Why is there no "emote" command?
We're asked this frequently by folks who are experienced with traditional MUDs, where an "emote" command allows subtle nuances of role-play.
Well — sorry, mates — the answer's technical.
TriadCity is what programmers call "event-driven". Every action performed programmatically by the game world is triggered by some event that precedes it. When you Bow you trigger an event; if the NPC you Bow to has been instructed by world authors to respond to that event, the NPC will perform whatever action has been assigned to it. Frequently that'll be to Bow politely in return — but sometimes something more dramatic will happen, such as when you Bow to the Statue of the King to gain a level. When you try to Steal from someone but fail, an event is triggered. When the victim receives the event, maybe it will attack you, maybe only Frown. Maybe it'll Dance, maybe it'll run away. It's up to the world author. Opening a door triggers an event: maybe something will fall from the ceiling. Even seemingly autonomous movement with no explicit cause is actually triggered by an event: there's a "do behaviors event" which pulses through the entire game world once every second. Technical details are elaborated in this blog post.
From this perspective, the problem with a generic-but-highly-nuance-able Emote command is that it's not possible for the world logic to know precisely what event should be triggered. If you "emote tickle Juliette" does she know she's supposed to stab you in the throat, or ... ? How about "emote bow statue" to the Statue of the King?
Thus the irony would be that while a generic Emote would enable nuanced social interaction, it would result in highly unrealistic outcomes in AI Land.
Our preference instead is to model the social nuances which interest you by adding new commands to the vocabulary. Many of the existing social commands were player requests. We can crank these out quite quickly: if you want 'em, use the suggestions forum to let us know, we can probable have them online for you the next time the server boots.