New DCSS fork


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

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 21st February 2016, 15:16

New DCSS fork

I have been working on a fork of DCSS for many months now to play around with some fun ideas I had that wouldn't necessarily fit within the philosophies of the main DCSS project. I made it for myself, just for fun. But I have been having so much fun with the changes I have made, that I realized someone else may like to try out some of the crazy ideas I have implemented. If you are interested, you are welcome to download and build my fork: https://github.com/jeremygurr/dcssca.git

Very brief summary of some of the changes:

Djinni, were brought back and revamped. They can't read scrolls, since they burn up in their hands, but don't have the original contamination mechanic. Curses are a big deal to them, since they can't read scolls to remove them, but they have an ability to remove a curse for 1 permanent magic point. They also have a mutation that slowly identifies random attributes of items they carry, somewhat compensating for their lack of ability to read identify scrolls. This ability increases in power as they advance in levels. They also get some healing from fire damage.

Felids can wear 4 rings, and have exactly 9 lives at the beginning of the game, which never changes. They also move faster with experience.

Mummies have better starting attributes, but gain levels even more slowly than before, and are immune to curses, having the ability to take off a cursed item at any time.

Summoning spells no longer have caps on how many creatures can be summoned for each type. Instead, summoned creatures continually consume the player's magic until there is no more magic to support them, then they disappear. More powerful creatures consume more magic of course. This put the player in the interesting position of being able to have 1 hydra for a longer period of time, or many of them for a very short time.

There are many more changes, affecting most of the species to make them more interesting and playable (IMHO). Although I have beaten the game with some of these species, because I am the only one testing it, there are likely major flaws and balancing issues in this fork.

For a more detailed list of changes, see the README at the github site for this project.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas.

(Mod edit: moved from GDD)

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carbonbasedlifeform, chequers, daggaz, WalkerBoh, zxc23

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 21st February 2016, 15:37

Re: New DCSS fork

Hey

Welcome to the forum!


I'm looking forward to test the fork. From what you've mentioned changes sound interesting and broken at the same time. I'll let you know about feedback ASAP. Thanks mate!
What about the forests?
Nope

Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 21st February 2016, 17:59

Re: New DCSS fork

No doubt there is much that is broken. I have no illusions about replacing the amazing work and vast hours already put into DCSS with my tiny effort. I just think it might be fun to play around with some alternative ways of doing things. Maybe one of the changes might eventually become refined enough to go into the real version, or could inspire other features.

My main objective with the species experiments was to create more exaggerated differences between the play styles and potential strategies of the different species, not ending up with any "boring" species that people just avoid playing. In my naive approach, partly because I'm much more experienced with the earlier parts of the game than the later, I likely have made the earlier more fun at the expense of the later, possibly making characters grossly overpowered and the game boring towards the end. In most cases I have tried to create more restrictions in places that I have added more power to help compensate for this, but because of my lack of experience it's very much a shot in the dark, and only by taking a lot more characters through to the end will I understand what needs to be tweaked to get it properly balanced. That's where it could be very helpful to have game players that are a lot better at this than I help me understand exactly what breaks and why, and I think in many cases there will be solutions that will enable most of the differentiation I am going for to remain.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Sunday, 21st February 2016, 21:50

Re: New DCSS fork

Felids wearing 4 rings sounds very fun and I really like the idea of that summons change. These mummies sound even worse, however.

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Zot Zealot

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Post Sunday, 21st February 2016, 23:49

Re: New DCSS fork

Since this fork builds pretty cleanly, I put it up on CPO. A few other major changes I noticed in the git log:

* Damage numbers are shown
* lava orcs are (re)added
* tengu can move at 0.2delay but can't wear rings(!)
* potions of heal wounds fully heal the player(!!)

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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 22nd February 2016, 03:39

Re: New DCSS fork

Oh thanks. I had forgotten about those things. I haven't done much with the Lava Orcs yet but intend to attempt to make them a distinct and fun to play species. I'm sure getting rid of them was based on a good reason, and maybe there isn't even much of a chance that I will overcome that reason, but I think it is fun to try. I'm also planning on giving the Vine Stalkers the ability to lignify and unlignify at will (taking some amount of time of course), but haven't gotten there yet.

I get why they want to hide as much of the complexity of an RPG as possible, and hiding the damage numbers is an important part of that, but I just find myself often wanting that anyway, and frankly I just like to see it. Maybe it would be best to put that into an option that defaults to not showing it? I'm curious to see what others think about this. For me I find it somewhat tedious to try out different damage causing strategies and attempt to tell how effective I am being based on vague descriptions of the attack. Even to determine whether Flame Tongue did more or less damage than Throw Flame, I found difficult enough I felt like I had to go to the wiki to figure it out. It seems like DCSS is intended to work well without needing a wiki, and maybe I just don't know how to play it right, but after hundreds of hours of game time it still seems like I need to use the wiki, and that seems like it's falling short of it's ideal. For me just the simple change of seeing how much damage I am doing makes it easier for me to use the game itself to figure out which strategies are more effective instead of having to frequently consult the wiki.

As far as the tengu not having rings, that was my crude attempt at balancing their high flying speed, and also further distinguishing them from other species. I'm sure much more work is needed here to achieve a fun experience for the full length of the game, but at least with my early game experiments I find these tengu to be a lot of fun to play, whereas I pretty much avoided playing them before.

I really like the game play element of the potions of heal wounds doing a full heal. They are infrequent enough that it's not going to change the game that dramatically, yet you can rely on it as a last resort to get you out of a tough situation. Even then there isn't a guarantee you'll be able to escape whatever trouble forced you to use the heal wounds potion. And if that was overpowered, it's easy enough to reduce their frequency. I just didn't get the value in making them only heal less than a quarter of your health. At the point you are needing them, that usually doesn't make that big of a difference in your chances of survival. Sometimes, even the cost of the turn it takes to consume it, didn't seem worth the small gain. But like most of my other crazy ideas here, it's just an experiment to see how it really changes the game play experience over the course of a full or extended game.

Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 22nd February 2016, 03:50

Re: New DCSS fork

Shard1679: you mentioned that the mummies were even worse. Would you clarify? I really enjoy playing mummies, and although I haven't won with one yet, I have found the changes to make it a lot more enjoyable for me at least in the early and mid game. I haven't felt that they were too overpowered yet, but maybe I'm not pushing them to their full potential. The ability to cast spells without a hunger cost is definitely nice, but the lack of potions is quite a serious counter balance to it. For me it still is a greater challenge to play than a Deep Elf, for example, as far as spellcasters go.

Maybe you are referring to their very slow level advancement? That was a rough attempt to balance the initial stat boost, with the theory that it would make the early game easier for the mummy, at the expense of later game, which for my tests so far has seemed to be true.

Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 22nd February 2016, 04:22

Re: New DCSS fork

chequers: what is CPO? I'm guessing a crawl hosting site?
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Zot Zealot

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Post Monday, 22nd February 2016, 04:40

Re: New DCSS fork

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Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 05:03

Re: New DCSS fork

OMG, Djinni are so OP! And I'm not even talking about the ridicolous +9 spellcating aptitude! Healing with fire, man! That led me to some othewise insane tactics like stickyflaming monsters with inner flame active and melee-range fireballs! I am so sorry I didn't memorise OTR Veh offered me now that I have Ignite poison...

Few questions, is it just me or have alarm traps been made more common? And I suppose the decreased range of Flame Tongue is to compensate for spellpower cap removal? I liked the idea of a spell with range increasing with spellpower...

Edit: Tought there were some changes regarding skill costs, turns out I was wrong
Memento mori

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 07:50

Re: New DCSS fork

Yeah the Dj are definitely ridiculously OP. I will probably need to take away the fire healing and cut the spellcasting down to even begin to bring them back to a reasonable level. You might have noticed, my strategy here is to start with exaggerated differentiation between species, often resulting in them being ridiculously overpowered, then I slowly figure out ways to cut that power back while still trying to keep as much of that differentiation and fun factor as possible. The main points of value I see in the species is the ability to have an much larger effective mana pool than other species, but with the downside that you are doing damage to yourself the more you cast spells, so you have to decide when enough is enough and you need to switch to melee or get out of there. I find that interesting and to have some fun depth to it that applies even into the later game. The other major element is there inability to read scrolls, which I think also adds a fun twist on things, forcing even an experienced player to solve some new problems in a creative way.

The fire healing is a fun flavor, but can easily be abused. Ideally, I'd like to keep the fire healing if I could figure out a way to keep it from being abused too badly. I'd rather take away other things to create the needed challenge and balance. For example, casting a conjure flame cloud and standing in it is similar to casting regeneration, but yet also different. It is fixed in place, so moving off of that place immediately turns it off. Of course an ignite poison on a poison cloud would be awesome. Why not though? Yes, if it results in the game losing it's challenge, that is bad. But there's a lot of things here that can be tweaked. The actual regeneration should probably be cut in half from where it is now, and the flame absorption rate bumped up a bit, but I still want to keep that feeling of awesome power that the genie has. Of course if it's not possible to figure out a way to keep it from ruining the challenge, then it will have to go.

Even without the fire healing, the Dj could spam Inner Flame without any worries since they are fully immune to fire. Clearly they are beyond overpowered at the moment. Now to find some creative ways to limit them without taking away the things that make them unique...

This is the same pattern I'm using with the other species I'm playing with. Hence the name: circus animals. Most of them are quite overpowered, but my first objective isn't balancing them. First I'm trying to discover how to exaggerate their differences in a fun way. And once I have a fun set of differences that make me want to come back again and again to play that character, then I work to discover how to create the necessary challenge to keep the game fun in the long term with that character.

I haven't done anything with the traps. That being said, I do find the traps quite boring. I haven't really paid attention to any traps in the last hundred or so games I've played. Even zot traps I mostly ignore. That means I will probably target traps at some point and see if I can't make them a bit more interesting.

The decrease range of Flame Tongue was to help further distinguish it from throw flame. As a FE, I tended to not even learn throw flame, because it didn't seem to be worth it. Instead I would use Flame Tongue until I could use fireball and sticky flame well. But that may well be that I just don't know how to use it properly. So I changed Flame Tongue to be only one spell school (unlike the rest), enabling it to be trained faster, but also cut it's range. I tried to make it significantly better for close range attacks than throw flame. I do agree that it is interesting to have a range lengthening mechanic. Maybe throw flame should go away entirely, and flame tongue could, with high enough power level, reach about as far as throw flame did.

I removed the spell power cap, knowing that I probably would break all kinds of things. I did it simply because I want to take any complexity away that isn't totally necessary for a fun and intense gameplay experience. And since I don't yet understand what horrible things would happen if we allowed a level one spell to reach high power levels, I removed the cap so I could find out. I will likely discover the reason for it and put it back.

Thanks for your input. Every little bit help me get more ideas and better understand how to tweak things.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 12:37

Re: New DCSS fork

Apparently, when casting firestorm, vortices created count as summons, draining MP accordingly, but "release summons" option doesn't appear. BTW that is the only thin stopping me from spamming firestorm as a Dj, and made my run little more interesting...
Memento mori

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 15:13

Re: New DCSS fork

Interesting. I'll look into why it didn't give you the release option. Yeah I just started one where I am a FE and spamming Inner Flame. Wow is that fun watching a group of orcs and orc priests splatter all over. I took their Spellcasting to 0, since that certainly isn't needed for the Dj to be interesting. Still way too OP in multiple ways, but I'm going to play them a lot and figure out how to increase the challenge without smothering the fun and sense of crazy power that I'd like to have with this species.

Any thoughts so far as to how we can bring the Dj back down to earth, without totally losing that sense of wow that I think is a good thing? Summons are almost scary with them, since it continues to drain precious life from them until they release the summons.

What did you think of the Insight mutation that Dj has? I'm sure later in the game it will be nearly worthless, but at the beginning at least it's a refreshing twist on the identification game.

My latest update will probably break saves, since it contains the inventory management expansion (which is working beautifully so far).

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 17:41

Re: New DCSS fork

jeremygurr wrote:Yeah the Dj are definitely ridiculously OP...

On your github page, you mentioned that they have weak stealth because the emit light, so why not give them a permanent corona-like evasion malus? Also unrelated, do they have fire-branded unarmed?

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 18:07

Re: New DCSS fork

I like the the idea of unarmed fire branding.

As far as the corona effect, that would make it easier to hit them, which goes against the idea that they have higher than normal natural evasion, because they are basically incarnated flame. Or maybe their natural improved evasion is just countered by how easy it is to see them, since they glow, and they just end up average. Or maybe it would be better just to throw out the idea of having higher evasion, and go with the corona effect like you say, because they are so overpowered in other ways anyway, this could be a way to still give the Dj player a challenge. Hmm... the more I think of it the more that makes sense. I think I will try that.

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 18:21

Re: New DCSS fork

Apparently Mummy Death Curses are still in this version, which is really obnoxious when playing a Djinn. I think that should be fixed, or Djinn should have *some* method of uncursing equipment.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 18:52

Re: New DCSS fork

Yes I deliberately brought mummy curses back partially for that reason. Curses are terrible for Dj, but they do have an ability that lets them spend 1 permanent MP to eliminate any number of curses. This makes even playing as an Ash Dj an interesting challenge. So for early Dj's at least, it's a good idea to steer clear of mummies. Dj's are so overpowered in so many ways, they need some good challenges thrown in. If you don't see the remove curse ability, then that isn't the latest code. I've made several interesting tweaks to Dj since then. See the README for details.

Warning: The latest version will probably break saves, since I added an expanded inventory system that allows double the items to be carried, but still functions almost identically to how people are used to playing (see the README).

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 19:13

Re: New DCSS fork

jeremygurr wrote:Yes I deliberately brought mummy curses back partially for that reason. Curses are terrible for Dj, but they do have an ability that lets them spend 1 permanent MP to eliminate any number of curses. This makes even playing as an Ash Dj an interesting challenge. So for early Dj's at least, it's a good idea to steer clear of mummies. Dj's are so overpowered in so many ways, they need some good challenges thrown in. If you don't see the remove curse ability, then that isn't the latest code. I've made several interesting tweaks to Dj since then. See the README for details.

Warning: The latest version will probably break saves, since I added an expanded inventory system that allows double the items to be carried, but still functions almost identically to how people are used to playing (see the README).

The problem with mummy curses cursing equipment is that it's usually pretty trivial to avoid killing the mummies; they're slow and melee-only, and not very threatening anyway. If you're really not supposed to kill them, I suggest you give them ten thousand hp instead of giving them death curses.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 19:34

Re: New DCSS fork

Wow.

Mods, really? You moved this to CYC? What a massive insult.

Ok, OP could have explained why he made the changes, but at least he explained what he changed (and quite clearly), and most importantly, he coded an entire branch and provided it for people to check out. If that isnt game design, I dont know what is. But seriously, way to shit on somebody's massive effort. Why not just ask him to edit the OP and write a 50 page essay on the changes he made and the effects they will have on modern crawl society and how that will change our perceived role as conversely melee vs magic in an increasingly damage-confused yet species-centrificated dungeon?

Tomb Titivator

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 19:41

Re: New DCSS fork

I don't think putting it in cyc is shitting on it. GDD staying about upstream crawl sounds pretty reasonable to me. I'm sure individual proposals based on lessons learned from this fork will be more than welcome.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 19:43

Re: New DCSS fork

johlstei wrote:I don't think putting it in cyc is shitting on it. GDD staying about upstream crawl sounds pretty reasonable to me. I'm sure individual proposals based on lessons learned from this fork will be more than welcome.


Typically things get moved from GDD to CYC because they are poorly written, generally very limited in scope, and dont make the cut as pertains to a solid discussion about game design. That hardly describes the effort made here. OP put months of personal effort into this one. Give the dog a bone ffs...

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:01

Re: New DCSS fork

It is true that it is fairly easy to avoid mummys. The major early game encounter with mummies though is in a ossuary, where they are guarding the treasure. At a minimum you will need to attract their attention and get them away from the treasure. I don't see wanting to avoid killing them being a bad thing. You have the option to kill them as usual, and eventually use a PMP to clear out any curses you don't like, or you could just draw them away, steal the treasure, and escape. I think crawl could benefit from even more situations where killing the opponent isn't the only option. Ely pacification is the only other one I know of.

Having the mummy curses also adds a way to deliberately curse youself (for Ash). There is a new change being made to Ash that where Ash worshippers have the ability to self curse. Haven't tried that one out yet though, but it might eliminate this already weak reason...

I have trouble seeing the nuisance factor of the mummy curses being greater than the fun of the flavor and strategic meaning provided by them. The mummies are so uncommon anyway. It's not that you aren't supposed to kill them, it's just nice to have occasions where you have to think twice before just plowing through more monsters. I think what crawl does better than most other similar games is that it often causes you to pause, mid battle, and reevaluate your options, because otherwise something very bad will likely happen. The mummy curses for the Dj is something very bad that could happen, but they aren't completely disabling or game breaking (any more than DD not having regen breaks the game, they find ways around it, and that's a lot of the fun). Even if you were stuck wielding a less than ideal weapon for example for a large portion of the game, I think that makes things a bit more interesting. You may decide to just lose the permanent point, or you may want to just stick with using that weapon for a while, and maybe either train it better or branch out into spellcasting. I'm actually thinking that just losing 1 PMP is too small of a cost to maintain the interesting dynamic I'm going for here. More testing is needed...

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:06

Re: New DCSS fork

I'd rather Mummies be literally invincible than have cursed equipment death curses. The curses don't make them monsters you want to avoid, they make them trivial for 90% of characters and (mildly) crippling for unspoiled Dj players.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:16

Re: New DCSS fork

On a somewhat related note (to the previous cursing discussion): the curse / remove curse, and identification mini games pretty much go away halfway through the game (if not sooner), making their presence just a minor, but meaningless nuisance for the rest of the game. It feels like it would be a good thing to find a way to continue both aspects in an interesting way throughout the whole game.

On the identification side, there should be more scrolls and potions and unique items that only appear later in the game, and so would still require ID scrolls. Problem of course is that by then you have so many ID scrolls that it doesn't mean anything. Maybe some of the more valuable items could require more than one ID scroll to identify, maybe implemented through a chance of ID failure proportional to the item's value. If it doesn't create meaningful decisions and new strategies that the player must come up with that lead to valuable rewards, it just becomes clutter and an annoyance.

An interesting benefit of continuing the ID and cursing games would be added value in worshipping Ash or in the case of my experimental fork, a mummy's immunity to curses. Or there could even be a rare wand of identification. Right now the way things are, that would be nearly meaningless. But if things were balanced in such as way that you never quite had enough ID and Remove Curse scrolls, a wand like that which could be recharged by scrolls or Pakellas would be a lot more valuable.

Worshipping Ash is a lot more meaningful (and challenging) if curses really meant something, even late in the game. Or playing a Djinni, you have a natural identification mutation (which other species could also randomly get). This is much more valuable if the need for identifying items still costs something and is valuable even late in the game. The right balance creates interesting and meaningful problems to solve. Maybe I read-id all of my scrolls to but use ID scrolls on my potions, or maybe I even quaff-Id my potions to save even more ID scrolls for more difficult identification situations required by the later game. Maybe some powerful armour, for example, can't be equipped until identified. I certainly wouldn't want that restriction for all unidentified items, just maybe 1/4 of the artifacts. So it would be a uncommon, but still interesting and meaningful situation. And the identification process may burn through several scrolls because of a high rate of failure.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:20

Re: New DCSS fork

You don't need testing for mummy death curses; we have years of that done already, when mummies with death curses were in crawl.

Even if we ignore the since-removed methods to get around death curses, players can still pick up lots of extra equipment to (hopefully) get that extra equipment cursed instead of the player's useful equipment. Alternatively, you can (and I have done this in the past, offline) drop all of the equipment you are wearing, and then kill the mummy, and then pick your equipment back up.

People actually did (or, at least one person, because I have done these things) all these really annoying things despite the fact that mummy death curses were almost meaningless. For dj in your fork, there's no question, you just never actually let them curse your equipment.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:36

Re: New DCSS fork

I would say that a more interesting solution to the mummy curse problem would be to make the curses more scary than to just remove them and make mummies basically the same as a big kobold zombie that is vulnerable to fire. There are several things that could be done. One of the issues is that remove curse scrolls are so common that you would often have one available should you ever be cursed by a mummy, and then you would just read it to make it go away. I agree, that is lame. What if, instead, mummy curses were a bit more difficult to remove, say having a 30% success rate of removal. So you brought a couple of remove curse scrolls, but neither of them seemed to do the job. Now what? Maybe you should have thought twice about taking on that mummy....

Is it a bad thing to want to avoid some monsters that a player isn't well prepared for? I don't think so. I think the decision of whether to engage a monster or not is a crucial one that makes crawl better than most other RPGs, and happens frequently throughout the game.

Another approach (to make the curses more interesting) could be to make a curse alter how the item functioned, negating it's attributes. A +2 dagger, becomes a -2 dagger while it is cursed. A +rF ring becomes a -rF ring, until the curse is removed. A +3 robe becomes a -3 robe. Okay that's a bit much, huh? It can be tempered by only negating the "enchanted" part of the item. A +0 dagger would be exactly the same after being cursed, except that you couldn't unwield it. But a +9 dagger becomes a serious problem. So maybe before fighting a mummy, you switch out your more enchanted items so that your own weapons and armour don't turn against you. Maybe the mummy curse will only affect equipped items, helping to avoid the drop item / pickup item extra steps. This kind of forcing the player to think more and mash keys less I really like.

This would make remove curse scrolls much more valuable. Are they too common? Then we can reduce the spawn rate of them. It seems like there is a way to create that balance that keeps things interesting, and forces a player to come up with new strategies and different ways to view a given problem.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:42

Re: New DCSS fork

That is an interesting point about just avoiding having any equipment when engaging a mummy. Hmm... so in the context of the curses being harder to remove than before, the curses only applying to wielded items, and the curses reversing the enchantments on cursed items, if you just unequipped everything and took out a mummy, something bad should happen. Maybe if you have nothing equipped at all when a mummy dies, the mummy comes back to life, even stronger than before (maybe the next higher tier mummy)...

I don't doubt that there are some great reasons for removing the mummy curses as things currently function in crawl. I'm just skeptical that there is no possible way to change other aspects of the game that would make the mummy curses much more meaningful, and so I'm playing around with that possibility.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 20:58

Re: New DCSS fork

Yikes, I think attribute negation would be super unfun, especially if your character is later game and can handle mummies easily. They would be disproportionately "dangerous," and it would be somewhat similar to the nequequequexs issue, where their malmutate is disproportionately dangerous for how weak of a demon they are.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 21:30

Re: New DCSS fork

My intention was that the attribute negation would only be in effect until the curse was removed, which should be easy enough late game (maybe too easy). I think it would be quite cool for some of the early non-threatening monsters to suddenly become a bigger threat later, because of a simple mechanic like this that naturally flows and is logical. Is it that bad of a thing, late in the game, to encounter a pack of mummies, quickly get your weapon cursed and greatly nerfed, have to fumble around with some remove curse scrolls, while the mummies keep beating on you? Of course late in the game, the mummies are not likely doing any damage, but luckily for them, they brought some of their big brothers along to join the party, so you have higher tier mummies pounding on you too, while you +9 dragon armour becomes a -9, losing 18 points of AC until you can remove that curse. I think that's scary, and interesting, and forces a player to step back and figure out a different strategy.

It's not too different than the temporary corrosion effects caused by slimes. A fairly easy to kill slime could become a big problem if he managed to take your AC down 20 points. If you are planning on taking on Slime, what do you do? You find corrosion resistance somewhere and maybe pack some extra food to prepare. The need to plan ahead and prepare makes this game more fun than those that you can just mash keys enough to kill everything, occasionally stepping back to drink a healing potion, and then diving back into the fray.

The same thing would happen when a player prepares to go into crypt or tomb. You know there will be lots of mummies, so maybe your +0 crystal plate armour will be a better choice than your +9, +rF, +rC, +rP gold dragon armour in this situation. And maybe you will make sure you save plenty of remove curse scrolls for this purpose.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 22

Joined: Saturday, 21st March 2015, 15:05

Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 04:00

Re: New DCSS fork

But really, that sounds less interesting, and more horrifying to have all of your bonuses reversed. My characters usually come across a lot of rc scrolls, but not as many as they do mummies in the crypts or something. Maybe just make cursed items give random debuffs when you take them off?

Like a dice roll between:
  • The *Contam thing on artifacts
  • MR--
  • 10-ish% hp rot
  • A slaying and spellcasting penalty
  • Summon a scary demon
  • 6 points of random stat drain, weighted to what you have the most of

All of those are fairly dangerous, but at least they are temporary and can be worked with.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 74

Joined: Sunday, 21st February 2016, 14:55

Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 05:31

Re: New DCSS fork

Hmm... that eliminates the whole need and value of the remove curse scrolls I was trying to enhance, and makes it a lot like other mechanics that already exist in the game. I'm trying for something unique, painful enough to warrant careful strategizing and consideration. But I don't want something with a trivial solution that just creates a repetitive experience (like having to unwield as many things as possible before going into battle).

What if a curse only neutralized the buffs on the item, instead of negating them? So the +9 gold dragon armour becomes +0 gold dragon armour with no resistances. This is only until the player finds a way to remove the curse. We could temper the effect further (if needed) by having cursed items automatically uncursing over a period of time (of course tied to experience like drain so players don't just wait it out), but still forcing the player to play differently for a period of time, and to value more the benefits of using curse protection (either by playing a mummy or worshipping Ash, or collecting remove curse scrolls).

To me, a bad case of draining seems worse, as it can't be cured with a simple scroll. You can try and avoid it with high rN, but that is more difficult for some characters, just like finding curse resistance will be easy for some combos, and hard for others. I've found myself on a number of occasions having to leave the branch I'm in and go to an easier one to work off the drain before continuing in the branch. A bit of a pain, but I think it's a good pain, one that motivates me to be better prepared by gaining the necessary resistance, or pursuing a different strategy. How many ways are there to deal with a draining attack? Not much comes to mind other than rN, and that's not even perfect (nor should it be).

The curse malus also provides some fun challenges. For example, a Djinni that conquers tomb is much more impressive than a mummy, which is immune to the curses and negative energy. For the mummy it would be relatively a walk in the park. Similarly, for a Djinni, Gehenna would be relatively easy, given their fire immunity and hellfire immunity.

For the Dj in a tomb case, it poses somewhat of a super challenge, since they can't use remove curse scrolls at all. For this situation maybe the Dj worships Ash, to gain the curse immunity, or maybe they use TSO for the rN, avoiding killing as many mummies as possible, and use their remove curse ability from time to time to clean out the curses, losing some permanent MP, but eventually conquering. Or another possible strategy: Dj goes in with items carefully chosen to work effectively even without their buffs. They ignore the curses when they happen. They deal with the fact that mummies resurrect as a Guardian Mummy, or Mummy Priest, or Greater Mummy (randomly chosen) when they die if they can't successfully curse something. Then when they are done, they only have to uncurse all of their items once (it only requires one use of the remove curse ability to remove any number of curses, like a remove curse scroll does under Ash).

It's exactly this kind of strategizing and pre-conquest planning that I want to see encouraged and rewarded by the game, even more than it is now.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 14:13

Re: New DCSS fork

I'm not certain why this was moved to CYC, but IMO it (and any other robust fork discussion) belongs in GDD. That's where CrawlLite has been discussed, for example. I do think it's best if topics about this fork stay in this thread, though -- I wouldn't want to see a bunch of fork threads for the same fork.

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