Remove the id game (new reason)


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Post Monday, 24th February 2020, 15:27

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

I wouldn't call that a mechanic, so I find this line of argument unconvincing.
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Post Monday, 24th February 2020, 16:53

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

If someone were to take the derivative of ID game in DCSS, he would see the value is negative. Meaning, various parts of ID system have were systematically removed. You can't throw potions at monsters, and I think you couldn't in Linley's Dungeon Crawl. When you can't, harmful potions make little sense, so they were removed too. I suspect potion of degeneration will be soon removed. Scrolls already don't have a purely negative one. Since ID game gets little sympathy here and there are very few proposals to improve it, removing ID game is the path of least resistance. Every now and then someone comes along and pulls a brick out of the tower. I can't remember any DCSS version that would add to the system. It seems universally disliked. By contrast, there are countless proposals for new skills, gods, races, spells, and other build-centric features.

The alternative would be extending the ID game past lair. The article I linked earlier:
http://rodneylives.blogspot.com/2015/04 ... h-yet.html
has 9 points that a good ID system should satisfy. Even if you disagree with some of them, it's very good food for thought and something people should be aware of.

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Post Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 02:25

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

tealizard wrote:The deeper problem is the roguelike item idiom itself. Identification is just one of many layers that obfuscate the deeper truth that items as understood in roguelike games are inherently tedious and the more you have the worse it gets.

Have you considered the possibility that you don't actually like roguelikes at all, but instead prefer some other genre of game which is roguelike-adjacent? (or maybe you did once, but are now sick of them)
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Post Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 09:37

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

The item-ID system of DCSS received very little *additions*.Changes were almost entirely on a per-item basis: some items/scrolls were removed, some were changed or merged, some were added. Some evokables were pulled entirely out of the ID game: decks, orbs (there used to be fixation and seeing). That's regression beyond Dungeons&Dragons.

The story goes like this: D&D had unique magical items in pairs, one good, one bad. They were indistinguishable, so an experienced player would never be certain. This would was supposed to make crazy stories happen. For example you could have a belt of ogre strength and a belt of sex change. Then Rogue came up with something new: color-coded scrolls and potions. Suddenly many magic incidents became possible.

An item suggestion (for removal, change, merging, addition) is a very easy suggestion to make, so little surprise that these tend to dominate. This probably extends to other modular systems like spells, gods, skills to a lesser degree. But this very much smells of design by committee. DCSS is proud of its community contributions. But it lacks a holistic vision (vision of the whole). Features just creep in and the potion/scroll/wand system drifts unpredictably. DCSS should should get a set of rules that potion or scroll system as a whole is supposed to conform to at all times. What role are potions or scrolls supposed to play? If just a finite inventory of buffs, ID game is not needed.

I think skill suggestions (like whole new skills appearing or disappearing) are the rarest to get through because they're tightly interwoven into the whole design. Most people, at least subconsciously, understand a change like that would affect all characters. That's a tight design, but what does it say of scroll/potion design? It's very poorly integrated with the rest of the game. Pull requests and patches prove you can add/remove almost any type of potion because neither is vital. Gods are sandboxed on their monotheistic islands so they can be completely changed.

An interesting way of thinking about the history of DCSS design is thinking how fast various systems change. This indirectly shows how much they're integrated into the game.

Gods - probably change the fastest and most radically.
Spells - IMO second fastest, sometimes even no-brainers like Divination (detect) school change.
Races - they're mostly just a set of numbers each, so they can come and go. Most player community resistance is sentimental. Few races have no substitutes.
Items - individual items see a lot of change, but the (ID) system as a whole rarely changes, and mostly things are pulled out of it. One "positive" change was addition of harmful artifact traits, which made scroll of id, remove curse more valuable.
Skills - the least change
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Post Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 13:45

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

Siegurt wrote:
tealizard wrote:The deeper problem is the roguelike item idiom itself. Identification is just one of many layers that obfuscate the deeper truth that items as understood in roguelike games are inherently tedious and the more you have the worse it gets.

Have you considered the possibility that you don't actually like roguelikes at all, but instead prefer some other genre of game which is roguelike-adjacent? (or maybe you did once, but are now sick of them)


I've definitely considered the possibility that roguelikes are bad. But since roguelikes are what we make them, that kind of question only bears on what to do next.

People pretend there are these invisible constraints, you can't do this, you can't do that. Maybe if this were a new game on Steam, you could make an argument about whether it's "really" a roguelike. But crawl is so close to the heart of the genre, you can do almost anything within reason and no one can say "that's too far, crawl's not a real roguelike now."
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 17:41

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

tealizard wrote:I wouldn't call that a mechanic, so I find this line of argument unconvincing.


Using equipment untrained vs trained is part of the game's mechanics, and it's true that opting to use untrained stuff is legit viable early (consider slings, thrown stones, poison darts, etc) while late game it's much less viable/waste of time outright to use these things untrained. I guess throwing a stone still works for pulling aggro if you need that, others not so much.

I also don't consider this a problem, so I agree that the premise "mechanic needs to matter all game" isn't necessarily true.

Yet I still don't like the ID minigame for reasons I mentioned earlier.
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Post Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 18:48

Re: Remove the id game (new reason)

lmao
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.
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