Bye bye victory dancing


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 Sunday, 10th July 2011, 08:01

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

A config option to switch between Ctrl+key and cycling would be nice. I still haven't played with the new training, but I can see people preferring either.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 10:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:A config option to switch between Ctrl+key and cycling would be nice. I still haven't played with the new training, but I can see people preferring either.

ctrl+key isn't possible because ctrl+shift+key doesn't work and you can have more than 26 skills.

ElectricAlbatross wrote:Couldn't we instead use the alphabet key to cycle through off -> on -> focus?

It would make toggling skills on/off very annoying, especially to people who don't use focus.

LunarHarp wrote:I take back my comment about wanting to see the weights for the unknown skills. This makes knowing that pretty irrelevant.
Does boxing plants still help get fighting or weapon skills to level 1?

You can see the weights of unknown skills just fine, but not the progress. Yes, you can still use plants to exercise fighting and weapon skills up to level 1.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 10:59

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

KoboldLord wrote:I'm really not liking how it feels to pick up a new spell skill, though. If you're trying to get translocations with Blink at good, you'll have an absolutely wretched time with translocations miscasts from this unreliable spell until you get to level 1

How is it any different than the old system? Victory dancing with no skill was exactly the same, except you had to do it with xp in the pool and it was harder. Now you only need an average of 5 exercises instead of 20 (for apt 0) and you can dance at any time.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 11:15

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

You guys should really put more faith into galehar. He has fully understood the problem of "I want some of my skills to slowly raise" and has an idea how to address it without the On/Slow/Off trichotomy. It might take a while (read past 0.9) until auto-mode is as good as desired. In case no satisfying solution can be found, I am sure that galehar will accept other ideas. So no need to rave about this all the time. (And yes, I am guilty too: my second post here was about this.)

Secondly, the messages after killing a big monster look strange, at least to the veteran Crawler. This, however, is really only a cosmetic problem. We may address this at a later time cosmetically (different wording) or differently (no idea how) or perhaps not at all. This issue is not relevant for 0.9. The mechanic works fine, and the message is secondary. (Of course, my first post in this thread was a complaint about this one. :o )

Here are the bits I'd like to keep from this thread (none of them necessary for 0.9):

1) Remove skill progress display. It is not really necessary and contributes a toggle and many numbers to the m-screen. If players start doing silly things to keep track of their skill progress manually, we'll devise something. Just turn off a skill you want to turn off right after gaining a level.

2) Don't show total experience points anymore. The numbers are huge, ugly and not very useful. Instead show percentages in % and E.

3) Turn manuals from permanent to temporary effects.

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 11:34

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:3) Turn manuals from permanent to temporary effects.


On the subject of manuals why not keep the end result identical? Which is to say; manuals in the past have been used to leap a particular skill up chunks at a time. Now they could simply add a flat percentage of the progress to the next level. They would be similar to Potions of Experience, weak and possibly crucial early or powerful and time saving later.

At most manuals can be used 17 times I think? If the skill increase was 10% each time then on average you would gain just about a full level in a particular skill, which while being less than what you could do before, is still a considerable bonus. Perhaps increasing the percentage and lowering the maximum uses would help balancing if it is desirable to increase it by 3-5 levels?

However with this method you could no longer read manuals with 400k experience and jump from level 0 to level 25 in a single book, so for unused skills they would be far better to use at level 25 or so, but the new system makes doing that unnecessary (IMO).

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 12:03

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Charlie: Balancing something is much easier if the effect is temporary rather than permanent. The same goes for choices. More interesting if you also have to contemplate of when to use it.

The current mechanic does not work anymore, so we need something else. Permanent effects will lead to problems (we've seen this is time and again), so we should think of something not abusable.
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 12:23

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:Secondly, the messages after killing a big monster look strange, at least to the veteran Crawler. This, however, is really only a cosmetic problem. We may address this at a later time cosmetically (different wording) or differently (no idea how) or perhaps not at all. This issue is not relevant for 0.9. The mechanic works fine, and the message is secondary.


it may confuse the veteran crawler, but it should make sense to veteran players of other games and to newcomers too. kill something, learn from it. it makes more sense if you're playing on auto mode, but that's the default. the skill screen is very informative now and anyone who spends a little time there will figure out how it works, whereas victory dancing was more obscured.

dpeg wrote:1) Remove skill progress display. It is not really necessary and contributes a toggle and many numbers to the m-screen. If players start doing silly things to keep track of their skill progress manually, we'll devise something. Just turn off a skill you want to turn off right after gaining a level.


just for the record, i don't think this is necessary. but if it has to be done, it can wait until 0.10, when the system's fully worked out, because right now percentages help figuring out how it works.
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Bim

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 14:52

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

i don't think this is necessary. but if it has to be done, it can wait until 0.10, when the system's fully worked out, because right now percentages help figuring out how it works.

Definitely agree, I think hiding it doesn't really do anything to hinder the gameplay (or m screen) and it's just something that makes sense from a player point of view. I'm sure you can imagine players in a years time going 'I wish I could see how near I am to the next level' and also, it's nice to have that bit of control which is lost by getting rid of victory dancing.

The whole point of this seems to be to make tasks less time consuming, however this shouldn't mean that we get rid of ALL player control over skills. As someone said earlier (can't remember who, sorry!) if you get both up to 50% then it gives you a better chance depending on what weapon you find. This isn't overly tedious (if the player wants to do it, why not?) and is a nice tactical way of doing things, whilst allowing for more choices later down the line.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 16:28

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:How is it any different than the old system? Victory dancing with no skill was exactly the same, except you had to do it with xp in the pool and it was harder. Now you only need an average of 5 exercises instead of 20 (for apt 0) and you can dance at any time.


In the old system, you had immediate feedback when you made progress toward that level 1 in the skill even if you couldn't see it on the screen. Bashing plants would cause your xp pool to drop, and you know that you're getting what you want rather than just wasting your time.

In the new system, your pre-dance stacks the action list. You have no idea how much, if anything, you're going to get from each action in your pre-dance. Maybe you'll kill a hydra next, and it'll feed enough xp into your dance that 5 will be enough. Maybe you'll get nothing but megabats for the rest of the level, though, and your dance will get completely run off the end of the queue because each one of them adds in numerous training events for dodging or armor.

The level-0 pre-dance is completely dissonant with the rest of the system. The inconvenience may truly be minor, but it feels much worse than it is because there's no feedback that offers any sense of progress.

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 17:13

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

KoboldLord wrote:In the new system, your pre-dance stacks the action list.

No they don't. I designed the system to avoid exactly the problems you're describing. Exercises for unknown skills are not put in the queue, they won't be affected by your exercising of other skills. And they will be decremented only when the skill is actually trained.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 17:40

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I've just been playing as a HaHu (latest trunk on manual) and randomly gained spellcasting without using anything related to it at all. Are we having it that everyone picks up spellcasting and fighting?

Edit: same just happened with short blades. Was this supposed to be turned off? I get them, and then they turn themselves off, but its still annoying to get them when they haven't been used.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 17:44

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

ElectricAlbatross wrote:You can: press "*" to display unknown skills and their weights.

Galehar wrote:You can see the weights of unknown skills just fine, but not the progress.

Ah, this must have changed right after I started playing my version of trunk. Thanks, it's looking very nice!
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Barkeep

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 18:02

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

So, I'm playing my first game with the new skill system (goodbye, 0.8!) and here's my thoughts, for what it's worth:

* It Just Works. I play normally and things train more or less as I want. I don't miss the exp pool at all.
* The level 0 skill training thing doesn't bother me at all. Whatever problems minmay is having, I don't seem to be having them.
* Gaining skills I didn't just use is odd the first few times, then not odd.

So, thanks!
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 18:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
ElectricAlbatross wrote:Couldn't we instead use the alphabet key to cycle through off -> on -> focus?

It would make toggling skills on/off very annoying, especially to people who don't use focus.


But that only adds one keypress to turning a skill off, and just a repeat. Using focus is annoying as it is right now. Players have to hold down the shift key and then reach for the backslash key and then press the appropriate skill key, and then shift-backslash again to switch back to practice mode. All the reaching and extra pressing adds up when I'm fiddling around with different training proportions, and that's not counting the times that I accidentally focus a skill instead of turning it off because I forgot to switch modes. So you'd be trading one repeat keypress a half of the time for two or more keypresses with a lot of reaching. In addition you'd add a lot more simplicity to the interface, because it just makes more sense to treat focus as another state a skill could have, instead of a completely different process with its own mode. And really, the fewer switches you have on the skills screen that aren't the skills themselves, the better.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 20:37

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:I've just been playing as a HaHu (latest trunk on manual) and randomly gained spellcasting without using anything related to it at all.

So you haven't read any scroll?

Bim wrote:Edit: same just happened with short blades. Was this supposed to be turned off? I get them, and then they turn themselves off, but its still annoying to get them when they haven't been used.

You haven't used the short sword you've started with?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 20:43

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

ElectricAlbatross wrote:But that only adds one keypress to turning a skill off, and just a repeat. Using focus is annoying as it is right now. Players have to hold down the shift key and then reach for the backslash key and then press the appropriate skill key, and then shift-backslash again to switch back to practice mode. All the reaching and extra pressing adds up when I'm fiddling around with different training proportions, and that's not counting the times that I accidentally focus a skill instead of turning it off because I forgot to switch modes. So you'd be trading one repeat keypress a half of the time for two or more keypresses with a lot of reaching. In addition you'd add a lot more simplicity to the interface, because it just makes more sense to treat focus as another state a skill could have, instead of a completely different process with its own mode. And really, the fewer switches you have on the skills screen that aren't the skills themselves, the better.

You're right, the focus interface is clumsy. Maybe a 3-state switch and an option to disable focus would be better.
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Bim

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 20:58

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Hadn't used the short sword I started with at all as I got very lucky with lots of bullets lying around outside the starting area. At least I don't think I did unless I did somehow by accident. If so, I used it once or twice to cut through corpse mushrooms, not enough to make it train at all. I know its a fine line, but I really don't like gaining stuff without using it, especially when it appears 'randomly'.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 21:16

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:Hadn't used the short sword I started with at all as I got very lucky with lots of bullets lying around outside the starting area. At least I don't think I did unless I did somehow by accident. If so, I used it once or twice to cut through corpse mushrooms, not enough to make it train at all. I know its a fine line, but I really don't like gaining stuff without using it, especially when it appears 'randomly'.

Probably an effect of the new auto_switch option. Disable it if you don't like it. Cutting through mushrooms trains L0 weapon skills. And with a +3 apt, 3 swings can be enough to gain the skill.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 22:32

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

It actually seems as though getting those level 0 skills are much easier then they were before. If I want to hybridize with 0 apt it seems like you can get fighting and a weapon skill around level 6. Before it seemed like 8 or 9. Same with spellcasting.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 23:51

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:Hadn't used the short sword I started with at all as I got very lucky with lots of bullets lying around outside the starting area. At least I don't think I did unless I did somehow by accident. If so, I used it once or twice to cut through corpse mushrooms, not enough to make it train at all. I know its a fine line, but I really don't like gaining stuff without using it, especially when it appears 'randomly'.



It's possible you murdered a few shrooms while doing auto-explore or auto-travel. Unless something's changed between latest release and trunk, both of those will cut down weak mushrooms if they're in the way.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 07:07

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I just wanted to say THANKS. I can't believe something actually got done. This is a historic change, probably the biggest and best change to Crawl's gameplay ever. I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.

I'm just so happy someone finally had the guts to turn their back on the idea of "you must actively use a skill in order to train it". If you think about it, that principle makes victory dancing inevitable, as that is essentially what it is. Now the game uses that principle to create a smart default skill training algorithm, but also allows the player a much easier way to tweak it than mindless repetitive activity.

I do wish though that level 0 skills weren't treated differently from other skills.

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 07:16

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Ok, is it just me or do some skills seem to train very slowly? Stealth being the biggest offender. I have yet to be able to get it much over 5%, even with focus, without disabling most of the rest of my skills. My current tactic is to go ahead and turn everything off until stealth hits 4 or 5, and then don't worry about it, but....
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Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 08:04

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

i seem to be having problems with stealth too, for the record.

also, interface-wise: wouldn't it be simpler to cycle off-on-focus with the key corresponding to each skill instead of adding another modifier? you don't mess with skills enough for it to be an inconvenience.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 08:25

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

absolutego wrote:i seem to be having problems with stealth too, for the record.

Thanks for reporting. Be aware that there's 2 ways to exercise stealth. Completely passive (just by wearing light armour) and active (by spending time in the LOS of a sleeping or unaware monster). I'll look into increasing the frequency of passive stealth exercises.

absolutego wrote:also, interface-wise: wouldn't it be simpler to cycle off-on-focus with the key corresponding to each skill instead of adding another modifier? you don't mess with skills enough for it to be an inconvenience.

Yes, I agree. I wanted to avoid that because it would be alienating to people who don't care about focus, but the result isn't good. Instead, I'll put a 3-state switch and add an option to disable focus.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 11:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

The option being accessible from the skill menu would work better than a config option IMO (if there is space for it, which it should be, as there currently is space for focus mode). There could be a key to switch between cycle mode (default, with focus) and on/off mode (no focus). A config option could change which is the default mode.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 12:10

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:The option being accessible from the skill menu would work better than a config option IMO (if there is space for it, which it should be, as there currently is space for focus mode). There could be a key to switch between cycle mode (default, with focus) and on/off mode (no focus). A config option could change which is the default mode.

That seems a bit complicated. What would be the labels on the switch? Would you really toggle it in-game? It seems to me that you either want to use focus or not.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 12:57

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

The label could be focus mode on/off. I may not change modes with a single character, but I can see myself using focus with some chars and not using it with others. It would be inconvenient to change the config when I change characters.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 13:26

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:The label could be focus mode on/off. I may not change modes with a single character, but I can see myself using focus with some chars and not using it with others. It would be inconvenient to change the config when I change characters.

I can also just change the behaviour of the focus mode to tri-state, make the interface remember the last mode, and adjust the contextual help.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 14:26

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

That's exactly what I was thinking of. Maybe I could have said it more clearly.

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 15:58

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Two things: I'm not really sure why anyone needs focus. And I think setting skills caps would help.

Why not just turn off all skills except for the one you want to focus on? That seems easier for the player. And it's already coded. One response might be "Well, I want to focus on axes but I still want to train spellcasting." Sure, but then why not train axes to some target level and then train spellcasting after that? Partial levels don't get you anything, so it is better to reach one level target and then start training another skill. I can think of only one exception: leaving on only one skill risks having the skill become over-trained. For example, if the goal is to train axes from 3 to 4 and I kill an ogre, axes could jump to l4 and 70% of the way to l5. Which means that that 70% was misallocated. Setting a cap on the level to which a skill trains would fix this.

So, what's wrong with my thinking here? When it is not optimal to train a single skill at a time (aside from the over-training risk I mentioned)?

On skill caps:
galehar mentioned a good way to warn the player when a skill has reached certain levels via options. I think that a cap would be used frequently enough to justify allowing player to set "hard" caps in the skills screen. Here are a few scenarios that come up most games (since the demise of victory dancing) in which I'd use a cap. I train spellcasting up one level to get the spell slots needed to memorize a new spell. I train weapon skills from an even-numbered skill to the next even level to take advantage of jumps in attack delays. I train UC to go from skill 5 to 10 to catch the next attack delay decrease. (It was my understanding that these jumps exist, but I may be mistaken.) I often want to train Stabbing to level 5 or so and then cut it off for a while. I very often want to train magic schools to some specific low level and then stop.

If a single skill is being trained and that skill reaches the cap, then player could be forced to enter the skill screen to update their skills (following a --more-- prompt or something). If this would disrupt gameplay, it might work to set the toggles of uncapped skills to their defaults, start auto mode, and give a message like "[Foo skill] has trained to its set cap. Until changed in the skill screen (m), skills will be trained in proportion to their recent exercising".

I'm sure that there are good reasons to avoid letting playing hard-cap their skills, but I can't think of them. Is there some concern that players would spend too much time setting skills and not enough time crawling? On the upside, I think many players would employ caps in nearly every game.

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 16:17

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Focus is also already coded and included in trunk. Also while optimal, training only one skill at a time is tedious. Focus gives a little more control over how exp is allocated in auto mode, meaning fewer people will resort to tediously micromanaging their skills in manual mode, training them one at a time.

Skill caps would require a rather clunky interface. Press skill cap key, press skill key, enter cap, press enter. For each skill you want to cap. Also it actually requires planning how far you want to train the skill. Opposed to one or two keypresses to switch between on/off/focus. Not good IMO. Also I don't think I would ever use that feature.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 16:29

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Regarding the skill screen layout

1) the CURRENT Skill column title is mis-aligned by one left space character (I'm using a1-1281).

2) Would it be possible/feasible to remove "View" and change the layout as follows:

CURRENT is 34 characters in length (includes post-space)
PROPOSED is 35 characters in length (includes post-space)

? indicates a space
! indicates a space that is swapped with vertical red on mouseover/select
SKILL_NAME____ is the longest skill name (Unarmed Combat or Maces & Flails)

  Code:
CURRENT
????Skill?????????????PRG???Apt???
!a?-?SKILL_NAME____!?(##%)??+0*+4?

PROPOSED
?????Skill???????????PRG|TRN?Apt???
!a?-?SKILL_NAME____!?##%|##%?-0*+4?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 16:59

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I've already explained how having both percentages would make the skill screen even more busy and technical. No.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 17:23

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:I've already explained how having both percentages would make the skill screen even more busy and technical. No.


Must've missed it, but "too busy" is a good enough reason for me.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 17:51

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:
Secondly, the messages after killing a big monster look strange, at least to the veteran Crawler. This, however, is really only a cosmetic problem. We may address this at a later time cosmetically (different wording) or differently (no idea how) or perhaps not at all. This issue is not relevant for 0.9. The mechanic works fine, and the message is secondary.


How about if skills only increased when resting (i.e. using 5 or .) as you reflect on your experiences?
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 17:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Sorry to be coming in with new suggestions at this stage of the game, but I think I have a new notion for the interface issues that will also solve the problem of partial training.

Here's the idea:

Everything is always in "auto", except instead of focusing or disabling skills, the player is able to set a queue of priority skill level ups. So e.g. the player might decide they want two more levels of spellcasting and one of dodging. So they go "m" for skills menu, press the letter for spellcasting twice and dodging once. These are listed as a queue. The only interface needed is buttons to add things to the queue, and a command to clear the queue in case priorities change. XP is then allocated to each skill in turn, with none wasted past the next level in case there is surplus - it goes straight to the next queued skill. In case the XP exhausts the queue, XP goes back to being allocated as per auto mode.

This lets players do the same as they could do by disabling all skills but one, one at a time, to maximize XP efficiency, but just eliminates all the micromanagement. It also greatly simplifies the interface.

I haven't actually seen the new system in-game yet though, so forgive me if I got it wrong.

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 17:57

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

@argonaut
i already proposed that. Everyone ignored

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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 18:37

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

danr wrote:Skill queue instead of manual mode

Sounds like a good alternative to manual mode. Manual mode is already implemented however, this is not. So I doubt it's going to happen.

Anyway, a brief rundown of advantages and disadvantages this has compared to manual mode: this is functionally almost identical to manual mode, the only difference is no "waste" of overflow exp, so game mechanics would not be affected. It would make optimal play (leveling skills up one at a time) less tedious. It would make pretraining (gain shields skill, ditch the shield, manually train it until the desired level) slightly more tedious (depending on how many levels you need). It would make fully manual training very tedious (you have to queue up every single skill level). Also truly optimal would in many cases be finishing your started skill levels off via the queue before moving on to training different skills. So technically you need to queue up every skill you use first, then put the new stuff into the queue. This is an issue with game mechanics, not interface, current manual training also has this problem. I think having an easy way to queue up skill training would make people actually do this though.

Another problem is that you would actually need to display the queue. There is no space for that on the skill screen. Moving the queue to a different screen and only highlighting the currently trained skill on the skill screen would work.

Edit: about skills increasing only when resting: you usually rest after battle anyway, so there would be very little difference. Except you would have to rest after every battle then, even if you did not get damaged and are at full MP. I prefer just letting people get used to the new system, tweaking messages if necessary.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 19:24

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

danr wrote:Everything is always in "auto", except instead of focusing or disabling skills, the player is able to set a queue of priority skill level ups.

This is indeed an interesting alternative to manual mode. It certainly won't happen for 0.9, but I'll think about it for later.
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 20:50

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:Skill caps would require a rather clunky interface. Press skill cap key, press skill key, enter cap, press enter. For each skill you want to cap. Also it actually requires planning how far you want to train the skill. Opposed to one or two keypresses to switch between on/off/focus. Not good IMO. Also I don't think I would ever use that feature.


I'm surprised to hear that you wouldn't skill capping! I turn skills off all the time and I often want to turn a skill off later. With skill capping, you could turn skills off at any level you wanted to, instead of being restricted to turning off skill at their current level. Once a cap is hit, you not have to return to the skill menu.

As for the interface: How about like the drop menu? Hit one or two numbers and then the skill. I think the multi-drop interface is great. This is up to one more keypress than focus mode, and provides much more control.

I'd bet that with skill caps you'd spend fewer keystrokes in the skill screen and return to it fewer times. Because you don't have to go back to check to make sure you're not over-training short blades. In testing the new anti-VD system I certainly find myself at the skill screen more often. This is partly because it's new and exciting and I'm learning it, and partly because the flexibility it provides also allows for more attentive skill management. Skill caps would remove one reason that I return to the skill menu and fiddle with it.

danr's skill queue suggestion -- which I love and galehar seems to like as well -- is a significant and smart extension of the skill cap. I should figure out why skill caps won't work, but queue would.... :) )
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Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 21:04

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I just did Hive and leveled my Shields skill (have a regular-sized Dwarven Shield) from 0 to 11. That was nuts.
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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 10:06

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I finally tried new trunk! Only played a DSTm up to temple so far, but auto mode seems to be working great (roughly equal split between focused spellcasting, UC and tmut, had to switch everything else off; Edit: actually spellcasting was not focused). I find myself using the m screen more than before, but that's not really due to the new training, but due to the new skill costs. I'm frequently staring in disbelief at the lack of progress. I think the much slower training of low level skills is also what makes people feel the need to level only one skill at a time. With the old skill costs it would still have been optimal, but not by such a large margin as it currently is.

The m screen interface is pretty bad IMO. All the mode switching makes my head spin. Also the key bindings are not exactly optimal. Note that keys on the right side of the keyboard, especially ones requiring shift, are annoying for people using the mouse in tiles. I'm fine with mouse controls not being a priority, but they should at least be considered. ! is a fine key to use, and / is also okay. * and | are horrible (note that I'm using a german keyboard where everything is in different positions, but I considered american layout for this feedback. Coincidentally * and | are also horrible keys on the german keyboard). | is rarely needed, so it's okay. Can the tab key be used? Binding progress/training to tab would be great, because I find myself using that the most, and tab is a big and easy to reach key, and it's right next to ! and does not require pressing shift. * is the universal show all key, so I guess it should be kept that way. Binding the most used mode switch to tab and using ! instead of * on all screens with a show all option would work even better IMO. Might be too late to change this though, people are used to *.

Something that would make me press * a lot less is showing unknown trained skills by default in training mode. Maybe even unknown skills with some progress but no current training.

short version:
- show all trained skills in training mode, even unknown ones.
- keys on the right half of the keyboard are inconvenient to mouse users. | and * are pretty bad.
- bind progress/training switch to tab if possible (right next to !, and does not require shift).
- universally using tab for mode switch instead of !, then using ! instead of * would be nice, as * is a pretty horrible key
Last edited by Galefury on Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 12:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 10:59

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

+1 for Tab - Mode Switch
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Bim

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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 11:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Yeah, really not a fan of shift+\ to swap, I've never used that combo for anything before that I can remember, and although I'm used to it now, I nearly always pressed shift+Z to start with.
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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 16:13

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I'm using a french keyboard which has yet another different layout, so I have to admit I didn't put much thought to what key to use. I'm fine with using tab for view switch it just add 2 characters to the switch size, but we can afford it. Or we could use it as a secondary hotkey and keep | (or any other character, suggestions welcome) as the primary hotkey. Since your talking about mouse control, be aware that you can also toggle switches by clicking on them, but now I realize that I forgot to put an highlighter (red rectangle) on them. Will fix that asap. I also thought it could be nice to switch by clicking on column titles, will try that.
Always showing unknown skills if they have some training is a good idea too. Probably in progress mode too, to keep the display consistent between the 2 modes. In that case show all will be used less often so we can keep the key, as everyone can associate * with all.
Thanks for the constructive feedback.
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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 16:30

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Could you also put a highlighter round the name changing box on the start screen whilst you're doing that? It's been annoying me no end!
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Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 16:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I just started leaving it on "focus" since there you can then toggle through the three states with just the key strokes. You need only press | at the beginning of the game. Not sure if this is intentional though.

All of the settings are remembered when you push m except whether you are showing all skills or not. Is it possible to have all the skills stay showing after you reveal them with *? It wasn't like that before which is certainly why it is not like that now eh?

In short, I don't mind the buttons being inconvenient as long as I don't have to push them very often. After all ! is used almost universally to switch modes. Actually if all these places used tab I would be very happy. Lets see if I can remember them: shop examine, Ctl + F examine, god detailed descriptions, Vampire Ability menu, toggling the spell menu (although capital I is what I use almost universally).
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