Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection


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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 06:15

Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Protection in general isn't a very good brand for general use, at least in my experience it isn't. Very rarely will I prefer a little extra protection in exchange for a shorter amount of time spent in battle(due to higher damage from other weapon brands).

As a result of this, protection just ends up being an item swapped in when the player is trying to escape, and ultimately just takes up another inventory space(not to mention being uninteresting).

So, this is what I suggest to improve on these issues:

For as long as the weapon is wielded, the player gains AC(maybe other things too?) based on the experience gained while using the weapon(and it resets whenever it is removed). This would solve the swapping problem while simultaneously making the brand offer more to the game than just a small boost in numbers since fragility and distortion are the only effects that hinder weapon swapping(and neither of those actually offer a realistic choice, they just prevent it altogether).

I personally think there is some unexplored design space in regards to a Brand of Protection and would love to hear some ideas from other players on the topic.
Last edited by Tiktacy on Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 06:24, edited 7 times in total.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 06:15

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

If you need to deal damage with it to increase your AC, why include the debuff?

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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 08:16

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

i think protection is a perfectly fine brand for casters? you can always swap to your poison/drain/elec dagger when you're going to actually go melee but i'm always happy to find an early protection dagger/mace on a book start.

i mean is something wrong with swapping weapons actually? almost every background will do it if they found the right items.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 08:34

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

adozu wrote:i think protection is a perfectly fine brand for casters?

The problem with protection imo is that it applies to all kinds of characters. It is generally optimal to explore while wielding a weapon of protection in case you run into something nasty with a ranged attack. And it just feels stupid that my Mi with a great bloody axe should be running around wielding a dagger of protection. Then I don't do it and have to feel bad for not doing what's optimal. So I'm glad that Lasty's going to fix it.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 16:25

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Rather than have it scale with time, which feels kinda terrible, what about rebranding it as Parrying, and have it scale with weapon skill. That solves the axe-wielder carrying around a dagger of protection issue at least.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 17:52

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

TeshiAlair wrote:Rather than have it scale with time, which feels kinda terrible, what about rebranding it as Parrying, and have it scale with weapon skill. That solves the axe-wielder carrying around a dagger of protection issue at least.

Ehhh carrying a hand axe of protection isn't much better. Scaling with time and losing it on swap seems better to me.

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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 19:57

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Every brand has its swappable use: flaming for hydrae, freezing for frogs, snakes and lizards, poison for bees, elec for... everything. You are looking at the least appealing of them and going "yeah, removing the swappable potential of this weapon will definitely improve it". Lets not even start with slings of evasion.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 20:00

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Swapping brands to adjust to specific threats is pretty different than swapping every single time you autoexplore. I don't love any sort of swapping, but protection and evasion seem particularly notably ripe for it.

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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 20:18

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Im not talking about the swappable potential of protection as in, using it to auto exploring or running, mainly because nobody does that(if you actually do that, seek help because you dont know how to be optimal but you think you do, seriously), but the swappable potential of not being stuck with it, like, being able to use rods... god i cant believe i have to use that as an example.

But yeah, back to the OP, lets say you get AC over time, how much would the maximum be? +10? My proposal would be to have AC or EV bonus be equal to the weapon's enchantment level.
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Post Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 22:51

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

dynast wrote:Im not talking about the swappable potential of protection as in, using it to auto exploring or running, mainly because nobody does that(if you actually do that, seek help because you dont know how to be optimal but you think you do, seriously)


what? *brain breaks down trying to process the statement*
That statement is so incredibly wrong...

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 02:02

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

dynast wrote:Im not talking about the swappable potential of protection as in, using it to auto exploring or running, mainly because nobody does that(if you actually do that, seek help because you dont know how to be optimal but you think you do, seriously)


DCSS' design philosophy is that tedious-but-optimal actions shouldn't exist, and "nobody actually does that" or "if you do that, seek help" aren't acceptable arguments in favor of a feature. I'm pretty sure nobody went around throwing every branded weapon they weren't using into lava either, but that didn't stop the devs from making changes to remove the optimality of such behavior.

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 02:28

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ydeve wrote:what? *brain breaks down trying to process the statement*
That statement is so incredibly wrong...

If you want to auto explore with something optimal on your hand, wield a ranged weapon, preferably a hand crossbow or blowgun. If you need to swap weapon to run from something it is because you dont know basic risk management and just put yourself on a dumb situation, try processing what you should do to avoid dangerous situations instead of how you would run from them, also, auto exploring is not even optimal to start with.
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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 09:19

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

i don't really know what to add here but this reminds me of people advocating for silly levels of political correctness.

there is a level of tedium that is fine, i'd rather see protection removed than stay in the game but useless. who is going to use as their main, unswappable weapon a PROTECTION weapon? even a "pure caster" would always give it up for elec/poison/drain if they couldn't use it as swap.

imho you're making it from a niche but useful brand to a fossil that nobody would ever pick up.

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 09:40

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

When choosing a weapon, I think the main consideration is how much damage it does. So brands that don't add damage like Protection and Evasion are in a weird place. The same can be said of Antimagic I suppose, but Antimagic's effect does explicitly scale with damage dealt, and is a much stronger effect than Protection/Evasion which makes the loss of damage more worthwhile.

One possibility then is to make Protection/Evasion behave more like Antimagic, i.e. scales with damage, with the possibility of getting quite high values for bonus AC/EV. Not sure that we want more brands that behave like Antimagic, but this could work I think.

I want to propose something simpler though. Simply move Protection and Evasion unchanged to body armour egos instead of weapon egos. Reason: They are more interesting as armour brands, where you'll end up probably having to choose between bonus AC/EV vs a useful resist. Protection is a little redundant with armour enchantment, but it makes sense if you think of it as a way to go over the enchantment cap.

You can still get +AC/EV from weapon artefacts, but then you can get resists from them too so artefact swapping will still be a problem unless you get rid of all those things.

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 11:04

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

DracheReborn wrote:I want to propose something simpler though. Simply move Protection and Evasion unchanged to body armour egos instead of weapon egos. Reason: They are more interesting as armour brands, where you'll end up probably having to choose between bonus AC/EV vs a useful resist. Protection is a little redundant with armour enchantment, but it makes sense if you think of it as a way to go over the enchantment cap.


Putting +AC on armor is equivalent to changing the distribution of armor enchantment. So you might as well do that, since it's less confusing - for example, some players (particularly those who remember old slaying) might wonder if the Protection ego adds to their base AC or their total AC.

As for putting +EV on armor, that existed and was removed. I believe the justification was that it was boring and overpowered.

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 18:40

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

dynast wrote:
ydeve wrote:what? *brain breaks down trying to process the statement*
That statement is so incredibly wrong...

If you want to auto explore with something optimal on your hand, wield a ranged weapon, preferably a hand crossbow or blowgun. If you need to swap weapon to run from something it is because you dont know basic risk management and just put yourself on a dumb situation, try processing what you should do to avoid dangerous situations instead of how you would run from them, also, auto exploring is not even optimal to start with.

Blowguns are bad without training throwing, and if you've trained throwing there's no reason to wield a launcher instead of a resistance stick.
Luring is a fundamental part of crawl, and not wielding a resistance stick while doing so is strictly suboptimal.

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Post Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 22:28

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

adozu wrote:there is a level of tedium that is fine, i'd rather see protection removed than stay in the game but useless. who is going to use as their main, unswappable weapon a PROTECTION weapon? even a "pure caster" would always give it up for elec/poison/drain if they couldn't use it as swap.


I would. Here's a recent OpEn that went heavy into conjurations. I went all in on enchanting up that long sword of protection, and once I got it, it only left my tentacles for a very occasional swap in the late game to a staff of wizardry to cast glaciate. There were better weapons for dealing damage available, but when I was anxious to deal damage with that character I was using IOOD (etc.) anyway, not swinging a weapon.

Sure, maybe it was stupid to do this, but people do all sorts of weird things, and sweeping generalizations about what everybody does or everybody likes or everybody finds horribly tedious are hard to pull off accurately.

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Post Thursday, 9th June 2016, 07:40

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

you simply aren't the target demographic of the change then, it is intended to discourage swapping it as a resistance stick when you're not busy swinging better stuff which you clearly aren't bothering with in the first place.

but yeah i guess my "nobody would use protection as their main weapon" didn't take into account a very small subset of octopode casters.

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Post Thursday, 9th June 2016, 21:58

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

When a protection weapon is used as a main weapon on a blaster, it really isn't the main weapon. It's a resistance stick that kills popcorn. I may not be swapping it, but it's still really a resistance stick. (The main weapon is conjurations. In the case of that OpEn, the main weapon was IOOD, not the longsword.)

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Post Thursday, 9th June 2016, 23:21

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Yes, that's true, but I'm not sure I understand why it is relevant. (Not trying to be aggressive, I feel like I've missed your train of thought.) In my bringing it up, I meant to be only replying to adozu's claim that no one would use a protection weapon if the option to swap it out easily were taken away. You are of course right that the use case of a fragile caster using the weapon as a resistance stick is one where the player uses the weapon primarily for its defensive buff and depends on something else as the primary damage dealer. Is the point meant to connect up with some other exchange in this thread?
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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 02:18

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ydeve wrote:Luring is a fundamental part of crawl

what? Luring is BIG only because someone noticed an easy exploit in the game's noise system and told everybody about it. Some signs of this is how newbies die, how almost nobody understands how noise works, and how many posters here know the luring pro-tip. This does not sound like you. Are you being sarcastic?

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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 02:25

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Luring is a fundamental part of Crawl. Noise aside, there's good terrain to fight on and bad terrain to fight on. There are also stairs and corners.

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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 02:50

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

playing well isn't an exploit

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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 06:04

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

what you describe is different; you can play a formicid and killhole everywhere and only fight 1v1 and still never* lure
* - well, almost never, due to stone walls and very empty places

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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 16:40

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

Luring us not an exploit. Luring is a result of terrain existing. It is obvious to new players to lure to chokepoints, lure to locations where you only have one orc priest on the screen, etc.

Luring for noise reasons is also not an exploit. It is an unfun result of the noise mechanics. Once you understand how noise works it is also obviously optimal to do.

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Post Monday, 13th June 2016, 16:42

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

andreas wrote:Yes, that's true, but I'm not sure I understand why it is relevant. (Not trying to be aggressive, I feel like I've missed your train of thought.) In my bringing it up, I meant to be only replying to adozu's claim that no one would use a protection weapon if the option to swap it out easily were taken away. You are of course right that the use case of a fragile caster using the weapon as a resistance stick is one where the player uses the weapon primarily for its defensive buff and depends on something else as the primary damage dealer. Is the point meant to connect up with some other exchange in this thread?

Sorry. I think I was responding to the comment in the previous post about using a protection weapon as the main weapon, but looking back I'm not really sure why I said what I did.
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Post Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 01:41

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

even if protection gave +ac/+ev, up to +9/+9 at max enchantment level most people would rather use vorpal
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Post Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 01:47

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

if people use vorpal over +9 AC/EV that is almost certainly wrong

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Post Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 12:11

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ydeve wrote:Luring for noise reasons is also not an exploit. It is an unfun result of the noise mechanics. Once you understand how noise works it is also obviously optimal to do.
Most players that lure do not understand how noise works because they shrug when you ask them how noise works, and are oblivious to more advanced maneuvers, so I reject your interpretation; luring is a meme that has been taken seriously, like skiing in Tribes but bad and not actually actively supported, yet not like stairdancing, because the rules for how monsters use stairs are eminently testable and quite obvious.

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Post Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 18:34

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

You don't need an in-depth understanding of how noise works to make luring obvious. All you need to know is that things make noise which dissipates as it travels through different types of terrain. A very large set of players know this.

So obviously if you move farther away from the black any noise generated is less likely to attract other monsters.

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Post Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 20:20

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

The problem with luring as it exists is that good tactics are also boring tactics. It's true that luring is a fundamental part of crawl in the sense that being aware of noise, choosing good terrain, and deciding whether to engage or escape are all deeply ingrained elements of crawl's tactical system. But unfortunately, the correct action to take when coming across nearly any monster or group of monsters is to walk back to the stairs, split the pack up, heal to full, and then decide whether to go back down that stairwell or another. So, there aren't really luring tactics per se, just a routine you should execute over and over.

This isn't an easy problem to solve, because again, luring is pretty tightly interwoven with the core elements of crawl's tactical game. My hunch is that any meaningful luring reform will first require changing how stairs work.

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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 02:30

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

If it added some GDR on top of whatever you're wearing it might have some more use.
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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 06:50

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ydeve wrote: All you need to know is that things make noise which dissipates as it travels through different types of terrain.


That is absolutely not enough information.

You need to know more.
What makes noise and what doesn't (shouts and player melee and spell effects make considerable noise, walking makes none).
Under what conditions monsters "notice" the player (sight-based failed stealth checks and noise give you away independently).
Whether the game cheats and gives monsters information they really shouldn't have (many games make the AI cheat, but Crawl started as a dungeon simulator).
Whether monsters know where noise comes from (the answer is affirmative (sometimes); i.e. every monster has a superpower unavailable to the player).
How monsters behave if they haven't "noticed you" (they don't just respond to noise; how would one know that they don't do X or Y or Z?).

There are several competing/conflicting factors here, and some deliberate randomization, which makes the system hard to grasp as a whole if you're relying on simply playing the damn game like a normal person. And the game's AI and noise systems are very opaque, despite its need to inform you how loud spells are. (OTOH, AC and damage are almost as opaque...)

Sure, if you get all those mechanics, then luring becomes a no-brainer. But there is plenty to confuse/misguide the player, like how new monsters can come into your LOS pre-alerted, as if other nearby monsters shouted out your co-ordinates. From a naive perspective, it makes sense to get similarly swarmed when retreating vs staying to fight. Hopefully I've either spurred you to show I'm wrong, or convinced you that you're underestimating the requisite spoilers here. It's not just "things make noise which dissipates as it travels"; it's a whole set of required spoilers. And if luring is fundamental to Crawl, well then, dang, you're missing out on some core aspects of Crawl if you don't go searching for spoilers or engage/lurk in one of its communities!

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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 07:25

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

None of the things you said make any sense. Any reasonably intelligent player can figure out luring is a good idea without having access to that kind of info.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:What makes noise and what doesn't

wrong. if you don't know what makes noise then you should assume everything makes noise. ergo, you should lure.
Edit: If you were going hiking and you know that there's poison ivy around but no one in your hiking group knows what it looks like, do you avoid random shrubs or do you assume poison ivy doesn't exist and walk through random plants?

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Under what conditions monsters "notice" the player

Not needed at all. It's pretty obvious that monsters far away from you are less likely to notice you, and the game gives plenty of ways to learn this, with sleeping monsters, what happens when you run away and take another staircase down, etc.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Whether the game cheats and gives monsters information they really shouldn't have

again, staircase swapping teaches this very quickly

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Whether monsters know where noise comes from

once you realize that more monsters are appearing after some shout, this is a no-brainer. Orc:$ teaches this very well.

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:How monsters behave if they haven't "noticed you"

they obviously aren't making a beeline to your location. "Marked" status teaches this pretty well.


On top of observing monsters, the fact that spells have an indication of their noise level in their description clearly communicates that noise is more than just cosmetic.
So, sorry, its hardly spoilery that noise does something.

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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 07:41

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ug
that's wrong; what you claim is not at all the only reasonable interpretation of those observations
also the game gives very mixed signals rather than the unambiguous signals you claim
(sorry, can't post more right now)

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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 07:46

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

You know that most people don't play roguelikes in a vacuum? They find forums, wikis, chatrooms, etc and get advice from other players. And will find out about things like noise from the gazillion other players who are observant enough to notice that spell noise description is more than flavorful fluff.
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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 08:22

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

ok so just fuck whoever wants to just download the game and give it a spin, using its manual if necessary...
You think it's normal to get involved with a community related to every game you try out?
Or that "roguelike" somehow radiates "not meant to be figured out by yourself"?
Your last post supports my conclusion that luring is a meme.

ydeve wrote:wrong. if you don't know what makes noise then you should assume everything makes noise. ergo, you should lure.

Not really. What if monster movement makes noise? It may then be better to kill it first, not lure.

ydeve wrote:It's pretty obvious that monsters far away from you are less likely to notice you

...I think this is actually incorrect. If so, that's a big point against how "obvious" such things are!

ydeve wrote:once you realize that more monsters are appearing after some shout, this is a no-brainer

no it's not... maybe the shout just wakes them up, but they are attracted like magnets to shouting monsters. See, that makes more sense and avoids giving monsters superpowers! You can also observe awoken monsters not moving to the sound that woke them, which hurts the plausibility of this "no-brainer" interpretation.

ydeve wrote:they obviously aren't making a beeline to your location.

speaking of beelining, bees often refrain from it. They buzz, and make you hear offscreen buzzing noises, but often you can just fight them 1 or 2 at a time. You know other bees heard the bee you're fighting now, but they're not coming to it... :?

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Post Thursday, 16th June 2016, 14:41

Re: Brand Adjustment: Improving On Protection

You don't need to know how TV set internals work to turn it on or off. Noise spoilers are not needed either, when you meet a monster you can see "Orc comes into view. The orc shouts. You hear shout x4" or you see "Orc comes into view" and the orc does not shout and you don't see messages about other shouts so it becomes clear that first shout alerted other monsters and they shouted too. When you cast a loud spell like Fireball near black area, you see "You hear a shout x3", when you do it in explored area (when retreating from a dangerous monster to stairs which is blocked by a newly generated monster), you don't see the message so it becomes clear that noise has limited range and the range depends on its loudness. Of course it becomes obvious that retreating into explored area before making loud noises is a good idea because player already noticed that explored area statistically has less wandering monsters (and none sleeping ones) than unexplored area.

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