Eulora changes, or "Hey diana_coman..."

Sunday, 12 January, Year 12 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

I started writing a missive, yesterday. Because we were talking about Eulora, and well... breaking shit down is nice and good, I'm sure, yet... at some point you gotta start giving out something positivei, or else. It's just not possible to run an organisation on dismantlings only, even in post-civilisational scavenger worlds such as ours.

So I started writing down the positive, and the result was going to go into the red machinery, to be encrypted and forwarded... hm. But why ?

That "why ?" thread of gadflies led (like they do) to this article (through the unsurprising intermediary of "I guess I'll just pm her"). Yet... why had it started out as a gpgram in the first place ? Apparently you and me, we have the same impulses, you just don't know enough of the world and yourself to back out in time ; if it weren't for all the elaborate machinery of thought keeping me afloat, I'd be out there, passing gpg-balls back and forth all day too. Why ?

I only ask because I now know, obviously. Do you ? It's because the positive has to be protected, isn't it. It's because the ample world, the endless world, the non-simple complexity world is mean, isn't it ? It's the world that's evil, ain't it Ringo ? You hide whatever's left good in your eyes like lichens hide water under the mid-day Sun, in the deepest recesses you can come up with, lest it's instantly vaporized by the unforgiving rays above, don't you. In any practical sense an all-out nuclear war'd have really been a lot less damaging than the computer bomb detonation turned out to be -- at least in the physical extinction case you'd have still had your thoughts.

Remember, back when you still had your thoughts ? Back when they lounged outside, taking in the (back then) loving Sun, nude and happy ? Back when they didn't have to cower, in private, back when...

A lot has happened in the meanwhile, as they say. Then again, "a lot has happened" since Euclid, too. The only possible definition of culture & civilisation is precisely this : "selective passage of time" ; some are immensely rich, so unfathomably wealthy in fact they can still afford culture, and civilisation. So here we go, the most obscene display of all : yes, I'm aware the complexity quasar long ago dessicated your mental universe, evaporated the last droplet of water, dissociated the last molecule, blew off the last hydrogen atom, leaving behind a sad mess incapable of recovery even should hostile conditions be remediedii. Nevertheless...

Now that the thousand word intro is out of the way, Hey, diana_coman, here's the thing : I don't expect the part about many sectors to be such a big problem. Currently the game has a conception of a sector, so it'll be expanded to take two int64s, and then server-side things such as resource maps can obviously be handled by the server without problemiii ; we have teleporters already tried and tested in that obama house thing, all the machinery for object attachment to arbitrary sectors' mostly in place already, so if some guy drops a table in sector -8, +3 it won't appear in all the e38 other sectors too, we're mostly good here. Difficulties such as "the client nevertheless expects a number, from 9 to 55, because reasons" aren't even problems : nobody said the client has to know what's happening ; I don't propose to deliver the true sector position any more than we deliver the true BP/HP/stats etc. Why teh fuck would we -- let the playerdom figure it all out, that's why the fuck they're even playing in the first place, rightiv ?!

But don't be concerned : that not promising to be so much of a problem doesn't mean I can't make some! Specifically : crafting as it stands expects to take a recipe, which is an item, which then tells it what type of table is needed and what specific item is needed for worktable, and what items go in and what items go out, specifically.

I take umbrage with this sanity on multiple levels, and I require elaborate insanity forthwith ; nothing else can quench it for me!

For the simple part : I desire an indirection layer, such that a recipe will not specify "rickety reeds", but merely "branches", which'd be a category of items rather than a specific item indication, and such that any items that are branches, such as reeds, rickety or otherwise, will work as ingredients in the recipe. And the thing that comes out, while it'll be a "sword" as a categorical type, will nevertheless be potentially entirely novel (if no player yet made a sword out of three tin foils and one titanium sheet), so the players should get to name them. None of those "infinity-1" sword names anymore, mkay ? No more of Diablo's sad "named uniques" bullshitv, let the players name items. Now, self-obviously the game doesn't have a mechanism for this to happen in-game ; but frankly the man who didn't mind making accounts doesn't mind naming things, what the fuck can I do ? Nubile development, right, by the time the tension between the legs becomes too great to bear the young woman will do something about it. At least, that's how I like to think about it.

And now for the complex part : I am unhappy with the notion of skill, such as it is. I do not believe skills should be something set up by the developer, and therefore simple, stiff and rigid. I believe skills should be player-defined. No more of this "weaponsmith skill". No, let there be a list of all the properties, let the player hook them up in any mix he likes, with any basis he likes, let the game compute a cost for his selection and charge him a registration fee and there you go. There's no rule some player can't go through the game with a single skill, which yes, as per above they should be able to name "Being Fabulous" or whatever the fuck else. What "balance problems", holy hell, what "player forums" with "recipes", "first you max your Weaponsmith then your Blade Mastery" nonsense ? We have no hope in hell of breaking this overarching problem unless we use the idiots against themselves. So we will, not like it costs anything.

With which extension, recipes above very self-evidently become also a "well, player wants to make a sword out of mud and pies, let him, it'll suck but it'll be his". Who exactly came up with "oh, and to make an infinity-1 sword you need three amethysts and a dragon's ballsac" and why did they ? What, "players exploring the crafting space" should consist of "dump ingredients in here, maybe something comes out, maybe nothing does, so rather than lose materials go read the wiki for known recipes" ?! Fuck that, reality doesn't have such wunderbar negative feedback, so you know you've fucked up. No, let them make anything out of anything, let it work as well as it does, and then let them sort it all out. We're writing a game here for the players to play, not for us to have mostly-played by the time they get to play it, I ain't summarizing by hand ten trillion quadrillion possible universes to figure out indeed infinity-1 sword takes violet quartz and large chicken ballsacs.

So practically, we'll have to restructure the db in terms of hooks, and things hookable. Any given item should be one of an enumerated list of categories, which we do pre-define, type Sword or type Powder. Everything else should take hooks, such as "Right Hand Slot may take type Sword, type Bow, type Staff.." also in a pre-defined list. A recipe, a skill, a limb all become the same thing in this sense, with individual skills becoming... items, like any others, a different type but nevertheless. So you loot some Swordsmanship (item, type Skill), take it home, use some Paper and Ink (in the general, maybe you use Vellum and Cockatrice Spit, maybe you use Flattened Wasp Nest and Menstrual Blood) to add it to the Round Shield skill you found yesterday, set the base on the first to 10.95 and on the 2nd to .375, and there you go, you've created Joe's Doe, you can equip it now and level it up. For as long as you bash things with a sword or get bashed on a round shield with it in mind you gain xp and benefit from the effects, and once you gain enough you level it up -- or you can just learn it, and then it becomes part of you (at least for now). Whenever you bash anything with a sword the xp gets divvied up among all the learned skills referencing it and that's that!

Does all this make any sense to you at all ?

  1. This is not perfectly true, technically I had already emitted one positive, whereby the Eulora world is to change from the current "single sector" world as you know it to a (practical) infinity of them, in a 18`446`744`073`709`551`614 by 18`446`744`073`709`551`614 matrix, from -9`223`372`036`854`775`807 to 0 and then on to 9`223`372`036`854`775`807 on each side. (Incidentally, doesn't it strike you as self-evident that if the negative lobe is as ample as the positive, therefore there's a bit lost somewhere ? Yet... inquire with your local LLONG_MIN and LLONG_MAX metaconstructs, see what they say.)

    What do you think, will you manage to finish exploring Eulora in the ~billion years or so left until the Sun makes global warming an actual reality ? 3.4e+38 maps versus 3.1e+16 seconds in a billion years, hm... I wonder...

    Practical infinity, this is the gift computers have given us sometime in the past twenty years, yet nobody seems to have noticed. Somehow, nobody seems to have noticed.

    There used to be a time back when computers were relatively weak and inept, and the best minds congregated around the spire like there was no tomorrow, literally, no tomorrow possible outside a half mile limit out from it. Do you remember those days, by the way ? Those days of yore, those days way back, those days of husband-and-wife spending their summer vacation huddled around the ZX-80, making games with infinity worlds in them ? You ever played Acornsoft's Elite back in the 80s, by the way ?

    But meanwhile, the gap sparked through. As expected (by those in the know) computers indeed brought such variety and complexity into the world as to defy the best and brightest ; no longer is the world a dull, tiresome, endless simplicity, like it was back in the day (which was why all the dedication -- back in the day). No, nothing like that anymore. Now the world is such detritus of exploded complexity, people can't even find each other anymore among the remains. The distances meanwhile became so great, the spaces so impossibly vast (given all the possibility they're pregnant with) that he's stuck in the "den", fantasizing about her in the company of his fantasms, hallucinated "others", but others-lite, others-bearable, others dull and tiresome and made of endless simplicity like in the good old days ; while she's stuck in the vacated bedroom fantasizing about him.

    Yet none of this is an acceptable excuse. That you meanwhile became petrified of the "disaster" you wrought, that the satisfaction of what you had asked for and thought you wanted now scares you shitless is not an acceptable excuse. It is here, like it or not, and it must be used now. That's how it goes. You're not fooling anyone with all those "here's a 66,856-planet '''universe''' simulated on 64 bit systems" self-stroking levies against the flood, you realise that.

    Then again... who knows, perhaps I'm lying. It'd certainly be easier if I were, wouldn't it. []

  2. How's all the blown-off H supposed to return ? There's no mechanism for that in reality. []
  3. Hah, you thought identical sectors means identical resource maps ? Mow why would you think such a thing. []
  4. Time to bring back ye olde MMO maps, folks. Does local Office Depot even have 340`282`366`920`938`463`463`374`607`431`768`211`456 sheets of paper ? No ? Oh, it closed down meanwhile ?

    Well... I guess you'll figure something out. Try Radioshack, what can I tell you. []

  5. Diablo, the original (and to an extended degree Diablo II) had the only item system worth the name known in computer gaming to date. It was good because of specific properties ; and then they went and "extended" it by adding more of what wasn't those specific properties until it collapsed under its own accreted stupid, giving birth to such nonsense as the signalling threadmill, where at first the simple sound of a ring dropping was enough to get your endorphins pumping, but then there being enough rings the sight of color was enough, but then they oversupplied color so the name became a thing, except of course...

    Dumb. In the same line, Cotnari, the first and for a while foremost Romanian vineyard is now producing "Bule", cheap chemo-fizz, under its once venerable brand. Easily the cheapest, most offensive bum whine now available in Romania (I doubt it's exported anywhere), this thing attested anno 1448 (that's before "America" was yet invented). Because such is the burden of brand, see, if you have the know-how, methods, people, places, everything needed to turn ten Bitcoin's raw materials and labour into a hundred Bitcoin's worth of wine, and also a brand perception that adds a hundred Bitcoin worth of value to any wine you sell, what are you going to do ? Are you going to modestly turn ten to a hundred, thereby maintaining the brand ? Just like thirty or so generations modestly did, to bridge the way back to the 1400s ?

    Or are you going to buy into the accounting fiction whereby your brand value is an asset on the books, and therefore it must earn its rent, and therefore sell ten for two hundred, one for the wine, one for the name, and thereby introduce & promote the inflationary basis of ourdemocracy that'll in short order turn you around to observing that "in these hard times" of desperation and poverty (that you, with the other like-minded merchants, did not usher in but outright created -- they never existed anywhere "outside" of your sheer stupidity) one has to economize, and so simply turn around and sell the brand only, dispose with the ten that "was only adding to costs" and thus be able to sell Cotnari "50% off" : 100% off on the wine, and 50% off on "the price" (that you had imaginarily aforedoubled for no reason).

    The only solution is to stop thinking you can have the cake you ate, in the localized version of "stop putting brand value on the books, monetization of meta factors is how you spread democracy". It'll provide unexpected advantages you don't even realise you're not expecting, though you absolutely should fucking have in the first place. []

Category: S.MG
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4 Responses

  1. It makes sense to me, essentially exploration in all domains, figure it all out while the clock is ticking too.

    Sadly it will all have to be implemented within the swamps and therefore with all attending slowdowns and unnecessary complexity.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 12 January 2020

    What can you do.

  3. Well, I'll have to find out quite precisely "what can I do", heh. Not that unusual situation either, come to think of it.

  1. [...] things weren't resolving two weeks later, I decided to cut the kitty : forget Eulora 2.0 for [...]

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