Bye bye victory dancing


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Monday, 4th July 2011, 23:45

Bye bye victory dancing

I won't miss you.

I am well aware that the new system is still undocumented and probably very buggy. Will do my best to address it. Also, please report bugs directly on mantis, no need to spam the forum with them.

Enjoy.
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Post Monday, 4th July 2011, 23:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I guess this means I'll be playing trunk from now on.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 00:42

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

So, how would this affect manuals? You use them and it puts some training in line?

Otherwise, nice change.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 07:53

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I kinda liked victory dancing. Will have a good play with the new system though, sucking an update down the series of tubes as I type this :)
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 08:13

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

TwilightPhoenix wrote:So, how would this affect manuals? You use them and it puts some training in line?

We haven't decided yet. My idea is that it you read it to activate it, and as long as you carry it, it doubles the amount of skill points gained in the skill. Duration being a total number of skill points to gain, so you don't need to disable other skills to optimise its use.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 08:30

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:I won't miss you.


Hooray! That's a pretty big immersion-barrier tackled.

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 10:50

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Hmm, I'm not sure what I think to it to be honest. I've just started playing a MfIE. I was just using freeze on everything but had been hitting a few rats with my spear. I then killed jessica with Freeze and suddenly got the conjurations and polearms skills. I had learnt throw frost, but NEVER used it.

It just seems a bit weird to gain some experience and suddenly gain skills that I didn't use/have before the fight?? Especially conjurations which I hadn't used atall (unless freeze is now a conj or memorizing uses that skill?)

I know some stuff will need ironing out, but it seems a bit odd at the moment.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 11:10

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:It just seems a bit weird to gain some experience and suddenly gain skills that I didn't use/have before the fight?? Especially conjurations which I hadn't used atall (unless freeze is now a conj or memorizing uses that skill?)

Well, as I said, there's probably bugs, and this certainly does look like one. This is not the intended behaviour.

edit: no wait, I've figured it out. Start a MfIE, and in the skill menu press * to show all. You'll see that 6% of your XP will go into conj.

Now, let me explain how this work. In automatic mode, the game keeps track of the last 100 uses of skills, and will use that to determine what skills to train. In the beginning of the game, I initialize the queue with random values weighted using the starting skills. But I'm not using the starting skill levels, I use the starting skill points. IE usually start with level 1 in conj, but since Mf have a -2 aptitude, they don't get enough skill points to start at level 1. But they still get some skill points.

Starting with an empty queue wouldn't be better. It means if you start by stumbling on a trap, you immediately get 100% training in trap. Then you walk around a bit and it goes to 50/50 for T&D and stealth. I think initializing the exercise queue based on the starting skills is more natural. It might be better to skip unknown skills to avoid learning them without using them. You'll still train your level 3 Ice skill for a while even if you don't use it, but I don't think it's a big deal. Besides, it's rare not to use your starting skills!
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 11:15

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Looks like by far the most significant change of anything in 0.9, and extremely welcome. I remember as a new player finding victory dancing and the Exp pool the most counterintuitive part of the learning process, and I've seen occasional comments from people on webtiles like "why is your Exp going down?" This change can only make the game more playable for new and experienced players alike!
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 11:42

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

And make the game look a bit more like an Ortoslon Playthrough of White Butterfly, I suspect. =)
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 11:47

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Ahh, I see how it works now. I do like it, but as I said, it does feel abit un-natural (for a long time player) to not gain skills when you use them. Possibly a message on the skills screen as to how it works?
Although Victory Dancing is rubbish, It does make sense that you level up in what you train. Perhaps as you said, having to use a skill a few times (similar to the old system) before you could have it on or off would be better? I just don't like randomly gaining skills that I've never used, and I think it would be confusing for new (and experienced!) players.

I really don't mean to sound ungrateful though, its awesome! Good work Galehar!!
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 13:06

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:Possibly a message on the skills screen as to how it works?

Have you seen how busy the screen is? It has to fit in 80x24, there's no way I can fit an explanation of the system right there. The in-game documentation is the 2 line contextual help. Maybe I'll bring little improvement to it, but nothing much. I'll put something more fleshed out in the manual. I'll also update tutorial and hint mode to explain the new system, but it's less urgent.

Bim wrote:Although Victory Dancing is rubbish, It does make sense that you level up in what you train. Perhaps as you said, having to use a skill a few times (similar to the old system) before you could have it on or off would be better? I just don't like randomly gaining skills that I've never used, and I think it would be confusing for new (and experienced!) players.

Well, I've already fixed the issue you've mentioned. Unknown skills don't get any training point at startup. Your other skills will train up for a while, even if you don't use them. But past D:1 (once 100 exercises have been done to be more precise), in automatic mode, only used skills will ever be trained.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 13:59

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:Have you seen how busy the screen is? It has to fit in 80x24, there's no way I can fit an explanation of the system right there. The in-game documentation is the 2 line contextual help. Maybe I'll bring little improvement to it, but nothing much. I'll put something more fleshed out in the manual. I'll also update tutorial and hint mode to explain the new system, but it's less urgent.


I think this system needs far less explanation than the old one, it'll be completely obvious after you're playing for a while that skills are levelling up in areas that you've been using.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 14:04

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

It's 2011. Why does it have to fit in 80 x 24?

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A tiles user. :lol:
Last edited by XuaXua on Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 14:06

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

What are the qualifications for "using" a skill?

Unless actively dealing with them, I just don't imagine Traps and Stealth will increase very much these days.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 14:25

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I believe the skill screen should have its own help page, like so many others (Ctrl-F, drop/pickup, X, targeting etc.) If there is interest, I could write something to go there.

re manuals: I believe they don't realyl have a point right now. Galehar's proposal makes some sense, but it does not force some genuine decision, I am afraid. If you're vaguely interested in the skill, you will want to use it. Perhaps not now, but later -- but that is all there is to it. I think we can safely remove manuals.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 14:45

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:I believe the skill screen should have its own help page, like so many others (Ctrl-F, drop/pickup, X, targeting etc.) If there is interest, I could write something to go there.

re manuals: I believe they don't realyl have a point right now. Galehar's proposal makes some sense, but it does not force some genuine decision, I am afraid. If you're vaguely interested in the skill, you will want to use it. Perhaps not now, but later -- but that is all there is to it. I think we can safely remove manuals.


How about change how manuals work?

Read a manual and it sets the last 100 to the skill the manual is about?
How does sage work now?
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 15:02

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

manuals could fill a nice niche if they forced you (at least early on) to reevaluate your character and maybe go in a different direction than you originally planned. say finding a manual of armour or shields early on as a caster, of stealth when playing a fighter, etc. a bit like draconian color or demonspawn mutations. it still works out that way sometimes, but they mostly seem to be a means to bootstrap fighting or whatever skills you plan to invest in already, or to do something with the obscene amounts of XP that sometimes pile up in the pool around/post-zot before something drains it. it also doesn't help that you have to have something in the pool, as they enable silly stuff like berserkers with >1 levels in spellcasting.

an instant bonus is a no-brainer. i liked galehar's (i think?) proposal in the mailing list: a sort of partial, not-quite sage, where you get a noticeable bonus to that skill and a slight penalty to the rest. it's not quite free, you still have to use the skill, and there's no need to save it until the pool is filled up. i'd also like it if they weren't so rare, could be found earlier and had less charges. reskilling with a bonus instead of a penalty isn't terrible either. either's sounds better than the current incarcation, but i'd have to be implemented and playtested. i'd scrap the current manuals in the meantime.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 15:28

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

minmay wrote:Manuals and Sage, if they stay at all, should not affect skill training - the entire goal was to segregate that from gameplay, was it not?

If they must be kept, it'd probably be best for them to just give you an instant bonus shot of XP to whatever skill they are for.


But neither gifted XP before; they both just channeled XP in different ways.

Manuals take unallocated XP and dump all of it straight into the associated skill.

Sage takes incoming XP and directs all/most of it towards the associated skill.

To simulate this with the new system, I suggest:

- for Manuals, set the last 100 skill uses to whatever the skill in the manual is.
- for Sage, divert a % of incoming towards the associated skill and apply the rest towards the 100 grouping, until Sage wears off.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 15:39

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:What are the qualifications for "using" a skill?

In the source it's called exercising. When you gain XP and the skill gain some skill points and eventually level up, it's called training. In the old system, skills where trained if you exercised them with XP in the pool. In the new system, the 100 last exercises are stored in a queue and skills are trained proportionally to this whenever XP is gained.

XuaXua wrote:How does sage work now?

Exactly like before. Whenever you gain XP, half of it is used exclusively for this skill with a bonus dependent on card power. The rest goes in the pool and other skills are immediately trained with it.

dpeg wrote:I believe the skill screen should have its own help page, like so many others (Ctrl-F, drop/pickup, X, targeting etc.) If there is interest, I could write something to go there.

Play with Ash and have both skill transfer and skill bonus active. Now look at the skill_menu. You have to fit the button in the 16 chars left on the lower right :)
And what hotkey? "?" and "_" are already used.

dpeg wrote:re manuals: I believe they don't really have a point right now. Galehar's proposal makes some sense, but it does not force some genuine decision, I am afraid. If you're vaguely interested in the skill, you will want to use it. Perhaps not now, but later -- but that is all there is to it. I think we can safely remove manuals.

With the new system, they can be balanced differently. I think they would be more interesting in the early game, so we would need to make them more common and less expensive.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 15:41

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:- for Manuals, set the last 100 skill uses to whatever the skill in the manual is.

There's no point in messing with the exercise queue. This effect is available to anyone by simply disabling all but one skill and activating manual mode.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 16:33

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar: I know the m-screen is full -- one more reason for interactive help! I'd like to explain about the experience/skill system as well.

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 17:10

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I think it definitely needs interactive help. I really didn't find it overly intuitive, especially levelling up stuff I haven't used (I just thought it was a bug). It may be just (and I think we all sometimes fall into this trap) that I'm a long time player, but It did feel weird/not intuitive earning a level in stabbing when I had just blasted someone with a throw flame.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 17:20

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Yes, we will hear this complaint from time to time. I see two potential solutions:

1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is acutally used.
2) Train and level skills as now, but only announce leveling when the skill was used. A bit lame, I know.

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 17:55

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Goodbye, "oh I'll just melee that kobold because I don't have points in my pool to put into magic", and good riddance. I can definitely see myself over-micromanaging with the manual mode, but that was to some extent a problem with the old system anyway. A question, though:

In auto mode, how is Spellcasting weighted in relation to the other magic skills? Through D:1 and D:2 I have been using Magic Dart and Throw Frost to get my kills and I notice that the experience weights are 11% in Spellcasting and 59% in Conjurations. Do spells count as fewer exercises of Spellcasting than for its schools' skills or something?

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 18:24

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Hmm, I don't know what the answer is. I prefer the first proposal of levelling when used, although it is by no means great. Perhaps if the points went into it, and it levelled up fast when you started using it (as it would stop players just hitting plants/casting a spell to see if they had levelled it up). Although it's still slightly artificial, and probably not the best option, I think it's a lot better than the confusing 'you levelled up axes!' when you cast fire storm (should I keep casting fire storm to level up axes?!).

I know players will get used to it, but it seems less intuitive (although much better) than victory dancing.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 18:29

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Just discussed this on ##crawl-dev. It is probably best to wait, no rushed changes. I would really like to get a help screen for 0.9, though.

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 18:40

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:Yes, we will hear this complaint from time to time. I see two potential solutions:

1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is acutally used.
2) Train and level skills as now, but only announce leveling when the skill was used. A bit lame, I know.


One possible fix is that the game track not the last n exercises, but just the exercises done while fighting the current monster. So upon killing a monster, you receive experience in proportion to what skills you used to defeat that monster, and not at all based on what you were doing beforehand. Then you wouldn't level up Axes after killing a monster unless you swung an axe at it at least once.

Edit: on second thought, there are a bunch of things off the top of my head that need to be ironed out if this were to be implemented:

1) Dodging and Armour would probably be over-weighted without specific tweaking
2) If you are a caster, one Bolt of Iron would probably contribute more to killing a monster than a few swings of your dagger. Should this be accounted for?
3) How should Stealth and Stabbing be considered?
4) T&D!?

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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 18:44

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

But then we are sort of mixing the old and the new system. I don't think anything good can come out of this.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 19:09

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

ElectricAlbatross wrote:
dpeg wrote:Yes, we will hear this complaint from time to time. I see two potential solutions:

1) Train skills as now, but only level a skill when it is acutally used.
2) Train and level skills as now, but only announce leveling when the skill was used. A bit lame, I know.


One possible fix is that the game track not the last n exercises, but just the exercises done while fighting the current monster.


Many trainable skills are not used when fighting any given monster.

The issue dpeg is trying to resolve is the ill-timed announcement of skill leveling, which isn't a problem with the game system, but with player perspective.
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Post Tuesday, 5th July 2011, 21:09

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

dpeg wrote:I would really like to get a help screen for 0.9, though.

If you write something, I will gladly include it. You know how coders are with documentation...
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 03:46

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

I really like automatic mode; good job on that. However, it annoys me that using some skill just once inevitably forces you to gain a skill point if you didn't have one before. Especially since useless skill points sap some of your experience over time. Could someone look into disabling autotraining of skills you have less than a point of?
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 08:31

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Bim wrote:Although it's still slightly artificial, and probably not the best option, I think it's a lot better than the confusing 'you levelled up axes!' when you cast fire storm (should I keep casting fire storm to level up axes?!).

No it's not a lot better. You find it weird just because you're used to the old system. And skills trained are not chosen randomly, you have either used them (in auto mode) or selected them (in manual). So even if you didn't kill that specific monster with an axe in the face, you still used it recently. Shortening the queue or have exercise events expires with time will only turn the victory dance into a pre-battle dance. The goal of the new system is to decorrelate the skill training from the tactical choices. You use the skills you need when you need them, and they will be trained at some point.

sage wrote:I really like automatic mode; good job on that. However, it annoys me that using some skill just once inevitably forces you to gain a skill point if you didn't have one before. Especially since useless skill points sap some of your experience over time. Could someone look into disabling autotraining of skills you have less than a point of?

No, this intended. Again, I'm trying to avoid creating pre-battle dance effects. If you want to gain spellcasting, just read the scrolls you find whenever you like. You don't need to hoard them and read them all at once as soon as you've spotted a sleeping ogre. Exercises event for unknown skills are not put in the queue and they lose training points only when the skill is actually trained.
You couldn't disable unknown skills in the old system, and you still can't.
And no, useless skills points don't sap your experience over time. Before implementing the new skill training system, I changed the skill costs and made the level 1 much cheaper. I also removed the dependency of the skill cost on the skill level. You used to gain more skills points with the same XP when training low level skills, thus slowing down a bit your progress. This isn't the case anymore. You gain the same amount of skill points whether you train low level skills or high level ones.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 12:28

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

sage wrote:I really like automatic mode; good job on that. However, it annoys me that using some skill just once inevitably forces you to gain a skill point if you didn't have one before. Especially since useless skill points sap some of your experience over time. Could someone look into disabling autotraining of skills you have less than a point of?


I'm wondering what you class as "useless skill points". Dodging/stealth/T&D are all very useful to have even just 1 skill point in, and in the old system they would all train a little over time even if you'd disabled them all. If a skill is truly useless then surely your character wouldn't be using it ever and therefore it wouldn't train it at all under the new system. If you are using it, even unintentionally, then it's clearly logical that it should train a little bit. I don't ever disable those skills unless there's something I'm actively trying to pump everything into; losing a bit of XP to some survival skills barely impacts your high-level skills (due to the exponential curve) and will often keep you alive, even if you don't realise it. The new system appears to make it much less of a headache to train the more tricky skills - armour/shields/fighting would be the primary examples for a spellcaster - whilst barely impacting anything else.

Anyway, it seems only natural to me that your character would pick up a small amount of knowledge even in areas they're not interested in or even using, as they progress through the dungeon and see other characters using those skills. So I personally wouldn't be at all bothered if I occasionally gained a completely random skill that I had no intention of using!

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 12:37

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Also; I kind of think people are looking at this a bit too hard when they say it's confusing to see a skill gain message for a skill they weren't immediately using. In a lot of RPGs you gain arbitrary skills every time you level up. This is no different conceptually. Maybe the message can just be tweaked slightly to something like: "You have been mulling over your recent adventures and you feel more knowledgeable in many areas. Your Traps and Doors skill has increased to Level 1!"

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 12:43

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Except you haven't been mulling, you have spent the last few turns killing a lich. So that message wouldn't make any more sense than just gaining a level of T&D without the message.

I don't think skill levelups being decoupled from skills used in the last turn is a big issue. People will get used to it soon enough. I haven't had time to try the new training yet, but I'm looking forward to it. 0.9 seems to be shaping up nicely.

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 12:51

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Galefury wrote:Except you haven't been mulling, you have spent the last few turns killing a lich. So that message wouldn't make any more sense than just gaining a level of T&D without the message.


You're saying your mind never wanders onto something completely different to what you're doing right now? ;)

But yeah for me there's nothing confusing about the system as is, it's no more arbitrary than in any game, and players will quickly get used to the mechanics. But if it's a major issue for enough people, I'm sure there's some flavourful way to alter the message, rather than changing how the system actually works. That was just the first thing off the top of my (wandering) mind.

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 13:30

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

mumra wrote:You're saying your mind never wanders onto something completely different to what you're doing right now? ;)

Not when I'm killing liches.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 13:48

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

i may be nitpicking, but i find the terms "manual" and "automatic" confusing.
"In automatic mode, the skills you use are trained."
"In manual mode, the skills you have selected are trained."

I'd expect the manual system to be victory dancing, while automatic gets rid of the hassle. i know there are other rationalizations (the manual system is the one where you select skills manually), but it's still confusing. am i the only one? i'd like to offer alternatives but i'm at a loss right now.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 14:00

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

@absoluteego,
Yeah I kinda get what you mean, manual isn't really MANUAL, its more 'directed'. I think this system means that we lose a bit of control whilst also losing a lot of headache inducing victory dancing. I think it just needs better documentation, as alot of players probably don't pay attention to the forum/wiki (THEY ARE MISSING OUT ON ALL THE DRAMA!!!!!!) so I think it could be confusing.

My mind only wanders when I'm killing liches. Something about it just gets me in the zone, time slows down, I think about all the things wrong with the world...and then I bash Z,D,Z,D,Z,D until I get lots of invisible XP which goes into traps and doors. :P
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Blades Runner

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 14:22

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

actually i see i mistook one for the other.
which kind of helps my point, i guess.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 14:35

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

absolutego wrote:I'd expect the manual system to be victory dancing, while automatic gets rid of the hassle.

They both get rid of the hassle. Automatic mode isn't victory dancing, nor it is pre-battle dance. I see what you mean though. But I believe this is one of the things that feels weird for now, but will feel very natural once we get used to it. If anyone has a better idea for the mode names, I'm all ears.

Bim wrote:I think it just needs better documentation

Of course it does, and it's coming. Since we're a week from code freeze, I didn't wait for the thing to be documented to push it. It needs to be tested and bugfixed.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 14:41

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:They both get rid of the hassle. Automatic mode isn't victory dancing, nor it is pre-battle dance. I see what you mean though. But I believe this is one of the things that feels weird for now, but will feel very natural once we get used to it. If anyone has a better idea for the mode names, I'm all ears.


"Inferred" vs "Explicit".

Of course the player might need to be a programmer for those to make more sense than automatic/manual ;)

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 15:13

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

galehar wrote:
absolutego wrote:I'd expect the manual system to be victory dancing, while automatic gets rid of the hassle.

They both get rid of the hassle. Automatic mode isn't victory dancing, nor it is pre-battle dance. I see what you mean though. But I believe this is one of the things that feels weird for now, but will feel very natural once we get used to it. If anyone has a better idea for the mode names, I'm all ears.

Bim wrote:I think it just needs better documentation

Of course it does, and it's coming. Since we're a week from code freeze, I didn't wait for the thing to be documented to push it. It needs to be tested and bugfixed.


How about "automatic" and "Selected"?

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 15:18

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

Or Regular/Generic and Focused/Pursuing?
If you find any mistakes or typos in my post, feel free to PM me about it. Thanks in advance!

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 16:46

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

The accepted opposite of automatic is generally manual.

The alteration would be to change "automatic" to something else

"automated" vs. "manual"

I don't see "manual" == victory dancing.
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 17:09

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

XuaXua wrote:The accepted opposite of automatic is generally manual.

The alteration would be to change "automatic" to something else

"automated" vs. "manual"

I don't see "manual" == victory dancing.



How about "Automated" and "Selected" or "Manually Selected"

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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 17:48

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

+100 for selected. It makes a lot more sense to have it as selected, as that's EXACTLY what you're doing - selecting.

Can we not have another Skald thing and have this actually describe what it is it's doing? :P
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Post Wednesday, 6th July 2011, 18:01

Re: Bye bye victory dancing

To avoid continued confusion, suggest rephrasing to

"Prior use and current experience trains {SKILL_NAME} to Level {LEVEL}!"
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