An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.


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 Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 09:30

An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

With both weapons and spells.

The big point against giving extra numbers to the player is cognitive overload, but pretty much anyone will be able to see their chance to hit any given monster and be able to understand what that means for them. A large part of understanding this game eludes me because I don't quite understand if my attacks are missing due to me getting unlucky or because the enemy is just too evasive. It's really frustrating not knowing why these things are happening, Looking up the formulas isn't going to help, but having a number that changes based on circumstances will.

Having chance-to-hit will help new players understand the mechanics of the game with respect to how evasion, armour, shields, weapon skill, and weapon accuracy fit into the plan, similarly to how a player can look at their spell casting failure rates and go "oh, so leather armour is fine for casting regen and magic dart but I can't do either with plate".

We already see chance-to-hit for hex spells so I see no reason not to have it for normal weapons and spells.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 09:51

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

PowerOfKaishin wrote:but pretty much anyone will be able to see their chance to hit any given monster and be able to understand what that means for them.

People are really bad with percentages. You'd be surprised how many people think "95% chance" means "always".

(but that's not much of a strike against it, since it still provides a number where 'bigger is better')
Last edited by Hurkyl on Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 09:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 09:52

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Where would this be displayed? A percentage number(for equipped weapon tohit) after the EV pips in the monster description, maybe?

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:03

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Hurkyl wrote:
PowerOfKaishin wrote:but pretty much anyone will be able to see their chance to hit any given monster and be able to understand what that means for them.

People are really bad with percentages. You'd be surprised how many people think "95% chance" means "always".

(but that's not much of a strike against it, since it still provides a number where 'bigger is better')


Can't say I blame them honestly. The first time I ever played this game, I was on my phone doing training mode with console instead of tiles, right? Part of the mode told me to memorize magic dart and then cast it. It said 34% failure rate. I failed to cast it 10 times in a row. I honestly thought miscast chance was a part of the tutorial. >_>

Shard1697 wrote:Where would this be displayed? A percentage number(for equipped weapon tohit) after the EV pips in the monster description, maybe?


Presumably in the same place as magi-oh, that's right, melee attacks don't require you to hit a button, you just click on the creature you want to mess up. There could be a button added to make a melee attack similarly to how you'd fire a ranged weapon.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:17

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

PowerOfKaishin wrote:Can't say I blame them honestly. The first time I ever played this game, I was on my phone doing training mode with console instead of tiles, right? Part of the mode told me to memorize magic dart and then cast it. It said 34% failure rate. I failed to cast it 10 times in a row. I honestly thought miscast chance was a part of the tutorial. >_>

So you encountered a series of events that had a ((.34 ^ 10)*100 ) == 0.002%, or 1 in ~48441, chance of happening. What's your point here?
Last edited by savageorange on Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:20

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Where does the information for this appear with melee attacks? For spells without targetters, or targetters that aren't aimed at enemies? Which number do you show: the chance to land a hit, or the chance to land a hit that does damage? The interface issues alone present some considerable difficulty.

For what it's worth, the "cognitive overload" argument isn't about the difficulty of understanding the numbers, but about how much information you want to pile onto the player. I'm not sure there's a great argument that justifies showing the to-hit numbers for hexes while denying them for other actions; maybe something having to do with how you just want to land a hex once against an enemy but you have to use damage-dealing actions numerous times. Either way, it's throwing another number to consider on actions that you're likely to do thousands of times per game, a number that usually won't tell you anything you can't find from looking at the existing EV meter in enemies' descriptions.

Not that I necessarily agree with all of that (though I am an infamous number hater!), but that seems to be the gist of the argument that usually gets made against this perennial proposal. If it did get accepted, I don't see much reason to make it an option; if it's useful, it may as well just be the default way the game works.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:25

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

PowerOfKaishin wrote:
Presumably in the same place as magi-oh, that's right, melee attacks don't require you to hit a button, you just click on the creature you want to mess up. There could be a button added to make a melee attack similarly to how you'd fire a ranged weapon.


Buttons like -> or "tab" come to mind.
Ontopic: a user named sandman25 argued for something similair in the past though he wanted damage displayed as well, even made a fork for it.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:38

Hurkyl wrote:You'd be surprised how many people think "95% chance" means "always".

And you'd be surprised how many people think "0% failure" (summon a friendly lesser demon of Makhleb) means "always".

Yes, 0% probably can mean 0.x%. But when you are in trouble and summon this "guaranteed" friendly demon and RNG laughs at you...

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 10:44

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

savageorange wrote:
PowerOfKaishin wrote:Can't say I blame them honestly. The first time I ever played this game, I was on my phone doing training mode with console instead of tiles, right? Part of the mode told me to memorize magic dart and then cast it. It said 34% failure rate. I failed to cast it 10 times in a row. I honestly thought miscast chance was a part of the tutorial. >_>

So you encountered a series of events that had a ((.34 ^ 10)*100 ) == 0.002%, or 1 in ~48441, chance of happening. What's your point here?


Lol, I too thought "that sounds improbable" and was immediately inspired to whip out my calculator.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 11:11

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

archaeo wrote:Where does the information for this appear with melee attacks?

This could go to the monster description screen (xv). "You have a 65% chance of hitting it with your current weapon."

This way the information would be available but not clutter the screen when you don't want to see it.
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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 11:25

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

If it's not hard to do, I see no reason not to have it as an rcfile setting which is disabled by default (to not overwhelm new players).

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 12:05

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 13:10

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

lethediver wrote:
savageorange wrote:
PowerOfKaishin wrote:Can't say I blame them honestly. The first time I ever played this game, I was on my phone doing training mode with console instead of tiles, right? Part of the mode told me to memorize magic dart and then cast it. It said 34% failure rate. I failed to cast it 10 times in a row. I honestly thought miscast chance was a part of the tutorial. >_>

So you encountered a series of events that had a ((.34 ^ 10)*100 ) == 0.002%, or 1 in ~48441, chance of happening. What's your point here?


Lol, I too thought "that sounds improbable" and was immediately inspired to whip out my calculator.


Improbable is what my intuition says (because it thinks that a 95% chance means I'll hit 19 times, miss once). Probable is what my experience says. (and in a game with as many turns per game as DCSS has, 1 in ~48441 is NOT very long odds.). That's why I asked. PowerOfKaishin's comment could be interpreted either way (that he understood the 10-times-in-a-row thing and wasn't bothered by it, or felt that it was wrong and -was- bothered by it)

I think kuniq's linked proposal is less problematic.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 16:43

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

archaeo wrote: Either way, it's throwing another number to consider on actions that you're likely to do thousands of times per game, a number that usually won't tell you anything you can't find from looking at the existing EV meter in enemies' descriptions.


To me, the important thing here isn't having a number for every action, but having a sense of how things like weapon accuracy affect the game. Right now the weapon accuracy stat is arguably one of the most opaque numbers in the game. A quarterstaff has an accuracy rating of 3. An executioner's axe has an accuracy rating of -6. What do those numbers mean? I've won 16 times and don't have the slightest clue, except that resumably a quarterstaff is more likely to hit an enemy than an executioner's axe. How much more like? Is it 2% more likely, or 50% more likely, or 200% more likely? How is it affected by weapon skill? I don't have the faintest clue.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 19:09

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Where does the information for this appear with melee attacks?

When you e(v)oke the weapon and target a monster. Thankfully, you can look beyond range. This is now only possible with polearms because other weapons say 'this item cannot be evoked!' but this does not have to be the case. The only evocable items a character might ever want to use as weapons are highly-enchanted rods and some unrand staves, if found early.
For spells without targetters, or targetters that aren't aimed at enemies?

Are there spells without targetters that can miss? Summons: oh well, no matter. Searing Ray can afford to be a little mysterious: just show to-hit of the first beam and mention that it gets more accurate.
Which number do you show: the chance to land a hit, or the chance to land a hit that does damage?

The former for many reasons but flat bonus brands are reason enough.
The interface issues alone present some considerable difficulty.

These questions have easy answers, so no, not really.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 20:23

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Examine monster. Towards the bottom, say "you have a __% chance to hit this monster in melee" and if you REALLY want to push the envelope, add "for x-z damage"

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 20:29

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Piginabag wrote:"for x-z damage"

Conveying the right impression here is much more difficult, since the damage roll is very nonuniform and skewed so that low damage rolls are much more common than high damage rolls. I think displaying only the maximum damage (the minimum is always zero) would be very much misleading.

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 20:40

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

savageorange wrote:Improbable is what my intuition says (because it thinks that a 95% chance means I'll hit 19 times, miss once). Probable is what my experience says. (and in a game with as many turns per game as DCSS has, 1 in ~48441 is NOT very long odds.). That's why I asked. PowerOfKaishin's comment could be interpreted either way (that he understood the 10-times-in-a-row thing and wasn't bothered by it, or felt that it was wrong and -was- bothered by it)

I think kuniq's linked proposal is less problematic.
Successfully casting the spell 10 times in a row is also improbable (1.56%) as is successfully casting it 9 times in a row then miscasting it once (0.81%) as is successfully casting it 5 times in a row then miscasting it, then casting it 2 times, then miscasting it, then casting it (0.42%). But you don't notice those when they happen because you're conditioned to think of successful casts as the default, and miscasts as "bad luck".
See also: complaints about finding 3 staves of poison and no others (barring vault/acquirement shenanigans, you have the exact same chance of finding any other combination of 3 staves, so you should consider it equally remarkable when you find a staff of air, a staff of poison, and a staff of energy).

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Post Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 23:47

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Are there spells without targetters that can miss?
No spells, but there are black draconians and discs of storms. I firmly believe that showing accuracy for some of these is better than showing accuracy for none of them, though. (There are still enchantments that don't show their success rate.)
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 00:38

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

I think it would be best to put this information in x-v window. That would be consistent with all creatures. It could say something like this:
"Your current chance to hit in melee: 47%"

NOTE: if current monster statuses (eg agility et al) are not taken into account this should be specifically mentioned (I don't see a lot of value in providing this sort of 'base' number though).

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 01:05

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

I think the smoothest interface for such a thing is to simply list the to-hit chance after each attack message, while this doesn't give you pre-emptive information, it does let you get a sense of "Oh, here comes another hobgoblin, I typically have around a 95% chance of hitting those with my axe and about 75% chance of hitting those with a rock"

I really don't want to see anything in xv that has to update *live* with my characters progression, then I have to not only xv things I'm unfamilliar with, but also things I've fought ten thousand times, just to see what it looks like *this* time. If it was both in xv and attached to the end of hit/miss messages then I could probably successfully ignore it's presence in xv and just make do.

As to whether it's a good thing or not, I didn't like adding hex percentages to hexes (Still don't) so I'm going to reserve judgement.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 01:27

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

xv is gross
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 01:30

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

chequers wrote:if current monster statuses (eg agility et al) are not taken into account this should be specifically mentioned
but why wouldn't they be? hex chances take into account player and monster statuses like brilliance (on the player side) and MR- (on the monster side) and MR gear (on the monster side, probably). Similarly, corroded monsters show less AC in the x-v window. And if a rare status effect actually does something, you would especially want the player to see what it does, right?

Siegurt wrote:I think the smoothest interface for such a thing is to simply list the to-hit chance after each attack message, while this doesn't give you pre-emptive information, it does let you get a sense of "Oh, here comes another hobgoblin, I typically have around a 95% chance of hitting those with my axe and about 75% chance of hitting those with a rock"
ugh, why would you want to make players "test swing" against a potentially threatening monster in order to see their to-hit chance, or make players rely on remembering historical data? In every case, you have to "go somewhere" to see the success rate, and for your idea, this would often be the message log in ^P, or maybe some odd place on the screen like the thing that tells you how much time your last action took. Man, I like straightforward stuff the best, why does no-one else seem to.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 01:38

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I think the smoothest interface for such a thing is to simply list the to-hit chance after each attack message, while this doesn't give you pre-emptive information, it does let you get a sense of "Oh, here comes another hobgoblin, I typically have around a 95% chance of hitting those with my axe and about 75% chance of hitting those with a rock"
ugh, why would you want to make players "test swing" against a potentially threatening monster in order to see their to-hit chance, or make players rely on remembering historical data? In every case, you have to "go somewhere" to see the success rate, and for your idea, this would often be the message log in ^P, or maybe some odd place on the screen like the thing that tells you how much time your last action took. Man, I like straightforward stuff the best, why does no-one else seem to.


Well, there's nowhere straightforward to put it, the game doesn't know what I"m going to do next turn, so it doesn't know which to-hit percentage to display (wielded weapon, thrown, cast some spell, use some special ability, evoke something?) and it's going to be different for every monster on screen, and it's going to be different every time your skills change, not to mention temporary status's

There's just nowhere to put all that information on the current screen, and you don't want to see *all* of it in any case, and since melee doesn't have a targeting thing, it's not like you can put it in the targeting prompt like you can with hexes.

So that leaves you with either: a. Messages that are already on the screen, and b. Some other screen.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 01:56

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Siegurt wrote:Well, there's nowhere straightforward to put it, the game doesn't know what I"m going to do next turn, so it doesn't know which to-hit percentage to display (wielded weapon, thrown, cast some spell, use some special ability, evoke something?)

well, that's a good reason why xv screen is problematic for showing you a to-hit chance
- wielded weapon or UC - hit v, point at a monster, see the to-hit chance
- thrown - hit f, point at a monster, see the to-hit chance
- spell - hit z, select the spell, point at a monster, see the to-hit chance
- ability e.g. poison spit - hit a, hit f, point at a monster, see the to-hit chance
- evoke e.g. a wand - hit V, select the wand, point at a monster, see the to-hit chance
if anything, that's better than xv, even if it misses some things like disc of storms or certain random bolts like makhleb's destructions or obvious invisible unseen horrors
Siegurt wrote:since melee doesn't have a targeting thing

oh sure it does, it's just inconsistently available for some melee and unavailable for other melee.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 02:59

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Are there spells without targetters that can miss?


There's Mass Confusion, which kind of sets a precedent for untargeted abilities not showing accuracy information unless the enemy's chance to resist it is hidden in some arcane place I haven't found.

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 05:46

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

duvessa wrote:Successfully casting the spell 10 times in a row is also improbable (1.56%) as is successfully casting it 9 times in a row then miscasting it once (0.81%) as is successfully casting it 5 times in a row then miscasting it, then casting it 2 times, then miscasting it, then casting it (0.42%). But you don't notice those when they happen because you're conditioned to think of successful casts as the default, and miscasts as "bad luck".

Sure. And then you pick up the data you noticed and ignore the data you didn't notice and make a junk inference from it. I think we agree.. I was just trying to point out that people don't treat iterated application of the same probability value in a way anywhere near statistically sane.

(not that this is a stand out. Most of our intuitions about randomness are pretty silly)

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 09:28

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Just show the Fighting and WS adjusted to-hit & damage in weapon screen.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 09:42

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

You still would have no idea what the hell to-hit means wrt how it interacts with monster EV.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 09:58

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

This might be a little rough around the edges, but what if the to hit chance was displayed after hitting each enemy("You manage to hit the hobgoblin!(To-hit: 89%"). After getting used to it players can will slowly learn to memorize the effectiveness of different weapons vs each monster. This would not only allow players more information, but would also create a learning curve in relation to melee combat aside from tactical placing and kill holes.
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 10:15

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Tiktacy wrote:This might be a little rough around the edges, but what if the to hit chance was displayed after hitting each enemy("You manage to hit the hobgoblin!(To-hit: 89%").

(Siegurt suggested that earlier too.) If it was a toggleable option, it would be ok imo. So you don't need to see more message spam if you don't want to, but it's easily available when you are interested in seeing it.

But HardboiledGargoyle's suggestion would be fine to me as well.

Having said that, I have a feeling that this won't be implemented in any way...
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 11:48

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Sar wrote:You still would have no idea what the hell to-hit means wrt how it interacts with monster EV.

How does -6 accuracy of GSC interact with monster EV exactly
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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 12:36

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

"still"

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Post Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 17:13

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

I've always thought it would be helpful to show the player more info. Not showing it seems to be a roguelike tradition, whereas many other RPG-style game would show it.

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 02:09

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Brogue is good at this, but Brogue is also a game that still has hidden doors

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Post Thursday, 18th February 2016, 15:45

Re: An option to allow the player to see chance-to-hit.

Maybe we'll start seeing hidden doors as soon as more to-hit information is introduced, much like a curse :o

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