Experience change idea: give experience pools to monsters


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Barkeep

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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 02:22

Experience change idea: give experience pools to monsters

Hi devs (and others),

I've read a bunch of proposals for changes to the experience pool to limit victory dancing and (hopefully) make the experience system less confusing, but I haven't seen this one yet. It seems like a pretty obvious idea, so there's probably a major hole I'm missing. If it's a repeat, many apologies.

Idea: Each monster has an amount of experience it can give you (the same amount as now). Various actions taken near the monster (attacking it, being attacked by it, etc) incrementally transfer experience to the player. On killing the monster, the remaining experience is transferred to the player. A monster's experience pool can never be refilled, and summoned monsters start with an empty pool. Allies empty a monster's pool like you do, but only transfer some percent of experience to the player.

So, for example, you're a caster who wants to train fighting. You're in Lair and see a giant snail. Hit it with mephitic cloud (transfers some experience) and start bashing. Each swing will transfer some experience, and so you'll have some experience in the pool to train fighting. Even if you need to retreat and nuke it to death, you've had some chance to train fighting.

Or, you're a summoner. See an ogre, and surround it with spammals. As they injure it (and are injured by it), your experience pool fills slowly, and by the time it's almost dead, the pool is already empty -- it's no longer optimal to try and sneak in for the kill.

There are a bunch of things that'd need to be decided -- what actions should drain the pool? I'd argue that in a lot of encounters, escaping should be worth something (getting away from an early centaur is huge for some characters), so maybe blinking or quaffing !haste or reading a scroll of fear would work. And deciding on a rate at which it should be drained is a definite balance issue.

Finally: it might also make sense to have the skill that was used in an event see at least some exercise, even if it's disabled in the skill screen. If you're hitting monsters with a mace, you can't totally avoid training maces and fighting; that experience would be taken off up-front. Maybe experience transferred by summons would exercise summoning?

I don't worry too much that people would intentionally leave monsters alive -- I want that hydra dead not because I want experience, but because it's dangerous. I do worry a little that there might be scummy ways to abuse this (go around and mephitic cloud tons of monsters over and over again?) but most of them seem like they'd just get you killed.

Thoughts?
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 02:45

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

It is a new idea (at least I've never seen it before) and it has a set of advantages. I like it, and I'll think some more about it.

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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 02:55

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

njvack wrote:I do worry a little that there might be scummy ways to abuse this (go around and mephitic cloud tons of monsters over and over again?) but most of them seem like they'd just get you killed.

This isn't really any different than spamming mephitic cloud to practice poison/air when your experience pool is full. Also, since monsters have a limited pool that will be drained by this, I don't see it as abuse.

I also like the system in that it rewards the players with training the skill with experience gathered at the time of use, rather than through previous encounters -- which seems less abusable, actually.
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 03:21

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

Elyvilon's pacification might be a slightly tricky case; maybe it'd stop working (or have a large malus to success) if the monster's pool were more than half drained? Narratively, it'd work pretty well; if you've been harassing a monster for a while, it's not gonna take well to being pacified.
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 03:24

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I like the idea too!

Getting XP from *how* you interacted with the monster (and maybe traps), and not from doing something unrelated to how you got the experience, makes a lot of sense to me.

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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 03:38

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

The problem is training non-combat skills, as with a few other suggestions that have come up. If you want to train enchantments, for instance, you have to intentionally keep a hydra in line-of-sight and spam something completely unrelated to fighting hydrae, like Repel Missiles, until that hydra's pool is used up. The new victory dancing would be to milk every available monster for xp before killing it, which at the very least would feel pretty odd.
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Barkeep

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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 07:03

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I haven't played much trunk, but I've heard Ench has been split into Hexes and Charms. If so, Hexes (Slow, Confuse, etc.) should train normally.

As far as Charms (Haste, etc) go, maybe if you have active Charm effects, they syphon off some of the experience as it transfers. That way, not only would you be able to train your school of buffs by being buffed during fights, you wouldn't be able to totally avoid it.

And it wouldn't totally eliminate the experience pool (some experience won't be gobbled up by the skills involved in an action; in the pathological case, think maxed skills) -- it'd just tend to keep it emptier. Hopefully enough to make its display unnecessary -- at least in exact numeric form. Some kind of piety-like meter seems OK.
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 10:48

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

Good point on skills/actions which are not directly related to monsters. As occurred to me later, Enchantments should be exercised when they're used (e.g. you are shot at while having Repel Missiles). There are still other cases: should you train a skill when casting Dig and reshaping the dungeon? (That's an indication the Dig spell is problematic; see Eino's page on the dev wiki.)
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 15:54

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

On Fulsome Distillation: you'll probably have at least some experience after a fight, just not so much as before. And as far as translocations go, the more I think about it, the more it seems to make sense to have apportation and blink drain nearby monsters' pools, at least somewhat. You'd probably even get something out of Banishment, which seems fair.

Dig really is problematic, as are things like haste, swiftness, flight, levitation, regeneration, and necromutation. However, I'm not sure those are so much spells you'd use to exercise skills as they are spells you use when your skills are already high. Dunno on that point, though.

Traps & Doors is a skill I don't really get anyhow, but that's another topic altogether. I agree: there's no obvious way to train it (except for experience that winds up flowing into your pool after other skills have trained), but I think that's the way things work now, too.

Alter Self doesn't make much sense to me, either. Ugly Things are everywhere by the time you'd have any chance of casting it.
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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 19:42

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

The experience transfer should happen on killing the enemy; instead of actually training skills by doing stuff in front of monsters, simply determine the allotment. (this is so you actually have to kill things to learn)
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Barkeep

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Post Saturday, 22nd January 2011, 19:57

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I can see that line of reasoning; however, I'd argue that Crawl is as much about knowing what monsters you can't handle yet and escaping from them as it is about killing everything you see. Rewarding that has a certain appeal. And narratively? Escaping Sigmund on D:2 alive would certainly leave me more experienced ;-)

Balance-wise, you certainly wouldn't want it to too easy to drain a monster's pool without killing it.

As a practical matter, I don't think it'd make a whole lot of difference, advancement-wise. Trying to dive and kite high-experience monsters before you're ready will probably just get you killed.
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 00:12

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

njvack wrote:I can see that line of reasoning; however, I'd argue that Crawl is as much about knowing what monsters you can't handle yet and escaping from them as it is about killing everything you see. Rewarding that has a certain appeal. And narratively? Escaping Sigmund on D:2 alive would certainly leave me more experienced ;-)

Balance-wise, you certainly wouldn't want it to too easy to drain a monster's pool without killing it.

As a practical matter, I don't think it'd make a whole lot of difference, advancement-wise. Trying to dive and kite high-experience monsters before you're ready will probably just get you killed.

Seems hard to balance, but it would be the way to add a thief playstyle. Sneaking, but more focused on avoiding monsters than stabbing them. Not sure how we could make that playstyle exciting though.
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 02:29

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

tie it to Ratri, and use Ratri to make it exciting
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Barkeep

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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 03:31

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

galehar wrote:Seems hard to balance, but it would be the way to add a thief playstyle. Sneaking, but more focused on avoiding monsters than stabbing them. Not sure how we could make that playstyle exciting though.


I can't argue; you're gonna have a better sense of game balance than I.

Just checked out a copy of the code with the thought "Oh hey, I'll try my hand at implementing this!" and... :shock:
Crawl is... complex.
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 10:37

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

MrMisterMonkey wrote:tie it to Ratri, and use Ratri to make it exciting

That is the plan. Unfortunately, that's about as vague as it gets (xp by exploration).

I like the idea of gaining xp by sneaking around monsters. Not killing a monster now might come back to bite you later, so that's balancing in itself. And if xp is siphoned off monsters during the fight, that gets rid of players letting allies (or pacified monsters) do the work and then trying to get in the killing blow for full xp.

You could get xp for traps & doors by closing a door in a monster's face or by leading monsters onto traps.
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 15:29

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I also like this whole idea. One thing that is not completly clear to me, is that the experience that is "drained" from a monster e.g. by bashing goes (partially) to a pool or goes all directly to the skill? If the former, than I think the training of non-combat skills can be solved that only they are able to drain the pool, or at least skills frequently used in combat has a much smaller chance to drain from the pool. So simply using non-combat skills will do the training, because the much more frequently used combat skills will not empty the pool. Of course needs tweaking how much xp goes into the pool.

Traps and doors skill is a strange skill to me also, but if it's tedious to train wihtout disarming traps when the pool is full now, simply gave it more chance to draw xp from the pool - if one does not want this, she can always switch it off. I never had too many trouble with it. For me this idea worths enough to sacrifice training the traps and doors skill with disarming. I know no other skill which would suffer.
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Barkeep

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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 18:08

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

sanka wrote:One thing that is not completly clear to me, is that the experience that is "drained" from a monster e.g. by bashing goes (partially) to a pool or goes all directly to the skill? If the former, than I think the training of non-combat skills can be solved that only they are able to drain the pool, or at least skills frequently used in combat has a much smaller chance to drain from the pool. So simply using non-combat skills will do the training, because the much more frequently used combat skills will not empty the pool. Of course needs tweaking how much xp goes into the pool.


The basic idea isn't dependent on how much experience gets into the pool -- I can imagine:

1: All experience goes into the pool -- you just get it incrementally. Used skills skim 0% of the transfer. Reduces victory dancing, because you have the opportunity to use experience from a monster during the encounter with it.

2: Used skills skim 100% of the experience that'd go in the pool. The pool exists only to hold skill that can't transfer because all skills that'd skim are completely trained. Turning skills on and off in the Skill Menu only affects transfers in which multiple skills would get experience (Spellcasting and Transmutation, Fighting and Long Blades, Armor and Dodging).

3: Something in between. Skills either always skim some experience on each transfer, or have a chance of doing so on each transfer.

I'd imagined #3, but I don't really know what would be best, and will happily defer to experts on this point ;-)
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 20:58

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I had a dream I was playing a version with crawl where this was implemented and it wasn't that terrible, but I was kinda sad nonetheless. >_>
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Post Sunday, 23rd January 2011, 23:48

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

njvack wrote:I can see that line of reasoning; however, I'd argue that Crawl is as much about knowing what monsters you can't handle yet and escaping from them as it is about killing everything you see. Rewarding that has a certain appeal. And narratively? Escaping Sigmund on D:2 alive would certainly leave me more experienced ;-)

Balance-wise, you certainly wouldn't want it to too easy to drain a monster's pool without killing it.

As a practical matter, I don't think it'd make a whole lot of difference, advancement-wise. Trying to dive and kite high-experience monsters before you're ready will probably just get you killed.


Experience for successfully running away?

That actually makes a pacifist conduct possible. :lol:

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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 17:15

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

This is probably the most innovative system i've seen suggested. Has someone made a wiki page about this yet?

This is the first one i can remember where noone has immediately come up with an obvious disadvantage.

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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 17:54

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

ryak wrote:This is the first one i can remember where noone has immediately come up with an obvious disadvantage.


I would classify being forced to victory dance utility skills in front of a hydra while the hydra was still alive as an obvious disadvantage. It's hard to pick up a new tool if you have to carefully milk many potentially lethal monsters for xp just to make the new tool functional.

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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 18:36

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

KoboldLord wrote:
ryak wrote:This is the first one i can remember where noone has immediately come up with an obvious disadvantage.


I would classify being forced to victory dance utility skills in front of a hydra while the hydra was still alive as an obvious disadvantage. It's hard to pick up a new tool if you have to carefully milk many potentially lethal monsters for xp just to make the new tool functional.


I believe the obvious solution to this has already been discussed. You still have an exp pool for the experience which isn't used up by the time the monster dies (Whether this is because your combat skills are maxed or you just killed the enemy quickly or maybe a certain percent of exp would always go to the pool). Utililty skills can pull exp from this pool.

Also, making sure you have to use it on potentially lethal monsters to train your skills (As opposed to safely victory dancing to do so) is the explicit purpose of the change, so thats a good thing!

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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 20:12

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

ryak wrote:I believe the obvious solution to this has already been discussed. You still have an exp pool for the experience which isn't used up by the time the monster dies (Whether this is because your combat skills are maxed or you just killed the enemy quickly or maybe a certain percent of exp would always go to the pool). Utililty skills can pull exp from this pool.


What if I don't want yet more xp to go into my direct kill ability? I assure you I already jacked that thing up as high as I needed it as priority #1. If I want to train my utility skills as quickly as possible without wasting any xp on skills I don't want to improve at this moment, I have to milk the monster and then victory dance any leftovers.

ryak wrote:Also, making sure you have to use it on potentially lethal monsters to train your skills (As opposed to safely victory dancing to do so) is the explicit purpose of the change, so thats a good thing!


It remains to be seen, however, whether it would actually be an improvement over the status quo to make the core self-improvement process involve pillar-dancing with a training pet. I'm not really sure I *want* to drag every last giant or slug across the level to a cleared-out training gym, where I kite it around in a circle to safely extract every last juicy xp and make sure it goes exactly where I want it.

Maybe I'm overly pessimistic. I'd certainly try it out if it was actually implemented, and brainstorming can be productive even if the initial idea isn't perfect. I don't think it's fair to say that the suggestion is completely without any down sides at all for every interested party, however.
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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 23:21

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

ryak wrote:This is probably the most innovative system i've seen suggested. Has someone made a wiki page about this yet?


Not yet -- I will if the baby stays asleep for a while longer.

ryak wrote:This is the first one i can remember where noone has immediately come up with an obvious disadvantage.


Well, as mentioned above, "disadvantage" is relative ;-)

Every change nerfs an established, optimal tactic, even if it's only relative to other tactics. My personal take is that the current exp pool minigame, while fun enough, is really opaque at first -- and you need play it to succeed. Training fighting by nuking a giant and then melee'ing rats (or vice versa) is just not an obvious thing to do; learning that trick has been the main difference between getting killed mid-Lair and reliably making it to the bottom of Shoals.

I came into the game thinking all the swings I took at monsters without killing them was getting me something. This proposal was mostly aimed at making those swings actually get you something.
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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 23:29

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

I agree.

KoboldLord has a point: we are trying to get rid of victory dancing, a motivation many will support. But it is undeniably true that by doing so, we reduce the player's direct control on xp distribution. I think it will work out, just as you don't really have to victory dance right now for some playing styles. Yet ultimately, the decision between no victory dancing and less control is subjective, and there will be players who like the old model better.
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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 23:34

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

KoboldLord wrote:I would classify being forced to victory dance utility skills in front of a hydra while the hydra was still alive as an obvious disadvantage.


Yeah, a hydra would be a bad place to try and pick up your first level in Fighting or something. But if you can take one with a mace, why not try and hit him with Throw Frost while he's on his way over?

And if you had haste or blink or could disable the hydra, no reason not to practice new skills on it. Just, y'know, be careful. They're dangerous, them hydras. ;-)

As a point of reference, the level 14 DEWz I'm playing right now can go a few rounds with an Ugly Thing or slime creature, even if I need to retreat and nuke. But I don't unless my pool has some residual experience in it, because it's worthless to do so -- even though I'd like another couple levels in Fighting and Dodging.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 23:40

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

njvack wrote:
ryak wrote:This is probably the most innovative system i've seen suggested. Has someone made a wiki page about this yet?


Not yet -- I will if the baby stays asleep for a while longer.


Actually, does it belong here:

https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:experimental_skill_pool_changes

or in a new page? That one is already gigantic, but closely related.
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Post Tuesday, 25th January 2011, 23:47

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

njvack wrote:Actually, does it belong here: https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:experimental_skill_pool_changes or in a new page? That one is already gigantic, but closely related.

I would suggest you take a new page.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 27th January 2011, 17:29

Re: Experience change idea: give experience pools to monster

All right, I've made a wiki page:

https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... r_monsters

... and thus, it probably makes sense to lock this thread. Mods concur?
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