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 Problems with the Third Shinobi War area

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ichike
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Join date : 2010-01-22

PostSubject: Problems with the Third Shinobi War area   Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:41 am

387 rooms
65 unique mobs
32 mob programs
14 unique items

The above are the stats for the Third Shinobi War area, an area that I would describe as our worst designed area ever. I am considering deleting the area and we desperately need someone to take it over. It was an area that was designed primarily by Tarki (aka Biran), who quit in a huff after Rico, who had hired him against my wishes and without my knowledge, had said that he wanted to reincarnate 10 times and overtake Biran as the number 1 player. Tarki caused so many problems after he left and indeed the legacy of this poorly designed zone have already caused enormous problems.

Bad mob programs causing crashes

Of the 32 mob programs, 18 of them were written so badly that they were causing crashes. They were missing an ENDIF to end them, had typos all over the place or otherwise would cause crashes, not just when they were activated but just generally. They were a ticking time bomb.

Bad resets causing crashes

The 65 mobs were loaded in 7 different "Spawn Rooms" (Rain, Grass, Leaf, Rock, Mist, Sand, Cloud). This was how the resets looked:

reset 2 mob 15065 50 50
reset 3 mob 15065 50 50
reset 4 mob 15065 50 50
reset 5 mob 15065 50 50
reset 6 mob 15065 50 50

Now, you might not know how to reset mobs but I think that most people on looking at that would see a bit of a problem. Why are you loading the same mob to the same room 5 times over?

Actually, this is how it should be, to avoid crashes:

reset 2 mob 15065 250 50
reset 3 mob 15065 250 50
reset 4 mob 15065 250 50
reset 5 mob 15065 250 50
reset 5 mob 15065 250 50

Basically, Tarki's way of doing it would load 5 mobs at a time. Then, after 1 mud hour (about 10 minutes of real time), another 5 are loaded. Then another 5. Then another 5. Then, once you get to 50, then you have reached both the reset max (50) and the world max (50) yet it wants 5 lots of that, so it panics and, while it doesn't crash immediately, it could crash later.

With my way of doing it, it gets to a max of 50 per reset, for 250 total. Oh sure, 5 times as many mobs might be too much, so perhaps change it to 50 10. Either way, at least that won't crash.

I have to think that Tarki just wasn't listening to Rico when it was explained to him. Rico knows how to build zones and how to avoid such issues. He knows that bad resets can cause crashes. He knows that doing what Tarki did there would cause crashes.

Overly weak mobs

When I first looked at the area, I was shocked at how many levels players were gaining so quickly. It was supposed to be an area for "yay there is something to kill", not "yay I can get cheesy levels". We had a set system for what hps and damages to give to mobs, yet these were totally ignored. The system is pretty simple too, yet it was totally ignored.

I had to sit down and explain it to Tarki because he just wasn't getting it. I had to make help files to go over it. He was making mobs with 1/10th the hps they were supposed to have and doing 1/4 the damage. Wow. Just wow.

After I said to fix them and was threatening to close down the zone over it, Tarki then spent some time fixing them. Then, after I was satisfied, the mobs were fixed back to their former cheesy levels! Only a few of them, it should be noted. Just a few, of a certain level range, were set to be back to be ridiculously cheesy!

Overly powerful items

Again, we have set formulae for the maximum power for items of each level and these rules were totally ignored when creating items. There were only 16 items but some of them were just absurdly powerful.

Just how complex the 9-tailed quest was

The quest to get to the 9-tailed demon fox (the Kyuubi) was so complex that only its creator (Rico), plus the co-designer Tarki, their alts, and anyone they told, had any hope of getting there. There were no hints to get there. What was worse was that both of them did it, and not just to test either. They got their tails happily and kept on with things. And, of course, the tail was made unbelievably powerful. It was changed back to something more realistic, but then changed back again. Wow. Just wow. No hints even to help normal people to get there.

Just how powerful the 9 chakra tails was

+100 damroll, +5 dex, + 1,000 chakra, + 1,000 hps and insane AC - and this for a slot (tail) that really nothing else uses

It'd be one thing if the designers didn't get the tail, but unfortunately they were the only ones whose alts had any chance of getting it. Wow.

Note: I changed it to +10 damroll, + 100 chakra, + 100 hps and normal AC.

The Kyuubi was, for a time, VULN HOLY

The Kyuubi was set as race ghost apparently because there was no race demon and Rico, who made it, didn't want it to be race fox. I have since changed it to race ghost.

Race ghost means, by default, VULN NINJUTSU and VULN HOLY with IMM GENJUTSU - which are totally inappropriate for a demon.

What made it worse was that *no weapons in the game* have DAM_HOLY except that Rico decided to give his own alt, Ditoke, a "gentle fist", which he set as DAM_HOLY for some reason - renaming a "fists of pain" from DAM_BASH to DAM_HOLY without a damage reduction.

Related: the gentle fist was used for an item for one player and one player only, Ditoke, the alt of an imm, Rico, who created the damage type

Rico said that he had made the gentle fist damage type as a temp thing as part of trying to create chakra-absorbing weapons. He wasn't supposed to give it to his own alt! And he wasn't supposed to make it DAM_HOLY with no damage reduction! Let alone that the Kyuubi, his own creation, with the hugely powerful chakra tail, was VULN_HOLY! Oh the horror!

Whilst this probably wasn't the real reason for Tarki, the designer of the area, quitting (more likely, he quit because Rico stated his aim to have his alt Ditoke surpass Tarki's alt Biran as the top player), it was his stated reason. After this problem was undone with Rico on his final warning not to interact with his own alt, Rico, too, quit.

Very poorly written room names

Some of the rooms have no name at all, let alone a description. Some of them are written in all lower case with no description. It is all very sloppy. 387 rooms yet it is all over the place.

No map! No signs! No idea how to get there!

There is no map of the zone. All that players would want is some vague idea of how to get to each of the main Strongholds. No signs. No map. No nothing. Perhaps some couriers can be put in at where you start the zone to take you to each stronghold?

How bad is the zone? Is it salvageable or does it need to be wiped?

As you can see from reading this, the zone was really badly written, really badly designed and just plain terrible and has caused enormous problems for the MUD as a whole. Is it salvageable? The amount of time that has been taken to fix it has already been about as long as it took to create it, and there are still many more problems to fix. But at the same time, it does provide mobs to kill in a level range where there are few mobs to kill. Perhaps it can be kept for now. Perhaps a few couriers to take you from one Stronghold to the next could be useful. Perhaps some vague maps from one Stronghold to the next could be created.
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ichike
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PostSubject: Latest efforts - mapping and couriers   Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:32 am

Oh what an ugly disorganised mess

Today with Hishia we spent about 4 hours mapping the area. We have now made a viable map of the area, as well as several signs, which were to help us to figure out where we were more than anything. Having done all of this, we now have a map, which you can buy from the mercenary (a courier-type) that we put at the entrance to the zone (Kannabi Bridge).

We then spent another 3 or 4 hours making mercenaries (couriers) for all 7 stronghold points, to take you to each other strongholds, as well as the tickets and mob programs to/from each to the other one.

Now the area is possible to move through without getting absurdly lost. Seriously, though, the area moves over itself. You go east, north, west, south and you are in a different room! It feels as if the rooms and whole area were just kind of plonked there without any real thought behind it.

More to do - changing sectors

Incredibly, the entire area is set to SECTOR INSIDE, which is the default when you make a room, yet very few rooms actually use it. I wonder if we should change the default to be FOREST as we use that more than we use INSIDE.

Ridiculously, you had a room description as "walking across a small river" be SECTOR INSIDE, in other words any water jutsu *wouldn't work* in the area, nor would any outside jutsu (e.g. lightning attacks)! Ha! I changed a few to SECTOR SWIM, as befits a river, but seriously there are 367 rooms to wade through and really they should have been done properly the first time around.

More to do - really poor room descriptions

Some of the room descriptions are good but others are not. Some have a room name but no description. Some don't even have a room name. Really ugly.

More to do - the area is far from finished

They have a whole "bamboo jungle area", with no mobs. There are descriptions of "lots of animals running around" yet there are no animals.

I also don't understand why there is a need to have spawn rooms when mobs could have just been loaded to rooms. A lot easier that way. Mobs are loaded to spawn rooms in the Forest of Death because the 6 exits from the spawn room are totally different parts of the forest, which then splits up the mobs nicely. But even that is somewhat lazy building. Spawn rooms are somewhat ugly usually and usually should be avoided.

I do have a spawn room for the Giant Octopus in Water Country, but that is primarily so that it can run away back to its spawn room every so often.

Conclusions - this is such a badly made zone but we will try to cope

We have had badly made zones before. Apparently Bravo did such a bad job of Forest of Death that Rico spent ages over it, fixing it to make it usable. Valley of the End was horrifically badly done, such that in the end I did about 10 times as much work on it than Kira did, just to fix up all of the errors.

It is just nicer if you make 10 or 20 well made rooms that look nice than to have, as in this case, 367 rooms that are just a jumbled mess. Quality over quantity.

Of course, I made 244 rooms in Water Country, but they are all basically copies of themselves. I doubt that too many people spend all that long in there.
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