Common crawl problems


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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:31

Common crawl problems

While having a break from crawl I played other games and now I see what makes me feel unwilling to play crawl again.

1) Luring.
No matter what character you play you should always retreat before fighting, it is extremely
a) time consuming
b) boring
c) repetitive.
Is there any way how we can solve this issue? My suggestion is to temporarily decrease slaying and spell power when running away from monsters. The longer you run the worse your slaying and spell power become. This way you can still use running as escape tool but luring as tactics becomes inefficient. Of course the effect should not instantly disappear when you turn around a corner, it should gradually return back to normal when you are not retreating.
If shouting near a corner is a problem, shouting can trigger the same negative effect (equivalent of retreating 6-7 tiles with monster in LoS).

2) Popcorn fight with melee/launcher. Again time consuming, boring and repetitive. For instance, you can spend many turns killing Orcs in Mines without any danger. There should be a slowly increasing negative effect for fighting too long. Some ideas: regeneration slows and eventually stops, accuracy penalty, EV penalty, AC penalty. The effect increases every time you kill a harmless/weak monster and decreases after spending N consecutive turns without melee/launcher attacks (throwing counts as launcher attack here). Notice that it means that when fighting Orc Warlord and plain Orcs you should try to kill Orc Warlord first but it will not be that easy because you cannot retreat without a penalty (see first point above).

3) All tiles are the same, there are no tiles where you get +/- AC or +/- EV or +/- MR or even something as cardinal as +/-action speed or have a chance to waste a turn etc. It is boring and repetitive, you fight the same monsters again and again in the same circumstances. When you are caught in bad area you should not be able to just run and find a better place to fight like you do now, fortunately first point helps here too.

4) MP regeneration. Casters are the least fun characters, with rangers you at least can use autoexplore to pickup all missiles (or play "no mulch" branch). Casters retreat too much. I think they can benefit from Vehumet-like effect when you get some MP back for kills. It should not give as much MP as Vehumet gives but still can help to stay longer in the fight and retreat less. To fix problem with potentially too long fights like currently happens with melee/ranged, it can be a similar slowly increasing penalty for killing weak/harmless monsters. Natural MP regeneration can slow down and stop like I suggest for regeneration in second point.

5) Spells. You should not be able to have regeneration, repel missiles or statue form always active. It is boring, time consuming and repetitive again. Player should make decisions - do I want to have Repel Missiles vs that Draconian pack on Zot 5 or should I keep it inactive in order to activate it later vs Ancient Lich if I meet it? I suggest to make all those spells incur Draining or have cooldown before being able to activate it again (like Exh does for berserk). This solves old problem with "recast RMsl while autoexploring" from 0.12 without introducing "I always learn RMsl and have it active" problems of 0.16.

Main problem I see with crawl is that it has a few tactical decisions. Strategic decisions like what skill to train and what spell to learn are fine. If we remove luring from current game, we have nothing interesting left, basically it's "try to kill the monster and be ready to escape if it does not work". This is boring, we should have more decisions without unobvious answers: should I retreat to a better tile, should I cast the spell now, should I attack with the weapon? Basically we should have more XL 27 characters die to rat packs. Probably scrolls of teleportation/blinking etc. should be made more common to compensate for increased difficulty.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:38

Re: Common crawl problems

I like luring - you don't have to use it vs. every single monster... though I suppose it's optimal to do so, which makes it A Very Bad Thing from design philosophy standpoint.

Water/lava tiles are different.

I also don't feel strongly about popcoirn fights because Tab exists (it's probably a huge problem for people who wish to play a pure caster, though.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:50

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:I like luring - you don't have to use it vs. every single monster... though I suppose it's optimal to do so, which makes it A Very Bad Thing from design philosophy standpoint.

Water/lava tiles are different.

I also don't feel strongly about popcoirn fights because Tab exists (it's probably a huge problem for people who wish to play a pure caster, though.


What do you like about luring?
Especially normal speed ghosts/zombies are annoying, you basically always want to get to stairs before fighting something dangerous.

Water/lava is not enough for me, they are rare and are not that great when other games have tiles with relevant tactical effects and which make every fight distinct.
Tab still wastes real time and has potential problem to miss "Foo comes into view". I assume while tabbing you are thinking "when will it end and something interesting start happening?" like I am.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:53

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:3) All tiles are the same, there are no tiles where you get +/- AC or +/- EV or +/- MR or even something as cardinal as +/-action speed or have a chance to waste a turn etc.


The only good example of this is a water tile as a Merfolk (or Octopode?) player.

Having these sort of tiles increases problem #1, Luring, as the player tries to get the monster to a tile advantageous to the player.

If these tile locations were made very common, then it would be more acceptable, as that would decrease the "need" (or at least, distance necessaruy) for luring in this case.

Sandman25 wrote:4) MP regeneration.


MP regeneration speed should have enhancers (item and mutation) like standard HP regeneration works. I've said this before (I'll let duvessa hunt down the post where I said it).
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:54

Re: Common crawl problems

I don't know, luring is a natural tactic and I don't overuse it - I don't lure every trivial enemy to the stairs. I do that often with ghosts but ghosts are often not trivial.
Sandman25 wrote:I assume while tabbing you are thinking "when will it end and something interesting start happening?" like I am.

I usually don't think much when playing Crawl. ;)

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 17:58

Re: Common crawl problems

XuaXua wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:3) All tiles are the same, there are no tiles where you get +/- AC or +/- EV or +/- MR or even something as cardinal as +/-action speed or have a chance to waste a turn etc.


The only good example of this is a water tile as a Merfolk (or Octopode?) player.

Having these sort of tiles increases problem #1, Luring, as the player tries to get the monster to a tile advantageous to the player.

If these tile locations were made very common, then it would be more acceptable, as that would decrease the "need" (or at least, distance necessaruy) for luring in this case.

Sandman25 wrote:4) MP regeneration.


MP regeneration speed should have enhancers (item and mutation) like standard HP regeneration works. I've said this before (I'll let duvessa hunt down the post where I said it).


Sorry, I should have made it more clear. All those points don't work without point 1 implemented first, penalty for killing popcorn when you can safely retreat anytime would make crawl even more "retreat based" and adding special tiles when you can freely get to them is an extremely bad idea too. This currently happens with merfolk who can lure every normal speed extremely dangerous monster to a lake and kite it safely there. MP regen items don't solve casters problem completely (long fights are still impossible without channeling) but it is a good move into right direction, I like it.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 18:02

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:I usually don't think much when playing Crawl. ;)


Yes, you said it better than I tried to do it in the OP :) Crawl does not require thinking for good play.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 18:04

Re: Common crawl problems

My suggestion is to stop trying to play optimally if it is not fun for you. Play in a way that you enjoy. Some comments:

No matter what character you play you should always retreat before fighting
Don't do it if it is not fun.

Popcorn fight with melee/launcher. Again time consuming, boring and repetitive. For instance, you can spend many turns killing Orcs in Mines without any danger.
Orchish mines is the only place in Crawl where I think less popcorn would be good. Just reducing the proportion of plain orcs there would suffice, imo.

When you are caught in bad area you should not be able to just run and find a better place to fight like you do now
I disagree.

Casters retreat too much
Don't retreat so much then. Just take a few steps back and press '5'. If you get interrupted, well, you have an interesting situation at hand.

Spells. You should not be able to have regeneration, repel missiles or statue form always active.
Well, there has been a lot of talk about changing buff spells...

I think the base problem is that it is very hard to balance Crawl so that it would be fun to play for newbies, casual players and optimally playing Mu-of-Chei-streakers :)
...SENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEE{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}
{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}
DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNe

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 18:11

Re: Common crawl problems

Sprucery wrote:My suggestion is to stop trying to play optimally if it is not fun for you. Play in a way that you enjoy. Some comments:
No matter what character you play you should always retreat before fighting


I can't enjoy losing a character that I know I could have saved easily if I was playing more optimally.

Orchish mines is the only place in Crawl where I think less popcorn would be good. Just reducing the proportion of plain orcs there would suffice, imo.


Many weak/harmless monsters are popcorn, many characters spam tab in Crypt/Elf/Dungeon and even Zot.

I disagree.


Why? Is it good that there are no bad places for fighting?

Don't retreat so much then. Just take a few steps back and press '5'. If you get interrupted, well, you have an interesting situation at hand.


Again "I can't enjoy losing a character that I know I could have saved easily if I was playing more optimally."

I think the base problem is that it is very hard to balance Crawl so that it would be fun to play for newbies, casual players and optimally playing Mu-of-Chei-streakers :)


I disagree. This is very easy to implement but it is in "won't do" list.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 18:43

Re: Common crawl problems

1) I like this idea.
2) How does this work? If while killing popcorn, you get a slaying malus, then it goes away after a bit, I will just press "5" occasionally. Also, orc is a rather special case. I don't Tab like orc too much elsewhere. Certainly not in Depths or Zot.
3) Not sure what you're saying here. But 1 will help for 3 as well
4) There is channeling, Vehumet, Ru etc. Also "casters" can pick off weakened monsters with a weapon after they run out of MP. Soften enemies from a distance, and close it off with a weapon etc. I don't see this as a big problem.
5) repel missiles is different. In my experiences, regeneration has very low duration, even at moderate spellpower. If you keep casting it on "caster" types, you will have much less MP to kill monsters. I recently played a lot of VpEn of Kiku with a lot of Necro training, and I had to cast regen constantly. I don't keep statue form on at all times, indeed I rarely use it. The large amount of XP required to get it online, and the slow status is enough of a drawback.

Sandman25 wrote: If we remove luring from current game, we have nothing interesting left, basically it's "try to kill the monster and be ready to escape if it does not work".

I don't see what else there could be. If you can't kill the monster, you have to escape, logically speaking. What else is there?

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:13

Re: Common crawl problems

About luring, I agree that it is boring and optimal, which is bad from design philosophy point of view.

As I said, I like the idea proposed in the OP. Some other ideas:
a) Monsters who notice you, shout, and alert other monsters of your location. So killer bee packs and yak packs would become much more deadly. Even ordinary monsters could be more deadly if there is a tough monster nearby. There could be more teleport and blink scrolls to compensate.
b) Increase monster spawn rate (perhaps near LoS) and/or reduce regeneration rate when you're on already-visited-tiles, compared to when uncovering new tiles. Right now, since food is plentiful, it is often possible to heal to full HP/MP after every dangerous fight. Food is not really an effective clock to keep people moving forward.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:15

Re: Common crawl problems

bel wrote:2) How does this work? If while killing popcorn, you get a slaying malus, then it goes away after a bit, I will just press "5" ocassionally.?


Yes, a single popcorn stays harmless but packs of popcorn become dangerous. This is how it works in other games and IRL.

Certainly not in Depths or Zot.

It depends on combo of course. The best example is GrBe in CPA.

3) Not sure what you're saying here. But 1 will help for 3 as well


I am playing a game where tiles can be forest, swamp, hill, plain. All these terrain types have associated bonuses/penalties and have different move costs (unless the monster/character is flying). It could be something like this:
1) forest increases EV vs ranged targets, decreases spell range
2) hill increases AC vs melee attacks, increases spell range, movement speed is halved unless you are flying
3) swamp has AC penalty, melee damage penalty, movement speed is 33% of normal unless you are flying


4) There is channeling, Vehumet, Ru etc. Also "casters" can pick off weakened monsters with a weapon after they run out of MP. Soften enemies from a distance, and close it off with a weapon etc. I don't see this as a big problem.


Yes, all casters in crawl should be hybrids for effective play. The workaround "pick a weapon" is caused by current MP behavior.

5) repel missiles is different. In my experiences, regeneration has very low duration, even at moderate spellpower. If you keep casting it on "caster" types, you will have much less MP to kill monsters. I recently played a lot of VpEn of Kiku with a lot of Necro training, and I had to cast regen constantly. I don't keep statue form on at all times, indeed I rarely use it. The large amount of XP required to get it online, and the slow status is enough of a drawback.


Channeling allows to ignore the MP cost, also channeling leads to even more annoying/degenerative game, some players even automate channeling. My melee characters spend about 30% of real time it takes me to win a caster. My main point is "we should have more decisions regarding spells", currently it does not happen as often as it could be. A good example of my thinking would be if player would not be able to cancel forms or enter statue form immediately after hydra form expires.

I don't see what else there could be. If you can't kill the monster, you have to escape, logically speaking. What else is there?


Movement to different tile (different from luring), buffs, debuffs, weapon swaps, god abilities. Decisions should be made about what to do and when, every decision should have pros and cons. For example, I encounter a Yaktaur and have choice what to do right now:
1) cast RMsl which has some small duration (10-20 turns) and then I will be unable to cast RMsl during 30-50 turns
2) retreat 2 tiles back to a forest tile with "ranged EV +5" bonus, get -1 slaying/-5% spell power and start casting Bolt of Fire
3) cast Bolt of Fire immediately
4) cast Flight for small duration (10-20 turns) and retreat behind a swamp tile so the Yaktaur cannot see me because it will spend 3 turns to cross the swamp which I crossed in 1 turn (I will be unable to cast Flight during 30-50 turns of course)
5) retreat 10 tiles behind a corner and attack in melee with -5 slaying
6) charge forward for melee attack (with +2 slaying bonus for moving 7 tiles without changing direction)
7) throw some missiles like javelins or use wands

As you see I would be happy if crawl was a more tactical game and the decisions depended more on the terrain.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:17

Re: Common crawl problems

In many cases, not just Crawl, ideal performances lead to tedium (i.e. repetitive, worklike tasks). This is natural: if you try to eke out every little bit, you have to grind the numbers etc. (I have seen this in tower defense games, strategy games and abstract games). I don't think the underlying problem is solvable with design -- you want a game that's cool & fun for casual gamers, but then your hardcore players will complain a lot (and rightly so from their point of view) about a whole bunch of stuff.

That said, I completely disagree with your 3). It is good that tiles are generally the same. If they aren't (for example in 100 Rogues), then you *encourage* luring, namely luring monsters to those preferable places.

Regeneration over time (HP or MP, doesn't matter) is unfortunate design. I've tried to a bit to shake this up, with little success. In short, this mechanic is too entranched into this fossil game to get rid of. If I were to design a roguelike from scratch, I'd make sure that waiting does not have any advantages. (So healing would come from consumables, or something else.)

Spells and popcorn monsters are being discussed and addressed, certainly slower than you'd like, but these are nowhere on the same fundamental level as the other problems.

I'd like to say once more that Crawl is intentionally a big game. You (as a player) pay for this with redundancy and some tedium (large levels to explore, many not so interesting fights), but you gain a bit of strategical depth. I believe that size is necessary (but not sufficient) for this kind of depth. (If you know the board game Go, compare 9x9, 13x13 and 19x19 to get an idea where I am coming from.) Thinking about skill plans, god changes, branch choices is fun, and it requires some size.

Added a bit later: I don't think that the quick solutions suggested here will work. Crawl is a huge game, and I don't think we will do sweeping changes like this on a whim. (By comparison, the square los change or cutting a branch in half are much more modest and controlled.) However, these things might be interesting to see in a branch or fork.
Last edited by dpeg on Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:11, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:24

Re: Common crawl problems

dpeg wrote:That said, I completely disagree with your 3). It is good that tiles are generally the same. If they aren't (for example in 100 Rogues), then you *encourage* luring, namely luring monsters to those preferable places.


Progressive penalty for retreating makes it a bad idea to retreat to optimal terrain unless the tile is really close.
If you have some forest 2 tiles away, you can want to retreat to it if you are happy to trade -1 slaying for +5 EV. But if the tile is 20 tiles away, you are very unlikely to be willing to trade -10 slaying for +5 EV. Also you will have the penalty for some time even when you move away from the good tile (by teleport or running if something goes wrong). Retreating is never for free. Also in this example forest takes 2 turns to enter and the Yaktaur can shoot.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:27

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman: Yes, that makes sense -- like in CoSims (war games) or some strategy games. However, I don't think that the absence of such features is the most pressing problem of Crawl :)

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:29

Re: Common crawl problems

dpeg wrote:Sandman: Yes, that makes sense -- like in CoSims (war games) or some strategy games. However, I don't think that the absence of such features is the most pressing problem of Crawl :)


Yes, I agree. The most pressing problem is "luring as optimal play".

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:42

Re: Common crawl problems

1. Just make all enemies faster than the average player.

2. That would just force you to retreat, stair dance and rest more often. Just stop spawning helpless and easy monsters.

3. I could see this being fun if luring, especially between floors, wasn't so easy, But as things stand now it would be tedious. As Xua mentioned we see this in merfolk, and it's rather easy and incredibly tedious to drag things like orc warriors across several floor to kill them in water.

4. That's purely your personal preference I love playing casters far more than melee oriented characters.

5. Using an exhaustion like timer wouldn't work, you can just rest it off and still have the spell every fight. We see this on invis/haste with contamination. However, an experience based timer like the one on lamps of fire could be interesting.


Sandman25 wrote:I am playing a game where tiles can be forest, swamp, hill, plain. All these terrain types have associated bonuses/penalties and have different move costs (unless the monster/character is flying). It could be something like this:
1) forest increases EV vs ranged targets, decreases spell range
2) hill increases AC vs melee attacks, increases spell range, movement speed is halved unless you are flying
3) swamp has AC penalty, melee damage penalty, movement speed is 33% of normal unless you are flying

Movement to different tile (different from luring), buffs, debuffs, weapon swaps, god abilities. Decisions should be made about what to do and when, every decision should have pros and cons. For example, I encounter a Yaktaur and have choice what to do right now:
1) cast RMsl which has some small duration (10-20 turns) and then I will be unable to cast RMsl during 30-50 turns
2) retreat 2 tiles back to a forest tile with "ranged EV +5" bonus, get -1 slaying/-5% spell power and start casting Bolt of Fire
3) cast Bolt of Fire immediately
4) cast Flight for small duration (10-20 turns) and retreat behind a swamp tile so the Yaktaur cannot see me because it will spend 3 turns to cross the swamp which I crossed in 1 turn (I will be unable to cast Flight during 30-50 turns of course)
5) retreat 10 tiles behind a corner and attack in melee with -5 slaying
6) charge forward for melee attack (with +2 slaying bonus for moving 7 tiles without changing direction)
7) throw some missiles like javelins or use wands


It sound like with this type of system you would just keep retreating until completely disengaged and resetting each battle until you got optimal conditions. I'm curious what game you're playing and how they are able to prevent complete resets.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:56

Re: Common crawl problems

I agree that the luring issue is bad. As I see it, there are two primary causes: Over-randomized combat and the noise system.

In most games, you can make a determination about whether you can take on a given opponent in a given situation. Crawl has an unusually ragged edge here due to highly random combat outcomes. Extreme luring and kiting, the kind that is unique to crawl, is a form of scumming in disguise. What you're trying to do is give yourself the opportunity to withdraw or kite if you take a bad hit and re-engage later hoping for a good hit to decide the encounter. It is a repetitive action taken to manipulate random outcomes -- classic scumming. This could be cleaned up by reducing miss rates and making damage distributions reasonably normally distributed around their averages.

The noise system plays a role here by providing monsters with a powerful means of creating situations where you can't effectively perform the kind of kiting and luring needed for safe play. The shouting monster is an overly blunt method of producing this behavior that can be exploited with silly luring tricks. If monsters are supposed to come at you in groups, this should be part of their AI, not some emergent property of the way noise works. You should not be able to split groups of orcs just by retreating and manipulating LoS -- if that makes current orc groups unbalanced, then that's the issue to look at. Shouting monsters should not be bringing half a level of monsters down on you if you aren't carefully luring everything back 10 squares as optimal play demands. Basically, monster communication needs to be decoupled from how noise mechanics.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 19:59

Re: Common crawl problems

@dpeg: the first and last paragraphs of your post repeat.

Most of the issues in OP can be solved completely by introducing a stamina bar along with HP and MP. I'm sure you could figure out how it might work, and it can even replace the food system. It's the easiest way, all you have to do is overhaul the whole game and integrate it with all the other Crawl mechanics. :P

Different floor tiles are great, but I dislike having more rules for ground that are just... arbitrary. I think the lava and water tiles are good enough: we should just have more of them. Dungeons can be very damp places. You can have drips and large pools of water all around the dungeon. Deeper down you can have rivers of lava everywhere, with bridges. Water/lava could be made more interactive. Add a skill: swimming.

What games are you playing now, Sandman?

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:00

Re: Common crawl problems

phobetor wrote:1. Just make all enemies faster than the average player.


It does not help, I retreat even as Na of Chei. Retreating should impose some penalty to fighting abilities, I don't see other way.

2. That would just force you to retreat, stair dance and rest more often. Just stop spawning helpless and easy monsters.

Having only dangerous and extremely dangerous monsters is kind of boring too. It means you cannot fight 3+ monsters in a row at all.

3. I could see this being fun if luring, especially between floors, wasn't so easy, But as things stand now it would be tedious. As Xua mentioned we see this in merfolk, and it's rather easy and incredibly tedious to drag things like orc warriors across several floor to kill them in water..


If merfolk had a penalty for retreating, luring would not be a no-brainer. Stairdancing is a different issue and is problematic too, having 20+ monsters in LoS near stairs is not a serious problem unless they have smiting/torment or stair-locking. I've seen good players select stairs with minimal number of surrounding tiles to enter a new level just because of stairdancing.

4. That's purely your personal preference I love playing casters far more than melee oriented characters.

You have wrong impression about my preferences :)
This is why I am suggesting to make casters less painful, they spend too much time retreating to safety, channeling mana, resting, casting Necromutation ... :)

5. Using an exhaustion like timer wouldn't work, you can just rest it off and still have the spell every fight. We see this on invis/haste with contamination. However, an experience based timer like the one on lamps of fire could be interesting.


Yes, it could be more interesting indeed. But please keep in mind that all my suggestions are linked together, and especially with first point. Exhaustion timers become more meaningful when you cannot have permanent Repel Missile/Statue Form while auto exploring and can't mindlessly fight popcorn while waiting. Crawl can become more attrition-wars-like when you gradually become weaker over many battles, you cannot retreat to safety (or heal near popcorn) as easily.

It sound like with this type of system you would just keep retreating until completely disengaged and resetting each battle until you got optimal conditions. I'm curious what game you're playing and how they are able to prevent complete resets.


It's eador. The problem with resetting each battle is solved by being unable to retreat from a battle there, the map is small enough so you would have to have a speed advantage to run away during 40 turns or so before battle time expires. Even if you do it, you have just wasted 1 turn on strategy map (AI opponents could have won a battle and got some resources/loot/XP or captured territory)
Last edited by Sandman25 on Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:05, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:02

Re: Common crawl problems

@mps: So basically you don't like Crawl and want to play another game but you don't want to play another game so you want Crawl to be completely changed? (This goes for Sandman also, I suppose.)

Also, luring is usually not done because you don't know the outcome of fighting a single monster (if battle goes wrong you will probably use a consumable to fix that). It's done because you want to ensure that you'll be fighting that monster 1 one 1 (you touch on that in the second part of your post).

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:09

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:@mps: So basically you don't like Crawl and want to play another game but you don't want to play another game so you want Crawl to be completely changed? (This goes for Sandman also, I suppose.)

Also, luring is usually not done because you don't know the outcome of fighting a single monster (if battle goes wrong you will probably use a consumable to fix that). It's done because you want to ensure that you'll be fighting that monster 1 one 1 (you touch on that in the second part of your post).


Don't get me wrong, crawl is still the best game I've ever played. I am just very tired of spending hours on luring, popcorn fighting and pressing 5. Even if I can stop myself from luring, there is no way to prevent fighting popcorn or channeling/resting for MP regen (except wizmode maybe, but it destroys all monsters on the current level as far as I know, not only those in LoS).

Edit. Speaking of eador, it has a function when current battle is automatically resolved when you press a specific key and the key can be pressed even during actual fight any time. It is almost ideal solution for popcorn fighting. Another almost ideal solution is "autoplay" when AI takes control of your character and you see how it fights (and you can stop it and regain control of the character if AI does something wrong). Also it has ideal solution for popcorn fighting: monsters are destroyed if they are too weak for you and you allow them to be destroyed before the fight even begins, you still get XP and loot. So eador has 3 different ways to automate popcorn fights, crawl has none (tab is not automatic, you still need to press tab many times).
Last edited by Sandman25 on Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:18

Re: Common crawl problems

What I think is that crawl has issues that can be corrected through new thinking and that correcting the problems would be better than someone going off and writing an entirely new game that gets these things right from the start, since in all likelihood no one would play that new game -- that's just how these things work.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:18

Re: Common crawl problems

But apart from gear, spell and skill choices Crawl is pretty much breaking packs and luring monsters. That's it, that's the core of the game. That's what separates people who splat MiBes in Lair and can't get a caster to Temple from the ones who have reasonable winrates.
Sandman25 wrote:a function when a current battle is automatically resolved when you press a specific key

Literally what tab does!

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:28

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:a function when a current battle is automatically resolved when you press a specific key

Literally what tab does!


No, there is no tab in eador.
Eador has 3 ways:
1) You are XL 27 GrFi, Goblin enters view. Goblin is scared and wants to flee, allow it to flee (y/n)? If y, goblin flees, you get its loot and half XP. If no, you fight it. The battle starts. (if you face a dragon instead of goblin, it is not scared and battle begins without any prompts).
2) Battle starts, you see that your overestimated the dragon (or goblin) and you can kill it easily. So you press a single key (not spam tab like in crawl), and the battle is automatically and instantly resolved. Internally AI takes control of your character and it still does all those turn per turn spell casts, melee attacks, weapon swaps etc., you just don't see it and it happens very fast with modern CPUs (less than a second usually).
3) Battles starts, you cast some buffs, hit the dargon etc., now the dragon is heavily dead, there are some weak monsters and you think it is an easy battle now but you are not absolutely sure about that so you press another key and AI takes control of your character. AI does the same as in point 2 except you see everything what happens on the battlefield and you can take control back to you if something goes wrong (you underestimated the weak monsters and they healed the dragon, for example).

Basically it means that all real time in eador I spend on meaningful decisions, not on channeling, popcorn fighting or luring.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:31

Re: Common crawl problems

Come on, you understand what I'm saying. Obviously you can't do one-battle battle resolving in Crawl because monsters can (and will!) join in the fun. Crawl isn't modal.

You don't really need to spam Tab anyway, you just hold it until the enemies are dead or you're below safe threshold.

Edit: I don't think you can go away with trivial battles completely in a game like Crawl, which has chars ranging from DDBe to MuCK. I do think that spawn lists should be trimmed though, and that happens from time to time. We no longer get centipedes in Lair (or at all!), or hounds, etc.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:34

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:Come on, you understand what I'm saying. Obviously you can't do one-battle battle resolving in Crawl because monsters can (and will!) join in the fun. Crawl isn't modal.


Why not? The autofight can stop when you reach autofight_warning threshold or some other monster "comes into view".
Oh, wait, I already can hold tab because I have both autofight warning and "comes into view" warning. But it can kill me because unfortunately "comes into view again" patch has not been accepted yet so I can be killed by that Erolcha from whom I retreated earlier.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:39

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:Edit: I don't think you can go away with trivial battles completely in a game like Crawl, which has chars ranging from DDBe to MuCK. I do think that spawn lists should be trimmed though, and that happens from time to time. We no longer get centipedes in Lair (or at all!), or hounds, etc.


Yes, option "generate actually dangerous monsters instead of popcorn" could be fun. Though it is technically kind of difficulty level which is in "won't do".

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:40

Re: Common crawl problems

I don't think a "tab until you reach the threshold or a monster enters view" button would be hard to implement. Kind of like a dumbed down qw. The advantage of tab is that it's granular and easily understandable.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:42

Re: Common crawl problems

Yes, that would be a good start.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 20:50

Re: Common crawl problems

I've been playing a TON of Tomb of the Necrodancer lately, which is probably the most pure position awareness game I've ever played and it's given me quite a few thoughts on this.

Directly in response to OP:

1) Luring.
I think one fairly big problem with luring is that later D levels are more open and more prone to enemy spam. It's one of the reasons I love Vaults 1-4: The room-hallway layout means that you rarely can safely lure one or two monsters away unless you are extremely careful, but you can fall back in more tactical ways, and the various guards all make it difficult to lure. Later in the game, it's more "There are 10 deep trolls and one ancient lich, let's run around until I can get just the ancient lich up some stairs."

I also think the general trend of faster monsters is beneficial.

Other ideas:

a). Enemies that encourage you to engage them ASAP. I actually love finding spores on a level because having that tension of "the longer I wait, the more dangerous this situation gets" is pretty cool and unique to that enemy. More on this later.

b). Modification to the stealth/sound system. This is a much more passive suggestion, but i think it would be better if characters were overall stealthier, but monsters slept lighter. So, there would be less of a binary of awake/asleep, but have more of an in between of "the monster is awake and wandering but doesn't see me" so retreat is more of a viable option for people who want to scout and find a better angle of attack.

c). New monster motion: patrol. I don't think this would be too hard to do for certain cases, but I could be wrong. Have some intelligent monsters move in a set pattern in a room or location. Patrolling monsters can hear you easily, and walk towards you, but don't necessarily see you right away, so you can pull an orcish sentry away from a group of orcs in the typical luring sense, but as a tactical action more than a generic strategy. If the sentry spots you, you get marked, so then you can't rely on luring the strongest enemies away.

Additionally, patrol would allow you do follow a group of enemies and plan when to attack, rather than running into a group, them all being instantly active, and you running off to the stairs every five minutes.

2) Popcorn fight with melee/launcher.
I'll agree with basically everyone: Orc is the only place where this gets super problematic for me.

3) All tiles are the same
Static bonus/malus tiles are problematic for the usual luring/retreating reasons. But, I think there are dynamic ways of doing this. Currently, statues are almost a form of malus tile in that they define an area that is less optimal to fight in. I think there are ways to do unique tiles in specifically combat situations to avoid the lure/retreat issue.

a). Going back to my suggestion for luring a), enemies that require early attention. Enemies that spread some form of malus tile around them would encourage you to deal with them early or become zoned out.

b.) Reactive malus tiles. Crypt of the Necrodancer has an enemy called the Ooze Golem. When you hit it, it permanently makes the square underneath you tainted so that you can't attack while standing on it. While this wouldn't work for crawl, you could have an enemy that generates, say, a 5x5 square around you when you hit it that makes your footsteps noisier. So, the longer the fight takes, the more likely you are to draw enemies closer, but you are also de-incentivized to drag it around the map.

c.) Risky/Temporary bonus tiles. My two ideas for this were statues of Light and statues of Silence. When you get within LoS of either, they have a radius that has the halo/silence effect respectively, that diminishes over time. So, fighting in them has both a pro and a con, you can trigger them accidentally making them a form of trap, you can use them intentionally if you have spotted some strong magic enemies or some very evasive enemies nearby (see luring section for encouraging more effective player scouting behavior), or you can ignore them entirely if you don't want to deal with that crap.

4) MP regeneration.
5) Spells.

Both of these issues come from a similar source I feel: A caster WILL occasionally need to hit things and thus needs to train some form of weapon, and most fighters will want to cast some spells.

My suggestion would be to have Spellpower not just increase MP, but also reduce MP costs at high levels. If a mage is using Throw Flame as their default spell for popcorn, having it cost zero MP doesn't really matter at a certain point in the game except for making them retreat and rest more often if something bigger comes around. I would have the breakpoints be nonlinear with something along the lines of -1mp at 9 Spellpower, -2mp at 15 Spellpower, -3 at 24 Spellpower, and -4 at 27 Spellpower. This would get your default blasty spell free moderately early on, without making higher level spells too powerful too fast. This could also be done accompanying a lower max MP pool.

I would also have only one charm castable at a time personally, with a small cooldown between switching, but charms are such a big bag of worms.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 21:23

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:While having a break from crawl I played other games and now I see what makes me feel unwilling to play crawl again.

@Sandman25, have you tried TOME? I would recommend it based on both this thread and your wish to have more numerical transparency. It isn't a perfect roguelike (indeed, it has some glaring issues) but it's a great game and I suspect you'd have fun with it. It has a lot of numbers.
Sandman25 wrote:1) Luring.

It's become a cliche to suggest that speed 10 melee-only monsters are non-threats and should be removed. I wouldn't go so far as to make that claim, but I do think making monsters slightly faster than the player while removing randomized energy would make the luring aspect of fights more interesting. Instead of being allowed to pull monsters arbitrarily far the player would have a tactical decision to make: where should I fight the monster if it will start to hit me within 1-2 (say) screens? Implementing such a mechanic would highlight problems with crawl's level generation but I suspect it would also illuminate how good it already is.

Sandman25 wrote:2) Popcorn fight with melee/launcher.

I completely agree that this is a major problem. There are some ways to tackle it, including yours, but none is simple. Some ideas aside from yours: A comprehensive rebalancing and shortening of the game to remove most trivial fights, replacing easy fights with hard ones (which would make the game much harder, probably undesirable), scaling monster strength with player experience (I do not favor this solution).
Sandman25 wrote:3) All tiles are the same,

I do not think this is a major problem, and what dpeg says is a definite issue. If my point under 1) was implemented then luring arbitrarily long distances would not be an option and such tiles might become interesting features, however. Thanks for mentioning this one. Even though I don't think it's a critical flaw by any stretch, it's offers some interesting design possibilities. As someone mentioned, shallow water and, to some extent, lava/blue lava are distinct from regular tiles.
Sandman25 wrote:5) Spells. You should not be able to have regeneration, repel missiles or statue form always active.

Your assessment here is pretty much spot-on. There have been other threads about the issue of 'buffs' but I haven't given it enough thought to make serious suggestions. I agree that this is a problem, though.
Sandman25 wrote: "try to kill the monster and be ready to escape if it does not work". This is boring...

These days I tend to think that the most critical skill in crawl is not really tactical nor strategic but one's ability to assess threats. The crux of it is that this is a fun skill to develop but not that fun to put into practice. Discovering that a single orc signifies a possibility of orc wizards/priests is fun, but once you have established a threat value you just fight or move along. It was definitely fun for me as I constructed some sort of intuitive sense for the hidden dangers that various branches present, i.e., what other monsters might be lurking outside of your sight.

I do think that fixing 1 and 2 would go a long way towards emphasizing tactical play. I'll think more about your solution to the first problem cited, but for now I favor my own because it's simple. I do not appreciate the comments which suggest "don't always play optimally if it's not fun." A major mark of successful game design (and one explicitly favored in the Philosophy section of the manual) is optimal play being the most fun way to play. I believe that the current state provides a good, fun game for newer players but in an ideal world we would have a game that is not diminished (or at least not so quickly) as players become highly skilled.

I dislike tabbing through waves of enemies that do not present a threat, but one benefit to these encounters is their effect of giving players a sense of progression. Demolishing orcs in the mines after they've been a nasty early-game threat is a way to gauge, and more importantly, to feel, how much more powerful you've become. There's a sweet spot between no 'popcorn' and the status quo.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 21:29

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:I can't enjoy losing a character that I know I could have saved easily if I was playing more optimally.
Well, I don't enjoy losing my characters either, even though almost all deaths could have been avoided by playing more optimally. Still, I rather have fun while playing than lure every monster and retreat always upstairs to recover etc.

Sandman25 wrote:
I disagree.
Why? Is it good that there are no bad places for fighting?
I meant that it is not bad that you can try to retreat to a better position. First you have to recognize a bad position (this requires skill). Sometimes you have to burn a consumable to retreat (evaluating when to do so requires skill).

Sandman25 wrote:
I think the base problem is that it is very hard to balance Crawl so that it would be fun to play for newbies, casual players and optimally playing Mu-of-Chei-streakers :)
I disagree. This is very easy to implement but it is in "won't do" list.
But for example, your suggestion about retreating imposing a slaying/spellpower malus does not sound like fun at all to me. You run away from a nasty monster, get spotted by an otherwise wimpy monster, except now you have -10 slaying. Then you absolutely have to retreat all the way to upstairs to wait out the temporary slaying malus.

Of course, people have different thresholds for 'tediousness'. Personally, I still never use tab and I still don't think that fighting popcorn is tedious. I enjoy the power of my character.
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 21:46

Re: Common crawl problems

n1000 wrote:I do not appreciate the comments which suggest "don't always play optimally if it's not fun." A major mark of successful game design (and one explicitly favored in the Philosophy section of the manual) is optimal play being the most fun way to play. I believe that the current state provides a good, fun game for newer players but in an ideal world we would have a game that is not diminished (or at least not so quickly) as players become highly skilled.

But fun is subjective. I agree (of course) that in an optimal situation, optimal play would be the most fun way to play. But personally I'm not sure if it is possible for Crawl to achieve that (while remaining Crawl). For me, Crawl hasn't diminished at all (I don't know if I'm skilled but at least I'm a veteran). For me the key is to play all kinds of characters with a bit of role-playing aspect (again, not optimal).
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 22:46

Re: Common crawl problems

TeshiAlair wrote:I've been playing a TON of Tomb of the Necrodancer lately, which is probably the most pure position awareness game I've ever played and it's given me quite a few thoughts on this.


Is it Crypt of the Necrodancer? I failed to find Tomb of the Necrodancer references.

1) Luring.
I think one fairly big problem with luring is that later D levels are more open and more prone to enemy spam. It's one of the reasons I love Vaults 1-4: The room-hallway layout means that you rarely can safely lure one or two monsters away unless you are extremely careful, but you can fall back in more tactical ways, and the various guards all make it difficult to lure.


I love Vaults too. Deaths in Vaults are often very exciting ones (this is what I had in mind when talking about attrition wars in OP), that feeling when you are randomly teleporting with low HP/MP, land in a bad place and teleport again and again. I wish crawl had more fights like this. It also provides a nice strategy choice sometimes - do I want to have MR for marking or much more powerful character overall?

Later in the game, it's more "There are 10 deep trolls and one ancient lich, let's run around until I can get just the ancient lich up some stairs."


Exactly. And when I am doing it dozens of times per game I don't even have fun, I am thinking something like "stupid monster, why did it follow me upstairs?". By the way why do monsters always follow character upstairs? It could depend on number of allied monsters in LoS, at least "pack" monsters like Deep Trolls or Vault Guards (hi, V5) should stay on the level with the rest of the pack (unless character is wounded, the chance to follow might depend on current HP/max HP)

Your other ideas about stealth/effects are interesting but I don't have valuable feedback except making every character being able to choose fights probably could make luring and one-on-one fighting happen more often and I like new effects which change otherwise repetitive battles.

4) MP regeneration.
5) Spells.
Both of these issues come from a similar source I feel: A caster WILL occasionally need to hit things and thus needs to train some form of weapon, and most fighters will want to cast some spells.

My suggestion would be to have Spellpower not just increase MP, but also reduce MP costs at high levels. If a mage is using Throw Flame as their default spell for popcorn, having it cost zero MP doesn't really matter at a certain point in the game except for making them retreat and rest more often if something bigger comes around. I would have the breakpoints be nonlinear with something along the lines of -1mp at 9 Spellpower, -2mp at 15 Spellpower, -3 at 24 Spellpower, and -4 at 27 Spellpower. This would get your default blasty spell free moderately early on, without making higher level spells too powerful too fast. This could also be done accompanying a lower max MP pool.


Yes, this would solve both "too much real time for casters" and "train melee or play even in less fun way" problems, I like it.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Monday, 11th May 2015, 23:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 23:07

Re: Common crawl problems

n1000 wrote:have you tried TOME? I would recommend it based on both this thread and your wish to have more numerical transparency. It isn't a perfect roguelike (indeed, it has some glaring issues) but it's a great game and I suspect you'd have fun with it. It has a lot of numbers.


Yes, I tried it. It is worse than crawl. It still has "detect monsters" which is optimal to cast before making a step for exploring. Also game play is even more repetitive with all those "spells" for hunters.

Instead of being allowed to pull monsters arbitrarily far the player would have a tactical decision to make: where should I fight the monster if it will start to hit me within 1-2 (say) screens? Implementing such a mechanic would highlight problems with crawl's level generation but I suspect it would also illuminate how good it already is.


Naga can retreat 18 tiles from normal speed monster 8 tiles away before fighting, I think it is too much [1.44*18=1*(18+8)]
(I even tested it to be sure, wow, didn't expect it).

These days I tend to think that the most critical skill in crawl is not really tactical nor strategic but one's ability to assess threats. The crux of it is that this is a fun skill to develop but not that fun to put into practice. Discovering that a single orc signifies a possibility of orc wizards/priests is fun, but once you have established a threat value you just fight or move along. It was definitely fun for me as I constructed some sort of intuitive sense for the hidden dangers that various branches present, i.e., what other monsters might be lurking outside of your sight.


Very true. Crawl becomes trivial when you are good at assessing threat. This is why I suggest to make threat assessment less reliable, it is harder to estimate threat from 20 weak monsters than from a single extremely dangerous unique (reminds me how I lost a Fo in Slime 6 after killing TRJ and fighting spawned jellies for 100+ turns :().

I dislike tabbing through waves of enemies that do not present a threat, but one benefit to these encounters is their effect of giving players a sense of progression. Demolishing orcs in the mines after they've been a nasty early-game threat is a way to gauge, and more importantly, to feel, how much more powerful you've become. There's a sweet spot between no 'popcorn' and the status quo.

Well, that sense of progression would not be necessary if we had "damage 120" instead of "!!!!".

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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 23:12

Re: Common crawl problems

Sprucery wrote:But fun is subjective.
True. But also "If something is unfun for everyone, it should not be in the game". Do we have players who enjoy luring first encountered goblin on D1?
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Post Monday, 11th May 2015, 23:21

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:Do we have players who enjoy luring first encountered goblin on D1?

Well, I guess I do, because I really enjoy the very early game when almost everything can be dangerous. I also don't even consciously think that I'm luring something, I just (possibly) take a few steps back, possibly use a ranged attack (if available) to soften it up before melee.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 00:11

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:
Sprucery wrote:But fun is subjective.
True. But also "If something is unfun for everyone, it should not be in the game". Do we have players who enjoy luring first encountered goblin on D1?

Also in the camp of "the way tactics work now is fun".

If the proposed retreat malus *ever* wears off in any way shape or form, then it becomes "lure the creature further" which is actually more, not less tedious. (If you have to rest, then you have to retreat up stairs for every fight. Also what is "retreating" if I step two squares to the left to get to a better choke point, is that 'luring' how about if I step *towards* a creature, but it happens to be also on to a staircase, which I am going to take in the next turn, and draw the single critter upstairs with me.

Assuming we did find a way to take away all useful ways to lure creatures away from their starting positions, and you're forced to fight creatures wherever you happen to discover them, then you've taken away all the tactical positioning in the game, it becomes a game where there are pretty much no tactics at all (the only other tactics to mention is offense selection, which is pretty uninteresting)

If you're real impetus is to make it so that you can't really lure/retreat from creatures for very long in order to fight them in a more advantageous position, just give them an area from which they won't stray, if you get beyond that area, they just retreat back to their "home" location (some monsters already behave this way)

But honestly if everything behaved this way, I think it would make for a much less interesting game.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 00:41

Re: Common crawl problems

Siegurt wrote:Also in the camp of "the way tactics work now is fun".

If the proposed retreat malus *ever* wears off in any way shape or form, then it becomes "lure the creature further" which is actually more, not less tedious. (If you have to rest, then you have to retreat up stairs for every fight. Also what is "retreating" if I step two squares to the left to get to a better choke point, is that 'luring' how about if I step *towards* a creature, but it happens to be also on to a staircase, which I am going to take in the next turn, and draw the single critter upstairs with me.

Assuming we did find a way to take away all useful ways to lure creatures away from their starting positions, and you're forced to fight creatures wherever you happen to discover them, then you've taken away all the tactical positioning in the game, it becomes a game where there are pretty much no tactics at all (the only other tactics to mention is offense selection, which is pretty uninteresting)

If you're real impetus is to make it so that you can't really lure/retreat from creatures for very long in order to fight them in a more advantageous position, just give them an area from which they won't stray, if you get beyond that area, they just retreat back to their "home" location (some monsters already behave this way)

But honestly if everything behaved this way, I think it would make for a much less interesting game.


Retreat happens when distance between you and monster who is closest to you increases (calculating it for new character position with assumption that monsters don't move).
Retreating to stairs is not a safe option in this new crawl provided cleared territory is not exactly cleared for multiple reasons (monster generation, teleport traps, wandering monsters, monsters using stairs from adjacent levels), I don't think it will often be optimal to get to stairs with -30 slaying just to find that the stairs are blocked by some "popcorn" there. Also there could be an extra AC/EV/whatever penalty for moving for too long with monsters in LoS if we really want to prevent such behavior. Stairdancing can be fixed along the way, I think some devs (and famous players) agree that stairdancing is too powerful currently (at least this is why they introduced Vault Wardens and there is no stairdancing in Pan/Hell)

One bad thing in current crawl is "retreat 100 tiles and don't care about energy randomization, it will not happen" and I am not going to replace it with a completely opposite bad thing "fight where you are standing". I am suggesting "make optimal behavior depend on situation", there should not be advices like "almost never walk towards a monster in LoS". It should not always be optimal to retreat to stairs, to choke points or just into cleared territory.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 01:03

Re: Common crawl problems

dpeg wrote:I'd like to say once more that Crawl is intentionally a big game. You (as a player) pay for this with redundancy and some tedium (large levels to explore, many not so interesting fights), but you gain a bit of strategical depth.


I think Crawl's strategic depth is limited because of a contradiction in its design: on the one hand, like dpeg says, its size is kept large to allow for strategic decisions, but on the other, devs have avoided making it possible for a game to be unwinnable due to poor strategic decisions. Bad tactics can kill you at basically any point, bad strategy (above a certain threshold) won't. Of course it's awful to find out after 4 hours that you've built your character wrong and are too weak to continue. But the alternative is that the strategic decisions you make after a certain point fundamentally don't matter.

So I disagree with Sandman. What's wrong with Crawl isn't its tactics.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 01:28

Re: Common crawl problems

all before wrote:So I disagree with Sandman. What's wrong with Crawl isn't its tactics.


How can you disagree with me, actually I said nothing about strategy before this point? :)
If I said that I don't play crawl because crawl tactics is bad and time consuming, it does not mean that I said that tactics is worse than strategy or that strategy problems should be ignored and we should fix tactics first or whatever. Crawl strategy is probably even easier than crawl tactics but at least it is not time consuming, not annoying and you can play with autotraining. I believe many experienced players (including you, right?) don't have hard time deciding what they should train but it is ok IMHO, there is only limited number of skills and spells so at some point you know everything you need to know to make effective decisions. OTOH tactics has potentially unlimited number of situations, it is what keeps players playing hundreds of games.

Edit. By the way I've seen many new players killed by bad strategy, like no Fighting at all or training Axes to 25 for hand axe and having too low defenses because of that. Also entering Elf right after Orc.

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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 02:26

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:Naga can retreat 18 tiles from normal speed monster 8 tiles away before fighting, I think it is too much [1.44*18=1*(18+8)]
(I even tested it to be sure, wow, didn't expect it).

Interesting, I never actually bothered calculating it. I wonder what a good 'safe retreat distance' would be. It's 16 tiles now with squarelos, on the upper end of what I feel should be acceptable. Of course I may be missing something and maybe limiting retreating in this way could be bad.

Well, that sense of progression would not be necessary if we had "damage 120" instead of "!!!!".

You may remember I opposed your initial proposal to display damage. At this point I'm less sure of my opposition to such a proposal. However, there is an aesthetic/emotional effect in easily killing monsters that were once strong which a damage number doesn't precisely convey. This is not a major point of disagreement but my attempt to clarify what I meant in my previous post.

Progression and a character's increase in power is conveyed in many ways in games and it just feels good. Crawl's presentation can't compete with graphical games. Characters do get spells which hit more monsters, nastier summons, more powerful god abilities and weapons which at least sound cooler. Although a damage display would convey progression in one way, something tangible would be lost if all 'popcorn' monsters were removed.

This is not to say, absolutely, that these monsters should not be removed, but to counter "that sense of progression would not be necessary." Something would be lost.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 02:41

Re: Common crawl problems

n1000 wrote:Interesting, I never actually bothered calculating it. I wonder what a good 'safe retreat distance' would be. It's 16 tiles now with squarelos, on the upper end of what I feel should be acceptable. Of course I may be missing something and maybe limiting retreating in this way could be bad.


In case it wasn't clear I would prefer not to have a specific number of tiles to retreat. It should not be optimal to retreat N tiles in all situations no matter what the value of N is. Per my suggestion player would retreat as few tiles as possible which has an extra benefit of saving real time and key presses. Default behavior should be "stay and fight" (as the most efficient way of spending real time and key presses), doing anything else requires a reason.

This is not to say, absolutely, that these monsters should not be removed, but to counter "that sense of progression would not be necessary." Something would be lost.


Yes, I understand, it is very satisfying to one-shot monsters which almost killed you at some point (just look at my signature :)). Probably this approach can be used as metrics for monster generation: when you one-shot N Orc Priests, they are no longer generated on future floors and player receives some flavorful message like "The glory of your power has reached lower floors, all Orc Priests abandoned dungeon in fear". With N=1 it can even introduce a new tactics like "use a buff to one-shot an annoying monster like Shining Eye or Orb of Spider" to never see the monster again. Obviously it should apply to harmless and weak monsters only, also stabbing should not trigger the effect.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:08

Re: Common crawl problems

In Nethack, when you kill 120 monsters of a given type, no more will be generated. (There are some exceptions like 9 Nazgul, 3 Erinyes.)

Could this work for Crawl? Generate no more plain orcs after you've killed 50 of them (or some other number)? They would be replaced by other monsters, of course, not just removed.
...SENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEE{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}
{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}
DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNe

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:10

Re: Common crawl problems

Abyss, Pan, Zigs, Hells.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:16

Re: Common crawl problems

Of course there would have to be some kind of exceptions for those places. But even there the weaker demons, for example, could become extinct and be replaced by more powerful ones.
...SENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEE{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}
{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}
DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNe

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:18

Re: Common crawl problems

I'm not sure I like the idea of penalizing killing weak monsters in context of Crawl. Regular mummy death curses were removed recently.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:21

Re: Common crawl problems

Anything that promotes keeping track of monsters you've already killed (or seen, or whatever) is pretty bad imo.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 06:22

Re: Common crawl problems

You have a point. "How many orcs have I killed, should I let this one live?" is not something I'd like to think of in Crawl...

Edit: Adom displays how many monsters of a given type you have killed in so called monster memory, but it would still not be elegant to have to check something like that before engaging in combat.
...SENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEE{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}
{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}
DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNe
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