Bcrawl - Lets discuss those changes

Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Temple Termagant

Posts: 14

Joined: Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:00

Post Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:41

Bcrawl - Lets discuss those changes

(To avoid confusion: this thread is about Bhauth's Bcrawl - https://github.com/b-crawl/bcrawl )

Let me start by saying i had a complete blast playing bcrawl recently. It is a variant that brings a lot of new ideas to the table (some of them originate from xcrawl), some of which work amazingly well in practice. It also seems to have a strong design philosophy - you can read it in Bhauth's words at the top of the github page if you are interested.

Since the recent tournament (http://www.bhauth.com/bcrawl/tournament/1.12/) seems to have stirred some interest, I figured now would be a good time that we discuss some of these changes, and maybe consider which ones would fit well into vanilla crawl.

I will basically start this off by just throwing my personal opinion/experiences on a number of things out here, feel free to add things or argue with these or whatever:

Let me start with the "best" features which i feel are clear improvements for the game and could as well be merged into vanilla tomorrow:

- Hell overhaul. Hell is currently a painful, somewhat tedious branch in the game, which is usually not super risky by the time you reach it. The change basically makes it quite a bit less tedious but much more dangerous. In other words in bcrawl it is actually fun. Fun is good.

- SLS and BVC up 1 spell tier, Yara's and Slow down 1 spell tier - all of these feel like very reasonable balance changes to me based on how much i do/dont use these spells in vanilla. SLS and BVC are definitely decent spells at these new tiers still, just not omg-overpowered.

- Deflect Missile change - spell makes much more sense now, you still do the remove-armour-to-cast deal which feels pointless but at least you only do it once (unless it gets cancelled) and spell power actually matters.

- ID change - yes,please.

- LBolt accuracy+ - it actually feels significant, and lbolt is no longer a trash tier spell. not god tier either but it feels ok.

- better lightning rod scaling - it is still far from overpowered compared to other misc evocables.

So here is a couple of changes that are interesting but less clearly improvements in my mind:

- Shorter dungeon/better starts: what it does in practice is two things: makes the game overall shorter (that is totally fine with me), makes the difficulty more even during the game. In any permadeath game it is an ok philosophy to have deaths occur much more frequently in early game than late game since late game deaths are much more painful. I can name roguelikes whose single greatest mistake is ignoring this philosophy (rogue fable 3 for example). However it is possible that dcss has taken this philosophy too far by now and bcrawl evening it out by providing easier starts but less exp for late game might be a good thing. I am not 100% - discuss

- Deep Dwarves / Elyvilon - I am assuming the design goal is to make deep dwarves more flexible, by making caster paths viable for them. It is a good goal. Playing melee dd^ely is as dull as in vanilla though and the Ely buff might not be reasonable for non-dds (in my opinion Ely is a pretty decent god in vanilla as is)

- Demigods - they are 400% more fun to play in bcrawl, but at the expense of removing their "challenge race" status. Really the question is if we want "challenge races" in the game or not. Their ability set is dope though.

- Traps/stairs-tp: Ok this is the big one i think. Let me start by saying that there is generally players who will prefer mechanics that make the game feel "fair" and players who will enjoy mechanics that create high-adrenaline spots possibly at the expense of some rng-unfairness. I am personally in the latter category, and for this reason i dont even hate shafts as much as a lot of people do. Bcrawl's change tries to remove the complete randomness of exploration traps to add a mechanic that basically puts a probabilistic prize tag on stair dancing. The idea of replacing traps by a mechanic that interacts with player startegy is great in my opinion, but i have mixed feelings about how this works out in practice during gameplay. All in all i still prefer this system to the current vanilla traps.

- Oni - Again it is super fun to play but very very random. The question is the same as above, how much random are people willing to tolerate. It is a nice addition though, feels really distinct from existing species and if you are on bad terms with rngezus, nobody is forcing you to play them at the end of the day.

- AM change - much better than it was, i would still prefer some other background most of the time.

- OOD spawns: it can get really rough to get to Lair if you are unlucky. But then there are people with ungodly bcrawl winrates still, so i suppose a difficulty bump is ok.

I think i will stop here for now. There is a bunch more changes that i would happily discuss, but this post is getting kind of long as is, and I would like to see if there is an interest for discussion at all i guess.

For this message the author artagas has received thanks:

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 819

Joined: Thursday, 16th August 2018, 21:19

Post Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 13:13

Re: Bcrawl - Lets discuss those changes

Some of my favourite things to port over to vanilla crawl:

- Spell level adjustments (SLS, BVC, PoG up; Yara's, Slow down)
- new fixedarts
- ID change
- shorter dungeon

Things which I would like to be ported over to vanilla dcss as-is:

- Troll rework (The new troll is more interesting, because they have bad magic & stealth aptitudes but 0 ER)
- AM rework
- warper rework
- Monk starts with amulet
- Felid rework

Thing which I would like to see ported over in a tweaked form:

- New backgrounds (currently the new backgrounds starting equipments are too strong)
- Oni (I don't like how starting with a start with a book permanently gives access to 5 more spells)
- Demigod (the new demigod is too strong)

Spider Stomper

Posts: 215

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 20:58

Re: Bcrawl - Lets discuss those changes

I like bcrawl as an occasional change of pace, and it has features that I'd like ported into crawl, but there are just as many that I'd rather do without. I won't list all of them, but...

I agree with the Deflect Missiles change. I'm generally in favor of changes that make spell power more relevant and spells more convenient to use.

For Deep Dwarves, I'd rather an altar be placed near the dungeon entrance rather than starting as a worshiper, because some players will want to worship an evil god as a DD.

I remember the stairs mechanic being a major source of annoyance/irritation. Getting shafted is exciting but getting randomly teleported while travelling just feels like trolling.

Not a fan of removing spells in general (except in cases of redundancy like Wounds), but I especially disagree with removing Guardian Golem, Gravitas, and Shroud. These are good spells, and IMO Summoning and Translocations don't deserve to be nerfed.

+SH is much less mechanically interesting than riposte. Although, a chance to block melee attacks seems like a nice idea for staves or maces (probably better for staves), but I'm not confident it should be tied to the SH stat.

Ashenzari's free curse item ability is a huge improvement.

Ring of Insulation and Scarf of Stasis nicely fill gaps in the equipment game.

I agree Amulet of Harm shouldn't exist in its current form, but just removing its drain on unequip effect would be enough of a change IMO (or replace it with inaccuracy's auto-cursing feature, maybe get rid of inaccuracy to boot). The idea of opting into high-risk, high-reward gameplay is interesting, but right now, even if you would otherwise want to use it, getting stuck with such a huge drain effect when you're done is a compelling reason not to, meaning that in practice it's just a deterrent to blind-equipping amulets.

Clarity on mummies is a good thing.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 86

Joined: Sunday, 26th April 2015, 22:16

Post Sunday, 4th August 2019, 04:48

Re: Bcrawl - Lets discuss those changes

For what it is worth, this thread got me to try Bcrawl. And I gotta say, I like it! Good job!

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