Refine Stairdancing Punishment


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 01:45

Refine Stairdancing Punishment

It's my understanding that using stairs has an additional movement delay compared to other actions, which is further increased if the stairs lead to a level that you've already been to. The additional movement delay makes it so that stairdancing can be lethal even at full health if you try to do it when multiple monsters are in a position to attack you. I don't have any complaints about that sort of situation.

However, the additional movement delay can also apply when you're using a given set of stairs for the first time. In particular, I recently lost a run where I was returning to Orc:1 to explore a disconnected portion of the level through a staircase I had never used before. I went up the stairs into the middle of a bunch of sleeping orcs, then they had time to wake up and kill me before I even got to take an action up there.

This seems like a pretty clearcut case of a mechanic intended to punish one type of behavior (stairdancing) having an unintended effect on standard play (using other staircases to explore disconnected parts of levels). I propose that the additional delay only be applied based on whether the individual staircase used has been used in the past.

This would also be a lot more intuitive. If monsters have seen you use a particular staircase before, then it makes sense that they'd be ready to take more actions due to being ready for you to return through it, whereas it's very counterintuitive to think that just because you've been to a level before, all monsters (even those who you haven't woken up yet) will be more ready for you to arrive.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 03:17

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

Ophie wrote:It's my understanding that using stairs has an additional movement delay compared to other actions, which is further increased if the stairs lead to a level that you've already been to. The additional movement delay makes it so that stairdancing can be lethal even at full health if you try to do it when multiple monsters are in a position to attack you. I don't have any complaints about that sort of situation.

However, the additional movement delay can also apply when you're using a given set of stairs for the first time. In particular, I recently lost a run where I was returning to Orc:1 to explore a disconnected portion of the level through a staircase I had never used before. I went up the stairs into the middle of a bunch of sleeping orcs, then they had time to wake up and kill me before I even got to take an action up there.

This seems like a pretty clearcut case of a mechanic intended to punish one type of behavior (stairdancing) having an unintended effect on standard play (using other staircases to explore disconnected parts of levels). I propose that the additional delay only be applied based on whether the individual staircase used has been used in the past.

This would also be a lot more intuitive. If monsters have seen you use a particular staircase before, then it makes sense that they'd be ready to take more actions due to being ready for you to return through it, whereas it's very counterintuitive to think that just because you've been to a level before, all monsters (even those who you haven't woken up yet) will be more ready for you to arrive.

The movement delay is only part of the problem. What happens is that monsters get generated with 0 energy and doesn't get any more energy until you're turn is finished (Which is when monsters naturally get more energy). So you always get the first move when you enter a level for the first time. Thereafter, monsters accrue energy after every time you act, and lose energy when they take their own turns. Effectively when you enter a level for a second time, monster's are going have a random amount of leftover energy from the last time and will get 0 or more turns when you enter the level, possibly attacking you one or two times each (maybe more if you're slower or the monster's faster)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 03:58

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

When you use stairs to an already-generated level, the time taken is multiplied by 3/2. When you use stairs to a new level, the time taken is multiplied by 3/4.

Leftover energy has relatively little to do with it. Monsters use all the energy they can as you leave the level, so they'll only have enough energy left for a fraction of an action. This is dwarfed by the amount of time it takes for the player to use the stairs (although the two adding together does result in a monster getting an extra action every once in a while).

I'd just remove the special case and always multiply time taken by 3/2.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 12:18

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

duvessa wrote:I'd just remove the special case and always multiply time taken by 3/2.

Doesn't that mean that you make the situation that OP complains about the standard, that is creating more opportunities for unavoidable death? That would not be very popular.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 12:41

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

Can we have stairs take longer every time you use them? Something like you spend N turn(s) for using the same stairs Nth time.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 15:31

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

You glass Cannon deep elf and did not do lair beyond l1. Getting defensive stats before summon hydra may have saved you. Doing lair for a xp would have given you enough hp from levels.

You also got smited twice by orc preists. This is a rather rare example of 'what if all the orc preists use their smite at the same time?'

Answer: squishies die.

On the one hand, the game jibbed you. That sucks, and I feel bad for you.

On the other hand, you sold out your character's defenses for summon hydra and made a character vulnerable to being jibbed.

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 18:27

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

I don't understand this time taken business. So it takes half the time to take a stairs to a new level as you do for a level you've already been to? When is the multiplier ever 1?

Btw Ophie, Spellcasting gives a quarter of the gain in any one school as any other school. Though you had a lot of spell schools, judging from the failure rate, you didn't need to train spell casting to such high levels. Instead of bringing spellcasting from 14 to 15, that experience could have gotten you another 5 levels of fighting which would have probably given you that extra 6 hp to survive this encounter for virtually no loss in combat offense or defence. Or alternatively at least another 2 levels for each of the lesser spellcasting schools, though you don't need it. My caster games got a lot more survivable once I worked out that every extra fighting level gives about an extra 2-2.5% health from 0 fighting skill. since early skill levels are relatively cheap later in the game. But yeah that instant kill sucks.

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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 18:47

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

I think that the easy way to handle stairdancing is placing a visible zot trap in a square adjacent to each set of downwards stairs. If you go up with a few monsters, there's a chance that they will appear on the trap and activate it.

As for time taken to climb and descend, while I get that it's fair to the player to be able to take the first move the first time they visit a floor, it still means that the game handles doing the same thing in different ways. I would not have understood how it functions from the game alone.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 03:59

Re: Refine Stairdancing Punishment

Plantissue wrote:I don't understand this time taken business. So it takes half the time to take a stairs to a new level as you do for a level you've already been to?
Yes.
Plantissue wrote:When is the multiplier ever 1?
Never. (I'd be fine with changing it to always be 1 though. It's a small buff to stairs but who cares.)
Majang wrote:Doesn't that mean that you make the situation that OP complains about the standard, that is creating more opportunities for unavoidable death?
Yes, it would make the situation more common. No, it wouldn't significantly increase the number of unavoidable deaths; pretty much all unavoidable deaths occur on D:1 before the player has even had the opportunity to use stairs.
Going down a staircase and immediately dying is pretty hard. If the current behaviour "saves" you, that means that going back up the stairs will kill you anyway, making it basically just a test of whether you have a scroll of blinking. I'd just as soon kill the player right away in that situation. The gain in intuitiveness greatly outweighs the cost in difficulty, IMO.

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