Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 19:34

Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

Currently, as far as I can tell, digging is not one of the rarest wands - it seems to be about as common as paralysis or maybe even random effects, and most of my characters seem to amass plentiful amounts of it. Digging is one of the most powerful wand effects, though. Unlike the other wands, it doesn't really need evocations investment to be effective. It's perhaps the most powerful wand in extended (specifically Pan, with its soft walls), where LoS manipulation is critical, and one of the best in any area which has diggable walls. While most of the other wands tend to decide no more than one encounter with a single charge (Clouds can be a powerful nuke, but still), Digging can potentially decide every single encounter on a level with two charges - that's all you need to make a killhole. It also has great utility for escape and terrain manipulation in general. I actually tend to underuse digging, but even in the games where I remember to use it routinely, I still end up almost always having leftover charges in my winning morgues.

Given all of this, I think digging should be as rare as the rarest wand (clouds? Something around that, at any rate). Being able to make a killhole makes all the difference for several character types, and as it stands, unless you just try to set up the optimal terrain for every fight, chances are you'll have enough digging charges in any game to use in every important situation. Making digging about as rare as clouds would make it so that you would have to make more choices about where you set up a killhole, or dig an easy escape route, because you would not have enough charges to be able to use it in every situation. Also, it would address the issues of those people who say "digging is tedious because you are encouraged to set up optimal paths in advance for the orbrun", since there simply wouldn't be enough charges to do that, and a player would likely have to save the charges for unexpected situations during normal gameplay.
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duvessa

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 20:03

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

I don't think making digging rarer would improve the situation, since the problem isn't just "there's too much digging", it's also "digging leads to degenerate gameplay" or "digging makes natural dungeon terrain meaningless" and stuff like that. Increasing rarity worked for potions of mutation since the only big problem with those was that there were too many. Increasing rarity wouldn't have worked so well for, say, Singularity.

Worth noting that LRD and Shatter still let characters of any species destroy unlimited walls, the former with perfect control.

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VeryAngryFelid

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 20:44

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

duvessa wrote:Worth noting that LRD and Shatter still let characters of any species destroy unlimited walls, the former with perfect control.


For LRD, not any more as of this commit made a little while ago.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 20:51

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

There have been suggestions in the past for making the wand of digging effect area some other way than in a straight line. A cone or 3x3 area or something else like that would work, if the goal is to not be able to make killholes.

Personally, I practically never make killholes anymore anyway, so I'm all for a change like that.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 22:29

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

The thing I like about Digging is giving players opportunities to feel clever and make their own path, quite literally. What I don't like about digging is its potency as a combat/tactical tool. If it took 5 turns to dig, and/or it only dug one tile per charge, I think I'd like it more overall.

As for the LRD thing, I get it, but I think the interaction is quite charming so I'm sad to see it go. I'd prefer it still destroyed the same normal rock tiles that digging can.

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PseudoLoneWolf

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Post Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 15:50

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

duvessa wrote:... it's also "digging leads to degenerate gameplay" or "digging makes natural dungeon terrain meaningless".


I honestly do not really understand your argument. If there are 30 dig available per game, it is tedious for me and makes many terrain unimportant. If there are 3, it is not tedious for me, and most of the time terrain will be important. Digging 1-2 killholes per game is not much worse than now, as there are plenty of levels with natural ones.

Altough I guess we may argue that crawl has too many rarely usable but occassionally very useful consumables already (like holy word).

For me a similar rarity change is for haste. Having infinite haste led to tedious gameplay. Having 4 is fun.

I would not mind personally if digging were removed tough, we gave way too many kind of items.

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 22:25

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

This is a pretty major change to the game done seemingly casually. I agree that LRD can be abused in some circumstances if a person wants to utilize the wall destruction properties enough, but I think it is a topic that could be further explored before just simply yanking it. Perhaps it was deliberated upon more and we don't see that here in the forum, but it appears on the surface as though a posting about wand of digging led to this change, rather rapidly. I recall some discussion about how LRD could be abused when it did not ever destroy walls. Additionally, I think it's not unreasonable to come to some compromise such as it can destroy only normal rock walls, doors, and perhaps crystal walls. In this case, a vault could be designed with walls placed with the intention that only some were meant to be able to be blasted, resulting in more design options.

I think the quest for stamping out all possible "degenerate" play risks also squashing some creative tactics and "fun" if not carefully considered. In general I don't feel like fewer mechanics = more interesting game. For example, if someone wanted to try and get a troll mage or cacodemon to dig some walls out somewhere, dragging them around level to level to level, it is still possible -- so, will the new degenerate standard be even lower than training LRD now? Do we remove troll mages and cacodemons next? Lastly, I see disabling some key, granted potentially strong tactical abilities which link to spellcasting, without giving any sort of compensation just further erodes the already fairly weak position that spell casting is faced with versus basic melee characters that do not train magic (excepting very specific spells and high level spells and conditions.)

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 23:03

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

There are lots of examples of LRD digging leading to degenerate gameplay in this forum's recent past. For example, use of it to create a tomb:3 killhole. There have been past examples where players have pre-dug routes between every stair from Z:5 to D:0 for their orb run.

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duvessa

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Post Sunday, 3rd June 2018, 23:30

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

svendre wrote:I agree that LRD can be abused in some circumstances if a person wants to utilize the wall destruction properties enough, but I think it is a topic that could be further explored before just simply yanking it.
LRD wall destruction has been explored for more than 20 years now, just how much more time does it need?
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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 4th June 2018, 15:04

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

I think Crawl might generally be improved if it were a "players can't really modify the dungeon layout in a highly-controlled way" game. For a long time I didn't really understand what digging was for, when I learned about killholes my first thought was "wow that's really degenerate" and then when I learned about predigging orbrun routes my thought was "that is even more degenerate"

The non-degenerate cases for digging (mainly escaping from monsters?) actually feel more like they'd be better-served if the wand acted as high-power Passwall.

LRD and Shatter kind of get offtopic for this thread, but Shatter might be improved if the walls came back when the player leaves the level.
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VeryAngryFelid

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Post Monday, 4th June 2018, 15:59

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

njvack wrote:LRD and Shatter kind of get offtopic for this thread, but Shatter might be improved if the walls came back when the player leaves the level.
Temporary digging is a pretty big can of worms. When the walls come back, do they push out monsters/items that were under them? What if there's not enough room to move all the monsters? What about Gozag shops that were under them? And so on. Doesn't seem worth it to me.

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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 4th June 2018, 20:09

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

duvessa wrote:
njvack wrote:LRD and Shatter kind of get offtopic for this thread, but Shatter might be improved if the walls came back when the player leaves the level.
Temporary digging is a pretty big can of worms. When the walls come back, do they push out monsters/items that were under them?

My first thought would be "teleport items and monsters and don't allow placing gozag shops in temporarily dug areas" but yeah, might not be an improvement.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 4th June 2018, 23:26

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

Is digging for the orb run worse than exploring all hatches to know the shortest way during the orb run?
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Post Monday, 4th June 2018, 23:41

Re: Make digging as rare as scattershot/clouds

Agree that there is too much digging. There's also too much para and enslavement and acid, and probably too much of all the other wands. A widespread wand charge reduction would be good. Increase the power scaling again if you really want to compensate for it (please don't).

A different digging shape might be interesting. I do not think that all player modification of terrain is intrinsically bad, but the current form and amount of it coupled with crawl's other mechanics is pretty questionable.

If orbrun degeneracy is a concern, you can solve it by making orbrun go through fresh levels a-la circus animals (or removing it). I think this would be desirable anyway for other reasons.
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