Formicids (Was: Dwants)


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 05:10

Formicids (Was: Dwants)

Formicids are humanoid ants from deep below. They have four incredibly strong arms that allow them to wield practically anything, along with a shield. They are incredibly adept at the earth, allowing them to dig both tunnels and shafts. Perhaps unfortunately, their relationship with the earth has given them a permanent sense of stasis: they are unable to teleport or hasten themselves.

Formicids are in trunk now!

Innate Abilities and Bonuses:
  Code:
Medium Size
20% less HP than average
Average MP
Strength increase every 4 levels
4 MR per level

Poison weakness
Antennae mutation level 1. Increases rank every 8 levels.
Chitin mutation (HP +5, AC +1)

Able to wield big weapons (GSC) with all 4 arms
All other weapons are treated as 1-handed (Dwants have 4 arms acting as 2)

Permanent stasis effect.
Ability to shaft self. Takes 2 turn to dig shaft and it makes lots of noise where you end up. Using it increases the OOD timer on the floor you land on.
Able to dig through walls.


Aptitudes:
  Code:
+0 Fighting
+1 Short Blades
+0 Long Blades
+0 Axes
+0 Maces
+0 Polearms
+0 Staves
+0 Unarmed Combat

-2 Bows
+0 Crossbows
+1 Slings
-2 Throwing

+2 Armour
-1 Dodging
+0 Shields
+0 Stealth
+1 Traps

-1 Spellcasting
+0 Fire Magic
+0 Ice Magic
-2 Air magic
+2 Earth Magic
+3 Poison Magic
-1 Conjuration
+2 Hexes
+0 Charms
+0 Summoning
+0 Necromancy
+0 Translocation
+1 Transmutation

+2 Invocation
+2 Evocation

+1 EXP


(Note: this thread is notorious for containing out-of-date information. You can message me if something differs than what's actually in the code/game)

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Last edited by pubby on Thursday, 7th November 2013, 00:12, edited 17 times in total.
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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 06:02

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

pubby wrote:Dwants are the result of combining dwarfs with ants. They have a humanoid ant body, with four ant arms and two ant legs. Their face is an ant shape, but has dwarven eyes, mouth, and beard.

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 06:37

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

In all seriusness,
-The flavour is a bit odd but I've seen stranger things in crawl.
-Tweaking with the hands that a weapon will be difficult to balance.
-Shafting ability is quite strong. It has been proposed many times as a spell, a race ability or a god power but not really implemented; I suspect devs have reasons for this.
-No shafting and no teleporting and 20% less hp will be a problem at the bottom of every branch.
-Is there any reason why you choose that distribution for ability aptitudes?

A bit of flavour would be nice; there are no Dwants in game but I guess you could start by trying to implement the monster version and a couple of vaults and see how they are received.

I have no idea how this race could play out, I only make guesses. Make a patch of it, test whether you have fun and if so, send it to the trunk so that people can check it and give you better feedback.

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 07:44

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 09:54

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Some Feedback:

The idea of a species with a permanent stasis effect seems cool - and it might make sense to N/A the modifier for Translocations. However, it feels like the species lacks escape techniques - discussion for the shafting ability concluded that it is really not that great an escape ability and dropping down to a non-explored level isn't exactly a great way of escaping. Dwantlings may perhaps help for escape but it depends on how strong they are.

Gaining Antennae sounds cool - its a mutation that should be used more. But it along with the fact that your in an Ant-like body sort of counters having such a high Armour Score. It feels like this species should gain a natural AC from its body while getting high Dodging, and/or Shields, and/or Stealth to compensate.

I assume the race is Medium Sized. Wearing Large Weapons on a Medium Sized Species sounds interesting, but I don't like the idea of the Species being perhaps capable of wielding a Giant Spiked Club with a Shield - that seems excessive. Ogres and Trolls have to compete with poor Defense to gain that massive Offense but it would seem your giving them to this species who can also have good defense - all at a cost of a little MP and HP while running around with a Stasis effect.

On just the Weapon aptitudes - some seem a bit off. Ignoring Armour - why are they only good at Crossbows? What's with the Melee Weapon spread? It seems like Weapons are suppose to be their cliche yet their aptitudes don't seem to represent this very well. Additionally, Fighting is pretty poor - which seems to be something that should be much higher.

Will Ants in game be friendly or at least passive to this character?
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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 13:26

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Yes! Bugs bugs bugs. Some ideas.
Can burrow through rock (shaft traps = burrow down).
Larvae take some time to hatch.

Burrow yourself a little room, put shaft traps at the door, lay a bunch of eggs and wait, then explore the level. Lol.

I'd give their equipment skills a military flavor (they are a physically strong species... did you intend them to be small?)
Axes, Spears, Maces, Long Blades, Shields, Armour (but unfitting... maybe except dwarven)

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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 13:27

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Davion Fuxa wrote:Will Ants in game be friendly or at least passive to this character?


Strange ants are rarely friendly to one another.
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Post Monday, 10th June 2013, 18:33

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

No shafting and no teleporting and 20% less hp will be a problem at the bottom of every branch.

I consider harder branch ends a feature.

Shafting ability is quite strong. It has been proposed many times as a spell, a race ability or a god power but not really implemented; I suspect devs have reasons for this.

I tested shafting for the fortress dwarf proposal and learned a few things. First off, it's an incredibly fun ability. Getting placed several floors out of depth and having to frantically search for up-stairs while being chased is a blast. I would take shafting over teleport and haste any day.

As Davion Fuxa said, shafting is worse than a teleport. That's not much of a problem because shafting is unlimited and faster to activate. For those who want better escape options, there are plenty of gods and consumables which work under stasis.

I assume the race is Medium Sized. Wearing Large Weapons on a Medium Sized Species sounds interesting, but I don't like the idea of the Species being perhaps capable of wielding a Giant Spiked Club with a Shield - that seems excessive

My plan was for them to be a small race (I think I said that in the OP). Small races of course get a shield penalty and so I don't expect people to use anything more than a buckler.

On just the Weapon aptitudes - some seem a bit off. Ignoring Armour - why are they only good at Crossbows? What's with the Melee Weapon spread? It seems like Weapons are suppose to be their cliche yet their aptitudes don't seem to represent this very well. Additionally, Fighting is pretty poor - which seems to be something that should be much higher.

Aptitudes were chosen based on a combination of perceived dwarf/ant-ness, to allow variation, and restrictions of Dwant anatomy. I wanted them to be capable with dwarven weapons (axes and crossbows), while slightly worse with Ogre ones (maces and throwing). Staves, polearms, and bows seemed rather hard to wield using ant arms, and so for flavor reasons I gave them bad aptitudes.

Fighting and spellcasting are negative for two reason. First, deep dwarves have similar aptitudes and so it seemed to fit. Second, it goes with their low-hp, low-mp property.

Of course, aptitudes can easily be changed at any time. In fact, I'll probably update them after writing this post.

and it might make sense to N/A the modifier for Translocations

11 translocation spells can still be used with statis though. I wouldn't want to prevent an entire school just because they can't teleport themselves.
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Post Tuesday, 11th June 2013, 01:35

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Perhaps Driders would be a more interesting sell
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Post Tuesday, 11th June 2013, 03:22

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Dwiders.
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Post Wednesday, 12th June 2013, 08:15

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Hastily implemented patch if anyone wants to try dwants: https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=7202
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Post Monday, 17th June 2013, 12:23

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

I won the first Dwant:

  Code:
1895733 pepe the Invulnerable (level 27, 116/198 (200) HPs)
             Began as a Dwant Death Knight on June 17, 2013.
             Was the Champion of Yredelemnul.
             Escaped with the Orb
             ... and 4 runes!

Dump: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=sYGFxucP

Thoughts after playing:

- Dwants are hard to play. Shafting is a risky escape tool and an even riskier panic button.
- Innate digging is surprisingly fun to have.
- Stasis is a much better choice than -TELE. The immunities stasis gives are absolutely wonderful.

Also, I've been revising dwants after each playtest so the OP has been edited.
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Post Tuesday, 18th June 2013, 12:10

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

I've never been a fan of shafting - it always seems like a tedious escape option (you have to either claw your way up through levels or you end up surrounded on an unexplored level). This seems as though it would be exacerbated by being a physically weak/non-fast species and not having any other viable means of escape. This has always been shot down after discussion, so I'm doubtful at how much this proposal would add to the debate to make it a realistic option.

However, I do love the idea of a statis based species and an insect based species. Also, shield and two handed weapon probably will send balance a bit off.
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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 05:30

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Bim wrote:I've never been a fan of shafting - it always seems like a tedious escape option (you have to either claw your way up through levels or you end up surrounded on an unexplored level). This seems as though it would be exacerbated by being a physically weak/non-fast species and not having any other viable means of escape. This has always been shot down after discussion, so I'm doubtful at how much this proposal would add to the debate to make it a realistic option.

It's not really tedious seeing how infrequent you should do it (~5 per game), but it can definitely be frustrating. Most of the time you can use a different method of escape though.

I've been playtesting some more, and I think I'll modify the aptitudes to make Dwants a tad bit easier. Here are the new values:
  Code:
+0 Fighting
-1 Conjuration
+1 Hexes
+1 Experience

If anyone disagrees with these values then speak up.

Also, another win while playtesting:
  Code:
1333991 pubby the Talismancer (level 27, 174/184 HPs)
             Began as a Dwant Venom Mage on June 20, 2013.
             Was the Champion of Sif Muna.
             Escaped with the Orb
             ... and 3 runes!
             
             The game lasted 05:55:13 (134454 turns).

http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=M57RxAqZ
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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 06:25

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Perhaps shafting should take longer than one turn and not speed up OOD on the floor below? Speeding up OOD seems a bit of a strange mechanic (which isn't used else where I don't think) and shafting in one turn is pretty fast for an escape ability.

Has anyone else had a go?
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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 06:59

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Actually shafting takes 2 turns in the patch - I forgot to update the OP. Anything more than that makes shafting worthless.

I don't really care if the shafting OOD timer stays or goes, but since it's irrelevant for non-scummy players I don't really see a reason to remove it. Keep in mind it's only adding ~250 turns for low level players. It might also have the fun effect of making the orb run a lot more fun, although I haven't checked if the OOD timer is used for that.
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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 09:06

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

pubby wrote:It might also have the fun effect of making the orb run a lot more fun, although I haven't checked if the OOD timer is used for that.

The orb run completely overwrites normal spawning with its own spawn list (i.e. "lots of horrible demonds"). What spawns doesn't depend on depth at all, so the OoD timer won't affect it.

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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 11:24

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

I've had a longer play and reached some conclusions which are mainly flavour based:
Firstly, (as mentioned by kilobyte on Mantis) the flavour needs to be changed. I'd have them just as a (slightly plain) insectoid species. I don't think there is any harm in it as it's less confusing and we don't currently have any insect races. Dwants just sounds too jokey/confusing and I think more people could get behind a general insect race.
To that end, I'd also make them more insect like. Perhaps they could also have other insect like features/mutations? I thought thin skeletal structure (also increasing over time) could be a good one, or a beak (could be renamed something like maw) to separate them further.

Secondly, Dig is fine to have as an ability on it's own. Could there be an additional 'burrow' ability, which is like a faster passwall? I know I just hate shaft, but I seriously think there are better alternatives.

I really like the idea of an insectoid race (and it's already great work that you've done), but I think going more insect is the way to go.

Edit: To get more players testing/giving feedback definitely approach a dev about merging it with trunk - most have been open to it because they realise some people have problems compiling and that trunk is there to test with after all.
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Post Friday, 21st June 2013, 14:43

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Bim wrote:Edit: To get more players testing/giving feedback definitely approach a dev about merging it with trunk - most have been open to it because they realise some people have problems compiling and that trunk is there to test with after all.


He already did this by posting the patch to mantis. The problem is since we're already testing 3 new species in trunk I don't know if it's a good idea to add a 4th right now unless there's a really compelling reason to do so (flavour problems aside), at least not until we have a better idea what's happening with those 3.

The best hope is finding someone who's willing to host the build on a server. In the past this is how a lot of new features have been tested. I do think it'd be nice to make putting experimental builds on the servers easier, because it's a fairly common situation that stuff in branches/forks needs playtesting but nobody wants to compile it themselves (and online play does have a significant bonus that designers/devs can spectate which is really really useful when polishing a new feature).

Of course, compiling the game is a lot easier than people think, they are just scared to try ;) (And there's no reason why pubby can't post some builds himself for folks to test.)
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Post Saturday, 22nd June 2013, 03:52

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

I've had a longer play and reached some conclusions which are mainly flavour based:
Firstly, (as mentioned by kilobyte on Mantis) the flavour needs to be changed. I'd have them just as a (slightly plain) insectoid species. I don't think there is any harm in it as it's less confusing and we don't currently have any insect races. Dwants just sounds too jokey/confusing and I think more people could get behind a general insect race.

In defense of the Dwarf aspect, it brings stuff to the table that a plain insect species couldn't. If this species started out as a pure insect, it probably wouldn't be heavy-armour focused with high invoc+evoc, both of which I consider a defining feature of the species. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to come up with a completely unique flavour found only in Crawl: we can give the silly idea a serious backstory.

I can understand not everybody liking the Dwarf aspect, so here's a poll to gauge how people feel:
http://poll.pollcode.com/1cbvi <<< Fill this out
Assume that this poll would only affect the outcome of flavour and that the Dwant mechanics would stay the same.

To that end, I'd also make them more insect like. Perhaps they could also have other insect like features/mutations? I thought thin skeletal structure (also increasing over time) could be a good one, or a beak (could be renamed something like maw) to separate them further.

The mutation screen is already at 7 lines, I'm really concerned to add much more. I can add effects to their chitin skin though, such as stealth.

The best hope is finding someone who's willing to host the build on a server. In the past this is how a lot of new features have been tested. I do think it'd be nice to make putting experimental builds on the servers easier, because it's a fairly common situation that stuff in branches/forks needs playtesting but nobody wants to compile it themselves (and online play does have a significant bonus that designers/devs can spectate which is really really useful when polishing a new feature).

I was talking to gammafunk about hosting Dwants on his server, but I don't know if it will happen. Still, I wouldn't consider anything but trunk to be actual testing as people play trunk much differently than they do test repos. Trunk attracts the whole community while testing repos only attract those in favor of the idea in the first place. Trunk has people playing to win, while testing repos has people playing to try out every new ability on D:1.

---

Anyway, I coded up some Dwant monsters: two fighters and a mage. They have all the defining features of dwants: digging, shafting, 4 arms, stasis, etc.

The 'dwant venom mage' has a funny spell list:
  Code:
       SPELL_OLGREBS_TOXIC_RADIANCE,
       SPELL_OLGREBS_TOXIC_RADIANCE,
       SPELL_NO_SPELL,
       SPELL_MASS_CURE_POISON,
       SPELL_DIG,
       SPELL_SHAFT_SELF,

It spams Olgrebs and poisons everything, then a few turns later it casts a new monster spell, 'Mass Cure Poison', which removes the poison from every ally in its LOS! It's probably too gimmicky of a monster to be used often, but it would work nicely in a special vault or two. (also, they're fun to enslave and have them heal you instead)
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Post Saturday, 22nd June 2013, 09:48

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

mumra wrote:
Bim wrote:Edit: To get more players testing/giving feedback definitely approach a dev about merging it with trunk - most have been open to it because they realise some people have problems compiling and that trunk is there to test with after all.


He already did this by posting the patch to mantis. The problem is since we're already testing 3 new species in trunk I don't know if it's a good idea to add a 4th right now unless there's a really compelling reason to do so (flavour problems aside), at least not until we have a better idea what's happening with those 3.


Perhaps having a queue on the trunk for some features would be nice. Something on the line of putting submisions on a queue and taking just a certain number of these features at a time, when a feature gets its turn it gets one month of test time. This could apply to big features like new races, branches or gods.

After one month the tested feature is removed from the trunk and the ticket with higer priority gets goes in. A tested feature could get another month if there is nothing in line or if they have high priority, otherwise they wait until their priority goes high again.

Priority could be asigned acording to several factors like:
-The time they have been waiting in the queue.
-The time the feature has been tested in the trunk.
-The opinion from the devs on how important / developed / wanted is the feature.

This is similar to the method that is used in most supercomputers to asign resources (e.g. slurm fairshare). At the end this guy has also made quite a lot of effort trying to improve crawl, please consider allowing him some time at the trunk.

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Post Saturday, 22nd June 2013, 13:38

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

I'm sure that once the other additions are decided on/polished then there will be time to test this idea, as at the moment I do admit it's a bit crowded with features that are still being worked on.I don't think there needs/should be a big system of priorities and queueing.

Having it on a webtiles server sounds like a very good first step before trunk though, it'll determine a lot more easily if it's something that should go in or not - although I'm sure an insectoid race of some sort would be welcomed.
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Post Saturday, 22nd June 2013, 16:18

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Marbit wrote:Perhaps having a queue on the trunk for some features would be nice. Something on the line of putting submisions on a queue and taking just a certain number of these features at a time, when a feature gets its turn it gets one month of test time. This could apply to big features like new races, branches or gods.


I can't really see this happening. The current races and the new branch were all worked on by dev team members; even Lava Orcs, whilst originally developed by a community member (Eronarn, who also created Octopodes), were actually updated to 0.13 and merged by kilobyte. So if anything goes drastically wrong with any of these features there's at least one devteam member with knowledge of them and some responsibility for them who can quickly fix issues. However for a community submission, we can't rely on that person being around to fix things quickly, and there might not be a dev around who knows or cares enough to fix things on their behalf. And while we'll usually fix bugs in each others' code if that dev isn't around, code quality is something of an unknown factor with community submissions which can make bugfixing much harder.

Then, if we decide one of these features shouldn't make it into the game, someone has to do the work of reverting it. This isn't so simple especially for a complicated feature like a race/background/god, as we have to avoid breaking save compatibility for existing games. So you'd be expecting devs to handle a whole extra workload when they could be working on features they want to develop themselves, or doing important things like fixing bugs.

Basically a feature should only be tested directly in trunk if at least one member of the devteam is interested enough in it to take a certain amount of responsibility for its merging, maintenance, and possible removal. Unfortunately, no matter how many members of the community supported an idea, or what the results of a poll were, nothing can happen without actual dev support. Sure if there is a good quality patch with a lot of community interest then we'd be mad to ignore it, but there are absolutely no guarantees (and yes I am also concerned about the Dwarf part of this proposal).
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Post Saturday, 22nd June 2013, 23:56

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

So if anything goes drastically wrong with any of these features there's at least one devteam member with knowledge of them and some responsibility for them who can quickly fix issues. However for a community submission, we can't rely on that person being around to fix things quickly, and there might not be a dev around who knows or cares enough to fix things on their behalf. And while we'll usually fix bugs in each others' code if that dev isn't around, code quality is something of an unknown factor with community submissions which can make bugfixing much harder.

For what it's worth, I have the summer free so I can get bugfixes out fairly quickly. I can do the merge and possible reversion too. I realize that in your position you can't really rely on community submissions, but it's at least worth noting that I'll be available.

---

Anyway, after a day of the poll: 11 votes in favor of removing the dwarf flavour, 4 votes for keeping it. I think it's clear at this point that the species would benefit to lose the dwarf flavour.

Looking at the current abilities, having the species be ant-related is practically a must. I really can't think of any other insect that is super strong, good at digging, and has antennae. Of course, if you can think of another insect which fits then bring it up. For those who have an idea on a new species name, use this template and post a reply:
  Code:
New species name: (should be as obvious as felids and octopodes, also probably ant-related)
Short paragraph of flavour:

I'll create another poll once we get a few good submissions. Once decided, I'll likely set the weapon apts to 0 and adjust the chitin mutation for the new flavour.
Last edited by pubby on Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 02:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 00:47

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

New species name proposals: Ch'tin, Sektoid, Sectoid, K'tik, Hive, Hiver, Hiveman, Hiveling
Someone else can flavour up an insect species.

Take a look at the jumping ability thread; there's an alternate ability idea.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 02:04

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Myrmex (the plural is apparently Myrmekes).

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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 07:53

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Although I normally like to keep things simple (calling them insectoids or hivelings or something obviously insecty) I do think that Myrmex is very awesome.

For my vote then, Myrmex or insectoid.

Also, the jumping ability is very cool, I like it a lot as an ability, and that combined with dig would give it a very insecty feel.

Edit: maybe change the title/the first post to reflect the changes to a more insect based proposal when you get time?
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 08:38

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Proposals:
insectoid - simple and easy.
emmet- archaic for ant.
mire - archaic for ant.
maurr- old norse for ant.
crawlers- because well... insects :D

Now that it seems that you need the support of a dev to go ahead perhaps you should ask them if anyone is interested in developing an insectoid race and if so what would it be needed to be developed/changed to gain their support.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 09:17

Re: Dwants (dwarfs + ants)

Take a look at the jumping ability thread; there's an alternate ability idea.

This will have to wait until jumping gets entirely accepted into the game. I like the ability though.

Bim wrote:Edit: maybe change the title/the first post to reflect the changes to a more insect based proposal when you get time?

I updated it slightly. Once the flavour is decided I'll update it more.

I see some good name ideas so expect me to post the name poll tomorrow.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 10:27

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Are you still taking ideas for the race?
Do you want the race to be ant like or isect/arthropod like?

Anyway, I'll throw some ideas:

-As they metamorphose they fixate in a caste (like ant castes). They start with homogeneous attributes but as they level up they gain points in one atribute and lose some on another, this results on six castes.

  Code:
Caste      High     Low
A          dex      str
B          dex      int
C          str      dex
D          str      int
E          int      dex
F          int      str


-They make caparace made of pieces of armor like hermit crab or a caddyfish. They can wear more than one body armour.
(viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8364)

-They live the life of a mayfly or the concept of metamorphosis going wrong. You tend to gain bad mutations with time but stress restarts the counter... perhaps defeating a very dangerous enemy.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8033&p=108937#p108937

Bim

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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 16:31

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

I have to say I think I'd find involuntary stat shuffling annoying, unless it could be somehow directed (which I think was shot down by devs a while ago with other forms of shuffling). Unlike with Draconians/demonspawn, getting negatively changed stats would completely ruin some chars - going from high int to high str on a caster would be incredibly annoying.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 17:24

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Yes, stat shufling ruins your characters because there is no way that you can transition from a caster type character to a warrior all the suden.
The caste system on the other hand produces a gradual change over many levels, you know which will be the outcome of it and you can prepare by not investing in skills that require your weak stat and invest in your strong stat.

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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 18:10

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Still, lets say you start as a fighter (and want to play as a fighter, hence why you chose it) and then it decides to give you caste F, you'd just not be able to be a fighter. The caste couldn't be shown at the start (or too near it) as otherwise players would just scum till they got the caste they want.

Admittedly, this could be the challenge of the specie, but I just can't imagine many players wanting to play a species which could suddenly put the first 7 levels (or whatever it is till you start moving towards the caste) to waste/having to completely reskill mid way through, no matter how gradual the change was.
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Post Sunday, 23rd June 2013, 19:30

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Bim wrote:Admittedly, this could be the challenge of the specie, but I just can't imagine many players wanting to play a species which could suddenly put the first 7 levels (or whatever it is till you start moving towards the caste) to waste/having to completely reskill mid way through, no matter how gradual the change was.


It is no different from a demonspawn or a draconian, you adapt to your mutations.
If I started as a fighter and then, by level five, I discover that I'm going to be caste F (high int, low str) I would train dodge and start looking for a medium or light armour and some spells that could complement my fighting skills. The change will not affect my ability to be a fighter and most of the skills that I trained will remain useful torough the game and by the time I reach lvl 15 I'll also be a proficient caster.

Granted that some choices may be risky e.g. if you choose a berserk and get a caste F but you get the same problems with draconians or demonspawns and people take that into account when choosing the background or god. Anyway, I feel like if I'm hijacking the thread... I'm not even sure if pubby is still acepting sugestions or if he finds this one interesting.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 02:33

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Ok, Here's the name survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GFFL9TH <<< FILL THIS OUT
(Myrmex is my favorite!)

Are you still taking ideas for the race?

I'm listening but I don't think this species needs anything else. They seem pretty much feature complete, at least until playtesting. Small tweak ideas are much likelier to get implemented: for instance an idea for an aptitude change or another (minor) effect for their chitin skin body mutation.

The ideas you suggested are somewhat interesting, but they would be better to have a species built around them from scratch rather than added onto this one.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 05:10

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

I didn't really care for any of the names in the survey, so consider this a write-in for "Emmet," and anarchic noun meaning ant. I think it's important to look at the precedents of "Octopode," "Draconian," and "Felid" here - all of them manage to convey their flavor without sounding silly or forced. I haven't found a name as elegant as those for the Dwants.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 13:39

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

reaver wrote:I didn't really care for any of the names in the survey, so consider this a write-in for "Emmet," and anarchic noun meaning ant. I think it's important to look at the precedents of "Octopode," "Draconian," and "Felid" here - all of them manage to convey their flavor without sounding silly or forced. I haven't found a name as elegant as those for the Dwants.


I have to disagree - Felid doesn't really convey any flavour/what the species is, and Emmet is even further out.

I am completely, completely, 100% for straightforward naming. It's far easier for people to grasp what an insectoid/hiveling is than it is to understand what an Emmet or Myrmex is (although I confess do like Myrmex). The amount of trouble 'Skald' caused, because hardly anyone knew what it meant yet/could get a grasp of the flavour (as Skalds didn't fight in history in anyway) could have been avoided by using something like 'battle bard' or 'war chanter' which would have let everyone know easily what it was without issue.

I just don't see the point in pointlessly obscure naming, so I would really encourage you pubby, as the designer, to go for something straightforward (heck, even Dwants was straight forward!)
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 14:16

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

@bim felis is Latin for cat.
Felix the cat was also a very famous cartoon (named as such due to felis I assume).
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 14:18

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

There are only two hard problems in species creation: naming things and off-by-one aptitudes.

So far the poll Has Myrmex, Insectoid, and Hiveling in the lead, but none have very decisive votes.

I'm thinking suffixing/prefixing the word "ant" may be the best way to go, something like:
Antnite, Anten, Antoid, Antu, Xomant, Fedant, Pepant, Vant, Langtant (some of these are better than others)

Also, maybe Formicidian. Actually, I like Formicidian a lot, and I think most people have heard Formicidae before, even if they don't remember what it means.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 14:25

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

If Insectoid is leading I think going Antoid would be good - it leaves room open for additional insect species later (if so desired) and does more to describe a bit more of what you might expect.

To be honest I'd stay away from Hiveling - that makes it sound like some sort of playable Killer Bee to me since we had the Hive branch before.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 14:55

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

A Mant (Man-Ant or also short for Mantis)... just make sure that if the name is a word (hiveling) that it translated into something about the species. I wasn't crazy about 'Dwant' because they didn't seem related to Dwarves in anyway.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 19:06

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

rebthor wrote:@bim felis is Latin for cat.
Felix the cat was also a very famous cartoon (named as such due to felis I assume).


Agreed, and I don't think that things need to be reduced to such things as 'dragon-men' and 'cats' but I doubt many people would get what a Felid is from the name alone (to me it sounds more like a plant). Felid isn't too bad though because I realise the difficulty in naming a cat something other than a cat, but for something that is more fantastical it makes sense to keep it simpler so that players can grasp the flavour easily. Insectoid or Hiveling both are quite descriptive without being as simple as 'insect-men'.

Please, for the love of all that is crawling, don't use a portamento name like 'mants' or 'dwants' - it just sounds ridiculous.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 20:12

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Between Davion Fuxa and xzanthius, I think we should either call it a Mint (or Mentos) or perhaps an Altoid.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 21:36

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Most people who speak English are familiar with "feline" meaning cat. Many people, particularly those familiar with fantasy or science fiction or biology have heard the latin "id" ending designating individuals of a species. Given that, I suspect that most people probably understood quickly than felids are cats (or at least cat-like). If they didn't, it exposed them to an example of a syntax common in several places, so it can't be considered to be a bad thing.

Similarly, I don't think we would need to name a new ant-like species "ants" or "this race are ants" in order to get people to understand what they are, because the worst case scenario is that they don't recognize it immediately and as a result learn something new.

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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 22:15

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Lasty wrote:the worst case scenario is that they don't recognize it immediately and as a result learn something new.


just call them [s]hymenopterids[/s] formicids for consistency and be done with it, we already have felids and octopodes
Last edited by Implojin on Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 02:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 24th June 2013, 23:14

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Lasty wrote:Most people who speak English are familiar with "feline" meaning cat.


CORRECT.
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 02:24

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

I think a portmanteau of portmanteaus is in order...
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 02:57

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

The winner of the previous poll was Myrmex: 4 dislikes, 4 neutral, 9 likes. Insectoid and Hiveling were tied for second with 7 dislikes, 5 neutral, and 5 likes.

I'll do one more poll just for the hell of it:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8NNYXTZ <<< THE FINAL SURVEY TO FILL OUT
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Post Tuesday, 25th June 2013, 07:14

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

Lasty wrote:Most people who speak English are familiar with "feline" meaning cat. Many people, particularly those familiar with fantasy or science fiction or biology have heard the latin "id" ending designating individuals of a species. Given that, I suspect that most people probably understood quickly than felids are cats (or at least cat-like). If they didn't, it exposed them to an example of a syntax common in several places, so it can't be considered to be a bad thing.

Similarly, I don't think we would need to name a new ant-like species "ants" or "this race are ants" in order to get people to understand what they are, because the worst case scenario is that they don't recognize it immediately and as a result learn something new.


I do agree that Feline and Felid are similar, but so is 'gelid', which means icy cold. However In the case of Felids you'd be hard pressed to think of another word, as they are cats. and cats are cats are cats. However with an insectoid species I feel it would be easier to get a grasp of the flavour if they were named something insect-like.

Myrmex seems to be winning, and I don't mind that, as the myth behind it is pretty deep/makes sense.
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Post Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 00:48

Re: Dwants - Reflavour in progress

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