Common crawl problems


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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 09:12

Re: Common crawl problems

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

I don't think extinction is good. (I never understood the logic of extinction in nethack).

But slaying malus for killing stuff would work. And it could apply for all monsters, not just popcorn. The idea is that (packs of easy stuff) == hard. Some monsters are meant to be encountered in packs, but can be made much easier by picking them off one by one, kind of defeating the point. A slaying malus for killing one tough unique (who obviously doesn't come in a pack) would be negligible compared to the slaying malus for killing 10 orcs or multiple yaks.

One could also differentiate pack monsters somewhat, like troll shamans/earth magi/plain deep trolls.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 09:18

Re: Common crawl problems

bel wrote:(I never understood the logic of extinction in nethack)

Maybe it's just for that you can play extinctionist challenge and kill all possible monsters extinct :)

Slaying malus upon killing would also encourage not killing stuff. I would hate it.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 10:14

Re: Common crawl problems

Sprucery wrote:Slaying malus upon killing would also encourage not killing stuff. I would hate it.

Of course, but how are you going to get XP if you don't kill stuff? Also, there is nothing wrong about not killing (some) stuff.
The problem with mummies was that they were solitary, slow and could be easily avoided. Killing a solitary mummy would have negligible effect under this system.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 12:09

Re: Common crawl problems

All these problems can be solved. When you kill 50-th Orc Priest, you get a prompt "You've just killed 50th Orc Priest. Do you want to let dungeon know how powerful you are (y/N)?" If you answer y, you get "Many Orc Priests abandon dungeon.". The message means you still can get Orc Priests in extended branches (Abyss/Pan/Hell/Zigs) but not in any other branches. If you care about XP (assuming Orc Priests are not replaced with other monsters), you answer n on the first question and never get the question again for Orc Priest.
Also answer "y" would partially solve problem with interrupting autotravel on cleared levels later because fewer monsters would be generated

Edit. And of course would be a new option in RC file to automate answering the question.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 13:19

Re: Common crawl problems

Of all the ideas in this thread to focus on, "Extinction If You Want It After 50 Kills" is probably not the most reasonable one. That prompt is an absurd one; if I can kill 50 of something, it will never be threatening to me, so why would I just throw out that pile of XP I'd otherwise get?

Instead of introducing a weird novel mechanic just to cut down popcorn, isn't just removing the popcorn the easiest way to do it? I don't necessarily agree with doing this -- part of what makes crawl fun for me is mowing down dudes -- but it seems like simplicity itself, to cut monster generation and prune the spawn lists, so you're left with a smaller number of more dangerous encounters.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 13:44

Re: Common crawl problems

archaeo wrote:Of all the ideas in this thread to focus on, "Extinction If You Want It After 50 Kills" is probably not the most reasonable one. That prompt is an absurd one; if I can kill 50 of something, it will never be threatening to me, so why would I just throw out that pile of XP I'd otherwise get?

Instead of introducing a weird novel mechanic just to cut down popcorn, isn't just removing the popcorn the easiest way to do it? I don't necessarily agree with doing this -- part of what makes crawl fun for me is mowing down dudes -- but it seems like simplicity itself, to cut monster generation and prune the spawn lists, so you're left with a smaller number of more dangerous encounters.


Yes, I agree it is not the most reasonable one. But it looks like it got the most interest from other players so probably it has the highest chance to be implemented.
Many players/devs think there is too much XP in the game and instead of reducing Lair/Snake/wahtever to 5/4/whatever levels you could give player a choice. New players might answer "n" on the question and get all the XP, experienced players and those who prefer to spend less real time on killing harmless monsters might answer "y" and get more enjoyable crawl.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 14:04

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:Many players/devs think there is too much XP in the game

My favourite solutions to this: Bring back Traps skill and make it affect trap effects. Make effect of curare dependent on Throwing. Make aux attacks dependent on UC. I.e. add places to spend XP.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 14:06

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:New players might answer "n" on the question and get all the XP, experienced players and those who prefer to spend less real time on killing harmless monsters might answer "y" and get more enjoyable crawl.

I'm pretty sure this kind of in-game tinkering has negative chances to be implemented.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 14:06

Re: Common crawl problems

Why not just make them automatically go extinct after 50 (or whatever) kills without asking the players to make a choice between some cheap experience and not having to put up with more popcorn? I thought one of the design goals of this game was to avoid encouraging tedium.

Also, for the record, Nethack extinction works off monsters generated, not monsters killed. Once 120 orcs are created, the game will randomly create no more, whether you killed or avoided them. It makes a little more sense that way since you aren't encouraged to avoid D:10 goblins to keep the overall monster strength low, though it is rarely actually relevant in Nethack due to how many monsters the game has and how big of a number 120 is.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 15:19

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar: negative chances indeed :)

Popcorn is a problem, but not a major one. I've said it before, so I'll just do it again: in my opinion lowly monsters should never be spawned (after level generation) -- this is just for convenience: it may be okay if a balrug stops you autotravel, but not if an orc does. Next, monsters should be eligible for removal if you revisit a level and they are too weak (this should include yak packs you leave in Lair for long). Tiny monsters should stay if there are other monsters around. (E.g. that's a situation where an orc priest or two can actually matter.)

Luring: this is indeed a big one, and I am happy that this thread has some ideas. (I didn't myself.) Perhaps I can get some more developers to look at this topic.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 17:20

Re: Common crawl problems

Simple luring fix: Give monsters a slight speed up if they are chasing you solo or in a small (2-3 monster) group.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 20:49

Re: Common crawl problems

TeshiAlair wrote:Simple luring fix: Give monsters a slight speed up if they are chasing you solo or in a small (2-3 monster) group.


It is not enough, luring would remain optimal. Giving monsters berserk would work but is too cruel IMHO, though the chance can depend on distance traveled while retreating. I guess it is even easy to provide some flavor in this case (monster is angry of chasing you and berserks). Casters like Ancient Lich might get brilliance effect, ranged monsters like Yaktaur might get "archer" flag and never switch to melee.

Edit. Basically to defeat luring tactics we should give a penalty to player, not a bonus to monsters, otherwise player will have even more reason to keep retreating and restart the fight later.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 22:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 20:55

Re: Common crawl problems

Please remember that weak characters exist that cannot win without retreat. Don't just tune the game for HOGl. Also any monster speed based solution will not prevent luring because nagas currently derive lots of benefit from retreating to better positions before fighting. I don't think luring is a problem at all - retreating to a better position is just the right thing to do. What's the alternative, full-on Leeroy Jenkins play? If that's what you want to encourage just give every race innate +20 AC +10 slaying and go wild. Otherwise don't ruin the OpFi's of the world just to give your DDAr games a little challenge.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 22:09

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:Please remember that weak characters exist that cannot win without retreat.


That's a problem indeed. What's the point of having "weak" characters if you can streak them anyway? With current crawl mechanic they are not weak, they are just more annoying than average characters. With HoGl you can ignore luring in many fights, with Op or Mu you can do it less often. Those "weak" characters still can kill the most dangerous uniques one-on-one, right?

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 22:36

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:
Berder wrote:Please remember that weak characters exist that cannot win without retreat.


That's a problem indeed. What's the point of having "weak" characters if you can streak them anyway?

That's a good question with a good answer. They're a greater challenge to win with, and some people like challenges. They require you to pay better attention and use more careful tactics to win. They also may have other fun and different characteristics, such as octopode constriction and rings.

Sandman25 wrote:With current crawl mechanic they are not weak, they are just more annoying than average characters.

"Capable of winning with excellent play" doesn't mean they aren't weak. You want to change that to "incapable of winning with any play"? Eliminating characters just reduces the diversity and depth of crawl.

With HoGl you can ignore luring in many fights, with Op or Mu you can do it less often. Those "weak" characters still can kill the most dangerous uniques one-on-one, right?

Wrong. There are many uniques that you ought to skip with weak characters that you do not need to skip with strong ones. Rupert, player ghosts, pan and hell lords, josephine, etc, etc. Also, even some non-uniques. As an example, many weaker melee characters cannot fight hydras one-on-one when first encountered in lair. They instead must run away from hydras and it would be crippling to them if they could not do that. It would also be crippling if they could not lure yak packs to chokepoints. There are characters (that you can win with!) for whom a single yak is a respectable challenge when first encountered.


You really don't like luring and don't enjoy playing more challenging characters? Then play your HOGl and don't lure. There's no reason to deliberately force that style of play on everybody and ruin all characters who aren't strong enough to just stand there in the open and tank with an axe.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 22:54

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:That's a good question with a good answer. They're a greater challenge to win with, and some people like challenges. They require you to pay better attention and use more careful tactics to win. They also may have other fun and different characteristics, such as octopode constriction and rings.


How do we play "challenge" combos as careful players? We explore manually, we lure monsters to cleared terrain before fighting, we always heal fully before exploring, we try to heal standing on stairs, we run away from not-so-dangerous-monsters to find more weaker monsters to get some XP and loot first, we reenter the level from different stars if we cannot kill something. Seriously, what's the challenge here? We avoid dangerous fights easily unless we are extremely lucky like entering a level to find adjacent hydra or Erolcha. It is repetitive play, a bot can be automated to win Op or Mu. Playing challenge species requires spending more real time but it has almost nothing to do with decisions, most of it is spent on movement and resting.
Sorry, in context of talking about weakness subjective fun and different characteristics are irrelevant. For example, I like retaliatory attack mechanic but Mi is too easy to play for me and there is no other way to get this special.


Berder wrote:"Capable of winning with excellent play" doesn't mean they aren't weak. You want to change that to "incapable of winning with any play"? Eliminating characters just reduces the diversity and depth of crawl.


See above. There is no excellent play in my wins, just careful and repetitive escaping of dangerous fights. I want to make weak monsters actually weak so they would die more often because they ran out of blinking/teleportation. Currently it does not happen because players avoid most fights without spending any resources (except real time :( ). I've just realized we should not give significantly more escape tools, otherwise we change nothing.

Wrong. There are many uniques that you ought to skip with weak characters that you do not need to skip with strong ones. Rupert, player ghosts, pan and hell lords, josephine, etc, etc. Also, even some non-uniques. As an example, many weaker melee characters cannot fight hydras one-on-one when first encountered in lair. They instead must run away from hydras and it would be crippling to them if they could not do that.


Notice that those monsters are the same for MiBe and MuCK. If MuCK should not fight it, then MiBe should not do it either. If MiBe fights it, then the player is just tired of escaping potentially dangerous fights.

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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 23:04

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:How do we play "challenge" combos as careful players? We explore manually, we lure monsters to cleared terrain before fighting, we always heal fully before exploring, we try to heal standing on stairs, we run away from not-so-dangerous-monsters to find more weaker monsters to get some XP and loot first, we reenter the level from different stars if we cannot kill something. Seriously, what's the challenge here? We avoid dangerous fights easily unless we are extremely lucky like entering a level to find adjacent hydra or Erolcha. It is repetitive play, a bot can be automated to win Op or Mu. Playing challenge species requires spending more real time but it has almost nothing to do with decisions, most of it is spent on movement and resting.

No, it has a lot to do with decisions. How do you explain the fact that strong players lose weak combos more often while trying to streak? It's because they weren't paying close enough attention and made a bad decision in a dangerous situation. For instance, they inaccurately judged their ability to handle a certain fight without buffs. Playing stronger characters means the game is more forgiving of suboptimal play.

P.S. I do not consider Mu to be hard as my first 3 Mu games were wins.

Sorry, in context of talking about weakness subjective fun and different characteristics are irrelevant. For example, I like retaliatory attack mechanic but Mi is too easy to play for me and there is no other way to get this special.

Fun is completely relevant if you're proposing a change that would make certain fun characters impossible! The fact they are fun is an argument against their destruction.


I want to make weak monsters actually weak so they would die more often because they ran out of blinking/teleportation.

That would be just awful. Making characters die through no fault of the player is not a design goal of crawl.

Wrong. There are many uniques that you ought to skip with weak characters that you do not need to skip with strong ones. Rupert, player ghosts, pan and hell lords, josephine, etc, etc. Also, even some non-uniques. As an example, many weaker melee characters cannot fight hydras one-on-one when first encountered in lair. They instead must run away from hydras and it would be crippling to them if they could not do that.


Notice that those monsters are the same for MiBe and MuCK. If MuCK should not fight it, then MiBe should not do it either. If MiBe fights it, then the player is just tired of escaping potentially dangerous fights.

That's... not true. There are plenty of monsters that a MiBe should fight for the XP, loot, and general safety, that an OpCK simply can't. Killing something is safer than running from it, if you can safely kill it, because that way it won't show up again later when you're less prepared.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 23:28

Re: Common crawl problems

The average player does not streak. If you punish luring or retreating, you destroy the game for average players.

There's no way to balance the game for newbies, average players and streakers equally without some kind of difficulty level mechanic.

The extended end game is supposed to provide extra challenge for those who find 3-rune games too easy. If it fails to do that, extended could be made harder.
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Post Tuesday, 12th May 2015, 23:32

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:No, it has a lot to do with decisions. How do you explain the fact that strong players lose weak combos more often while trying to streak? It's because they weren't paying close enough attention and made a bad decision in a dangerous situation. For instance, they inaccurately judged their ability to handle a certain fight without buffs. Playing stronger characters means the game is more forgiving of suboptimal play.

P.S. I do not consider Mu to be hard as my first 3 Mu games were wins.


You are saying obvious things here. Let me repeat what I have already told - if their mistake was "neglected to use a consumable", the fight should not have happened because the fight was too dangerous, they should have run away instead. It is very rare to have path to upstairs blocked when using manual exploration and exploring in spiral.

P.S. Funny but the only character of mine who visited Abyss 5 was OpCj and 50% my online Op games are wins (well, I played only 4 Op online and both losses happened during tournament when I wasn't playing carefully at all but still :-))
If it is not clear yet, I believe there are no weak species in current crawl because players almost always have choice: fight or escape (after playing some Mu of Chei I tried my old dream of HEAM of Chei again and won with 15 runes from the first attempt, I just learned to play very carefully thanks to Mu (not even clever :-)).

Fun is completely relevant if you're proposing a change that would make certain fun characters impossible! The fact they are fun is an argument against their destruction.


What characters do you mean? Like VSAr training Evocations up to 27 as the only skill, then Fighting to 27, finally Dodging to 17 and sacrificing love, hand and stealth along the way? Do you think it is good for roguelike to be that easy?

That's... not true. There are plenty of monsters that a MiBe should fight for the XP, loot, and general safety, that an OpCK simply can't. Killing something is safer than running from it, if you can safely kill it, because that way it won't show up again later when you're less prepared.


Isn't it optimal to lure the monster to some stairs, reenter the level from different stairs and dive to next level? The monster is extremely unlikely to wander through all the map to the same stairs. Probably we have different understanding of safety, can you please give an example? If you lose 50% HP and are exhausted/slowed, is it safe fight?

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 00:05

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:\
You are saying obvious things here. Let me repeat what I have already told - if their mistake was "neglected to use a consumable", the fight should not have happened because the fight was too dangerous, they should have run away instead. It is very rare to have path to upstairs blocked when using manual exploration and exploring in spiral.

The point I was making is that winning hard characters is not so "easy" even for strong players, since it requires constant correct judgment calls about consumables vs retreat vs fight and very accurate understanding of how strong the player is and how dangerous the enemy is.

Fun is completely relevant if you're proposing a change that would make certain fun characters impossible! The fact they are fun is an argument against their destruction.


What characters do you mean? Like VSAr training Evocations up to 27 as the only skill, then Fighting to 27, finally Dodging to 17 and sacrificing love, hand and stealth along the way? Do you think it is good for roguelike to be that easy?

A VSAr doing that has to get very lucky with rods early on. Such a strategy is not likely to pay off. Also, note that VS is a very strong race and Ar is a very strong background.

(Yes, that is an interesting playstyle - a challenge. It sounds like antiskillrobin. Having the option of that kind of play does add variety to the game.)

That's... not true. There are plenty of monsters that a MiBe should fight for the XP, loot, and general safety, that an OpCK simply can't. Killing something is safer than running from it, if you can safely kill it, because that way it won't show up again later when you're less prepared.


Isn't it optimal to lure the monster to some stairs, reenter the level from different stairs and dive to next level? The monster is extremely unlikely to wander through all the map to the same stairs. Probably we have different understanding of safety, can you please give an example? If you lose 50% HP and are exhausted/slowed, is it safe fight?

A MiBe who is berserking might easily be 10-15x stronger in melee than an unbuffed OpFi at the same xl, when you factor in the MiBe's defenses, higher hp, greater weapon aptitude, and the roughly 5x multiplier from berserk. Maybe even more than 15x when you consider Trog's weapon gifts and brothers in arms. There are many enemies that are utterly trivial to such a MiBe that an OpFi cannot safely fight.

You asked for an example: an OpFi generally cannot kill melee player ghosts, and usually shouldn't try. A MiBe can kill them safely, and should do so. There's really no end of examples. Maybe the enemy is an ogre, or snorg, or a hydra.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 00:28

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:The point I was making is that winning hard characters is not so "easy" even for strong players, since it requires constant correct judgment calls about consumables vs retreat vs fight and very accurate understanding of how strong the player is and how dangerous the enemy is. It's not as straightforward as you were making it out to be.


Maybe I am biased because I often use fsim to have "very accurate understanding of how strong the player is and how dangerous the enemy is". When player has this knowledge, it is easy to make "correct judgment calls about consumables vs retreat vs fight" especially since fsim allows to have absolute knowledge of how berserk/might/agility/haste help.

A VSAr doing that has to get very lucky with rods early on. Such a strategy is not likely to pay off. Also, note that VS is a very strong race and Ar is a very strong background. So I'm not sure what this example is designed to prove.


I am trying to prove that current crawl is too easy because player can constantly avoid difficult battles for free (except Na but it is a powerful species with crazy stealth skill aptitude).

A MiBe who is berserking might easily be 10-15x stronger in melee than an unbuffed OpFi at the same xl, when you factor in the MiBe's defenses, higher hp, greater weapon aptitude, and the roughly 5x multiplier from berserk. Maybe even more than 15x when you consider Trog's weapon gifts and brothers in arms. There are many enemies that are utterly trivial to such a MiBe that an OpFi cannot safely fight.


Berserk is not safe, at least it is less safe than escape. If you berserk vs multiple monsters it is just to speed up the game, more optimal would be to retreat, split the pack and fight one-on-one without berserk. If you berserk vs a single monster, you can be unlucky with accuracy/damage (I am sure you know how crawl battle works and I have experienced amazing battles like surviving 10+ turns at 1 HP vs hasted Wiglaf) and then you will be slowed/exhausted while other monsters can join the fight. Berserking is really last resort if we are playing optimally.

You asked for an example: an OpFi generally cannot kill melee player ghosts, and usually shouldn't try. A MiBe can kill them safely, and should do so. There's really no end of examples. Maybe the enemy is an ogre, or snorg, or a hydra.


Not safely, especially vs Snorg and hydra who can kill the MiBe.
Seriously, we are way off topic in the thread. I am sure your OpFi (of Dith, no less :)) will happily continue training stealth and will enjoy retreating from dangerous monsters. I hope "no free retreat crawl" can result in more varied and interesting tactics, characters would have to use something new and special instead of universal and time consuming "retreat and come back later when you are stronger".

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 00:39

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:Berserk is not safe

Berserk is pretty safe if you do it only against single enemies and near the stairs.

Not safely, especially vs Snorg and hydra who can kill the MiBe.

Safe enough. There's a substantial risk to diving, too, since it means the stairs back up are no longer a safe escape route if you need it. It's much better to kill something that you have a 99.999% chance of defeating.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 01:30

Re: Common crawl problems

Yeah, it'd have to be a generation cap, rather than a killed cap.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 01:42

Re: Common crawl problems

But then there'd still be an advantage to tracking the number of monsters of each type that you've seen - and especially an advantage to generating levels in a certain order. What advantages does this proposal have over just...not generating low depth monsters after low depths or medium depth monsters after medium depths?

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 03:00

Re: Common crawl problems

I think this discussion is getting bogged down by a conflation of two different phenomena, luring monsters and escaping/avoiding dangerous fights. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt many people would disagree with Sandman that the former is tedious. It shouldn't be a no brainer that the best choice is always to lead an enemy back to a safe area. But the latter, at least in my opinion, is the richest part of Crawl--trying to decide if and when a fight is too dangerous, the possible outcomes of a given action, how best to get away-- all that is certainly more interesting than tactical positioning.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 03:02

Re: Common crawl problems

Sprucery wrote:The average player does not streak. If you punish luring or retreating, you destroy the game for average players.


Do average players lure or retreat?
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 07:25

Re: Common crawl problems

Rast wrote:Do average players lure or retreat?

I would think the average player moves to a corridor to fight instead of getting swarmed, for example (after dying enough due to being swarmed). Of course, that's just my definition of 'average player'...
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Sar

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 07:37

Re: Common crawl problems

I can't believe I am agreeing with Berder on something, but I am!

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 11:20

Re: Common crawl problems

I did not read all of the later part of the thread. But I don't understand what exactly Berder is saying. Luring would still be possible in the proposed system, just as luring is still possible with Nagas. It just is more difficult and is made less of a no-brainer.

If we are looking at "average players", presumably we are talking about easier combos. If we are looking at "weak characters" presumably we are talking about relatively experienced players, who can cope with the added difficulty. If we are talking about new players, they probably don't even know fully the benefits of luring, so this is not applicable.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 12:29

Re: Common crawl problems

all before wrote:I think this discussion is getting bogged down by a conflation of two different phenomena, luring monsters and escaping/avoiding dangerous fights. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt many people would disagree with Sandman that the former is tedious. It shouldn't be a no brainer that the best choice is always to lead an enemy back to a safe area. But the latter, at least in my opinion, is the richest part of Crawl--trying to decide if and when a fight is too dangerous, the possible outcomes of a given action, how best to get away-- all that is certainly more interesting than tactical positioning.


Also note that I am not suggesting to change character speed or monster speed so escaping/avoiding dangerous fights is still possible using the same tactics. But it does not come for free: after retreating 30 tiles back to stairs you have -15 slaying (or -15 AC) for quite some time, it will be very dangerous to meet some new monsters there and it means probably escaping wasn't optimal (at least escaping that far). Currently it is optimal to retreat to the best place on the whole map. I often dig a kill hole and lure monsters from half level to it. It is default tactics for Elf 3 as far as I know.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 12:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 12:36

Re: Common crawl problems

bel wrote:I did not read all of the later part of the thread. But I don't understand what exactly Berder is saying. Luring would still be possible in the proposed system, just as luring is still possible with Nagas. It just is more difficult and is made less of a no-brainer.

If we are looking at "average players", presumably we are talking about easier combos. If we are looking at "weak characters" presumably we are talking about relatively experienced players, who can cope with the added difficulty. If we are talking about new players, they probably don't even know fully the benefits of luring, so this is not applicable.


I believe Berder is afraid that some weak combos will become unplayable. I don't think it will happen because all weak characters in crawl wear light or no armour so they can (and should) train stealth as part of their strategy. You are not weak character when you are wearing CPA or FDA, right? After winning characters with spears it's obvious that when you have high defense you can spend very much time on killing monsters without being in danger.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:15

Re: Common crawl problems

bel wrote:I did not read all of the later part of the thread. But I don't understand what exactly Berder is saying. Luring would still be possible in the proposed system, just as luring is still possible with Nagas. It just is more difficult and is made less of a no-brainer.

If we are looking at "average players", presumably we are talking about easier combos. If we are looking at "weak characters" presumably we are talking about relatively experienced players, who can cope with the added difficulty. If we are talking about new players, they probably don't even know fully the benefits of luring, so this is not applicable.

Those are two issues. If you punish luring, then "average players" (who probably are playing easier combos) will find the game far too difficult. Also, if you punish luring, then expert players who are trying difficult combos will get killed for no reason and through no fault of their own. Both are problems.

If you really don't like luring, make the game so easy that luring is not necessary. For example, eliminate noise and have monsters go back to sleep soon after you leave LOS, and then you could fight enemies one at a time wherever you happen to be standing. Having luring still be necessary - but impossible - doesn't solve anything and simply ruins the game for weaker players or more challenging combos.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:43

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:Those are two issues. If you punish luring, then "average players" (who probably are playing easier combos) will find the game far too difficult. Also, if you punish luring, then expert players who are trying difficult combos will get killed for no reason and through no fault of their own. Both are problems.

If you really don't like luring, make the game so easy that luring is not necessary. For example, eliminate noise and have monsters go back to sleep soon after you leave LOS, and then you could fight enemies one at a time wherever you happen to be standing.


I believe average players don't use luring much, otherwise they would be excellent players. In my experience luring trivializes most fights, it's just those players don't enjoy luring and don't do it as often as it should be done.
About expert players. If there is a trivial tactics that allows expert players to reliably streak the hardest combos of the game (not speaking about CK here), something is wrong.
Eliminating luring by making crawl even easier is not exactly what I want, sorry, though it is indeed better than current situation from "waste of real time" perspective.

Having luring still be necessary - but impossible - doesn't solve anything and simply ruins the game for weaker players or more challenging combos.

Special answer for this. Is it bad for crawl to have really almost unwinnable combos? Currently some players reach such mastership that they can reliably win any combo with any god using any weapon category.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:48

Re: Common crawl problems

Why shouldn't expert players be able to reliably win even the worst combos, if they have nothing better to do with their time? I get criticizing Crawl's front-loaded difficulty curve, but I thought the overall difficulty of winning a game was considered fine.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:53

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:Why shouldn't expert players be able to reliably win even the worst combos, if they have nothing better to do with their time? I get criticizing Crawl's front-loaded difficulty curve, but I thought the overall difficulty of winning a game was considered fine.


Well, why make crawl more time-consuming for other players just to give those expert players the reliable way to win? Have you never seen games where last difficulty level does not have a reliable strategy to win? Isn't it more fun and respectful to reach an almost impossible goal?

Edit. In current crawl players cannot really be proud of their win streaks or hard combos win because of those reliable ways to win. Maybe this is why speedrunning is so popular among the top players, they intentionally disable these reliable ways and still win (sometimes :))

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 13:59

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:If there is a trivial tactics that allows expert players to reliably streak the hardest combos of the game

There isn't. I've already made two points on this subject.
  • Expert players still die while trying to streak hard combos substantially more often than they do with easy ones. It's not reliable. If I were streaking I would not choose an OpTm or DEFi, because they're just more likely to die.
  • Streaking with a hard combo requires lots of judgment calls and is less forgiving of mistakes in judgment than streaking with an easy combo. Players need to accurately anticipate trouble coming many moves ahead and use appropriate consumables and emergency measures early enough. They also need to make appropriate long-term decisions such as avoiding a particular branch until they have flight/blink/ranged/rPois/invis/etc. There is much more involved than simply always retreating.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 14:07

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:There isn't. I've already made two points on this subject.
  • Expert players still die while trying to streak hard combos substantially more often than they do with easy ones. It's not reliable. If I were streaking I would not choose an OpTm or DEFi, because they're just more likely to die.
  • Streaking with a hard combo requires lots of judgment calls and is less forgiving of mistakes in judgment than streaking with an easy combo. Players need to accurately anticipate trouble coming many moves ahead and use appropriate consumables and emergency measures early enough. They also need to make appropriate long-term decisions such as avoiding a particular branch until they have flight/blink/ranged/rPois/invis/etc. There is much more involved than simply always retreating.


Yes, we've discussed it already. Easier combos are easier than harder combos and can die due to unavoidable deaths or player mistakes too. I guess we have no choice but should just agree to disagree. Your Op of Dith streak was result of your great abilities to estimate and judge, my Mu of Chei streak was surprisingly easy thanks to luring and fighting one-on-one. Is it ok? :)

Edit. I am actually serious here, luring makes everything too easy but player pays for it with real time and key presses.

Edit2. Just in case you wonder, I have OpTm and OpBe wins offline also. Luring trivializes everything, even Op.
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 14:38

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:Luring trivializes everything, even Op.

Not to butt into this Berder vs. Sandman confrontation, but is there a grid-based tactical game where luring isn't an important strategy? Or even tactical games in general?

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 14:47

Re: Common crawl problems

archaeo wrote:Not to butt into this Berder vs. Sandman confrontation, but is there a grid-based tactical game where luring isn't an important strategy? Or even tactical games in general?


There are many games where luring tactics is countered by strict number of turns for win and prize depends on turns spent so you cannot lure everything and luring is never free.
Battle for Wesnoth, Panzer General series, Fantasy Wars etc. (All these are grid-based tactical games)
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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 15:01

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman25 wrote:There are many games where luring tactics is countered by strict number of turns for win and prize depends on turns spent so you cannot lure everything and luring is never free.
Battle for Wesnoth, Panzer General series, Fantasy Wars etc. (All these are grid-based tactical games)

So it sounds like, instead of a bunch of complicated mechanics, the easiest way to discourage luring is to put a timer on the game. If you were going to do it in crawl, you'd just move to permafood only and maybe jack up the OOD timer and piety decay.

I think this is a really bad idea, but it's a heck of a lot better than weird slaying maluses you get as you run away from things and other crazy ideas.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 15:32

Re: Common crawl problems

Maybe you are just too good to enjoy Crawl anymore, Sandman? You know what monsters do, you know all about skills and spells, it's trivial for you at this point. I know that certain harder combos are not trivial for me, and I am not the worst player to play this game and probably not the stupidest as well (though you never know, maybe Berder can disprove that with a couple of IRC queries). It took me 50 tries to win a single Octopode.

I am being completely sincere here. No irony.

P.S.: have you tried Brogue?

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 15:35

Re: Common crawl problems

archaeo wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:There are many games where luring tactics is countered by strict number of turns for win and prize depends on turns spent so you cannot lure everything and luring is never free.
Battle for Wesnoth, Panzer General series, Fantasy Wars etc. (All these are grid-based tactical games)

So it sounds like, instead of a bunch of complicated mechanics, the easiest way to discourage luring is to put a timer on the game. If you were going to do it in crawl, you'd just move to permafood only and maybe jack up the OOD timer and piety decay.

I think this is a really bad idea, but it's a heck of a lot better than weird slaying maluses you get as you run away from things and other crazy ideas.


All these grid-based tactical games are played as campaign which consists of different missions. It's like making crawl give you 500 turns to reach stairs on D1, then 800 turns to reach stairs on D2 etc. and every time you enter new level your HP/MP are restored back to 100%. It's closer to crawl sprint than to standard crawl IMHO.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 15:45

Re: Common crawl problems

Sar wrote:Maybe you are just too good to enjoy Crawl anymore, Sandman? You know what monsters do, you know all about skills and spells, it's trivial for you at this point. I know that certain harder combos are not trivial for me, and I am not the worst player to play this game and probably not the stupidest as well (though you never know, maybe Berder can disprove that with a couple of IRC queries). It took me 50 tries to win a single Octopode.

I am being completely sincere here. No irony.

P.S.: have you tried Brogue?


That's an interesting question. Is crawl hard because it hides what monsters do, how spells work and how much damage character can deal? Probably yes, current crawl is, you almost always can run away so many deaths are caused by wrong estimation of danger.
As far as I know you don't bother with optimal play. If you lured monsters as much as I do, you would win Op much faster (but I suspect it wouldn't be fun for you).
Yes, I tried Sil and Brogue several times, I wish I could play console games :( Also tried adom but I don't like its hunger system and resulting hurry.
I will try Sil and Brogue again more some day I guess, it should not be too hard to get used to ascii.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 22:18

Re: Common crawl problems

all before wrote:I think this discussion is getting bogged down by a conflation of two different phenomena, luring monsters and escaping/avoiding dangerous fights. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt many people would disagree with Sandman that the former is tedious. It shouldn't be a no brainer that the best choice is always to lead an enemy back to a safe area. But the latter, at least in my opinion, is the richest part of Crawl--trying to decide if and when a fight is too dangerous, the possible outcomes of a given action, how best to get away-- all that is certainly more interesting than tactical positioning.

Agreed.

This thread has gotten a bit chaotic, because it's such a fundamental and somewhat cloudy question, but I've played a lot of characters with different movement speeds, and honestly my favorite is right around 15 aut movement speed (spriggans of chei are 16). You can lure monsters back to chokepoints that are close to you; you can't take them too far away. Having 20 with regular speed chei races is pretty close, although you get slightly more punished for dragging things back. Still generally worth doing it. Statue form lets you set your Chei speed to 30, but it's optional so you can use your higher speed to position and then buff up when you're in place.

Picking the best spot out of the immediate area is interesting, and limits the tediousness of going long distances. I'm not sure what would enforce this kind of behavior without a ton of side effects, though. Everyone should just play Chei ;)

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 22:37

Re: Common crawl problems

tasonir wrote:Picking the best spot out of the immediate area is interesting, and limits the tediousness of going long distances. I'm not sure what would enforce this kind of behavior without a ton of side effects, though. Everyone should just play Chei ;)


I am not sure either. We cannot decrease player's speed because retreating should still be possible but we don't want player to move for too long without getting some penalty. Maybe give no penalty for retreating 0-7 tiles depending on relative danger of the monster you are retreating from? So you will be able to easily retreat 6-7 tiles from extremely dangerous monsters (4-5 for dangerous, 2-3 for weak, 0-1 for harmless)? This way you can still move to the best tile in your LoS when you encounter extremely dangerous monster but you cannot do it vs popcorn.

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 22:43

Re: Common crawl problems

Sandman: this sounds close to the Stamina solution proposed upthread.

I need to think more about this issue. (I am also not a die-hard lurer, I play pretty carefree.)

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Post Wednesday, 13th May 2015, 22:54

Re: Common crawl problems

Yes, stamina would be optimal solution, it works great in other games (specifically it is used in eador which I used as example) but I don't expect it to be implemented in crawl because it is a huge change.
So I suggested 0-7 tiles as an easier implementable.

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Post Thursday, 14th May 2015, 00:49

Re: Common crawl problems

I couldn't care less about the difficulty or not of "expert players streaking". But from my experience, (and reading this thread, I am not alone), luring makes the game so much easier that it is a no-brainer. Moreover, It is tedious (most of the time). I am not saying that one shouldn't take advantage of terrain and LoS (chokepoints, water, corners etc.), but there should be some sort of balance.

As a simple example, what is the point of having pack monsters if you can just separate them and pick them off one by one? Pack monsters should, you know, attack in a pack. And what is the point of having a vault full of tough monsters, when you can attract the attention of one, lure it away, kill it, and then repeat the process till the vault is empty? See Elf:3. If the vault is too tough to handle at once, maybe one should reduce the monsters in the vault, not rely on this repetitive mechanism. I often skip huge vaults in Depths for this reason. I just pick a staircase in the corner and dive. Vaults in Depths can be absolutely insanely packed with tough monsters.

The slaying mechanism is just one of the proposed measure to handle this. I am not wedded to it, indeed I proposed two other simple measures. But please don't tell me that luring, all the time, every time, is fun. This is the main reason I often do speedrunning nowadays, and just play the occasional "normal" game (which I still like, but not all the time).

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Post Thursday, 14th May 2015, 01:03

Re: Common crawl problems

Berder wrote:Those are two issues. If you punish luring, then "average players" (who probably are playing easier combos) will find the game far too difficult. Also, if you punish luring, then expert players who are trying difficult combos will get killed for no reason and through no fault of their own. Both are problems.

If you really don't like luring, make the game so easy that luring is not necessary. For example, eliminate noise and have monsters go back to sleep soon after you leave LOS, and then you could fight enemies one at a time wherever you happen to be standing. Having luring still be necessary - but impossible - doesn't solve anything and simply ruins the game for weaker players or more challenging combos.

(I didn't see this post earlier)
I don't understand why there is only "normal" and "far too difficult". Surely one can calibrate our measures so that it is "less easier" but not "far too difficult". Anyway, I cannot convince you that the proposed solution is "far too difficult" or not, because nobody has given any numbers on how much less slaying, or how less regen, or how much spawn rate etc. And nobody has tried them out.

I have also said many times that luring will still be possible. Nobody is removing luring, the idea that some terrain, chokepoints, LoS etc. can be manipulated for advantage. That game will no longer be Crawl. The only point is to make it a bit less of a no-brainer.

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Post Thursday, 14th May 2015, 05:32

Re: Common crawl problems

if anyone uses the term 'no-brainer' again I am going to throw up

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