Would Advanced AI Work in MUDs?

Lizard man
One of the coolest features of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the amazing radiant AI system. What it does, to put it simply, is it changes how the game interacts with your character based on how you play your character. Without getting too technical, if you're a warrior, perhaps you'll be asked to rescue a child from kidnappers. If you're a mage, perhaps you'll be asked to do something else! Maybe even if you're a thief, you'll get asked to steal things. I have even been asked to enchant swords by guards.
 
Guards will greet you differently based on your progress in random quests -- if you just completed a quest to kill a few witches, perhaps they'll say "You did a great service by slaying those witches." Or if you just rose to the top of a certain organization, perhaps they'll greet you with "Hail, <rank name>! I never thought I'd meet you face to face. It's an honor to stand before you." If you somehow become a werewolf, they might even comment on your smell or ask if that is fur growing out of your ears. You get the picture, and if you've experienced this, it's probably made you think "Wow, that's cool."
 

NPC Interaction in MMORPGs

Skyrim is a very fun game, but it's single player -- and the radiant AI does a good job of making it feel like it isn't. MUDs can supply a similar atmosphere, as you forge relationships with other players in the game that will ultimately shape your character's story. And it's always a treat when an NPC becomes staff-controlled and begins conversating with players in an RP fashion!
 
If you get known for stealing from the young, perhaps you'll be chased down by assassins and champions. If you get known for being the best in solo combat, people will fear you -- and it won't be the scripted fear. They'll be afraid to risk your wrath, and you'll see it in their interactions. That is what is so cool about the games Iron Realms supply, they give you an endless role playing sand box environment for you and everyone else who enjoys their games to experience the atmosphere in. 
 

Programming AI in MUDs

In the opening chapters of Mat Buckland's book "Programming Game AI By Example", he codes a sort of status updater for an NPC miner and his wife in a MUD. The miner goes and collects gold, he goes to the bar and at the end of the day he comes home and sleeps. His wife cooks and cleans.
 
This seems relatively simple but in the end, it is really just an NPC wandering around rooms. It can create the illusion of AI behaviour, especially in MUDs where imagination beats graphics, but its the sort of thing that tends to go largely unnoticed by the players in the long run. Even worse if the NPC sells items: nobody wants a wandering vendor.
 
What's your opinion on advanced AI in MUDs? Would it enhance the atmosphere of the roleplay environment, or just become something ignored and even an annoyance?
 
Author: Rean Moliuvia

Comments

Achaea (and I presume other IRE games) already has some basic pre-scripted material, based on the village's feelings for you.  Making that material more village-specific (and having it include actual speech) would help somewhat with the RP angle, but ultimately the freeform nature of actions in Achaea (as opposed to Skyrim) would mean that the vast majority of opportunities for such things would still require staff taking a personal hand.

I prefer thought provoking quests to Achaea's stumbling around in the dark style of questing. It just breeds annoyance and superiority from people who've already done it. "Figure it out yourself" usually means "waste hours like I did"

...and it's not just an Achaea problem. Very few quests in MUDs I've seen offer more than the syntax contest or "guess-just-right" approach. I wrote about a quest I had to do (in different article's comments) where there was actual cooperation from varying gangs (guilds/houses); without the cooperation from each faction, you could not complete the quest. Clearly no one wants to give up the whole of the quest (nor should be compelled to do so) but you had to explain why you needed very specific, org-only abilities or items. Otherwise, the opposing or neutral factions would scoff at you.

 

I recall a spiffy plot device in the Dragonlance Legends series where an evil archmage could only complete an ages-old ritual with the assistance of a pure, good priestess. Making that sort of quest in a role-played MUD (especially between two or more player characters) would be quite gratifying and also very involving between diverse groups.

 

.

Lol.

You made a good conclusion

mhm

mhm

With the way Shallam is these days, that's just asking for an excommunication from that Priestess, regardless of the outcome of the spell, whether it brings good or bad. Still, it is a good dream to have and I would like to see more detailed and insightful quests in Achaea, though I would also like to see more easy to discover and easy to follow quests. I have been playing Achaea off and on for like... ten years... and I STILL have not managed to complete the damn Aran'Riod quest. And don't even ask me about most of the others. I know Ulangi, I know Mysia, I know Xhaiden Dale, and I know a quest in Cyrene... and for the most part those are all give corpse to this person, or give rum to Greybeard. Not much thinking and it's all fairly repetetive. At least cyrene's quest has more than two steps to it. Or it used to anyway.... I need to complete that quest now that it's changed to make up for Raphella being lost.

 

... Rest in peace, Raphella.

aye.

Lusternia's quest, however, are on the whole pretty dope. But, for myself, I really wish NPC combat AI were more complicated, and we could afflict them. Then, bashing would teach you to PVP, and it wouldn't be so frickin' boring. :/

heck yeah.

Seconded! :(

But, influencing should be made more on par, too.

I know your pain!

AI

I'd like more areas like Caer Witrin, where the villagers treat you differently and warm to you as you help them more. Obviously it's not on Skyrim level, but more like this  would be a step in the right direction.

So would I.

Would be awesome, you wouldn't have to guess what keyword makes the NPC gives a quest!

yes. A thousand times yes. It is not good rp when all you can do is guess words in front of someone, unless you are roleplaying smeone with turrets

 

I am Bill Nighy, and you mean Tourette's. Running around with turrets is nigh well impossible, if not extremely difficult.

You're welcome.

Nah

Some people have mild Tourette's, which isn't such a big deal. They just twitch occasionally.

mhm

mm

Its fun to just say a list of random words sometimes and see what sort of reaction you get.

absolutely

Its why we play

it is.

It's always fun to say a list of random words in a room and watch the reaction.

_Changes gem and does it each quest_

Just that part right there would make it worth while.

In some cases, the reaction of the denizens is annoying, too. It doesn't really add much to the atmosphere if you stand in a room with a novice and ask him if he has any questions when a denizen reacts on the word "quest" and starts talking about whatever he wants you to do.

 

it's weird how when i'm killing a mhun guard, he suddenly daydreams of being a mhun of different rank.

Oh, I don't know... a nice safe office job must look good at that point.

aetolia mhuns are better than achaea mhuns, though.

That in itself would be well worth it.

I do believe the problem is the in some cases very stupid keywords / npcs though!

As far as I understand this I think it would just make more work for builders scripting  the npc to react differently to race/class what ever  it'd be like building reactions over and over on those variables.  While nice and much more emersive Ithink it would slow down area  releases.  But, if that's not an issue it would be nice.

Iron Realms would have to pay more coders to get things like this.  It would force more credit sales or possibly pay to play again. 

It doesn't take hard coding to get this kind of stuff. Builders can do this, it would just be a lot of time and care. I really appreciate little touches like this. I love the room in Lusternia that changes with the time of day. But ultimately, while all of the little details are nice, I think that for the amount of effort that goes into stuff like that, it wouldn't be appreciated enough. 

What room is that?

that's the sad part.

that's the sad part.

Certainly would, but the resources would be limiting. You're running Skyrim on your computer, the game eats all of your CPU resources, just for you. Running that for many people (sans graphics computations of course) for many people on one computer - would require more resources. Certainly doable though by someone smart!

This comparison to Skyrim really has to stop, we're talking about rather different things here.  Radient AI in a large graphical game is necessarily more intensive than in a text game.  Admittedly, this would still be a non-trivial exercise to implement and, yes, the system requirements could potentially rise a bit, but that all depends on the extent of the systems involved.  Look at Dwarf Fortress, there's a tremendous amount of calculation going on under the hood and, while it can and will crash even the most beastly machine eventually, it's only when the shear number of tracked items/people/beasts/etc becomes unreasonably large that things go badly. 

AI is merely decision making. Once you make the decision, the action taken uses the same amount of resources no matter what. Given that most decision making for NPCs can usually be done with 1-2 variable checks (sometimes more, going above 5 was very rare), "AI" for NPCs can be done with relatively little drain on system resources. Comparatively, my healer runs through hundreds of checks every .2 seconds.

All that said, from second-hand info, the mobcrafting in IRE is shit legacy code on par with bloodlines. So no telling how bad trying to add in some 'complex' would be

is far more than just if checks...but that would be a decent start.

But all of it boils down to that level of decision making. Some is decided on random chance, some is pulled sequentially from a table, etc... but 'if' and 'goto' are the building blocks of all code... whatever the pretty wrappers might say negatively about them.

Arghhhh not GOTO ! *dies*

Agreed

Sounds scary.

But combat balance first.

^

Exactly, there are several things to fix first!

Yup, balance comes first. Even if it takes ages.

Would be cool though.

That wouldn't interest me much, personally, beyond what is already there. But, I would love to return to the time when there was more divine interaction, and demi-gods working to make sure denizens responded to requests etc. I probably camped Jirken for a few months and still got no response despite numerous attempts.

It would be cool, but doubt it would happen.

much coding. not gonna happen.

/agree

Or moar active gods that could control the NPCs!

This would be the more effective solution. Adding depth to the game. Absolutely!

 

Hmm

Even worse if the NPC sells items: nobody wants a wandering vendor.

 

This. No more Darmong, Lisia, Lycaeus, etc. changing locations, please. Kortoxian ought to know by now he's unwelcome in places and will be killed if he goes to them.

 

Just a pet peeve of mine.

But at the same time having the same person standing in the same spot all year around is just as strange and mindless as Kortoxian walking into Shallam.

This could be fixed by having workers take shifts.

meh. just make it so that kortoxian doesn't enter shallam and cyrene. and it'd make sense.

Don't forget Rhoswen, Bo. Damn Fairy... needs to hold still so I can buy that damn Fairy Nectar goblet. Overpriced alcoholic flying beverage!

None at all

problum with that is that volinteer admin  have a tun of other stuff todo.  I agree it would be nice but, they've got a lot of other stuff to do than to sit and controle an npc for our amusment.  Sometimes it could be done I guess but, not for everyone that would want such an interaction.  They truely are working a lot on stuff we as players might not ever know from the blogs and  stuff I've read.

While a lot of Divine interaction, controlled npc's, and more interactive, realistic mobs are all swell and dandy, I would much rather take the game as is with timely responses to bugs and designs, new areas now and again, and the myriad of other things that the admin are doing a really good job at right now. I think its in everyone's best interest for the admin not to be too overworked and of course happy! If that means mobs awkwardly stay in the same place year round and never comment on what a cute faeling I am or that I can't get a mob to personally interact with me, then that's perfectly fine. 

would be cool!

 

Would be cool but would also be a lot of programming.

 

Things like MKO's Gatekeepers in Krondor greet based on whether the person's visible, etc, by city rank. Code that makes NPCs react to a character based on the player's past actions and, more interestingly, their current status, is an old idea. I distinctly recall it standing out in its sheer *quality* of implementation on Arcanum, where the level of magic or technology utilized by the character had an extreme effect on people's reactions, and what allies were around tended to have an effect too, but that was only keeping track of a wide array of things about a few characters, wheras implementing it for a MUD would require tracking such states for (hopefully) hundereds, and quite a few of those decision trees being run through for everyone that passes, despite it being generally overlooked.

Somehow I feel like the little things, like pre-scripted NPC responses to a characters city/class/past deeds is more complicated that it seems. Or maybe it's just the lack of implementation that's making it seem so.

Would love this.

But the interactions might be nice.

Some of it is there already, like someone mentioned with Achaea's village feelings and having the villagers spit on you or whatever.  It would be great to see a builder/coder take the plunge and implement more of this into the questing code or denizen interactions in general.

I would again love this but, more scripting per mob means more time to release areas it becomes would you like more intresting areas slower or more areas on mass without all the bells and whistles?  I personaly would like lesser areas with all the bells and allthe bells and whistles but, that's just me.

But there's no reason not to code in the -potential- for better interactions with mobs.  Adding that functionality would only have to be done once, and then the individual builders can decide how detailed they want their area to be.

I'm mostly happy with it how it is! I don't see why it wouldn't work though, aside from extra work overall for builders.

 

I don't know if this sort of thing is technically worthy of being called "advanced" though. It is just extra work we have been able to do in games for many years now.

All these comparison to Skyrim are annoying; the AI in Skyrim is nowhere near as dynamic as the roleplay in the IRE games.

this. Though slightly beter AI would only help, i suspect

I agree.

 

I am also happy with the way things are but that does not mean that I wouldn't be thrilled if things could be better. If they can great. If it would take to much of our "builder's" time or resources then forget it. Simple enough.

It'd be Oodles and Oodles of fun, of course!!

Sounds great. Just do it.

Sounds cool. And there are already wandering NPC salesman, the flower selling girl or something, and the fairy merchant in Annwyn.

Ya I have to agree with Vayne although the thought of AI on that level in IRE games would be amazing, what we have now is still better than any graphic RPG has to offer.

Its a good idea but it only as good as you make it. We already have these things to a certain degree with wandering salespeople, some that will rob you, and groups that get mad at you enough to auto attack when you kill enough of them, as they should. But what if we had mobs that would join you in your quest to slay the evil vampire who has been feeding off of their town or a thief that would come with you during part of the quest to help you find traps that lie in wait for you and to help you unlock doors. When said thief got killed you could continue your quest with a sense of fighting for a martyer that you never had before.

 

This is a RP gem in itself!!

Coolness overload

AI

I'm pretty sure Achaea already features some locations with a certain degree of AI, like you mention. Some will greet you differently in regards to what you have previously done in that location or sometimes depending on your race or other variables.

These small details do help enhance the experience, and I can only imagine the work that goes into it! Thanks to all those who work behind the curtains, it's greatly appreciated!

 

It'd be a mix of both. Yea, if its a wondering vendor it could get annoying at times, but then why would some vendors stay in the same place as well? It would help in immerson of the game, but would also be ignored to some extent as well.

Doable... Horrible choice of a reference book though... Le'Sigh.

BUT

the server side cost of doing so isnt fun... When you get into AI, things become computationally expensive

oh meh

A little more of a -basic- AI, rather than player interaction, would it be possible to create a sort of neural net with whole rooms being nodes and exits being connections? I think it's possible, but I'ma try to learn a little more about it before I start conceptualising the idea any further. This, however, would, with enough work, be a -real actual learning- AI.

 

More reading on the theory here.

skynet!

"skynet" for everything lately had to chuckle

alot of coding

yes

do it now!

I think it would add a whole new dimension to RP, and make the game seem more "real" and lifelike in general.

 

Certainly a good thing.

But these games are large enough to encompass both such types of AI. It's just text, folks. Get creative.

could be interesting

 

but implementing it would be very hard

It's just Matrix 1.0 :P

It would work

Good AI can be fun and useful.

  The problem comes from trying to anticipate how players will interact with a mob in an environment where there’s more than just clicking [A] on a controller or selecting from a drop-down list of designed questions.

 

Even having a template for the most common interactions will eventually become repetitive to the playerbase.

 

To cut a long-winded story short, I’d promote the Docent system from Imperian and roll it out to the other games to increase on intelligent mob interactions.

 

I've seen excellent advanced AI in another text based game without nearly the level of player driven conflict and politics that IRE games have.

 

It is possible then to have Advanced AI without it becomeing a pain the neck

mmmhmmm yeah

Randomised stuff is cool. When you know how a quest will work and it always goes the same way, you're just grinding for gold. When you know that a guard will always say the same thing when you greet them, that's a bit less shiny.

I think it would work even better here, because the coding is just text. A lot of console and pc game dev resources go into stuff beyond just the dialogue and quest prompts, but movement, graphics, physics, etc. Muds don't have to spend time on that stuff.

Would be hard to do, but very interesting to see done and might add more to events if gods didn't have to control every single part and allow it open up so much more.

I'd love to see it personally...long as the AI doesn't go on rampant killing sprees randomly ;) Once in a while can be cool...like the Vertani invasion. But they had been prodded to that point...imagine Chaotic AIs programmed to be nearly random in responses to be unpredictable...oo boy

This is nice.

Not sure... its fine just the way it is

these things makes it interesting.

Thats interesting and would make for interesting gameplay.

Most IRE games already offer the best chances and tools for RPG interaction: players who actually roleplay, and admin who can come down as gods or control NPCs for events. If somehow all denizens can say more than a few preset phrases and would greet you based on your class, city, achievements, etc..it'll be like each and every thing that talks is a player already! That'll be a very great gaming atmosphere, the best even.

 

I'd like to see that in-game.  I bet it'll give the coders a hell of a hard time! Guess I'll keep wishing for it.

coding?  *sigh*

 

it

might or might not

Heh

We'd have to see eh? ;)

That is something I would love to see

I guess it's a fine line. But rather then some AI that would take forever to fix a simple adjustment to quest and whatnot should be interesting.

It is most likely more trouble and computing power than its worth, but AI done well would really enhance the gaming experience overall. Players love to know that the world isn't static and they can make a difference through their actions and reactions. Plus, it would certainly make bashing/grinding much more interesting!

I would like to see better Ai

Ditto!

It's pretty cool when the possibilities of advanced AI are explored in depth, but I'd rather the resources go to something else like admin-driven events, or development of game mechanics, or the balancing of combat. It's the sort of thing I would play an Elder Scrolls game for, but not something I look for in a MUD where most of my enjoyment of the game comes from interaction with other players.

I agree, I'd much rather have more interesting events than another programing thing 

It would be interesting if some events were player run, or they actively instigate it's effects.

doesn't advanced AI fall under development of game mechanics?

I definitely would love it for the immersion, that's for sure. Nothing really kills that than knowing that the denizen in the city/village is just an automaton who stands in place and repeats the same lines ad nauseum.

The general sentiment that there's far too much of a 'guess what's right' type of atmophere around MUD questing is disdain. If you could make the mobs more flexible somehow, that would be most welcome.

You're the expert

Honestly, it barely even works in Skyrim.

Lithmeria already implements intensive mob AI. AI is server side processing, so the limitations of "How advanced can I make it" are only limited by that. I've seen 'boss' mobs with combat scripts that rival fights like safety dance in naxx with no game performance drop. 

 

In short, it's just a matter of coding, and unless you get into EVE scale where the mob is having to check massive databases over and over to perform its AI script, performance isn't an issue.

 

And the only way that it would impact other aspects of the game development-wise is if they didn't bring in someone to do the AI code. Garryn and Vashir can't do it all.

Better AI is only a problem when players are too stupid to adapt.

Not always though.. if you greet an NPC who says "Hello, could you assist me?" and you attempt to ask the following without success:

 

"I can aide you."

"What can I help you with?"

"Quest."

"Aide"

"I can help you."

 

Etc...  Then it's not about adapting.

Right, it's more a question of guessing which keyword was chosen for that NPC. In that sense, simplicity and intuitiveness are important. But that doesn't mean they couldn't say more things based on your character, to begin with. Also, maybe Bioware style answers could be presented to you, tagged with numbers? If players feel they need to write their own lines to answer, for RP, though, maybe keywords for answering could be highlighted for you, to be recycled in your response?

Maybe it will maybe it won;t, all I know is I am now Bill Gates.

hand me cash

It will definitely add a good flavor to the game, make it morerealistic and help build a better fantasy world even when people are not around. 

I can see this is the direction you are headed and I am looking forward to see it in Achaea!

What I would like is the further you progress in levels, the more npc battles start to resemble pk. Not quite like a <insert class here> bot, but more that you could use certain techniques like mana draining caster npcs or apply an affliction lock so you can damage them down while they are curing. I think this would lower the barrier for getting into pk too.

It would be interesting to see implemented, I think. Though considering you already have other players to interact with, all these things can already happen.

How about volunteers who specifically work on AI interaction with players? That way, there are people dedicated to coding and to roleplay.

You mean like how admins sometimes take over npcs? At least on Lusternia that happens from time to time. Never encountered it myself yet though, but seen people have good fun with it.

ai

From the original article the advanced intelligence doesn't really seem that advanced, i can think of things in achaea that already do those things.

called garrynbot.

Achaea does have the village feelings system which in a way affects how NPCs react to your character. But I would very much like to see a wider range of reactions from NPCs depending on your actions/reputation.

 

On top of that, I would very much like to see more quests that involve more than "give <corpse/item> to <person>" or saying "help/quest/<insert keywords here>" over and over again until you get a response. Quests like Lady Lorielan's mazes (Achaea) are what makes questing very enjoyable and I'd like to see more variety.

 

Guard: "Welcome to Corneria!"

Daryn: "I like swords!"

 

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

 

Because sometimes, that is what the NPC basics of Achaea feel like. Unless I am fighting Aunt Maim... then it gets real.

Player interaction with other PCs is great, fer sure, but to have more contextual responses from NPCs would really amp up the immersion! Do it, IRE!

You tell me you're the expert.

what is so advanced about a guard calling you by a title? seems easy enough

It's a start.

hrm

not that great and a waste of resources! I'd rather events and areas vs this

haha true

It's better to interact with other players than with denizens anyway, even if the denizens have enhanced AI.

Actually there's a MUD called Thorns of War that uses AI controlled characters to mine comms, fight, ect.

but it would be fairly difficult to do so I imagine. I'm not sure if it's worth the time and effort from IRE's point of view considering the framework of what they have already.

Sounds like a neat concept, but I don't mind how the games are now.

But would be very hard to do

Think about how much money they made from releasing alchemists and ships.

Then think of how much money they'd make from releasing a much longer endeavor to breathe more life into the thousands of denizens they already made.

While I think AI would work nicely in a MUD, I dont think it would be in Iron Realm's best interest to go back and add more realism to their already huge content when they make so much already just from releasing new content.

A business is about making money after all.

Think about how often they re-release combat? Then reply.

If the coding was a simpler, more robust language, the AI code could be a lot smarter.

wow

good point

the picture looks like a bird. A bit lame

grr

grr

mucho?

But difficult, surely. It would add a certain 'life' to denizens, and also probably frustrate the hell out of me.

Basic behavioral AI might be interesting - especially if it tied into quests and stuff, somehow. Having denizens that can fight like adventurers would also be kinda cool (the existance of systems kind of proves this is possible, even though they'd probably be pretty simple). However, I'm pretty sure that in either case, the AI wouldn't be as good as actual player interaction, or even interaction with NPCs controlled by admins.

Would stand out too much

Yes!

I think midkemia NPC's do this pretty well. They don't have an answer for everything, but I have on multiple occasions enjoyed talking to an NPC who seemed to respond repeatedly to the questions I had about a quest.

Credit comment.

i don't see this happening outside of what IRE has, at the moment. a good thing to be in the pipeline, though.

in a single player game, they create the illusion of not being alone. But in a MUD when you have actual humans playing with, it just looks robotic.

 

Then again, I have met some people that would not pass the Turing Test.....

Would fail a blood test, much less the Turing test.

Heh

Heh

hard to get the same level of AI you'd see in a single-player game, but there are areas where the current "call-and-response" type AI's that you see in MUDs now can be improved too.

"nobody wants a wandering vendor"

Wandering vendors can work, especially if the items they sell are very useful. Better would be randomly teleporting vendors, to create a scarcity in an item that would otherwise be too powerful to make available normally.

But with more commonly-used items? I'd like that.

hmm

Explain?

I thought Achaea was a single player game... those were people!?  Mindblown.

sarcasm?

Stop making me want to go back and actually play Skyrim.

MUDS are all about programming right? We all program out characters to work in a way we want them to, so yes I think advanced AI would work in MUDS as long as we keep it all text-based still :)

Yes it would, and yes it should.

Until it took over the game and sucked our souls in and held us hostage. *sage*

you'd need to make it pretty smart to deal with multiple people, though

I think the basic concept mentioned could work rather well, not only to enhance the feeling of life in a zone but also to enhance the possibilities of that zone.

 

As an example, there seems to be tendencies to throw some bedrooms around depending on the zone type. If mobs have pathing to a room, you could have say some miners potentially walk (or just port for resources sake) at a certain time during the day to the mess, then to the bed rooms where they get set to a sleeping state in code, then they can wake up, pick a random room from a list and then go there to work that day.

 

This in itself might seem to be boring, not the sort of thing that we'd really notice. But what if we started to have quests the incorporated this concept? NPCs moving around and paying attention to their habits being an element of the quest, not as something that is unique to the quest but a normal fact of life in the game that the player can exploit to their advantage. Sure you could kill everything on sight, but maybe that has consequences?

 

Lusternia has a few things like this, quests that can only be completed at certain times, objects that aren't accessible at others. But sometimes it can feel a bit like a gimmick, not because it's not a cool way to bring perhaps less obvious aspects of the game to light, but because it's only a small handful of quests that involve them, one is a thematic impediment that prevents progress on a quest with rather long time frame for three days. But imagine having to wait a specific time to raid a fortress because the basic behaviors of the mobs will move them out of your way, not because that's how that zone works, but because that's just how mobs work.

 

Sadly, like all things that could be awesome, so much work would be required :(

yeah

Not sure how it would work in a MUD

though the repetition of comments would drive one crazy.

it could!

i think it would rock

i concur

I think it could really work well, and give people a low stress way to advance their skills playing against and intelligent opponent. Text or not, having one attack command and 1 heal command is a little dull when fighting CCC's after awhile

this really would be neat

of course, this could make problems when everyone finishes the same quest, but that's usualy the case anyways

But I doubt that any kind of AI today would be able to beat any Divine led denizen :P

Just sayin', yeah, it's doable. And some muds coming out tonight *coughcough* might have it already.

Ever used a self checkout lane in the grocery store? There's your answer. Please place item back in the bagging area.

AI

Would love to see some innovation in AI of course, but I can't imagine it would be all that great.

While it sounds cool, the IRE MUDs aren't set up for this approach. It's better if IRE sticks to what it's good at: combat. If Jeremy wants a rebuild of the system, that would be interesting to see, but costly in time.

you have a bound credit?

Good read

It could work, in advanced areas. I know some new players would have trouble even with rats.

It would definitely be quite nice to have some better way of discovering quest solutions. Perhaps an npc might say something like "I buried my treasure in this area, but I forgot where I left it!" Then after you dig half the area without success (or just a really low speak chance), the npc might then give a further hint such as "I think it was under a tree." That would really help someone who is spending hours solving what might be one part of many in a quest chain.

would be fun

Agreeeeeeed

It would be nice as long as it is maintained. It would need to be updated though in order for it to not become an aggrivation, for instance a guard might give you a complement when he sees you for the first time in that day but if you pass by 50 times in that day and every time he sees you he says the same thing it would be quite arduious to hear it by the end of the day. I would probably even start avoiding that guard.

free credit

It would be annoying to have a vendor or a particular quest NPC always wandering around from place to place, even though Imperian does have quite a few of those (like the Akrabi Language tutor, for instance, amongst a slew of others). On the other hand, if they could advance AI to these Skyrim levels, (Even though we have a few limited types of the same thing. Like those who will greet a player who is a member of a handful of organizations differently) it would relieve a lot of pressure for moderate and mild roleplay from those who are responsible for helping out with it. I've noticed Imperian floundering from time to time in trying to keep an open-ended communication with organization leaders in an attempt to procure RP opportunities for their groups. Advanced AI could very possibly help with that, to a certain extent, and if done properly, could very well make for exceptional advancement in the game.

 

Mind you, it could always go very much in the other direction, too, so who knows?

No not yet, only in some limited fashion.