Remove curses


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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 10:37

Remove curses

Please, remove curses from the game, I hate it so much. This mechanic has absolutely no purpose just remained in the game as a rouglike/RPG heritage, and one of the worsts.

If it is considered too much of a buff then decrease early item generation.

(Curses can stay for ash and artifacts with recurse ability.)

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 10:46

Re: Remove curses

What is so bad about it? I personally don't mind curses, and think decreased item generation would be worse than having cursed items.The only issue, really, is that curses generally tend to be irrelevant for everyone but Ashenzari as most characters find a lot of remove curse scrolls, with just a few unlucky exceptions.
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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 10:55

Re: Remove curses

If you do not have a remove curse scroll than wielding or wearing any non-identified item is generally a mistake (unless you are powerful enough that you do not mind a terrible cursed item, but then it is not a very interesting decision also). So you need to keep track whether you have rc or not, and try to optimally try out items when you are low. I find it very annoying in the early game.

After about lair usually you have way more rc scrolls than you need so it is just annoyance when one of the items are cursed.

Curses could work somewhat if a curse has an xp timer and remove curse scrolls were removed. But I personally do not see any reason to keep the whole mechanic at all.

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Sandman25

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 13:28

Re: Remove curses

Well, curses make the Only Part of The Game That Matters (TM) even harder, making it so you can't use unidentified floor items safely unless you have a scroll of RC. Once you have rc identified and in your inventory, you're probably on D2, or even D3! The game is over at that point anyway.

I honestly don't know how much of that statement is irony anymore... although I do manage to die well past the 'early game', it's true that curses are at their most relevant at that point in the game.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 08:54

Re: Remove curses

Curses do make the *very* early game modestly, slightly more difficult in their way. Unfortunately, they often do so through a combination of highly annoying factors in my experience.

As everyone knows, some backgrounds do not start with a weapon *or* any ranks in unarmed combat. You probably want to use *something* besides your fists on D:1 in this case, because punching at 0 skill is terrible. So you z-a and/or desperately slap your enemies to death until one of them drops a dagger. Much better! And hey, it's not glowing, or runed, or giving you glimpses of Mordor when you touch it, so it's almost certainly not cursed, right? It's just a completely ordinary-looking sharp pointy thing that will work a lot better than your hilariously wimpy kung fu.

But wait! It's -3, and now stuck to you. Que running around frantically for an entirely random amount of time before the game decides to generate a single scroll of remove curse. Or ctrl-q. I often just hold down tab and accept my fate as a compromise these days.

I am very much on board with the idea of obviously magical items on D:1 or D:3 being a gamble, left to the judgment of the player. It could be venom branded, or it could be garbage covered in super glue. But the role that curses end up really playing in my experience is "yet another completely random, unforeseeable, generally not fun way of making D:1 more frustratingly hit-or-miss". You're already randomly whiffing your 3 mp away for no damage, randomly getting no-selled by a hobgoblin who looks entirely identical to the last hobgoblin you killed easily, randomly falling down invisible holes and randomly landing next to venomous snakes, randomly being mauled by packs of jackals that laugh at said 3 mp and make you wish you had chosen Be...and now you're randomly stuck to the weapon equivalent of a plastic spoon mimicking a dagger and hoping desperately for a particular scroll to randomly spawn.

I *think* the overall D:1 crapshoot experience would be largely preserved without that last thing. Honestly. Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe it's absolutely crucial to the hobgoblin killing spree in some way I completely fail to see, but I'm pretty confident about this.

Curses cease being meaningful entirely about five minutes or so into the average game, so outside of adderland it's really just flavor.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 10:19

Re: Remove curses

It's an interesting thing. No one seems to have difficulty with the idea that as adders become a nonissue, they should appear less frequently or not at all, making way for other things. When it comes to curses though, you have exactly the same dynamic and yet there is no recognition that they should fade away too.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 10:57

Re: Remove curses

I have no idea why you think that adders and curses are similar.

EDIT: Sorry, misunderstood.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 11:17

Re: Remove curses

goodcoolguy wrote:It's an interesting thing. No one seems to have difficulty with the idea that as adders become a nonissue, they should appear less frequently or not at all, making way for other things. When it comes to curses though, you have exactly the same dynamic and yet there is no recognition that they should fade away too.

I don't remember adders appearing in Vaults or Zot.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 12:51

Re: Remove curses

gcg's point is that cursed items still generate in and after Lair/Orc, despite generally not mattering at all during this part of the game. Eventually it simply becomes a matter of trading 1 of 52 inventory slots in order to remove the mechanic from the game, albeit with an additional annoyance from the interface. The game stops throwing adders at you past the point they could be dangerous, but doesn't stop spawning cursed items even after you have 20 scrolls of remove curse.

Personally I am all for removing curses except for Ash.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 13:32

Re: Remove curses

Removing curses would make trying any non-artifact item completely safe so all such items would need to be fully identified while they are on the floor.
Another option is to make curses matter, for instance, remove scroll of remove curse, make scroll of identify identify scrolls/potions/wands/arefacts only and suddenly you have no way to id items except via using them. Now add "uncurse with XP" mechanic and you have interesting decisions like "Am I strong enough to try that ring on D:2? What if it is slay -4 or teleportation?"
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 13:43

Re: Remove curses

and into wrote:Personally I am all for removing curses except for Ash.
Imo just removing curses woud be a noticeable buff to the early game. Curses matter in the early game. The fact that they don't matter later on does not justify completely (bar Ash) removing them.

Maybe make ?RC rarer. Or make them decay over time :)
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 13:58

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote: Another option is to make curses matter, for instance, remove scroll of remove curse, make scroll of identify identify scrolls/potions/wands/arefacts only and suddenly you have no way to id items except via using them. Now add "uncurse with XP" mechanic and you have interesting decisions like "Am I strong enough to try that ring on D:2? What if it is slay -4 or teleportation?"


In games where ?rc is scarce, I don't wear-ID jewelry already. Very bad scenario (teleportation/loudness) is plausible and increases likelihood of dying by a lot. Functionally this ends up being the same as not generating the jewelry until later, except there is the additional pretense of a meaningful choice that doesn't really exist.

The one thing that curses do uniquely add to the game is that, if you know all bad possibilities of (e.g.) jewelry ahead of time, you can through this knowledge gain an advantage as there are specific circumstances in which wear-IDing stuff is not a bad gamble for a particular character. Whether this is enough to constitute a significant violation of Crawl's general efforts to avoid spoilers is a matter of judgment; I'm content to argue simply that this is an effect I don't think is worth preserving in the game. ("Bound items" works fine as a conduct, and conducts are best handled in Crawl through gods/species, so Ash can keep curses.)

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:05

Re: Remove curses

and into wrote:In games where ?rc is scarce, I don't wear-ID jewelry already. Very bad scenario (teleportation/loudness) is plausible and increases likelihood of dying by a lot. Functionally this ends up being the same as not generating the jewelry until later, except there is the additional pretense of a meaningful choice that doesn't really exist.


You don't wear-ID because you are waiting for ?rc. I am suggesting to remove ?rc completely, I don't think you will continue to ignore rings with that change (or will you use randart rings only?).

The one thing that curses do uniquely add to the game is that, if you know all bad possibilities of (e.g.) jewelry ahead of time, you can through this knowledge gain an advantage as there are specific circumstances in which wear-IDing stuff is not a bad gamble for a particular character. Whether this is enough to constitute a significant violation of Crawl's general efforts to avoid spoilers is a matter of judgment; I'm content to argue simply that this is an effect I don't think is worth preserving in the game. ("Bound items" works fine as a conduct, and conducts are best handled in Crawl through gods/species, so Ash can keep curses.)


Another thing which I dislike is that having a single ?rc allows you to try many unknown items you found: 2 rings, amulet, body armour, weapon etc. Often some of those items are not cursed so you can try another ring, body armour, weapon etc.

At least ?rc should uncurse just a single item (like cursing with Ash does).
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:07

Re: Remove curses

It's been suggested before and I'll suggest it again because it's such a damn good idea:

In the temple, there could be an item like a rune that automatically identifies all items and removes all curses from that point forward. You maintain all the silliness of not knowing if items will help you or kill you between d:1 and d:4 and cut all the garbage user experience issues past the point where identification and curses become strictly a nuisance.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:18

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:Removing curses would make trying any non-artifact item completely safe so all such items would need to be fully identified while they are on the floor.


This is a major interface benefit, especially if some ways to reduce item clutter are not implemented. (Incidentally, abstracting enemy equipment, tweaking generation rates, and removing curses could be implemented as a package; depending on exactly how this worked, one could make early game easier or harder.)

Anyway, the correct way to look at this, in my opinion, is, "Are curses interesting/good enough of a feature to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?"

You don't wear-ID because you are waiting for ?rc. I am suggesting to remove ?rc completely, I don't think you will continue to ignore rings with that change (or will you use randart rings only?).


Sorry, I didn't elaborate enough to make my point clear. Basically, XP-gating curses and removing ?rc will generalize a low-?rc situation in every game. In that case I'll just wait until after early game to wear-ID jewelry, in every game that I want to win. So if I find 4 rings by D3, this just means that I might as well not have found any jewelry until later, when I feel comfortable dealing with loudness/teleportation/negative slay/stats. (It also adds an additional caveat that I might have to play with e.g. teleportitis for a while rather than just immediately reading a scroll and removing the ring; that's slightly tangential so I won't discuss whether this additional effect is good or bad and stick instead to remarks about the ID minigame.)

Sprucery wrote:Curses matter in the early game.


Except when they don't, at all, which is in maybe 50% of games. In those 50% of games where they have literally zero impact, I rarely found the early game too easy, and in all such cases, the easiness of the early game was much more dependent on factors other than ?rc availability.

To take just one example, number of killer bees generated before D6 or D7 is much more important (perhaps even order of magnitude more so) in terms of difficulty than number of ?rc scrolls. Being stuck with bad cursed stuff sticks out in one's memory, but only in the same way that bad experiences with !mutation quaffing stands out—the mistake was wear-IDing or quaffing !mutation in the first place, that's what created the tense situation. Perhaps the tense situation was fun and novel, but we shouldn't have to rely on player to make bad strategic choices/gambles in order to create tense situations.

Removing victory dancing also made the game easier. (With victory dancing skill XP lag behind total XP gained in ways that are not the case now.) Curses are definitely not as tedious as victory dancing, and curses do have more of an impact on difficulty than victory dancing (assuming somewhat whimsically, as we often do in these discussions, that we are speaking of robot players whose performance is not actually affected by boredom). But I would nonetheless argue that the effect of curses on actual difficulty is marginal in proportion to the increased learning curve for new players and the non-difficult annoyance they cause over the course of an entire game.

EDIT: Bad cost/benefit ratio, much like food, and I think in the case of curses as well as food/hunger a substantial part of the problem is fundamental to the feature, and thus seems (to me) difficult to reform. I may simply lack imagination, of course. :)


Note: Reviewed and slightly edited for clarity/grammar.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:34

Re: Remove curses

and into wrote:Anyway, the correct way to look at this, in my opinion, is, "Are curses intereting/good enough of a feature to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?" .


I think a better way is "Can we change curses to make them good enough to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?"

Sorry, I didn't elaborate enough to make my point clear. Basically, XP-gating curses and removing ?rc will generalize a low-?rc situation in every game. In that case I'll just wait until after early game to wear-ID jewelry, in every game that I want to win. So if I find 4 rings by D3, this just means that I might as well not have found any jewelry until later, when I feel comfortable dealing with loudness/teleportation/negative slay/stats.


There are more items with good effect than with bad one so probably it is a good idea to use unknown items.
I switched to always putting on unknown jewelry as soon as I find them and I found that loudness/teleportation are not that bad. Negative slay for non-casters is bad though.

(It also adds an additional caveat that I might have to play with e.g. teleportitis for a while rather than just immediately reading a scroll and removing the ring; that's slightly tangential so I won't discuss whether this additional effect is good or bad and stick instead to remarks about the ID minigame.)


Why do we have the ring of teleportation in the game if no good player ever uses it?
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:36

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:Removing curses would make trying any non-artifact item completely safe so all such items would need to be fully identified while they are on the floor.


This isn't true as long as distortion is still a brand.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:37

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:Why do we have the ring of teleportation in the game if no good player ever uses it?


Good players use it. I use it, also. That being said I think it would have to be removed or changed if curses were removed. It is redundant except for the "gotcha" of generating cursed and sticking player with temporary teleportitis. Because I don't like teleportitis, I don't wear-ID jewelry unless I know or at least am reasonably sure I have ?remove curse. Once it is uncursed, it does have its uses.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:38

Re: Remove curses

Arrhythmia wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:Removing curses would make trying any non-artifact item completely safe so all such items would need to be fully identified while they are on the floor.


This isn't true as long as distortion is still a brand.


As far as I remember weapon brand is already always identified for non-artefacts. Or was it changed in trunk?

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:40

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:
Arrhythmia wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:Removing curses would make trying any non-artifact item completely safe so all such items would need to be fully identified while they are on the floor.


This isn't true as long as distortion is still a brand.


As far as I remember weapon brand is already always identified for non-artefacts. Or was it changed in trunk?


Not for god gifts or ones you find on the floor!

Weapons wielded by enemies have brand IDed on sight (and enemies will only pick up items you have not seen, so you can't scum an ID by walking enemies over glowing/shiny weapons).

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 14:40

Re: Remove curses

and into wrote:It is redundant except for the "gotcha" of generating cursed and sticking player.


That's the point of bad items. Not "you will need to read a specific scroll as next action".

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 15:09

Re: Remove curses

Wait, why would anyone voluntarily wear a ring of teleportation? To get off islands that require flight, or to get onto said islands? Or is there something else I'm missing?

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 15:23

Re: Remove curses

dowan wrote:Wait, why would anyone voluntarily wear a ring of teleportation? To get off islands that require flight, or to get onto said islands? Or is there something else I'm missing?

I guess maybe "I am running away from a really nasty critter and don't mind if i am teleported to a random pack of monsters elsewhere on the level" ?
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 15:24

Re: Remove curses

Maybe I should say a little more about why I think it is difficult to "buff" (reform) curses.

Let's say we drastically lower the number of ?remove curse.

To me this is a non-starter, for the simple reason that it is punishing to players who are less familiar with the mechanics of the game. I'm not just talking about jewelry egos. Most players, especially new players, don't know how to wizmode a duplicate and run fsim tests, they aren't familiar with the effects of various brands and how they compare, they don't know about base damage vs. enchantment and slaying, they don't know what cleaving or reaching or riposte is and whether they like or dislike those effects, they don't know what the hell rods are... I could go on much longer. The way that they begin to wrap their heads around all these different things is by trying stuff out.

It is bad design to show new players—who aren't even concerned with winning yet, they just want to see more of what the game has in it—a bunch of cool stuff, and then have a feature that can kill them for trying to use that stuff.

Currently, curses work because they serve as an extension of the early identification mini-game, and nothing more. They do discourage experimentation, but only in the very early going. Even totally new players come to realize quite quickly that ?rc and ?identify are common items, so even if they shouldn't be reckless with identification on the first few floors, they also know they won't have to cart around glowing/shiny stuff forever until they are 100% sure it is safe to use.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 15:28

Re: Remove curses

I take it as curses should be removed completely then. I don't see how we can combine "Curses should not punish new players for experimentation" with "Curses should be relevant early game only" because new players die early.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 15:51

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:I take it as curses should be removed completely then. I don't see how we can combine "Curses should not punish new players for experimentation" with "Curses should be relevant early game only" because new players die early.


I agree; I think that is the conclusion that my train of thought leads to, even if I didn't quite state it that strongly (perhaps out of "softness" toward current implementation of curses, due to bias toward status quo).

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 16:27

Re: Remove curses

dowan wrote:Wait, why would anyone voluntarily wear a ring of teleportation? To get off islands that require flight, or to get onto said islands? Or is there something else I'm missing?


I frequently put one on if I'm doing Abyss. It used to matter more before slaying monsters would generate exits.

Also, curses being inconvenient and annoying is kind of the entire point of curses... They wouldn't be called curses if they weren't detrimental to your character. They force you to think about what you're wearing or wielding, and weigh the potential benefit against the possibility of negative consequences.
I'm all for quality of life changes, interface improvements, and overall progress. I'm not in favor of making the game easier by removing content because someone lost a few characters due to the wear-ID minigame.
Because another thing here is, if we remove curses, what then would be the point of generating any item with a negative slay malus? If the -3 dagger doesn't stick to your hand, why bother even generating any item less than a +0? You just take it off and drop it. There are no longer consequences for your actions.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 16:53

Re: Remove curses

infinitevox wrote:Also, curses being inconvenient and annoying is kind of the entire point of curses... They wouldn't be called curses if they weren't detrimental to your character. They force you to think about what you're wearing or wielding, and weigh the potential benefit against the possibility of negative consequences.
They usually don't do these things, though. They only do very early on, and only sometimes.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 18:48

Re: Remove curses

Siegurt wrote:
dowan wrote:Wait, why would anyone voluntarily wear a ring of teleportation? To get off islands that require flight, or to get onto said islands? Or is there something else I'm missing?

I guess maybe "I am running away from a really nasty critter and don't mind if i am teleported to a random pack of monsters elsewhere on the level" ?


I guess if you're running from something that is faster than you, but you don't have any consumables that will let you escape, then the ring of tele is better than just standing and fighting a battle you can't win, but the ring of tele might just bring you closer to that monster anyway, right? So the hope is that it brings you toward some non threatening monsters?

I don't see how they help in the abyss, as you usually want to move away from the monsters, not toward them. Although that might make more sense when you're looking for the rune vault on abyss 3... maybe.
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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 03:03

Re: Remove curses

goodcoolguy wrote:It's been suggested before and I'll suggest it again because it's such a damn good idea:

In the temple, there could be an item like a rune that automatically identifies all items and removes all curses from that point forward. You maintain all the silliness of not knowing if items will help you or kill you between d:1 and d:4 and cut all the garbage user experience issues past the point where identification and curses become strictly a nuisance.

huh? if you're willing to tie the end of curses with the Ecumenical Temple then you should have all gods other than Ash passively uncurse your gear, like in other roguelikes, instead of introducing some object with that singular purpose. "Atheist" conduct can be: worship Ru, never accept nor reject any sacrifice. Demigod yadda yadda.
and into wrote:Anyway, the correct way to look at this, in my opinion, is, "Are curses interesting/good enough of a feature to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?"

UNIDENTIFIED curses make the EARLY game LESS interesting and LESS differentiated. Early game could be the time to constantly and incrementally improve your gear, scraping by with the best of junk - ooh, club! whip! mace! flail! quarterstaff! That sense of desperation and resourcefulness can be fun. Instead, you change gear only after many bouts of fighting with monsters, as in late game.
Identified curses are okay.
infinitevox wrote:I frequently put [ring of tele] on if I'm doing Abyss. It used to matter more before slaying monsters would generate exits.

Rings of teleportation haven't worked in the abyss for over a year (assuming no bugs).
infinitevox wrote:Because another thing here is, if we remove curses, what then would be the point of generating any item with a negative slay malus?

We don't have to do that at all. But it presents Ash worshipers with options.
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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 03:48

Re: Remove curses

I talk far too much on the internet, so I'll try to make this concise, haha.

I just...don't think there's anything particularly interesting about dying on D:1 because of a sticky -3 dagger. I don't remember anything about any of my games where this happened, or how many times it did, because it was so *boring* I remember the time I found a water moccasin on D:1, because I thought "well, I can't run from it, so I might as well quaff the buffs I have and try to kill it." It was almost sort of fun. The -3 dagger just makes me hold down tab and die, or perhaps even ctrl-q if I'm feeling particularly fed up.

And after Temple, generally? Once you have a few scrolls of rCurse? Poof. They're gone. They don't matter anymore. Ever. Never have, never will under the current system.

There are already plenty of things on D:1 that kill off inexperienced or careless players and cease being relevant fairly soon afterwards. The -3 dagger is up there with the ones that are most obnoxious and least interesting, IMO. If we must keep curses for the sake of roguelike tradition and more ways to kick newbies around, can we at least limit them to "enchanted" items and glowing ones on the ground (and artifacts, of course)? The former exists to say "this dagger the kobold was wielding has a negative or positive enchantment, and may be cursed, but is otherwise unremarkable," and the latter says "this dagger is ambiguously magical in general." Putting them on a dagger that is indistinguishable from any other normal dagger, that was even wielded by a kobold and *still* doesn't reveal itself as being any different, is just another D:1 "haha lol D:1 sucks, doesn't it?"

I need to get better at being concise.

Here: "They force you to think about what you're wearing or wielding, and weigh the potential benefit against the possibility of negative consequences." Unfortunately, I think they usually just make you reroll D:1 and that's about it.
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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 11:10

Re: Remove curses

I always put on the first two rings and the first amulet I find, ?RC in inventory or not. Likewise I occasionally try the tempting glowing weapon. Either I get something good, which is interesting, or I'm stuck with something bad and have to survive with it, which is also interesting. The optimal player won't do these things, of course. But to me, curses make the early game more interesting.
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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 22:42

Re: Remove curses

goodcoolguy wrote:It's been suggested before and I'll suggest it again because it's such a damn good idea:

In the temple, there could be an item like a rune that automatically identifies all items and removes all curses from that point forward. You maintain all the silliness of not knowing if items will help you or kill you between d:1 and d:4 and cut all the garbage user experience issues past the point where identification and curses become strictly a nuisance.

I'm not really sure why this is regarded as a good idea.

You brought up adders earlier in the thread, but that's too specific; HP damage is the operative mechanic (along with, maybe, fast monsters and poison), and it never goes away. It's a mechanic that scales with the dlvl/XL and remains the foremost danger throughout the game, factors that are completely untrue when it comes to curses and ID. The answer to a mechanic that doesn't scale across the entire game is to remove it or make it scalable, not to just restrict it to the part of the game where it currently has an impact. That "works," insofar as you retain whatever interest exists while discarding what is uninteresting, but it's such an inelegant kludge when you could just discard the mechanic altogether or make it work across the entire game.

An idea: remove traps and replace them with the sort of "hell effects" that duvessa and tabstorm et al. have suggested to correct the breadcrumb-stepping problems that have been discussed. Curses now become multipliers for said effects (perhaps such that the odds of triggering a trap effect are incredibly small with uncursed equipment), and said multipliers become more impactful the deeper you go into the dungeon. ?RC becomes much more scarce. Removing cursed items is now free, but will trigger a trap effect. Curses now generate on good items instead of cruddy ones. This is the sort of solution that makes sense: remove the interface screw, make the mechanic impactful across the game, and create bigger decisions. Ashenzari now curses all your equipment and moves to an exploration-based piety system, perhaps gaining an ability to respond better to trap effects.

FWIW, I see no equivalent solution for ID, which is fine, since this thread is about curses and I don't see much chance of anything being done about ID.

e:
Sprucery wrote:I always put on the first two rings and the first amulet I find, ?RC in inventory or not. Likewise I occasionally try the tempting glowing weapon. Either I get something good, which is interesting, or I'm stuck with something bad and have to survive with it, which is also interesting. The optimal player won't do these things, of course. But to me, curses make the early game more interesting.

I sort of think Crawl's design ethos is aimed at ensuring that the game remains interesting even given optimal play. The fact that you have to play suboptimally for curses to matter, and that impact evaporates early in the midgame, suggests that there's a problem, even if that suboptimal player finds some measure of interest during the first 10,000 turns or so.

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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 23:00

Re: Remove curses

That is fricking awesome! Ashenzarites can SEE traps! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT, AND IT IS COLORED WITH A'S

exaggeration aside

I was thinking that removing curses would be best, but you've got me convinced. Curses are a good idea, but don't work well right now. (What was I thinking? I'm not a dev, I should never consider removing things!)

Also, that would kill two caustic shrikes with one stone! Traps fixed, curses fixed! Nothing removed! Everybody happy, except for [INSERT_NAME_OF_REMOVE-HAPPY_DEV_HERE]
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Post Saturday, 13th August 2016, 23:29

Re: Remove curses

jwoodward48ss wrote:I was thinking that removing curses would be best, but you've got me convinced. Curses are a good idea, but don't work well right now. (What was I thinking? I'm not a dev, I should never consider removing things!)

Also, that would kill two caustic shrikes with one stone! Traps fixed, curses fixed! Nothing removed! Everybody happy, except for [INSERT_NAME_OF_REMOVE-HAPPY_DEV_HERE]

You should probably wait to celebrate until the dust clears from people picking the idea apart. Given my track record for getting ideas into the game, I wouldn't hold my breath.

FWIW, I think it's a cute idea, and I'd enjoy seeing it tested. But I'm also not convinced it's really better than just flat-out removing traps and curses altogether, and that proposal at least has the benefit of not requiring a bunch of new code. There's nothing wrong with calling for removing a mechanic, imo -- I do it all the time, though only item destruction ever actually got removed -- but it's better if you can improve or replace the mechanic instead.
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Post Sunday, 14th August 2016, 03:38

Re: Remove curses

archaeo wrote:
goodcoolguy wrote:It's been suggested before and I'll suggest it again because it's such a damn good idea:

In the temple, there could be an item like a rune that automatically identifies all items and removes all curses from that point forward. You maintain all the silliness of not knowing if items will help you or kill you between d:1 and d:4 and cut all the garbage user experience issues past the point where identification and curses become strictly a nuisance.

I'm not really sure why this is regarded as a good idea.

You brought up adders earlier in the thread, but that's too specific; HP damage is the operative mechanic (along with, maybe, fast monsters and poison), and it never goes away. It's a mechanic that scales with the dlvl/XL and remains the foremost danger throughout the game, factors that are completely untrue when it comes to curses and ID. The answer to a mechanic that doesn't scale across the entire game is to remove it or make it scalable, not to just restrict it to the part of the game where it currently has an impact. That "works," insofar as you retain whatever interest exists while discarding what is uninteresting, but it's such an inelegant kludge when you could just discard the mechanic altogether or make it work across the entire game.


Yes, adders and cursed items are different kinds of threats, but the point is that both adders and curses cease to be a threat at about the same point in the game. That point is right around when temple appears.

Removal is obviously the best thing to do, but unfortunately people have commitments to existing mechanics. Just look at Ash. Making scrolls of remove curse and identification turn into junk items after the early game for most characters is great. You get almost all of the benefits of outright removal, you sidestep the issue of what to do about Ash, and no one has to agree about the controversial issue of whether curses and identification actually matter in the early game. It's something you can do right now without resolving any serious disagreements. Determining whether a solution is elegant requires that you recognize the problems it solves.

As for fixing curses as they currently exist, you should only fix things that are actually good. Curses have no potential to become a good mechanic.
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Post Saturday, 24th September 2016, 23:44

Re: Remove curses

Sticky items a.k.a. curses are not necessary for Ashenzari.

Here is a post of mine in another thread.

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Post Monday, 26th September 2016, 13:31

Re: Remove curses

Alternately, remove curses. For Ash: all slots are sticky, piety-using invocation that unstickies all slots for an Invo-dependent length.

The only issue is ranged and rods, but meh. Either forget about them, as they're highly discouraged from worshiping Ash anyway, or have three slots that you can swap between - one ranged, one melee, and one rod/staff. Seems kind of clunky and hard to implement though.
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Post Monday, 26th September 2016, 14:01

Re: Remove curses

Sandman25 wrote:
and into wrote:Anyway, the correct way to look at this, in my opinion, is, "Are curses intereting/good enough of a feature to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?" .


I think a better way is "Can we change curses to make them good enough to justify not automatically IDing non-artefact equipment?"

Sorry, I didn't elaborate enough to make my point clear. Basically, XP-gating curses and removing ?rc will generalize a low-?rc situation in every game. In that case I'll just wait until after early game to wear-ID jewelry, in every game that I want to win. So if I find 4 rings by D3, this just means that I might as well not have found any jewelry until later, when I feel comfortable dealing with loudness/teleportation/negative slay/stats.


There are more items with good effect than with bad one so probably it is a good idea to use unknown items.
I switched to always putting on unknown jewelry as soon as I find them and I found that loudness/teleportation are not that bad. Negative slay for non-casters is bad though.

(It also adds an additional caveat that I might have to play with e.g. teleportitis for a while rather than just immediately reading a scroll and removing the ring; that's slightly tangential so I won't discuss whether this additional effect is good or bad and stick instead to remarks about the ID minigame.)


Why do we have the ring of teleportation in the game if no good player ever uses it?


People did. Then it was made into a junk item, so now no one uses it except to sequence break tomb 2 by mashing 5 until you end up on the side with the downstair. We still have inacc and harm in the game, it's not as if =tele is the only offender.
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Post Wednesday, 28th September 2016, 00:34

Re: Remove curses

jwoodward48ss wrote:Alternately, remove curses. For Ash: all slots are sticky, piety-using invocation that unstickies all slots for an Invo-dependent length.

‹snip›

Yes, that is a much better version of my idea here and with a charming simplicity.

However, with regard to the baseline piety decay and gain by exploration, is it better to punish players for changing their equipment, or to reward them for not doing so?

The benefits of Ashenzari are informative, and access to these invoked or passive abilities is gained by exploration. Originally, the idea of making Ashenzari favor a static set of equipment was a means to balance those benefits: otherwise, your gains of piety by exploration are less than you'd have available for any other gods.

Because Ashenzari is almost the de facto choice for those who'd rather be atheist — demanding no forbidden behaviors or equipment —, I think a less punitive mechanism would be preferable.
The baseline piety gained by exploration could even be tweaked and reduced slightly.

Of course, some probably consider my system to be too slow and automatic; that could be why nobody here likes it.

All the same, though, you must allow players who choose to go unarmed to gain the same benefits as those who'd have a weapon and sticky-bind it to their weapon hand.
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Post Friday, 11th November 2016, 03:08

Re: Remove curses

Maybe removing cursed maluses is enough - in fact the cursed gear could be even slightly strong (but still sticky) - amulet of harm is a good example of a cool cursed item (even tough drain shouldn't last so long)

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Post Friday, 11th November 2016, 10:18

Re: Remove curses

Existence of *drain, Fragile and amulets proves how pointless curses have become in modern Crawl.

That, and those stupid ?oRC take valuable space in my inventory.

BTW. Chance Inaccuracy so that it has the same effect on enemies as on you.
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