Color coded difficulty levels


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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:15

Color coded difficulty levels

Sandman25 wrote:Other games have explicit difficulty levels, crawl has hidden difficulty levels: species, backgrounds, gods...


I actually posted this before but it was tacked onto a larger & different idea, so it kind of got kicked to the side.

For the character selection screen, 'easy' species/backgrounds would show up green(gargoyle/berserker), normal/medium difficulty species would show up yellow(human/transmuter), and hard/difficult species would show up red(mummy/wanderer). Then once you select a species, the background page shows up with colors/difficulties based on your species(and vice-versa if you choose background first). Then when praying over an altar, it'll show the God's name by the same colors depending on how easy they are to play & learn.

Newer players would be able to jump straight into the strongest combinations without dozens of trial & error games, limiting early frustrations.
Then once they learn how to play and improve, and get some CeHu/MiBe wins under their belt, they'd jump into a yellow combo and improve some more. Sure, they might know they're playing something a little tougher on the inside, but it'll confirm any doubts about their game improving.
Then pros win every 'hard' combo in the game to show off their skills/challenge themselves.

The current 'recommended/not recommended' style is alright, but it ends up recommending anything decent. SpNe & SpEn are on the same level by this scale, whereas they'd probably be yellow & green respectively in the above idea. This adds a more user-friendly character selection, while solidifying the fact that DCSS has a built-in difficulty level already, virtually removing the need for 'small balance' change discussions.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:22

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

Who decides what's easy and what's not? Some players would make Sp everything green and some players would probably think that HaBe is red. Personally, I think the current system is good enough but if you want to go ahead and rank all the 400 whatever combos by how easy they are and put it up for discussion I wouldn't mind commenting and seeing a consensus go in.

Sar

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:27

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

SpNe is a Spriggan that starts with a ranged attack, how is it hard in any way?

Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:36

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

Sar wrote:SpNe is a Spriggan that starts with a ranged attack, how is it hard in any way?

And my point is proved in 1 post...

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Sar
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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:45

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

Sar wrote:SpNe is a Spriggan that starts with a ranged attack, how is it hard in any way?


People who've never played a roguelike and usually play modern games, where you die 3 times throughout the entire story, just load a save and easily win.
They would spam pain, then with 1 hp/0mp punch a gnoll in the face. Running away is something to learn for them still. Abusing Sp speed isn't in their heads yet.

rebthor wrote:Who decides what's easy and what's not? Some players would make Sp everything green and some players would probably think that HaBe is red. Personally, I think the current system is good enough but if you want to go ahead and rank all the 400 whatever combos by how easy they are and put it up for discussion I wouldn't mind commenting and seeing a consensus go in.


New/casual players who can understand what is easy and green-worthy.
Sar & friends, who green everything...know what combos are truly challenging, to unleash the red.
Yellow everything else.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:50

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

I would suggest a "recommended character" or "beginner combination" option along with the current random character "!" command at the species selection screen, which offers a random easy build.

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:52

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

Well you say SpEn is green but EH fails a bunch so you need to run away too. You seem to underestimate Pain btw, it deals great AC-ignoring damage. Anyway, I agree that this would lean a bit too much in "opinions" territory. Even current system is far from perfect.

@1010011010: After tutorial you already have an option to play one of three easy combos: CeHi for ranged and... some other two.

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 17:58

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

There is no way we will able to pass down an official set of difficulty levels. Already distinguishing between "recommended" and "not recommended" is worrisome at times.

I could imagine adding a section to the manual with a short list of really easy combinations, and some interesting challenging combinations (always species, background, god). However, I would never do this myself -- if you come up with a decent list, I'd push for adding it.

Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 16th December 2013, 18:12

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

Difficulty is highly subjective and even changes from one HOBe to the next.

Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 01:19

Re: Proposal: Color coded difficulty levels

it might be worthwhile to specify: powerful start, weak midgame, semi-powerful extended kind of thing. In my limited exp things tend to go back and forth. not just based on drops, but more so with common spell/(god)ability curves/thresholds.

or then again maybe for people starting out just the early game matters heh.

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 10:00

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

Well, this is really a matter of the god as well, so it may not be relevant when selecting race/class.

Zot Zealot

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 16:31

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

Obviously the best way to do this is to select all players with more than x wins or y win %, where x = 40 or 50 and y = 8 or 10% (or just take great(er)players, whatever). Then do "!lg [] s=char / won" and sort by win%. Top 20% are "good", bottom 20% are "bad", and the 60% in between are "moderate".

And then you probably want to exclude any chars that have less than z amount of games played, like maybe z = 15, and only take games from the last couple released versions, etc. You can tweak x,y,z to get a nice list.

I'm kind of curious what this list would look like. Probably horribly incorrect. But the point is you need a way to sort them objectively and automatically if you were going to attempt any type of categorization.

Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 16:43

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

I doubt the win percentages of the experts would provide a good guide to what combos are easy for newer players.
Wins: DsWz(6), DDNe(4), HuIE(5), HuFE(4), MiBe(3)

Zot Zealot

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 17:06

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

There would be some discrepancies, like probably MuBe would be way too high. But in general chars that are easy for newbs will be even easier for experts. Cutting out combos with low game counts would help filter some anomalies.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 17:41

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

I think there's really a massive disconnect between what works well for a brand new player and someone who's won 40 games. Like not even comparable. Especially for people who are fairly new to RLs in general, a lot of the really strong combos are just going to be constants splats. DE of Vehu is obviously crazy strong but new players would be way, way better off with MiBe. Crate mentioned somewhere that he pretty much only plays humans which are probably not the best choice for new players.

I think what we have now is good: the hints mode lets you know that MiBe and CeHu are strong and simple. Newbies can play them and learn some tactics and branch out when they're ready.

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 17:53

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

I'll be as blunt as I can: there is no way that DCSS will assign difficulty levels to species, backgrounds, or combinations.

There is the crude distinction into recommened/non-recommended and that's it.

Spider Stomper

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 20:31

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

monty wrote:I think there's really a massive disconnect between what works well for a brand new player and someone who's won 40 games.


Forget 40—if you have enough skill to win even one game you're not in the same universe as people who have just started.

Creating recommendations tailored to beginning Crawl players is especially hard, because beginners are the segment of Crawl players with the greatest variability in roguelike experience and skill. For some, Crawl is their first roguelike; others may have switched to Crawl after playing other major roguelikes such as Nethack (or roguelikelikes such as Dwarf Fortress) and may already be familiar with concepts such as "you are not expected to kill every single enemy".

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 20:41

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

Hints mode. If you're trying to make Crawl easier to learn without actually changing anything about the game, that would be the place to do it, in my opinion. It even has its own combo recommendations. (Although DECj is not exactly one of the best combos in the game...maybe add SpEn?)

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Sandman25

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 20:57

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

minmay: DECj was chosen over other choices because DE has no special stuff (like armour slot restrictions) and Cj starts with the archetypical damage spell.
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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 22:06

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

I've reached Zot 5 before, so not a complete noob anymore, but I'm still learning how to play spellcasters. DECj is in fact my preferred combo. It allows you to work up SC & Cj early, before an easier transition into hexes/charms. The other mages have early spells with 2 types of schools, kind of slow and annoying to work up. And then not going against resistant/immune creatures(ice vs. ghosts/phantoms/ice beasts. etc) It has a God practically designed for it, which also doesn't need invocations, allowing you to keep training your SC/magic skills up instead. And stronger damage spells later on usually have conjurations attached, so you already have a head start there. :)

Maybe it isn't 'better' for a veteran, but learning how to play a caster, this has been a very easy learning curve.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 22:33

Re: Color coded difficulty levels

How do you define easy? Easy to learn (simple mechanism, powerful even with poor tactics,...)? easy to win? 3 runes? 15 runes? Easy to streak? Easy to Zig run when maxxed?
This is obviously very subjective. Everyone has their own definition of what is easy and their own playstyle. It's hard and controversial enough to maintain the recommended/not recommended combos. I don't see how adding a new layer would do any good.
For really easy combos, there's hint mode.
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<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

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