Is crawl too easy now?


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Swamp Slogger

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 11:17

Is crawl too easy now?

Remember item destruction, monsters picking up stuff, enchant weapon giving dmg/accuracy and having chances to fail, wand identification, potion/scroll not identifying unless it does something, jewelry not identifying until it does something, not knowing if this weapon is -5 or something, etc etc.

Now all of these changes are very welcome and i wouldnt want to play the older versions anymore due to how tedious it was. These quality of life changes, however, could only lead to an easier game. The identification game is so trivialized now that it may as well not exist. We are now able to utilize more items earlier in the game and generally have more information regarding our equipment.

I feel like the game hasnt compensated enough for these changes to keep the same level of difficulty. Its possible that the difficulty has been the same while I just got better, but nevertheless, my opinion is that current crawl is too easy.

Artificially making the game harder by withholding info like the old days is certainly bad, so maybe adding harder monsters or nerfing the player in some other way is in order.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 11:30

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

The best player nerfs come from reducing the number of floors in the game (esp. removing lair) without compensating for the loss of xp or loot. This was one of the key insights leading to hellcrawl, I think. When you drop lair, you get so much slack to work with in terms of game balance you can just slash out all the crufty information screws you're talking about without worrying about ending up with something as easy as dcss.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 11:49

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

I don't think the stuff you described contributed to any real 'difficulty'. As you said in your own post: It just made the game more tedious. For example you had to spend the extra turns to take every potentially dangerous weapon upstairs (so that no monster would use it against you). It was only harder for those who did not want to engage (or were not spoiled enough) in these tedious tactics.

Also I would argue that the older versions were quite a bit easier than current crawl. For example go back to something like 0.9 and experience yourself how uneventful old Vaults and the lower Dungeon levels were. Players have just gotten a lot better over time. I'm pretty sure that today's player base would have a higher overall win rate in the older crawl versions (assuming they could bear it for more than 10 minutes after having experienced current crawl with all those quality-of-life/interface improvements).

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 14:37

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

The only "quality of life" change I think was a major buff to player is item destruction (partial) removal, having a full stack of ?blink/whatever instead of a pile of ash because you didn't drop all scrolls for every orc mage is a huge difference
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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 15:39

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

Quality of life changes make the game feel easier because everything goes smoother and faster but don't necessarily increase winrate. However the shorter games makes it possible to make more attempts per time which increases the win totals over time played, which can contribute to a perception of easiness. Whether or not this actually makes crawl "easier" depends on your definition of easy, it gets a bit philosophical at that point I think.

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 20:21

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

Don't forget that we're supposed to enjoy the game!

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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 21:17

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

The game is harder than it used to be. If you don't believe me just go hang out on an old version. You'll find yourself incentivized to do lots of annoying behaviors like dropping scrolls before fighting mottled dragons, but there will be a lot less XP in the game due to shortened branches, shortened dungeon, etc. and less dangerous enemies in general.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 22:26

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

It has always been too easy :) My first winner had these stats:
  Code:
(Level 23 Fire Elementalist)

Experience : 23/483477

Strength 18     Dexterity 12     Intelligence 16

Hit Points : 172          Magic Points : 30

AC : 23          Evasion : 12          Shield : 9

Gp : 114

Skills were
  Code:
   Skills:

 + Level 12 Fighting

 + Level 17 Short Blades

 + Level 5 Darts

 + Level 10 Armour

 + Level 9 Dodging

 + Level 7 Stealth

 + Level 2 Stabbing

 + Level 9 Shields

 + Level 12 Traps & Doors

 + Level 11 Unarmed Combat

 + Level 8 Spellcasting

 + Level 20 Conjurations

 + Level 18 Fire Magic

He was wielding a +5, +5 short sword of slicing but could cast Fire Storm. I think the game is harder now :)

Spoiler: show
(OK controlled teleport actually won the game for me.)
...{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE
{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWz
DDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGl

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 22:45

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

I feel the game is easier to play now--e.g., I don't have to do stuff like victory dance any more, yeay.

The content is probably harder now--e.g., V5 layout, no controlled TP, nerfs to C-Blink, new enemies, removal of healing wand, etc.--but Crawl feels easier to me overall because I'm a better player than I was back in the day. If I want a more challenging game of Crawl, I can just impose some conduct on myself. But that's me. For a new player, I bet the game is hard enough.

So overall, no, I wouldn't consider Crawl "too easy."

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Post Saturday, 30th September 2017, 22:57

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

not too easy NOW. it was always very easy, especially once you got past the earliest floors of the game. most of the quality of life changes were just that, though i suppose melee did get buffed a little bit with the increase in the effectiveness of strength and the removal of negatively enchanted body armor.
remove food

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 01:27

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

I recently found -2 chain mail lying on the ground in a game, though I do not remember if it was in .20 or in trunk. Are negatively enchanted armors gone in trunk? I didn't know, but it sounds lovely.

On the topic at hand: granted, I've not been playing quite as long as some of the regulars here, but I have a few years behind me and I remember when the dungeon was longer and a number of dangerous enemies were missing. The game was more tedious then, certainly, and you can argue that forced tedium contributes to difficulty, but on the other hand a longer dungeon means more experience and more floors on which to find gold and loot. In my personal opinion, there hasn't been a large increase or decrease in the game's overall difficulty, and I absolutely do not believe that older versions were superior either way; much of what's been removed was more than deserving of it. If fire crabs burning half of your scrolls in Lair when you made a wrong step made the game any harder, it didn't do so in a way that was healthy for the game IMO.

Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 01:52

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

Its true that the game certainly got harder in some areas (notably zot), and there were certainly big nerfs like haste and yellow wands removal. I feel like the QOL stuff really made the early couple floors much easier though. Then again, thats absolutely a step in the right direction if I think about it. Easier early game with more threats after your character comes online seems like a better difficulty curve than what we had previously.

If i had to pick one thing that made the game feel too easy, it must be when i grasped the importance of tactics in combat. The AI is really exploitable around corners, but I dont know how to improve that. Proper monster AI would make centaurs kill anyone lol. Its a bit like when i found out about corner shooting in DoomRL

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 04:25

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

gameguard wrote:The AI is really exploitable around corners, but I dont know how to improve that. Proper monster AI would make centaurs kill anyone lol.


Different speed monsters can use different algorithms. If smart centaurs are OP, just remove them. It is weird that the same monster is either trivial (if it's adjacent to you and is at the end of dead corridor so it has no room to run away and cannot shoot) or deadly (open terrain).
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Barkeep

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 20:20

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

Airwolf wrote:Don't forget that we're supposed to enjoy the game!

I'm pretty sure this bug was already patched out.

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 21:28

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
gameguard wrote:The AI is really exploitable around corners, but I dont know how to improve that. Proper monster AI would make centaurs kill anyone lol.


Different speed monsters can use different algorithms. If smart centaurs are OP, just remove them. It is weird that the same monster is either trivial (if it's adjacent to you and is at the end of dead corridor so it has no room to run away and cannot shoot) or deadly (open terrain).

Well, there goes the whole game then.

Spriggans are way too fast.
Fire and cold do a great deal of damage if one lacks resistance... And have you seen those early hornets? The killer bees if one is slow or lacks dodge?
There are those infamous spark shrikes or caustic shrikes, each particularly tuned to hit worst the characters without one particular resistance and very hard at that. (There couldn't be a pattern, here nah.)
Mennas is horrid unless you don't need to cast spells, in which case silence is kinda meh whatever if you've built a strong fighter.
Cyclops are evil if you don't have some serious dodging, but if you do? Meh, not so much.
Etc. etc.

Much of the game is s a jigsaw of "Oh, and do you have this particular defense right now? Oh, and over here we'll just toss you more than one opponent and see if you can guess which one you need to kill first in this particular situation before you switch rings and do it all again." Unless of course you were silly enough to base your whole character around one non-physical type of offense, or then heaven help you by Lair branches.

It mostly gets complicated when you're forced to face multiple or much more frequent threats (also often due to floor layout), or one of the rarer monsters that brings in many more varied abilities in its package (undead summoners tossing out all of melee, caster and tormenting friends are a great example) or uniques, or the more occasional ghost that has managed to raise more than one area of power (or once in a while, appears way OOD for some silly reason).

It would be easy to say it was easy, except for those of us who don't slow down enough or get all the perfect range of drops and patience too, to deal with the points where more complex situations keep coming out more often or faster. Individually, very few mobs before exotic branches (like certain Wizlabs) or extended fall far outside the jigsaw if you meet them far enough in, and have gotten a suitable enough range of drops to handle most of the worst variations.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 1st October 2017, 22:06

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

stoneychips wrote:Much of the game is s a jigsaw of "Oh, and do you have this particular defense right now? Oh, and over here we'll just toss you more than one opponent and see if you can guess which one you need to kill first in this particular situation before you switch rings and do it all again." Unless of course you were silly enough to base your whole character around one non-physical type of offense, or then heaven help you by Lair branches.

It mostly gets complicated when you're forced to face multiple or much more frequent threats (also often due to floor layout), or one of the rarer monsters that brings in many more varied abilities in its package (undead summoners tossing out all of melee, caster and tormenting friends are a great example) or uniques, or the more occasional ghost that has managed to raise more than one area of power (or once in a while, appears way OOD for some silly reason).

It would be easy to say it was easy, except for those of us who don't slow down enough or get all the perfect range of drops and patience too, to deal with the points where more complex situations keep coming out more often or faster. Individually, very few mobs before exotic branches (like certain Wizlabs) or extended fall far outside the jigsaw if you meet them far enough in, and have gotten a suitable enough range of drops to handle most of the worst variations.
These paragraphs parse with a strangely high degree of confidence, considering the fact that I can't figure out what they mean at all
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Post Monday, 2nd October 2017, 05:48

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

duvessa wrote:[]These paragraphs parse with a strangely high degree of confidence, considering the fact that I can't figure out what they mean at all

That's okay, I can't really read your pages of fine print, zero-margin deep dive game stats either.

But have you never done a jigsaw puzzle? It's the same thing. Most of the time, all you need is the right piece (or in this case, usually the right kind of defense/occasionally more offense) to do a particular monster, rinse and repeat.

So if one says that centaurs maybe should be tossed because they excel at range but have no melee, then well a huge portion of the monsters could be tossed for also testing players dramatically in one area but not so much else.

Or perhaps the notion that floor layouts and a few later monsters/uniques are the more complex factors, somehow confused you?

If that isn't succinct enough for you, I'm not going to reduce it to Twitter standards so I give up.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 2nd October 2017, 14:53

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

None of the things listed in the OP were "hard". So no.
-Scroll burning wasn't hard, I would just drop/stash my scrolls before something with burns would destroy them. This was in no way hard, just kludgy and annoyoing.
-The old schools enchant game was in no way harder it was just random and in the end having a +7 glaive instead of a +9 glaive won't really determine whether you win and isn't nearly as important as finding a Vampiric brand versus a Venom Brand.
-Identification game still exists and it also is not hard. There are very simple heuristics to follow. They are just kludgy and annoying and the only purpose they serve is to limit your tactical options on early floors and limit your equipment options later on. In the end you can reliably, very easily get everything Identified and find a decent weapon that is suited to win the game. The only thing ID does is make you possibly miss something kind of good like a high enchant vampiric weapon. You probably won't miss an excellent artifact as you just save ID scrolls for that. Wand Id was even more trivial than the current ID game which just sucks anyway. None of this was hard. Not in anyway. If a ring did not ID you knew it belonged to one of a VERY small set of rings and you just had to wait on finding a scroll. Woopdee frigging do.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, 07:44

Re: Is crawl too easy now?

I wouldn't say too easy, but it is slightly easier in that many instakill mechanics have been removed. You cannot drown when confused, you cannot starve because of a cursed club, you don't die if you butcher something with a blunt vampiric weapon. Curses only take one slot, and dressing is faster. There also are some new, easier species, like Gargoyle and Ba (which I find a lot easier than other slow options). Venom mages now have lvl 2 vapours, and there also is ignition. Mut roulette turned into a lottery. No anti-training for magic schools.

On the other side, cTele is gone, cBlink is useless in Zot and Orb, (v)Tele is gone. No more yellow wands. Stronger monsters spawn earlier.

I thought it was impossible to be one-shotted now, but there seem to be some edge cases. One is starting in Abyss, which however doesn't count. Another one is retreating upstairs, only to find yourself inside a 1 stair altar vault, with the result of being instakilled when you go the only way you can, down the stairs. Then I once got killed by an ogre who somehow attacked twice in a row (energy randomisation?). Of course, the most important factor will always be paralysis.
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