Why phase out races at all?


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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 02:32

Why phase out races at all?

Seeing that High Elves are going to be phased out soon, I personally don't particularly mind, but I know a lot of people do, and I can empathize because I was similarly frustrated when the Sludge Elf was phased out (my first win that was from skill, and not blind luck, was a SEEE named Leee). I'm just curious: why? I know there used to be the whole "27" meme, but now the only thing that's tied to 27 is character level, and I understand stuff like Mountain Dwarves as they're OP (shame on you for replacing them with Gargoyles, though), and I ALSO understand about removing races with unique abilities because you'd have to worry about interactions and coding for them... but for vanilla races like the High Elf, or the Sludge Elf, or whatever, what do we have to lose by leaving them in? An extra 20 kb of file size? I'm not complaining, mind - I personally won't miss HE, and it's far too late for me to complain about SE's - I'm certain there's a reason, and probably a very good one, I just really can't think of it.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 03:07

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Because some races are bad features and taking bad features out makes the game better. If there are redundancies in the rules of your game, that's probably a flaw that should be removed if possible. Races like HE, SE, MD, HD, GE, Ha, etc. are easily noticeable redundancies that are highly visible to users and relatively easy to remove.

MD wasn't removed because it was OP (there were and still are about 8 species that are more overpowered), it was removed because it was functionally identical to HO.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 03:13

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Two reasons:

1. DCSS cares about gameplay over lore / theme.

2. The DCSS philosophy on replayability: "whenever there are choices to the player, be that choice of species, god, weapon or spell, the various options should be genuinely different. It is no good to provide dozens of weapons with different names (and perhaps even numbers) if, in the end, they all play the same."

The "cost" of keeping un-differentiated stuff is that the real diversity is less visible.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 03:26

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Imagine if you were gonna play some super smash bros melee with your friends, but in addition to Mario and Doctor Mario there were 30 other Mario clones like frog Mario and hammer bros suit Mario and 8-bit Mario and Mario from doki doki panic (that's super mario bros 2 american version) and cowboy Mario and paper Mario (but without a unique moveset or anything). You'd probably think "wow, this game is stupid, I want to play unique characters not 32 different fucking Marios that take up over half the roster." Human-like races with a few aptitude tweaks are the Marios in this metaphor, and they should be removed and replaced with cool and interesting new characters like King Dedede and Sonic the Hedgehog.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 05:16

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Hellmonk wrote:Human-like races with a few aptitude tweaks are the Marios in this metaphor, and they should be removed and replaced with cool and interesting new characters like King Dedede and Sonic the Hedgehog.


You're basically inviting someone to respond with "but high elves weren't replaced with anything." I think good arguments are being made - both Duvessa's point that a feature isn't inherently a good thing, and your point that races should have real variety, not the illusion of it - but I don't know if either of those really address the argument that the existence of high elves in the game didn't really affect people who didn't play them, which is pretty common among the people angry about their removal (at least the people angry about it making real arguments and not just going on ignorant anti-dev rants). If high elves had been replaced by something else then the argument of "we'd rather have more unique races than a redundant one" would feel a lot more persuasive.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 06:02

Re: Why phase out races at all?

They were replaced by Barafrogwhatsits, actually.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 09:39

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Quazifuji wrote:I don't know if either of those really address the argument that the existence of high elves in the game didn't really affect people who didn't play them, which is pretty common among the people angry about their removal (at least the people angry about it making real arguments and not just going on ignorant anti-dev rants).
It's hard to address an "argument" that boils down to a tautology. Of course removing something doesn't affect you if the thing didn't affect you in the first place. The closest you can get to "refuting" this non-argument is to point out that new players start playing DCSS from time to time, and giving them a smaller amount of real choices should be self-evidently better than giving them a large amount of fake choices to learn about.

This is also a complete distraction since "it doesn't affect you", "if you don't like labyrinths don't enter them", etc. are not reasons that anyone is against removals. They're bargains to try to stop the removal without actually changing anyone's view (and, spoiler, it doesn't work very well). You can't weasel your way out of the fact that for any feature, some people will think it's good and others will think it's bad. In the case of removed species, for literally every single one, the devteam consensus was that the species was redundant, and player complaints were overwhelmingly from people who thought the species wasn't redundant. There's not a magic compromise here, so the discussion is always nothing but attempts to either 1. move people from the other side to your side, or 2. tell people on the other side to stop acting on their opinion ("if you don't like high elves just don't play them instead of removing them", and from the other side, "play old versions" and "make your own fork").

This pattern is by no means unique to feature removals.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 09:48

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:
Quazifuji wrote:I don't know if either of those really address the argument that the existence of high elves in the game didn't really affect people who didn't play them, which is pretty common among the people angry about their removal (at least the people angry about it making real arguments and not just going on ignorant anti-dev rants).
It's hard to address an "argument" that boils down to a tautology. Of course removing something doesn't affect you if the thing didn't affect you in the first place. The closest you can get to "refuting" this non-argument is to point out that new players start playing DCSS from time to time, and giving them a smaller amount of real choices should be self-evidently better than giving them a large amount of fake choices to learn about.

This is also a complete distraction since "it doesn't affect you", "if you don't like labyrinths don't enter them", etc. are not reasons that anyone is against removals. They're bargains to try to stop the removal without actually changing anyone's view (and, spoiler, it doesn't work very well). You can't weasel your way out of the fact that for any feature, some people will think it's good and others will think it's bad. In the case of removed species, for literally every single one, the devteam consensus was that the species was redundant, and player complaints were overwhelmingly from people who thought the species wasn't redundant. There's not a magic compromise here, so the discussion is always nothing but attempts to either 1. move people from the other side to your side, or 2. tell people on the other side to stop acting on their opinion ("if you don't like high elves just don't play them instead of removing them", and from the other side, "play old versions" and "make your own fork").

This pattern is by no means unique to feature removals.


I agree with you for the most part. I'm not against the removal of high elves personally, I was just pointing out that I wasn't sure if the arguments being made would convince most people who are.

That said, I'm not sure if the comparison between something like labyrinths and a race is entirely accurate, because labyrinths can appear in any game. Yes, you can ignore them, but that goes against the policy of avoiding tedious optimality. Labyrinths can always exist in your game, and by ignoring them you are playing suboptimally. But high elves, for all intents and purposes, don't even exist if you're not playing as one. They're only there on the species selection screen. Once you've picked a species, if that species isn't a high elf, then high elves are no longer part of the game you're playing.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 13:41

Re: Why phase out races at all?

chequers wrote:Two reasons:

1. DCSS cares about gameplay over lore / theme.

2. The DCSS philosophy on replayability: "whenever there are choices to the player, be that choice of species, god, weapon or spell, the various options should be genuinely different. It is no good to provide dozens of weapons with different names (and perhaps even numbers) if, in the end, they all play the same."

The "cost" of keeping un-differentiated stuff is that the real diversity is less visible.

What was HE similar to? I heard something about Mf and Te and i got confused because how can HE be similar to two races that are very different from each other? Then you can compare HE to DE and Ce, which, again, are very different from each other. The truth is, you are only comparing them exclusively, like HE and Mf are "must use X type of weapon" skalds, HE and Te are blaster fighters, HE and Ce are the only decent bow users, HE and DE are good mages.
Look at HE for what it is as a whole and you got a "good melee, good ranger, good mage" race, which is great because you have a race with a lot of variety, isnt this why ogre's apt was changed? Oh but we are not going for that, are we? Its very clear we are going for the "design space" issue at this point. HE was just too good to be in the game.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 14:41

Re: Why phase out races at all?

I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking, even if the rework involves a complete mechanical U-turn.

High elves may or be more or less interesting thematically (and I'm on the "they're boring" camp) but the emotional connection to some players is there and it has value. Before axing HE, I would've tried to exhaust all possible ideas to give them a more interesting role.

No matter how wrong we may think they are, we have to admit that the number one criticism you hear around for DCSS is excessive removal of content. I'm not validating that opinion, I'm just stating that it is a common one. Focus on rework before removal would help alleviate this and boost public perception. Come on guys, we could even be tricky with it: Step 1: Rework HE, Step 2: Rename HE, and you have a brand new race!

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 17:50

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Steel Neuron wrote:I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking


Now that's just crazy talk!
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 18:44

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Steel Neuron wrote:Step 1: Rework HE, Step 2: Rename HE, and you have a brand new race!


Step 1: Rework Humans

give +3 Axe apt
add +2 more Invo because... uhhh... why not
fiddle with its magic apts in an unintuitive manner
give the ability to worship a bad god

Step 2: Rename Humans to Hill Orcs

Step 3: Wow it's a brand new not redundant race!

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 19:15

Re: Why phase out races at all?

ONIchinchin wrote:Step 1: Rework Humans

give +3 Axe apt
add +2 more Invo because... uhhh... why not
fiddle with its magic apts in an unintuitive manner
give the ability to worship a bad god

Step 2: Rename Humans to Hill Orcs

Step 3: Wow it's a brand new not redundant race!

Correct.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 19:35

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Steel Neuron wrote:I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking, even if the rework involves a complete mechanical U-turn.
That's not an unpopular opinion it's exactly what the devteam already does

You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 19:43

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:
Steel Neuron wrote:I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking, even if the rework involves a complete mechanical U-turn.

You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


I know you tend to be quite vehement when arguing but don't get that carried away, I'm not sure who you're grouping me with but you sure shouldn't be bringing up strawmen.

I've been present in the discussions involving HE, I've argued against removal. The two main points are bland theme and bland mechanics, which can be solved. I believe removal should be reserved for broken and un-salvageable mechanics, and like it or not this is a valid stance, regardless of how much effort I put into understanding design decisions (And mind you, I put more effort than you think).

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 19:55

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Hellmonk wrote:Imagine if you were gonna play some super smash bros melee with your friends, but in addition to Mario and Doctor Mario there were 30 other Mario clones like frog Mario and hammer bros suit Mario and 8-bit Mario and Mario from doki doki panic (that's super mario bros 2 american version) and cowboy Mario and paper Mario (but without a unique moveset or anything). You'd probably think "wow, this game is stupid, I want to play unique characters not 32 different fucking Marios that take up over half the roster." Human-like races with a few aptitude tweaks are the Marios in this metaphor, and they should be removed and replaced with cool and interesting new characters like King Dedede and Sonic the Hedgehog.


To add another fighting game example, look at Street Fighter. Ryu and Kennen used to be almost identical but with the advent of Street Fighter V; while still sharing some moves, each of them now has unique abilties and a distinct playstlye and Ken got a new look for good meassure. But Ken still feels like Ken.

What I don't like is how lazy crawl is when it comes to such things. If this were crawl, Ken would be dead and gone and never be heard from again instead of reworked.

Also, I think the crux of the problem is that people have very different opinions on just how "unique" a species needs to be to be "justified".
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 20:22

Re: Why phase out races at all?

removeelyvilon wrote:Also, I think the crux of the problem is that people have very different opinions on just how "unique" a species needs be to be "justified".


I hope the standard for races doesn't become the maim-and-bandage ideology that Frogs are. Because Frogs are a poor man's Naga.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 20:26

Re: Why phase out races at all?

you could cut Crawl down to about 13 races if you insisted on doing so.

- Mi, HO, and DD all play basically the same, you bash enemies with a big axe. DD has its healing gimmick, but almost all DDs use makhleb, and healing is of no consequence. HO is a little better at offensive magic, but offensive magic is bad in the first place, especially on a character that wants to use a big weapon and armor. It is little different than a Human with orc flavoring when played as a mage. Only one of these is needed.
- Ogre and Troll are very similar, as large races with restricted slots, at least until Ogres' mace apt was nerfed into the ground. Regeneration is of no consequence. it is nothing but a convenience. You may as well keep Ogre, since we already have a race like Minotaur that is extremely magically-challenged.
- Vampire is too similar to Mf, Ha, and HE, except it is a bad version of all of them, with a dash of Spriggan. Only one of Mf, Ha, HE, and Vp need be in the game, as a warrior that sometimes uses charms. It would not surprise me if charms were soon removed altogether, making the justification for any of these four to be in the game even weaker.
- Kobold, Deep Elf, and Tengu are all pretty similar, as weak races with okay to good magic apts. DE is the best of these at spell casting. None of the others are needed. Tengu warrior-types are nothing but bad versions of Merfolk, as are all races with strong apts in weapon, fighting, and evasion.
- Similarly, ghoul is like a bad troll except it has normal armor slots.
- Human is too similar to the other flat-apt races without anything interesting going for it aside from its lack of anything interesting going for it. Naga, Draconian, or Demonspawn can play this role while also having interesting things going for them.
- Felid is basically a bad Spriggan and its central mechanic can be argued to be fundamentally at odds with roguelikes.
- Centaurs are too powerful anyway and several other races can use bows.


Your final list of races would look something like:

Mi, Gr, VS, Og, DE, Mf, Dr, Op, Ds, Na, Fo, Dg, Sp

This would cover basically all archetypes currently played in Crawl, even allowing for some "bad versions" of archetypes played best by a particular race for the sake of adaptation. I don't advocate doing this, but you could do it if you were serious about removing races that are insufficiently interesting or differentiated.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 20:58

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.

That applies perfectly for me, i dont frequent those spaces, instead i hang around my personal circlejerk in webtiles's chat. Just dont forget how much i play this game. With that said, i only played HE when i was going for the great/greater player status and, to my surprise, i enjoyed playing bow HEHu, such that i decided to win all hunter races, preferably using bows. This is how i categorized each race's bow potential in comparison to anything else that race can do:
  Code:
Hu - Neutral
Ce - Top tier
Dg - Neutral
Ds - Neutral
Dr - Bad
DD - Awful
DE - Bad (the +1 does not make up for the low str)
HE - Removed
Fo - Bad
Gr - Neutral/Good
Gh - Bad
Ha - Awful(+1 against +4 from slings and cannot use longbow)
Ko - Awful
Mf - Bad
Mi - Neutral/Good
Mu - Bad
Na - Bad
Op - Bad/Neutral
Og - Botton Tier
Ho - Bad
Sp - Awful(cannot use longbows, low str)
Te - Good
Tr - Botton Tier
Vp - Awful
Vs - Bad

Neutral meaning that using bow is questionable, bad meaning its just something you dont want to do. So my "desirable" choices if i want to play a bow hunter are Ce, Gr, Mi and Te, 2 of which boil down to exploiting movement speed, the other 2 being simple easy combos that can do whatever.

And for whatever reason a slow moving race that resorts to optimal posiotioning due to slow movement with the ability to leap has -1 apt to all ranged weapons.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 21:15

Re: Why phase out races at all?

There will never be a justification or argument "good enough" to convince everyone (or even most people), and I almost wonder if the developers should stop trying. So far as I can tell, any attempt to explain their reasoning is mostly met with various levels of hostility. The developers felt that High Elves were redundant and uninteresting and they would prefer that the game did not have that redundancy, surely it's their call to make at that point? I have all sorts of opinions about what would make the game better, but the devs don't owe me anything in that regard.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 21:49

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Yes, you never gonna have a good excuse for removing a race that had over 300k games.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 22:05

Re: Why phase out races at all?

dynast wrote:Fo:Bad

I'm curious as to why you think this. I haven't got a ton of experience with hunter, but are bows that much worse than crossbows for formicids?
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 22:30

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


This is unrelated but I think it would be good if discussion in general wasn't spread out over 4 semi-obscure channels that you need to backtrack the whole time to be up-to-date. Ain't nobody got time fo' that!
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 22:31

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


Why are you pretending that someone playing the game, or reading this forum, or reading the blog, who learns that something was removed would ever learn any of those things exist (aside from mantis for bug reports, and the post you just made), and that everyone is only choosing to ignore them for some reason instead of not knowing they exist?
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 23:05

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Vajrapani wrote:
dynast wrote:Fo:Bad

I'm curious as to why you think this. I haven't got a ton of experience with hunter, but are bows that much worse than crossbows for formicids?

I guess you could say its neutral, Fo just have -2 bow apt, making xbows more appealing, they can still use shield with any so its not a big deal.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 23:09

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Cimanyd wrote:
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


Why are you pretending that someone playing the game, or reading this forum, or reading the blog, who learns that something was removed would ever learn any of those things exist (aside from mantis for bug reports, and the post you just made), and that everyone is only choosing to ignore them for some reason instead of not knowing they exist?


Also, time zones are a problem. I miss most of the discussion in ##crawl-dev because I'm asleep through most of it.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 23:46

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Cimanyd wrote:Why are you pretending that someone playing the game, or reading this forum, or reading the blog, who learns that something was removed would ever learn any of those things exist (aside from mantis for bug reports, and the post you just made), and that everyone is only choosing to ignore them for some reason instead of not knowing they exist?

I'd like to point out to anyone interested in meaningfully contributing to DCSS development that there exists a folder, docs/develop, in every distribution of DCSS. Within that folder, among other useful things like a style guide and general contribution guidelines, is the file process.txt, which helpfully lists the official development communications channels for the DCSS project.

This is likely part of what duvessa meant, as anyone trying to write a patch for Crawl will almost certainly end up taking a glance through the contents of that folder.

I would also like to point out that the doku wiki is linked from the CDO blog page, right there under the Mantis link. The other channels not being more publicized speaks very strongly to a desire to preserve the official development channels from being flooded with noise.

edit: Turns out that in addition to what's listed in this post, there's also a sticky at the top of GDD titled "Game Design Discussion Guidelines" that covers everything listed here within the first two sentences. A modicum of effort, indeed!

Steel Neuron wrote:Also, time zones are a problem. I miss most of the discussion in ##crawl-dev because I'm asleep through most of it.

Helpfully, -dev is archived, as listed in process.txt: http://s-z.org/crawl-dev/

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 00:14

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Cimanyd wrote:
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


Why are you pretending that someone playing the game, or reading this forum, or reading the blog, who learns that something was removed would ever learn any of those things exist (aside from mantis for bug reports, and the post you just made), and that everyone is only choosing to ignore them for some reason instead of not knowing they exist?
I'm not pretending that. What I am doing is expecting that people should learn a little about the development process before they complain about the development process. "I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking" is pretty clearly accusing the devs of Doing It Wrong, even though they did consider "reworking" HE (and MD and pretty much every other removed feature) first - HE removal was under discussion for years.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 00:43

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:
Cimanyd wrote:
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.


Why are you pretending that someone playing the game, or reading this forum, or reading the blog, who learns that something was removed would ever learn any of those things exist (aside from mantis for bug reports, and the post you just made), and that everyone is only choosing to ignore them for some reason instead of not knowing they exist?
I'm not pretending that. What I am doing is expecting that people should learn a little about the development process before they complain about the development process. "I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking" is pretty clearly accusing the devs of Doing It Wrong, even though they did consider "reworking" HE (and MD and pretty much every other removed feature) first - HE removal was under discussion for years.


If anything, this just shows that there is a problem in player/dev communication. I guarantee you that 99% of palyers don't know these information channels even exist. How could anyone blame them for coming to certain conclusions? And you know, the devs could just tell people a little about their thought process. On the official crawl page. Like one sentence. That a rework was considered but ultimately scrapped because of X. Something among these lines. where people could see it. Then some things wouldn't be so ill-received. Because they'd know the context. It's the small things sometimes that make the difference.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 00:51

Re: Why phase out races at all?

removeelyvilon wrote:if anything, this just shows that there is a problem in player/dev communication


With all due respect.. how? How can you come to that conclusion?

It's on the blog. It's on the crawl webpage. It's in the distribution. It's in the help file that comes in the game. It's on the github. It's on the top of this forum and on the top of the main forum.

There's nothing the devs can do to be more vocal about how to get involved other than buy ad time on local TV networks or Adwords.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 01:04

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Well anyway, In an attempt to get this back on track...

I personally like there to be races that are a little more geared towards a certain playstyle than human but that aren't completely space-crazy like e. g. Felid.
Because then I can play something that is different then human without the cripplling flaw of being an e. g. Felid.

Yes, I don't like felids that much.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 13:54

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Steel Neuron wrote:I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking, even if the rework involves a complete mechanical U-turn.

I disagree with this. Because this is a version-controlled project, if there's something that's definitely not working and there aren't clear good choices for changing it into something worth keeping we might as well start by removing it. If someone later suggests a way to resuscitate that feature, we can subject it to the critical analysis we should apply to any new feature, and we can revert the removal as a platform to build on if that's helpful.

The act of removing something broken fixes the immediate problem (there was a broken thing) and creates an incentive for people who liked the broken thing to try harder to fix it. It's basically all upside.

Whether this applies to HE specifically, I have no strong opinions. I wasn't convinced they needed to be removed, but I'm not convinced they were worth keeping either.

removeelyvilion wrote:If anything, this just shows that there is a problem in player/dev communication. I guarantee you that 99% of palyers don't know these information channels even exist. How could anyone blame them for coming to certain conclusions? And you know, the devs could just tell people a little about their thought process. On the official crawl page. Like one sentence. That a rework was considered but ultimately scrapped because of X. Something among these lines. where people could see it. Then some things wouldn't be so ill-received. Because they'd know the context. It's the small things sometimes that make the difference.

Communication is a good thing, and theoretically there are always ways to improve it, but you seem to be putting the burden entirely on the dev team and taking no personal responsibility for your part in the communication process. It sounds a lot like you're saying that you're going to have a vocal opinion no matter what and it's the dev team's responsibility to make sure that you need do no work to inform that opinion. What responsible commentators do is try to determine if they understand a topic well enough to have an informed opinion, and then ask themselves if that opinion is worth voicing.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 13:58

Re: Why phase out races at all?

duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.

There's kind of a fundamental impasse there because almost all young people have absolutely no interest in using something as dated as IRC. Also like, I've been playing this game for years and I don't know where the dev wiki is or how to talk to other people on it, and I'd never want to communicate on mantis... expecting anyone who wants to engage with devs to use these web 1.0 as hell things to do so is not really reasonable. Do you actually expect me to read a bunch of old IRC logs to keep up to date with discussion(also, again, not even sure where these are! I'm sure someone could tell me, but how the hell would I find something like that out on my own)? A forum is so much more convenient and reasonable in so many ways.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 14:25

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Lasty wrote:Communication is a good thing, and theoretically there are always ways to improve it, but you seem to be putting the burden entirely on the dev team and taking no personal responsibility for your part in the communication process. It sounds a lot like you're saying that you're going to have a vocal opinion no matter what and it's the dev team's responsibility to make sure that you need do no work to inform that opinion. What responsible commentators do is try to determine if they understand a topic well enough to have an informed opinion, and then ask themselves if that opinion is worth voicing.


I wasn't talking about myself specifically. Me personally, I try to keep close tabs on the development by e. g. reading all new commits, the dev blog, irc and tavern, future version plans etc. But it's very easy to miss some things, so yes, I did not know that for example, "HE removal was considered for years". I knew it would come and I knew the context because it was written in the Basajaunak commit but I did not know that a rework was considered. So I sincerely apologize for calling crawl lazy in that regard.

So starting from today, I'll try read more of the logs etc. But I'm not going to delve months worth of chat back to maybe find a specific information to better form an (that's probably going to be subjective either way) opinion about a video game.
I don't think that's a reasonable time/gain ratio. If that's just me being lazy, I'm guilty as charged. However, I do think that the information channels could use some condensing and better "advertisement", as even long-time players seem not to know about them at all or how to properly use them.

Shard1697 wrote:
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.

There's kind of a fundamental impasse there because almost all young people have absolutely no interest in using something as dated as IRC. Also like, I've been playing this game for years and I don't know where the dev wiki is or how to talk to other people on it, and I'd never want to communicate on mantis... expecting anyone who wants to engage with devs to use these web 1.0 as hell things to do so is not really reasonable. Do you actually expect me to read a bunch of old IRC logs to keep up to date with discussion(also, again, not even sure where these are! I'm sure someone could tell me, but how the hell would I find something like that out on my own)? A forum is so much more convenient and reasonable in so many ways.


I think that sums it up quite nicely.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 14:43

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Shard1697 wrote:There's kind of a fundamental impasse there because almost all young people have absolutely no interest in using something as dated as IRC. Also like, I've been playing this game for years and I don't know where the dev wiki is or how to talk to other people on it, and I'd never want to communicate on mantis... expecting anyone who wants to engage with devs to use these web 1.0 as hell things to do so is not really reasonable. Do you actually expect me to read a bunch of old IRC logs to keep up to date with discussion(also, again, not even sure where these are! I'm sure someone could tell me, but how the hell would I find something like that out on my own)? A forum is so much more convenient and reasonable in so many ways.


Image

Anyway, this website is really hard to understand for me; I don't know how to use anything beyond the forum. I also no competence in informatics whatsoever beyond those of a common user. However, I suspect that the way in which it functions right now has to do with how the website was built, with the forum being a secondary factor, and dev to dev communication being a priority to the accessory player to dev communication. Which actually makes sense.

There's also the fact that I generally find forums to be bad at indicization for the machine part, and hard to keep on topic for the user part.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 15:52

Re: Why phase out races at all?

In the distant past, there were a few people who volunteered to summarise -dev IRC discussions and send them out to the mailing list, which was a neat thing - here's a CRD quote from 2012:
alefury wrote:Since there hasn't been a ##crawl-dev digest for a while I decided to write one. It covers one week, September 1-7. These digests are a lot of work, plus it's easy to get severely backlogged if you are busy or away for even a few days, and sifting through IRC logs to catch up is no fun at all. This is too much to expect a single person to do (thanks to evilmike for writing so many of these!), and it is the reason these digests have stopped coming. So it would be good to have some kind of rotation. If you're a ##crawl-dev regular and feel up to doing one of these, just mention it on IRC and add your name and the time you want to cover to the "digest" learndb entry!

If somebody wanted to volunteer to start something like that up again I'm sure it'd be much appreciated, but as mentioned it turns out to be a bunch of effort! Here's the full mail, for a bit of a better indicator (and a few especially good bits of history). But yeah, IRC is what works for the devteam for the most part, so that seems pretty likely to remain the best way to keep up with dev discussions for those who are particularly interested.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 16:14

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Shard1697 wrote:There's kind of a fundamental impasse there because almost all young people have absolutely no interest in using something as dated as IRC. Also like, I've been playing this game for years and I don't know where the dev wiki is or how to talk to other people on it, and I'd never want to communicate on mantis... expecting anyone who wants to engage with devs to use these web 1.0 as hell things to do so is not really reasonable. Do you actually expect me to read a bunch of old IRC logs to keep up to date with discussion(also, again, not even sure where these are! I'm sure someone could tell me, but how the hell would I find something like that out on my own)? A forum is so much more convenient and reasonable in so many ways.


That's basically one step from saying you aren't interested in developing in c++.

Or in playing a game with permadeath where one mistake can wipe out five, ten, or more hours of work.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 17:02

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Shard1697 wrote:
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.

There's kind of a fundamental impasse there because almost all young people have absolutely no interest in using something as dated as IRC. Also like, I've been playing this game for years and I don't know where the dev wiki is or how to talk to other people on it, and I'd never want to communicate on mantis... expecting anyone who wants to engage with devs to use these web 1.0 as hell things to do so is not really reasonable. Do you actually expect me to read a bunch of old IRC logs to keep up to date with discussion(also, again, not even sure where these are! I'm sure someone could tell me, but how the hell would I find something like that out on my own)? A forum is so much more convenient and reasonable in so many ways.



This is how this team operates, though, and there is nothing inherently wrong or broken about IRC. Just because newer methodologies "pretty up" the IRC protocol or the XMPP protocol and sell it in proprietary formats (looking at you, Slack), does not mean IRC is suddenly "dated." The Dev wiki is linked on the main site, and instructions for using it are literally in the side bar. And yes, you are expected to keep up with discussion logs, which are also listed in the dev wiki in order to participate in dev discussions. You would find these things if you read the stickied topic in this very forum.

See, you're asking for things to be put in modern web because you don't know where to find them, but you're not even reading the things that have been put in the modern web. You are not a good candidate for participating in the development of this project.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 17:48

Re: Why phase out races at all?

By the way, I hope nobody is conflating public discussion with public decision. The devs are completely on their right to make executive decisions about the game's direction, they took the project this far and their ability to steer it in the correct direction is what got them to have that right in the first place.

Since changes aren't subject to referendum, it is equally fair for people to complain about changes they don't like, and it's offensive to suggest that disagreeing about a design decision means that they are uninformed or lazy.

All of this meta-discussion is making me wonder why so much aversion for conflict. There's no problem with disagreeing and arguing. Good decisions are built on heated arguments. Trying to silence dissent by arguing that it has already been discussed enough or "You should have been there when the real discussion happened" is a terrible idea.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 18:18

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Remember when there was a thread about amulet reform on GDD BEFORE it was implemented?
You shall never see my color again.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 18:21

Re: Why phase out races at all?

And I want to make clear myself, Steel Neuron, that my angst is directed towards people who are acting as though this game is developed in some kind of high towered castle that doesn't let anyone in. You yourself developed a god for this game, and your branch got hosted, and it's indeed possible it will soon land in Trunk. You of all people should know that the devs here are pretty open. What bothers me more than anything is the feeling that people have that there wasn't any work done in discussing these removals, that nobody ever considered rework, etc, when the evidence (and it's ample evidence) shows otherwise.

The devs all have their own ideas, and they're not really interested in implementing ideas that are simply thrown at them. This is pretty commonplace for many opensource projects, the common phrase in opensource is "everyone has ideas, nobody wants to do the work."

I'm okay with people disagreeing about decisions. But it does bother me when people throw the "the dev team doesn't listen to anyone ever" or "the dev team does this stuff secretly."

Yes, it requires some technical know-how to participate in the dev team's discussions and to build the software / code the software. But that's how open source projects work. Idea-people are everywhere, people who do the work are nowhere.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 18:50

Re: Why phase out races at all?

We don't disagree, graemelion. I've found the attitude from the devs themselves positive and welcoming, and it has made me want to keep writing code for DCSS for much longer.

My issue is with any comment that equates disagreeing with the devs with not having put enough effort to understand their reasoning.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 19:07

Re: Why phase out races at all?

graemelion wrote:And yes, you are expected to keep up with discussion logs, which are also listed in the dev wiki in order to participate in dev discussions.
I do not think this is in any way a reasonable expectation for "anyone who wants to put forward an opinion about changes".

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 19:11

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Shard1697 wrote:
graemelion wrote:And yes, you are expected to keep up with discussion logs, which are also listed in the dev wiki in order to participate in dev discussions.
I do not think this is in any way a reasonable expectation for "anyone who wants to put forward an opinion about changes".


You're free to put forward opinions.

But if you want those opinions to be turned into actions and implemented into the game, you either need to learn to code, or to convince a developer to code them for you. Either of those solutions involve knowing more about the history of the decisions made, and creating solutions for the issues mitigated by the decision.

Everyone's got ideas.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 19:41

Re: Why phase out races at all?

To be clear, I don't really care about high elves. What I care about is this attitude-
duvessa wrote:You people ignore all the PUBLIC discussion that goes on in ##crawl-dev and crd and the dev wiki and mantis and then go to wordpress or tavern and pretend it never existed. This is why devs don't bother making real responses to you! It's not because your extremely popular opinion is unpopular, it's because you don't put even a modicum of effort into figuring out what's going on, you just attack strawmen instead.
graemelion wrote:And yes, you are expected to keep up with discussion logs, which are also listed in the dev wiki in order to participate in dev discussions.
I do not think this is in any way a reasonable expectation for "anyone who wants to put forward an opinion about changes".

Apparently in order to be worthy of discussing changes happening to the game and having their thoughts taken seriously, a player needs to go to https://crawl.develz.org/ , and know to click on "all news"(most people probably assume that this will just take them to a changelog page) to get to the wordpress site. Once they are there they need to look at the sidebar on the right-
Image
-and then have the foresight to know that what they need to read is not contained in any of this first bunch of links.
Instead it's down below, in these other smaller links!
Image
Holy moley, that's a lot of things to click on!
You will notice, by the way, that there is a segment called "discussing the game" which contains a link to the tavern before anything else(and even if it didn't, most people don't use IRC so they're not gonna bother with the second link. If anyone who has not been told in great detail by someone like you what they are 'supposed' to do beforehand, of course they're just going to go on a forum-why on earth would they go anywhere else? Why would they get IRC just to talk about it, much less go to a wiki which doesn't really seem to be made for people who aren't devs? Why would they think the tab named "Development" is something they should be bothering to click on? At first glance I would assume most people think those links are, well, for devs. Not "anyone who wants to talk about patches to the game".

Anyways, the player has to somehow know to go to the Code and Development Wiki(Not the "Game Wiki", which is linked first), and once they are there presumably they can find discussion logs. I say presumably because even as I am looking at the front page on this wiki, I still do not know where they are. Also once they find them they should read all of them.
You can say it's "PUBLIC discussion" all you want, but that's kind of a meaningless phrase when said discussion is so obscure. It's not really fair to brush people off for not doing this(which you insinuate is obvious) when they talk about not liking changes.

Keep in mind that for basically every other videogame under the sun, the expectations required for discussing the game and having your opinion taken seriously is "you have played the game and want to talk about it".

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 20:15

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Shard1697 wrote:Keep in mind that for basically every other videogame under the sun, the expectations required for discussing the game and having your opinion taken seriously is "you have played the game and want to talk about it".


I mean if you just want to discuss the game, sure.

If you want to influence the game though, then yeah it helps to understand where other people are coming from. It's especially difficult for DCSS crawl because there's a long and complicated development history spread over a constantly changing team of developers. I know from personal experience that it's daunting to put a toe into these waters. And it doesn't help that some of the oldtimers on the forum who have encyclopedic knowledge of this history tend to have, um, challenging communication styles.

But FWIW, I think DCSS is a lot more open to user input than any other game I've played. Most other game forums I've frequented are mostly just players letting off steam. But in DCSS if you go about in the right way, people have gotten changes pushed through in GDD. I can't say I've played many other games that can claim the same thing.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 20:19

Re: Why phase out races at all?

I think Shard1697 has really isolated the core issue here. If you go to the main DCSS website, there is both a "Dev Blog" and an official forum containing a subforum titled "Game Design and Discussion." The fact that these only provide extremely limited insight into the actual design and development process - with the forum often feeling more like a discussion of non-devs than a way to communicate with the devs and the blog's only development info basically being patch notes with little-to-no explanation for the reasoning - is pretty bad.

But if you really want to get the most insight into the design and development process, the links on that page you want "Code and Development Wiki" and "Mantis Git Repository." But that's not apparent to someone who just wants to discuss things at all. Those sound like resources for someone who wants to get into developing the game, not someone who wants to discuss it. And I don't even see a link to the dev IRC there.

So ultimately, if someone comes to the DCSS website and wants to get insight into the design process, they're going to end up here after realizing the dev blog doesn't provide anything. Chances are, the way they're most likely to find out that there are better places to learn about the dev's thought process is from threads like this one where they get yelled at for not already knowing and frequenting those places.

If we're gonna be criticizing people for not following the channels the devs most often use to discuss the game's development, maybe those channels should be a bit easier to find.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 20:27

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Steel Neuron wrote:I have a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I think DCSS would benefit a lot from making an extra effort when about to remove something and instead focus on reworking, even if the rework involves a complete mechanical U-turn.


Possibly you're not aware, but gammafunk introduced Basajaunak as a replacement alongside HE removal.

Ba was tested in trunk, but didn't make the cut. It did later get merged into new Og though.

Steel Neuron wrote:No matter how wrong we may think they are, we have to admit that the number one criticism you hear around for DCSS is excessive removal of content. I'm not validating that opinion, I'm just stating that it is a common one. Focus on rework before removal would help alleviate this and boost public perception. Come on guys, we could even be tricky with it: Step 1: Rework HE, Step 2: Rename HE, and you have a brand new race!


Everyone has opinions. Some people think there's too much removal, others think there's not enough (the fans of hellcrawl, for instance).

As always, forking is an option. For you especially this should be doable.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 20:39

Re: Why phase out races at all?

As was pointed out above, the first post on this forum at all times, the post labeled "Game Design Discussion Guidelines", has as its first paragraph:

DCSS has been maintained by volunteers and players as an open source project for nearly a decade. The developers primarily discuss the game's design in ##crawl-dev on Freenode, with additional discussion and planning on crawl-ref-discuss and the devwiki. Many developers and players also discuss the game's design here on the Tavern's Game Design Discussion (GDD) subforum, where posters can propose changes to the game and discuss existing proposals or game mechanics.


Later, it also says,

##crawl-dev logs: The search function is slow, but the logs offer a convenient way to catch up on recent dev discussions about the game.


I don't really see a plausible argument that this information is difficult to locate.

Quazifuji wrote:Chances are, the way they're most likely to find out that there are better places to learn about the dev's thought process is from threads like this one where they get yelled at for not already knowing and frequenting those places.

Often see complaints of the form "I did x and then someone yelled at me" on the internet whenever someone is getting criticized -- or even just told something new. Often these complaints are coming from people who are doing at least as much "yelling" of their own. For example, someone might "yell" something about devs being uncommunicative and unresponsive, and then complain that they're being "yelled at" for not having done any work to productively participate in the conversation.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, you should try to find out where that conversation is happening; if someone tells you where it's happening, then be happy that you learned the thing you wanted to know instead of complaining that they didn't say it nicely enough or that it requires not-trivial effort to participate.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2017, 20:50

Re: Why phase out races at all?

Holy Jesus just don't randomly lash out at people and twist the words in their mouth saying that they gave the devs flak when they really didn't and quit trying to undermine peoples right to express their opinion just because it doesn't flow with your inner monologue @a certain individual

>: (

Also could somebody find the mercy in their human soul to close this clusterfuck of a thread
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