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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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 17:40

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:No you don't get anything from partial levels and so you are right, it's optimal to train skills one after the other.


Is this by design, or because changing it would be difficult?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 18:06

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

If players start agonising about how to optimise the percentages, we may have to find a way to protect them from that. (I don't mean this in a bad way: the behaviour is perfectly rational, it might just be less tedious if it wasn't available.)
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Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 18:11

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I like these changes. I liked the old system too but I can see how this has some significant advantages.

One question though. Does turning a skill on/off affect the rate which automatic mode adds to the weight of the skill? In the old system there was really no way to turn a skill "off". In this system there is no training at all of skills that are off. If you want symmetry with the game play of the old system you could weight the training weights down to 1/skill level. So when you turn off your level 4 dodging it would go from 10% to 2%. I can understand that this would be confusing/annoying to some players though.

Second a feature request. When you change the view with ! could you make the % a different color or distinguish them in some other way. Maybe the bright green or light red you see on artifacts. They look just like the training percentages only they happen to not always end in multiples of 5. I have trouble seeing the Blue "train" distinction at the top of the black console especially on a quick glance to the m menu to see where things are. Perhaps this is not a problem at all and I should just suck it up and change my options color to make the text at the top not blue.

Optimally the three numbers would all be on the skill screen but there sure isn't enough room.
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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 18:33

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

LunarHarp wrote:If you want symmetry with the game play of the old system

I don't.

LunarHarp wrote:When you change the view with ! could you make the % a different color or distinguish them in some other way.

Yes, good idea. But there aren't that many colours, and I already use all of them. Green for crosstraining, magenta for antitraining, white for transfer knowledge (and soon for focus too), blue for skill bonus, red for skill malus and aptitudes and darkgrey for disabled and unknown. Although some of them are used for columns, and others for lines. I could use yellow for training.

LunarHarp wrote:Optimally the three numbers would all be on the skill screen but there sure isn't enough room.

We would need to remove the parenthesis and some whitespaces to achieve that. But it would look packed with numbers. It's already dense and technical enough I think.
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Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 18:57

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
jejorda2 wrote:Is there ever an advantage to having a partially trained skill?

No you don't get anything from partial levels and so you are right, it's optimal to train skills one after the other. I want the system to be simple and efficient both for optimal and casual play.


LunarHarp wrote:When you change the view with ! could you make the % a different color or distinguish them in some other way.


@galehar: is there a reason you retained the %-til-next-level column? Its removal might aid with these two comments. Here's why: it may promote painful optimizing, as per the above comment. The skill screen is well-designed -- lots of information, all presented clearly -- but it's still a lot of info. In particular, it had many toggles, again, as per quoted the comment. In general, the %-til-next-level column has more detail that I'm accustomed to (and enjoy) in Crawl.

I misunderstand a lot of crawl design stuff, but I can't think of great reasons to retain that column!

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 19:07

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I think smock made a very good point. Players don't really need to know whether they're 30% or 90% on the way to the next skill. If they devise a scheme to keep track on their own (which I hope they can't), we will retaliate with a little randomisation. They can still switch off a skill immediately after it leveled which is natural enough and fine.

[I was going to propose [AA%] and (BB%) to distinguish between to cyan numbers, but removal catches two birds with one stone.]
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Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 19:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Is there a reason that you can't see how much weight is being put into training your level 0 skills? If you add up your percentages you sometimes end up with knowing where 90% of your experience is going and the other 10% is a complete mystery. I am glad there is some way of knowing that I am secretly learning spellcasting but it is not obvious at all that my 10 scroll reads a few turns back rocketed up my spellcasting training.

This just happened to me in a game and I thought it was amusing

  Code:
Having destroyed the fungal colony, you feel a bit more experienced.
 You have gained Fighting skill! You have gained Maces & Flails skill!
 You have gained Unarmed Combat skill!
 Your Spellcasting skill gained 2 levels and is now at level 3!
 Your Necromancy skill gained 2 levels and is now at level 7!
 You have reached level 4!
 You feel stronger.
 You have reached level 5!
 You have reached level 6!
 Your experience leads to an increase in your attributes!
 You feel clever.

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 20:07

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

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

Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 20:28

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I love the new system.

I wanted to second these two ideas.

dpeg wrote:1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is actually used.

This will look a lot better to newbies who fell their first ogre. Let fighting level on the kill. Stealth and T&D can level later when the player does something stealthy or trappy.

XuaXua wrote:"Prior use and current experience trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}!"

I like this. Another variant is: "{SKILL_NAME} trains [two levels] to Level {LEVEL}, due to recent exercise and experience."
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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 21:01

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

smock wrote:
dpeg wrote:1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is actually used.

This will look a lot better to newbies who fell their first ogre. Let fighting level on the kill. Stealth and T&D can level later when the player does something stealthy or trappy.

This idea has already been suggested and dismissed several times. Let's do it again. No, it would encourage victory dancing all your skills after every fight to check if they have leveled up. It might be more thematic, but the gameplay effect is awful.

smock wrote:
XuaXua wrote:"Prior use and current experience trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}!"

I like this. Another variant is: "{SKILL_NAME} trains [two levels] to Level {LEVEL}, due to recent exercise and experience."

It would help making the new system easier to grasp, but it's a bit verbose and clumsy. If we ever add something like that, an option to turn it off seems mandatory.
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Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 21:12

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

you know what, i take back that bit where i said that rephrasing would be commendable. the current system may be somewhat confusing to new players, but so are many other game features. the previous system implied tedious victory dancing after filling up the experience pool. the current system requires understanding that sometimes you kill something with an axe and you get a level in spellcasting, because you used it two minutes ago. new players will understand it soon enough, there's really no need to hold their hand.
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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 21:18

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:It would help making the new system easier to grasp, but it's a bit verbose and clumsy. If we ever add something like that, an option to turn it off seems mandatory.

Ugh, no options for something as trivial as specifically how your skill gain messages are worded please. :P

I think the new wording is only really confusing to players who are so used to the old system, it's probably fine to at least leave it a while as is.

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 23:16

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Edit: looks like I missed a page there. This thread is way too active. I'm referring to the end of the previous page.

I think displaying exp cost to the next skill level is not necessary (that level of micromanagement wont save you, best to not encourage such a waste of time). With the exp pool gone it might actually be best to hide all references to specific amounts of exp. The numbers lost their meaning without direct numerical feedback about how much exp a kill got you. The only exp numbers I can think of are the ones in the % screen and the exp overwiew. They could be replaced by a spellpower style bar displaying progress to the next level (maybe keep the numbers in wizmode).
Last edited by Galefury on Friday, 8th July 2011, 23:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 8th July 2011, 23:18

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I agree with Galefury. The absolute numbers are not at all necessary. Percentages would be a lot better.

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 00:11

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Idea regarding manuals:

Turn them into 1 time use items that increase your aptitude in the skill by 1. Makes sense in-game, in that reading a sword book would allow you to practice with a sword more effectively, not necessarily make you more experienced. And given the rarity of manuals and number of skills, it's not going to create broken situations. Instead it allows for more varied gameplay without significant assets devoted. It also seems like a natural product of reading the manual, and would take little documentation or explanation for new/old players. "You read a Manual of <skillname>, and now you will learn <skillname> faster!"

(Plan B: leave manuals with the same random charges, but they player gets the +1 aptitude bonus upon exhaustion of the book. Makes it feel like there's a 80's montage of training that required multiple turns to learn.)

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 01:21

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

That would make reading manuals a no-brainer. It's nice and thematic, but all this does is make the game a little easier. There are no strategic or tactical decisions (or even changes in strategy or tactics after using a manual). Might as well just remove manuals instead.

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 01:30

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I agree, the function of manuals has now been folded into the skill system. There is no need to find another use just to still have items in the game called manuals.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 02:33

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
smock wrote:
dpeg wrote:1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is actually used.

This will look a lot better to newbies who fell their first ogre. Let fighting level on the kill. Stealth and T&D can level later when the player does something stealthy or trappy.

This idea has already been suggested and dismissed several times. Let's do it again. No, it would encourage victory dancing all your skills after every fight to check if they have leveled up. It might be more thematic, but the gameplay effect is awful.

smock wrote:
XuaXua wrote:"Prior use and current experience trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}!"

I like this. Another variant is: "{SKILL_NAME} trains [two levels] to Level {LEVEL}, due to recent exercise and experience."

It would help making the new system easier to grasp, but it's a bit verbose and clumsy. If we ever add something like that, an option to turn it off seems mandatory.



Let's just do this the way that'd make the most sense to players. If the skill gets leveled but hasn't been used in awhile (like, say, you last used it 300 turns or so ago), the player gets this message instead...

"Your Stealth skill has increased to level 7! ...wait what?"
Last edited by TwilightPhoenix on Saturday, 9th July 2011, 07:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 04:55

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I edited my original post with a tighter (swapped) message that seems to have gone to the wayside, but is IMHO better than my original:

"Experience and prior use trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."

alternately (longer)

"Experience gained and prior use trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."

If there is a shorter alternative word to "Experience", it could be used.
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Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 05:47

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:"Experience gained and prior use trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."

If there is a shorter alternative word to "Experience", it could be used.


Training and prior use raise {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.
Your use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}.
Use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}.
{SKILL_NAME} is trained to Level {LEVEL} by prior use in combat.
Your prior activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.
Recent activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.


Is it necessary to explicitly mention both experience and training? It seems that this choice of phrasing is to make it more intuitive for people being weaned off the old system.

The two words are now used to describe the same thing. For example; if you have selected ice magic to be trained and hit something with an axe you could use:

Your experience has raised Ice Magic to Level 2.
Your training has raised Ice magic to Level 2.
Your experience and training have raised Ice Magic to Level 2.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 06:09

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Charliy wrote:
XuaXua wrote:"Experience gained and prior use trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."

If there is a shorter alternative word to "Experience", it could be used.


Training and prior use raise {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.
Your use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}.
Use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}.
{SKILL_NAME} is trained to Level {LEVEL} by prior use in combat.
Your prior activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.
Recent activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}.


Is it necessary to explicitly mention both experience and training? It seems that this choice of phrasing is to make it more intuitive for people being weaned off the old system.


The problem players have is that the increases in skill level are disassociated with the use of said skills; you can kill a kobold with your bare hands and suddenly level in spellcasting, which is poorly explained in-game. It is not just people beign weaned off the old system but new players as well who will be confused when they destroy a band of kobolds with a fireball and immediately level their shields skill.

The intent is twofold
(1) mention you gained experience, which is what caused the skill increase
and
(2) mention prior use / training of the skill as increasing skill level is no longer associated with direct skill use.

The true problem is that experience is gained solely from killing and distributed immediately to prior used skills. This isn't a nu-RPG where you gain experience points from conflict resolution regardless of whether it ends in death.

As regards your alternatives:

"Training and prior use raise {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."
No. Training IS prior use, so your first sentence of "Training and prior use..." is redundant.

"Your use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}."
"Use of {SKILL_NAME} in combat raises it to Level {LEVEL}."
"{SKILL_NAME} is trained to Level {LEVEL} by prior use in combat."
No. Skills not used in combat and non-combat skills can and will level after combat. Skills that have not been used for entire floors may level after combat.

"Your prior activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."
This is possible.

"Recent activity has raised {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}."
No. Activity might not be recent, depending on your play style.
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Blades Runner

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 09:19

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

what if skill up messages appeared only when player rests for set minimum amount of turns (a-la morrowind)?
"you start resting.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 09:26

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I love the new system. It makes things much clearer in a lot of ways, and makes skills easier to gain. Not that there isn't problems. Gaining skills from level 0 is a pain now. Well, not all skills, but the non-combat magic schools and stealth stand out. It can be a pure pita to train Translocations from nothing, for instance.

Also, I REALLY REALLY miss the old way skills turned "off" behaved, in that they wouldn't complete stall out, but would grow slowly without eating all your exp pool.

I kinda miss that. I would love some way to tell crawl "ok, yeah, I want some EXP going to that skill at all times, just not too much" Great for, for example, Naga VM, who start off with 1 Spellcasting and 6 poison, to allow SC to catch up without completely stalling Poison. Currently you have to micromanage to achieve this, which is sub-optimal. Allow SC to gain a level or 3, turn Poison back on, let it gain a level or three, turn it off and let Sc catch back up, and so forth.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 10:12

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Actually, I would also appreciate switching between On, Off and A-few-experience-points-still-can-leak-here.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 11:15

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

MyOtheHedgeFox wrote:Actually, I would also appreciate switching between On, Off and A-few-experience-points-still-can-leak-here.

I've already explained in details why I think it is a bad solution to a real problem. I'm trying to address it in a different way. Maybe I'm wrong and we'll end up doing that, but I think I can come up with a better design.
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Blades Runner

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 12:42

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
dpeg wrote:1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is actually used.

This idea has already been suggested and dismissed several times. Let's do it again. No, it would encourage victory dancing all your skills after every fight to check if they have leveled up. It might be more thematic, but the gameplay effect is awful.

Wow, this thread does move fast. Lots of folks are excited about these changes! (I'm not sure about this new system -- it promote violence and killing over harmless victory dancing. What about the children?)

galehar wrote:
smock wrote:Another variant is: "{SKILL_NAME} trains [two levels] to Level {LEVEL}, due to recent exercise and experience."

It would help making the new system easier to grasp, but it's a bit verbose and clumsy.

Alliteration is never clumsy! :P

I don't think I'd make as much use a a 3-tier system (focus/normal/off) as I would a cap to skills, as with the drop screen. Nearly every game I train my weapon skill the minimum delay and in many games I aim for just some small number of levels with certain magic school skills. I can't count the number of times I accidentally over-trained a skill. (My apologies if this has been discussed already.)
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 13:23

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

smock wrote:I don't think I'd make as much use a a 3-tier system (focus/normal/off) as I would a cap to skills, as with the drop screen. Nearly every game I train my weapon skill the minimum delay and in many games I aim for just some small number of levels with certain magic school skills. I can't count the number of times I accidentally over-trained a skill. (My apologies if this has been discussed already.)

No cap to skills, but I suggest you put something like this in your config

  Code:
force_more_message=Your foo skill .* level n


You might want to put several of those with n+1 and n+2 in case you skip your target level with a large XP gain.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 13:49

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:That would make reading manuals a no-brainer. It's nice and thematic, but all this does is make the game a little easier. There are no strategic or tactical decisions (or even changes in strategy or tactics after using a manual). Might as well just remove manuals instead.

Then remove potions of gain stat and exp as well. Before manuals were a rare, little bonus that saved some time if you got lucky with the skill selection. Them giving +1 aptitude does... the exact same thing. Having small, rare bonuses is not a bad thing.

And I absolutely disagree that it results in no changes in strategy or tactics. A wizard who gets a long sword manual might consider a change in style, etc. Most times the manual will be for previously unused skills, so ALL it will do is entice players to break the mold and vary the gameplay without making things easier.

Of course as soon as you get a manual, you'd read it. The tactical choice is not "do I read or not", the tactical choice is how to best use the results. I really don't get your response. It's nice and thematic and fun, but it would make the game slightly easier in rare cases, might as well remove it.

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 14:05

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Fine, I'll sink to your pedantic level...

+1 aptitude manuals wouldn't have that problem either, because for the min/max player it wouldn't be optimal to read them immediately.

Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 14:29

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Most != all, and I can see a few more exceptions... The throw away argument was that aptitude books have no tactical choice in their use, and that is false.



Anyway, lets turn our collective smugness to coming up with solutions. For example: Make the aptitude bonus temporary. Shazam!

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 14:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

With the old system, it was somewhat dangerous to learn new skills. You had to wear that shield and suffer the penalty while you built up the skill to use it freely. You had to decide which enemies to kill with the long blade that you always missed with and which to kill with the sabre that you were skilled with. You had to risk miscasts every time you victory danced that level 4 spell.

Now you just turn off the established skills, turn on the skills you need to develop, and use the safe methods until the penalties are manageable.

I'm afraid manual mode in the new system removes much of the risk from developing new skills.

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 14:49

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

pleasedpig wrote:Most != all, and I can see a few more exceptions... The throw away argument was that aptitude books have no tactical choice in their use, and that is false.



Anyway, lets turn our collective smugness to coming up with solutions. For example: Make the aptitude bonus temporary. Shazam!


You are being overly butthurt, as the kids say, about others not liking your idea. People often dislike my ideas and it's just a sign that I have to go back to the drawing board.

What you're suggesting might seem cool at first glance but has implications you might not even have thought of. Apts are the key defining characteristic of most races - do we want it possible to alter them in game? What possible effects would there be on balance?

And most importantly, would this 'coolness factor' be worth the effort to put into the game? It seems to me like it wouldn't when removing manuals is such a simple and elegant solution.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 15:04

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

minmay wrote:Good. That "risk" was silly. Before the change, I often ended up getting XP in my pool, then putting on a buckler and letting a rat hit me, then taking the buckler off again, and repeating until I had a few levels of Shields. That was not good gameplay.


I still do that to get the first level. Then I take the shield off, turn off all skills but shields, and cast away with no penalty until the shield skill is up to five. Then I put the shield on without ever suffering the penalty. There's no reason to weight the penalty against the reward any more.

We've also lost the way that heavier armours used to train armour skill faster. Now you just dump all your experience into armour until you have enough skill for the best armour you've found. I guess it makes medium armours more appealing, which is a plus. But I can wear a robe while I train up for plate mail if I like, or train dodging in dragon armour so I'll be ready to wear that robe of resistance. I don't have to decide if it's worth it to use the items and abilities I don't have the skills for.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 15:30

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Reading a Manual giving a +1 aptitude is awesome. It doesn't hurt Ice/Fire since the penalty is the same either way and if you don't want one or the other, turn it off.

I like the idea of having an ON/LEAK/OFF switch. In the old system we had leaking off; I hated that because total experience gained penalized future skill leveling. This meant that unintended 2 extra levels gained in Throwing is now penalizing my next level gain in Earth Magic.

Still not a fan of pre-victory dancing magic skills to gain that first level.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 15:38

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

For what it's worth, I don't think the skill leveling messages are particularly confusing. The typical player is already acclimated to leveling up in unrelated attributes when they kill things from experience in other games. The only problem is that Crawl tried another system that was intended to be 'realistic' but ended up having some undesirable gameplay impact, so experienced Crawl players have an adjustment period before they're used to this one again.

This is a relatively minor point that is not urgent, but monster spawning will need to be looked at with the new system. The strategic impact of weak monsters for shoring up weak skills has been removed, so packs of green rats in Lair or imp swarms in Pandemonium have stopped doing anything but provoking annoyance. At best, they're abuseable barriers against more relevant opponents. Alternately, monsters much weaker than the player should flee until they find a sufficiently strong monster of the same genus, and band up with it; regular orcs are more relevant to a high-level character if they accompany an orc warlord.

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 16:15

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Please, no more fleeing monsters. I think we've seen from 4.1 how frustrating it is when monsters behave that intelligently and from swamp how tedious it can be when the majority of branch monsters flee.

Sure, orcs are much less relevant opponents on d:20, but I don't see that as a problem. Note that they are not completely irrelevant to all characters.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 16:56

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

pleasedpig wrote:Anyway, lets turn our collective smugness to coming up with solutions. For example: Make the aptitude bonus temporary. Shazam!

Changing aptitudes is a pain to code. Trust me I tried it.

jejorda2 wrote:We've also lost the way that heavier armours used to train armour skill faster. Now you just dump all your experience into armour until you have enough skill for the best armour you've found. I guess it makes medium armours more appealing, which is a plus. But I can wear a robe while I train up for plate mail if I like, or train dodging in dragon armour so I'll be ready to wear that robe of resistance. I don't have to decide if it's worth it to use the items and abilities I don't have the skills for.

We might add that later. It was actually my original design, and I changed it to dancing level 0 skills for simplicity. IMO, we need one or the other. 0.9 will have dancing L0 skills, we'll test it and see if we want to change it for 0.10.

KoboldLord wrote:This is a relatively minor point that is not urgent, but monster spawning will need to be looked at with the new system.

It's worth than that. Not only are they annoying and irrelevant, they also provide a source of food. Removing them would also help tightening the food clock.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 21:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

KoboldLord wrote:This is a relatively minor point that is not urgent, but monster spawning will need to be looked at with the new system. The strategic impact of weak monsters for shoring up weak skills has been removed, so packs of green rats in Lair or imp swarms in Pandemonium have stopped doing anything but provoking annoyance. At best, they're abuseable barriers against more relevant opponents. Alternately, monsters much weaker than the player should flee until they find a sufficiently strong monster of the same genus, and band up with it; regular orcs are more relevant to a high-level character if they accompany an orc warlord.

I agree although I think the point is more urgent than you claim. We should really settle down and put a clamp on puny monster generation. There are many reasons. Apart from the one you mentioned: they provide free food and piety; they hurt the interface (travel and explore); players can leave them safely behind as food/piety storage (a hint that monsters should have a chance to disappear when a level is revisited after a while).
There is no need for a realistic solution here: spawn monsters as now. If some lowly monster(s) happen(s) to be created near interesting ones (like rats near a death yak pack), then keep them. Otherwise remove them without looking back.

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 21:46

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Regarding manuals: I think the main problem is that most folks expect a permanent effect. It will be doubtlessly possible to make manuals strong and interesting (choices!) while only giving temporary effects. Here is one idea:

Random, unknown number of uses (like now). When used, it increases its skill (not aptitude) by some amount (think 6) for a duration (like 1000 turns). Can only have one manual in effect at any given time. During the duration, there should be some downside. For example, decrease your three highest skills by 3 each (theme: in order to study Foo, you have to relax a bit on A, B and C).

There'd be the question as of whether to spend ?id on manuals or not. If the skill fits, there is the question of when to use the item.

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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 21:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Firstly, I really think that the ON/LEAK/OFF (or whatever we want to call it) is a really good solution. It is painfully annoying to either not train a skill at all, or split it equally with everything else. I'm not sure what else could really be better than that, although skill focussing using up a larger percentage, say 50%, whilst the rest split between that would be an all right way (although I still think having the onleakoff system AS WELL could be good)

I disagree with weak monster spawning though. By all means get rid of realllly weak monsters (rats, goblins and that kinda stuff) but coming up against an on D10 Ogre whilst running away from something on lowish health (even when you are much stronger than it) can still be an interesting challenge, same with green rat packs etc.
Also, I think having monsters disappearing would be slightly strange, although I suppose if uniques stayed, and it was only a chance (so you couldn't leave all the rats on D1-2-3 and expect them all to be still there) would be goood.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 22:28

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:Firstly, I really think that the ON/LEAK/OFF (or whatever we want to call it) is a really good solution.

Here is a detailed explanation of why I don't think it is. It would be giving the player a tool to work around a fundamental design problem. I'd rather fix it.

Meanwhile, I have pushed the focus skill feature, and you can select several skills as focus. Which means you can select most of them a focus and keep a few ones at normal for a similar effect to "leak". If you have to use this often, I'd like to hear about it. Which skills train to fast for you and what is your playstyle and spell list.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 22:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

One complaint I have about the new system is the inability to turn level 0 skills off. When I start a Skald and want to focus on Spellcasting, I can turn off all the other skills and get its percentage to about 98% initially, but whenever I cast a spell the percentages leak to secondary skills such as Tloc or Ice. This had me reluctant to use any spells at all in order to keep all of my experience going to Spellcasting. It's probably not a big deal to train Spellcasting at 75% instead of 98% and gain that next level a bit later, but the lack of control still caused a little "ugh" moment for me.

The problem is that in Manual mode, all selected skills get equal percentages but the percentages of unknown skills are still determined by the Auto mode system, which is arbitrary and inconsistent as well as confusing. Manual mode is for having direct control of where your experience goes, so I suggest setting unknown skills to 0% training in Manual Mode. To gain the first level in a skill you're going to be pre-VDing using the Auto mode system, anyway.

An alternate, cleaner solution is to allow switching level-0 skills on and off in Manual, but I empathize with arguments that characters should be required to have the means of using a skill before gaining it, so I'll push for my other solution above.
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Post Saturday, 9th July 2011, 22:40

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

ElectricAlbatross wrote:One complaint I have about the new system is the inability to turn level 0 skills off.

And how is that new? It's been like that since forever.

ElectricAlbatross wrote:It's probably not a big deal to train Spellcasting at 75% instead of 98% and gain that next level a bit later

Indeed. First level is very cheap, it won't cripple your character.

ElectricAlbatross wrote:I suggest setting unknown skills to 0% training in Manual Mode. To gain the first level in a skill you're going to be pre-VDing using the Auto mode system, anyway.

It means you couldn't learn new skills in manual mode, this isn't good. I'm not sure what your second comment means since you can do the exact same thing in manual mode. Basically, unknown skills ignore mode, they behave exactly the same.
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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 04:29

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galehar wrote:No, this intended. Again, I'm trying to avoid creating pre-battle dance effects. If you want to gain spellcasting, just read the scrolls you find whenever you like. You don't need to hoard them and read them all at once as soon as you've spotted a sleeping ogre.


I missed this the first time reading this through. 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?

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Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 07:26

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Thanks for adding the focus feature. However, it seemed sort of clunky interface-wise to have to press a button to switch between selecting which skills to practice and which skills to focus on. Couldn't we instead use the alphabet key to cycle through off -> on -> focus?
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