Wand ID and consumable destruction


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

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1774

Joined: Monday, 21st February 2011, 15:57

Location: South Carolina

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 21:25

Wand ID and consumable destruction

It used to be that the scroll of immolation would destroy some of your scrolls when you read it. So if you wanted to be smart when reading an unidentified scroll, you needed to drop all of your other scrolls beforehand. This was spoilery and encouraged grind-like behavior, so the scroll was changed.

Zapping yourself with a wand is a good way to identify it. It uses up what might be a valuable charge, and it can hurt you and make noise, so you have to think before you do it, (IE, it's a well designed option,) but there's a decent chance of losing scrolls or potions if you end up zapping yourself with fire, flame, frost, cold, fireball, or random effects. So you kind of want to drop all of your potions and scrolls first.

I think it's inconvenient to do so, and grindy just like it was with the scroll of immolation.

Should wands be changed such that zapping yourself with them still causes damage, but can not destroy consumables?

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1500

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 17:47

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 21:39

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

I see one downside to your idea, namely that when a monster zaps a fire or ice wand at you, you can get consumable damage. They never used scrolls of immolation.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 21:48

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

jejorda2 wrote:It used to be that the scroll of immolation would destroy some of your scrolls when you read it. So if you wanted to be smart when reading an unidentified scroll, you needed to drop all of your other scrolls beforehand. This was spoilery and encouraged grind-like behavior, so the scroll was changed.

Zapping yourself with a wand is a good way to identify it. It uses up what might be a valuable charge, and it can hurt you and make noise, so you have to think before you do it, (IE, it's a well designed option,) but there's a decent chance of losing scrolls or potions if you end up zapping yourself with fire, flame, frost, cold, fireball, or random effects. So you kind of want to drop all of your potions and scrolls first.

I think it's inconvenient to do so, and grindy just like it was with the scroll of immolation.

Should wands be changed such that zapping yourself with them still causes damage, but can not destroy consumables?


There are ways to identify wands without having to burn through ID scrolls or inflict them on yourself, which isn't the case with scrolls of immolation. You get no warning if the scroll you're about to read-ID is immolation, whereas you can just point the wand at somebody else to zap-ID it.

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 721

Joined: Thursday, 9th August 2012, 20:23

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 22:10

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

    Wands that cause Consumable Destruction can be identified by casting them at a wall. If you do so and nothing happens then you've just ruled out it being a Wand of Frost, Flame, Cold, Fire, or Fireball - as well as several other Wand types.

    You can also zap wands that cause Consumable Destruction at Monsters. If you do so then again you'll rule out the Wand being Frost, Flame, Cold, Fire, or Fireball - with a chance of also finding it if it is something that causes Status effects.

    For props, injure the monster first and then zap it - now you can find out if it is a Heal Wounds Wand.

Long story short, there is no need to zap yourself with an Un-IDed wand that you have never used before, until far later into the game when you have ID most of the Wands and the only ones left can't really hurt you are might by Wand of Hasting, Heal Wounds, or Invisibility. At most you are wasting a charge or two of a valuable wand, but generally nothing to really care about.
A Google Doc I wrote up in regards to making a new 'workable' definition for the Roguelike Genre:
Defining the Roguelike Genre
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 22:36

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

Fire a wand at a monster with low MR, standing in front of a wall.

Tada! You have succesfully identified it.

The idea that someone would test a wand by zapping it at him/herself is just silly anyway. Would you check if a gun is loaded by putting it against your head and pulling the trigger?
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Wednesday, 16th January 2013, 23:22

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

minmay wrote:Wands should just identify when you zap them. Finding a low-HD low-MR monster and luring it to a wall is grindy (and yeah, zapping them at yourself is suboptimal in the current system).


The truth is that I can never be bothered to do that for a charge or two, I just use the wand on the first thing I come across that has slight resistance or worse, if it somehow resists I just hit it with it until it works. If it has no effect I fire against the closest wall to check if its digging.

Making them auto ID would be nice, but it isn't a big deal either way. I like testing them on monsters anyway, its kind of fun.

Zapping oneself should remain suboptimal though, it makes no sense for an adventurer to go down on a dungeon and start zapping himself with wands that will almost certainly hurt him

zrn

User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 112

Joined: Friday, 25th February 2011, 01:38

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 00:17

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

jejorda2 knows how to id wands. He's not asking for tips n tricks on how to id wands. Nor was he asking if it made sense from a realistic standpoint to zap them at yourself. Seriously what does the comparison to a gun in real life have to do with anything ever? It is grindy to first drop all your potions and scrolls before zapping a wand at yourself if that's how you want to id it. Zapping yourself with an un-identified wand causing consumable damage doesn't balance it to make it suboptimal even if that was the design goal, as you can just drop your potions and scrolls before trying it. People arguing consumable damage balances it from a realism perspective makes no sense anyhow, considering it's a wand in a fantasy video game. The only negative to self targeting with no potions or scrolls is the wand remaining un-id'd if it's digging, polymorph, or possibly random effects. The only possible argument against this is a buff to wand of fireball no longer burning your scrolls when it zap it on yourself or at an adjacent enemy. Of course wands fired from monsters would still destroy consumables. The way I see it either it's changed so player-zapped wands never destroy consumables, only destroy potions/scroll when identified, or all this nonsense could be avoided if we just listen to the wise minmay and always id wands on the first zap.

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 721

Joined: Thursday, 9th August 2012, 20:23

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 00:33

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

minmay wrote:Wands should just identify when you zap them. Finding a low-HD low-MR monster and luring it to a wall is grindy (and yeah, zapping them at yourself is suboptimal in the current system).


I'd maybe up this to 'Wands should just identify regardless of whether you fail to use your un-IDed Wand of 'Insert Status Ailment Here' or succeed. It sort of makes intuitive sense that if you zap a Wall with a Wand of Confusion that you don't learn you have a Wand of Confusion - the Wall isn't sentient and can't be confused. Any monster though might look like it becomes Confused Momentarily before training its sights back on you, so you can have your IDed wand from a simple failure.
A Google Doc I wrote up in regards to making a new 'workable' definition for the Roguelike Genre:
Defining the Roguelike Genre
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 00:37

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

zrn wrote: People arguing consumable damage somehow balances it from a realism perspective makes no sense anyhow, considering it's a wand in a fantasy video game.


The fact it is a fantasy video game doesn't mean it doesn't have its own internal fairy tale logic, you still have to eat right?

zrn wrote:Seriously what does the comparison to a gun in real life have to do with anything ever? It is grindy to first drop all your potions and scrolls before zapping a wand at yourself if that's how you want to id it. Zapping yourself with an un-identified wand causing consumable damage doesn't balance it to make it suboptimal even if that was the design goal, as you can just drop your potions and scrolls before trying it.


Well, I think its bothersome enough to consider better alternatives isn't it? The first thing a new player will do when finding a potentially dangerous item will be using it on hostiles, not on himself, this applies in the real world, in fairy land and pretty much any place that you can think of, so why are you going to penalize players that make the most logical decision by making it the suboptimal one? (the optimal one being zapping yourself in this case).
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 00:47

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

Hmmm I think a good "middle ground" solution would be for all wands to ID when cast on a monster, independently of its resistance and the outcome of the zap (this includes digging). It takes away the possible grinding, but it doesn't remove the risk element of using haste or polymorph on the monster and regretting it. Zapping oneself should still be possible, but I don't see why it should be made the most practical solution.
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 01:03

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

Well, somebody might decide to use a monster with low MR but decent HD and polymorph it into a more threatening monster. Hasting a monster, even if its harmless, might be situationally dangerous?

Honestly, I just like zapping things at monsters to identify them, even if it doesn't make much sense gameplay wise.

Having them ID on zap, though, would make it pointless to have to identify them in the first place. Why have wands unidentified if the first thing a player is going to do with them is fire them in a random direction to know what he is using? Might as well remove the identifying mini-game for wands and remove a single charge from every wand in the game, the outcome is going to be the same
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 405

Joined: Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:42

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 01:30

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

minmay wrote:That gets brought up every time I propose wand auto-ID. It'd work, but it'd absolutely not be the same thing; would you really rather use a heal wounds charge than an identify scroll?


Not a identify scroll, that is the least worthy of scroll, but think of amnesia acquirement...

Scrolls of recharging are relatively common, and each equals to several charges, plus the best wands have counterparts in other consumables and spells.

Thinking a bit about it, i have come to the radical conclusion that I like the whole thing the most as it is now in the game, my own middlr ground proposal has exactly the same problem

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 721

Joined: Thursday, 9th August 2012, 20:23

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 02:38

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

Having Wands Auto-ID when cast on Monsters Sounds fine - I personally don't see enough difference between 'finding a Harmless monster to test your wand on' and 'finding a Harmless monster with low MR to test you wand on'; simply put there aren't a whole lot of harmless monster with high MR.

I don't think it is grindy either - one of the key themes in crawl is that you are going to be plowing through monsters left and right anyways, so Harmless monsters are going to be coming in spades for you that you shouldn't have to needlessly search for one to Wand-ID on.
A Google Doc I wrote up in regards to making a new 'workable' definition for the Roguelike Genre:
Defining the Roguelike Genre

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1774

Joined: Monday, 21st February 2011, 15:57

Location: South Carolina

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 02:56

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

If I zap a harmless monster with lightning or fireball, it wakes up the whole level and sends them rushing my way! The only way I know it's safe is if I lure a harmless monster upstairs. That's why I'd rather zap myself upstairs.

Is disintegration noisy? Always, or just when it causes an explosion?

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 721

Joined: Thursday, 9th August 2012, 20:23

Post Thursday, 17th January 2013, 04:50

Re: Wand ID and consumable destruction

jejorda2 wrote:If I zap a harmless monster with lightning or fireball, it wakes up the whole level and sends them rushing my way! The only way I know it's safe is if I lure a harmless monster upstairs. That's why I'd rather zap myself upstairs.

Is disintegration noisy? Always, or just when it causes an explosion?


If you zap a harmless monster with lightning or fireball, I doubt the dangerous monster coming behind it is going to remain dangerous with the remaining charges on your new identified wand.

There are appropriate tactics to undertake if noise is a concern in any case - backtracking, using the wand when there are only a few rooms around you with possible monsters, going up a staircase and down another; you should be able to get around these problems. If you are Stealthy character as well or a spell-caster when Mephitic Cloud or Swiftness, then Noise from an un-IDed wand is even less of a concern since you either already know its safe or you can make it safe.
A Google Doc I wrote up in regards to making a new 'workable' definition for the Roguelike Genre:
Defining the Roguelike Genre

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.