Multiple evocable suggestion


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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:32

Multiple evocable suggestion

So this commit:
  Code:
commit 01e76aa5368c298feb22c01f3c26f128a1b79445
Author: Nicholas Feinberg <pleasingfung@gmail.com>
Date:   Thu Jan 22 11:42:21 2015 -0800
   Make evokers (dis)charge globally per-type
   
    That is, whenever any e.g. lamp of fire is discharged, so are all
    others.
   
    The XP Evocable Dynamic works quite well with one or two items,
    but degenerates badly beyond that; the change to make xp evocables
    stackable made this very visible.
   
    Evocables are still currently stackable; this does essentially
    nothing. (Except let players boast about their booty.) I'm hopeful
    that another purpose for stacked evocables can be found sooner
    than later, which letting evocables continue to stack should help
    with for players importing games between versions.

Means it's completely useless to have more than one evocable of any type.

I suggest that the discharging all at once behavior continue along with the ability to stack them, but having multiples in your inventory function as an evocation enhancer, i.e. the more lamps of fire you have in your inventory, the larger the effect when used will be, if you manage to gather together 5 of them, you now blow all 5 in one gigantic fire-orgy (I'm thinking something like each additional copy gives you an effective +1-3 to evocation, or the like)

I'd also like it if this mechanic was extended to disc of storms (which is a good item, but again multiple copies are useless for)
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:49

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

How was it determined that stacking evokables degenerated badly? It seems pretty well accepted among the 'good players' that you can already carry all the evokers you find, so all the stacking did was eliminate inventory related tedium. Which, I thought, was the reason they were made stackable in the first place.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:53

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Before this commit, multiple evocables were useful for much the same reason that multiple MP were useful.

The only reason I know of to carry some of a stacking item instead of all that you have found is that you might need to drop them in a portal or the Abyss or somehwhere equally unreturnable, and you want to have some around to use later. It would be nice if evokables (or some other item) had some other reason to decide how many to carry.
Last edited by jejorda2 on Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 21:54

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

I assume that when you evoke lamp of fire, it (now) means that every lamp of fire that has been generated will be inert until you gain enough experience. ("Globally," not just "all of them in your inventory.") Because otherwise, yeah, you would end up wanting to do some inventory juggling.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:12

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

and into wrote:I assume that when you evoke lamp of fire, it (now) means that every lamp of fire that has been generated will be inert until you gain enough experience. ("Globally," not just "all of them in your inventory.") Because otherwise, yeah, you would end up wanting to do some inventory juggling.

I haven't looked at the code for how this is done, but I *hope* that's how it's implemented (Because yes, dropping your extra lamps of fire so you don't discharge them, then going back and swapping them out ad nauseum, sounds terrible)
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:32

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

The commit in question seems pretty baffling to me. If I understand the prior situation, the number of lamps/fans/whatever you carried determined how large a burst of usage you could sustain. This change appears to make the marginal value of an additional lamp/fan/whatever zero (or close to it). Why would you want to generate items that are literally useless? Was there a problem with evocables being overused? Was the concern that using too many things created such a large backlog that some stuff never recharges? Is there an inventory management issue that comes out of such backlogs?

If evocables are viewed as overpowered/overly spammable when they stack (?) the obvious fix would be to adjust rarity. If they create large xp backlogs with overuse... isn't this the player's problem? Why is it important to address a problem that only arises with highly atypical use which is arguably just the cost of using elemental evokers?
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:33

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

and into wrote:I assume that when you evoke lamp of fire, it (now) means that every lamp of fire that has been generated will be inert until you gain enough experience. ("Globally," not just "all of them in your inventory.") Because otherwise, yeah, you would end up wanting to do some inventory juggling.

Yep.

Will make an effort post about the elemental evokable situation later, if people want.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:39

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Is the problem just that your character collects so many evocables he ends up having an endless stream of evocables to go through?
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:43

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

mps wrote:The commit in question seems pretty baffling to me. If I understand the prior situation, the number of lamps/fans/whatever you carried determined how large a burst of usage you could sustain. This change appears to make the marginal value of an additional lamp/fan/whatever zero (or close to it). Why would you want to generate items that are literally useless? Was there a problem with evocables being overused? Was the concern that using too many things created such a large backlog that some stuff never recharges? Is there an inventory management issue that comes out of such backlogs?

If evocables are viewed as overpowered/overly spammable when they stack (?) the obvious fix would be to adjust rarity. If they create large xp backlogs with overuse... isn't this the player's problem? Why is it important to address a problem that only arises with highly atypical use which is arguably just the cost of using elemental evokers?


Prior to this change, you could evoke as many evocables as you had, this means that you could use a very large number of very powerful items in one combat, and at the later levels, they would recharge as quickly as you used them, effectively meaning you had an unlimited amount of incredibly powerful evocations at your disposal (So yes, they were being overused)

Previously it was difficult to carry a large number of these items (each took up one slot), and since it was optimal to carry as many as possible, it was an interface annoyance to constantly juggle the large number of them that you could ultimately find in a long extended game. Hence stacking them, which made them considerably less annoying, but no less optimal.

This change does make it so that redundant items of the same type are useless (and confer no benefit or drawback) and my suggestion was a way to ameliorate that somewhat, without returning to the prior problem of near-infinite use and reuse (and overuse)

Changing the generation rates only pushes the problem later into the game, ultimately it's possible for someone to acquire any number of any item that does generate, given enough time, and patience, and one of the things that the designers would like to avoid is any situation which encourages degenerate farming for items.
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:43

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

PleasingFungus wrote:
and into wrote:I assume that when you evoke lamp of fire, it (now) means that every lamp of fire that has been generated will be inert until you gain enough experience. ("Globally," not just "all of them in your inventory.") Because otherwise, yeah, you would end up wanting to do some inventory juggling.

Yep.

Will make an effort post about the elemental evokable situation later, if people want.

I would personally like that :)
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 22:58

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

I haven't played yet with this change, but doesn't it make the optimal tactic to just keep one evocable for tipe in inventory, drop it after using it, go back to grab another one, until all are emptied out and then start to recharge one at time to start all over? In this way you would avoid to lose all your precious lamp of fire with just one use...

Just judging from the commit it look a really silly change to me - if there are problem with the xp dinamic, wouldn't be much better to return to the old form, with not-stackable evocables?
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:03

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

nago wrote:I haven't played yet with this change, but doesn't it make the optimal tactic to just keep one evocable for tipe in inventory, drop it after using it, go back to grab another one, until all are emptied out and then start to recharge one at time to start all over? In this way you would avoid to lose all your precious lamp of fire with just one use...

Just judging from the commit it look a really silly change to me - if there are problem with the xp dinamic, wouldn't be much better to return to the old form, with not-stackable evocables?

Using an item of that type exhausts *all* of that type of item in the entire game.
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:07

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

So why generate multiple item of that type? Having 1 or 1000 in the game it's the same
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:12

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

nago wrote:So why generate multiple item of that type? Having 1 or 1000 in the game it's the same


Why generate +0 scimitars when you have already found (or enchanted up) a +1 scimitar? The latter makes the former strictly redundant, too, but Crawl doesn't alter item generation based on what you already have (aside from troves and some other specific exceptions that use acquirement code to generate items).

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:14

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

and into wrote:
nago wrote:So why generate multiple item of that type? Having 1 or 1000 in the game it's the same


Why generate +0 scimitars when you have already found (or enchanted up) a +1 scimitar? The latter makes the former strictly redundant, too, but Crawl doesn't alter item generation based on what you already have (aside from troves and some other specific exceptions that use acquirement code to generate items).

As far as I know it also doesn't generate multiple hats of the alchemist. They should be marked as fixedarts or something to only spawn once. Scimitars are different because 1. Monsters use them and 2. Sometimes you might hold two of them and swap between them.

Nothing that stacks should do so for no reason. Even just disallowing picking a second one up would be an improvement.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:20

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Proposing one way that stacked misc evocables could still be useful was Siegurt's reason for posting this thread. In the commit quoted in the OP, the developer that implemented this change wrote

I'm hopeful that another purpose for stacked evocables can be found sooner than later


So it seems doubtful that the stone of tremors will become a fixedart, unless they find no workable means by which to make stacking them matter.

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:24

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

and into wrote:Proposing one way that stacked misc evocables could still be useful was Siegurt's reason for posting this thread. In the commit quoted in the OP, the developer that implemented this change wrote

I'm hopeful that another purpose for stacked evocables can be found sooner than later


So it seems doubtful that the stone of tremors will become a fixedart, unless they find no workable means by which to make stacking them matter.


Yeah increased power seems like a fine way to do it, it's weird that it's multiple stacking items though, a flavor change to things that combine might be nice. "You pour the contents of both phials into a large phial. a - large phial of floods"

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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:31

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Keep in mind that this commit went in yesterday, there hasn't been exactly an oppourtunity to see how it plays out in games and decide what, if any, further action is needed, yet.
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Post Friday, 23rd January 2015, 23:37

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Okay, so there's a question of how powerful they are when used in volume, but there are reasonable ways to address this without taking such a strange measure as linking all instances of this object to the actions of the player. For example, if there's a problem that they become spammable, then the natural response is to 1.) increase rarity and 2.) reduce charge rates. I suspect part of the problem is tying recharge to XP gain, which means they recharge faster later in the game, yet they remain powerful throughout it. This is somehow backwards, because as the game wears on, you also expect the spellpower of the evocations to increase.

I would suggest something like this: The charge expended by an evocation is proportional to the spellpower used. So when a character with 0 evocations uses one, its charge goes down to 4/5. At max spellpower, it goes to 0/5. As before, you can only use an evoker when it's fully charged. So they work roughly the same way at low skill, get progressively slower charging, but pack more punch with higher evocation skill.

I mean, it seems like it's just a numbers game of figuring out how many of these things it's reasonable to be able to use per unit time and adjusting recharging until you've got it right. It seems like just discharging everything is way too heavy-handed for a balance issue like this.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 00:32

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

The "per-type" part of this makes no sense. Shouldn't it at least make all evokers inert?

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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 00:40

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

and into wrote:
nago wrote:So why generate multiple item of that type? Having 1 or 1000 in the game it's the same


Why generate +0 scimitars when you have already found (or enchanted up) a +1 scimitar? The latter makes the former strictly redundant, too, but Crawl doesn't alter item generation based on what you already have (aside from troves and some other specific exceptions that use acquirement code to generate items).


On this point, there are things you can do with scimitars, e.g. brand them, that makes them not 100% redundant. This is not true of fans of gales after this commit.

If the belief is that elemental evokers are so powerful you should never be able to use more than one in a fight, then the natural conclusion is that they should be artifacts with only one instance a piece. It's odd that this conclusion comes after they've been around for a long time though. Is stackability really that big a difference? Did people think they were junk before? I don't get it.

I really think this commit should be rethought. The proposed mechanics make no sense and will probably always be controversial. It's such a strange behavior and only one kind of item has it... It'll never sit right.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 01:01

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

mps wrote:
and into wrote:
nago wrote:So why generate multiple item of that type? Having 1 or 1000 in the game it's the same


Why generate +0 scimitars when you have already found (or enchanted up) a +1 scimitar? The latter makes the former strictly redundant, too, but Crawl doesn't alter item generation based on what you already have (aside from troves and some other specific exceptions that use acquirement code to generate items).


On this point, there are things you can do with scimitars, e.g. brand them, that makes them not 100% redundant. This is not true of fans of gales after this commit.

If the belief is that elemental evokers are so powerful you should never be able to use more than one in a fight, then the natural conclusion is that they should be artifacts with only one instance a piece. It's odd that this conclusion comes after they've been around for a long time though. Is stackability really that big a difference? Did people think they were junk before? I don't get it.

I really think this commit should be rethought. The proposed mechanics make no sense and will probably always be controversial. It's such a strange behavior and only one kind of item has it... It'll never sit right.


Technically it's not a proposed mechanic, it's an already implemented and already existing mechanic (albeit in it's infancy)

In my perspective evokabes are a pretty much new thing, they've only been around for a short while, and it's perfectly reasonable for their design to merit a revisit, I am sure we have different perspectives on the time scale of crawl development though.

Personally I think evocables make better items from a game design perspective when you can only use them once per fight, and my proposal was a suggestion to keep multiple generation of them relevant, so that they remain a good item that you get a benefit from, and can collect multiples of, while retaining PF's solution to their current design drawback.

I don't know why it's such a strange behavior, I think having a new type of behavior is actually excellent, an introduction of a new type of mechanic fantastic for crawl, just because it's new and different doesn't make it bad. I don't know if it will or won't ever sit right with you, but I do know that one user's gut feeling about how something should work is not really a good way to design a game.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 01:48

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

My thoughts:

1) Yes, evocables are very powerful and previously they were balanced by their recharge rate and the amount of inventory space they took.

2) Stacking evocables was a very welcome change, but also a buff, so something to compensate was to be expected.

3) It is absolutely awful that all items of the same type should go inert with one use. It makes no sense in any way. Some other compensating mechanic should be introduced. Personally I think that just increasing the recharge time (required exp) would suffice. I for one have often used multiple evocables in one fight against very dangerous creatures (OoFs, nasty uniques etc.). I would very much like to continue to be able to do that. The power can also be scaled down so that you would need to train more Evo. Siegurt's suggestion about increasing the power of the evocable when copies are found is the second best approach, imho.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 01:52

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

stacking evocables was not a buff
you could use every evoker you found before they stacked
you could use every evoker you found after they stacked
the only change was to make them more convenient to use

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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 02:15

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

@Siegurt: I don't understand where you get from what I've said that I think this new mechanic is bad because it's new.

Maybe it'll turn out that I'm the only one who would ever think it's weird that using a phial of floods drains phials of floods you find laying around on the ground, but I really doubt it. So you either have items on the floor that say straight out that they're drained exactly as much as the ones in your inventory or you hide the fact and you have people wondering why you can't drop your old fans and find new charged ones. The mechanic has no logic to it beyond the truth: A class of items, which previously worked the way many other evocables work and which makes sense within the logic of the game and other games of its type, was judged to be too powerful and this was how it was nerfed. The fact that it's novel in a way that doesn't really make any sense within the game setting should give you pause. The behavior is too contrived and sticks out as an instance of something being nerfed in a heavy-handed way.

I think you're going to find that the dominant reaction to this change is disappointment. People are going to be surprised by the way this type of evocable works and their surprise is going to be of the "well, that sucks" variety. If you don't want players spamming something, don't give them as much of it and make it take more time to recharge. I just can't understand why you'd go for a change like this when there are obvious, almost surely better alternatives. If there's an issue, it's that fans and lamps and so on are too easily available and they charge too fast.

last edit: An example: The only time I really use elemental evokers are in panic button situations to create a diversion or get monsters off me and in predictable big fights, e.g. Zot:5 and Vaults:5. During vaults:5, my evokers recharge DURING the fight, even if I use several of them. This strongly suggests to me that the issue with spamming them can be addressed by reducing the charge rate. Just say: How many of these should you be able to use in a dungeon branch? Take that number, divide the amount of XP in a typical branch by it, and that's how long they need to charge. You don't need wild new mechanics to address an issue like this. If you're worried you can produce too big of a burst of elemental evocation by picking up a lot of them, then reduce the number that generate in a typical game.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 06:49

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

mps wrote:@Siegurt: I don't understand where you get from what I've said that I think this new mechanic is bad because it's new.

Maybe it'll turn out that I'm the only one who would ever think it's weird that using a phial of floods drains phials of floods you find laying around on the ground, but I really doubt it. So you either have items on the floor that say straight out that they're drained exactly as much as the ones in your inventory or you hide the fact and you have people wondering why you can't drop your old fans and find new charged ones. The mechanic has no logic to it beyond the truth: A class of items, which previously worked the way many other evocables work and which makes sense within the logic of the game and other games of its type, was judged to be too powerful and this was how it was nerfed. The fact that it's novel in a way that doesn't really make any sense within the game setting should give you pause. The behavior is too contrived and sticks out as an instance of something being nerfed in a heavy-handed way.

I think you're going to find that the dominant reaction to this change is disappointment. People are going to be surprised by the way this type of evocable works and their surprise is going to be of the "well, that sucks" variety. If you don't want players spamming something, don't give them as much of it and make it take more time to recharge. I just can't understand why you'd go for a change like this when there are obvious, almost surely better alternatives. If there's an issue, it's that fans and lamps and so on are too easily available and they charge too fast.

last edit: An example: The only time I really use elemental evokers are in panic button situations to create a diversion or get monsters off me and in predictable big fights, e.g. Zot:5 and Vaults:5. During vaults:5, my evokers recharge DURING the fight, even if I use several of them. This strongly suggests to me that the issue with spamming them can be addressed by reducing the charge rate. Just say: How many of these should you be able to use in a dungeon branch? Take that number, divide the amount of XP in a typical branch by it, and that's how long they need to charge. You don't need wild new mechanics to address an issue like this. If you're worried you can produce too big of a burst of elemental evocation by picking up a lot of them, then reduce the number that generate in a typical game.

Again, I'll point out that reducing the number that generate in a typical game doesn't solve the problem trying to be solved here. Nor does influencing the recharge rage, the problem isn't that the items recharge, it's that you *can* get an infinte number of them, *and use them all in any specific hard fight* it doesn't matter how long it takes for them to regen, making them take longer to regen just increases the number you need to carry to never run out when it's important, and it doesn't matter if you reduce their spawn rate, that just increases the amount of time you need to spend farming the game for more of them.

The problem is *not* with how they're used when they're used as designed which is 1-2 in a hard fight, then maybe again sometime later in another fight, it's when you have a gigantic, inexhaustible stack of them.

Now "Generate only one of these items ever" *is* a viable solution to that problem, it's also IMHO less interesting than being able to collect several and have them have a sort of collective effect in a single evocation. Another option would be to not let the items recharge, ever (essentially turning them into scrolls) Or have them use the existing "wand charge" mechanic, which is limited by sharing recharge scrolls with wands. Turning them into wands or scrolls does remove their distinctiveness completely though, and I'd rather see more types of mechanics (that *work*) rather than less.

I do appear to have misinterpreted this:
mps wrote:It's such a strange behavior and only one kind of item has it... It'll never sit right.

As you not liking it because it was new (attributed to the "only one kind of item has it" and "it'll never sit right")

I'm interpreting your more recent post as you don't like it because "it doesn't make sense" So a couple things:
Justifying the reason something happens in terms of game-making-sense is something called "flavor" in *all* cases, what works the best for good game play trumps all logic, reason, sensibility and flavor in all forms.

Yes, you'll need to adjust the description of what happens when you use one of these items. Do you think that the description of how these items work dictate the best course of action for how they should *work*? No, it of course it shouldn't.

So if they need some reflavoring (bikeshedding) it sounds to me like this:

"This item opens a portal to calls forth the raw elemental power from the (fire/earth/air/water) plane and lets it spew forth on your enemies, the denziens of that plane will perform this service, but require rest afterwards to recover their exhausted power. All (lamps of fire|phial of floods|stones of earth|fans of air) open a portal to the same plane, and hence when one is used you cannot evoke a portal using another until the plane itself has recovered. Using multiple items at a time, one can open a larger portal letting more elemental power pour through at once."

Would that "make sense" or be "less controversial" (or at least seem "less strange")?
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 07:32

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

So you propose that changing the rarity of the items does not actually affect the number that a player can get?

Strictly speaking, what you say is true. In principle a player can collect items in pandemonium, the abyss, bazaars, and ziggurats forever and thereby attain as many elemental evokers as he likes. Except in one case, I think you have to admit that is pretty atypical play. The important exception, which I would guess is how the devteam got to thinking about elemental evokers, particularly fans of gales, is megazig characters, which get an effectively unlimited supply of loot through ziggurats. Obviously fans of gales are an element of megazig strategy, as are other elemental evokers. But I've specced these games a number of times and I haven't observed spamming of elemental evokers. In fact, I've seen people decline to pick up a fan of gales in a ziggurat because they already had three or four.

But again, there's a more obvious solution that allows you to avoid making an ugly mechanical hack: Just don't generate elemental evokers in locations that would allow an unbounded number of them to spawn. Even if you restrict to a three rune game, it's very easy to get 3 fans of gales between lair, elf, shops, and vaults. Changing the rarity so you get one on average would clearly make a difference in most games.

Let's look at this differently. Suppose you just change the rarity so that a typical 3 rune game sees one fan of gales, including availability in shops. So an extended endgame character might find three without doing ziggurats and scouring pandemonium. Can you make them recharge slowly enough that three is a sensible number? I believe you can. Now you say, what if someone goes and gets fifteen of them? That character is going to have enough XP for high spellpower level 9 spells too, which he can spam all day, and maxed combat skills and so on. These zig characters are so powerful they clear levels with Zot:5 type monsters on every square largely with spells, so who cares that they can spam evocations that are pretty much strictly worse than a fire storm or tornado?

Your unbounded number of elemental evokers scenario only occurs in practice for extended extended endgame characters and you can limit that situation by means that have no effect on normal play.

As to what makes sense: It's not purely a question of flavor. It's also a question of consistency with mechanics of other items. Secondly, you claim that your approach will result in awesome gameplay. I doubt it. What you had was a huge glut of an overpowered item. Now you have a huge glut of an item that stacks in a way that must have strongly diminishing returns. I don't know quite what you propose here, but it seems to me that elemental evokers ramp up to being extremely effective items with not a lot of evocations skill. So what, you get two and now you only need 5 evocations to get three air elementals plus knock back?

I just can't understand why you can't solve what is at bottom a problem of how many of an item the player can get and how often he can use it by more carefully managing its generation and the interval between uses. It's just so inelegant bringing in a new, fairly weird mechanic to address such a simple problem.

They were cool items. I think they're much less cool now and even with your stacking mechanic, they won't be as cool as before. If you have too many of a cool, but maybe too powerful item, the answer is to make them generate less frequently. This, incidentally, makes it more fun to find them when you do.

So yeah, here's a way to fix your unlimited elemental evokers scenario: Elemental evokers no longer appear in stores and cannot generate in pandemonium, the abyss, or ziggurats. Adjust the rarities so that on average slightly less than one of each type appears in a typical 3 rune game. Increase the recharge rate so that you actually have to think carefully about whether you want to blow all your evokers in a single fight.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 09:42

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

duvessa wrote:stacking evocables was not a buff
you could use every evoker you found before they stacked

Not if you had to drop some due to inventory management reasons. Instead of deciding which potentially useful item to drop you could carry them all to places like V:5.

Practically all of the time I still take all evocables (in 0.15) and drop something else, but if they stack I don't have to drop anything, which is a buff.
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Post Saturday, 24th January 2015, 15:56

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

johlstei wrote:As far as I know it also doesn't generate multiple hats of the alchemist. They should be marked as fixedarts or something to only spawn once. Scimitars are different because 1. Monsters use them and 2. Sometimes you might hold two of them and swap between them.

Nothing that stacks should do so for no reason. Even just disallowing picking a second one up would be an improvement.

There is no use for multiple rings of sustain abilities, or amulets of the gourmand, or discs of storms, or crystal balls, or cloaks of resist poison (with equal or lower enchant), or discs of storms, or staves of energy - or any other type of duplicate staff, or duplicate aux armour ego, or duplicate amulet, or many other types of duplicate ring. Nonetheless, these generate.

Removing stacking is trivial; I was holding off on doing so since the mechanical situation was uncertain, but I think I'm more confident in it now & have removed xp evoker stacking. (It can easily be re-added if it seems appropriate, and until then it's just compounding the confusion inherent in a new mechanic.)

Siegurt wrote:
PleasingFungus wrote:Will make an effort post about the elemental evokable situation later, if people want.

I would personally like that :)

OK, I'll start writing that up.

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Post Sunday, 25th January 2015, 17:05

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Quick question. Does the original version of these recharge concurently or consecutivly? If the problem is they recharge to fast in the late game due to high XP couldn't you just have them recharge by exploring? If the effect is too powerful why not just reduce the effect?

Would evocables with concurent recharge based off of exploration with weaker effects more heavily tied to evocations be a solution?

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Post Sunday, 25th January 2015, 20:01

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Evokers of the same type recharge consecutively. Evokers of different types recharge independently of each other. Here's an example scenario PleasingFungus put together:

http://pastebin.com/aPSrjuK2

  Code:
initial situation: 1 discharged lamp, 2 discharged phials
        lamp      phial 1      phial 2
charge   0      0      0
      1      1      0
      2      2      0
      3      3      0
      4      4      0
      5      5      0
      5      5      1
      5      5      2
      5      5      3
      5      5      4


When I was talking to him about this on WebTiles chat, I was a bit dense and misunderstood his original explanation to mean that evokers of the same kind "take turns" getting bits of recharge from XP gain, which may be why he wrote up the example (lol). The way it works is the fan, say, that has the most charge gets more charge until it's charged. This produces the consecutive charging dynamic. If the issue is spammability (as it seems to be), it occurs to me that maybe turning down the recharge rate and making evokers "take turns," i.e. charge goes to the least charged fan instead would strongly limit the spammability, since using more would delay charging of the rest of your fans too. I suppose this could create a perverse inventory management situation though. That could be dealt with by giving a bonus charge to the most charged fan, where that fan might already be charged, so that one comes back online faster when all are exhausted. This would at least be workable with current evoker availability and minor adjustments. It's a pretty strange charging mechanic, but I think players who use elemental evokers frequently would grasp the pattern through play. In fact, the number of bonus charges could depend on evocations, so that with high evocations skill, you get three bonus points distributed to the top three fans. Then your ability to spam would be tied more to your evocations skill than the number of fans you have, but finding new fans still has the benefit that you get an extra shot for free.
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Post Sunday, 25th January 2015, 20:40

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Sprucery wrote:
duvessa wrote:stacking evocables was not a buff
you could use every evoker you found before they stacked

Not if you had to drop some due to inventory management reasons. Instead of deciding which potentially useful item to drop you could carry them all to places like V:5.

Practically all of the time I still take all evocables (in 0.15) and drop something else, but if they stack I don't have to drop anything, which is a buff.


I suspect duvessa means that there's not a real tactical trade-off in carrying elemental evokers, because the number of truly valuable items you need in inventory from a tactical stand point is small enough to fit in inventory easily, even with non-stacking elemental evokers. I would take "convenience" to mean whether you have sufficient excess slots to drag the useful loot out of a dungeon branch and back to stash in one go, as opposed to making multiple trips.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 05:31

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

So...what's the downside to turning them into fixedarts, again? It is effectively nearly identical to what this commit does, without being wildly unintuitive, and without the awkwardness of generating a bunch of literally useless items (weapons, armour, jewellery and staves can still become cursed, so duplicates make sense there). The new Horn of Geryon works fine.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 06:38

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Well, the only downside is it means we lose out on the ability to collect multiples, and acquire subsequent evokers usefully.

I agree though if *nothing* is going to be done with the surplus evokers, we might as well get rid of them, although I personally think it'd be a darn sight more interesting if stacked evokables increased power level (and XP recovery time) while retaining the 'exausts all of a type at once' Then deciding how many to carry around is a "more small blasts" vs. "less large ones" which is at least somewhat of a meaningful choice.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 07:02

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

A quick data point: Just now on WebTiles, Atomikkrab found 4 -- 1, 2, 3, 4 count them! -- lamps of fire on one level of cocytus along with a fan of gales and a stone of tremors. People get huge numbers of these things because way too many of them are generated.

I urge the devs to at least try reverting evoker mechanics and making them occur like one third or one fifth as often as they currently do.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 07:24

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

Siegurt wrote:Then deciding how many to carry around is a "more small blasts" vs. "less large ones" which is at least somewhat of a meaningful choice.
That sounds awful actually, I support making stacked evokers have an effect but if they deplete all at once in your inventory then they should definitely deplete all the evokers (of that type, at least) on the ground too. Unless you want people to drop all but 1 of their lamps of fire every time they want to use them (I don't).
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 07:57

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

I think it would be fine if 1) evokables stack 2) they deplete all at once 3) the more evokables you have of a single type, the faster they reload.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 08:16

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

What if they started depleted? That way you avoid the awkwardness of tracking all of them in the game and depleting them as soon as player blasts his one and make picking them up always desirable... well, that might be another problem I guess, but they kind of already were.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 13:22

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

What if they generated in reasonable numbers and charged at a rate commensurate with the power of their effect?
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 13:34

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

so at the moment multiple lamps of fire are as useful as multiple rings of see invisible?
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 13:36

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

kroki wrote:so at the moment multiple lamps of fire are as useful as multiple rings of see invisible?

No, less useful, because rings can be cursed.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 13:51

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

A different way to make generation of multiple evokers useful (for the game, not the player) is if monsters could apply them. However, that's probably too hard to get right.

Another idea I had is that evokables could "break" (i.e. disappear) upon use, say with a fixed chance. That would make them semi-consumables and make further ones useful, although it'd also detract from the xp-recharging mechanic.

Still another one: players could merge evokables of the same type (for a gain, such as quicker recharging) but at a cost, say a scroll of recharging.


Regardless of what will happen here, I don't really understand the excitement: rechargeable evokers are rather new, they are cool (perhaps too strong). It will take a while until they have found their place.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 14:07

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

I think the excitement is caused by a number of factors:

1.) It's unclear that there really was a problem with elemental evokers. People liked them the way they were.

2.) It seems clear that incremental changes to charge rates and drop rates would likely address whatever issues of balance may have existed.

3.) Drastic action has already been taken, action that has its own set of obvious problems, mechanically, flavor-wise, aesthetically, etc. See thread.

4.) In spite of those problems, which on the face of it seem more serious than the problems posed by elemental evokers before, the devteam position looks like: Now let's make incremental changes to the new, highly problematic situation and not consider incremental changes to the old one instead.

5.) In all of this discussion, there appears to be much too much willingness to err on the side of the lame.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 14:09

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

No, just no. So some developers have decided that evokers are too strong, and came up with a nerf. All the rest is hyperbole. Trunk is trunk. I could understand the excitement better if this was about stable. But it's trunk.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 15:38

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

well it's a pretty big nerf compared to 0.15 (as minmay correctly points out, evokers stacking does little from a power standpoint, though lots from a convenience one), fwiw, so I don't really see the "it's trunk" argument here at all
(unless what you are saying is that future changes are absolutely going to come, though it does not seem to me that that is what you were trying to say; perhaps I am misinterpreting)

(for the record, evocables in general in crawl have had pretty ridiculous power creep in the past few versions, to the point where I would absolutely say that as a whole they are too strong, so I do agree with reducing the power level of evocables, but I also think that elemental evokers aren't even close to the most problematic things there--lantern of shadows is the biggest offender since it's overpowered and in ways that aren't even fun, and sack of spiders is more powerful than evokers are, too; and of course the change PF actually made to evokers arguably creates some new design problems even if it adjusts their power level in the correct direction)
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 16:11

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

By the way is it normal that pretty much every character should train Evocations relatively high? It's similar to Fighting, ignoring Evocations is a mistake from optimal play point of view because some evokables are similar to high level spell and all characters find at least one of them. As far as I remember it wasn't the case in 0.11.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 16:18

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

That's because that wasn't the case in 0.11, but yes not training evocations to a noticeable level is a challenge conduct now.
evocations skill is way stronger now than it used to be

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 16:31

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Then deciding how many to carry around is a "more small blasts" vs. "less large ones" which is at least somewhat of a meaningful choice.
That sounds awful actually, I support making stacked evokers have an effect but if they deplete all at once in your inventory then they should definitely deplete all the evokers (of that type, at least) on the ground too. Unless you want people to drop all but 1 of their lamps of fire every time they want to use them (I don't).

Sorry, that was unclear. I meant that it should retain the "all evokers of that type everywhere are exhausted" behavior, but rather that the number used would in part determine the amount of XP needed to recharge them.

In this way the usefulness of, and recharge rate cost in XP would both scale with the amount carried. So a 5 lantern of fire blast would both be larger and require more XP to recharge than a single latern of fire blast, but both would exhaust all lanterns of fire in the whole dungeon.

It seems reasonable to me that later in the game you might have more items, and have a need to have a greater effect, but also be killing larger critters worth more xp.
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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 17:39

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

It feels to me like the only real reason we're looking for a reason to make stacking matter is to simply preserve the status quo of having them stack. If the design of the evokers wants them to not be usable as often, the lowered generation rate or the fixed art ideas seem like great ways to accomplish that. In particular, making them fixedarts has the bonus effect of making the items feel more special than they already do.

The idea of having a big stack of these that exhaust together on a global pool doesn't make sense. I know the argument that something doesn't make sense gets a bad rep around here, but what this means is that the mechanic is unintuitive. The user experience of finding multiple evokers of the same type for the first time is generally going to be one of confusion and disappointment. Its fine to put in ideas that don't make sense when the game design necessitates them, but I'm failing to see the advantages here. If its important that the evokers scale as the game goes on, alternate solutions can be found; they can scale with level, or scale more with evocations skill.

As a thought experiment, lets look at this situation in reverse. Pretend the items were currently fixedarts, and I came to GDD to suggest that they be made into stackable non-arts that make you able to shoot bigger gusts of winds because you're carrying 23 fans; I don't feel that idea would get much traction.

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Post Monday, 26th January 2015, 17:41

Re: Multiple evocable suggestion

What if the elemental evokers were unique?
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