Reality Levels and WOD Realms

  • Does anyone make good use of these? If so, how have you implemented it in your game and what makes it so successful?

    It seems the MU community at large has a concern (historically, or anecdotally inspired) with the Dark flag, and perhaps some of this has translated to using Reality Levels/WOD Realms, since it allows multiple people to share the same room or allows someone to be in a room without being visible to all players.

  • I don't have an answer here, but have an interest in the answer, so seconding the request for info if nothing else.

  • At Dark Metal, I remember it used to act like its own separate grid. Whereas CoH seemingly put you in the same room but, a different level of reality? I, personally, prefer a mix of both. For instance if there is a way for someone to see into Realities? There needs to be a * by their name or something, or if people are in the same room but different realities? There is a * in place of their name, to let others know they are in an occupied room.

    But what about how necromancy is used for spying, you ask?

    Your players need to be mature, unjaded and realize such games mean they are never alone. Specifically for things like politics. @Ganymede may have some better grip with how to implement that without coming off as weird.

  • It really comes down to staff policy and policing. They can be abused, but so can the dark flag. The realities can be set so staff can see every reality at one hit, which is what I normally do. That way I can see everyone in the room. I also make sure that OOC commands are cross-Reality, so when someone in say 'umbra' uses OOC, it announces to EVERY Reality. I have also been known to put a tag in the room "OOC NOTE: Players present in alternate Reality." without giving any details to protect the players. Sure they might be harmlessly Rping in the Umbra, Hedge, etc. But that way all players are aware there is the possibility they are being watched.

  • Pitcrew

    One of the few places I will give CoH props is the use of reality levels.
    A PC can set themselves to see the appropriate levels and in a mixed scene poses can be made to one reality to simulate things like chimerical or spiritual activities. Same with desc having components to each reality as needed.
    Though all things are set to a base level so for example a wraith PC walks into a bar, everyone sees the PC object enter, if you look at the PC you see whatever nothing here description the player set but those set to see wraith things would see that line as well as the wraith desc.
    For poses the basic ones go to everyone where f: would show to just the fae sighted folks. And w: poses go to just the wraith people etc.

  • Pitcrew

    I have seen it used and implemented well in ages past, but it's been many years. There was a general cultural shift away from letting people spy OOCly due to the ability to spy ICly, and the tools that were built to that specific purpose started seeing considerably less use. It may be used out there somewhere presently, but I am unaware of it.

  • Pitcrew

    Haunted Memories had a bunch of Reality Level stuff configured to allow for things like going in Twlight (using the same grid), the Shadow (with its own grid), and the Hedge (its own grid). In general we didn't really run into trouble, but if I recall correctly the Twilight functionality still allowed people to see you as far as look and stuff, it just showed you differently on 'look' and so on.

    It has been a while, so I don't remember for sure, but I do recall that there was a heavy use of Reality Levels, and it was nice for a lot of stuff.

  • I could be way off, but I'm fairly sure it will be getting used at Fate's Harvest. The purpose, afaik, is to hold and desperate the descriptions for Changelings vs Non-Changelings. Ie, seeing mask vs mein.

    It would not separate out players, but simply descs? Or I could be totally misunderstanding.

  • @skew said in Reality Levels and WOD Realms:

    It would not separate out players, but simply descs? Or I could be totally misunderstanding.

    Realities Levels (version 1) which is on MUX have multiple levels (31 total) where they are literally a different 'reality' from the previous. Descs are just one of the things affected.

    Rhost has a version 2 that also includes override locks meaning you can specify overrides of realities based on a lock, so you could have for example spy glasses that if you wore you could see inside a reality without actually being in that reality.

    Fun stuff like that.

    In essence reality levels give you access into all interactions to and from the reality. There's two points to it.

    An RX level and a TX level. Think networking. RX is what is received. TX is what is transmitted.

    So if you belonged at RX to a reality, say, 'Umbra' and 'Real', and your TX was only 'Real'. This means that only those who are in 'Real' can see you or anything you say or do. However, you can see anything from both Real and Umbra.

    Yes, this means you can set it up so you can transmit on a reality you don't even belong to. Fun stuff.

    This effects everything. Descs, movement, connect/disconnect as well as any type of messaging, looks, contents, exits, movement, $commands, listens, and so forth.
    This will even impact master room and/or zone code and areas that have specific realities.

    It literally tosses you into a pocket dimension for all intents and purposes.

    Hope that helps.

  • @HorrorHound said in Reality Levels and WOD Realms:

    Your players need to be mature, unjaded and realize such games mean they are never alone. Specifically for things like politics. @Ganymede may have some better grip with how to implement that without coming off as weird.

    I spent some time considering how to best implement a mini-game, off-screen political system for Cobalt's project. In doing so, I came to the conclusion that the most genial way to do this is by focusing the mini-game on: (1) gathering resources; (2) acquiring and completing jobs/quests/missions from NPCs; and (3) gradually building up territories.

    RfK's system fell down because it tried to do too much. In addition to the above, you could wrest control of places away from factions, debilitate or destroy territories, and otherwise act in a deleterious fashion. As realistic as this might be, you are encouraging a hostile PvP environment. Managing that in addition to managing the inevitable PvP that arises in a MU* -- especially a WoD MU* -- is difficult, and runs contrary with the general theme of player collaboration in creating and maintaining a welcoming, inviting game environment.

    Barring the absolute automation of every facet of a game, MU*s will not be able to compete or compare with other kinds of online role-playing games. The best way to manage politics between players and characters is to not try to do this.

  • @HorrorHound Putting a designator to indicate someone is there but in another reality is interesting. This would make @conformat more complicated, but I suspect that's already the case for anything that's going to require the rx/txlevels commands. I think indicating presence by substitution may be more important than flagging players that can see into both realities, but I would have to look into abilities or techniques that allow one player to see into another realm without being seen in return.

    @Seamus The OOC note, or something functionally similar, should be relatively easy to implement. With enough work, I imagine it could be limited to a specific ability if one were inclined to represent the ability to sense ghosts or lurking horrors. Would it be jarring to accompany that note with an emit? When involved with a scene, you don't necessarily perform regular looks to see the updated room contents.

    @ThatGuyThere I suspect this may be one of the more successful strategies. It has always seemed like a balancing act between IC and OOC privacy, not just of the scene, but of the character. Someone might not wish to reveal that they could see into the Twilight, and since Twilight already sees back into the base reality, that's fair. Setting your power on or off may be a good way to cut down on those distractions. The Auspex/Obfuscate war might also be helped by this, allowing you to activate a minor level of the power without giving away your full abilities. Were those the commands used to pose for the different levels? I had wondered how to implement the new commands without being obnoxious about it. That seems reasonable.

    @Sunny I have noticed that, which is why I asked. Is there a way that you would be comfortable with it, or a particularly egregious breach that should be watched for? Names aren't important, but the basics might be instructive for what to avoid. For instance, perhaps Reality Levels only work in public spaces. For private locations, such as homes, it's assumed that players are going to work it out for themselves.

    @Apocalycious I vaguely recall that from Haunted Memories, but I didn't play a character who could really take advantage of it. I do think that fully alternate realities should have their own grid, but coterminous realities can rely on the rx/txlevels. After all, it's potentially possible to pull a mundane into those worlds for a story and having them be utterly blinded when they get there would be unhelpful. Was there anything you particularly liked about their use of Reality Levels? This sounds like it might be one of the more successful implementations.

    @skew I believe the TinyMUX implementation uses WOD Realms to hold the alternate descriptions, such as wraithdesc and faedesc. Realms and Reality Levels seem to correlate to two different implementations. Realms holds the descs and allows for limited perceptive differences, such as seeing a character hiding with Obfuscate or peering into the Umbra to see a spirit. Reality Levels appears to take this to its logical extreme and even room descriptions, emits, and other things are given bitwise permissions to determine who and what can perceive them. This sounds like a good use of the Realms code, and I think the faedesc is probably the most common implementation of Realms.

    @Ashen-Shugar Are there any particular issues you would look for in an implementation like that? Thinking of it as a pocket dimension can be instructive, and with diligence, the grid could be shared among users without ever knowing or allowing crosstalk. I think it might be interesting to use it for time travel, which would be unlikely to have peering or multi-dimensional characters.

  • Pitcrew

    I logged in to check, and HM has rlevels:

    Level: real         Value: 0x00000001   Desc: desc-interpreter
    Level: shadow       Value: 0x00000002   Desc: shadow-desc
    Level: invis        Value: 0x00000004   Desc: desc-interpreter
    Level: twilight     Value: 0x00000008   Desc: desc-interpreter
    Level: all          Value: 0x0000000f   Desc: desc-interpreter

    The Hedge was not actually an rlevel, just a different grid. The Shadow one was useful because the rooms were all the same in the Shadow, but it allowed for different descs in shadow/real. Extensive use was made of it, and most of the main grid rooms and many builds had shadow-descs set.

    If I recall correctly, early on the Twilight one did make people invisible except to other people in Twilight. I never made much use of it (and it didn't get used very much in general), so I don't remember if those policies changed with time, or what they changed to. I don't remember the invis one getting used at all.

  • @Apocalycious Thank you for looking into the Haunted Memories implementation. It seems like there are some positive implementation of WOD Realms and Reality Levels. Were there any issues that came up because of this?

  • Pitcrew

    None that I recall, unless it was from a coding perspective. I wasn't a coder on HM (though I do have access to the code), so I don't have any insight to offer on the actual implementation and any problems it had.

  • Pitcrew


    I was just answering the question that was asked. I was very intentional in not offering how I personally feel about it.

  • I'm curious about using them for a project, but I would want the kind of conformat mods mentioned and so on to avoid some OOC spying concerns. I've looked at it, but am not code-savvy enough to really have a clue.

    My ideal: if your charbit can see what's going on somewhere (and you're either present or somehow scrying on that location), if you can be seen IC, all's normal; if you can see what's going on somewhere and can't be seen IC, your name appears in brackets. Until I can figure out if that's possible and get it done if it is, I'm not planning to use it.

    Yes, people change their behavior when they're observed. But also, yes, some people do some seriously shady things if they think they can observe others wherever and whenever and never be made known that are less about IC character goals and more about being horrible/creepy/stalky/paranoid people. I see it as a compromise.

  • @surreality You could do brackets. It's not unlike making dark staff visible to other dark staff, but not players or showing the destination DBREF of an exit to builders but not others. Why [John Doe] in the contents list instead of [A Presence] or some other anonymizing tag?

  • @Hexagon That's a possibility, sure.

    I would probably avoid that specific one, however, since the notification is not IC, and that has an IC vibe to it. [Another Player] is more likely what I'd aim for if I went with that, since that is more obviously an OOC notification, for OOC information only.

  • Fair Warning: The TinyMUX reality level system has, at last check, issues parsing substitutions, most used of which are %r and %t. From what I can tell, %t is converted to spaces (as usual) and those spaces are parsed in the typcal Mux output so compressed down to one space. %r is parsed but %r%r is reduced to %r.

    I found a way around this, coming down to using a global function in the 'other desc' slot. I would have to look up how this worked.

    I've coded for reality levels, and it can be a pain; remember to code the OOC discussion system to honor the reality levels!

    Some stated "reality levels" such as Dark Metal's Umbra or Haunted Memories' Hedge are actually a different grid. Which is fair because they are an entirely different world.

  • @Thenomain Thank you for the warning about substitution parsing. Separate grids lends itself well to most instances, but I can see situations where peering and Twilight are useful.

Log in to reply