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

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 53

Joined: Monday, 16th May 2011, 17:21

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 09:12


This may be only me personal feeling but I find humans pretty boring : they're average, not bad in anything, not good in anything, which isn't very exciting. Looking at the tournament stats, they don't count a lot of wins and I'd understand why most players don't play them : it's always funnier to play with a species that has some particularity, either good or bad for your background.

Here's a suggestion to make them a bit more attractive. The main point of humans is that they're versatile : being average in every skill allows you to learn new ones quite fast and decide or change your gameplay course over the game, something much harder (if not impossible) with, say, a MuWz. Yet it doesn't seem that it is so effective : even with a human, evolving from a wizard to a pure melee attacker takes time and danger, and also the other way around. Even taking a sword instead of an axe takes a huge time to train correctly.

To increase the verstile aspect, I would suggest to buff crosstraining for them. I don't have polished ideas and don't know the exact mechanics for crosstraining but for example, making all the weapon skills crosstrain up to a quarter or a half of the skill level of the best weapon class (or fighting) would allow easier weapon change. The same could go for magical skills, and although changing the whole character should still be very hard, there might be a solution to make it a bit easier.

This could be a good and attractive asset for them : if you're a wizard and find a GDA on D:5, you're generally not gonna pick it up and get really angry against the RNG. With appropriate buffing, humans wizards could take it and switch to fighters in a much shorter time.

This might require some experience nerfing on the other side of course. And I think this could fit well with the flavour : Humans aren't especially strong nor bright but they're clever and know how to adapt.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 10:00

Re: Humans

This has always bothered me a little. Humans in games with lots of species are always either the most adaptable or versatile species or the best diplomats. It's completely arbitrary, and everyone does it. Why cant people come up with something more interesting? Besides, humans in general hate change, so where do people get the idea that humans as a species are more adaptable than a bunch of fantasy species?

In crawl humans are simply the baseline for all other species. This makes them pretty mediocre, so they level fast. Which mostly makes them slightly more beefy. I think humans are fine. Not very interesting, but neither are MDs, HEs or HOs (non-Beogh). The species with the most extreme racial features will usually be the most interesting ones, but that doesn't mean every species needs a gimmick.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 15:55

Re: Humans

This topic pops up from time to time. From the proposals I've seen so far, I cannot imagine one going into the game. Yes, humans are the boring average, but everything else is compared to them.
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Blades Runner

Posts: 575

Joined: Tuesday, 18th January 2011, 15:11

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 17:38

Re: Humans

this is a pet peeve of mine, but irrelevant as it is, i'd like it if they actually leveled up faster than any other race. currently they are tied with halflings and kobolds, both of which are strong now, and hill orcs, which are nothing to write home about but make slightly better specialized builds. aside from that, they're what they should be.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)
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Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1189

Joined: Friday, 28th January 2011, 21:45

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 20:04

Re: Humans

I think humans always being average stems from the fact that, in reality, we don't have anything sapient to compare to. If there was a second sapient species on our planet and we were physically stronger than they were, then humans in most games would probably be fairy robust rather than being plain average. Most people can't think of anything and may not want to make humans "superior" to everything else.

The humans as diplomats alternative... I don't know why that's common, other than maybe from our grasp on politics and marketing.

I don't remember what game it was, but in one humans were one of the more stubborn species and when they set their mind on trying to do something, they did it. It was a nice change It was stemmed from the fact that we go and move into whatever places we please. If the area isn't meant to support human life, then we'll make it support human life, we're not leaving just because it's hot and water is scarce!
The best strategy most frequently overlooked by new players for surviving: not starting a fight to begin with.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1221

Joined: Thursday, 10th March 2011, 19:45

Post Monday, 29th August 2011, 20:40

Re: Humans

Um, to borrow an idea from another roguelike, how about humans get better prices than anyone else in shops?


Lair Larrikin

Posts: 22

Joined: Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 07:10

Post Saturday, 3rd September 2011, 08:44

Re: Humans

Humans being the baseline makes sense. However, it's good to try and avoid boring races. My idea is to leave their aptitudes the same, but give them a small ability for flavor. In real life there are three things that separate humans from other animals: an excellent brain, excelling at long distance running, and culture.

Anything based off of a brain would affect aptitudes so no go. Also, other races are probably smart.

Long distance running is tricky. Humans have a slow base movement, but can run until faster animals like horses collapse of exhaustion. The closest thing crawl has to endurance running is the food counter. Since, humans are the baseline race humans cannot have a modified food counter. Humans could have a sprint ability. It would be on a breath timer and temporarily increases their movement speed. The breath timer would need to be LARGE (100 - 500 turns) so humans don't turn into another fast race like Spriggans or Centaurs.

Culture is difficult to implement in a game where your only interaction with "creatures" is killing them, avoiding them, worshiping them or buying from them. The worship bonus could be slightly faster piety gain, possibly with higher piety loss. A different culture idea is to have Humans ID items faster. As in they have a higher % chance to determine the enchantment level of a weapon, or the charges in a wand.

Overall I think a sprint ability is the best because it is an active ability. Active abilities are easier to balance, and give players more options. A sprint ability is weak, and maintains flavor. A weak ability like sprint would make humans more interesting while maintaining their role as the baseline race.

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