Nemelex reform


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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 01:31

Nemelex reform

Nemelex has a lot going for him, but he's much more tedious to play than he has to be. I think this can be fixed without radically altering all the stuff about him that is good.

1.) You no longer manually sacrifice stuff. Instead, Nemelex has an "auto-sacrifice" conduct.

How this might work:
Stuff in vaults (so the treasure room(s) in Elf, Tomb, etc.) are spared, as are treasure troves and everything in stores, stuff you acquire, and hides generated from butchering. Corpses are auto-sacced upon generation. So loot and corpses that would have otherwise generated have a % chance to not generate. That chance to be auto-sacrificed should vary depending on item type: for potions, scrolls, evocables, and jewelry the chance is low, for corpses the chance is high (say ~50%), everything else falls somewhere in between.

Things sacrificed this way are (invisibly) tallied upon level generation and translated into points in a single pool, and as you explore the dungeon the value (or weight, in the case of corpses) are disbursed, giving you more piety and decreasing countdown toward getting a new deck. (So you don't get a sudden piety spike the moment you enter a new floor.) Randomly generated decks are never sacrificed, as well. Corpses auto-sacrificed are added to "pool" the moment the body disappears. You never hit "p" for anything, but if you worship Nem you will on average see less loot and corpses over the course of the game—noticeably less, but not cripplingly less. All the value you are getting from these auto-sacrifices goes into *one* pool, and on the ^ screen you simply set what decks you prefer to receive. (You aren't guaranteed anything, but you can shift the odds against or in favor of certain decks by selecting them on the ^ screen.) Compared to how it is now, the value of items and weight of corpses should be scaled up somewhat in order to accommodate the fact that players will no longer be sacrificing *almost* everything, the way you play Nem now.


Rationale:
The benefit of these changes is that Nemelex game play will be streamlined and made much more enjoyable; worshiping him will actually have a downside or cost other than tedium (currently you can just sacrifice trash, so it isn't really a sacrifice, you are just cleaning up the dungeon after yourself like a maid service—and it is about as much fun as doing dishes); and these changes would also prevent the scummy and excruciatingly boring (yet highly beneficial) practice of going back through the dungeon sacrificing all the junk right after you begin worshiping Nemelex. Also I guess no more accidental sacrifices if you accidentally hit "p" at a bad time. It also seems fitting to me, thematically, that the trickster god wouldn't wait for you to sacrifice stuff. The moment something fetches his eye, he snatches it up. He doesn't wait for you to pray over it and give him the go-ahead.


2.) Ditch "Peek at Two" ability, and ditch the weird easy-to-miss while playing, info-leak "A symbol of _foo_ appears before you."

How this might work:
Instead, Nemelex just tells you the type of deck that he gives you, as well as any decks that you come across in game—they are automatically inscribed as Wonders, or Destruction, or (from floor) Changes or whatever. It doesn't tell you the top card though, obviously, unless you burn an ID scroll on it.

Change the "Peek at Two" ability to "Power of Two": You draw the top card of any deck in your inventory, and get its effect with a small boost in power (comparable to a around a single spell enhancer, maybe a bit weaker than that), however the next card in the chosen deck is discarded as an additional cost. No special effect or piety cost if that happened to be the last card in the deck. (If used on last card in deck, Power of Two is functionally identical to Draw One.)


Rationale:
I like the pun in the name, but "Peek at Two" isn't an interesting ability. You just pay a very small piety price and ID decks, either you ignore the ability and take a (small) risk with draw-IDing, or else, the moment you start possibly getting Wonders and/or Dungeons, you use peek at two on every new deck you get. The latter is probably technically best play but it makes Nemelex even more of a nuisance so I often don't bother. We've rationalized wand IDing, this seems like a logical step in a similar direction. Just have Nemelex tell you the decks he gives you. A lot of them have some built-in risks with drawing from them, already, it isn't necessary to add to that by having you blindly draw or do *even more* fiddling outside of combat to use Nemelex to full advantage.


I think 1.) and 2.) together would go a long way toward making Nemelex less spoilery and less tedious, while keeping everything that is fun about him.

Finally:

3.) Minor suggestion

Not a huge deal, but while we are at it, can we change the name of "Triple Draw" to "Pick from Three"? The current name breaks the pattern, and the actual effect of the ability is much better described as "Pick from Three" rather than its current name, anyway.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 01:55

Re: Nemelex reform

Excellent ideas, and you neatly addressed the main reason why Nemelex is one of the gods I will never, ever choose (having to clean up the dungeon).
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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 02:15

Re: Nemelex reform

I never thought of it as "cleaning up the dungeon," but now I am, and it kind of pisses me off.

I like these suggestions though, esp. the third one. The names should all fit the theme.
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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 03:42

Re: Nemelex reform

Why not just auto sacrifice on sight every item that could produce the desired decks?
Nemelex already has a menu for selecting which kind of items the player want to sacrifice.
Randarts and very good items could be spared and sacrificed manually.

OP:
It is a good proposal but for Nemelex sake, make it brief!

Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 05:17

Re: Nemelex reform

Marbit wrote:Why not just auto sacrifice on sight every item that could produce the desired decks?
Nemelex already has a menu for selecting which kind of items the player want to sacrifice.
Randarts and very good items could be spared and sacrificed manually.

OP:
It is a good proposal but for Nemelex sake, make it brief!


I considered auto-sacc on sight but there would be a number of huge problems, so I rejected that. When you kill orcs do their weapons and armor go up in smoke? Or are those excluded? And going into the ^ menu to toggle things back and forth a lot as you go would be almost as bad as now. Plus spoilery. "Oh, I know there's a high chance of jewelry/armor/etc. in this vault I recognize, better turn off auto-sac for those items." It would be bad on a number of levels.

This is the kind of thing that should either be entirely in player's hands (as it is now), or it should be automated. Going midway just means more frustration. Because having it be entirely in player's hands is tedious, I think making it into something of a conduct works better. Nemelex is a very strong god but playing him to fullest advantage is a chore. I'd rather that have an interesting, unique conduct: you give up a (reasonable) portion of your loot, at random, and you get significantly less corpses. (Significantly less corpses is more interesting IMO than "No necromancy," e.g.)


EDIT: I typed the above hurriedly and managed to leave out the main problem: going to ^ screen and toggling off corpses every time you get hungry would make menu-mediated auto-sacrifice worse than current behavior.

The other, less severe problem with auto-sacrifice on sight when I considered it was, when exactly would it happen? Do you see what is being destroyed? If so that would be needlessly frustrating, like if TSO gifted you necromancy books you couldn't use, that would disappear after you stopped worshiping him, or something. You never know when a good item is going to drop, so you'd be terrified of keeping auto-sac on for anything but corpses. Or else turn it on after clearing out a level, then setting the level to clear map data, then re-autoexploring the cleared level so that all the stuff is cleaned up. Is that really better than now?

Again, either full control (as now—which is tedious) or take it out of players' hands and make it a conduct. I think the latter is better for numerous reasons, even if detailing how it would work mechanically ("under the hood") is somewhat wordy. The actual game play would be far simpler than current implementation, or a middle-path with auto-sacrifice on sight.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 06:16

Re: Nemelex reform

This is a really excellent idea and would make Nemelex much less tedious, but it seems like it could be tricky to balance so that Nemelex is not significantly better or worse than before. Unless sacrifice exceptions are very generous, it's easy to see how Nem might get worse: currently, you get the chance to use-ID any ego items you find on the floor, and then sac afterwords. On casters, for instance, I try on most runed robes until I find resistance or Archmagi, but those are rare, and Nem still gives me credit for the IDed ones. If you couldn't do that anymore, Nemelex' abilities would need to get a buff or he would just be a worse god. On the other hand, if auto-sacrifice only takes plain items and really crappy ego stuff, but you still gain piety as though you were sacrificing normally, Nemelex would be much stronger.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 06:38

Re: Nemelex reform

And while we're at it can we make sort for decks given that it is a good idea to use up decks (perhaps on =d,i.e. adjust decks).

pivot on
  • deck rarity
  • deck type (escape, destruction,wonders,etc.)
  • number if cards drawn
  • if top card(s) of deck are known

'cause it always annoyed me when having 30+ decks trying to keep track of which one I used the most cards from, to free up inventory space.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 12:51

Re: Nemelex reform

I think Nemelex's core mechanic is kindof questionable, actually. You basically need spoilers (or a massive amount of trial and error) in order to use decks effectively.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 13:52

Re: Nemelex reform

Having Nemelex subtract a portion of your generated loot would step a little bit on Jiyva's territory, though unlike Jiyva, you would have no way of ameliorating the rate of loss; Jiyva's loot-devouring is time-sensitive, so it encourages exploring faster than you would otherwise.

I'm not necessarily against it on that basis, since it would still be less fussy and a more interesting tradeoff than current Nemelex, but I think it's worth noting.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 14:57

Re: Nemelex reform

What if he only accepted "valuable" items- weapons based on stats, brand, or your skill level, permafood, large corpses? This way, you don't need to hoover as much, and the choice to sacrifice becomes more meaningful at best, and inventory-clutter reducing at worst.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 16:14

Re: Nemelex reform

Lasty wrote:Having Nemelex subtract a portion of your generated loot would step a little bit on Jiyva's territory, though unlike Jiyva, you would have no way of ameliorating the rate of loss; Jiyva's loot-devouring is time-sensitive, so it encourages exploring faster than you would otherwise.

I'm not necessarily against it on that basis, since it would still be less fussy and a more interesting tradeoff than current Nemelex, but I think it's worth noting.


That's a good point. However as you say there are a few major and several minor differences. Also, while making the gods different from each other is always important, I think a *bit* of overlap is justified in this case, since the overlap results from fixing a problem with an existing god rather than adding a totally new one.

TeshiAlair wrote:What if he only accepted "valuable" items- weapons based on stats, brand, or your skill level, permafood, large corpses? This way, you don't need to hoover as much, and the choice to sacrifice becomes more meaningful at best, and inventory-clutter reducing at worst.


This is a less radical change, certainly, but I think it retains fundamentally all the problems the current Nemelex has. You still are strongly incentivized to go back through the dungeon to cleared levels and sacrifice stuff you don't want. Just now, only stuff of a certain value level will be accepted. Additionally, you still wouldn't have as many interesting choices as you might expect, just due to the way items and skills in Crawl work. A +5 executioner's axe of freezing is not valuable to someone with a good great mace and 20 skill levels in that, and an awesome artifact plate mail is (generally) pretty much worthless to a relatively low strength character that is already heavily invested in lots of different magic schools and dodging, etc. etc. And if the way that this is implemented is that you still have to hit "p", only sometimes now it doesn't do anything ("These items are below Nemelex's standards") then the tedium would remain and, in some ways, be worse IMO. (At least now you are guaranteed that praying over items does something, without bothering with how valuable those items are exactly.)

EDIT: Even if you threw skills into the mix in terms of Nemelex determining what items are valuable to *your* character—the moment you get a good weapon, nearly all weapons that are still good, but not *as* good, become worthless. Ditto for armor. So it just recapitulates the problem.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 17:43

Re: Nemelex reform

What if the sacrifice mechanic is removed entirely?

Right now, it has virtually no strategic cost. There's really no reason to sacrifice something you would otherwise use. You can easily achieve and maintain six stars of piety without losing a valuable item.

It might even be more flavorful to have Nem only give piety for card use. He could give you a plain deck as soon as you sign up and give you piety for blind-drawing in high tension situations. The amount of piety given could be balanced so that you achieve ****** around the same depth.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 17:53

Re: Nemelex reform

monty wrote:What if the sacrifice mechanic is removed entirely?
Right now, it has virtually no strategic cost. There's really no reason to sacrifice something you would otherwise use. You can easily achieve and maintain six stars of piety without losing a valuable item.


+1 to removing the sacrifice mechanic.
I sacrifice perma-food to start so that I will hopefully start with a deck of wonders but other than that I have never experienced a relevant cost to the sacrificing unless I made a mistake. The real piety gain should be from 'trusting the cards'.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 18:39

Re: Nemelex reform

How about pity for discovering items on the floor, and a pity hit on picking up items for the first time?

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 20:51

Re: Nemelex reform

galbolle wrote:How about pity for discovering items on the floor, and a pity hit on picking up items for the first time?


For the former: sure.
For the latter (piety hit): why?

@ monty: I also agree that just removing sacrifice component without any other change would be an improvement upon Nemelex. However there is then a question of how Nemelex should grant piety. Using cards (with higher piety bonus in high-tension situations) is good, but there needs to be something else to keep up momentum. Otherwise what happens when you use up your first deck but haven't yet gotten your next one?

Discovering items on the floor is a good theme for Nemelex. In practice it would be very similar to Ash, but with a slightly different flavor. This could work if it were calibrated to give enough piety to counteract decay and give very slow growth, so long as you keep exploring and seeing items. However to get to good levels of piety on a reasonable time line, you gotta use those cards.

In this scheme, you could have ^ screen tell Nemelex what decks you would prefer (perhaps still with random element in it, so you don't have complete control but can shift around the odds a bit), or else you could just have it be random, with weighting something like

40% Summonings
30% Destruction
20% Escape
5% Wonders
5% Dungeons

In either case I think implementing point 2.) from my first post would also improve Nemelex, and although extremely minor, so too with the name change raised in point 3.)

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 20:55

Re: Nemelex reform

galbolle wrote:How about pity for discovering items on the floor, and a pity hit on picking up items for the first time?


The latter is bad because it penalizes autopickup.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 20:58

Re: Nemelex reform

ElectricAlbatross wrote:
galbolle wrote:How about pity for discovering items on the floor, and a pity hit on picking up items for the first time?


The latter is bad because it penalizes autopickup.


Not to mention that you have to pick up most items to figure out what they are. Only with Ash can you be able to tell right away whether that randart is amazing or a piece of garbage. And it doesn't fit at all, either with Nemelex's game play, or his flavor.

The first idea (piety through finding items) would be fine.

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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 21:30

Re: Nemelex reform

CYC level idea: Nemelex randomly spawns Cardmasters that are medium-weak threats but have a deck of their own that they can use. You get their deck on killing them.
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Post Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 21:38

Re: Nemelex reform

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Post Friday, 24th January 2014, 03:58

Re: Nemelex reform

I like the having to act to sacrifice items, but agree that it can get tedious. As an alternative, a 'sacrifice all' option that destroys all found items on a given floor at once. Once you go through and pick up the things you want, just nuke the floor of items in one step without having to wander around and stand over them. (This wouldn't affect items on the level that have not yet been found by the player).

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Post Tuesday, 28th January 2014, 02:08

Re: Nemelex reform

Remove sacrifices & remove piety loss from inactively. Piety gained by using cards.
Nemlex gifts a deck at joining and every once in a while (clocked on experience not time).
Change peek two to cash two :in exchange for piety, you gain two decks: one random* and one weighted random based on your usage**.
Effectively turn piety into chips/currency where you gamble piety for decks and use decks for piety.

*still weighted against dungeon & wonder.
**usage is cards actually used, not wasted such as those from triple draw.

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 06:11

Re: Nemelex reform

1010011010 wrote:Remove sacrifices & remove piety loss from inactively. Piety gained by using cards.
Nemlex gifts a deck at joining and every once in a while (clocked on experience not time).
Change peek two to cash two :in exchange for piety, you gain two decks: one random* and one weighted random based on your usage**.
Effectively turn piety into chips/currency where you gamble piety for decks and use decks for piety.

*still weighted against dungeon & wonder.
**usage is cards actually used, not wasted such as those from triple draw.


I think it's better to let you directly influence the probability of which decks you receive. Instead of gaining decks from an invocation, Nemelex could gift only plain decks on an XP timer, and gift only ornate and legendary decks for card use, especially for blind-drawing in the presence of monsters. This would make gameplay far less tedious, ensure that you won't screw yourself by running out of decks, and force you to take an actual risk to unlock his full potential.

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 12:53

Re: Nemelex reform

Interesting ideas. Both automated, hidden sacrifice (as a conduct) and piety generation only from cards would improve the god, The latter is a little harder to get right.

However, looking at it with some more distance, I believe that Nemelex is the most problematic god of them all. Here I am not even that much concerned with information overload and spoiler need (which are problematic) but with the fact that the Trickster God tries to establish a playing style which duplicates the whole game: cards provide ranged damage, allies, character effects, emergency tools. An immediate problem occurs every time we talk about cards: how to make them different from other effects in the game.

So altogether, if I had to present a candidate for deicide, it would be Nemelex. :( Back when we renovated Nemelex, that idea crossed our minds but we never really meant it, and instead proceeded to improve the god. (Old Nemelex had neither deck rarities nor active abilities, was a lot more annoying to play than the current incarnation, and was spoiler prone beyond what you can imagine. :))

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 13:40

Re: Nemelex reform

I never bothered with the old Nemelex, as sacrificing stuff with the portable altar was too tedious. But the current Nemelex is very interesting and fun to play. Personally, I don't even mind the sacrificing part. Just my two cents.
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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 19:57

Re: Nemelex reform

1010011010 wrote:Remove sacrifices & remove piety loss from inactively. Piety gained by using cards.
Nemlex gifts a deck at joining and every once in a while (clocked on experience not time).


I like this but would modify the gift timeout so that it was weighted by both experience and piety. i.e. at higher piety, less experience is needed to award a deck.

dpeg wrote:... the Trickster God tries to establish a playing style which duplicates the whole game: cards provide ranged damage, allies, character effects, emergency tools.

Is this not a feature, though? Almost everything in the game overlaps somewhat: weapon types and spell schools are all just ways of damaging dungeon denizens directly and summoning damages indirectly. Maybe there is a philosophical point that I am missing though, but I can see why the 1 for 1 overlap (e.g. the flame card is an otherwise available fire magic spell) is unappealing, but is it not just a matter of adding new cards or card effects to provide some differentiation?

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 21:31

Re: Nemelex reform

dpeg wrote:Interesting ideas. Both automated, hidden sacrifice (as a conduct) and piety generation only from cards would improve the god, The latter is a little harder to get right.

However, looking at it with some more distance, I believe that Nemelex is the most problematic god of them all. Here I am not even that much concerned with information overload and spoiler need (which are problematic) but with the fact that the Trickster God tries to establish a playing style which duplicates the whole game: cards provide ranged damage, allies, character effects, emergency tools. An immediate problem occurs every time we talk about cards: how to make them different from other effects in the game.

So altogether, if I had to present a candidate for deicide, it would be Nemelex. :( Back when we renovated Nemelex, that idea crossed our minds but we never really meant it, and instead proceeded to improve the god. (Old Nemelex had neither deck rarities nor active abilities, was a lot more annoying to play than the current incarnation, and was spoiler prone beyond what you can imagine. :))


I agree Nem is problematic but I think he deserves one last chance at a thorough renovation before being tossed out.

In terms of Nemelex being powerful and duplicating all the other options in the game: This is why the automated, hidden sacrifice conduct could make the god more interesting—you are going to have less item choice, but guaranteed access to cards. Kind of like how Trog can offer such strong incentives, even as a starting god, while still being interesting strategically, because you give up on a lot of versatility due to no magic conduct. The exact severity (and how it scales up over time) could be modified in lots of ways to make it a non-trivial choice to worship Nem.

As for spoiler part—yeah I think that's trickier to get around. Nonetheless with Nemelex's abilities I think it can be pretty safe and fun to play around with cards. I actually think the ones that can just screw you up completely should be removed. Maybe merging dungeons and wonder, taking out the scummier cards, would be warranted here as well. If there's not a warning about a small chance, on god screen, of random punishing cards being in the decks, there should be. I think that would take out the problematic spoilery cards, while also pushing people to use Nemelex in fun, tactical ways rather than scumming wonders (which is bad play in most cases anyway so we'd just be saving people from themselves, and even in cases where it does make sense to do scummy stuff with Nemelex, it is pretty boring, like the old transmutate self spell).

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 23:19

Re: Nemelex reform

Nemlex is fun and it would be a big shame for the whole deck evocation god to go. The problem looks to be the decks, Nemlex just gives you accessibility. compared to other evokables: elemental items, box of beasts, crystal ball, disk of storms, decks have way more range tools. rods and wands are perhaps as bad as decks but aren't showered over you like it's monsoon season.

Perhaps a revamp is in order, it could also deal with the confusing and sometimes cryptic card names.
Current deck types (summoning, destruction, escape) can be changed to other concepts, such as:
Deck of Animation (animate skeleton/dead, tukima's dance/ball, summon elemental, create mimic)
Deck of Alchemy (various potion effects, high evo makes good card happen to you and bad cards on enemy)
Deck of Dungeon (water, Vitrification, Shatter, teleport(ctele), tomb)
Deck of (frozen/firery/decaying/iron) Hell (related conjuration, demonic summon, summon dragon, summon fodder, hell effect)
as some examples. The deck name and card name should provide enough information to guess the effect.

Changing the themes behind the deck can shift them away from paralleling specific game elements. Not every card need to be remade, mostly moved around. This doesn't completely address the issue since everything still is available, but it does draw focus off each deck being so focused. You could just scrap some cards like all translocation cards, healing cards, or whatever, That way Nemlex is just duplicating part of the game, like Makhleb or Yred.

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 23:48

Re: Nemelex reform

Cards having cryptic names/effects is only really a problem for Escape. If you are using a Deck of Destruction/Summoning, you aren't concerned with the exact thing you get as long as it makes the problem in front of you go away. The exception I guess would be Crusade, but that just plain has a terrible misleading name that ought to be changed to Enslavement or something.

Escape on the other hand, has varying effects from swifting the player to creating a tele trap, to surrounding the player with walls, making the distinction significantly more important than with a Deck of Destruction. And at the same time the names are also more misleading and vague.

Deck of Dungeons is useless in battle except for Water Card (which is a good candidate for Escape imo, along the same lines as Tomb), and out of battle is just a silly gimmick deck that is pretty much entirely useless except for Trowel Card, which becomes entirely useless after you've drawn it 5 or so times. Unless I am missing something, the deck and all the cards seem to have no point.

dpeg wrote:An immediate problem occurs every time we talk about cards: how to make them different from other effects in the game.

Uh, decks. The simple fact that you are drawing cards randomly makes them very different from all other effects in the game (except for Makhleb's Destruction Invocations, which function more or less identically to randomly drawing from a Deck of Destruction).

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Post Wednesday, 29th January 2014, 23:56

Re: Nemelex reform

Well, that is the reason Nemelex doesn't give decks of dungeons anymore. I really don't see what the problem with card names is, as long as you can just press ? and see the game's description.

About decks organized by theme rather than usage, that doesn't seem so great. While nemelex's shtick is randomness, no good gambler is going to take a risk where the chance of usefulness is unknown.

No matter what, I wouldn't mind it if Nemelex weighting based on what you sacrifice is removed. As said above, it makes people want to try to scum for wonders and they end up being the people who are hurt.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 03:03

Re: Nemelex reform

dpeg wrote:the Trickster God tries to establish a playing style which duplicates the whole game: cards provide ranged damage, allies, character effects, emergency tools. An immediate problem occurs every time we talk about cards: how to make them different from other effects in the game.

So altogether, if I had to present a candidate for deicide, it would be Nemelex

If Nemelex were to get the ax, would he take decks with him? There's a lot of complexity in them thar decks.

And technically, Jiyva experiences deicide fairly often as it is ;)
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 03:12

Re: Nemelex reform

Why is everyone is quick to REMOVE content rather than IMPROVE content... Holy crap this is ridiculous! Dungeon Crawl: Stone Removal.

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 03:29

Re: Nemelex reform

King_jelly wrote:Why is everyone is quick to REMOVE content rather than IMPROVE content... Holy crap this is ridiculous! Dungeon Crawl: Stone Removal.


Pretty sure Nemelex has existed since before Stone Soup; not sure where you're getting "quick" from.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 04:36

Re: Nemelex reform

sage wrote:
King_jelly wrote:Why is everyone so quick to REMOVE content rather than IMPROVE content... Holy crap this is ridiculous! Dungeon Crawl: Stone Removal.


Pretty sure Nemelex has existed since before Stone Soup; not sure where you're getting "quick" from.


Uh.... I never mentioned anything about Nemelex being new or anything. I dont know why you're inferring things.

All I'm saying is, it seems to me that lately the trend has been to remove things (the lazy way) instead of making an effort to improve things. Dont be sloths.

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 05:20

Re: Nemelex reform

King_jelly wrote:Uh.... I never mentioned anything about Nemelex being new or anything. I dont know why you're inferring things.


Do you think he went that long without alteration? Nemelex has been tweaked and twiddled and tuned and twisted for north of seven years, and evey change was made with the intent to improve him. If he is removed, it can't be said that nobody tried to fix him. Not that I'm saying he should be removed; haven't played enough with him to say either way.

King_jelly wrote:All I'm saying is, it seems to me that lately the trend has been to remove things (the lazy way) instead of making an effort to improve things. Dont be sloths.


In the last three weeks or so: demonspawn-enemies, forest dispersal, those new enemies in Snake, vine stalkers. Try playing Crawl sometime instead of taking offense at a suggestion on GDD.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 08:49

Re: Nemelex reform

King_jelly wrote:Why is everyone is quick to REMOVE content
Because:
1. sometimes content is added
2. sometimes existing content conflicts with the design goals
3. human lifespans are finite

1 makes the game take longer to learn and/or longer to play. 2 decreases the percentage of playing time that is actually fun (for Crawl's target audience; yes many people like e.g. grinding, but the idea of the design goals is to target people who don't). 3 is why 1 and 2 are problems.
So new content has to be good enough that it actually offsets the drawback of 1, otherwise it is objectively making the game worse. Similarly by removing content you are making the game objectively better unless the content is so good that losing it actually offsets the benefits of making the game faster to learn. In fact the number of monsters, branches, vaults, spells, and some smaller things (gods, items...) has dramatically increased over the lifespan of the DCSS project, and I no longer recommend Crawl to new players, because in my opinion it has become far too large to be worth learning as a newcomer.

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sanka

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 09:39

Re: Nemelex reform

duvessa: I'm sad to hear that you cannot recommend Crawl to newbies anymore, as we do try to cater for them (tutorial, hints mode, fun early stuff happening). It's absolutely true that new content far surpasses removed content (nonewithstanding the fact that there's a hullabaloo every time something does get cut), but I wouldn't say that the number of branches has dramatically increased. The quality threshold for new monsters, spells, gods, species etc. is much higher than it used to be, and within a given game, the actual number of backgrounds, species and gods is almost irrelevant.

Everyone else: Nemelex removal was never properly discussed. I just mentioned it here because I realised over the years that Nemelex Xobeh has a very problematic core design, and since and_into makes good suggestions about how to improve the god, I thought I'd share my sentiment.
About the duplication: the problem with this is threefold: (1) We have to design card effects that are somehow different from spells, scrolls, other miscellaneous items and so on. This is hard. In particular, this puts an additional balancing burden on the god (or the developers) because the cards are such a large set of effects. (2) With this comes a lot of code. Someone has to maintain all of this, whenever there are changes in other areas, including card documentation. (3) A corollary of this is the spoiler problem, but this is not really my main concern. You see, cards have been invented for Nemelex, and Nemelex for cards. I don't think that a hypothetical DCSS version without cards and without Nemelex would feel crippled to a new player -- she wouldn't miss anything.
I've always been in Crawl for the gods, and the idea of flat-out removing a god never crossed my mind. But I feel with Nemelex it should have. :)
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 10:46

Re: Nemelex reform

In my opinion the multitudes of decks cluttering the inventory is a major annoyance when playing Nemelex , so I'd like to readdress a possible "merge decks" ability which has been discussed before.

Merge decks *****: comes with a hefty piety cost and allows combining decks of the same kind and power level, maybe shuffling some cards from the deck of punishment into the mix during the process or raising the possibility to draw a card from said deck or destroying both decks in the process.
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Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 11:14

Re: Nemelex reform

I don't think Nemelex' cards are "too similar" to existing spells. They're random, they differ by range (which is not actually spoilery as all destruction cards have full LoS range if applicable) and effect, they use limited resource. Destruction and summoning cards do mostly what their decks' names would imply. Yes, card management can be annoying (why the hell do they weight so much). I enjoyed played Nemelex, for what it's worth, and I generally despise inventory management.

@Robotron: I'm not sure I would use that ability even if it just drained your piety, I would certainly never use it if it mixed in punishment cards or destroyed decks.

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MIC132

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 13:07

Re: Nemelex reform

I don't see why the ability couldn't be absolutely free, with maybe the same cost as Peek at Two (lose just one card and insubstantial amount of piety).

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 14:01

Re: Nemelex reform

"Merge two".

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:08

Re: Nemelex reform

Regarding the new players tangent= I strongly disagree that the game is too complex for new players. D1-7, aka "where you will die a lot at first," has become much better due to better interface decisions and documentation, there are still plenty of "easy" races to play, and overall most of the additions and changes are mid-late game. The steep learning curve in the beginning will always be the barrier to entry; the fact that the curve has lengthened somewhat is a non-factor.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 15:18

Re: Nemelex reform

Joining decks via the aforementioned "merge deck"/"merge two" mechanism or whatever you may call it effectively frees inventory slots, thus allowing more pickups. There certainly should be some kind of penalty. Losing one card surely seems not severe enough. Trading inventory slots/convenience for deck effectiveness could be the way to go. If I wanted to merge several decks to have a single, say 40+ cards deck of summoning, there should be some mechanism to worry about, whether it's worthwile. I propose losing up to 50% (maybe 75%) of the total of the merged cards and/or piety loss and/or or inserting bad cards from the punishment deck thus needing "triple draw" to safely handle the merged decks.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:15

Re: Nemelex reform

Merging two decks of the same kind is a minor convenience. If you lost half of the cards while doing so you might as well just drop one of decks.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 16:24

Re: Nemelex reform

Leafsnail, I proposed a loss of up to 50%...so you might on average lose 25%. (10 card deck +10 card deck = deck with 10 to 20 cards, averaging 15 cards).
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:34

Re: Nemelex reform

TeshiAlair wrote:Regarding the new players tangent= I strongly disagree that the game is too complex for new players. D1-7, aka "where you will die a lot at first," has become much better due to better interface decisions and documentation, there are still plenty of "easy" races to play, and overall most of the additions and changes are mid-late game. The steep learning curve in the beginning will always be the barrier to entry; the fact that the curve has lengthened somewhat is a non-factor.
I apologize for derailing the thread with this, just forget about it. I was trying (most likely futile) to give King_jelly some perspective.

---

Deck merging actually leaves you worse off for the most part even if you don't lose any cards or piety in doing so. If you have two different decks then you can, say, have one with Tomb on top and one with Warp. You can draw either Tomb or Warp at any time. If you have a single deck with Tomb on top and Warp as the next card, then you cannot use Warp before Tomb unless you destroy the Tomb card by using triple draw. So unless inventory slots are *really* valuable to you (they shouldn't be) or you really want to use deal four for something specific (why) you should never use this ability.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 17:57

Re: Nemelex reform

CYC idea: You can either evoke a deck, or you can use an ability to gambit style throw a card at an enemy, marking it and doing some damage. Marked enemies have a high chance of turning into a deck on death, with a 100% chance if it is the last card in a deck. The deck gotten is based on the enemies items (so counts as a corpse sacrifice if it is a non-weaponed enemy, even chance if it is an corpse dropping enemy with a weapon, etc)
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:01

Re: Nemelex reform

That's nice, but this topic is actually in GDD.

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:05

Re: Nemelex reform

So is there any reason not to walk around and throw junk cards at every enemy, apart from it being terribly boring?

Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:40

Re: Nemelex reform

Probably making decks weigh less would be sufficient, but you could give Nemelex worshipers an ability to sacrifice decks that they really don't want or aren't going to use (like plain decks of escape when you already have several ornate or legendary ones). "Reabsorbing" these decks would give some piety and decrease deck gift timeout, but at a rate such that, say, sacrificing 4 or 5 unwanted decks gets you 1 new one, on average. (That is, assuming the sacrificed decks have all, or nearly all, cards. The actual decrease to deck timeout should depend on total number of cards sacrificed.)

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 30th January 2014, 18:45

Re: Nemelex reform

I like weight reduction, but recycling decks, eh. Just throw them on the floor, monsters (thankfully) can't use them.
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