Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items


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

User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 02:27

Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

I'm bringing this up because it came up tangentially in another thread. I think the comment was that it can be somewhat "grindy" having your character try on every runed / glowing item in the dungeon in search of enchanted items.

I don't have any clear opinions on the subject but I think some thought could be given to how items get described.

First of all, I have found items that had no special description that were nonetheless enchanted, like a +2 robe, for instance, and possibly even with a resistance, that just showed up as a plain old "robe".

That to me would seem to encourage tedious play, as I am now tempted to try every robe / light armour I find on the off chance it might have a brand. And then I think the same for weapons...

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 02:55

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

The word 'grinding' is sometimes horribly abused in discussions like these, often meaning little more than 'gameplay I don't like'. You can sweep through the whole of Orc 1-4, picking up all potentially-branded armors, and check them all for curses with a single scroll. Then, hit two buttons for each of the dozen or so items you picked up, and in the end just pick the one you like best.

Yes, if you stretch the definition sufficiently this could be considered grinding armor identification. On the other hand, you have to mash the arrow key several times to kill a monster you run into, and then when you find another monster a few seconds later you have to have to mash the arrow key AGAIN. This is clearly even more repetitious than checking armor for brands, considering how many monsters are on a typical level. Were we to stretch the concept of grinding to this extreme and remove it completely, we're probably stuck hammering autoexplore while the game declares a victor automatically every time a monster shows up.

On the other hand, nobody says you have to try on every robe you find. A plain armor might have a + of some sort, but the odds of getting a higher + are lower the higher you already have, and you can more reliably make your own high-plus equipment with the proper scrolls. Once you've got a robe with a decent bonus and/or resistance, you might as well give up on the plain ones and narrow your search to just the potentially branded ones.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 03:04

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

If I may quote myself, I defined grindy play quite clearly before I noted that I find the search for ego items grindy:
I consider anything tedious, mostly mindless, and at least beneficial (though often required and usually optimal for some means, including normal play) grindy

On bumping into things and grinding, it's only grindy if it's mindless, like killing popcorn, which I also listed in my original post, which somehow lost its linky thing, so here's the post below it.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 04:05

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

Perhaps I can reframe the issue as a more general one:

What is the meaning of the "runed / glowing / dyed / embroidered" etc. descriptors, what is the purpose of them, and are they serving that purpose?

I honestly don't know, that's why I wanted to see a discussion about it.

Server Admin

Posts: 89

Joined: Wednesday, 15th December 2010, 23:13

Location: Germany, Europe

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 07:39

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

minmay wrote:The only thing I hate about trying on different armors is that putting one on usually gives you a --more-- prompt due to all the message spam:

Disable the --more-- prompt? show_more = false
Please report bugs to the bug tracker, and leave feedback on the development wiki. Thank you!

For this message the author Napkin has received thanks:
galehar
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 09:53

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

danr wrote:Perhaps I can reframe the issue as a more general one:

What is the meaning of the "runed / glowing / dyed / embroidered" etc. descriptors, what is the purpose of them, and are they serving that purpose?

I honestly don't know, that's why I wanted to see a discussion about it.


After a quick source dive. Branded stuff always have a cosmetic adjective, so don't bother trying normal one in hope of a brand. Weapons with a + have 1 chance in 3 to have a cosmetic adjective. Racial ones have an additional 1 chance in 7 to get it. For armour with +, they have 2 chances in 3 to have it. Enchanted missiles always have it.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

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

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 12:33

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

danr wrote:I'm bringing this up because it came up tangentially in another thread. I think the comment was that it can be somewhat "grindy" having your character try on every runed / glowing item in the dungeon in search of enchanted items.

First of all, I have found items that had no special description that were nonetheless enchanted, like a +2 robe, for instance, and possibly even with a resistance, that just showed up as a plain old "robe".

The last statement is wrong (as pointed out by galehar too): armour items without ego may get an adjective, but every branded piece will always have an adjective.

danr wrote: That to me would seem to encourage tedious play, as I am now tempted to try every robe / light armour I find on the off chance it might have a brand. And then I think the same for weapons...

I don't think that is necessary: if you are interested in a resistance (as most people would), you'll restrict attention to special robes. Since they can only be enchanted up to +2 anyway, I don't even think it makes sense to try mundane ones for enchantment, but I know that some players will.

One word of history: in the old times (maybe up to DCSS 0.1), a plain robe could indeed have an ego (even "of resistance"). This made players check all robes in Snake. When I suggested giving all branded items an adjective, I hoped this would make the mini-game acceptable.

But nobody can leave well enough alone, so here is an actual complaint about the current situation. What are some options?
  • Simply identify armour items when stepping on them.
  • A clear mapping adjective -> effect, e.g. "glowing"="has an enchantment", "runed"="has an ego".
  • Generate less junk.

These are just ideas, I don't really like them apart from the third one. (We should get rid of useless stuff, both in items and monsters.)

I support minmay's complaint about message spam. There is was an implementable about merging messages (which got a patch, so is closed now, if I recall correctly). This would clearly fit in there: all disrobing messages should go in one line. Then a dedicated line for the new item.
User avatar

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 482

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:08

Location: Savannah, Ga.

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 15:10

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

dpeg wrote:What are some options?
  • Simply identify armour items when stepping on them.
  • A clear mapping adjective -> effect, e.g. "glowing"="has an enchantment", "runed"="has an ego".
  • Generate less junk.


When I first started playing, I thought the adjectives were mapped - took me a while of just trial and error to realize they weren't. FWIW, I'd like them to be that way.. It would save a little bit of dealing with the quantity of items. I'm already a bit of a pack rat as a player anyway - I realize I carry around much more than I ever need.
  Code:
Jory screams, "No, no!" before exploding into a cloud of blood!

Snake Sneak

Posts: 92

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 21:31

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 20:24

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

tcjsavannah wrote:I'm already a bit of a pack rat as a player anyway - I realize I carry around much more than I ever need.


Use stashes.
User avatar

Halls Hopper

Posts: 72

Joined: Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 21:48

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 23:01

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

I think it would be just fabulous if, at the moment of item generation, every equipable item had to roll against both its value and rarity before it is placed on the dungeon floor. There doesn't need to be a billion +0 robes littered around the dungeon floor. there wouldn't be a need to replace the failed item with some other item, just consider it junk and skip over it.

Bim

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 700

Joined: Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 15:51

Post Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 23:51

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

Agree with the less junk thing, but I think it'd be easy for it to go to far the other way and have no normal stuff lying around (searching round for ages just to find a bladed weapon anyone!?). Possibly a slight combination of that (not so many clubs and plain robes everywhere) and maybe some better adjectives.
For instance lightly glowing could mean it has a +x, brightly glowing could mean it has +x plus an alright possibility of resistance and then obviously the randarts etc. I just find that I'm always picking up loads of +1 and +2 robes when I've already got a +2 robe in the hope that one has a resistance.
2012 Winner of fewest proposed ideas implemented by devs.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Thursday, 6th January 2011, 00:42

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

I don't know how easy it would be to code a context-sensitive floor loot generator. When I'm scraping the first two floors for an edged weapon of any kind for butchery, I'm happy with any old piece of junk. When I'm looking for a long blade, that -1/+0 orcish falchion is a treasure. When I already have my robes of resistance, all those that are merely fire resistance or cold resistance are suddenly rubbish no matter their plus, even though I might have appreciated them moments before.

So what happens when orcs are generated? Do orcs generated on D2 have a chance of plate mail, but the moment you change into dragon armor all further orcs start getting generated naked? This would have a bizarre effect on game balance, since monsters aren't supposed to actively get weaker as your own power builds.

Are we ready to jettison item identification entirely? If floor trash doesn't generate, that kind of spoils the fact that every item that shows up has to be valuable. Do we really need all floor loot to feel like Okawaru's acquirements, where items just drop into our laps without any effort on our own part?
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Thursday, 6th January 2011, 02:25

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

There still needs to be +0 "junk" because a +0 cloak or gloves is still better than nothing. Also, monsters should obviously be able to have +0 junk and this should not disappear when they are killed.

Ideally though the game should not encourage players to waste time, or to hoover the dungeon for potentially good items. But there still needs to be a chance of getting a cursed item.

I'd suggest that a glowing / runed item should always be some combination of the following:

- cursed
- positively enchanted
- have a brand / resistance etc.

Plain items should just be plain +0.

You don't have to eliminate "junk" if it's easy to recognize and ignore.

This does not eliminate identification etc. because there's still a chance of cursed items, and I'm not talking about increasing the percentage of good items. I'm just saying it doesn't add much to the game experience to be checking every robe and short sword because they might be better than the +0 equipment you start with. This would let you just collect the runed / glowing items, check them for curses when you get the scroll, or just try them out.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 22

Joined: Friday, 24th December 2010, 05:45

Post Thursday, 6th January 2011, 03:41

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

Something else you'd have to consider if you got rid of "junk" is the effect it would have on the gods that use all that junk! Nemelex, Ely, Jivya...

Bim

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 700

Joined: Wednesday, 5th January 2011, 15:51

Post Thursday, 6th January 2011, 10:57

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

Yeah, I think maybe the Junk could be toned down a little bit, but possibly just in terms of having less standard robes, clubs and daggers dropped after a kill. I think it'd be better to have more +things and more -things, to make it more exciting rather than going 'oh I've found more +0 boots'.
2012 Winner of fewest proposed ideas implemented by devs.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Friday, 7th January 2011, 07:39

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

I don't want more better stuff, I just want to be able to spend less time looking through useless stuff.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Friday, 7th January 2011, 14:07

Re: Glowing / runed / cursed / branded items

Napkin wrote:
minmay wrote:The only thing I hate about trying on different armors is that putting one on usually gives you a --more-- prompt due to all the message spam:

Disable the --more-- prompt? show_more = false


This is indeed a very convenient option.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.