Energy randomization is not fun


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Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 27th August 2014, 17:56

Energy randomization is not fun

Hello again energy randomization. Many threads on this subject, including this one: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11722 . I'm not going to write another million words on this subject, my take is pretty simple. I consider this mechanic makes the game less fun. Been playing a lot of 0.15 recently and with all the great improvements that came with it, it makes the few remaining annoyances easy to notice, for me it's energy randomization and the remaining food management.

Anyway, focusing on this subject, does anyone enjoy energy management? And if it wasn't in the game, would it be worth adding to the game right now? For me the answer to both these questions is no. And you?

edit: could a brave person put up a version of crawl somewhere with energy randomization disabled so it could be tried to see if maybe we'd miss it if it were gone?

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Post Wednesday, 27th August 2014, 18:15

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Here's my suggestion:

Make it so that if an enemy has been chasing for X turns, it lunges/charges/swoops at you with a low chance of hitting (the orc makes a desperate lunge). If it hits, it crits/does above average damage. If it misses, the enemy is off-balance, and gives you either one or two spaces to get away. in either case, the lunge coolown resets.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Wednesday, 27th August 2014, 18:21

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Lots of good posts in the thread linked in first post worth reading. Basically, either energy randomization should be in or should be out, no need for other options.

Question is, is the game better with or without?

Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 00:07

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Am I the only one who *likes* energy randomization? Certainly it doesn't really discourage pillar-and-corridor-dancing if that was the original point but it doesn't encourage it either - it just makes it and other running-away situations less dull. I like the tension of worrying about taking an unlucky hit and the feeling of relief when you get lucky and pull ahead of your pursuer. Crawl loves widely variant combat damage - why does it bother people so much that movement mechanics aren't deterministic?

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 00:17

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

I often pillar dance melee brutes knowing that energy randomization will give me that one tile distance needed to escape up stairs.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 00:19

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

I also like the game better with energy randomization than without, although FWIW I made a patch a while ago that turns it off, so you can see for yourself what it's like (It's fairly old at this point)

https://crawl.develz.org/mantis/view.php?id=8037

If you're so inclined to check it out yourself feel free.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 00:25

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

snow wrote:I often pillar dance melee brutes knowing that energy randomization will give me that one tile distance needed to escape up stairs.


what I'm saying is sometimes it encourages pillar dancing sometimes it discourages it (in the way it was intended to) but I think its pretty neutral on balance. so it comes down to do you like the added unpredictability and I do

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 13:01

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

The aim of energy randomization isn't to eliminate pillar dancing entirely, it's to prevent incredibly long "stalemates" when the player and monster are the same speed. Allowing you to escape up the stairs is one way to resolve that stalemate.

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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 17:55

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Why not let monsters randomly be faster than the player, but not slower? Wouldn't that be enough to prevent both the tedious healing in the no randomization case, and the tedious waiting for a gap as it is right now?
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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 19:34

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

johlstei wrote:Why not let monsters randomly be faster than the player, but not slower? Wouldn't that be enough to prevent both the tedious healing in the no randomization case, and the tedious waiting for a gap as it is right now?


Then you would probably be encouraged to walk backward against melee only monsters until the monster gets a double move and manages to doublemove its way next to you so that you can keep track of its turns (so that for instance in an emergency situation you don't get double turned as you try to use !HW or ?Tele)

If this sounds bad consider that you are already encouraged to do this in principle, it just rarely has a result of consequence.
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Post Thursday, 28th August 2014, 19:41

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

New Xom gamescrew: All monsters get Bat movement.
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Post Friday, 29th August 2014, 01:04

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Last time I pillar danced a monster I only did so because energy randomisation exists.

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Post Friday, 29th August 2014, 20:08

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Exactly. I pillardance monsters typically so they either get an extra turn, swing, and fall behind, or so they lose a turn, and fall behind.

However, pillardancing for regen would still exist without energy randomization. However I really don't think energy randomization does anything at all to discourage pillardancing for regen.

In my view, energy randomization accomplishes a couple of things:
1. It lets me get away up a staircase without taking a hit when I should have taken hits and been followed occasionally. Usually this is the effect I want to get out of it, and why I pillardance.
2. Once in a while when a fight goes bad early on in the game, and I run away to regen some health, the monster gets an attack in and kills me (I believe this is the intended purpose)
3. Same as above, but the hit doesn't kill me. So then it turns into 1.
4. Monsters in pursuit of me lose and gain a tile randomly to no effect. This is the most common effect of energy randomization.

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Post Saturday, 30th August 2014, 16:53

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

In that event, I think the charging for a critical hit thing should be a possibility with monsters, as not only is pillardancing degenerate badwrongfun, it's also not fun. Like, at all.
As an alternative, regeneration could deactivate whenever there are monsters in your LOS. This would create some problems with corners, but it would still make kiting a monster until you heal back to full impossible.

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Post Saturday, 30th August 2014, 20:24

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Another possible solution is to give a free attack on player every time he tries to move with equal speed monster in adjacent tile. That would partially solve "retreat into corridor to fight" problem.

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Post Saturday, 30th August 2014, 21:17

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

I don't think I agree that players being able to move is a problem.

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Post Saturday, 30th August 2014, 22:17

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

So uh speed 11 melee monsters? I'd like to try it.

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Post Saturday, 30th August 2014, 23:51

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Can we define what the actual problem here is, because it seems like there's several different takes on it:

1. It's not fun to pillar dance, pillar dancing is made slightly riskier from energy randomization. (Although the risk swings both ways, so it may be a boon or a bane)
2. It's not fun to be running away from something that's adjacent to you and have it get an attack and kill you, although without energy randomization, you can run away from something that's the same speed as you forever, with no risk, which is also tedious and not-fun.

Now, it's plausible to say that energy randomization doesn't make pillar dancing risky *enough* but the solution is to increase the risk involved, not eliminate it. (Note that for the purpose of this post I'm going to call all "run around in an explored area with a critter adjacent to you, in such a way as to never let them get a hit on you" pillar dancing, whether it involves an actual pillar or not)

A proposed solution is to remove energy randomization, and make all creatures faster than the player, which does make pillar dancing impractical, but it also means that once you've engaged with a creature, there's no way to shake it without consumables, ever. Now this doesn't have an effect on most of the game, since you've got a stock of consumables, and if you get into an unlucky combat, you can just burn one. But it does have a detrimental effect on the early game when you don't have access to escape consumables yet, and is also when combats are the most random.

I'm honestly not sure what problem people are trying to solve here, "Pillar dancing is boring" is not solved by removing energy randomization. "Getting away from a creature that might kill me without consumables is risky" is IMHO not a problem that should be solved, but solving it by removing energy randomization just makes pillar dancing much more powerful. "Make creatures faster" does solve pillar dancing, but it also makes the early game more a matter of luck, and less a matter of skill (Where the skill in question is "recognize that the combat is going unluckily, and that your hps are low, and run away along an optimal path"), which is IMHO not interesting.
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Post Sunday, 31st August 2014, 02:20

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

This is all covered in the thread linked to from the first post, and the thread linked to from that one.
Siegurt wrote:I'm honestly not sure what problem people are trying to solve here, "Pillar dancing is boring" is not solved by removing energy randomization.
If you want to melee a speed 10 monster then energy randomization makes it optimal to wait (or do whatever) until it's 1 square away, then move away from it until randomized energy moves it next to you. This way, you get the most favourable melee combat with it. Removing energy randomization would get rid of this tedious behaviour.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 04:50

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Siegurt wrote:"Make creatures faster" does solve pillar dancing, but it also makes the early game more a matter of luck, and less a matter of skill (Where the skill in question is "recognize that the combat is going unluckily, and that your hps are low, and run away along an optimal path"), which is IMHO not interesting.

Maybe I'm missing a point, but the fact enemies move the same speed as you means you can't actually run away from a melee monster once it's next to you: you can only run away from the place you were fighting it. And thus the most common reason why I find myself running around in circles for a hundred turns: I can't actually escape the monster to hit "." to rest, so I have to get my HP/MP regeneration on the run.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 05:58

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

duvessa wrote:This is all covered in the thread linked to from the first post, and the thread linked to from that one.
Siegurt wrote:I'm honestly not sure what problem people are trying to solve here, "Pillar dancing is boring" is not solved by removing energy randomization.
If you want to melee a speed 10 monster then energy randomization makes it optimal to wait (or do whatever) until it's 1 square away, then move away from it until randomized energy moves it next to you. This way, you get the most favourable melee combat with it. Removing energy randomization would get rid of this tedious behaviour.


Yes, it's theoretically optimal to do so (knowing that it might never happen, if the odds run that way, it may just stay one square from you forever.)

This is roughly as powerful as it would be to be able to 'wait 1 AUT until the critter steps next to you' (You can get close to this and take many short duration actions instead, with much less tediousness, but less accuracy)

However this is really only a net benefit for combats that take a short duration, the longer the combat is, the more the rounding makes this initial "I get to go first" rounding problem irrelevant. It's also only optimal if one considers only the combat itself, and not the additional detriment that dragging around a critter until energy randomization manages to kick it over into a double move towards you has on your game (piety bleed, food, likelihood of attracting random creatures, ultimately OOD spawns etc.) I'm *really* not convinced that the advantage gained here is worth the cost (particularly since there are other ways of getting at least a significant part of this advantage already, which aren't tedious and don't take dragging critters all over the level)

It's also less of a benefit the faster your attacks are, the faster your attack speed, the more quickly the rounding causes the number of your attacks per monster attacks to equal the theoretical average (Which is what you're exploiting here, knowing that if you get 10 attacks for every 11 of the monster's, you can make that 11th attack happen at the end of the cycle instead of somewhere in the middle or beginning, giving you 1:1 attacks for the first 10)

I have yet to encounter anyone who considers this to be optimal strategy and uses it to any advantage, but I *have* encountered people who get unluckly or make a bad decision about whether to engage a creature and will keep pace with a creature indefinitely regenerating hps or mana until they have enough to re-engage, with no energy randomization, that stalemate can go on forever, and the player can and should tediously run around in a circle forever on each and every combat that doesn't go well. Energy randomization breaks up this pattern by sometimes letting the player break off and get away, and sometimes lets the monster get a whack on the player while they're fleeing, This situation without energy randomization is in fact a *more* tedious situation than the one you describe with it (since it is deterministic, and works for as long as the player wants to do it) more common, and gives the player a larger benefit.

So yes, removing energy randomization would remove that one tedious thing you said, and replace it with something more tedious and more optimal. So while certainly not the greatest solution in the world, in the absence of a better solution, it's better than the alternative.

Some suggestions to remove the tediousness of 'use energy randomization to get the critter next to you with the least possible energy' that don't make 'run away from a creature who moves the same speed as you' a never-ending stalemate include:

1. Make '.' wait "for as many aut as it will take for the next creature in LOS to get a move" (There was a failed implementation of this at one point, the way it worked was to wait 1 aut and see if anything happened and do that over and over again, this was too much CPU load, but I suspect just scanning everything in LOS to see how much energy they have until they get an action then waiting that long would be fine.)
2. Make every monster get a random amount of starting energy after a double-move from positive energy randomization (This is a bit tricky, since lots of things get double moves just because they are fast, and it might be prone to some icky special casing, nevertheless, it would remove the optimial-ness of using energy randomization to get a critter next to you)

I'm sure there's other solutions as well. I'm also sure that there's other solutions to the "stalemate" problem, I just haven't heard one yet that doesn't make something else worse (Not to say we shouldn't keep trying)
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 05:59

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

The reason I made this thread was because this game rule has a very small chance to be extremely unfun in a way that's completely outside what the player can know. There's something like a 1-3% chance of a same speed enemy getting 2 actions while I get 1 action without any kind of indication it's about to happen. But it means I should consider this possibility 100% of the time to be on the safe side. Well I don't. So once every 50-100 games i have a really frustrating death when a same speed enemy caused a death by getting 2 actions while I got 1.

I'll wager I'm not the only one and it's why variants of this thread happen regularly. If this rule has to stay in the game for some reason, I'd like the enemy to get a "Burst of speed" buff or whatever on the turn before it happens so I can prepare for it without preparing for it in the 98% of the time it doesnt happen. Really, this is what this is, a random chance for a 1 turn haste/slow. Let's show it.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 06:13

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Baldu3 wrote:The reason I made this thread was because this game rule has a very small chance to be extremely unfun in a way that's completely outside what the player can know. There's something like a 1-3% chance of a same speed enemy getting 2 actions while I get 1 action without any kind of indication it's about to happen. But it means I should consider this possibility 100% of the time to be on the safe side. Well I don't. So once every 50-100 games i have a really frustrating death when a same speed enemy caused a death by getting 2 actions while I got 1.

I'll wager I'm not the only one and it's why variants of this thread happen regularly. If this rule has to stay in the game for some reason, I'd like the enemy to get a "Burst of speed" buff or whatever on the turn before it happens so I can prepare for it without preparing for it in the 98% of the time it doesnt happen.


The problem is that you've *already lost* any combat where you get that 1-3% random chance and die. To be clear, this can only happen when:

1. The creature can kill you in one hit.
2. The creature is either one square away and you don't move, or is adjacent to you and you move away from it.

If 1 is true, 2 is never the correct action. You should at this point use a consumable to escape, the fact that you can *sometimes* get away by walking away is a last ditch and high risk operation (And should only be done if you don't have any consumables that can get you out of this mess) The fact is that this situation can arise in any game at any time in any combat, if it was 100% that you could simply walk away from the creature, you would do that every time instead of using consumables, which is what leads to the tedious "Kite things forever" that energy randomization is intended to make not optimal.

That's the whole point, to discourage you from doing 2 when 1 is the case, because you might die.

The problem with alerting you "a turn early" is that the game (as it's currently written) has no way of knowing that the critter's next action will cost slightly less, and that they'll have enough left over time to swing at you. This could probably be worked around, but all that would do is make it so that you'd engage in tedious behavior until you got the alert, and then use consumables to escape (Or you'd not have any and die) by not telling you, it encourages you to use your consumables right away, and therefore not engage in tedious behavior. An early warning just makes you spend that much more time doing tedious things.
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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 06:20

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Hurkyl wrote:
Siegurt wrote:"Make creatures faster" does solve pillar dancing, but it also makes the early game more a matter of luck, and less a matter of skill (Where the skill in question is "recognize that the combat is going unluckily, and that your hps are low, and run away along an optimal path"), which is IMHO not interesting.

Maybe I'm missing a point, but the fact enemies move the same speed as you means you can't actually run away from a melee monster once it's next to you: you can only run away from the place you were fighting it. And thus the most common reason why I find myself running around in circles for a hundred turns: I can't actually escape the monster to hit "." to rest, so I have to get my HP/MP regeneration on the run.


This would be 100% accurate with no energy randomization, energy randomization makes doing this risky, possibly with a reward of getting away (And potentially escaping to rest up), possibly with a reward of getting smacked by the monster and possibly dying.

The point is to make the risk break up the tediousness of running in circles for hundreds of turns, because it's risky, and therefore not optimal to do, the reason it's not strictly punishing (like it always disfavors the player, which is what removing energy randomization and making all speed 10 monsters speed 11 does) is because the early game is very very punishing in terms of randomness effecting combat outcomes already, giving you a possibility of escape by running away in the early game makes it softer and makes players not die to bad luck in the first three dungeon levels quite so often.
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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 06:35

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Real world example of the death that caused this thread: there was 1 space between me and a speed 10 enemy that could do up to ~40 damage while I had ~35 hp. In the other direction about 15 spaces away was a staircase up. The choice I did was cast swiftness to make certain energy randomization wouldn't let the enemy catch up to me before the stairs and stop me from escaping safely. What happened was I cast swiftness, then the speed 10 enemy moved, then the speed 10 enemy hit me for ~38 damage.

I died to energy randomization trying to prevent energy randomization death because I couldn't know if/when energy randomization would happen.

It seems if all enemies had a 1% chance to gain "Burst of speed/slow" every turn, which would be "This monster's next action will take (half/double)/(+1aut/-1aut) the normal time", it would be a strict improvement over the current situation until a significantly better solution can be found.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 06:46

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Note that if there is one space between you and an enemy that moves the same speed as you, and you move away from it, it can't kill you on that turn, it *could* move one square closer to you (which might ultimately lead to your death) but it can't kill you on that turn if you move away from it.

(See my comment above, if a critter is 1 square away from you and could kill you in one shot, it's as risky to take any action that doesn't move you away from it as it is to back away from a critter that's adjacent to you.)

What you describe is the 'early warning' mechanism suggested by our OP above. I object to it, simply because it allows you to have knowledge of whether playing tediously is optimal or not, and therefore you should always play tediously where it's optimal and it will save you consumables. (With no knowledge, playing tediously could always cause your death, therefore you should never play tediously, unless you have no escape abilities.) I wouldn't interpret that as a 'strict improvement'
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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 06:58

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Siegurt wrote:Note that if there is one space between you and an enemy that moves the same speed as you, and you move away from it, it can't kill you on that turn, it *could* move one square closer to you (which might ultimately lead to your death) but it can't kill you on that turn if you move away from it.


This was an unexplored floor, so I couldn't pillar dance to create a space before taking stairs up to safely escape. With the enemy 1 space away there was a chance it would be next to me when I would go upstairs thanks to energy randomization, getting it's free hit while I went up and still being next to me when upstairs. I gambled on using swiftness so it had only 1 chance to catch up instead of 15 chances. I gambled wrong.

The lesson it looks like I may finally learn today is when trying to escape to upstairs from a same speed enemy that is actually dangerous, start running when there are 2 spaces between us, 1 might not be enough thanks to energy randomization.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 07:37

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

I have yet to encounter anyone who considers this to be optimal strategy and uses it to any advantage

This is irrelevant; similarly no one actually picked up every single glowing weapon in the game so monsters couldn't do so (when that was a thing), and yet that problem was important enough to fix anyway!

If you think an indefinite stalemate is a problem worth solving, I think the right thing to do is actually solve that problem instead of implementing a "solution" (energy randomisation) that demonstrably does not actually solve said problem. Minmay has covered this many times; there are still a huge number of situations where pillar dancing works just fine with energy randomisation implemented.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 13:35

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

The problems are these:
1) It's bad for players to be able to "reset" a fight by tediously walking around until they heal up before turning to fight a monster, because it encourages tedious behavior.
2) It's good for players to be able to escape monsters that are the same speed as them without using a consumable, because it means that not every fight ends with a death or a teleport/blink/etc -- and also because the Blink spell doesn't need to be even more powerful.
3) It's bad to randomly slightly offset energy because it mostly does nothing but sometimes unexpectedly kills the player, and also allows players to tediously micromanage getting a first hit against monsters.

The way I see it, there are two good solutions:
1) Give monsters an ability to get a 5-turn version of the Swiftness buff followed by a 10-turn version of the -Swiftness debuff that they're increasingly likely to gain as they spend turns tracking the player, scaling up to 100% over, say, 20 turns. The -Swiftness debuff would expire when the player attacks them, preventing the player from kiting a monster until Swiftness begins and then turning to fight until Swiftness expires so that they can escape during the -Swiftness period. This short increase of speed followed by a slightly longer slowdown guarantees that the monster would catch up to the player and get an extra swing or two and then fall behind, allowing the player to escape up stairs, and there would be no reason to either pillar-dance or kite monsters for first hits.
2) Make all monsters faster than the player and give players an (A)bility to Haste themselves that has an XP-gain cooldown as proposed by njvack and repeated here: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13026&p=182223&hilit=dungeoneering#p182139.

I favor the former myself.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd September 2014, 13:45

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Siegurt wrote:
Hurkyl wrote:
Siegurt wrote:"Make creatures faster" does solve pillar dancing, but it also makes the early game more a matter of luck, and less a matter of skill (Where the skill in question is "recognize that the combat is going unluckily, and that your hps are low, and run away along an optimal path"), which is IMHO not interesting.

Maybe I'm missing a point, but the fact enemies move the same speed as you means you can't actually run away from a melee monster once it's next to you: you can only run away from the place you were fighting it. And thus the most common reason why I find myself running around in circles for a hundred turns: I can't actually escape the monster to hit "." to rest, so I have to get my HP/MP regeneration on the run.


This would be 100% accurate with no energy randomization, energy randomization makes doing this risky, possibly with a reward of getting away (And potentially escaping to rest up), possibly with a reward of getting smacked by the monster and possibly dying.

Energy randomization does almost nothing to make this risky: maybe the monster gets one hit on you. But it would have gotten that hit if you stayed put. The monster won't get another one unless it manages to get ten more lucky turns than unlucky turns, which usually takes a rather long time.

(and even if it were risky, it's being compared with "standing next to a monster when you don't think you have enough HP / MP to kill it" which is a rather riskier endeavor.)

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Post Friday, 5th September 2014, 05:43

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Hurkyl wrote:Energy randomization does almost nothing to make this risky: maybe the monster gets one hit on you. But it would have gotten that hit if you stayed put. The monster won't get another one unless it manages to get ten more lucky turns than unlucky turns, which usually takes a rather long time.

(and even if it were risky, it's being compared with "standing next to a monster when you don't think you have enough HP / MP to kill it" which is a rather riskier endeavor.)


It's being compared with "Walk away from a creature around a chunk of the map and have 0 chance of it hitting you, when one hit could potentially kill you" Some chance (even if small) is riskier than 0 chance, I am certainly willing to agree that it's not *enough* risk to completely deter the behavior, All I claim is that removing energy randomization *and not replacing it with anything else* reduces the risk. (In fact this is the major reason for the OP's desire to have it removed, because they died, because they were doing something risky, and they didn't like that there was a chance of it killing them.)


crate wrote:
I have yet to encounter anyone who considers this to be optimal strategy and uses it to any advantage

This is irrelevant; similarly no one actually picked up every single glowing weapon in the game so monsters couldn't do so (when that was a thing), and yet that problem was important enough to fix anyway!


Actually I didn't say that it was optimal but sufficiently tedious that no-one does it (Which was the case for glowing weapons)

I said I didn't think anyone thought it was actually optimal. Suboptimal and tedious isn't something that needs to be fixed. If it's tedious and doesn't increase your liklihood of winning then it's not a problem.

Now there's been an argument that some people think it *is* optimal behavior. If that's the case, I disagree with those people.
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Post Sunday, 7th September 2014, 06:28

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Energy randomization is a big WTF for unspoiled players. Even if they sort of figure out what's going on it's still WTF until someone on the forums or in IRC explains it because before then they'd think it has something to do with fractional weapon delay, diagonal movement, or something like that. Then when they ask why it exists, they're told that it's to solve pillar dancing, for which it doesn't solve, and there's the third WTF in this endless series of WTF DID ANYONE ACTUALLY THING THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA AT SOME POINT thing that is energy randomization. So I suggest removing it and then trying to solve any problems that may or may not exist by solving said problems instead of whatever the hell energy randomization is supposed to be.

With that being said I don't think it's bad that players can run from close melee enemies. This only matters early on before you're drowning in teleports anyway. I've argued for a while to make escape hatches actually give you a means of escaping (i.e. enemies can't follow you through them). The pillar dancing while healing thing doesn't even help unless you heal faster than your enemy, and in that case it's not even all that annoying and is risky if something else comes into view. So get rid of energy randomization and fix escape hatches; problem solved...?

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Post Sunday, 7th September 2014, 06:42

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Energy randomization tries to prevent arbitrarily long "moving stalemates" against an equal speed opponent. It accomplishes that to some degree. It also causes stuff that is not fun to happen, it is not very intuitive, and it can actually encourage more short bouts of pillar dancing, which may add up to more total pillar dancing than if randomization did not exist.

Also you have to be careful not to make at least upward escape hatches too good. It wouldn't be fun if you were encouraged to focus on having fights close to an escape hatch up to the previous level.
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Post Monday, 8th September 2014, 06:39

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

You're already encouraged to have fights near stairs. Having some stairs that work slightly differently such that sometimes you want to use stair A and sometimes you want to use stair B depending on your situation isn't bad. Also remember this only really matters before the lair. By the time you're at the lair you'd just burn a consumable to win or escape since things are either trivially easy, faster than you, are suicide to try to stair dance, or have ranged attacks by then.

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Post Monday, 8th September 2014, 17:33

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

and into wrote: Also you have to be careful not to make at least upward escape hatches too good. It wouldn't be fun if you were encouraged to focus on having fights close to an escape hatch up to the previous level.


Tangentially, I'm not sure why upward escape hatches exist at all, since unless you're speedrunning you've cleared enough of the previous floor that they are essentially stairwells. Allowing you to escape proximate enemies through a down-hatch, on the other hand, might be an interesting trade off.

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Post Monday, 8th September 2014, 17:45

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

all before wrote:
and into wrote: Also you have to be careful not to make at least upward escape hatches too good. It wouldn't be fun if you were encouraged to focus on having fights close to an escape hatch up to the previous level.


Tangentially, I'm not sure why upward escape hatches exist at all, since unless you're speedrunning you've cleared enough of the previous floor that they are essentially stairwells. Allowing you to escape proximate enemies through a down-hatch, on the other hand, might be an interesting trade off.


They are interesting when you are forced to go down a floor early, like after escaping through a down-hatch, or being shafted. That's about it I think though.
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Post Monday, 8th September 2014, 21:20

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

How about all up hatches are converted to down hatches and adjacent enemies can't follow you through them? Then we'd have the best of both worlds.

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Post Tuesday, 9th September 2014, 02:27

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

snow wrote:How about all up hatches are converted to down hatches and adjacent enemies can't follow you through them? Then we'd have the best of both worlds.


This I would actually get behind, but I don't think it would sufficiently address the problem of energy randomization, since hatches aren't guaranteed and might be spaced in such a way that very long moving stalemates still happen. (And then there would also be branch ends.) That's why I think folks are trying to search for a "general solution" (so to speak) to energy randomization, rather than modifying another feature in the game to possibly, but possibly not, obviate the game play issues at hand.

Putting aside energy randomization though, for several reasons I like the idea of just making all escape hatches go downward, and having them actually, you know, be escape hatches (adjacent enemies can't follow).

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Post Tuesday, 9th September 2014, 03:14

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

snow wrote:How about all up hatches are converted to down hatches and adjacent enemies can't follow you through them? Then we'd have the best of both worlds.


Yah! This is what I was trying to say above. It might be abusable: after you use the hatch once and navigate a way back up, then you would be encouraged to continue to drag enemies to the hatch so that you have a way to safely escape if need be. This problem could be avoided if the hatch deposited you in a random place each time.

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Post Thursday, 11th September 2014, 17:47

Re: Energy randomization is not fun

Personally energy randomization has always 'felt right' to me -- you run away looking to exploit the 1 tile break that you get as fast as possible otherwise they might catch up again. I thought it was an elegant solution. There might be some tedium seen in optimal 'energy management' but its only usable in cases where you are one on one with a melee monster you are afraid of perhaps dying to, but can reasonably kill, which isn't that common a scenario I think.

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