2022 Lighting Patch
With this patch we're dealing with the longstanding issue of how light works on the mud.
There were a lot of random "features" to the previous lighting system that weren't documented which we found while doing this patch. Additionally, being in a too dark or too bright room rarely had any detrimental effects if you'd memorized the area unless the light were set to extremely low levels which was rare.
While this is going live, we're also willing to tweak things given testing and feedback. Because this touched lighting on the mud that means it touched over 15,000 files across the mud. There are likely to be quirky issues since it would be difficult to have tested absolutely everything.
In our old lighting system if the light level was 0 or less it was dark. If the light was 1 or higher it was lit. Then there was some hazy level where the light was "too bright". There wasn't really much granularity with light. Most dark rooms were just set to 0 so any light source would let you see.
We've codified the light levels better to make sure their effects are more consistent and easier to understand.
New light levels from darkest to brightest and their obvious effects:
- pitch black -- Can't see and hard to access inventory.
- dark -- Can't see and hard to access inventory.
- murky -- Partial vision, but hard to access inventory.
- very dim
- well lit -- Normal room light
- very bright
- dazzling -- Partial vision, but hard to access inventory.
- blinding -- Can't see and hard to access inventory.
- blazing -- Can't see and hard to access inventory.
In the list above the only light levels that would cause issues are at the extremes. For example, both "dark" and "blinding" have the same effect, but at different ends of the spectrum. The same is true with both "murky" and "dazzling".
Light levels from "very dim" to "very bright" should have no obvious effect on your play.
There can be only one
Light sources will no longer be cumulative. In the past if you put 100 flashlights in a room it would raise the light level by 100 times the strength of the flashlight. This could cause problems where people would intentionally blind a room and could possibly require the intervention of coders to fix so players can use that room again.
Now we just look at the strongest light sources. The brightest light and the darkest dark. The difference of those values plus the base room light decides how bright it is.
More powerful light sources will generally be limited duration like smoke bombs or flash grenades.
There are now buffs that can both help and hinder your ability to see depending on the light level. These might start showing up more as we adjust to using the new light system. Certain skills like scout's <vision> and scientist's <bioengineering> will be using these buffs.
In addition, if you're on fire you'll produce light. Why? Because we thought it was funny and it was really easy to add.
Lightsabers vs Flashlights
Due to this patch a lot of Jedi will be suddenly surprised by their sudden need to carry around flashlights. Lightsabers will still provide light, but not enough to bring a "dark" room past "murky". If you need additional light, flashlights are available from many specshops.
If you have 3 people carrying flashlights and a lightsaber walk into a dark room.
Previously, this would be close to "blinding" amounts of light.
Now, the room would be "very bright". We'd simply check for the most powerful light source which would be one of the flashlights and then add that to the room.
You could be holding a dozen flashlights and only the brightest light source would matter.
If a smoke bomb was released in the room, the darkness provided by the smoke bomb would be subtracted from the light provided by the flashlight. The result would be added to the room's light.