Bye bye victory dancing


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Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 15:00

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:I think there is no point to fixing this 0 level thing because once fuzzing enters the picture, it will resolve itself.

I don't think fuzzing will change anything regarding gaining new skils.

KoboldLord wrote:Removing the Victory Dancing Ritual for levels 1 through 26 made the game more fun. What's so different about that level 0?

XuaXua wrote:I guess the concept of the 0-level restriction is that you cannot train a skill which you cannot actually use at this time.

Yes, the idea of having to practise skills to gain them is to prevent training skills you cannot use. It never was conceived as a compromise. But allowing it wouldn't make the system easier to explain. You'd tell new players to press * to show all skills, then activate the ones they want, when they don't even know what are the skills they need. And don't tell me manual mode. I don't want manual mode to do things you can't do in auto mode by just using skills. I don't want players to use manual mode just to avoid gaining unwanted skills. It must be a convenience, not a strategical advantage.

minmay wrote:It may be intuitive to you, but it's obviously not so clear to new players, since they ask how to gain skills, ask why there are skills on their screen that they can't turn off, etc.

Well, it's true that this part of the new system isn't really documented. Fair enough, I'll update the doc. Does the FAQ consists only of those 2 questions?

Also, I've been thinking about restrictions. You used to be able to game the system by training shields against a rat with a full XP pool. Since you were able to avoid the restriction, we decided to just remove it. But we could also have enforced it. A few examples of what could be done:

  • Shields: can only be trained if wearing one, and cap the max level depending on shield type (buckler: 9, normal: 18, large: 27)
  • Amour: same as shields, max skill level at 5 * EVP
  • Weapon: just need to carry one of the type (forcing to wield it would just encourage swapping for the last hit)
  • Spell school: need to a know a spell of the school trained, max skill level: 5 * spell level
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 16:57

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:Shields: can only be trained if wearing one, and cap the max level depending on shield type (buckler: 9, normal: 18, large: 27)
[*]Amour: same as shields, max skill level at 5 * EVP
[*]Weapon: just need to carry one of the type (forcing to wield it would just encourage swapping for the last hit)
[*]Spell school: need to a know a spell of the school trained, max skill level: 5 * spell level[/list]


Spell school I think would work. Shields, armour and weapons might be harder. If the skill is the only one trained and I remove my shield or armour or drop my weapon, what happens? Am I forced to visit the skill screen?

Enforcing a slower skill progression for newly gained skill past the early game might work, too. You could cap the proportion of XP that trains the skill for higher XLs and lower skills. For example, at XL 10, a maximum of 20% of XP could go to training a L1 skill. It wouldn't solve the problem of a mage training shields without even wearing one, but it would make the problem less visible, because at least shields is training slowly.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 18:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Lets say I'm a necromancer with necromancy and short blades activated. I can attack with nothing but shortblades and my necromancy skill will level up just as fast as if I was using nothing but necromancy spells, and vice versa?
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 18:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

minmay wrote:That is only the case if you are in manual mode.

Wow then I'm totally confused. How do I switch between manual mode and auto mode? I was under the impression that toggling skills off/on meant you were using the manual mode.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 18:55

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

minmay wrote:You go to the skills screen and press / to switch between them. In manual mode, experience is divided equally among all the skills you have turned on, with the exception that level 0 skills work similarly to automatic mode (hence you should dance them if you want them). In auto mode, experience is divided among all the skills you have turned on according to how much you use each skill, but you can't turn off level 0 skills.

Thanks man, for whatever reason I missed the explanation of toggling manual/auto mode. Tinkering around with it right now.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2011, 22:13

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

At one point, it seemed like once I got a level 0 skill to show up on my skill screen when I wasn't showing all the skills, it stayed there. That is, once I used it enough to start seeing a fraction of my experience go into it, I didn't need to use it any more to eventually gain that first skill level.

But recently, I've had games as a deep elf where I do nothing but melee, and both the weapon and fighting skill will receive 3 or 4% of my experience for a while. Then while I throw darts or sling stones, those drop back down to 0. It makes it take much longer to get the first level of fighting and weapons skills. This is in manual mode.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 11:46

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
  • Shields: can only be trained if wearing one, and cap the max level depending on shield type (buckler: 9, normal: 18, large: 27)
  • Amour: same as shields, max skill level at 5 * EVP
  • Weapon: just need to carry one of the type (forcing to wield it would just encourage swapping for the last hit)
  • Spell school: need to a know a spell of the school trained, max skill level: 5 * spell level

I think that would introduce way too much hassle for no gain. Crawl has very few artificial barriers both to character development and dungeon exploration (mostly the max skill level and the zot rune lock). This freedom of choice is a big part of what makes crawl interesting in my opinion. New barriers should introduce interesting decisions, not eliminate them. Randomly forcing the player from his chosen path (the lair roulette comes to mind) is great and perfectly fits a game like crawl. But if people really want to train skills to high levels without using them to their full advantage, let them. It's their choice, and their failure (usually, of course there are some cases where training something you don't use is advantageous). I think every single one of these limitations would introduce a lot more hassle and annoying side effects than interesting decisions. And arbitrary skill caps that depend on inventory are so unintuitive that the biggest argument for barring the player from making bad decisions doesn't even apply. New players would just get confused by this.

Armour and shields are simply not worth training to high levels when not using a proper shield or heavy armor. The limitation you propose for weapons is precisely what implicit butchering was introduced to eliminate. The limitation on spell training is a needless nerf to armored casters that doesn't impose interesting limitations on normal casters.

I have said so before and of course it is perfectly fine to disagree, but in my opinion manual mode should be considered as the baseline system and automatic mode as the interface convenience, not the other way around. Making the more convenient mode worth using in almost every case should be the goal of course, because yay, convenience. But this should be done by things like fuzzing, not by introducing artificial and unintuitive limits to skill training.

A great example of this is auto explore. Everyone uses it because it's great. Sure, sometimes you could have started a dangerous encounter in a better position by exploring manually, almost always you could have saved some turns. But it's good enough and extremely convenient, so everyone uses it over manual exploration for 90% of the game. I haven't seen anyone suggest manual exploration should take more turns to bring it in line with auto explore. Because that would just be silly.

Some closing words: I think opportunity costs in general are very interesting and can make game much deeper. But they must arise naturally from gameplay, if they seem artificial it just feels like the devs are out to annoy you. If you train this skill you cant use the points for that one. If you do hive for the loot now you cant do it for the piety later. If you kill this Executioner with LCS you won't have enough mana to blink away from the Balrug over there. This feels good. Having to use a skill early to be able to use it later was a natural opportunity cost in the old training system. Now it isn't. And it didn't really feel good back then. Don't bring it back.

For this message the author Galefury has received thanks:
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 16:02

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Tried a SpBr again after a long dive into the DDNe/DDEE realm.

It took till D3 before I was able to get one level in Stealth. Trunk.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 17:50

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

agreed. I took a Naga Warper to XL 5|D:3 without wearing the leather armour until I got the first level of Stealth. After that, it builds nicely...
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 18:36

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I'm thinking every check for stealth that applies to xp allocation while stealth is at level 0 should count x5.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 18:48

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dolphin wrote:agreed. I took a Naga Warper to XL 5|D:3 without wearing the leather armour until I got the first level of Stealth. After that, it builds nicely...

Some might say it builds slightly too fast, even... http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/trunk/E ... 115811.txt

(Maybe it's not necessary for it to take so much less experience to train, anymore?)
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Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2011, 19:17

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

So, it's currently difficult to get to L1, but too easy to train thereafter, right?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 20:32

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I just died from pre-victory dancing.

Sit down and let me explain my own shortcomings, but you'll see why pre-victory dancing sucks (maybe).

I'm an Sludge Elf Earth Elementalist. I'm at D10 and have yet to find another spellbook or the lair or anything. Not that it's much of a problem, but I really want some Necromancy because I like those spells.

I have spellcasting 10 already.

I find a book; it has Recall and Animate Dead (N:4) and a bunch of otehr spells. I memorize Animate Dead and I'm wearing leather. I cast it once and have a bad spell miscast and lose half my strength.

But now I get 1% of all incoming experience to Animate Dead... great? Eh. I unfocus all skills and just pick Conjurations (-2) (and Necromancy).

Orcs. Whack whack whack. Nothing. Hmm.
I take off the armor and animate dead. Now I have 2% going into it, but I'm slow.
OK, fine. I rest. no longer slow.

I kill some yaks and still nothing. Take off armor, animate dead, one yak pal. Yay. 3%
I go downstairs. I kill some more. Now I'm back at 2%. Shit.

I cast again and a -28 HP miscast kills me.

FU, pre-victory dancing.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 21:00

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

And you're using a level 4 spell to bootstrap Necromancy at this relatively early stage of the game...why? I can't imagine your success rate was anything better than Fair, and as you can see necromancy miscasts are no joke.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 21:07

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:Eh. I unfocus all skills and just pick Conjurations (-2) (and Necromancy).

Unfocusing or disabling skills won't change a thing. The unknown skill will be trained at exactly the same rate whatever you do in the skill screen.

XuaXua wrote:I go downstairs. I kill some more. Now I'm back at 2%. Shit.

When training is reduced, it actually means that the skill has been trained. So don't swear, it's working.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 21:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
XuaXua wrote:Eh. I unfocus all skills and just pick Conjurations (-2) (and Necromancy).

Unfocusing or disabling skills won't change a thing. The unknown skill will be trained at exactly the same rate whatever you do in the skill screen.

XuaXua wrote:I go downstairs. I kill some more. Now I'm back at 2%. Shit.

When training is reduced, it actually means that the skill has been trained. So don't swear, it's working.


Sometimes I see Fighting being trained at 0, then even after killing a few things (granted by spellcasting), Fighting goes away.

Does that mean skill points were still allocated to it, but it's not being actively trained as a zero skill? The disappearing act just seems unintuitive.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 21:44

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:Does that mean skill points were still allocated to it, but it's not being actively trained as a zero skill?

Exactly. I agree that the disappearing is unintuitive, but not seeing level 0 training at all would be even worse, and cluttering the skill screen with every level 0 skill you ever used is also not good. I don't see a solution to this problem.
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Post Wednesday, 31st August 2011, 23:02

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:not seeing level 0 training at all would be even worse

Or not.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 1st September 2011, 06:00

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:
XuaXua wrote:Does that mean skill points were still allocated to it, but it's not being actively trained as a zero skill?

Exactly. I agree that the disappearing is unintuitive, but not seeing level 0 training at all would be even worse, and cluttering the skill screen with every level 0 skill you ever used is also not good. I don't see a solution to this problem.


I do.

Skill usage for applying skill points doesn't start falling off the "last 100 skills used" radar until the skill hits Level 1.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 1st September 2011, 07:24

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:
Galefury wrote:
XuaXua wrote:Does that mean skill points were still allocated to it, but it's not being actively trained as a zero skill?

Exactly. I agree that the disappearing is unintuitive, but not seeing level 0 training at all would be even worse, and cluttering the skill screen with every level 0 skill you ever used is also not good. I don't see a solution to this problem.


I do.

Skill usage for applying skill points doesn't start falling off the "last 100 skills used" radar until the skill hits Level 1.


That's the way it is currently. From what I've gathered from the million times Galehar has explained it (one of those times to me), exercises for sub-1 skills are kept in a completely different queue from the last 100 exercises of known skills.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 1st September 2011, 10:55

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
Galefury wrote:not seeing level 0 training at all would be even worse

Or not.

Not showing level 0 progress certainly worked fine with the old training system. But that was when all training had to be done by exercise, and players got some feedback by their exp pool going down. Understanding how skills are gained is currently impossible without an explanation (besides, I have not found an explanation in the manual), it works well IMO but is inconsistent and unintuitive. And I don't think not giving any feedback at all for level 0 training would help. Showing that some exp goes into the skills is good, but the showing up and disappearing of level 0 skills is not. Maybe messages at certain progress percentages could be used instead? Something like 30% and 70%. An option to turn the messages off would minimize intrusiveness for people who don't want to see them, and new players and players new to the changed training system would get valuable feedback.

Anyway, I think the way level 0 skills are trained should either be changed to be more consistent and intuitive, or progress feedback should be given to the player in some intuitive way. The current state is pretty bad.
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