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Role playing or HacknSlash, was Re: CF: Long term experimental ideas

 There is nothing specific in the messages I want to respond to, but I'll not
some more general ideas.

 Going to more role playing probably will not eliminate all hack n slash from
the game.  Certainly, there will still be monsters in the game - maybe not in
the huge amounts now, but there will still be some around.

 I think one thing that should be said - moving to more role playing does not
necessarily eliminate the hack and slash - rather, I think of it as opening up a
new playing style that is available.  For example, one player may want to gather
all the clues and get all the useful information and stealthily sneak through
the dungeon and grab the fabled foobar, where some other player ignores all
those details and pretty much just brutes force it through the dungeon (with
probably a more powerful character than the other person), and also gets the
fabled foobar.

 Some of this discussion was started with what to do with high level characters,
and the fact that having a huge range of levels makes it harder (IMHO) to
balance the game.  I already tossed one idea out there (double exp needed for
each level beyond 20 - this results in greatly diminishing returns, but someone
could play on, but would not be all that much more powerful - a level 25 person
could probably be dethroned by a better equipped or better played level 20
person - especially if that level 20 person set up a nice ambush).

 There were some interesting ideas put out.  I am not sure how well a player
taking over a dungeon will work out if they are not online to defend it.  But
allowing players to have some ability to build/change things on a more permanent
basis is an interesting idea.  Letting a player move some walls, put some traps
down, and hire some monsters for his dungeon is something which does not require
a great AI if it is the character itself that does these actions.  So that is
certainly something that is more realistic.

 I would certainly say take things in steps.  Before trying to worry about that
AI so you can tell monsters to go to the scorn magic shop and buy some item,
lets at least get the AI up to a point where monsters don't cast identify while
in combat.  Making monsters tougher may add to the RPG, but also to the hack n

 As a note for AI developers - the client interface can be an interesting
testing ground.  The client knows less than the server itself, but if you want
to work on your AI skills, taking the client and using the map updates and
likewise commands to send data could be good practice.

 One aspect of making it more an RPG (which as touched upon) is player
interaction.  I think we can all agree that real life RPG's are better simply
because a human is a much more complex AI than anything that can be done on the
computer.  Some of that should be leveradged in crossfire.  That may not mean
that you have player wizards at the bottom of each dungeon - it just may mean
that players hang out in taverns and provide conversation, or you have a message
board in town that players can request stuff.

 For example, someone may post something like 'Interested in strength potions -
will pay 1500 pp each for them - contact Solvar'.  That is a simple example, but
you may have more stuff - like get this item, and I'll tell you the password for
the next quest or give you some spell.  Or heal people for money (become the
high priest in the town temple for example).

 One of the bigger problem with these ideas is what happens if that player does
not log in regularly or at all. For example, having a player being the high
priest in the local temple is certainly an interesting idea.  However, if that
player only logs in for a couple hours each night, that idea may not work very
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