Research and Ideas

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This page contains some inventive research and bright ideas.

Did you document some freakish research results, or did you submit a truely brilliant idea report? Share it!

Research

Munching Minions by Scouter

Every time someone says on (Priests) something along the lines of “don’t use totems or dust devils, they eat xp like mad!” I always wonder “how much is ‘like mad’?”. Since this happens at least once an hour at times, the wondering was getting so annoying that I decided to Do Something About It.

Here follow the results of some (minor) testing. It’s based on fighting a single target, djelian farmers, and repeating this often enough to get a fair average.

The percentages are how much xp the minions ate compared to me fighting alone:

Minions Consumed
Totem -1%
None 0%
Whirlwind 14%
2 whirlwinds 16%
Whirlwind, totem 17%
Totem, spectre 31%
2 whirlwinds, 2 spectres, totem 42%
Spectre 48%
2 Spectres 64%

The results look a little odd at first sight, but repeated testing give the same result.

The oddness of the results (totem and spectre eating less then just a spectre, for example) seems to be the result of how the respective minions influence both death xp and bury xp.

Here follow the complete results:

Minions death xp bury xp total xp total eaten
none 134 100.0% 1271 100.0% 1405 100.0% 0.0%
totem 406 302.6% 1012 79.6% 1418 100.9% -0.9%
whirlwind 241 179.6% 975 76.7% 1215 86.5% 13.5%
2 whirlwinds 295 220.2% 884 69.5% 1179 83.9% 16.1%
whirlwind, totem 344 256.8% 821 64.6% 1165 82.9% 17.1%
totem, spectre 279 208.1% 689 54.2% 968 68.9% 31.2%
2 whirlwinds, 2 spectres, totem 244 182.4% 569 44.8% 813 57.9% 42.1%
spectre 70 52.1% 656 51.6% 738 52.5% 47.5%
2 spectres 58 43.3% 446 35.1% 504 35.9% 64.1%

A little note on the procedures I used:

I gathered my team, and killed 5 farmers in the garlic fields surrounding Djelibeybi, one at a time. After this I would at least spend half an hour outside DJB, and kill at least 10 npcs outside DJB. This in a weak effort to stop the influence of repeated killing into the measurements. Every kind of team took out at least 2 of such groups of 5 farmers. First I attacked, then immediately ordered my companions to attack as well.

Whether myself or one of my minions managed to do the deathblow had no influence on the results.


Detect Alignment by Garrion

Using the rituals Detect Alignment and See Alignment I (with help from many fellow Pishites) was able to come up with the following ranges.

Pishites see these figures as purple and golden drops when using the Detect Alignment ritual with purple being the Evil side of the scale and golden the Good.

Alignment Ranges

Alignment Range
Extremely Good 24 to 50?
Very Good 12 to 23
Quite Good 6 to 11
Good 3 to 5
Barely Good 2
Neutral 0 and 1 of each colour
Barely Evil 2
Evil 3 to 5
Quite Evil 6 to 11
Very Evil 12 to 23
Extremely Evil 24 to 50?

I have been informed that there may be some variance in these results depending on skills and that there may be some overlap such as 1 being barely good and neutral. I am yet to see such overlap myself. As for skills, my bonus in faith.rituals.misc.target was 340 at the time of the testing.


Numeric Ritual Difficulty Modifiers By Mishal

Introduction

We've all seen the "It seems somewhat easier to perform divine hand because you are near profane ground." messages when performing rituals. The details of them differ from god to god, but the basic premise is the same: rituals become easier or harder to perform based upon your current circumstances (location, minions, etc).

A long-standing theory amongst priests is that the duration of a Major Shield perform is precisely equal to the performer's relevant fa.ri.de.se/ta bonus. Using this theory as a basis, I set out to time the duration of my major shield in various situations, recording the results in the hope of putting numbers to the different modifiers. These are my results.

Note that these values have the potential to be slightly out. Very little of it was repeated, let alone repeated multiple times, and since the duration was measured using the timestamps in MUSHclient, they could have been affected by lag.

Additionally, it is unknown whether the numbers below represent absolute values or percentages. Would someone with a 500-odd bonus in de.se see totally different numbers to me with my 338 bonus? If anyone with considerably higher bonuses cares to repeat this experiment, we can get that question answered! (I don't include people with significantly lower bonuses, here, because you'd be unable to even perform Major Shield...)

Method

  1. Get set up for a specific situation.
  2. Use an alias of "get mounted pewter shield from backpack; wear flat cap; perform major shield on me; remove flat cap; put mounted pewter shield in backpack" to perform major shield on myself.
  3. Note down the difficulty modifier message and the timestamp for the "You are protected by the power of Sek." line.
  4. Wait for major shield to expire and note the timestamp for the "Your divine protection expires." line.
  5. Calculate the difference, in seconds, between the "expires" and "protected" lines to determine an "effective bonus", and compare it with my base fa.ri.de.se bonus (while wearing a flat cap) - i.e. 338.

Results

Modifiers Minimum Modifier Maximum Modifier Average Modifier
Using an actual shield 20
Recently prayed 6
In combat (Sek's unique bonus) 3
Recently ritburied 0
In a defiled place (high altar) 0
Near profane ground -6 -4 -4.7
With 1 minion -5 -4 -4.3
With 2 minions -9
None -12
With 3 minions -15 -14 -14.5
With 4 minions -16
Far from profane ground -16
Using yellow baton -17
Using a paper shield -46
A place consecrated to another god -58

Notes

  • "Near profane ground" was tested at a few distances from the nearest high altar, with results that seem to indicate that this isn't a fixed value: the closer you are to the nearest high altar, the better your difficulty modifier.
  • Similarly, "far from profane ground" was tested at a couple of locations, but no difference was noticed, unlike with "near profane ground".
  • The type of minions controlled seemed to have no effect. The numbers varied slightly, but I could spot no pattern; one minion made a -4 or -5 point difference, two was -9, three was -14 or -15, and four was -16.
  • The similarity between the "with 3 minions" and "with 4 minions" modifiers have piqued my curiosity. Only 1-2 points difference, compared to ~4-5 points between one and two minions, and between two and three minions. Perhaps the modifier is largely capped at 3 minions.
  • With the "actual shield" and paper shield tests, I didn't use the major shield alias, as that was written to use the mounted pewter shield. Instead, I tyepd each part of the alias manually, but the flat cap was still used. This should not have made any difference.
  • Another oddity is that despite getting a message when performing major shield immediately after ensumpfing a corpse (the commands were queued), there was no visible difference to the duration of the major shield. At the time I was standing near profane ground, however "near profane ground and actively worshipping Sek" and simply "near profane ground" gave me exactly the same duration for the same location. I wonder if this is a bug in the MUD or with my research.
  • Where only one test was performed, or all tests returned the same value, the "Max" and "Average" columns weren't filled in.
  • The pale yellow baton is the best affinity for Major Shield, hence it being used here.
  • I would like to add a poor affinity baton (e.g. a dull grey baton) to the results, but I don't have sufficient skills to bestow Major Shield onto a dull grey baton.
  • I have also not added being almost out of alignment to this research, primarily because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of being out of alignment.

Raw Results

I've made my raw results file (an Excel 2007 .xlsx file) available for download. It isn't necessarily easy to understand, but it may help people spot mistakes in my work or repeat the experiment themselves.

Unquiet Spirit XP Leech by Holister

Well I decided to do some research on how much xp unquiet spirit really leeches. Here are my notes (scroll to the bottom to find out how much it actually leeches). My research was done in a similar vein to how scouter did his.


Killed 5 farmers in the garlic farms around djb, went to the terrains south of djb, killed 10 things, waited 30 mins, repeat subtract bottom from top to get xp results

normal fighting 1st kill xp, 2nd bury xp

27500 27419 =81

28770 27500 =1270

29254 29158 =98

30587 29254 =1333

30884 30802 =82

32171 30884 =1287

32392 32339 =53

33518 32392 =1126

33767 33684 =83

35014 33767 =1247

total xp made 6660

normal fighting test 2 1st kill xp, 2nd bury xp

58137 57947 =190

59545 58137 =1408

60492 60327 =165

61819 60492 =1327

62148 61986 =162

63465 62148 =1317

63783 63617 =166

65109 63783 =1326

65378 65248 =130

66623 65378 =1245

total xp made 7436

overall xp made per farmer (both tests)- 1409.6

unquiet spirit fighting test 1 1st kill xp, 2nd bury xp


31815 31656 =159

32877 31815 =1062

33438 33193 =245*

34610 33438 =1172

34894 34786 =108

35825 34894 =931

36159 35946 =213

37292 36159 =1133

37697 37517 =180

38811 37697 =1114

total xp made 6317

unquiet spirit fighting test 2 1st kill xp, 2nd bury xp

74236* 74008 =228

75390 74236 =1154

75749 75636 =113

76728 75749 =979

77090 76900 =190

78191 77090 =1101

78613 78376 =237

79784 78613 =1171

80245 80049 =196

81351 80245 =1106

total xp made 6475


overall xp made per farmer (both tests)- 1279.2




  • spirit killed the target


So the end result is that unquiet spirit only leeches about 9.25% of total xp from kills.

Idea reports

Absorb by LaoTzu

Description


With this ritual you can absorb the good or evil within a person leaving the opposite alignment behind in his body. The performing priest will have to face the Gods' wrath after assuming the target's misbehaviours. It requires a block of incense and a holy symbol.


Syntax


perform absorb (some|all) (good|evil) in <target>


Skills used


fa.ri.sp fa.ri.mi.ta


What?


This ritual will basically trigger an alignment shift for the target. When you change someone's alignment without consulting the Gods, you will of course have to suffer the consequences: the priest will experience a (smaller) alignment shift towards the alignment he absorbed and he will get struck by lightning after the ritual (a pure coincidence, obviously). In Disc terms: the priest's alignment will change, and he will suffer damage. The success/failure could be based on the fa.mi.ta bonus, while the amount of damage suffered would be based on the fa.ri.sp bonus (higher bonus, lower damage, of course).

To prevent abuse of this ritual, a player target would have to kneel down to the priest. (not npcs, otherwise you can't possibly test/experiment/tm with it)

Example of output: > Hubby the Warrior kneels down. perform absorb all evil in hubby > You start to hum a low, vibrating chant whilst lighting the incense. You cover Hubby the Warrior in smoke and put a hand on his head. Slowly you feel evil, unfamiliar thoughts penetrating your mind and soul. You say to Hubby the Warrior: "Arise and face the day a better man!". Hubby the Warrior stands up. A lightning bolt shoots down and hits you right on the head! Is that muttering you hear? Hp: 1381 (2567) Gp: 350 (417) Xp: 1245


Pro's and con's


The pro's for the target are obvious. For the priesthood, this ritual could add to our "social function". It would be another service we can provide. The con's for the priest are quite clear too: an alignment shift could take the priest outside his ideal alignment. If the damage would be sufficiently high (say, 1500 hp damage for an "absorb all", with a low fa.ri.sp bonus) it would certainly make priest think twice before performing the ritual!

I don't think many priests would try to use this ritual to better their own alignment (it _would_ be possible though), because praying and burying are much easier and generally less dangerous.

I'd expect this ritual to be rather hard and lengthly to perform.


Extra's


If you don't feel like granting this ritual to every God, you could consider the following division:

  • Pishe: only gets absorb (some|all) evil in <target>
  • Sek: absorb (some|all) good in <target>
  • Sandelfon: gets both options due to being the neutral God.

A second possibility would be to grant this ritual ONLY to High Priests and Ministers. It would add something to the positions, without making it overpowered, unbalanced or too important.

Faithful denigration by LaoTzu

Description


This ritual is so overwhelming and impressing that the focus of your attention will lose faith in his own powers, resulting in a gp drop. You will mutilate yourself in the process, hence you'll need a sharp, pointy dagger.


Syntax


perform faithful denigration on <target> abort


Skills used


fa.ri.of (skill check against opponent) fa.ri.of.ta (exchange rate gp/hp, initial skill check) fa.ri.cu (for staunching the wounds)


What?


Being a servant of God is mostly about convincing others that you're right and they'll suffer if they don't believe you. With this ritual you'll demonstrate the power of your own belief to someone else, making them doubt their own strenght. In Disc terms, the priest will sacrifice his own hp to make the target lose gp.

Firstly, the priest will call upon his God and cut himself in various places to demonstrate his strong belief. Then _if_ the target is impressed (check priest's fa.ri.of against target's overall faith), he will lose a bit of gp with every cut the priest makes. As a hp to gp ratio, I'd suggest 5 to 8 hp for every gp, depending on the priest's fa.ri.sp bonus.

The priest will keep on cutting himself (and dying) until the target's faith gp runs out, or until the priest decides to "abort". Once the priest has stopped, he's try to staunch all his wounds (same skill check as "staunch bleeding" in holy sacrifice. fa.ri.cu?).

Possible output: > A thin man is standing here. perform faithful denigration on man > You call upon Sek to grant you the strenght to demonstrate your mighty believe in the Seven-handed God. You take on a dramatical pose and scream loudly as you raise your dagger. You put your dagger to your cheek and make a deep incision. Hp: 2289 (2500) Gp: 300 (417) Xp: 23890 The thin man looks slightly impressed. You put your dagger to your left arm and make a long incision. Hp: 2003 (2500) Gp: 306 (417) Xp: 23896 The thin man shuffles uncomfortably. You put your dagger to your right thumb and stab it. Hp: 1900 (2500) Gp: 312 (417) Xp: 23902 The thin man doesn't look too impressed about this. > abort denigration You put down your dagger and decide to stop showing off your belief.


A failed abortion: You try to focus on your severe blood loss, but you're too absorbed by your own display of faith. A successful "sucking of gp": You put your dagger down contentedly as you notice that the thin man has lost every bit of confidence.


Pro's and con's


Needless to say this is a _very_ dangerous ritual. Probably even more dangerous than holy sacrifice, because you'll be tempted to suck every gp out of the target. PKs will no doubt attack you as soon as you start performing this ritual. I think this nicely balances out the fact that it's a powerful ritual.


Extra's


To further balance the ritual, it could trigger an auto-attack from npcs. I think this ritual would be best suitable for Sek, since he's the most offensively oriented god.

Holy wander by LaoTzu

Description


When performing this ritual, you will be able to transcend your earthly being and wander around as a free mind for a limited amount of time. This ritual requires a set of prayer beads and a copy of the prayer "Visions of a better self".


Syntax


perform holy wander wander <direction> wander home


Skills used


fa.ri.mi.se to determine the success rate (bonus 360) fa.ri.sp to determine the distance one can travel (nr. of rooms = (bonus - 200)/20)


What?


This could be described as a "scouting" ritual. You leave your body and scout your immediate surrounds for a while. It's not as useful as scrying, find or find corpse, but it sure beats stepping into the croc pit to see if the body is still down there! Whilst wandering, your body would be left behind mindlessly, so it could be subject to any attack without you knowing it...

Example of output: > perform holy wander You concentrate on your mind and the emptiness around you. You call upon Hat to assist you in freeing your mind. As the Hand of Hat reaches into your head, you feel your mind getting sucked out! <insert room description> Minister LaoTzu is staring into space here.

You feel liberated and ready to wander. >wander west <room description>

>wander west <room description>

You feel your mental link weakening.

>wander west <room description>

Suddenly everything goes black as you seem to lose the strenght to wander on. <Player unconscious because he wandered off to far or ran out of gp> You groan as you regain consciousness.

"wander home" will take you back to your body, without side-effects.

I'd mainly see this ritual for three gods: Pishe (helping and ressing), Sandelfon (let the mind wander through the corridors) and Hat ("Hi! I'm your neightbour and I'm mentally visiting you!")


Pro's and con's


You'd be able to scout ahead, without endangering yourself too much. Also, you'd be able to spy on a nearby subject without being seen. Wandering would cost 220 gp to perform the ritual, and drain 5 gp per heartbeat to maintain. This would leave the average priest enough time have a look around and explore the limitations of the ritual. The fact that your body stays behind unprotected and passively is not to be neglected, especially not for PKs, or in more dangerous areas...

Multi-priest res by Polleke

Since multi-priest rituals seems to be the new thing to speculate about, I thought I might add to the madness by submitting this idea report.

The basic idea is to make the Pishite resurrect ritual optionally include other (non-pishite) priests. (I say optionally here, but there could be a split so there's 2 rits: the old one-priest res and the new multi-priest one -should someone decide to code it of course ;)- ).

So what could these other priests contribute to bringing someone back to life ? My answer is: spell and rituals (yes, res currently restores some rits, but I'll try to specify how I see it happening with this new version).

The way I think the ritual might work: the pishite initiates the ritual and every priest in the room gets an option to join and thus help perform the ritual. The pishite maintains control, so he/she decides when the ritual starts (so essentially they have control over who else can help perform).

And now the fun part: how would the bringing back spells/rits work :) My idea is that different Gods would grant different spells/rits to be restored. A rough guide could be: Sek/Hat -> offensive rits/spells Fish/sandelfon -> misc rits/spells Gufnork/Gapp -> defensive rits/spells

You'll notice this doesn't mention what would happen if a second Pishite priest would participate in the rit. Options for this event could be: - higher xp return to the target - better chance of success - healing included in the resurrection - ...

Before cries of "OVERPOWARD!" are shouted, I'll try to address the balance issues as I see them. - Too easy to get all your rits/spells back: A solution for this could be twofold. You could limit the number of participating priests, so only 2 groups of rits/spells could be restored. And as a second measure the number of rits/spells restored should depend on the skills of the participating priests. (For example a check could determine the maximum mindspace the restored spells can occupy, then random spells are restored until this space is filled).

- Not fair that you get an xp return and rits/spells back: To me this isn't an issue really, because I don't think it'll be easy to get the cooperation of the maximum number of priests. Anyone who plays this game knows it's not always easy to get even one pishite to come resurrect you, so once you'll start asking for an extra sekkite, fishite, ... it won't become any easier to coordinate. So in this case I think the benefit is justified by the effort made.

Fish's Big Voyage by Polleke

Summary: Fishite ritual that can only be performed underwater (and only in a large enough room) to summon a whale or other large seacreature that give the priest (and maybe his group) a lift to the surface.

Elaboration: As a Fishite being stuck on the bottom of the ocean is only an inconvenience (seeing as how you can perform breathe underwater to prevent drowning and allow you to passage out), so this ritual would probably only be a toy rit. But it would be very in-character to get help from seacreatures in getting to the surface. And what big animal would be more fun than a whale! :-) You summon it, it winks, you hold on and it swims up with you. Maybe you could even convince it to swim around on the surface so you could search for land with it. (I can just see the whale pirate fleet of fishites forming if this ever makes it into the game :-D). As said in the summary maybe it could also carry the whole group the fishite is part of (even bigger pirate fleets!).

Maybe a failure of the ritual could summon the wrong seacreature. Options could be: - a sardine (obviously too small to carry you to the surface) - a stoned seaturtle, maybe accompanied by a clownfish ;-) - a shark (which may or may not attack you, this would likely be insta-death for weaker priests if they are anything like the sharks in tuna bay) - a mermaid (or merman, in both cases the fishite would try to grab the wrong spot to hold on and the mermaid/man would tailslap him/her)

So, in conclusion, please please consider coding this :-)

Player-built golems by Pythium

I would like to see player-created golems on the disc. The following are my ideas on how golems could be created, controlled, and maintained. Creating a golem would consist of two activities, making the actual physical shape of the golem, and writing the scroll. The creation of the physical shape would involve pottery skills: cr.pot.fo for the shaping of the golem, and then cr.pot.fi to complete the baking of the golem. It requires enough clay to form the golem, which first needs to be consecrated by the priest. Once the clay has been formed, it needs to be baked in a proper oven. The second part of creation is to write the words to go into the golem's head. This would use the skill fa.it.sc to write. The scroll would contain information such as to whom the golem belongs, as well as which actions the golem can perform. These activities would be, for example, crafts commands, such as fix or leatherwork, or other commands such as judge or vurdere, or even covert commands such as steal, hide, plant. The bonuses in the skills used for these commands would be the average of the writing priest's bonus in the skill and the priest's bonus in fa.it.sc. The number of commands the priest can write on the chem is also decided by his bonus in fa.it.sc. The golem can be instructed by its owner to pick up items, give items to its owner, and to perform the commands it knows. For example, the golem could be instructed to pick up a damaged weapon, fix it for its owner, and return it. The golem is by nature a pacifist, and will not fight, not if instructed to do so, nor when attacked itself. It will attempt to block all attacks made against it, but otherwise will not involve itself in combat. Over time, the golem can sustain wear; should the golem be attacked and unable to block blows, it will damage sooner. To repair this damage, the golem must be given clay and be instructed to repair itself. The golem will not have a state of health, such as an npc, but rather a condition; should it sustain too much damage, the clay will shatter, and the golem be destroyed. The golem would be unable to speak, however it could report using a slate, what would be told in the case of commands like judge, or vurdere, as well as notifying the owner if it was damaged.