Non-persistent levels


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bel

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 14:33

Non-persistent levels

Playing Sil made me think about this. I am sure this has been discussed before.

Crawl with non-persistent levels. All stash management and stairs being OP gone. Of course, a lot of crawl is built around persistent levels, it would not be crawl anymore. But what's the general feeling about this?

Sar

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 14:38

Re: Non-persistent levels

Isn't a large part of Sil strategy grinding level 950 for loot?

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 14:40

Re: Non-persistent levels

We have them already. Pan, the abyss, and arguably zigs are all non persistent.
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bel

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 14:44

Re: Non-persistent levels

Sar wrote:Isn't a large part of Sil strategy grinding level 950 for loot?

There are mechanisms to reduce grinding: for example, the "min-depth" mechanism. I am not a good Sil player (I only started recently, and have only reached 1000' a few times, never killed Morgoth). I find the clock is tight enough so that I am pushed ever downward. In any case, I am not talking about Sil here, but Crawl.
WingedEspeon wrote:We have them already. Pan, the abyss, and arguably zigs are all non persistent.

I am talking about the "normal" game. These are all optional.
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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 15:16

Re: Non-persistent levels

Sar wrote:Isn't a large part of Sil strategy grinding level 950 for loot?

Yes. It is easy enough to spend more turns at 950' than 50-900'. It's not extremely useful to grind that much unless you want to kill Morgoth, but if you don't the ascension is even more annoying.

bel wrote:I find the clock is tight enough so that I am pushed ever downward.

How are you ever threatened by food in Sil? The regen rate is quite fast, you don't need to rest to full after every fight and explore every floor fully due to diminishing xp returns.
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bel

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 15:35

Re: Non-persistent levels

tabstorm wrote:
bel wrote:I find the clock is tight enough so that I am pushed ever downward.

How are you ever threatened by food in Sil? The regen rate is quite fast, you don't need to rest to full after every fight and explore every floor fully due to diminishing xp returns.

As I said already, I am not talking about Sil, I just mentioned where I got the idea from. I was not talking about food in Sil (it's mostly irrelevant, should be removed), but the "min-depth" clock. But as I said already, I am not a good Sil player.

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 20:16

Re: Non-persistent levels

I would think that removing stash management by forcing the player to juggle a full inventory 100% of the time and require inventory management for literally every potentially interesting drop is a solution that is worse than the original problem.

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bel

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 21:17

Re: Non-persistent levels

I was not talking about this as a "solution" to the stash management problem. I was just saying that it would have the effect of removing stash management. I have given my opinion on how to fix it elsewhere and won't repeat it here.

Perhaps I phrased the OP badly. I was just asking about how people feel about "non-persistent crawl" as compared to normal crawl. Would it be better/worse/more interesting/boring etc.?

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Post Saturday, 1st August 2015, 23:41

Re: Non-persistent levels

bel wrote:I was not talking about this as a "solution" to the stash management problem. I was just saying that it would have the effect of removing stash management. I have given my opinion on how to fix it elsewhere and won't repeat it here.

Perhaps I phrased the OP badly. I was just asking about how people feel about "non-persistent crawl" as compared to normal crawl. Would it be better/worse/more interesting/boring etc.?

Well, in large part it'd depend on how it was implemented.

If "non persistant crawl" means every level is generated freshly per the current rules each time you enter it, it'd mean that optimal behavior would probably be to scum every level for randomly generated stuff, stairs would still be "ultimate escape tools" (even more so, because you could enter a level, decide if you liked the layout, and if not, retreat see if you liked that level, and basically jump back and forth between levels scumming for an optimal level to scum for equipment until you hit the OOD timer (or longer if you wanted to)

If on the other hand you mean "That plus you don't start on an upstairs" it'd result in a lot more randomly bad situations that you had no built-in escapes from (Which would probably be better) but it'd offload the 'scumming' until you found an upstairs (or downstairs if that was the direction you wanted to go)

Yet another possibility is you might mean "There are no upstairs" in which case you really change the layout of the game entirely, you'd need to describe the actual rules you have in mind if that's your intent for me to personally have an opinion.

You could also mean "You can retreat upstairs, but levels that are generated after the first time are 'sterile' i.e. no monsters or loot" which doesn't IMHO mean it's much different than the current situation, except that you have more inventory management nightmares, as you have to save long-term useful items (like cure mutation, and spellbooks you might want in the future) in your inventory at all times.

You could also mean "Semi-sterile" in the "monsters are generated but no loot" Which means you can scum for XP but not for loot. (Also tedious)

All of those seem like lateral or downward movements in game quality to me, but that doesn't mean there's not some 'better crawl' game out there that works with non persistent levels, but I think it would require a more complex set of changes, what did you have in mind in more detail?
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Post Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 01:10

Re: Non-persistent levels

You could also introduce a stairmaze that makes you not know if you are going up or down, making the floor spawn normally only those stairs and maybe only one stairs up and down.
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Post Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 05:51

Re: Non-persistent levels

Crawl without persistent levels would be like angband w/o town or sil, but with a worse combat system. Persistent levels create the sense of place in crawl that is pretty central to its charm. There are certainly issues with it, stashing being one of them, but removal of item destruction has left stash/inventory management in an okay place -- the only real improvement to make there is to reduce the number of items (which is connected to other popular removal candidates that get a lot of discussion here).

The ability to level scum would interact adversely with the religion system as well, since naive "smart" play would frequently involve scumming d:2 for the player's favorite god. Item generation in angband, for example, is heavily tied to depth. Crawl is significantly looser about generating good rings, for example. So either scumming becomes strongly favored or item generation has to be overhauled. There are probably other issues I'm not thinking of. Basically, doesn't sound like it'd work well to me.
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Post Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 07:58

Re: Non-persistent levels

Perhaps if depth=time elapsed, with 1500 turns being the equivalent of the current difficulty increase of going down 1 level. Branches could work similarly, simply getting more and more fiendish as you continue to explore them. For example, Deep Orc would be choked with Warlords, Stone Giants, Sorcerers, etc, similar to what you'd see Ziggurat monster sets I suppose. Down staircases could up the depth difficulty by the equivalent of 1500 turns immediately while up staircases might reduce it by a smaller amount, ensuring that you can't delay increasing difficulty indefinitely but might try rushing up staircases to find a weaker area to recover. Up staircases could also be significantly rarer than down staircases.

I had a similar idea once of every floor being infinite, like the abyss. Maybe this could work as a sprint or a fork?
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bel

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Post Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 13:58

Re: Non-persistent levels

Generally thinking about this, a little more detail.

One of the problems I see is that Crawl is non-linear where Sil is linear: there are no branches. Branches would be awkward to handle in non-persistent crawl. I tried a way to do it, but it is weird and counter-intuitive. (See the spoiler text)

Scumming can generally be handled I think, by using min-depth idea of Sil. Each floor has a depth, and min-depth increases monotonically (until you get the Orb). No matter how any up staircases you take, you can't go beyond min-depth. I am not generally worried about this. If you want to dive to increase your chances of finding better loot, that is fine.

Spellbooks and rare consumables like cure mutation could be handled by rune-ifying them so they don't use inventory space.

Shops would cease to exist when you leave the level, as one would expect.

Spoiler: show
There is basically a trunk of 25 levels of increasing depth. Branches are implemented as portals. Every time you see a branch entrance it is added to a list. Each floor can generate a special room. Entering the room allows you to choose the branch which you want to enter. Entering the branch, each floor has an "exit hatch" to return you to the depth you came from.
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Post Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 17:28

Re: Non-persistent levels

Persistent levels are better than non-persistent levels anyway, non-persistence being a band-aid for a shitty difficulty curve, so why even think about this?

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