Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)


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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 01:53

Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

The purpose of this thread is to talk about how to nerf stair dancing. Talking about if stair dancing should be nerfed is off topic for the thread.

What bad effects does stair dancing have?

1. It's a no brainer mechanic that crowds out other mechanics because it's so effective.
1a. Parts of the game are explicitly designed to prevent stair dancing so the player can be challenged (V:5, Zot, Tomb)
1b. Other challenging aspects of the game can be neutered (it's trivial to split bands with stairs, to kite back to good terrain even on new levels, etc)

2. It's unintuitive for new players.
2a. "Why do you keep going up and downstairs while fighting the jackals?"

3. It's unaesthetic. Stair dancing abuses a "loading screen barrier" which the player can move through freely but monsters cannot.

Here are two proposals for how to make stair dancing less of a problem for DCSS. (My proposals both remove stair dancing entirely, but solutions which leave some amount of stair dancing are worth discussing too.)

PROPOSAL ONE
(inspired by dcss circus animals fork)
If you are damaged while taking a staircase, you stop taking the staircase.
Enemies can't follow you through stairs.
Hatches are unchanged.

Advantages:
* Totally removes stair dancing
* Simple to understand

Disadvantages:
* Makes the game much harder
* Might need an exception so "><" always works (eg if your last action was using stairs, you can't be interrupted if you use stairs again)

PROPOSAL TWO
(inspired by Brogue)
When you take stairs in LoS of enemies, they follow you. For example if you are standing on stairs and there is a goblin two squares away (@.g), once you take the stairs the goblin will appear next to the stairs one turn later.

Advantages:
* Stair dancing is 99% removed
* Gets rid of the "loading screen barrier" effect of stairs
* Removes the inconsistency where monsters can use stairs when next to you but not otherwise

Disadvantages:
* Technically complex to implement
* Harder for the player to understand. How many turns until the monster comes up? Which monsters can path to the stairs in which order?

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:01

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
Last edited by Implojin on Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 23:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:15

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

chequers wrote:Hatches are unchanged.
Hatches can be used for all the same dancing that stairs can, the level layout is just sometimes not amenable to it (which is true of staircases too to be honest; attempting to stairdance on vaults:$ was usually bad even before vault wardens were added). Whatever change you make to staircases should also apply to escape hatches.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:34

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Of course, it's possible to largely remove stairs by generating levels that are segmented by rune doors, for example, you could generate 15 standard sized levels in a grid 4 times the length of traditional levels on each side with some vaults/corridors connecting them together. With some fairly straightforward rule changes to noise, teleportation, and when monsters are active, you could have much more seamless transitions between levels and far fewer stairs to dance.

This conceives the problem a bit narrowly. You would still have the luring problem, but there are things you could do to deal with that too.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:44

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Implojin wrote:Remove upstairs, transition the Dungeon to a linear branching layout.
This is definitely a solution to stair dancing and several other problems, but I think breaks too much else in DCSS to be a realistic candidate for vanilla. You would have to rework so many other systems, like shops, dungeon structure, rune locks, disconnected branches, etc etc.

A variation on this idea might be to remove stairs, but leave hatches.
Last edited by chequers on Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:48

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

tealizard wrote:This conceives the problem a bit narrowly. You would still have the luring problem, but there are things you could do to deal with that too.

I'd rather focus on stair dancing, rather than the broader concept of luring. I think stair dancing is much easier to tackle (relatively speaking!!) because there is a good common understanding (in the community) of what stair dancing is and why it's bad. Luring doesn't have that level of consensus or clarity.
Last edited by chequers on Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:53

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 02:59

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

@chequers: What I mean is that if you replace stairs with corridors or whatever connecting different segments (formerly levels) of a larger dungeon, you've eliminated stairdancing, but you still have the possibility of luring monsters across these connections.

Regarding your proposals, hellcrawl had proposal one for a while. I would not say that it eliminated stairdancing, just nerfed it somewhat. About brogue stairs, I think this eliminates some of the advantage of stairdancing but will leave other aspects intact. There is still some advantage in the chokepoint the stairs provide, so you'll still have the problem of luring to stairs. It starts to look like automating stairdancing in my opinion.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 05:29

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

First, a correction: Brogue doesn't pull enemies upstairs based on LoS, but based on "hunting" status -- similar to how monsters remember you in DCSS even if you break LoS.

I'll stay within the context of this thread and not talk about removing upstairs.

I have proposed before that upstairs use should be tied to a consumable if some monster is hunting you. (Downstairs were unaffected in my proposal, but we could include them as well if needed.) Stairs are powerful, so limiting their use in some way makes sense. This would be a sort of "minimal" proposal which wouldn't change the base DCSS layout.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 07:50

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Proposal four: if there is a hostile monster next to you, you can't use the staircase. Can be combined with proposal one so that also ranged damage prevents the use of stairs.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 10:37

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

chequers wrote:The purpose of this thread is to talk about how to nerf stair dancing. Talking about if stair dancing should be nerfed is off topic for the thread.

What bad effects does stair dancing have?

1. It's a no brainer mechanic that crowds out other mechanics because it's so effective.
1a. Parts of the game are explicitly designed to prevent stair dancing so the player can be challenged (V:5, Zot, Tomb)
1b. Other challenging aspects of the game can be neutered (it's trivial to split bands with stairs, to kite back to good terrain even on new levels, etc)

2. It's unintuitive for new players.
2a. "Why do you keep going up and downstairs while fighting the jackals?"

3. It's unaesthetic. Stair dancing abuses a "loading screen barrier" which the player can move through freely but monsters cannot.

Here are two proposals for how to make stair dancing less of a problem for DCSS. (My proposals both remove stair dancing entirely, but solutions which leave some amount of stair dancing are worth discussing too.)


1. It's a spoiler-reliant mechanic that requires experience with various encounters and patterns. Also, with 2. and 2a. you really can't call it a "no brainer" if it is "unintuitive". It's more like monetary inflation imo, the better off you already are the less negatively affected you'll be. I don't use stairs all that much, so give a solid addition of salt to this.
1a. The challenges in V:5 and Zot are about more than stairs, and Tomb is cancerous to the point of not being a challenge but a chore to do.
1b. Agreed.
2. Agreed, newbies need more knowledge from the start.
3. Strongly agreed.

Just listing out the bad implications of stairdancing® doesn't provide a full basis to improve from. The full problem is that the negatives are tied to unchanging positives: the fact that you can take the exact same XP, loot, and have better odds of survival when you make bad choices prior to stair (ab)use. I would propose to change or remove these beyond the point of removing/blocking all upstairs/hatches ever. Basically, if the rewards gained from stairdancing® are very obviously reduced it makes the practice less desirable or overall positively viewed as a result. There are still obvious positives, the most important of which being "I didn't splat" but they can serve as a balance rather than a 100% added bonus.


Proposal: update stair logic with actual logic flags.


1) Mark everything and everyone in LOS when you use stairs as "left behind" and everyone and everything that goes up "ascended". Ascended multiplies the XP of the subsequent kills with 0. Or a 0<m<1 if you're fine with that, in which case the multiplier stacks if you want to take foes up more than one floor. "Left behind" ensures that anything other than randarts/fixedarts is changed to +0 egoless when you kill those that carry the equipment in question (3+ freezing against the PC but +0 brandless when dropped). Consumable stacks or charge-reliant consumables are halved, rounded up.

2) Give the enemies taken upstairs a credible positive that makes taking them upstairs less convenient or even more dangerous. For example, temporarily flag the PC as "prey" which gives all enemies a bonus. This bonus can be stochastic, but have some ties to running down someone who tried to run away. This could be anything from a temporary accuracy increase, to a boost to speed(0.1 or 0.2), to an increase in ambient noise, all sorts of things. Maybe something even more punishing like a reroll to damage for the first N actions taken when ascended.

3) Something entirely different. Perhaps introduce a probability for stairs to collapse when traversed too many times, so long as there are others present on the level? I'd be into the idea of a sentient dungeon actively hating the trespasser.

4) A combination of the above.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 14:41

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

chequers wrote:If you are damaged while taking a staircase, you stop taking the staircase.


I think this could work quite well if there were also some indication of how many enemies are at the other side of the staircase. A simple indicator that marks stairs as dangerous, if there are any monsters within 3 spaces and in LOS of the stairs on the other side, could be enough.

I think a lot of the other suggestions so far are either over-engineered or overly harsh. I also personally think it's OK if stair dancing is still a viable tactic, with reduced effectiveness from how it is now.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 17:46

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

1. The "Monsters follow you up stairs" seems the most appropriate for DCSS to me.

I would have monsters follow you up stairs after N turns where N is the number of turns away they were from being adjacent to you when you ascended if they were currently chasing you (not wandering) so faster creatures would follow you more quickly. I would also give them a chance of failing to do so with a stealth check (effectively they have a chance of starting to wander instead of following you, similar to how being out of LOS on-level works now)

Following up stairs should probably be limited to landing on the staircase or adjacent squares, and creatures who can't fit after N turns should either wait until there's space, or never follow (I could honestly go either way on that)

Also some rules on what happens to things that were planning on following you, but haven't yet, if you go *back* to the level before N turns have passed (do they return to their original location? is it random? are they closer?), should probably be made up too.

The 'creatures follow you upstairs the same way they would if they would follow you down a corridor if you were out of LOS' seems most consistent with the existing logic. Also it's no harder to understand than "which monsters will end up standing in front of me when more than one could occupy a choke-point" or "how many turns until that creature is standing next to me" is on-level

IIRC, this has come up several times before, and one of the reason's this is technically challenging is that there's no place for the monsters to *be* off-level (once a level is unloaded the creatures on it aren't "in memory" anywhere, and there's not a structure for holding them, much less holding any positional information for them) building that isn't rocket science, it just requires a fair-sized chunk of work (which people are generally not in favor of doing if there's not a fair amount of agreement that said work will actually become part of the game) having that holding pen keep the bookmarking of who has moved onto the new level and who is still on the old one, and who needs to be removed from it when you re-enter it (or re-inserted, depending on your implementation) is all doable, but not trivial in terms of work to do. It's much harder than just changing the rules for what happens when you press <.

2. The "Hatches are unchanged" part of proposal 1 seems weird to me, it doesn't 'totally remove stair-dancing' it just moves stair-dancing over to "hatch dancing" since you can currently pull things up hatches to kill them exactly the same way you can up stairs, and pulling things up hatches is no less powerful, it's just less convenient than doing so with stairs (you have to walk more to do it). I guess it limits access to it somewhat, since there's not always a hatch at a reasonable location? It certainly doesn't remove the tactic of breaking up packs and isolating creatures by pulling them onto another level with you (It's actually sometimes better *currently* to use a different staircase so you can lure fewer creatures up stairs at a time, when you would otherwise be surrounded)

3. I will say though, that for me at least, the "stairs screen" solves a lot of problems that would otherwise have to be solved with a LOT more luring (and trying to lose things with stealth checks). Any of the proposed solutions just significantly increases tedium for me, without increasing the game's challenge by nearly the same measure, disproportionately so for weaker/more limited characters. So for me, personally, any of the proposals (including removing up-stairs altogether) just makes the game less fun to play and more of a chore (particularly for spellcasters, or lower defense races, who have a greater need to isolate things), without providing much of anything interesting to supplant it.

The reason it's a no-brainer is that the other non-consumable using alternatives accomplish the same goal, but take longer in an uninteresting way. In a game where not dying is the ultimate goal, anything that increases your safety is going to be optimal over things that don't, it may as well be quick and easy if it's not going to be interesting.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 17:49

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

It feels like a lot of people are missing the point, and trying to prevent stair dancing mechanically, rather than trying to address the issues that LEAD to stair dancing.

It's the same basic concept as with luring - it's "optimal" to lure monsters back to secure locations, but the solution is not to make it impossible to move backwards, but rather to make moving forwards more beneficial.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 18:20

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I haven't read the rest of the posts, but it takes 2 turns to ascend stairs?

How about changing it so that "if the monster can be next to you within two turns, it follows you upstairs" ?

That would present increased difficulty but would be less of a radical change.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 21:04

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Is it technically viable to have monsters on separate floors continue tracking the player and use the stairs like any other action as long as they're aggro? This is similar to proposal #2 and effectively makes stairs like a one tile hallway on the Y axis. This seems like the most solid design solution, but that only matters if it can be reasonably implemented.

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 21:54

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Yes, Brogue has that mechanism. It works like this: if a monster has "hunting" status and is N distance away from you when you take stairs, then the monster appears on your floor after N turns (assuming it's normal speed).

(Brogue stairs are instantaneous, btw.)

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 23:07

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I just had a game where I went down a stair, and was immediately adjacent to an 8-headed hydra, then went down another stair and was suddenly ascent to azreal. Both of these where way out of my league (Azreal deals 3D20 damnation damage and my maxhp was 64.)
Because of the way stairs currently work I had the freedom to nope out of there and do Lair instead. (At the cost of ?blink, !heal, and 2 ?Tele.) I think this was a good thing. You shouldn't be punished for going to far into the dungeon with an inescapable death. (Being unable to go up the stairs in either of those situations would have meant near certain death.) Going as far into the dungeon as possible (before doing Lair) is part of how I challenge myself and it keeps the game fun.
Having to flee all the way to D:1 to make sure Azreal stops following me (if he could follow across levels) would be a pain. Not even having a choice when to do Lair (after a dungeon linearisation) would be a pity.

I actually quite like stairdancing. This might make me more critical of your proposals.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 23:14

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Well, the OP said that the question "should stair dancing be nerfed?" is not within the scope of this thread. If you want to create another thread, I'll gladly respond to about your argument, which I feel is flawed in many ways.
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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 23:18

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I was only trying to critice specific proposals :P

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Post Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 23:21

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

If you're talking about proposal 2 (or the Brogue mechanism), then in your case, Azrael will not follow you all the way to level 1. A single teleport will get rid of him, most likely. You can also jump down a shaft. In Brogue, you can jump down a hole and non-flying enemies will not follow you. Going upstairs and then jumping down a hole is a standard way to avoid enemies you can't kill (Brogue has many more of those than Crawl).

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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 04:00

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

TheMeInTeam wrote:Is it technically viable to have monsters on separate floors continue tracking the player and use the stairs like any other action as long as they're aggro? This is similar to proposal #2 and effectively makes stairs like a one tile hallway on the Y axis. This seems like the most solid design solution, but that only matters if it can be reasonably implemented.

Based on my limited knowledge, I think it would be extremely hard to continue to do anything on floors that have been left. The only approach that seems remotely feasible is to count up each monster's "time to stairs" when you leave a given level. Even that raises headaches (how did those 8 orcs all squeeze through that one-tile corridor at once?) and implementation gotchas (what if the player returns to the level before all the monsters would have left it, now we have to take them off the transit list and put them back on the level) but would not be infeasible.

Stairs become like a 2-wide hallway - you don't block them.
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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 04:07

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I don't like the idea of monsters coming up stairs after a delay. First, it gives players even more stuff to keep track of (counting down the turns until the monster comes through the stairs). Second, it reduces the separation between levels of the game, making them more like one larger level...and in DCSS, how well a level plays tends to be inversely proportional to its size.

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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 08:33

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Aean wrote:It feels like a lot of people are missing the point, and trying to prevent stair dancing mechanically, rather than trying to address the issues that LEAD to stair dancing.

It's the same basic concept as with luring - it's "optimal" to lure monsters back to secure locations, but the solution is not to make it impossible to move backwards, but rather to make moving forwards more beneficial.


I like your idea, but there is still major difference, it is not possible to move a single tile on the same floor and find your are now in the middle of monster pack which you have never seen before, but it is possible after going downstairs. So some kind of stair-dancing should be available unless the described situation is not possible by some game change.
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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 16:45

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
I like your idea, but there is still major difference, it is not possible to move a single tile on the same floor and find your are now in the middle of monster pack which you have never seen before, but it is possible after going downstairs. So some kind of stair-dancing should be available unless the described situation is not possible by some game change.

That's sorta my point. Rather than doing as so many of these people are suggesting and trying to mechanically make stairdancing impossible (e.g. by removing up stairs), players should be given better incentives to do things besides stairdancing every monster.

That way, excessive stairdancing is curbed, and players still have the option of stairdancing/retreating to a safe level/backtracking to a different stair or branch if they need it.

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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 17:40

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 18:33

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

A reasonable case can be made for luring incentives directly, however. If monsters are truly threatening, even from a thematic perspective luring is intuitive. Good (from winrate perspective) positioning is intuitively obvious to players with hundreds of wins, in the same way the AC being good is intuitively obvious to players with hundreds of wins. That doesn't by itself mean luring is any worse as a mechanic than AC.

If one wishes to suggest luring is inherently degenerate or tedious, it might be worth pinning down what qualifies mechanics for either of those designations *generally*, in a way that constrains anticipation. Could be used as a litmus test for mechanics in general then. Just as an example, it's not at all clear why backing off because it's safer to fight fewer enemies at once is bad, while backing off so your foxfire spell works better is good.

Stairdancing fits into this consideration too, but it has enough unique/questionable properties (time inconsistency, only adjacent monsters, impact on defensive stats, gate effect, rules for monster reaction/movement) that it's worth exploring as a mechanic independently from general luring/movement concept. There's some stuff going on here that an unspoiled player likely wouldn't intuit and that can create some frustrating scenarios. It's legit possible in principle to nerf stairdancing while still making it more intuitive/leaving less frustrating situations on the floor below. So maybe this is worth considering completely independently from luring/movement in general, for now.

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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 19:07

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 21:12

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

^ I basically said the same thing (luring is best discussed separately), in response to it being mentioned here.

As for discussion on what is degenerate/tedious, that IS relevant to this thread specifically. Any alteration to stairdancing, nerf or not, should ideally make the interaction less so rather than more so. Especially because the present form of stairdancing is not exactly free from being accused of either.

We only got as far as post #2 before a change that would, if implemented by itself, increase tedium appeared (no backtracking = more time spend tinkering with optimized/constrained inventory). That can be mitigated by also altering inventory management, but it wasn't suggested.

Edit: noting the gesture, I too will strike the meta-discussion and personal stuff from posts here.
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Post Thursday, 12th December 2019, 21:32

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 08:58

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

How is TheMeInTeam exhibiting bad faith?

BTW:
Implojin wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:That doesn't by itself mean luring is any worse as a mechanic than AC.

My dude, are you seriously using AC as a litmus for acceptable mechanics?

Using AC as a litmus test is perfectly valid. AC is considered a good mechanic. Something cannot be bad because of a feature it shares with AC.
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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 16:53

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I can't speak for implojin, but I think coming in here and saying that no prior discussion or argument about these issues exists, that no arguments or evidence have been marshalled, when this is clearly, demonstrably untrue and abundant evidence to the contrary exists in the archives of this site, for example, that our dude pretends does not exist and acts as though it is incumbent on everyone else to spoon feed to him -- I think this is obnoxious behavior that does not conform with his self-presentation as someone interested in the facts, the evidence, the logic. Just my opinion. If you want to talk the way he does, you need to do the reading first.
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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 19:47

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

tealizard wrote:I can't speak for implojin, but I think coming in here and saying that no prior discussion or argument about these issues exists, that no arguments or evidence have been marshalled, when this is clearly, demonstrably untrue and abundant evidence to the contrary exists in the archives of this site, for example, that our dude pretends does not exist and acts as though it is incumbent on everyone else to spoon feed to him -- I think this is obnoxious behavior that does not conform with his self-presentation as someone interested in the facts, the evidence, the logic. Just my opinion. If you want to talk the way he does, you need to do the reading first.


No, it is not reasonable to assume people have read threads that are months to years old. If there are arguments in them salient to this thread, either repeat the relevant arguments in this thread or link to them.
Last edited by TheMeInTeam on Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 01:17, edited 1 time in total.

vt

Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 20:33

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Another proposal: I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the bcrawl approach of (iiuc) having a small chance to penalize the player each time they take stairs. I guess you might do something like this if you don't mind some stairdancing and don't mind how exploration is currently centered around exploring from the stairs as the escape to safety, but dislike the "><tabtabtab repeat" pattern.

TBH I don't think I'd defend this over either of the other approaches in OP, but maybe it's worth getting on the table. It is at least a reasonable idea and has the advantage that presumably someone can pipe in with how well it works or doesn't, in practice

I think people have been speculating about ways to nerf stairdancing and their side-effects the entire time I've been playing crawl, several years. Is there a next step we're moving toward? (Out of curiosity, is this even perceived as a problem by the current devteam?)

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Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 21:22

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

It's true actually, bcrawl almost entirely stopped me stairdancing, and the mechanic they use is hardly obnoxious at all.
The bcrawl mechanic is that each time you take a stair you have a small chance of being teleported.
The only annoying thing is that this interrupts autotravel, which shouldn't be too hard to fix. (eg by making it only trigger if a monster is in LOS.)

I'm not sure whether this bypasses -Tele in bcrawl, but I think it should (or have a chance to shaft you if you have -Tele).

Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 21:36

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

vt wrote:Another proposal: I don't think anyone has yet mentioned the bcrawl approach of (iiuc) having a small chance to penalize the player each time they take stairs. I guess you might do something like this if you don't mind some stairdancing and don't mind how exploration is currently centered around exploring from the stairs as the escape to safety, but dislike the "><tabtabtab repeat" pattern.

TBH I don't think I'd defend this over either of the other approaches in OP, but maybe it's worth getting on the table. It is at least a reasonable idea and has the advantage that presumably someone can pipe in with how well it works or doesn't, in practice

I think people have been speculating about ways to nerf stairdancing and their side-effects the entire time I've been playing crawl, several years. Is there a next step we're moving toward? (Out of curiosity, is this even perceived as a problem by the current devteam?)


It's not perfect as a model because there will always be situations where you make the weighted chance optimal decision and get severely punished in spite of that choice, but it's definitely an improvement from standard crawl discovery traps to tether the penalty risk to a consistent, discreet player action around which the player has some choice.

I'm not sure whether this bypasses -Tele in bcrawl, but I think it should (or have a chance to shaft you if you have -Tele).


bcrawl removes discovery traps, so I'm not sure -tele is a necessary property in such a context. Maybe it's okay for formicids to be special that way since they don't get teleportation, and for normal species to not have access to it?

vt

Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 21:46

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Yeah I guess bcrawl's stair thing was also meant to be a change to the trap system, but that seems separable from the topic of stairdancing and like something we'd be better off setting aside for now. The penalization doesn't have to mimic the effect of a current or old trap.

Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 21:58

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I mean, we COULD just brute force make going upstairs take longer. Say the ceiling is really high or something (huge monsters are flying on these floors anyway, so it's not exactly a stretch). Players aren't going to be too excited to stairdance if it's like putting on a piece of armor while adjacent to something, but there will still be some times where it's worth doing. Less unintuitive than a random teleportation chance too.

Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 13th December 2019, 22:28

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Yes but, if going up the stairs takes a long time, and you take an unlucky stair down, you're f'ed. You couldn't go back up without dying. Reading a Tele scroll could still leave you dying.
The elegance of the bcrawl system is that you can still stairdance if you really need to. But if you stairdance all the time it eats through your consumables faster than they're replenished. (because bad teleports force you to use consumables.)
I like this because it gives the player an interesting choice.

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 15th December 2019, 16:30

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

How about making all upstairs single use only? Then a player can still escape those 'Sigmund and Grinder and two orc priests in a room oh my' occasions, but that would be it. No dancing.

Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 16th December 2019, 16:55

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Moanerette wrote:How about making all upstairs single use only? Then a player can still escape those 'Sigmund and Grinder and two orc priests in a room oh my' occasions, but that would be it. No dancing.


You could soft lock yourself this way, so it's not ideal.

If really bad situations on-down are an issue, that could be handled by limiting what can be procedurally generated in the immediate view from stairs. Absent that, any nerf to stairdancing is an inherent nerf to player agency in these situations, which is already not 100% guaranteed as-is. Such a change would greatly boost stealth and frail species though, if we care.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 16th December 2019, 17:16

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Moanerette wrote:Then a player can still escape those 'Sigmund and Grinder and two orc priests in a room oh my' occasions, but that would be it.
These situations are good and players shouldn't get an automatic escape from them

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Implojin

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Post Monday, 16th December 2019, 19:09

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

duvessa wrote:
Moanerette wrote:Then a player can still escape those 'Sigmund and Grinder and two orc priests in a room oh my' occasions, but that would be it.
These situations are good and players shouldn't get an automatic escape from them


Going up stairs is not an automatic escape from them.

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bel

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 03:30

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

FWIW, the idea of "going downstairs and you see you're screwed, so you go back up again", is addressed in my "upstairs pass" proposal. The idea in the proposal is simple: make taking upstairs not free, but provide limited "outs". So you can't stair dance indefinitely, but you can still go back up if you really need it.

It would address comments like this:
petercordia wrote:Yes but, if going up the stairs takes a long time, and you take an unlucky stair down, you're f'ed. You couldn't go back up without dying. Reading a Tele scroll could still leave you dying.
The elegance of the bcrawl system is that you can still stairdance if you really need to. But if you stairdance all the time it eats through your consumables faster than they're replenished. (because bad teleports force you to use consumables.)
I like this because it gives the player an interesting choice.


VeryAngryFelid wrote:I like your idea, but there is still major difference, it is not possible to move a single tile on the same floor and find your are now in the middle of monster pack which you have never seen before, but it is possible after going downstairs. So some kind of stair-dancing should be available unless the described situation is not possible by some game change.


In general, I think more things in Crawl would feel better if you allowed randomness, but provide people with limited outs. For instance, Spelunky starts off the player with ropes and bombs so that the player has some outs in case he is unlucky because of the game's randomness. I have argued this proposition before in another context as well.

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chequers

Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 17:00

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

The outs exist in crawl in the form of consumables, it's just that early game you often don't have them or are forced to use them blindly due to ID minigame, so sometimes in early game they're not available no matter what your usage strategy is.

I don't think curing + TP would help with drastically altered stairs rules though.

Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 19:02

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
Last edited by Implojin on Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.

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duvessa

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 19:30

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Visiting a floor for the first time (by going down stairs), players get to act first. So no matter how dangerous the situation, you get one shot to do something useful. There aren't many situations that can't be drastically improved with things like blink, fog, fear, invis, haste etc..

In some ways teleport traps and opening doors is more dangerous than going downstairs to a new floor. One can open a door and get paralysed, or get hit by LCS.

By the way, do shafts allow acting first on new floors?

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 20:22

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

I propose we have two different dungeon features: Stairs and Ladders..

Stairs function exactly as they do now.
Ladders let you ascend/descend, but not if any hostile creatures are adjacent to you (monsters don't follow you at all, since you can't use them) It doesn't count wandering monsters, or confused monsters or sleeping monsters, and allows you to ascend *on your first action on a new floor* regardless of any adjacent creatures.

In the beginning of the dungeon everything is a staircase, as you descend lower into the dungeon (and have more consumables available) you have a greater and greater likelihood of encountering ladders instead of stairs, to the point where everything from D:7 or so will almost certainly be a ladder.

I think some branch entrances should explicitly be stairs and some ladders, and some random (for example, lair could be a staircase, but orc could be a ladder, making orc a much dicier prospect to enter) I think some branches could explicitly use stairs instead of ladders (for example it might make sense from a game design perspective if the vaults only used stairs, or used them sometimes)

Since stairs function as replacement escape options when you don't have consumables (or don't have them identified) this preserves that possible use of them, while weaning the player off them as they become more experienced.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 21:33

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

Siegurt's ladder suggestion would help with this particular issue, though it might be worth simply tossing the ID minigame and using ladders earlier too, depending on how consumables typically become available.
Last edited by TheMeInTeam on Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 01:18, edited 1 time in total.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 352

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 21:51

Re: Update stair logic (nerf stair dancing)

okay
Last edited by Implojin on Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 23:46, edited 1 time in total.

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