a minor bug in one of the flail attacks.

Week 28

ending Sunday 13th July

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Added "death moves" as a combat option, and applied it to several techniques.

Adjusted the Mage subclasses slightly, to allow more flexible crosstraining between the elemental Mage paths.

Updated several of the help files, and made a few other minor cosmetic changes.

Did some more work on the Building class (you can now specify the building size and move around in empty "rooms", although this is still very basic).

Added a new "net" weapon type, along with an appropriate new material type. A net is unable to cause any real damage, but provides a good defence and can also be used to entangle an opponent's hands, or be thrown to entangle their feet as well.

Fixed a couple of minor errors in in the "hands" and "claws" combat tables that were causing some bleeding between techniques.

Week 27

ending Sunday 6th July

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Added a few more subclasses, and filled in the stat and power bonuses for all of them - there are now 153 fully working subclasses.

Fixed a minor loading bug (it tried to set your current stance before loading up your stance levels, effectively preventing you from recovering anything other than basic stances).

A "bow" weapon type has been added. For the time being, it's assumed that players have infinite arrows (although you still have to load an arrow before each shot). Made some minor updates to the combat code to make the messages more intuitive for bows, but this also improves some of the other messages.

Week 26

ending Sunday 29th June

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Added a "subclass" command, which allows you to view a list of all subclasses for your class, and view the exact bonuses and penalties for any individual subclass. This may be removed after beta, but for now it provides a very easy way to spot obvious mistakes in any subclasses.

Also added a huge number of subclasses, and will continue to finish these off in the next week.

Week 25

ending Sunday 22nd June

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Fixed a bug with the combat command queue, and increased the number of queued commands to 20.

Reorganised the subclasses to remove some repetitive code. You can now also type "train subclass" to list all available subclasses, along with a short description of each. In addition, the subclasses are now tiered - so you can keep training higher and higher. Added several new subclasses for Mage, and fixed a bug which was preventing subclasses from saving properly.

Fixed a message bug with the "target" command.

Week 24

ending Sunday 15th June

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The combat command queue is now cleared when you die, so that corpses don't continue to throw off stacked attacks. Also fixed it so that if you try to perform a command and don't have sufficient action points, it will queue the command until you do. In addition, if you try to perform an attack it will always add that attack to the queue if there is already an action for that location already on the queue (it was getting confusing - I would try to do "jump", "jump", "kick", and I'd end up doing "jump", "jump added to queue", "kick", and thus kicking before the second jump went off).

Unfortunately I didn't have time for anything else, due to a having a long weekend back in the UK.

Week 23

ending Sunday 8th June

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Added some more subclasses, and made some modifications to the code to allow for multiple levels/tiers of subclass (although it's not yet fully complete).

Redesigned part of the basic Thing and Brain interfaces to hopefully improve the stability of the mud.

Added stacking of combat commands - so if you try to perform an attack with a busy location, it'll now be added to a queue and be performed as soon as possible (rather than just telling you that the location is busy). A previous bug meant that if you tried to perform a valid action by typing an upper case command (eg "RS" instead of "rs", for "right strike"), it would say "Ok" but never actually do anything. Now it works properly - and furthermore, an uppercase command will go to the front of the queue, while a lowercase command will go to the back. The queue can hold up to 10 total commands at any one time, and can be cleared by typing "stop".

One annoying thing I found while beta testing was that I kept forgetting to set my style each time I logged on. Thus I have now changed it so that your current fighting style is saved and loaded.

Week 22

ending Sunday 1st June

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Decided that the "Room" Thing might be of use after all. Made some updates to it, and added two new Things - Building and Portal. The Portal is mostly coded, and when finished will allow people to travel from one location to another by entering one portal and exiting from another. The Building only has the basic infrastructure in place, but when complete will provide a way of holding together groups of Rooms.

Changed the timeout on login to 30 seconds.

Fixed an initialisation bug in the Combat class, which was causing some strange results.

Corrected a minor bug caused by the renaming of the Demon "Claws" power to "Talons" (it was still checking for the old power name).

Added a command to allow Avatars to class themselves (this command will only be there for beta testing). Included a check within it, and the immortal class command, ensuring that players aren't using cantrips when they join a class (as they would no longer be able to switch it off once classed).

Added subclasses. There are now 16 mostly-finished subclasses, 4 for each class. A character with an Age of 200+ can train a subclass, giving them slightly different basic stats (the basic 50 that every class gets), slightly different training stat tables (used to calculate the random stat you gain each time you train) and increased maximums for a handful of their powers. I still need to add some way for players to view the subclasses before they choose them, and the subclasses themselves still need some number tweaking, but they are in and working.

Week 21

ending Sunday 25th May

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Partial redesign of magical item bonuses. The bonuses are still not properly distributed based on item type, but they are now at least much better balanced. All beta tester equipment has been wiped to take into account the new bonuses.

Updated the combat code to take better account of position and target. Thus for example you no long somersault over the "head" of a sword, only a person, and if you kick backwards at a player while somersaulting over their head, you'll only hit them in the back if they're standing upright. If they're ducking, you'll hit them in the back of the head, and if they're lying down you'll miss them completely. Equally you can no longer sweep someone who is in midair, etc. A few other changes have been made to the combat messages, making them more accurate and informative.

Tepic has added automatic email notification to CVS updates.

Testing on the main server has revealed at least one serious bug which doesn't show up at all on the other servers. I shall investigate further.

Week 20

ending Sunday 18th May

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Player files now store creation date, last login, and total time played.

You must now train at least 25% of your powers before you can train to the next Age.

The score layout has been reorganised slightly. The focus category for each discipline has been removed until we can decide how they'll be organised (or if they'll even be used any more). The name and class of each character is now displayed in the title bar, and underneath that is displayed the age, potential (percent of powers trained for your age), total time played(in hours, minutes and seconds) and creation date (dd-mmm-yyyy).

Corrected the names of the Demon powers to be in line with the updated design.

Updated Jobo's socket code to handle a "repeat previous command" option, which can be either "!" (like Diku) or "#" (my personal preference, as it's right beside the ENTER key, and you don't need to hold shift down). I finally got fed up of having to keep typing the same thing over and over every time I wanted to train up a new test character.

Items which grant bonuses to "ALL POWERS" or "ALL (CLASS) POWERS" now work.

You can now create up to three characters per account.

Week 19

ending Sunday 11th May

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Added the basic defensive spell to each of Water, Air and Earth magic.

The four Mages "Elemental Form" powers are now implemented (although not totally complete). The "Summon Elemental" power is also mostly implemented (except for being handling multiple elementals), and uses four elemental bonus powers.

Adjusted the cost for training powers. It now costs 100 primal for your first 100 powers, then half what it would cost to train your Age for each point after that.

Week 18

ending Sunday 4th May

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Added some more combat techniques (just another 5).

Added water, air and earth magic options for mages, along with a handful of new spells. Fixed several non-attack spells which had an unlimited range.

Regeneration system changed internally to store health points to the nearest quarter of a percentage (rather than just quarter of a health point). This ensures that even if you have no "Regeneration" power and are healing at half speed (1hp per 4 seconds), you will still gain some benefit from a +1% HEALTH REGEN item bonus (not much, admittedly, but at least it doesn't vanish in the rounding). The bonuses from spells and items now work.

Tepic has helped me sort out some problems I was having with CVS. It's now working properly, so that should hopefully make development a bit easier.

Week 17

ending Sunday 27th April

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New "morning star" weapon (and weapon table) added. It's simple, it's powerful, and it's almost as dangerous for the wielder as it is for the victim!

The total number of combat techniques is now 300.

Added a new "Cantrips" command and spell table, for unclassed characters only.

Rotain has put together the first draft for a vampire class section, for the website.

Week 16

ending Sunday 20th April

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Added some more combat techniques, bringing the total to 271.

Vampires, Werewolves and Demons are now able to grow claws to use in combat, using their appropriate class powers. This gives them access to the appropriate combat table, but doesn't give the class-specific bonuses.

The initial draft for the demon powers has been posted to the forums for feedback.

Started adding the auto-generated character descriptions.

Week 15

ending Sunday 13th April

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Added a new combat table for handaxes, as they were previously being used in the same way as battleaxes, which was a bit silly. The handaxe techniques are still fairly similar to those of the battleaxe, but slightly faster and weaker, and also provide a throwing option. Also added a new combat table for claws, which will be usable via various class powers.

Added another 65 combat techniques, bringing the total to 240.

Updated the admin "memory" command to include the number of techniques (much easier than counting them manually)

Week 14

ending Sunday 6th April

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Fixed a bug with the score, which was displaying the wrong amount of radiation.

Finished the first draft for the Demon powers.

Emailed a basic layout and content suggestion to Rotain for the Vampire class, to go on the website.

Week 13

ending Sunday 30th March

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Added a large number of new combat techniques - there are now 175 different techniques divided among the various weapon tables.

Changed max radiation to Age*10, so the "average" magical item for your power level should now be equal to your Age. Your current radiation level is now displayed in your score as a percentage. Started redesigning the magical item system accordingly.

Koryon has created accounts for Jobo and Tepic, and Tepic has now moved the code into a CVS archive.

Week 12

ending Sunday 23rd March

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Tepic has investigating setting up CVS to make our development easier, and has put together a test project and some documentation for the rest of the team.

Added the "Demonic Rage" power for Demons. Also added several new powers to the design - 18 out of the 27 Demon powers are now fully described.

Added the "Spirit of Fenris" and "Discipline" powers for Werewolves.

The "Necromancy" and "Fire Magic" spells are now only available to Vampires and Mages respectively. They've also undergone some minor updates. Also updated the Spells module to allow for lookups based on spell name.

Added a selection of new combat techniques.

Week 11

ending Sunday 16th March

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Real-life obligations prevented any further progress this week.

Week 10

ending Sunday 9th March

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Magical attacks now use "MAGIC RESISTANCE" to shrug off damage, rather than regular "RESISTANCE". Your "MAGIC RESISTANCE" is the highest of your "POWER" and "RESISTANCE" - meaning that mages are now able to resist magical attacks much better.

Added some basic handling of a "two handed technique" - in this case, "clap", which is used for casting some spells.

The first draft for the Mage powers is now complete, and the interface and implementation for it have now also been added. I have also added a selection of spells for the "Fire Magic" power, and temporarily made these available to all characters like I did with Necromancy.

Week 09

ending Sunday 2nd March

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Spell affects have now been implemented (although they don't save yet). This was quite a large undertaking, but was needed before most of the powers and spells could be coded. I also added the vampire power "Rage of the Beast" to test the code in action, and an "affects" command to list the spells affects currently on your character. The code is generic, and can also work on Places and Objects.

Added the basic combat table for Necromancy, along with a handful of spells for testing purposes - a defensive shield affect, an attack spell, a mob summoning spell, an object summoning spell and an object enchantment spell. These commands can be utilised via the "Necromancy" command, which can currently be used by anyone (so that all beta testers can try it out), but are normally only available to Vampires.

Week 08

ending Sunday 23rd February

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Unfortunately, due to having a very busy week at work, combined with the fact that I flew back to the UK on Friday morning (not getting back until very late Sunday night), I had almost no time to work on the mud this week.

However I did add the remaining vampire help files, and adjusted the code to reflect the correct power names (some were out of date).

I also wrote up the design for the fifth Mage Discipline, "SUMMONING",and updated the FAQ for the website (which has now been emailed to Rotain).

Week 07

ending Sunday 16th February

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New "movement" command has been added, which allows you to customise your movement speeds. Your walking speed must be at least 1 and lower than your jogging speed, which in turn must be lower than your running speed, but apart from that you're free to configure them however you wish. There is also a new "sight" command which allows you to do something similar for your sight range - you can configure your "short", "medium" and "long" ranges, which are used by the mud when sending messages (spammy stuff tends to be short range).

Your DAMAGE rating no longer gets any percentage bonus from weapon skill - only from stance. This should hopefully bring it in line with RESISTANCE, and make fair fights last longer than one or two blows.

The help files for ATTACK, DEFENCE and DAMAGE (which were months out of date) have finally been redone, and numerous new help files have been added.

Added "jump" and "duck" as valid movement types. Fixed circling.

Fixed a bug with the "commands" command not listing all commands properly. Also updated the parser to handle class-specific commands, and added stubbed commands for every vampire ability. Have also added the command files for Werewolves, Demons and Mages, although these are currently empty.

Partially implemented the vampire Shadowcraft power - it currently only allows non-magical items to be created, and equipment created this way has an unlimited duration.

The mud has now been in development (as in coding) for exactly a year, and - at slightly over 26k line of code - is just a fraction larger than Merc 2.1, which is what the original God Wars started from over 8 years ago.

Week 06

ending Sunday 9th February

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The first class power has been added - Regeneration - and the healing system has been adjusted accordingly. Each time you get struck, you stop healing. After 10 seconds you start healing at half rate, and after another 10 seconds you start healing at full rate. If you get struck again during that time, your regeneration resets - regardless of whether or not you actually took any damage from the blow. This will hopefully stop the problem encountered during beta testing whereby some characters were so tough they could never actually be killed, because they'd just heal any lucky blows people got in on them. Note that the full rate of healing is 1hp every 2 seconds for those without the Regeneration power. Those with Regeneration recover 1hp/second even if they have 0 ranks in the power. Each extra rank purchased gives 0.5hp/second (so for example, 3 ranks would give you 2hp the first second, 3hp the next, then 2hp again, etc).

I've also added the "Regrowth" power. Although limbs cannot yet be chopped off, Regrowth also gives a Resistance bonus of +1/rank, so that's what I've implemented so far.

Fighting styles (or "stances" as they used to be called) have been downgraded, as beta testing had shown they were very overpowered. An advanced style now gives its own bonuses plus half of each of the associated basic styles. A super style gives its own bonuses, plus half of each of the associated advanced styles (which includes bonuses they also gained from their associated basic styles). So for example, if you had 100 in every style, you'd gain +100% SPEED while using Viper, +150% SPEED while using Mantis (100 for Mantis, plus half of your Viper bonus) and +250% SPEED while using Flea (100 for Flea, plus half of your Mantis bonus, plus half of your Fox bonus). You can now see the percentage bonuses you get from your current style by typing "style".

In a related balancing issue, skills and styles can no longer be improved any higher than your Age. I'm hoping this will discourage botting, although the downside is that Age is becoming more and more like a "level" (well, more of a reversed level, but still).

Added an admin "reboot" command. Both reboot and shutdown now echo output to the user before the mud process is killed.

The admin "goto" command now allows you to specify a coordinate location or a creature name, rather than just a Thing ID.

Fixed a bug whereby "target" didn't allow you to specify negative coordinates, and another bug which was preventing objects from saving when they took damage.

Somersaulting and backflip kicks will now result in you falling on the ground unless you perform a recovery technique quickly enough. The recovery technique no longer puts you back on the ground, but instead spins you around in midair and sets your next technique to a regular landing - however it does also give you a better defense than it did previously. The basic stance techniques have been redone, and there is now also one stance technique for each of the advanced styles, as well as a rather nifty special technique for each of the Flea and Rhino super styles. I've also added a selection of other weapon techniques for polearms and axes, including some style-specific ones.

Linkdead characters will now be disconnected after 30 seconds. The linkdead timer can be reset by hitting the character - so dropping link during a fight is a really *bad* idea. In addition, there is a 10 second timeout when first connecting to the mud - if you don't load your account within that time, you will be booted off (although you don't have to actually load a character as well). This is to stop people from leaving hanging connections.

A minor cosmetic change to the "look" display now takes into consideration whether Things really are standing or lying down, rather than just assuming that Creatures always stand and Objects always lie. The sweep techniques will now only let you sweep something that is standing - and objects which are standing (such as sign posts or combat dummies) will now actually fall over, just like a Creature. If you pick them up and drop them, they will be put back into a standing position.

Mobs have been made much tougher - they now have better combat skills, use advanced (and even super) fighting styles, and wear equipment. They also no longer growl at you if they are dead, nor do they start running towards the centre of the Nexus after they kill someone.

The combat system has undergone a rather large overhaul to tidy up a lot of the lose ends which I rushed originally in order to get the mud ready for beta testing on time. Instead of simply dodging all attacks, you now have a chance of blocking or parrying them, which results in both weapons getting damaged. Objects can no longer be damaged once they've been broken, and magical objects will regenerate. This part of the mud is still unfinished, but at least it's better than it was.

The "score" command no longer lists your base primary stats - these have instead been moved to a "score naked" option, which also displays your primary and secondary stats with just class stat bonuses taken into consideration (no equipment, skills or stances).

n at just over 45 miles per hour - that's the same as the average speed of a cheetah over three miles, and faster than the top speed of a greyhound or race horse. Some early testing has proven that these speeds are a bit excessive for some of the more powerful characters, who are able to run at extremely fast speeds - thus it would be nice if players could configure their speed (ie, choose not to run at top speed). I shall investigate this next week.

Thrown daggers now only inflict half damage, unless they are thrown at point blank range. Point blank range is a number of feet equal to the SIZe of the target you're throwing the dagger at. Hopefully this will help balance out SIZe a bit - it makes you an easy target for ranged fighters. This will need a bit more thought, but it should be okay for the time being.

Because of the change to the movement system, the line of sight for many activities has changed. I eventually plan to make it customisable, and the code has been updated to make that transition easier. Another knock-on affect of the movement is the strength of mobs - this now increases for every 50 feet away from the Nexus centre the mob is, rather than every 5.

Equipment dropped by Admin will never again crumble to dust, even if a regular players later picks it up and drops it again (although bare in mind that it won't yet save over reboots or crashes).

As well as "say" (which has a range of 100 feet) there is now a "shout" command (range 1000 feet) and a "whisper" command (range 10 feet). These values may well be adjusted in the future.

There is now a "Mortal Realm" plane, which can be entered from the centre of the Nexus. Creatures spawned in the Mortal Realm are very weak and don't give Primal, plus the items the spawn are non-magical, but are ideal for unclassed characters who wish to practice their fighting skills.

The inventory limit has been increased to 10 items. This is still part of the "temporary fix" until the equipment system (and personal planes) are implemented properly, although they shouldn't be far off now.

Fixed a problem with movement whereby if you were walking towards a target and it only took you one step to do so, you wouldn't be informed that you stopped moving. This was added previously to stop excessive spam when following people around, but I've now found a better way to do it.

Week 05

ending Sunday 2nd February

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I've updated the existing combat techniques so that they are now hopefully fairly well balanced. I didn't do this so intensively with the feet, but the various hand techniques should be pretty comparible with each other.

I've added some more of the infrastructure for handling two-handed fighting techniques, although I'm still undecided on exactly how it's going to work (for example, if one hand is doing nothing, should you automatically use it to wield your sword two-handed, and thus inflict more damage, or you should keep that hand free in case you want to use it for something else later?).

Fixed a minor bug whereby STR (rather than SIZ) was being used to calculate the RESISTANCE bonus.

You can now train your class powers. This required a lot more work than I had originally anticipated, as a fair bit of the underlying class code had to be reorganised (but better that than a quick hack).

Week 04

ending Sunday 26th January

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Found and fixed the problem with help files (basically it wasn't allocating enough space to store the NUL terminator at the end of the each file). The mud has not crashed once since introducing this fix, earlier in the week.

The "stop" command has been modified so that it no longer clears your target or destination - instead, it simply stops your feet from moving and stops your hands from doing whatever they are doing. There is now also a "clear" command, which does clear your target and destination, but doesn't change anything else.

Combat has been updated to include falling. You automatically fall if you get killed, but some techniques may also do this to you (such as the "stun" hands technique). I've also added a selection of new feet techniques, including kicks, sweeps, flips, somersaults, and several ways to get back up when you're lying on the ground. Also fixed a minor bug whereby your Combat skill was added to your weapon skill when calculating which combos you know (it should only use your raw weapon skill). Note that there are now two new characters used for feet: "-" means you are falling, and "_" means that you are lying on the ground.

The "range" option in the combat table now displays the actual maximum range at which you can hit someone with that technique (including adjustments for your SIZe and weapon), rather than just the modifier for the technique. The values in the table are now used by the combat code.

I've now finalised a formula for calculating what the bonuses should be for different techniques, so hopefully this will help balance them a bit better.

Week 03

ending Sun 19th January

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I've written up some documentation on combat and movement for the website, following the confusion expressed by several of the beta testers. Rotain will hopefully be uploading these to the website some time this week.

Updated the equipment generation so that it now assigns a random material to the newly created item.

Fixed a bug reported whereby mobs were not able to respond to ranged attacks outside of 50 feet (because they couldn't see that far).

Added a range of new variables to the prompt options following discussions on the beta forums. You can view the available options by typing "prompt variables" within the mud. The prompts now save, as well.

The "look" command now shows your target (rather than a destination) when you are targetting something, and also informs you how far away (and in what direction) they are.

The "wear" and "remove" commands now accept "all" as an argument. The "get" and "give" commands now take into account your reach.

The "target" command now allows you to specify an exact location in the world - for example "target 50 10" would set your destination to 50/10.

The "score" command now lists your base primary stats, with the modified stats underneath.

If you remove a piece of equipment and it reduces your current HEALTH below 0, you will now drop dead.

The help files have been updated to include the adjustments I made to some of the stats back in week 51 (2002). In addition, a bug with the help files has been discovered, and a temporary measure put into place which will hopefully stop the crashing until I can investigate the problem properly.

Hitting enter (without typing anything) will now just redisplay the prompt, rather than telling you that you've entered an unrecognised command.

I've added "range/reach" to the combat tables and included it in the l?/etc tables, but I've not actually added the ranges into the code yet (so they are currently all set to zero).

I've added the two weapon techniques suggested by Renno - both are for Bull style, one is for axes and the other for clubs. I've not yet had the chance to rebalance the old abilities yet, but I plan to do that this coming week.

Week 02

ending Sun 12th January

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Completed the saving/loading of objects and fixed a number of related bugs which surfaced while trying to get it working. When you log back in, you are now wearing and carrying whatever you had when you quit. If something cannot be saved, then it will drop on the floor when you quit. Stuff on the floor is not saved, for the time being, and it also vanishes on it's own after a while (this is a temporary fix for beta testing, to stop the world getting too cluttered up).

The "look" command has been tweaked somewhat, and now shows the equipment worn by other creatures. The "make" command has been changed back to an immortal command. There is now a "password" command for changing your account password. The "get" command now limits you to no more than 5 items in your inventory, or from picking up Creatures and Places, unless you are an admin (these are temporary fixes until I can find a balanced way to handle item limits and prevent people from just picking up their opponents during combat and walking off with them). There is also now a "give" command.

Although the combat tables had been updated to include a column for "stance", the actual combat code itself didn't yet take advantage of that feature. It now does, and there are a selection of new combat techniques available (some of which are stance specific).

In preparation for the beta testing, you can no longer create a new account, only load an existing one. However there is now a new admin command which allows the creation of accounts. In addition, the admin status now saves in your player file, and the "admin" command has been temporarily removed. This means that you have to be made an admin offline (and should therefore stop the beta testers from sitting around trying to guess the admin password!).

You no longer earn a magical item from killing another player. Furthermore, while killing another player will give Primal, it will only give as much as that player currently has (in other words it's an actual transfer of Primal, rather than just a reward for the victor).

As Kastagaar hasn't yet finished the proper mob AI system, I've put together something basic so that mobs can at least fight back. If you attack a mob, they will now run towards you and start punching and kicking you, until one of you is dead. It's simple, but enough for the time being. In addition, there is a small chance of mobs spawning when you are walking around.

The beta testing started on Saturday, and revealed several minor problems. I have gone ahead and fixed these problems where possible, but some of them will require more work. A couple of the beta testers have already started putting forward some useful suggestions, and I hope to start putting together a list of things which need to be updated.

Week 01

ending Sun 5th January

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I celebrated the New Year at a friend's house, and (due to my flight being delayed) didn't get back home until 1am on Monday morning. Suffice to say I didn't manage to get anything done this week, either. Things will pick up next week though, as I've been mulling over what needs to be done.

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