Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback


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Post Wednesday, 19th July 2017, 20:24

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I don't really understand why disallow stat boosting. Players usually don't wear +str/+dex/+int rings unless they are unrands with other effects, which are rare, and Chei is totally irredeemable without stat boosts. And it's not like Chei would be overpowered with Gnolls with stat boosts, or like you'd typically find a bunch of great stat gear.

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 04:23

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I think it's worth testing the species for a sufficient time with stat-locking, before changes are proposed. It's a clean mechanic with a big effect and easy to communicate to the player. Because of its simplicity, would be easier to tweak this or the other moving parts to balance the species, if required.

I am not worried about Chei; if required, one could simply disallow Chei worship.

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 05:24

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

The current 7/7/7 stats are miserable. I feel like I got tricked into taking 11 losses for no reason. Did designer run numbers on damage and spell power with these stats?

As someone else pointed out, the +3 to all apts doesn't encourage you to spread out your skills.

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 05:46

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

How do other hybrids work? They have 1) good ac/ev/melee spell power (chei) 2) extra skil levels in many magic schools for free (ash) or 3) just help to hybridize by reaching min delay earlier (oka). Gnolls are bad at all this, for instance, having +3 in all skills makes oka/ash less attractive than for any other species
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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 05:52

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Rast wrote:As someone else pointed out, the +3 to all apts doesn't encourage you to spread out your skills.
But the goal of the species shouldn't be to make you spread out your skills. Spreading out your skills doesn't lead to a "jack of all trades, master of none" character, it just leads to a demon whip/spectral weapon/pog character. Which is already common enough without a species built specifically to encourage it.
On the other hand, low locked stats keep the player's melee damage, spell power, and EV low compared to other characters. And the high apts produce a species that can cast higher-level spells earlier than usual. Theoretically this promotes using, at the very least, a broad selection of spells, and encourages using spells + melee or missiles because those will do more damage than awful-power conjurations.
As I understand it, the complaints are:
1. +3 aptitudes are not enough of an advantage to compensate for the disadvantage of 7/7/7 stats, if you compare to human. This is true. It is also trivial to change. Increasing the aptitudes, slightly increasing the stats, giving them more beneficial mutations, etc. are all extremely easy options if the species needs a buff.

2. Spell hunger is annoying with 7 int. This is true, and my preferred solution is to remove spell hunger, but failing that, simply removing the influence of Int on spell hunger would solve this problem.

3. Allies are broken and let you bypass the stat disadvantage, because summons and god abilities have little to no spell power scaling. This is true, I don't have much to say about it other than that it is obviously not a problem exclusive to Gn.

4. It's not fun to have low melee damage and spell power, because it takes more keypresses and/or fiddling to kill things. I assume this is what drives the community's distaste for generalist characters of all species (it certainly drives mine). Obviously, if you don't like playing generalist characters, you're probably not going to like playing the generalist species. It doesn't help that allies, certain low-level spells, and god abilities are so good, and skill costs increase so fast, that pretty broad skill training is already optimal for most non-gnolls.
That said, a lot of Crawl's species are clearly designed with the intent of forcing you into one character type (Ce, DD, DE, Fe, Ha, HO, Mf, Mi, Sp, Tr). Gnoll is not a unique offender in this respect, though it has the misfortune of picking a character type that most players hate - look at how much people hate centaurs compared to spriggans, even though centaurs no longer have fast metabolism or herbivore. There is also a good argument that Hu and Dg are already the generalist species, making Gn unnecessary.

I would be interested to hear what people who like playing generalist characters think of Gn. (I can't think of any such players off of the top of my head, so I can't just go and ask them.)

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 06:01

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Rast wrote:The current 7/7/7 stats are miserable. I feel like I got tricked into taking 11 losses for no reason. Did designer run numbers on damage and spell power with these stats?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:How do other hybrids work? They have 1) good ac/ev/melee spell power (chei) 2) extra skil levels in many magic schools for free (ash) or 3) just help to hybridize by reaching min delay earlier (oka). Gnolls are bad at all this, for instance, having +3 in all skills makes oka/ash less attractive than for any other species

Perhaps I can remind people of something: as I understand it, Gnolls are not meant to be better than other races at hybridizing. Rather the design is meant to achieve the result that adapting to the floor god is the best way to play a Gnoll. Which is a totally different thing. There is nothing in the design which says that Gnolls are meant to be stronger or weaker than a human or a Naga.

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 06:13

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Here's another thought, just for the future (I'd like to test gnolls in the current iteration some more):

If the idea is for Gnolls to adapt to whatever the game gives you, perhaps worship should be disabled altogether, akin to Dg. Gods in Crawl often exist to complement player abilities; often you can specialize in something and let your God take care of the things which you can't handle. This would seem to go against Gnoll design idea.

As compensation, so that they are not too weak, Gnoll stats could be buffed a bit, or maybe give them wild magic or robust or something. But perhaps this is already too close to Dg (I don't think so, but people can differ).

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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 08:56

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

If Gn became unable to worship gods then they would seriously step on the toes of Dg's, which I would be against.

I like playing generalist species, but I suspect many won't quite appreciate what I like about them.

To me a species that is mediocre at many things, like hitting in melee, shooting missiles or spell power requiring conjurations / hexes, is a puzzle. It encourages me to look for solutions that allow killing stuff / survival that work well, given the restraints. To experienced players it should be immediately obvious where this is going.

Some spells are very good with low spell power, like Conjure Flame, Freezing Cloud, many Summoning and Necromancy spells. Some weapons do better damage with low stats, like fast weapons with useul brands, like elec, or venom in the early game. So the solution for Gn is to lean on those options more. Species that have strong aptitudes and normal stats can use their options, like Mf with polearms, or Te with air conjurations.

The previous Gn incarnation locked out many higher level spells, slower weapons and to a degree heavier armour. The current incarnation, which I haven't played, isn't likely to suffer from the same problem, which is nice!

Unfortunately, most new-Gn games, if approached seriously, will feel quite similar, largely using the good options that don't require strength or spell power. I don't think this is a bigger problem here than for most other species.

Hu and Dg can be developed along a similar road, but the difference is that they can choose to specialise into high-power high-damage options, as most other species are already encouraged to do.
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Post Thursday, 20th July 2017, 18:31

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Gnolls++ are just yet another species who are encouraged more than others to abuse Statue Form to not be annoying. Do we really need more of these?
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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 04:23

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 10:05

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

just won a new gnoll on CBRO.

I was blessed with some great gear including a very early elec dagger and a +10 arbalest of elec in a shop in D which i could afford after lair.

Before this win i tried several gnoll summoners and came to a similar conclusion as UV4, casting any sort of spells is an exercise in frustration. Low spellpower and high spell hunger means the only book start with any punch is GnSu. Any sort of direct damage BG would probably have lots of trouble when thier level 4 and 5 spells do no damage and leave you starving after a few casts.

But there are some things that are overpowered and rely entirely on your skills. God powers and evocations. Uskayaw was one of the first gods to come to mind to take advantage of +3 invo, but really any of the invo based gods like fedhas, makh, nemelex, would probably be great.

But possibly the most hilarious interaction of this species i noticed is with ranged combat. Ranged combat seemed to not be affected by wearing massively over encumbering armour. So you can just pick a ranged weapon, skill into it extremely quickly with +3 apts, and wear the heaviest armour possible. With such low stats casting any spells in such heavy armour is a waste of time, so just double down on heavy armour + ranged combo. With evocations+invo as support. My gnoll won in CPA with 3 EV and had absolutely no problems hitting things with crossbows, or not dying. You can probably get all 5 relevant skills to 25+ in a 3 rune game (evo/invo/armour/fighting/xbow or bow). Once you hit the mid game, like lair branches, the higher skills in fighting+weapon can offset the low stats somewhat, and you can use your 10+ evo skill or god powers to kill anything else.

that all said, the low stats make them pretty horrendous in the early game, i died to adders a few times before i got an early elec dagger.

So pick a ranged weapon, pick a god with invo powers, train lots of evo, and laugh at your low stats all the way to zot.

It seems sort of counter-intuitive to me that a race designed to encourage generalization is so much better at a few things, maybe this current implementation doesnt work? Or maybe I am mistaken that these few things are so much better than all other options.

FWIW, I had more fun with the previous implementation of gnolls, where balancing cost to train skills was sort of like a minigame/puzzle. Whereas this version i found a crossbow and tabbed the rest of the game, just left all skills on.

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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 11:32

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I don't know why ranged weapons would not be as affected by stats or body armour as melee weapons. Weren't ranged weapon damage formulae changed to be the same as melee? Or to put it another way: isn't a longbow just a glaive with range 7?

If this is not the way it works, it sounds like a bug with ranged weaponry more than anything else.

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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 15:45

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Well I admit I didn't check the code so I don't know for sure, but I didn't notice an increase in time to kill from when I wore ring mail vs CPA.

I also never saw any message like 'Your armour prevents you from shooting the foo' like you get with melee attacks. So I just assumed I got no accuracy penalty.

But I have learned that assuming how crawl mechanics works based on what you see in game often leads to coming to the wrong conclusion, so who knows if I am right.

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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 16:02

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Ranged combat is definitely affected by the armour accuracy penalty, I just tested it. Same for the str multiplier, it's just like melee weapons. However, it doesn't give the "Your armour prevents you" message, it'll just say "the bolt misses the adder" every time.

But monsters after Lair have no EV, and skill adds a lot of accuracy, so if you didn't find the CPA on d:2 you'd never know.

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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 18:20

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Random brainstorm which might be too much work; what about the following idea?:

(1) Gnoll default aptitudes are -2 on all (bare with me here).

(2) Gnolls have "Easy Learner":
At the start of the game, and every fifth (?) level, Gnolls get a "Eureka" token. Enabling this token gives them the option to re-allocate their aptitudes from a pool of a total of +20 (this number should be balanced out; I have no idea what the best number is and am making this up). Max aptitude bonus is +3. Aptitudes cannot be lowered (e.g., the default remains -2). A max of 2 Eureka tokens can be stacked (a bit like Felid extra lives).

(3) Gnolls start with 6 / 6 / 6 stats. They gain a player-determined stat every 3 levels (like normal), but also a player-determined stat every five (?) levels.

(4) Gnolls have "Trained in Dungeoneering":
Every nine (?) levels, Gnolls get a "Training" token. Enabling this token gives them the option to subtract 3 from any stat and add it to another stat of their choice. Minimum stat total is 3. Training tokens do not stack.
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Post Friday, 21st July 2017, 19:16

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

duvessa wrote:I would be interested to hear what people who like playing generalist characters think of Gn. (I can't think of any such players off of the top of my head, so I can't just go and ask them.)

I'm a fan. I've always really loved the idea of Gnolls, I hope this one works and I'm looking forward to giving this one a try.
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Post Saturday, 22nd July 2017, 07:03

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

grindst0ne wrote:(1) Gnoll default aptitudes are -2 on all (bare with me here).

(2) Gnolls have "Easy Learner":

To work from this idea: One could give gnolls normal stats, but put three potions of experience into their starting equipment, plus a manual of the most relevant skill for the chosen background. This should give them a very easy start, but then slows them down tremendously because of their terrible aptitudes.
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Post Saturday, 22nd July 2017, 09:12

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

archaeo wrote:
duvessa wrote:I would be interested to hear what people who like playing generalist characters think of Gn. (I can't think of any such players off of the top of my head, so I can't just go and ask them.)

I'm a fan. I've always really loved the idea of Gnolls, I hope this one works and I'm looking forward to giving this one a try.

What do you like about such characters?
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Post Sunday, 23rd July 2017, 07:43

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

What if Gnolls simply started with LV3, but were limited to LV25? After all, they become adult at age of 5 or so and live up to 30.
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Post Sunday, 23rd July 2017, 17:54

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:
archaeo wrote:I'm a fan. I've always really loved the idea of Gnolls, I hope this one works and I'm looking forward to giving this one a try.
What do you like about such characters?

I think Crawl is more fun when you have to worship the floor god, and my most memorable games have been with generalist characters that needed to really use everything they were given, especially through the beginning of the game.

Of course, I also like other things most Crawl players don't like, such as summoners and ally play, so maybe my opinions don't count for much in the grand scheme of things.

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Post Monday, 24th July 2017, 06:31

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

archaeo wrote:I think Crawl is more fun when you have to worship the floor god, and my most memorable games have been with generalist characters that needed to really use everything they were given, especially through the beginning of the game.


What is "worship the floor god" exactly? You find something useful on D:1, use it, train for it, then you find something else on D:2, use it, train it etc. That might work only when you have +5 aptitudes in everything at XL 1, at XL 2 your highest skill loses 4 aptitude and becomes +1, at XL 3 another highest skill loses 4 aptitude again (so if you insist on training the same skill you trained while at XL1, it becomes -3) and so on. Basically you cannot specialize too much but you easily can use everything you find
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Post Monday, 24th July 2017, 11:08

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
archaeo wrote:I think Crawl is more fun when you have to worship the floor god, and my most memorable games have been with generalist characters that needed to really use everything they were given, especially through the beginning of the game.


What is "worship the floor god" exactly? You find something useful on D:1, use it, train for it, then you find something else on D:2, use it, train it etc. That might work only when you have +5 aptitudes in everything at XL 1, at XL 2 your highest skill loses 4 aptitude and becomes +1, at XL 3 another highest skill loses 4 aptitude again (so if you insist on training the same skill you trained while at XL1, it becomes -3) and so on. Basically you cannot specialize too much but you easily can use everything you find

The aptitudes no longer scale, it is currently a static +3.

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Post Monday, 24th July 2017, 11:11

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Floodkiller wrote:The aptitudes no longer scale, it is currently a static +3.


Yes, I know, it was just an idea how we can encourage hybridization. The difference with your previous Gn implementation is that just 1 skill gets changed, not all of them.
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Post Tuesday, 25th July 2017, 15:52

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Just thought I would make one further suggestion. One way to force adaptation is to randomize skills. In my opinion, this is the only way that is proven to work at all, as seen with the wanderer background. You've removed stat growth, so a natural way to go would be to make gnolls get skill growth at levels up instead. Give them a smattering of skill levels each experience level on top of their initial skills and give the player a choice of one skill to level every so many levels. Otherwise, no normal skill growth.

This allows the player some degree of choice in skilling things, but without creating the tedium and illusion of choice of the previous system. You can give gnolls a lot of skill levels in total, way more than a normal character would have, but spread out in a way that varies somewhat from game to game, potentially requiring adaptation, and generally never getting very high in any particular skill. The skills players choose among could be constrained somehow to give an interface more like the S/I/D level up question or it could be unconstrained along the lines of the potion of experience menu.

This would have the virtue of getting away from the way the skill system normally works and creating genuinely different gameplay. You could then dispense with this idea of super low stats, which is unpopular and really has nothing to do with the stated design goals. Locked stats might be an okay idea with reasonable values.
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Post Friday, 25th August 2017, 02:08

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I pushed two changes to a PR. It is still awaiting dev review and not guaranteed to be accepted, but I felt like posting an update here since it's been about a month since the last post.

First one is improving the stats from 7/7/7 to 10/10/10, which should eliminate most of the low stat penalties in many attribute checking skills (like spell hunger/Int, Dodging/Dex, etc.) that were causing frustration.

The second change is giving gnolls the Shift Attributes ability (at XL 9), which allows them to transfer 3 attribute points from any one stat to another (at the cost of some draining; it cannot be used again until all draining is gone). Aside from this ability, attributes are still 'locked'. Although this ability takes it further away from a generalist playstyle (it reintroduces the ability to maximize a stat to specialize in, although it is at the cost of effectiveness in other stats), I think it is compensated by improving on the concept of gnolls being able to find/pick up anything and adapt to using it quickly if they desire.

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Post Saturday, 16th September 2017, 07:46

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Just wanted to say, the new gnoll skill system being discussed in dev irc as elliptic/mikee's proposal is remarkably similar to, yet more complex than, my straight xl-based skill level boost over starting skills concept upthread. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say my proposal will be easier to implement and easier to understand for players.

edit: I'll also point out that the elliptic/mikee proposal will result in differences between gnolls of different backgrounds being quickly washed out by xp gain, so that they all converge to the same character in the long run. This does not happen with a heroism-style xl dependent boost.
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Post Saturday, 16th September 2017, 14:34

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Has anyone considered just giving gnolls Transfer Knowledge as a racial ability, and removing Ashenzari?

This would certainly enable gnolls to adapt and improvise the way people want them to, and do it by way of tested and familiar mechanisms. Plus, Ash has never really had that strong a niche, and its other abilities could probably be better distributed to other gods. For example, maybe Sif Muna could get skill boosts.
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Post Saturday, 16th September 2017, 14:42

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

How do you limit that, though? (If it should be limited).
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Post Saturday, 16th September 2017, 19:39

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Shtopit wrote:How do you limit that, though? (If it should be limited).

It could cause draining, as in Floodkiller's proposal. Not sure it would have to be limited, though, especially if you lose a bit of XP in the transfer.

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Post Monday, 18th September 2017, 20:15

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Just feedback on the name/flavor:

Gnolls are really mundane... They're just hyena-flavored orcs, and gnolls in the dungeon reflect this. So it's odd for them to have such exotic mechanics. There have been some proposals for a "homunculus" species in the past... This is a kind of alchemically created weakling form of life, which seems like a better fit for such a weird species.

look how easy it is to make a homunculus! https://i.imgur.com/7pRdBik.jpg

It's all just abstract and there's no reason gn can't be gnolls but it doesn't really fit at all.

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Post Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 08:13

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Having a species that interact with the skill training panel at all, i.e. all skills increase at the same rate, sounds fun. (Obviously, people's definitions of fun vary...)

You could reflavour it to Golem, or Automaton or something.

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Post Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 15:52

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

They could be anything really, but if they were golems then players would expect them to have nonliving traits.

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Post Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 04:42

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I just hacked up a version of hellcrawl with kobolds that have the gnoll skill system I described upthread. Unsurprisingly, getting reasonable skill allocation without interacting with the skill menu is very clean from a gameplay/UI perspective. It also produces a good balance of specialization via the background and the broad skill distribution that was the supposed design goal here.

I think it's worth pointing out that forcing the player to "learn" a lot of skills is a bad design goal. What you really want is for the player to use a lot of skills, that is if they do not make use of their broad range of skills through selection of equipment, spells, items, and tactics they are missing out not by failing to interact with the skill menu enough but by failing to play in the eclectic style the species encourages. In other words, there's a built-in limit defined by the mutually exclusive nature of game actions and the player's use of skills is determined by that dynamic, as opposed to how carefully they micromanage their skill growth as in the "learn" picture. Of course, there is still enough specialization given by the background to allow the player to follow a game plan suited to their preferences expressed through character selection. We don't want an oppressively strong incentive to do a little of everything.
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Post Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 20:44

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I played a gnoll back when the aptitudes went to -9, it was a strong start, hybrid character that did a little of everything (not extremely well), and leaned on multiple-school spells. It made it fairly far, but after the game progressed past a certain point (I generally play 15 rune games) it just hit a wall and died. There was a fair amount of skill training micro-management which I didn't find particularly enjoyable.

I played another gnoll later on, not realizing initially how the stats were locked in. I can't recall if it was 7/7/7 or 10/10/10, but i remember this thing was, as others have described it "miserable." The only good thing, +3 apts was drown out by the stats. If released in this way, this will be a race that I absolutely will want to avoid playing.

I don't know what needs to be done to "fix" it. I'm sorry it's not positive feedback, but it's truthful. Capped stats is a deal-breaker for me. Weird aptitudes could be ok possibly, but don't really excite. Giving it a special racial ability such as the suggestion of Ash's XP redistribution would certainly interest me to play it.

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Post Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 06:29

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

watertreatmentRL wrote:I just hacked up a version of hellcrawl with kobolds that have the gnoll skill system I described upthread.

I don't see how this avoids the problem with other low-skill-maximum proposals: it doesn't encourage gnolls to generalize or improvise, it forces them into a very specific hybrid playstyle (fast one-handed weapons, shields, hexes/summons, etc.)

I'd be really curious to see what people thought of a way more generous version of this system, where the bonus is equal to XL or XL * 8/9 or the like. (In the latter case, the gnoll gets a flat +24 to all skills by level 27, just enough to max out if you start with 3 ranks from your background.) The obvious advantage of this proposal is that it really does let gnolls be generalists: they can pick up anything in the dungeon and use it well.

Of course, you'd need to give gnolls pretty severe disadvantages to compensate, but I bet some combination of the things people have already proposed could work, e.g. Floodkiller's locked-but-transferable stats, or just really low stats, or the inability to worship a god. (I don't think the last of these would overlap with demigods too much; on the contrary, it would make gnolls a kind of converse demigod, since a demigod's high stats but low aptitudes tend to favor specialization.)

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Post Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 09:18

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

The version of gnolls in hellcrawl now is kobolds (which had previously been a variation on the "cyno" concept), which have this issue of gravitating toward mid-10s mindelay weapons anyway. This and the existence of oka blunts the weapon selection issue you raise. Being small really seems to help for this mid-range skill concept. I messed around with gnolls a bit and I found the boost given to current kobolds wanting with a normal sized character. Indeed, giving them a bigger boost would change that. It didn't come together right away, can always return to it later.

I disagree that this pushes you into a particular "hybrid" style, whatever that means. Hellcrawl kobold non-wizard book backgrounds have one school significantly higher than the others, like +5 for non-wizard mages and +4 for enchanters, which has a strong impact on what your go-to spells are going to be. Depending on god selection, the other skills are mostly going to get you low to mid level utility spells, while your main skill gives you level 7 and 8 stuff by the endgame. You don't really have low maximum skills. To the extent that different spell schools offer different playstyles, you get those differences.

If I were going to try gnolls again, I would go with something like what you say though: Higher skill boost, like to a max of 16 maybe, and something like -2 hp apt. The low stat stuff is awful.

Also, if you haven't tried it, I think you really should try a game without manual skill allocation. It is very good for game flow not to have to micromanage your skills. (Note that this is distinctly different from leaving autoskill on, since with autoskill you get bad skill distribution and you know you can do better by turning it off. Here, you can't change the distribution and it gives you reasonable skills automatically.)
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Post Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 15:25

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

watertreatmentRL wrote:The version of gnolls in hellcrawl now is kobolds (which had previously been a variation on the "cyno" concept), which have this issue of gravitating toward mid-10s mindelay weapons anyway. This and the existence of oka blunts the weapon selection issue you raise. Being small really seems to help for this mid-range skill concept. I messed around with gnolls a bit and I found the boost given to current kobolds wanting with a normal sized character. Indeed, giving them a bigger boost would change that. It didn't come together right away, can always return to it later.

I disagree that this pushes you into a particular "hybrid" style, whatever that means. Hellcrawl kobold non-wizard book backgrounds have one school significantly higher than the others, like +5 for non-wizard mages and +4 for enchanters, which has a strong impact on what your go-to spells are going to be. Depending on god selection, the other skills are mostly going to get you low to mid level utility spells, while your main skill gives you level 7 and 8 stuff by the endgame. You don't really have low maximum skills. To the extent that different spell schools offer different playstyles, you get those differences.

Fair enough. I feel like a lot of this probably comes down to philosophical differences about what we want from a gnoll-like species but of course I'm just going on speculation/theory while you have actual play experience.

watertreatmentRL wrote:If I were going to try gnolls again, I would go with something like what you say though: Higher skill boost, like to a max of 16 maybe, and something like -2 hp apt. The low stat stuff is awful.
Sounds reasonable. Anyway, it'd be cool if the devs at least tried something along these lines in trunk to see what would happen.

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Post Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 16:26

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

duvessa wrote:I would be interested to hear what people who like playing generalist characters think of Gn. (I can't think of any such players off of the top of my head, so I can't just go and ask them.)

I pick draconians because of flavor and roleplaying and then choose my skills according to what i feel like doing.

I pick nagas because they change how the game works. They are slow and resilient, most of the annoyances are gone(instrict resistances and being able to see invisible makes it easier having a pip of everything, removing gear swapping, plus not having to deal with invisible enemies, ever). They make the game straight foward and yet challenging in a interesting way.

I dont pick formicids because they change how the game works in a bad way. They get rid of the most interesting consumables and makes the game challenging in a annoying way.

I dont pick demonspawns because they dont fill the flavor or roleplaying niche i crave for. They are also weaker humans with a extra vulnerability and less god choices.

I dont pick barachi because its just a less interesting and not as straight foward naga.

i pick octopode/felid whenever i wanna play a squishy caster so i dont consider it a generalist race.

I pick humans whenever i feel like experiencing all the game has to offer(good or bad).

I dont pick demigod because its just a human with less features. They are not challenging in a interesting way, they offer no flavor or roleplaying aspect(they dont feel like demigods at all, more like a golem).

I dont pick gnoll because its just a weaker human. They are not challenging in a interesting way, they offer no flavor or roleplaying aspect.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 12:59

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Another round of Gnoll rework!

The stat locked version obviously wasn't well received, and my patch for it got shot down because the devs didn't like the potential abuse that could come of it (min maxing stats to 28/1/1, for example). I took a step back for this rework because I had to help a friend with polishing up their game for release (and I was also a bit tired of Gnoll rework at the time), but gammafunk, elliptic, mikee and others pitched in to put together another version. It's pretty close to what one of my backup plans were, so it's got my approval. The details are:
  • Stat locking and low stats are gone. Stats can be raised and lowered again, stat choice and stat growth (S/I/D every 4 levels) are back in, and starting stats are now 10/10/10 and affected by background choice
  • Aptitudes for all skills have been raised to +8! However...
  • All skills are always being trained at all times. You still get your starting skills from your background, but otherwise there is no way to focus your experience on a specific skill (cannot use Transfer Knowledge, experience potions just split the XP among all skills equally with no prompt, etc)

Side effects include no Trog worship/Beserker background (Gnolls can't help but train magic skills and Trog doesn't like that), no sacrificing Arcana under Ru, and no crosstraining bonuses for weapons (aptitudes for weapons can be raised later if they need a boost).

Any feedback (positive or negative) is appreciated!

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 13:08

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Will Heroism work?

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 13:57

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Factorialite wrote:Will Heroism work?

Yes, from the look of it in player.cc. Ash passive skill boosting should also be working.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 14:22

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I have a very negative one:

Is this a race or laboratory rat's maze? How does this race adds anything to the game other than confusion to the player's head as he asks himself "whats the point of this race?"?

But more importantly, when playing optimally skilling is mostly irrelevant(mostly), surviving is about methodical execution of combat engagements and luck, you usually just pick whatever is the best thing the dungeon generated and use it, regardless of how much skill you have on it(for generalist races, at least). This usually leads to avoiding magic, because its the one thing that requires both you constantly getting better spells and actual skill investment to make them useful, as well as int. So you would think gnolls are going to be different in that aspect because they will always be sinking exp to magic schools but thats exactly where this race fails.

Let me explain: Lets say you start a human wanderer thinking "i will just do whatever" get a decent hybrid start, a dagger, a spellbook, even stats, your skills are all over the place as usual, you come across a book of flames and consider it a good choice, so now you train fire and conj to make it useful. You progress, you find some other stuff, nothing amazing, so you double down on fire/conj because its the thing thats keeping you going. The result is that you have a fire mage who feels gratifying to play and that you made a good decision. Now imagine the same scenario as a gnoll wanderer, you would come across some books, learn some spells because you have slots for it, none of them are actually strong in any gratifying way(unless their bonus apt suddenly makes them stronger than a deep elf, which i doubt) and you never felt like you made a good choice, and was just doing what the game told you to do.

Whenever i saw people playing gnolls on webtiles their thought was "what should i do to win this game? what are currently the strongest gods, the strongest weapon types or the most useful spells to learn?" They never played the race based on what it is good at, but rather what are the good things in the game.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 14:30

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

ezero wrote:"whats the point of this race?"


I believe it is a great hybrid race, for instance, you can enjoy playing Wz without micromanaging what to train next and thinking if you should train Hexes for Slow or not.
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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 14:44

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

I have a question: all skills as in, all skills you can train because you have the right spells or items or god, or ALL skills?
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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 14:51

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
ezero wrote:"whats the point of this race?"


I believe it is a great hybrid race, for instance, you can enjoy playing Wz without micromanaging what to train next and thinking if you should train Hexes for Slow or not.

jack of all trades =/= hybrid. I see hybrids as someone who wanna be good with more than one thing, not someone who wanna be bad at everything. I wonder how many people played the game that way(training everything) before gnolls were introduced, i know there is a robin somewhere who did that, but how many people played it? I concede there is some novelty on this race, but then again, i considered high elves to have some novelty aswell.
Shtopit wrote:I have a question: all skills as in, all skills you can train because you have the right spells or items or god, or ALL skills?

All skills, or otherwise you would just not pick stuff.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 15:44

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

ezero wrote:But more importantly, when playing optimally skilling is mostly irrelevant(mostly), surviving is about methodical execution of combat engagements and luck, you usually just pick whatever is the best thing the dungeon generated and use it, regardless of how much skill you have on it(for generalist races, at least). This usually leads to avoiding magic, because its the one thing that requires both you constantly getting better spells and actual skill investment to make them useful, as well as int. So you would think gnolls are going to be different in that aspect because they will always be sinking exp to magic schools but thats exactly where this race fails.

I disagree. Skilling is important to build strong characters. The difference between wasting lots of XP on spellcasting (many new players do this) or getting better offence/defence makes a noticeable difference to character power. Like almost anything in crawl it is not strictly necessary to spend experience perfectly, after all people win with auto-skilling. Still, it makes characters much stronger.

It is usually beneficial for most characters to specialise as soon as they have access to something that is good enough. Changing weapon types or spell schools every time a better thing comes along is probably a mistake. The correct decision would be weigh up the potential benefit against the experience cost.

Avoiding magic is typically a mistake, because there are a lot of useful low level spells around. Most book starts are strongly encouraged to invest in magic too. Using magic doesn't mean killing everything with magic all the time of course. Generalists are strongly encouraged to pick all the nice accessible spells.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 16:05

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:
ezero wrote:But more importantly, when playing optimally skilling is mostly irrelevant(mostly), surviving is about methodical execution of combat engagements and luck, you usually just pick whatever is the best thing the dungeon generated and use it, regardless of how much skill you have on it(for generalist races, at least). This usually leads to avoiding magic, because its the one thing that requires both you constantly getting better spells and actual skill investment to make them useful, as well as int. So you would think gnolls are going to be different in that aspect because they will always be sinking exp to magic schools but thats exactly where this race fails.

I disagree. Skilling is important to build strong characters. The difference between wasting lots of XP on spellcasting (many new players do this) or getting better offence/defence makes a noticeable difference to character power.

I was gonna say
4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Like almost anything in crawl it is not strictly necessary to spend experience perfectly, after all people win with auto-skilling.
but then you did it for me
4Hooves2Appendages wrote:It is usually beneficial for most characters to specialise as soon as they have access to something that is good enough. Changing weapon types or spell schools every time a better thing comes along is probably a mistake. The correct decision would be weigh up the potential benefit against the experience cost.

You can spend a entire decade putting thought on what you should put skill on or not, you are still bound to the game's randomness to give you anything to put it on.
4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Avoiding magic is typically a mistake, because there are a lot of useful low level spells around. Most book starts are strongly encouraged to invest in magic too. Using magic doesn't mean killing everything with magic all the time of course. Generalists are strongly encouraged to pick all the nice accessible spells.

If you are playing a squishy spellcaster you might consider having a huge variety of spells, when you are playing a hybrid, picking spells prevents you from using heavier armor, shields, better evasion. For new players it just makes them more vulnerable to their own mistakes. For example, Blink is a useful spell, that is still capable of putting you adjacent to enemies that you are trying to not be/stop being adjacent to.

I was gonna launch myself into a discussion about training spellcasting since you mentioned how bad it is and how newbies to that, which i completely disagree with, but i just gonna use it to say thats one of the reasons i dont feel like playing a race that doesnt allow me to choose what to train. Our entire disagreement over what skills represent is the beauty of its existence.

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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 16:17

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

underhound.eu still has old gnolls with 7 everything and +3 aptitudes. How long does it usually take to update trunk?
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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 16:47

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

Floodkiller wrote:Another round of Gnoll rework!

The stat locked version obviously wasn't well received, and my patch for it got shot down because the devs didn't like the potential abuse that could come of it (min maxing stats to 28/1/1, for example). I took a step back for this rework because I had to help a friend with polishing up their game for release (and I was also a bit tired of Gnoll rework at the time), but gammafunk, elliptic, mikee and others pitched in to put together another version. It's pretty close to what one of my backup plans were, so it's got my approval. The details are:
  • Stat locking and low stats are gone. Stats can be raised and lowered again, stat choice and stat growth (S/I/D every 4 levels) are back in, and starting stats are now 10/10/10 and affected by background choice
  • Aptitudes for all skills have been raised to +8! However...
  • All skills are always being trained at all times. You still get your starting skills from your background, but otherwise there is no way to focus your experience on a specific skill (cannot use Transfer Knowledge, experience potions just split the XP among all skills equally with no prompt, etc)

Side effects include no Trog worship/Beserker background (Gnolls can't help but train magic skills and Trog doesn't like that), no sacrificing Arcana under Ru, and no crosstraining bonuses for weapons (aptitudes for weapons can be raised later if they need a boost).

Any feedback (positive or negative) is appreciated!

Can you sacrifice armour/dodging/evocations with ru?
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Post Thursday, 28th September 2017, 16:54

Re: Bultungin/Gnoll Feedback

In general, this looks like a very elegant and simple solution. I hope it reaches its goal.
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