How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?


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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 04:22

How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

I feel like Crawl is too easy to be any fun unless I'm doing a speedrun nowadays, unless I play comborobin to take a break from work or something. Once I reach D:10 or so it seems that my chances of dying are basically zero unless I intentionally take risks out of laziness (or just to see if I will die or not). It seems as if the game tries to bore you into making mistakes and dying. If I play an extremely bad character, all I have to do is spend more time kiting enemies to safe zones, or recovering MP, or whatever. Maybe I have just played too much over the years.

So, let's post things that would make the game harder in an interesting way, especially things that will never go in anyway since this is CYC. By "interesting" I'm thinking of things that aren't just tests of patience.

I'll start: Smaller floors would make luring enemies to cleared areas less of a good idea. It will never go in because it would be too big of a change.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 04:24

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 04:35

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

A)Remove all forms of teleport, movement speed increases, shafting, etc while making base speed of monsters 12 and you 10
B) Remove berserk.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 04:40

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Orb on U:5, picking it up teleports you to orb chamber in Z:5. No other way to enter zot.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:04

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:11

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Early game is too hard but late game is too easy.
It's a big problem.
If your race is not strong at early game, your race is weak.

But, devs make late game more easily.
I don't understand why they make late game more easily.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:11

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Because the more difficult mid/late game is a more difficult and additional the early game, early game is always the most difficult.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:31

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Extend game is easy reason is not really.
Extend game is for the OP character, However extend game only boring melee only popcorn and torment spam and big punching bag.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:35

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Also, re: smaller maps, imo part of the problem is intricate maps with narrow corridors. One of few things tomenet got right: Corridors should always be at least 2 squares wide. Get rid of the spirals, generate fewer hairpin turns.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:40

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

While we're at it, shorten the game considerably. I think one of the biggest factors of crawl endgame being too easy is that it would be frustrating playing a 6-12 hour game that is really hard all the time. As such, no developer is really going to change the end game.

If crawl were about 1/3 the length, it could be made considerably harder and more fun. I think a shortened version of crawl that's designed as a straight 27 levels, depths level 5 only and zot level 5 only, with experience to match that pacing, would be a lot more fun than this unending slog. Snake pit, orc, etc, would be singular levels, and there would only be 1 stairs and two escape hatches per level so you actually have to deal with the levels.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:44

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

No escape consumables or other """get out of jail free cards""" (like a bunch of god abilities, also some literal cards). Early game wouldn't be hard either if you had a bunch of healing/blinking/fear/etc.
No allies.
Less speed relative to monsters, almost everything is pretty easy to walk away from.
Stop generating obviously harmless stuff like slow monsters, zombies, 90% of the stuff in lair, etc.
Currently when you find the lair staircase, the next ~18 levels of the game lack any commensurate increase in monster strength as you gain xp/piety/items. Then there's maybe a small jump as you start the next branch...at which point it's another 4, 8, or 12 levels until monster strength noticeably increases again. Change branch structure so that doesn't happen.

You could try to do something about stairs too but that would actually be hard

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:47

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

duvessa wrote:You could try to do something about stairs too but that would actually be hard

Make all stairs into escape hatches? (it wouldn't fix all the problems, but it would remove some of them)
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:47

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

new sprint idea:V5 sprint

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 05:49

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

V8 sprint. Salty :)

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 06:00

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

tabstorm wrote:I feel like Crawl is too easy to be any fun unless I'm doing a speedrun nowadays, unless I play comborobin to take a break from work or something. Once I reach D:10 or so it seems that my chances of dying are basically zero unless I intentionally take risks out of laziness (or just to see if I will die or not). It seems as if the game tries to bore you into making mistakes and dying. If I play an extremely bad character, all I have to do is spend more time kiting enemies to safe zones, or recovering MP, or whatever. Maybe I have just played too much over the years.

So, let's post things that would make the game harder in an interesting way, especially things that will never go in anyway since this is CYC. By "interesting" I'm thinking of things that aren't just tests of patience.

I'll start: Smaller floors would make luring enemies to cleared areas less of a good idea. It will never go in because it would be too big of a change.

Change the game - or change how you play it. Play something other than armored melee bashers. Start a hyper- account and make a point of building each character in a fresh direction each time and going for heavy duty magic wherever possible. And try streaking. There's nothing to keep you on your toes like knowing that a single misstep could end a streak that you put 30 hrs of gameplay into.


My favorite idea for a sweeping change to Crawl is where you start over at xl1 for each new branch, so every branch is as hard as the early game, and also has the early game element of rapid character development. Of course lots of balance changes would have to be made for it to be playable. Described in detail here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16468
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 07:02

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

One thing that would help in the long run is cutting a lot of the bad character types so that you're not balancing the whole game around keeping them viable.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 07:19

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

tabstorm wrote:Maybe I have just played too much over the years.

This.

Your problems are shared by a dozen players or so, which is probably 0.01 percent of the player pool. Anything to make the game harder would be a kick in the balls for the huge majority of players.

Most ideas in this thread are TERRIBLE.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 07:23

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Terrible early game balance was denial most of the new players and new character.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 07:28

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

onget wrote:Terrible early game balance was kick most of the new players and new character.

I always wonder whether I am the only one who doesn't understand Onget's sentences :D

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 08:54

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Rcfile option to scale down your maxHP. Try playing the game with HPscaling=0.5, for example. Default=1, of course.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 11:35

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

The major problem w/ difficulty in the late game is that you have a ton of options all the time. Anything that limits that or forces more consumable consumption increases the difficulty slightly, which is part of the reason I've been adding Depths enemies that will often force consumable use, but it'd have to go up significantly to make a dent in the resources good players tend to have by the late game.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 11:42

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

You need to buff the enemy of the extended game and zot. OP character does not require the outdated boring melee only enemy.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:09

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

I think a major factor in increase in survivability later on is the accumulation of consumables. I never seem to run out of teleport scrolls/wand charges even when I use them liberally.

One really good thing I like about Sil is that there are basically no free escapes. Teleport/blink etc. are out. (Though of course there is Song of Elbereth, and Exchange Places, and other stuff). There are also fewer sources of haste (though you can make artifact boots of speed or sprinting, or quaff potion).

I don't think it would be too much of a nerf to introduce some sort of similar mechanics. After all, Formicids exist, and are totally playable.

I also don't think it would hurt newbies too much to make some later enemies either require more consumable use, or degrade consumables (perhaps by increasing the timer on teleport, or some such thing) later on. Most "newbies" have yet to get a rune. Their major issues of concern lie elsewhere.

Edit: I really like Siegurt's proposal about stairs. It doesn't require too much of a drastic change (like I mused about non-persistent levels in a thread elsewhere). And is a very easy change to make and test.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:17

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

I do not depend too much consumables in the late game.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:22

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Enemy of the late game is too weak.
boring weak melee only demons and undead of extended game does not do anything other than free healing.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:28

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

it's worthless to say this probably, but I like Crawl's difficulty where it is now. It's hard, but it can be mastered. I don't see that as a huge problem. I think if there's a desire for even greater difficulty, one could probably add some gods, backgrounds, or species that accomplish that goal a lot better than big sweeping changes to Crawl's core gameplay.

That said, I think my oft-repeated calls for removing three Lair levels and another level from each of the S-branches would probably be a more tolerable difficulty increase than lots of the other proposals here, but eh.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:33

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

I prefer a lot of tactics and lot of means and lot of option and very difficulty.

crawl is either very poor means and very difficulty or a lot of means and boring melee only monster.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:56

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Sprucery wrote:Rcfile option to scale down your maxHP. Try playing the game with HPscaling=0.5, for example. Default=1, of course.


I don't think it is playable with many characters who will be one-shot often.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 12:58

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

DE^veh in Linley's crawl in most cases, win with 100-120HP.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 13:29

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Sandman25 wrote:
Sprucery wrote:Rcfile option to scale down your maxHP. Try playing the game with HPscaling=0.5, for example. Default=1, of course.

I don't think it is playable with many characters who will be one-shot often.

With more delicate combos you could use 0.9 or 0.8 or whatever.

onget wrote:DE^veh in Linley's crawl in most cases, win with 100-120HP.

My SENe in DCSS 0.1.2 had 118 HP.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 14:59

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

I'd love to try a crawl variant with little to no xp gain from killing monsters, borrowing ideas from sil and brogue. Give xp for entering new floors and grabbing runes; either give no xp for kills or have the amount quickly approach zero with the number of a given enemy killed. After D or so, stop random loot drops, and correspondingly place more loot in end branch vaults.

These mechanics would hopefully discourage players from clearing every floor. My experience is that clearing floors is fun in the early game when any given drop can shape how I will develop my character. After a certain point though, it becomes grindy: still optimal for the xp and consumable drops, not often challenging, very repetitive. The game should encourage, not punish, players' diving to a floor that's challenging for their character.

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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 15:19

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

all before wrote:The game should encourage, not punish, players' diving to a floor that's challenging for their character.


Also it could be achieved by some loot which is available depending on XL. For example, if you get rune from Shoals before XL 17, you get some extra loot. Or if you kill Grinder before XL 4. Though I am not sure using XL is good here, it will lead to powerful characters becoming even more powerful and will not help weak characters.
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Post Tuesday, 1st September 2015, 15:30

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

all before, wasn't there a god concept like that that even had an experimental branch?

I'd also be interested in gods that "cull" popcorn (and their easy XP), or immediately shaft you, or other cute ideas that increase danger in exchange for making the game dramatically shorter and different.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 01:44

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Magipi wrote:Your problems are shared by a dozen players or so, which is probably 0.01 percent of the player pool. Anything to make the game harder would be a kick in the balls for the huge majority of players.

Most ideas in this thread are TERRIBLE.


Oddly enough, I don't think making the game harder would hurt new players.

The best way to deal with a given encounter isn't hard to piece out.
Crawl usually kills via boredom, and better players have internalized a lot of rote moves so they don't slip up as much.

If the game were shorter and more truly difficult, it'd be easier to pay consistent attention and I bet new players would learn faster.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 01:53

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Lasty wrote:The major problem w/ difficulty in the late game is that you have a ton of options all the time. Anything that limits that or forces more consumable consumption increases the difficulty slightly, which is part of the reason I've been adding Depths enemies that will often force consumable use, but it'd have to go up significantly to make a dent in the resources good players tend to have by the late game.
Well, also the part where those monsters don't force consumable use often at all.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 02:18

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Lasty wrote:The major problem w/ difficulty in the late game is that you have a ton of options all the time. Anything that limits that or forces more consumable consumption increases the difficulty slightly, which is part of the reason I've been adding Depths enemies that will often force consumable use, but it'd have to go up significantly to make a dent in the resources good players tend to have by the late game.


Even if you made the whole game like the early game wrt danger it would still be a pain in the ass in some sense imo. Imagine having to treat every floor like that floor on D:3 where you're always trying to avoid ogres. I would probably get tired of it after the 50th time.

Basically, it is still a test of patience. For me a speedrun is fun exactly because it is not a test of patience. But, it is hard to make the game not a test of patience without a radical overhaul. It is not like I expect this to happen. At least the game allows people to enjoy it in different ways.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 02:54

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

tabstorm wrote:For me a speedrun is fun exactly because it is not a test of patience.


I don't understand this. You recently lost 5 DrTm speedruns before D6 (one of them quit in Temple). Isn't it a test of patience? I cannot speedrun because I am not patient enough, I hate to play early game again and again with the same character.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 03:55

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Somehow I'm fine with scumming the RNG for like 10 minutes to make sure chei spawns to have a fun run, but I don't really find endless kiting (weak chars) or super-easy (strong chars) games that appealing unless I'm just killing some time. Early game is somewhat entertaining so I don't really care about dying.

Anyway, it's a test of patience in a somewhat different way (using good battle tactics against packs on a speedrun when underleveled because you don't want to retreat to rest all the time vs. careful pack splitting on weak chars in a normal game).

Basically, positoning challenges are what's fun for me, so the "split pack, fight 1 monster, rest up, repeat" sort of kills that altogether. I like floors like V:5 for instance because you can't do that sort of thing very effectively.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 04:48

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

The play pure caster, and missed all spell to hobgoblin, and using all of the MP, kite force the Hobgoblin in MP0 is tedious patience test

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 05:35

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Igxfl wrote:Crawl usually kills via boredom

Yeah, this just bored me to death:
  Code:
Vanquished Creatures
  2 hydras (D:11)
  A centaur warrior (D:10)
  An obsidian statue (D:10)
...
 An ugly thing (D:10)
...
  2 kobold demonologists (D:11)
...
  A troll (D:11)
  A two-headed ogre (D:11)
...
  A deep elf mage (D:11)
...
  A steam dragon (D:11)
...
  A swamp drake (D:11)
  2 black bears (D:10)
...
  A crocodile (D:10)
  A big kobold (D:11)
...
354 creatures vanquished.

Vanquished Creatures (collateral kills)
  An ugly thing (D:11)
...
4 creatures vanquished.

Grand Total: 358 creatures vanquished

Oh, wait, no, it was the invisible stalker and pack of four skeletal warriors on D:11 that caused the death. Almost forgot that part, it was all so easy and boring.

I agree with Magipi completely. Talk of crawl being too easy is simply nuts (as in, wacko crazy, just to be clear). I could swear by the roster present on 10 and 11 that it's already been made harder, but it could just be the damn rng. I think the skeletal pack appeared because I took "too long" to survive and kill the initial layout, which is another ridiculously difficult contrivance.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 05:39

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

what kind of awful character is in danger from unseen horrors, skeletal warriors, crocodiles, ogres, steam dragons, black bears, statues and big kobolds on D:11 because i don't think i have ever had or even seen a character that bad on d:11

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 05:44

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

duvessa wrote:what kind of awful character is in danger from unseen horrors, skeletal warriors, crocodiles, ogres, steam dragons, centaur warriors, ugly things and kobold demonologists on D:11 because i don't think i have ever had or even seen a character that bad on d:11

FTFY

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 06:04

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Remove all species except Op and all background except Wn. Or make nice variations of Op, more tentacles, less tentacles, more amulet slots, even less armor slots. OpWn forever!

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 06:07

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

duvessa wrote:what kind of awful character

This is the core of it, because crawl offers all manner of "awful" character combos. If you think crawl is easy, stop playing only the easy combos, and play some "awful" ones. But, no, instead you want the game made even harder for all just to serve you and your own play choices. Really, really selfish, in the long view, especially given the actual game statistics that tell quite a different story. Either remove "awful" combos entirely or acknowledge they exist for a reason. Your "crawl is easy" mantra is old and thin. If it were true, then death morgues would not outnumber winning morgues. But they do. Oh, yes, they do indeed.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 06:08

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Skeleton warriors are a perfectly fine spawn on D11, you should've just listened to your inner onget and always boring walk away.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 07:01

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Beer. Lots of beer.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 07:37

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Aule wrote:
duvessa wrote:what kind of awful character

This is the core of it, because crawl offers all manner of "awful" character combos. If you think crawl is easy, stop playing only the easy combos, and play some "awful" ones. But, no, instead you want the game made even harder for all just to serve you and your own play choices. Really, really selfish, in the long view, especially given the actual game statistics that tell quite a different story. Either remove "awful" combos entirely or acknowledge they exist for a reason. Your "crawl is easy" mantra is old and thin. If it were true, then death morgues would not outnumber winning morgues. But they do. Oh, yes, they do indeed.


"Bad combos" are bad for about the six levels it takes to turn them into something reasonable. What's more true is that there are more bad ways to play crawl than good ways. Of course the game looks hard if you aren't familiar with enough good ways or you make a conduct of playing the bad ways.

I mean, take driving: It's objectively an easy thing to do, so easy nearly any able-bodied person can do it safely. Even so, if you just put someone with no prior experience with cars or driving on a road, they'd kill somebody almost every time. That's pretty much what's going on with crawl morgues.
Dungeon Crawling Advice tl;dr: Protect ya neck.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 07:50

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

Aule wrote:
duvessa wrote:what kind of awful character

This is the core of it, because crawl offers all manner of "awful" character combos. If you think crawl is easy, stop playing only the easy combos, and play some "awful" ones.
  Code:
*Sequell* 175 games for minqmay (won): 45x Mummy

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Arrhythmia, PleasingFungus, Sandman25, Sar, vergil
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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 07:54

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

An important question is should Crawl allow "bad" playing of bad combos. For example, if I play a TrAE I try to play it as an AE who learns the spells in the book and uses them as main offence. This is not a very efficient way of playing TrAE but it's fun to me. Currently it is possible to play like that. If, for example, chunks are removed and a fixed amount of permafood is granted to last 100 000 turns for a 3-rune game, the situation would change. I am not at all interested in winning a TrAE who went Trog.
...MiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}
DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu
{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWr

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Post Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 08:03

Re: How would you make Crawl harder, in a fun way?

here's another thing i forgot: get rid of "pack AI", or just packs altogether. being in a pack effectively kills a monster's speed, it's silly (and makes the game easier) that escaping from 5 death yaks in a pack is easier than escaping from a single death yak that isn't in a pack. regular non-pack swapping also produces some goofy stuff but not nearly as much as packs

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