Detailed description for Fighting skill


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

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 15:27

Detailed description for Fighting skill

Is it possible to have description for Fighting skill like "You get 3.25 HP for every Fighting skill level at your current XL". It was frustrating to train Fighting to 7 for a Fe without getting a single HP.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3163

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 18:45

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 15:53

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

That shouldn't be possible unless you did so at level 1.
http://crawl.develz.org/info/inline.php?q=hp
(Felid HP aptitude is -4)

For this message the author BlackSheep has received thanks:
Sandman25

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 16:10

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

BlackSheep wrote:That shouldn't be possible unless you did so at level 1.
http://crawl.develz.org/info/inline.php?q=hp
(Felid HP aptitude is -4)


So for Fe it is (XL * Fighting / 8) * 0.6 and I suspect it is rounded down.
I cannot find exact data in my dump but I started training Fighting after getting a new level (to find out how much I would benefit from the skill) and didn't get any HP increase despite training Fighting to 7.5.
It happened at about XL 7 and I trained about 4 levels of Fighting (FeBe starts with Fighting 3.x AFAIK)
So it should be like 7 * 4 / 8 * 0.6 = 2.1. Perhaps I missed something.
I think it can be useful to see the info in game (especially for new players).

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6395

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 17:18

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Sandman25 wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:That shouldn't be possible unless you did so at level 1.
http://crawl.develz.org/info/inline.php?q=hp
(Felid HP aptitude is -4)


So for Fe it is (XL * Fighting / 8) * 0.6 and I suspect it is rounded down.
I cannot find exact data in my dump but I started training Fighting after getting a new level (to find out how much I would benefit from the skill) and didn't get any HP increase despite training Fighting to 7.5.
It happened at about XL 7 and I trained about 4 levels of Fighting (FeBe starts with Fighting 3.x AFAIK)
So it should be like 7 * 4 / 8 * 0.6 = 2.1. Perhaps I missed something.
I think it can be useful to see the info in game (especially for new players).


I suppose if you also had 3 levels of the "low HP" mutation (-60% max hp) you'd have gained 2.1*.4 = 0.84 (less than 1) max hps...

Of course I also find it unlikely that you trained all 7.5 levels of Fighting at XL 7 without gaining a level (It seems like you'd have gained at least one level in there somewhere) making it hard to say for certain if the HP gain was part of the level gain, or part of the fighting training. (While unusual, it's quite possible for the HP bonus from skill gain and level gain to happen at the same time)
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 17:32

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Siegurt wrote:I suppose if you also had 3 levels of the "low HP" mutation (-60% max hp) you'd have gained 2.1*.4 = 0.84 (less than 1) max hps...

Of course I also find it unlikely that you trained all 7.5 levels of Fighting at XL 7 without gaining a level (It seems like you'd have gained at least one level in there somewhere) making it hard to say for certain if the HP gain was part of the level gain, or part of the fighting training. (While unusual, it's quite possible for the HP bonus from skill gain and level gain to happen at the same time)


I took another look into my dump and now I think it happened at about XL 10 because my HP was 46 both before and after Fighting increase.
But really it is not relevant to my suggestion. Currently Fighting skill is confusing because there is no easy way to see how useful it is for the HP boost, that's my point.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 65

Joined: Wednesday, 14th November 2012, 23:06

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 17:54

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

I think you are thinking too much on this. The Fighting skill in Crawl will give you HP if you train it - this is basically all you need to know about training it. If you want HP and maybe some damage/accuracy boosts, go train that skill. The exact amount of HP gain isn't really important to show to the player. Crawl goes out of the way to try to keep such unnecessary data from the player's view, because it is needlessly distracting oftentimes. I honestly have no clue how the formula works because I'm fairly lazy, but I still don't find it troubling to train Fighting when I feel squishy.
Won Offline: NaFE(3), MiBe(3), HEIE(3), DsCj(3), MfSk(4), MfSk(15), DsIE(15).

I play online at crawl.s-z.org as Lyfon. There I have won: MfGl(15), NaTm(15), HEIE(15), HaAK(6), and NaDK(3).

For this message the author Lafaros has received thanks:
MIC132

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 18:16

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Lafaros wrote:I think you are thinking too much on this. The Fighting skill in Crawl will give you HP if you train it - this is basically all you need to know about training it. If you want HP and maybe some damage/accuracy boosts, go train that skill. The exact amount of HP gain isn't really important to show to the player. Crawl goes out of the way to try to keep such unnecessary data from the player's view, because it is needlessly distracting oftentimes. I honestly have no clue how the formula works because I'm fairly lazy, but I still don't find it troubling to train Fighting when I feel squishy.


Yes, I wanted HP for my Fe so I trained Fighting. I noticed I gain almost(?) no HP from training it so I stopped training it at skill level 7.5. I would NOT train it at all if I knew it gives 0.3HP per skill level or something. If you are fine with training useless skills instead of unarmed or dodging, I am fine with it too :)

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 19:41

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

It is just that the HP you get from fighting scales with your level, so sometimes the gains from getting levels in fighting is very low when you are at (relatively) low skill level. Maybe that fact could be made clearer in the description, without giving numbers, but really overall I don't think we want players worrying too much about what goes on behind the curtain. (In terms of actual calculations, etc; obviously the game play mechanic that results from those calculations should be as transparent as possible.)

A fairly low-level felid is, literally, the most extreme case one can take regarding this question. Yes you will get extremely marginal HP gains from fighting at until higher levels, but that's because of felid-ness, not fighting skill, which has a very palpable effect for all species (even Felids) once your skill level is large enough. Of course you can train it earlier you just won't see the returns until a bit later.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 20:57

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Sandman25 wrote:Is it possible to have description for Fighting skill like "You get 3.25 HP for every Fighting skill level at your current XL".

We rarely show numbers and never formulas, so it would be very weird to show that in the fighting skill description. The current description says it "increases your maximum hit points".

Sandman25 wrote:I think it can be useful to see the info in game (especially for new players).

It would be especially useless to new players. The "no number policy" is to prevent new players from getting drown in useless numerical details and help them focus on what's important.

Sandman25 wrote:I noticed I gain almost(?) no HP from training it so I stopped training it at skill level 7.5.

And how do you figure that out? The HP boost occurs at fractional skill level and it is a multiplier, so it scales with your base HP.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 21:40

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:I think it can be useful to see the info in game (especially for new players).

It would be especially useless to new players. The "no number policy" is to prevent new players from getting drown in useless numerical details and help them focus on what's important.


Sandman25 wrote:I noticed I gain almost(?) no HP from training it so I stopped training it at skill level 7.5.

And how do you figure that out? The HP boost occurs at fractional skill level and it is a multiplier, so it scales with your base HP.

He didn't "figure" that out, because the GUI doesn't give him the information needed to do any figuring. Since this "useless" numerical detail is hidden from him, he failed to notice he got any increase at all because the GUI forces him to focus on things that are "important".

I wonder if all of the arguments over numbers could be solved by simply offering a choice between a simplified and a detailed view of information screens?

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 21:44

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl: Exactly, and that's a strong point of the game.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 22:02

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

dpeg wrote:Hurkyl: Exactly, and that's a strong point of the game.

Really? You think that telling people that Fighting increases HP, then making them think all the EXP they spent on Fighting didn't give them any HP at all to be a good thing?

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 50

Joined: Tuesday, 27th August 2013, 17:08

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 22:22

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Calm thineself. It adds realism in that
a) you know roughly what it should do (like studying for a test) thought it may differ slightly from perfect expectations
b) sometimes life screws you over (aka major theme of roguelikes in general)
and
c) people are much less tempted to meta-game their characters to some mathematically-determined and grindy-to-get-to optimum

Plus its open source and has a wiki, so those who really care can search either the code itself or the masses of wiki info for the actual formula. And if what you see seems badly enough wrong, then perhaps it should be submitted as a bug and not as a change to remove the realism in points a, b, & c.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 22:25

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl: Yes. Everyone who has played Crawl for a bit knows how Fighting works, and it is easy to observe how your gain maxhp from levels, and from Fighting. Getting little additional maxhp early from Fighting is something your first Troll or Minotaur teaches you. I don't think that printing a formula will help any -- a Felid has few enough hit points that you'll already expect it.

I understand that some players want this information. I would be happy if these players understood that there is a reason for not giving this information within the game. You can see it like this: it is no easier or harder to win the game wether you know the formula or not. If you really need to know it, turn to the source or spoilers. Crawl is busy enough with handing out the information that is relevant for winning.

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks:
MIC132

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 23:40

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl wrote:You think that telling people that Fighting increases HP, then making them think all the EXP they spent on Fighting didn't give them any HP at all to be a good thing?

dpeg wrote:Hurkyl: Yes.

Then you have terrible ideas about game design.

Though it's clear from explanations that you aren't actually reading what you're replying to anyways, so I'll continue as if you had not answered affirmatively.

Everyone who has played Crawl for a bit knows how Fighting works, and it is easy to observe how your gain maxhp from levels, and from Fighting. Getting little additional maxhp early from Fighting is something your first Troll or Minotaur teaches you. I don't think that printing a formula will help any -- a Felid has few enough hit points that you'll already expect it.

If everyone knows how fighting works, then it shouldn't be harmful to show how fighting works. :P

The thing is, not everyone knows how fighting works, nor is it easy to observe how it works. In fact, by your arguments, making it difficult to observe how it works is an actual design goal. The fact you already know how it works is the only reason you think it's easy to observe how it works.

The OP has already demonstrated the downfalls of this black-box mentality. From the numbers he's presented, he should have gained 5 HP by training fighting -- IMO a rather respectable amount for the character -- but was completely unable to attribute any of the HP gains to the fighting skill.

I can offer my own personal experiences as well. The first SpEn I got to high level, I started training fighting to increase my HP. I didn't observe any effect. Luckily, I studied the wiki and worked out that I really was getting the effect I wanted; otherwise I probably would never have trained Fighting on my SpEn again.

You suggest that playing low level Trolls would make clear the fact that fighting has little effect. How, exactly? The only way to really notice is to play a bunch of Trolls, some where you do train fighting and some without, and pay attention to the HP totals. (and what about those poor people who decide to stick with one thing until they 'get it' before moving on? I, for example, played SpEn exclusively until my first win)

In fact, I got exactly the opposite impression from low level trolls, despite the fact I knew it was wrong. After a couple TrBe and a few TrWz, I got the impression that fighting had a rather huge effect on HP totals. I have only reconciled this error in the course of writing this post, when I held this impression in my mind at the same time as my actual knowledge of the HP formula. (i.e. the difference is attributed to the background-based HP term rather than the initial Fighting skill)

I understand that some players want this information. I would be happy if these players understood that there is a reason for not giving this information within the game.

I understand some people don't want this information. I would be happy if these players understood there are reasons for seeing this information.

You can see it like this: it is no easier or harder to win the game wether you know the formula or not.

Patently false. I know it would have been a lot harder for me to get my first win if I never looked up the formula, because my incorrect impression of the effect of Fighting would have led me to never training the skill.

The lack of transparency means that people will get all sorts of random ideas about how things work, and their wrong impressions will cause them to impair or even cripple their characters.

There are lots of ways that this information could be shown. The goal should be to find a good way to present this information, rather than succumbing to arithmophobia and trying to condemn everyone to a life of innumeracy.

For this message the author Hurkyl has received thanks:
Sandman25

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 23:46

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl: I apologise for not having answered a rhethorical and slightly polemical question correctly. Also, you managed to quote all of my reply bar the last sentence which, somehow, is relevant.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 23:51

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

dpeg wrote:Hurkyl: I apologise for not having answered a rhethorical and slightly polemical question correctly. Also, you managed to quote all of my reply bar the last sentence which, somehow, is relevant.

No, it's merely a snide dismissal.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3163

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 18:45

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 00:14

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Black box arguments aside, I was surprised to learn that the bonus HP from Fighting is impacted by the HP aptitude. The skill already works differently for the various species based on its own aptitude. Is it necessary for it to factor in HP aptitude too?

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6395

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 00:18

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Actually it'd kinda be nice if you could see in the skill's description, what effect is Has/is having Something like:

  Code:
Fighting

Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also
increases your maximum hit points.

Current effects:
+5 Max points
+12.4% hand-to hand damage
+10 accuracy


Which seems like it'd be easier to code than trying to come up with an abstract of what it *would* do if you were to train it by one more point
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

For this message the author Siegurt has received thanks: 5
dpeg, Kalma, Klown, Sandman25, TeshiAlair

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 50

Joined: Tuesday, 27th August 2013, 17:08

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 00:27

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

I like Siegurt's idea.

But otherwise, this has become fairly polarized and frowny-face, so I will put forth an as-of-yet unelucidated moderate compromise (even if my view on the matter may differ). (I prefer when more effort is put into compromise and understanding than into jabs.)

Give the players a bit more of an idea of what to expect, still without relying on numbers. For instance, say that fighting is "roughly a multiplier on the racial hp".

It is still short and understandable, yet still leaves enough degrees of freedom that a player couldn't go all optimizy on that alone, or know all the little nuances in its calculation ("roughly"). The things it now provides are a vague idea of the underlying mathematical function governing its growth (multiplier), and reminds of the most key factor(s) that interplay with it (racial hp).

But seriously, arguing it out by shifting things away from the point *cough* above *cough* is just stressful and gets nowhere...

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 329

Joined: Tuesday, 7th May 2013, 17:09

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:01

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

BlackSheep wrote:Black box arguments aside, I was surprised to learn that the bonus HP from Fighting is impacted by the HP aptitude. The skill already works differently for the various species based on its own aptitude. Is it necessary for it to factor in HP aptitude too?


Absolutely, otherwise it becomes hugely important for low HP races and relatively insignificant for high HP races, instead of being proportionally about the same.

I think it's a pretty good approximation to the truth to say that 8 levels of Fighting is basically like the +10% hp mutation.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 95

Joined: Wednesday, 17th July 2013, 06:20

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:04

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

In regards to the OP, here's what the game currently says on fighting:
Fighting is the basic skill used in hand-to-hand combat, and applies no
matter which weapon your character is wielding (if any). Fighting is also
the skill that determines the number of hit points your character gets as
they increase in levels (note that this is calculated so that you don't get
a long run advantage by starting out with a high Fighting skill).


It doesn't explicitly say that you get more hp from fighting skill at higher xp levels, but it's implied. Are you saying you'd prefer it say something like this:
Fighting is the basic skill used in hand-to-hand combat, and applies no
matter which weapon your character is wielding (if any). Fighting is also
the skill that determines the number of hit points your character gets as
they increase in levels. Note that this is calculated so that you don't get
a long run advantage by starting out with a high Fighting skill, and gives
more hit points to higher level characters.


Giving formulas is obviously out of the question. If a player is truly interested he/she probably ends up here and asks, or looks it up on the wiki. No need to clutter the documentation with lots of equations.

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 742

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 12:30

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:16

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

zugundertherug wrote:Fighting is also the skill that determines the number of hit points your character gets as
they increase in levels (note that this is calculated so that you don't get
a long run advantage by starting out with a high Fighting skill).


Thanks for quoting this. This explains perfectly what fighting does. There's no vagueness whatsoever. It clearly says that the hp gained depends on the character's level. Why does this thread exist?

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:37

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Siegurt wrote:Actually it'd kinda be nice if you could see in the skill's description, what effect is Has/is having Something like:

  Code:
Fighting

Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also
increases your maximum hit points.

Current effects:
+5 Max points
+12.4% hand-to hand damage
+10 accuracy


Which seems like it'd be easier to code than trying to come up with an abstract of what it *would* do if you were to train it by one more point


If you guys (the developers I mean) do decide to display more information, I think this suggestion from Siegurt would be a very elegant way to handle it. And I don't think this would be a bad idea, because it isn't like it tells you some formula (as if that's what matters).

Hurkyl: The main reason to avoid formulas is that the design is intended for people to play the game without needing (or being encouraged) to keep a calculator tab open off to the side, running equations every time he levels up in order to see if he's really min-maxing with optimum efficiency. The game has been designed such that this is *not* necessary, and any particular cases in which this actually is necessary, or even just meaningfully optimal, indicates a design flaw. If you can make a reasonable argument that extremely detailed spoilers are needed for something, then that is definitely something to bring to the developers' attention. However, they are going to address that problem by changing the thing that needs really detailed spoilers, rather than giving the spoilers in game.

To put it another way: If the formula does actually need to be seen, the formula is broken, not the display.

In this case I don't think the formula needs to be seen, so I don't think there's really an issue.


EDIT: @ Wahaha: I agree, but occasionally something good comes from an otherwise misguided and unnecessary thread. For instance, Siegurt's recommendation for a possible way to display more information is good. It might not be implemented, might not need to be, but it is a good proposal I think for how it should be done, if it is done.
Last edited by and into on Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:42, edited 2 times in total.

For this message the author and into has received thanks:
Lasty

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 718

Joined: Monday, 14th February 2011, 05:35

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 01:38

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl wrote:Then you have terrible ideas about game design.

You say this while playing a game that he has spent like a decade being lead designer for. Do you like this game..?
mikee_ has won 166 times in 396 games (41.92%): 4xDSFi 4xMDFi 3xDDCK 3xDDEE 3xHOPr 2xDDHe 2xDDNe 2xDSBe 2xKeAE 2xMfCr 2xMfSt 2xMiAr 2xMiBe 2xNaTm 1xCeAr 1xCeAs 1xCeBe 1xCeEn 1xCeFE 1xCePa 1xCeTm 1xCeWz 1xDDAs 1xDDCr 1xDDHu 1xDDTm 1xDENe 1xDEWz
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 895

Joined: Saturday, 15th June 2013, 23:54

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 02:10

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Siegurt's idea would be helpful, imo.

mikee wrote:
Hurkyl wrote:Then you have terrible ideas about game design.

You say this while playing a game that he has spent like a decade being lead designer for. Do you like this game..?

dpeg is Linley in disguise.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 02:19

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

dpeg wrote:I understand that some players want this information. I would be happy if these players understood that there is a reason for not giving this information within the game.


I think we can agree that the existing text is misleading. I agree with the belief tthat showing exact numbers, or even estimates, are the wrong thing to do. Fighting skill can be reworded properly to prevent the reveal of numbers, but to satisfy those who train it and do not notice an immediate improvement in HP.

CURRENT: Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat ...

Wait, Fighting does nothing for Ranged combat? Oh well, onward...

CURRENT: Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also increases your maximum hit points.

could be

PROPOSED: Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also increases your maximum hit points, scaled by your species hit point aptitude and level.

Yuck, but there it is.
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 03:26

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

and into wrote:Hurkyl: The main reason to avoid formulas is that the design is intended for people to play the game without needing (or being encouraged) to keep a calculator tab open off to the side, running equations every time he levels up in order to see if he's really min-maxing with optimum efficiency.

As I said to dpeg, there are lots of ways to present information. I'd generally rather not have the formulas either -- I'd like to have the information I already want distilled out of it. e.g. things like knowing 10% of my HP comes from my fighting skill, or the average damage my spell does, or that training 10 points in the Armor skill won't improve my AC at all.

(EDIT: spell damage is only a proxy for what I actually want -- the ability to compare the effectiveness of spells in various ways -- but expect to be even less likely to get into the gui)

But the point is that there needs to be an adequate level of feedback. The important thing is fun and it simply isn't fun when you can't tell what effect, if any, your choices have. And it's doubly un-fun when the game tells you things like "train this to gain HP" and then that doesn't happen (or looks like it doesn't happen).

And that's what the original thread was about: the OP had an unfun experience that is directly attributable to lack of information.

(and as an aside, if the formulas are made available anywhere at all, then in game is the best place to do so, because that makes it most convenient, easy-to-find, and guaranteed to be both present and up-to-date)
Last edited by Hurkyl on Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 08:41, edited 1 time in total.

For this message the author Hurkyl has received thanks:
Sandman25

Blades Runner

Posts: 546

Joined: Saturday, 7th May 2011, 02:43

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 04:51

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

XuaXua wrote:
dpeg wrote:PROPOSED: Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also increases your maximum hit points, scaled by your species hit point aptitude and level.

Yuck, but there it is.


s/scaled by/proportional to/ would make it more readable to me.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 13:15

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

BlackSheep wrote:Black box arguments aside, I was surprised to learn that the bonus HP from Fighting is impacted by the HP aptitude. The skill already works differently for the various species based on its own aptitude. Is it necessary for it to factor in HP aptitude too?

It's not directly impacted by the HP aptitude, but its effect is a multiplier of the base HP.

ackack wrote:Absolutely, otherwise it becomes hugely important for low HP races and relatively insignificant for high HP races, instead of being proportionally about the same.

That's exactly how it used to be. And it was changed for this very reason.

Hurkyl wrote:And that's what the original thread was about: the OP had an unfun experience that is directly attributable to lack of information.

The OP gained HP as he leveled up, but being unable to assess how much of it was from his fighting skill, he concluded that there wasn't any, despite what the in-game documentation tells. When a number is unknown, I usually don't assume it's zero.

Hurkyl wrote:(and as an aside, if the formulas are made available anywhere at all, then in game is the best place to do so, because that makes it most convenient, easy-to-find, and guaranteed to be both present and up-to-date)

Well no, that's the whole point. Putting the information in the game is a message to the player that this information is important and that he has to use it properly to win the game. This is why we are careful about the amount of information we put in the game. Many other roguelikes (like Tome4) are not shy about putting walls of numbers on character, monster and item stats. I don't think this is useful nor good for gameplay.

That being said, it might be useful to communicate some level of feedback on the effect of the fighting skill or the amount of HP that comes from it. Siegurt's proposal is a bit too detailed and raw to my taste though. It might better to simply improve the description to make it more clear that the bonus is a multiplier which makes it hard to notice at low XL.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Sunday, 16th June 2013, 14:01

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 13:20

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Fighting skill increases your accuracy and damage in hand-to-hand combat, and also increases your maximum hit points, although less so for fragile species.

For this message the author 1010011010 has received thanks: 2
MIC132, savageorange

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 13:32

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

There is no question that the OP had an unfun experience. I think that the issue is not as big as the OP claimed it to be, but whatever the decision is on that one, we (as developers) have to make sure a change addressing the OP's concern does not make the game unfun for many.

It is plain to see that many players agonise over numbers: there is the mythical "GDR" thrown into discussions at regular intervals, there are algorithms how to optimise your skilling and so on. It's clear that a game like this is always prone to optimising: if you know all the gory details, you can in principle come up with better results. [By the way, full transparency, which is out of the question for Crawl, but it almost achieved in Brogue, for example, does not really change this point.] However, often these kinds of optimisations are not helpful, and sometimes even detrimental -- because the player commits to much more grave errors, in positional judgement, resource management and so on.

And this is why I am so skeptical about "Then just give us the numbers!" as a result to an experience as the OP had. Crawl players have to deal with lots of information and it is our task to make it somewhat accessible to them. Someone really dedicated, good or curious looking into spoilers: that is fine. The slogan "no spoiler information necessary" does not mean "optimal play possible without spoilers", it means "game be won without spoilers". Already with Siegurt's proposal I'd be a bit worried about players putting too much stress on these effects of Fighting.

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks:
jsmith

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 14:00

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:And how do you figure that out? The HP boost occurs at fractional skill level and it is a multiplier, so it scales with your base HP.


I took a look at my max hp (46) and started training Fighting (100%, no other skills training). When I got message about Fighting reaching level 7 (it was 7.5 actually, I killed something dangerous), I took another look at my max HP and noticed it is still 46 so I stopped training Figthing. But it looks like I missed something since it cannot happen theoretically.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 14:15

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Wahaha wrote:Thanks for quoting this. This explains perfectly what fighting does. There's no vagueness whatsoever. It clearly says that the hp gained depends on the character's level. Why does this thread exist?


It exists because:
1) I didn't expect to receive 0hp from training 4 Fighting for XL 10 character
2) I did receive some HP but I missed it.
So I thought it would be useful to see how much Fighting increases HP in game.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 14:22

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:The OP gained HP as he leveled up, but being unable to assess how much of it was from his fighting skill, he concluded that there wasn't any, despite what the in-game documentation tells. When a number is unknown, I usually don't assume it's zero.


Nope. See my other answer to you where I described what I did. I do have 10 wins so I know how Fighting works. I was lazy to calculate exact number and was shocked to see 0 hp increase.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 96

Joined: Monday, 20th February 2012, 17:33

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 15:27

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Sandman25 wrote:I took a look at my max hp (46) and started training Fighting (100%, no other skills training). When I got message about Fighting reaching level 7 (it was 7.5 actually, I killed something dangerous), I took another look at my max HP and noticed it is still 46 so I stopped training Figthing. But it looks like I missed something since it cannot happen theoretically.
Can you post a dump? Because it seems like you're remembering something wrong and blaming the game for it. I've run a quick check in wizmode, and, assuming you don't train any fighting before (FeBe starts with 3.0) and then increase it to 7.5 without leveling up, you'll get the following results:
At xl 10 you'll have 42 hp, training Fighting will increase it to 46
At xl 11 you'll have 46 hp, training Fighting will increase it to 49

The effect, while small (bear in mind that it is the edge case of Felids and their horrible HP apt), is evident enough in my opinion, especially considering that HP bar is quite a noticeable element of the game interface.

For this message the author Wark has received thanks:
Sandman25

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 11111

Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 16:37

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Wark wrote:Can you post a dump? Because it seems like you're remembering something wrong and blaming the game for it. I've run a quick check in wizmode, and, assuming you don't train any fighting before (FeBe starts with 3.0) and then increase it to 7.5 without leveling up, you'll get the following results:
At xl 10 you'll have 42 hp, training Fighting will increase it to 46
At xl 11 you'll have 46 hp, training Fighting will increase it to 49

The effect, while small (bear in mind that it is the edge case of Felids and their horrible HP apt), is evident enough in my opinion, especially considering that HP bar is quite a noticeable element of the game interface.


The dump is here viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9258 but it does not contain data regarding training Fighting.
Yes, I suspected I missed something. Thank you for the tests!

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Wednesday, 28th August 2013, 18:35

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 18:36

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

I think one of the problems with the black box mentality is that it is difficult to make an informed decision if you cannot judge the effect that your choices make.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Wednesday, 11th September 2013, 20:48

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

I also like Siegurt's "current effects" idea, and would go so far as to say it should be done for all skills. It's a transparent way to show what the skills are actually doing without presenting any formulae for the player to go to the calculator over. In short it answers the question "is my current strategy working" instead of the question "what is the best thing to do next"—it seems like it is the latter that causes obsessive min-maxing.

For this message the author ElectricAlbatross has received thanks: 2
Klown, Sandman25

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 04:01

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:Putting the information in the game is a message to the player that this information is important and that he has to use it properly to win the game. This is why we are careful about the amount of information we put in the game. Many other roguelikes (like Tome4) are not shy about putting walls of numbers on character, monster and item stats. I don't think this is useful nor good for gameplay..

It's not a matter of "is it in the game" versus "is it not in the game": it's a matter of how the information is presented. A wall of numbers and formulas is generally not a problem when it's a page of last resort or for the curious -- the problem is when it's the first thing you encounter when trying to answer a question, and/or the only way to obtain an answer to natural and common questions.

To put it another way: If the formula does actually need to be seen, the formula is broken, not the display.

And I assert exactly the opposite -- if people find it useful to go through great lengths to research formulas and run up numbers to discover some fact, that's a pretty strong indicator that the display really should be presenting that fact directly.

Useful is the key word -- when I look at the information page for a +2 dagger of electrocution, I see things that it an accuracy rating of 6, a damage rating of 4, a base attack delay of 100%, a +2,+2 level of enchantment, and occasionally, upon striking a foe, it will discharge some electrical energy and cause terrible harm. None of that information is actually useful. To be sure, it a tradition to display these sorts of things, borne out of a time when people rolled dice rather than computers, but none of these numbers tell me anything I actually want to know about the dagger: things like how well it will kill my enemies as compared to other weapons, if I can I kite with it, what effect training up Short Blades will have, or important things that I didn't even know to ask about, such as flying enemies being immune to most of the weapon's damage.

What is useful for the display to fighting? That it "increases your maximum hit points" is only useful to the metagame: it lets me know that if I want to increase my MHP, then training Fighting is a possible way to do so. But what is actually useful in game?

I can say from my own experience, the only thing I ever actually wanted to know about the effect of fighting on MHP is if I trained, say, from 0 to 10, would the gain in HP be so little that I would feel disgusted at having wasted my time, so great that I'll wish I had done it ten levels ago, or somewhere in-between.

For the record, my actual experience was
  • Try it without knowing.
  • Be disgusted.
  • Recognize that humans are bad at observation
  • Look up the formula on the wiki
  • Decide that the actual gain was an amount I'm content with

Blades Runner

Posts: 546

Joined: Saturday, 7th May 2011, 02:43

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 04:44

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

^
That it "increases your maximum hit points" is only useful to the metagame: it lets me know that if I want to increase my MHP, then training Fighting is a possible way to do so. But what is actually useful in game?

In order of effectiveness:
1. Raise your character level
2. Raise Fighting
3. Acquire the ring of Vitality (in your dreams)

Training Fighting is always worthwhile IME, and the worse your HP apt, the more worthwhile it is (I especially appreciate it on my FeBes). The only question is whether you have the exp to spare at the time.

I really think you have to think about it on a metagame level, though. That's promoted by Crawl. If you're taking too much damage,
there are several measures you could take - Fighting, Armour, Dodging, (and changing your equipment), according to the exact nature of the problem and your character build. Fighting is just the most general 'die less please' avenue.

^^ You trolling?
It's there in the Table Of Aptitudes.

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 05:02

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl wrote:
and into wrote:To put it another way: If the formula does actually need to be seen, the formula is broken, not the display.

And I assert exactly the opposite -- if people find it useful to go through great lengths to research formulas and run up numbers to discover some fact, that's a pretty strong indicator that the display really should be presenting that fact directly.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but whatever you or I assert, Crawl design philosophy, which is completely transparent by the way (it talks about it in depth both in the information files in game, and on the website) tends to NOT give extremely specific numeric info.

People can and will do whatever they want. Some people find all that information useful and want it at hand. The information is not particularly hidden, it is even available on the Crawl website, it is just that much of it is not displayed in game. I didn't say that the formula is broken if people *want* to see it, rather, if it is absolutely required that one does see it or know something recondite in order to play. (Cf. Nethack—not saying that as a dig or anything, it is just that the game intentionally has all sorts of extremely specific spoilery stuff in it, that's part of its aesthetic.)

I'm sure each developer has a slightly different take on exactly where to draw what lines, but as I understand it they are all more or less on the same page about these things. Exactly how much "hard" information (i.e., the numbers, the statistical data) is displayed, and in what cases, is up for discussion to an extent, but it is explicitly said in the design philosophy to keep it to a minimum. Maybe fighting warrants an exception, but trying to argue against the whole philosophy and aesthetic of Crawl, which is minimalist when it comes to this particular thing, is probably not going to achieve much.

There is a rationale behind this, it is not simply arbitrary. The Crawl Wiki, for instance, loves all these long lists and comparison tables, formulas, etc. That's all well and good. But then you actually read the descriptions available on the wiki about various things (different gods, weapons, etc.) and you often see a real lack of perspective. I'm not saying all of the contributors do this (I'm not part of that community so I don't have any sense of that), but amongst some of the contributors, there's a very narrow focus on numbers, in a way that is probably misleading, like comparing two extremely similar weapons in terms of average damage and saying one is better against "high AC foes" because its base damage is 1 higher while the other weapon is slightly faster and so (but of course!) the faster weapon is better against "high EV" foes.

Talking about those small differences out of curiosity is one thing, but this is presented on the wiki as information that new players should know about weapons. Even when the observations are technically true, some of them are just such small differences it is completely trivial. It is not like one weapon was DESIGNED to be better against one type of foe, and so there is this awesome noticeable special effect that really affects game play and strategy, it is just a minor quirk of the numbers that you can only "discover" when you over-analyze said numbers to death. In other words, this lack of perspective I'm talking about did not emerge because people LACKED information, on the contrary, it emerged because people sought out all the gory details and over-analyzed it. They are free to do that, of course, but Crawl's design should not *encourage* it by making that information seem more important than it actually is.

Speaking personally, aside from min delay—which many developers feel is a somewhat broken formula that needs tweaking, by the way—I do not know off the top of my head any of the formulas from which Crawl game play mechanics derive. If I'm *really* in a pickle about whether, for instance, raising dodging is worthwhile on a particular character in heavy armor, given a certain set of stats, I start a new character and I wiz mode it to see, then quit the wiz mode character. I've done this maybe four or five times. I've won many games since I started playing in 0.4.5, and I'm by no means a *great* Crawler, just a decent one.

Digging into Crawl's formulas can be interesting, definitely. It is not necessary for good play, any more than knowing about the industrial process by which chess pieces are created makes you a good chess player.

For this message the author and into has received thanks: 3
dpeg, galehar, mikee

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 07:58

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

and into wrote:
Hurkyl wrote:And I assert exactly the opposite -- if people find it useful to go through great lengths to research formulas and run up numbers to discover some fact, that's a pretty strong indicator that the display really should be presenting that fact directly.

In other words, this lack of perspective I'm talking about did not emerge because people LACKED information, on the contrary, it emerged because people sought out all the gory details and over-analyzed it.

You completely miss the point.

You focus on the quantity of information. Yes, these people did have lots of gory details at hand. But what they did not have was the information that actually matters. That's why they were out there doing an analysis!

I'm not even talking about splitting hairs like sabres vs short swords. If the game just flat out said in some simple way things like how a +6 long sword of holy wrath stacks up against a +9 quick blade of flaming (with no additional slaying bonuses) in common situations -- ideally without having to spend all of my enchant scrolls and training the long blades skill first -- it would have saved me a heck of a lot of trouble. I've wasted several games trying to figure out if a switch to long blades would solve my Spriggan's troubles with tough undead creatures before deciding that crawl makes it impossible to learn this sort of thing through experience.

If I understand fsim, when I was trying the example above against Skeletal warriors, one weapon was a whopping 50% more effective despite the fact I couldn't tell the difference.

I suppose it's still possible to win with a 33% penalty to your weapon damage because you make the wrong guesses, but it is rather... unconvincing... when people assert this sort of stuff is wholly irrelevant to actual gameplay.

For this message the author Hurkyl has received thanks:
Sandman25
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 08:28

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

minmay wrote:are we just going to ignore that players also aren't told what the HP apt does

It doesn't do anything. Everybody gains about +2.2% of HP per level of fighting skill, regardless of HP apt.

Hurkyl wrote:You completely miss the point.

You focus on the quantity of information. Yes, these people did have lots of gory details at hand. But what they did not have was the information that actually matters.

The whole point is indeed showing information that matters. Comparing weapons is a whole different subject and yes crawl is a bit lacking for that. However, the solution isn't simple. We can't solve this just by throwing a bunch of numbers.

Let's not turn this thread into a generic "How much information should crawl provide on any subject". This won't go anywhere. The subject is about the fighting skill and how the multiplicative nature of the HP bonus is not obvious. I still think the best fix is to improve the skill description.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 08:54

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:Let's not turn this thread into a generic "How much information should crawl provide on any subject". This won't go anywhere. The subject is about the fighting skill and how the multiplicative nature of the HP bonus is not obvious. I still think the best fix is to improve the skill description.

Actually, the subject was about the fact you can't easily see the effect fighting has on HP. That the multiplicative nature is not documented in the description of Fighting was a side issue discovered along the way.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 09:44

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

Hurkyl wrote:
galehar wrote:Let's not turn this thread into a generic "How much information should crawl provide on any subject". This won't go anywhere. The subject is about the fighting skill and how the multiplicative nature of the HP bonus is not obvious. I still think the best fix is to improve the skill description.

Actually, the subject was about the fact you can't easily see the effect fighting has on HP. That the multiplicative nature is not documented in the description of Fighting was a side issue discovered along the way.

My point is that you don't need to see the exact effect fighting has on HP. The fact that it gives you +2 or +5 HP has no effect on any decision you make. Knowing that training it will increase your HP is enough. Knowing that the effect is multiplicative explains why it doesn't seem to do much at low XL.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 10:26

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

I think a small change in how Fighting is described would be fine, just to make it completely clear that it increases damage and accuracy in melee weapons, and it adds HP in proportion to your character level.

Hurkyl wrote:I've wasted several games trying to figure out if a switch to long blades would solve my Spriggan's troubles with tough undead creatures before deciding that crawl makes it impossible to learn this sort of thing through experience.


I know Galehar just said, "Let's not make this into a thread about whatever things we find under-described in the game," but for what it's worth, Hurkyl, I think this is a much more valid complaint and a much bigger problem than what Sandman25 raised about fighting. Even if closely reading the in-game text tells you that base damage is very important when choosing a weapon, I agree it is hard to get a sense of how and to what extent it matters, especially given that the game already DOES throw all these numbers at you (+x, +y, base accuracy z, base damage q, XXX% delay). And, as I said before, the min delay formula is spoilery.

In general I think this sort of thing can be best addressed through common sense descriptions. You examine an item, or you hit @, and it could say, "You feel you do *poor* or *good* or *average*" damage with this weapon. Behind the scenes there's a (ball park, doesn't have to be precise) estimate of average damage over time, which gives a basis for comparison amongst weapons. (Venom operates differently, but that's fine because its effect is very conspicuous already, you hit a guy and he becomes poisoned, he loses HP every turn. Distortion and chaos could have special descriptions hinting at the fact that the direct damage they do is not the most threatening aspect of the item.)

Very small differences in damage won't be registered, but that's fine. As it stands it can be hard to compare damage unless you could take the average number of exclamation points when you beat on some monster.

Similarly, rather than get a message about "If you train X dodging, your EV will raise by...." you get instead something like, "You feel this armor doesn't / slightly / considerably / majorly impedes your movement" ; "Your shield is (like an extension of your body) / (a minor hindrance) / (a major obstacle) / (like a millstone!)"

This kind of simple feedback can let you know how you are doing on eliminating EVP by training armor. It would then be rather intuitive that when your armor is at "slightly" you get good returns on dodging, because your armor or shield isn't in the way. Having this kind of feedback would be important if (when?) the formula for (e.g.) shield AEVP is tinkered with so as to eliminate clear and easy cut-off points. Which, again, are spoilery.

For this message the author and into has received thanks:
Sandman25

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 10:54

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

galehar wrote:My point is that you don't need to see the exact effect fighting has on HP. The fact that it gives you +2 or +5 HP has no effect on any decision you make. Knowing that training it will increase your HP is enough. Knowing that the effect is multiplicative explains why it doesn't seem to do much at low XL.

I'm... boggled. I'm not trying to be rhetorical or condescending; I seriously cannot fathom this point of view.

I could understand if you were saying that you have absolute faith in the developers that training Fighting gives you an amount of HP that is almost always worth the expense, even though I think that is overly naive. I could understand if you just have fun pushing the training buttons that say "more HP", even though I would not.

But I cannot understand what you have said above. If I knew that training a few points in fighting would bump my HP up from 45 to 50, I would train significant levels in fighting rather early. If I knew training a lot of points in fighting would bump my HP from 100 to 102, I would almost never do so, unless I wanted the other benefits of Fighting or had pretty much nothing else to spend my skill points on.

The actual rate, at least for the point I did a calculation, was at a level that I do not consider it a priority for my casters to train, but am happy to do so in the mid (or early-mid) game as soon as I feel like my other skills are to a point where it would take a lot of investment for further training to show a significant effect.

For this message the author Hurkyl has received thanks:
Sandman25

Blades Runner

Posts: 546

Joined: Saturday, 7th May 2011, 02:43

Post Thursday, 12th September 2013, 12:19

Re: Detailed description for Fighting skill

After some testing, I realized Fighting can actually be this bad.
Wizmoding a FeWz (which should have pretty much the most terrible HP in existence) and setting Fighting skill to 27 raises MHP from 6 to 8! a whole 2 points for 27 skill levels.

Of course, it's more realistic to expect that you would be approaching XL27 as you attain Fighting=27; In which case HP goes from 92 to 147.

I also tested XL7 Fighting=7; fighting=0 gives you 26 hp, fighting=7 raises that to 30. A realistic time to expect a character to start raising their Fighting.
Honestly, a 4 hp boost is pretty mediocre. Personally I would still opt to do this though, since it's a 15% increase in total HP.

It appears to scale linearly from 0% boost at Fighting=0 to 59.78% boost at Fighting=27.
Next

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

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