The New Action Type That Almost Was

June 5th, 2023 by Diana Coman

The quickly progressing work on euloran vitals and physical characteristics is pushing already the design - and the fun, obviously! - into previously unmentioned and thus entirely uncharted areas. This time it all started easily enough: given that at least some vitals certainly drain with activity, what does unrest truly do to one's wellbeing, what is rest going to even look like and what can one really do -or not do, rather- about it for best results?

As all good questions, the above has, of course, a common-enough answer that isn't much good really but still has to be properly considered, first of all: unrest tends to do more to one's worsebeing rather than to one's wellbeing and rest is certainly needed so introduce a 'rest' action that the player can choose to do whenever they feel like and the game permits! Which sounds reasonable enough and doable enough, to the point where I even sketched out a new addition to that section 7 of 'character actions' in the communications protocol, since it's really not all that difficult to add or use: have another ID, give some duration in hours now that time is ticking away at everyone's lives and use otherwise the existing infrastructure without much trouble at all. It would certainly work too, so what's the problem with adding it, right?

Well, the problem starts with that 'adding' really, since the whole point of having a flexible and generic communications protocol is exactly to have a set of messages and structures that can serve a wide range of uses while being preferably as short as possible1. So any addition to the protocol itself comes with a non-negligible cost and thus with a strong requirement for considering first whether there is indeed enough of a fundamentally significant difference compared with already existing structures to justify a new one2. Unsurprisingly perhaps, it turns out that where euloran rest is concerned, there isn't that strong a case for a new action type as such - or at least not yet!

So then, if resting is both possible and needed in Eulora2 but it's not to be done in the common style of being an action, how is it going to happen? The very simple answer is that it will happen by *effect*. Meaning, specifically, that different items will have a resting effect when consumed or otherwise used (and their use or consumption might take some time, too, possibly).

Further, the above approach to rest implies, of course, that one has to have such an item to even be able to rest at all, which might, at a first encounter, seem quite the alien and possibly harsh imposition (everyone can rest whenever, all they have to do is go to sleep!!), except it's not really - just try it and see how well it goes when you try to rest without having at the very least some reasonably safe (quiet and cosy don't even come into it) place, enough peace of mind and enough food to keep hunger at bay. Rest is indeed basic in the sense that it's a basic requirement for survival not in the sense that it's somehow effortless or a given at all times.

As a side effect of the most positive kind from the above, it follows of course that one would do better to keep an eye on their levels of tiredness - at least in Eulora2, since this is what the context is here. Because if they fail to rest when needed, things aren't likely to go that well and for sure they aren't going to go forever just because it's a game or something. Past a certain point of tiredness, the body would naturally shut down and thus rest indeed of sorts, only it's not all that clear if, when or how one still wakes up from such last-resort rest that is indeed guaranteed and a 'natural right' of everyone3, certainly.

In summary, in Eulora2 you'll live either responsibly or very, very briefly indeed! Practical learning, at its best.

  1. And seriously, I can still fully recall the spidery mess of a 'protocol' that PS originally had and what a pain it was to first work with it at all, then attempt to clean it and finally sideline it enough until one could entirely get rid of it. That experience certainly is more than enough to teach one to NOT rush into adding stuff just because it's possible. 

  2. For the record, such was indeed the case with the Chat additions - while they *could* be fit into the already existing structures, such fit was a very poor one because the types of use are quite different fundamentally and have thus very different requirements. 

  3. Weeell, maybe just about everyone? I don't promise that there won't be any immortals/vampires/rest-impaired creatures in Eulora2! 

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