Give the player a message when death is imminent


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Sunday, 6th May 2018, 08:59

Give the player a message when death is imminent

My last couple of deaths have been when an enemy I had faced multiple times before, or for the first time, took over 50% of my health in a single attack. I had no idea that it was possible, and would have reacted very differently if I knew it could.

I suggest adding a message whenever a single enemy in line of sight can kill the player in a single attack, something like:

You feel as if your life is hanging by a thread!

It would only be displayed once per encounter, never when they are already recieving low HP warnings, and could have varying degrees of urgency based on the probability that they can kill you.

An alternative solution to the same problem, is to leave the player with a single HP when an enemy does more than 50% of their max HP in a single hit. Or maybe make this a racial feature.

Of course when an enemy is described as extremely dangerous, the player should be wary, but not all extremely dangerous monsters can kill you in one attack, or the player might believe they can not be attacked from their current position. Also, some weaker enemies might easily kill a mage, even if the player has killed dozens of them before. This message would make the game seem much more fair, since if an enemy does one-shot you, at least you were warned about it.
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Post Sunday, 6th May 2018, 09:34

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Maybe as an rc option? I would find this cluttering.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 6th May 2018, 17:00

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

I don't think this is a good suggestion. Look, there are fast enemies, who can kill you in a single turn by attacking multiple times. There is random energy, which can make normal-speed monsters act twice, possibly even entering LOS and landing a killing attack at the same turn. And most importantly, player actions take different time, is the game supposed to tell you if you could get killed for every possible option? Say, I'm facing a hasted fire dragon, and I have a weapon at 0.7 delay, blurry vision and a randart ice ring on. Quaffing a potion of heal wounds for 10 auts, swinging a weapon for 7 auts, reading a scroll for 15 auts, removing a ring for 5 auts are all meaningful actions, should the game print out a huge table of possbilities?

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Post Sunday, 6th May 2018, 23:24

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

A better solution would be to add damage information about more kinds of abilities (ranged attacks, spells, etc) to monster xv. Then you can examine a yellow or red monster and make your own informed decision about how scary it is right now.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 18th May 2018, 23:53

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Honestly, it usually doesn't take that long to figure out which monsters are heavy hitters and which aren't. Having promising runs being cut short by a heavy hitter who happens to roll well is a part of the crawl experience, and learning the actions you should take to minimize the possibility of that happening is part of getting experienced at Crawl.

For melee guys, if it's a not-underleveled (e.g. extremely dangerous when examined, or dangerous when examined and you're playing a lightly armoured character) Dragon, Hydra, Giant (i.e. anything that can wield a greatclub), big melee guy with a big melee weapon (e.g. Orc Warlord w/great sword), big unique with big weapon (e.g. Saint Roka w/basically anything), a high-tier demon, or some big four legged creature (elephant, death yak, etc.), there's a good chance they can 2HKO you. Also when examining weapons remember that arbalests hit about as hard as any other 2H weapon, so don't assume it'll be doing less damage just because it's ranged.

tl;dr: the bigger it is and the closer you are to the minimum depth it can be encountered, the harder it hits. It's honestly usually that simple.

There are a few exceptions - particularly the monsters who deal lots of little(ish) hits like Shock Serpents or Wolf Spiders- but those wouldn't work with your suggestion anyways, since it's multiple sources of damage in rapid succession.

When it comes to spellcasters, that used to be a pain to figure out back in the day, but now you can examine them to see their possible spell lists and the damage rolls for each spell, so there's absolutely no excuse for getting caught off-guard by that.

The only other monsters I can think of that'll just obliterate you in a couple of turns with good rolls are Ice Beasts (which is both unlikely to happen and very early on), and buffed mid-level melee fighters - one of my most ignominious deaths was taking out Saint Roka at the bottom of the Orc Mines and then immediately afterwards getting OHKO'd at 60% by a mighted Orc Warrior with a bardiche.

All that being said, I'm curious what exactly killed you.
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Post Saturday, 19th May 2018, 06:17

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Gorgondantess wrote:Having promising runs being cut short by a heavy hitter who happens to roll well is a part of the crawl experience

... and should be fixed unless player knows about it in advance. I mean do you like to lose character just to learn that a monster has Lightning Bolt or can hit up to N damage? Do you really like "met a new monster? Die to learn what it does" cycle? I still remember how it forced me to save-scum when crawl interface was not as friendly as it is now.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Saturday, 19th May 2018, 18:41

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
Gorgondantess wrote:Having promising runs being cut short by a heavy hitter who happens to roll well is a part of the crawl experience

... and should be fixed unless player knows about it in advance. I mean do you like to lose character just to learn that a monster has Lightning Bolt or can hit up to N damage? Do you really like "met a new monster? Die to learn what it does" cycle? I still remember how it forced me to save-scum when crawl interface was not as friendly as it is now.


...Do you know how to examine monsters in game? Because it sounds like you don't. You don't have to die to learn that it has lightning bolt, you just examine it.

And as for big monsters, after the first time you get killed by an ogre you should learn that anything with a great club is scary, and if you're running into a dragon... It's a dragon, you should expect it to be strong. It's just common sense.

You're not dying due to a lack of information, you're dying due to a lack of experience, and dying in such a way - if you try to learn lessons from it instead of calling it unfair - is what makes you a good player. You could make up literally any random monster (which is exactly what happens in pandemonium with pan lords) and good players are able to deal with them with aplomb, even when you've never met this monster before. Examining gives you all the info you NEED - beyond that, if you're dealing with an unknown, you absolutely need to approach it with caution.

How did you approach these monsters that killed you? Did you go "wow this is scary and new I should approach this with caution and flee the second I go below 50%?" Or did you just charge at it and hope for the best?

Why don't you post your morgues from these characters? Because 99% of the time you die in crawl it's preventable, even if you don't know anything about the monster above examining it.

tl;dr: git gud,
Also morgues or gtfo
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Post Saturday, 19th May 2018, 19:55

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Lol, also showing monster max spell damage seems good but iirc it's nontrivial to implement.
Remove spell hunger.
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Post Sunday, 20th May 2018, 00:30

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

@gorgondantess Multiple spellbooks for a monster type are a thing.
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Post Sunday, 20th May 2018, 12:18

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Lol, I was talking about version 0.11 which was the latest when I started playing. It DIDN'T show monster spells, it DIDN'T show max monster damage. Go play it and see how you enjoy dying without your fault if you really like to "learn from experience".

Tldr learning from mistakes and learning from experience is not the same thing, noob.
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Post Sunday, 20th May 2018, 17:08

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Lol, I was talking about version 0.11 which was the latest when I started playing. It DIDN'T show monster spells, it DIDN'T show max monster damage. Go play it and see how you enjoy dying without your fault if you really like to "learn from experience".

Tldr learning from mistakes and learning from experience is not the same thing, noob.

When I started playing there were still gnomes, and I learned from that experience and got my first few victories in 0.5 when I stopped blaming the game and actually thought for half a second about how I could improve. But I wasn't talking about 0.5, I was talking about THE CURRENT PATCH. Why the hell are you talking about 0.11 and saying they should change these things that THEY ALREADY CHANGED???? Yes, it was kind of unfair back then, but it's been fixed. Are you gonna start talking about how they should find a way to nerf mummies spending a million turns on d:1 scumming respawns too? Or that Sludge Elves should be removed because they're redundant with merfolk? Why don't you start a thread asking them to make a tileset while you're at it?
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Post Sunday, 20th May 2018, 18:26

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

The previous changes to display monster spell sets, monster max melee damage, etc. were good. Showing monster max spell damage seems like an obvious extension of this process (though again, probably not easy to implement). You shouldn't have to consult the learndb to look this info up, imo.
Remove spell hunger.

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Post Monday, 21st May 2018, 11:07

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

If someone disagrees that "Having promising runs being cut short by a heavy hitter who happens to roll well is a part of the crawl experience" should not result in surprising deaths, I don't care if they played 0.5, gnomes or whatever.
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Post Monday, 21st May 2018, 13:46

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

I disagree with the opening post, but I also find the tone of gorgondantess's posts so disagreeable that I feel almost obliged to argue against him out of principle.

I don't really see any problem with displaying more information about monsters or how damage works. The randomness of the nature of damage in crawl is so spiky, that anything that helps new players learn the game is welcome, with reason.

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Post Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 23:22

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

My pov on showing info is that there should be two modes, lite mode and deep mode. Lite mode shows you only a little, stays general, and doesn't cover everything. Heavy mode shows everything (much more than is currently displayed).
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Post Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 23:18

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

Show the whole damage distribution or nothing at all.

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Post Thursday, 24th May 2018, 05:29

Re: Give the player a message when death is imminent

johlstei wrote:Show the whole damage distribution or nothing at all.
I hate this way of thinking. It was progress blocker during many versions. It is still a blocker in current version ("we cannot show damage for 5% spells so let's show nothing for other 95% spells too"). Perfectionism (aka consistency in DCSS) is bad thing in real world too (let's get all murderers out of the jail because we failed to identify and catch one specific murderer).
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