Proposal: Remove book inventory slots


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2016, 15:22

Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

To get rid of backtracking-to-that-spell-I-want-to-learn:
  • Spellbooks don't take up inventory slots, and can't be dropped
  • You can view your books from the M screen by pressing :
  • Trogs "burn books" makes you choose one of your books and an adjacent tile(which can be occupied) to set aflame, the menu also has the option "all books in sight".

Restricting burn books to adjacent tiles gets rid of book-throwing, but makes up for it by only taking a single turn.
(either 'You drop <book>, which bursts into flame as soon as it hits the floor.', or 'You hand <book> to <monster>, which drops it as it bursts into flame.')

I don't know if there are any advantages to not using a manual right when you find it? Otherwise they can be treated just as spellbooks.

(Bonus: also add the Book of Molotov, containing Throw Flame,Conjure Flame,Sticky Flame,Fireball: Trog lets you burn it on any tile in LOS for a 3x3 cloud of flame)

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Post Friday, 18th November 2016, 15:56

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

I second the request to remove spellbooks from the inventory. Crawl limits the number of spells you can learn using spell levels, which are determined as XL - 1 + twice your spellcasting skill level. Actually castable spells are determined by your skills and attributes. So there already is a double barrier to being able to cast a spell; a triple barrier, if you keep in mind that you also need to find the spell in a book.
Having to keep the spellbook in your inventory after you found it until you have the levels to learn the spell adds a fourth barrier. Unlike the other three, this barrier isn't meaningful, because you can just drop the book and come back later. So it only has two effects: inventory strain and dislikeable, repetitive item management for those who want to carry the book, or stashing. Both are irritating and interrupt gameplay (with stashing also requiring to take mental note of the presence of spells you can't access with M).
To make things worse, spellbooks overlap, making managing them even more complex, and the fact that book amnesia is gone means that there is no mechanical payback to alleviate or justify this problem.

So I think that spellbooks should be like runes which you pick and forget. The found spells you haven't already memorised should all be available with M. An option to view collected spellbooks can be given for flavour/bragging reasons.

  Code:
You pick up the book. It's Orangu's Compendium of Yaktaurs and Kisses. (Press M to learn new spells).
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Post Friday, 18th November 2016, 16:50

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Shtopit wrote:So I think that spellbooks should be like runes which you pick and forget. The found spells you haven't already memorised should all be available with M. An option to view collected spellbooks can be given for flavour/bragging reasons.

This has been discussed pretty extensively and there's a partial patch here. A prerequisite to making it work in a sensible way is to remove Trog's Burn Books entirely which IIRC the patch author was reluctant to do (and also it's probably just a project that requires a whole lot of work generally), but if anyone feels like continuing work on the patch it'd probably be considered.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2016, 17:08

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Couldn't it just work by automatically burning books once the player sees them on the ground? Or would that be too punishing for characters who aim to switch gods in the late game?

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Post Saturday, 19th November 2016, 03:03

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Dioneo wrote:Couldn't it just work by automatically burning books once the player sees them on the ground? Or would that be too punishing for characters who aim to switch gods in the late game?


What do you mean? After losing them from view? Or after stepping on their tile? There are problems in both cases. With former spoiled players would avoid entering some vaults if they don't have spell slots yet. With latter it is worse than current situation because you wouldn't step on tiles with books without spell slots. After getting some spell slots you will travel to first book and be really disappointed that it is not the book you want right now (Necronomicon in Lair, for example) and it will be destroyed because you don't have 8 spell slots or don't want to spend them.
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Post Saturday, 19th November 2016, 03:42

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

It would auto-burn all books on exploration for piety, and on abandonment it would auto-burn all books generated in the game so far regardless of whether the player has seen them. No problem. The very slight nerf to Trog is not a real problem; she'd still be fine because she is Trog.

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Post Saturday, 19th November 2016, 06:48

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

VeryAngryFelid wrote:What do you mean? After losing them from view? Or after stepping on their tile?


I meant that, as soon as a Trog player reveals a tile with a book on it, the book instantly catches fire; so essentially a Trog character would never be able to pick up books, or memorize spells. That way, we can have this special inventory for spell books without needing some fiddly special interface for characters worshiping Trog.

My only concern would be that this is a permanent sacrifice which would still affect players even after they abandon Trog, although I suppose there is precedent for such a mechanic with Ru, whose sacrifices are also permanent once undertaken. Books in shops could also be unaffected which would somewhat mitigate the severity of this conduct.

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Post Saturday, 19th November 2016, 07:39

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Trog can definitely take the nerf, especially since it's not a nerf at all for a good number of Trog characters.

Even if books instantly catch fire on sight, VAF has a valid point: players can avoid certain vaults, knowing they are likely to contain books, if they intend on switching. Even KoboldLord's solution isn't total, since players can avoid branch ends they know to have plentiful spellbooks (like Elf).

Perhaps a rethinking is in order. Implement this suggestion, remove burn books entirely, and instead give Trog a wrath effect of random spell amnesia: Trog selects a spell at random from your "found spells" book, and removes it, also removing it from your memorized spells if it's there. That preserves the "you have fewer spells to play with if you were once a Trog worshiper" aspect without giving the player a weird degree of control over said spell loss.

EDIT: Actually, Trog should just select a spell completely at random. If it's in your "found spells" book, it works as above. If not, the first time you come across that spell, you fail to add it to your book. That would prevent the player from being able to avoid areas containing high-level spellbooks to avoid having this effect hit valuable spells. Since the effect would have a good chance of hitting spells you don't even know about, perhaps it should hit two or three spells at a time to compensate.
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Post Saturday, 19th November 2016, 07:57

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Would the spoiler effect be that bad of a problem though? If players forego the xp and other treasure of Elf or other branches to potentially save some books, isn't that a worthy trade-off? It's already common for people to "save" Crypt until they switch to The Shining One, and the Trog-example could be thought of in similar ways: as a strategic choice rather than something degenerate.

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Post Sunday, 20th November 2016, 08:48

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Passive book burning is an interesting concept, but I think it's also just entirely unrelated to active book burning. Whether Trog should lose the ability to throw books and make impromptu flame clouds, and whether worshiping Trog should mean permanently sacrificing some spell availability even after you abandon him/her, are completely different questions. You don't need to replace active burning with anything if it isn't serving an important purpose (and in my opinion, it isn't), and you can add book burning to Trog's wrath even if you keep active burning too if you really want to. Personally, I'm against adding passive burning - while nerfing Trog isn't always a bad thing, I think it's good to have Trog->TSO as a straightforward way for players to get their first 15-rune win, and in general I'm against gods besides Ru having permanent wrath.

Meanwhile, active book burning should be scrapped even if books aren't removed as inventory items. It's a clunky concept that only exists because of flavor, and while the flavor is fantastic, if you look at it from a gameplay standpoint it blatantly goes against DCSS's design and should have been removed ages ago.

Consider the two purposes book burning serves:

  1. It's a form of item sacrifice. Item sacrifice was already removed from every other god in the game for being too tedious, and other gods only required one button press to sacrifice an item while Trog requires two (admittedly, you also encounter book way less than you encountered weapons on old Elyvion or items you weren't using on old Nemelex).
  2. It's a variant of Conjure flame that can target enemy tiles, but takes two auts, two extra button presses, and uses consumable items that take up one inventory slot each. Trog really doesn't need this extra power, since he'd still be one of the best gods in the game without it, and if for some reason Trog having a very limited conjure flame is a good idea, it really shouldn't be so ridiculously clunky.

Basically, from a flavour standpoint, book burning is an awesome mechanic. From a gameplay standpoint, it's a terrible, clunky mess that should have been removed years ago. Since DCSS's current design philosophy strongly prioritizes gameplay over flavor, active book burning should go.

TL;DR: Active burning is a bad gameplay mechanic and should go, passive burning is completely unrelated but I personally don't like it.

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Post Sunday, 20th November 2016, 16:07

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Quazifuji wrote:Passive book burning is an interesting concept, but I think it's also just entirely unrelated to active book burning. Whether Trog should lose the ability to throw books and make impromptu flame clouds, and whether worshiping Trog should mean permanently sacrificing some spell availability even after you abandon him/her, are completely different questions. You don't need to replace active burning with anything if it isn't serving an important purpose (and in my opinion, it isn't), and you can add book burning to Trog's wrath even if you keep active burning too if you really want to. Personally, I'm against adding passive burning - while nerfing Trog isn't always a bad thing, I think it's good to have Trog->TSO as a straightforward way for players to get their first 15-rune win, and in general I'm against gods besides Ru having permanent wrath.

Meanwhile, active book burning should be scrapped even if books aren't removed as inventory items. It's a clunky concept that only exists because of flavor, and while the flavor is fantastic, if you look at it from a gameplay standpoint it blatantly goes against DCSS's design and should have been removed ages ago.

Consider the two purposes book burning serves:

  1. It's a form of item sacrifice. Item sacrifice was already removed from every other god in the game for being too tedious, and other gods only required one button press to sacrifice an item while Trog requires two (admittedly, you also encounter book way less than you encountered weapons on old Elyvion or items you weren't using on old Nemelex).
  2. It's a variant of Conjure flame that can target enemy tiles, but takes two auts, two extra button presses, and uses consumable items that take up one inventory slot each. Trog really doesn't need this extra power, since he'd still be one of the best gods in the game without it, and if for some reason Trog having a very limited conjure flame is a good idea, it really shouldn't be so ridiculously clunky.

Basically, from a flavour standpoint, book burning is an awesome mechanic. From a gameplay standpoint, it's a terrible, clunky mess that should have been removed years ago. Since DCSS's current design philosophy strongly prioritizes gameplay over flavor, active book burning should go.

TL;DR: Active burning is a bad gameplay mechanic and should go, passive burning is completely unrelated but I personally don't like it.

Fwiw I think that active book burning is the most interesting part of worshipping trog, it is literally the only part of playing a berserker that is even remotely worthwhile.
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Post Monday, 21st November 2016, 18:17

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

What makes a conjure flame that can target enemies but takes two turns, two extra button presses and requires inventory management interesting?

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Post Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 13:58

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion, but I want to point out 2 things after reading the thread replies:

1) In recent builds, you can use CTRL+F to search for (part of) the name of a spell and see a list of known books that contain it.

2) If books couldn't be dropped, Burn Books could still function by having Trog grant an extra ability that tosses a carried spellbook to a target square.

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Post Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 17:01

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

I agree with suggestion to move books in M screen. I also think it's good idea to make spellbooks consumable like a potion, so before accessing memorization they're held in inventory. That way we can throw books and use Trog's burn spellbooks as usual.

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Post Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 19:03

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Or we could apply a very very slight nerf to the strongest background and probably the strongest god in the game

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Post Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 19:25

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Rast wrote:Or we could apply a very very slight nerf to the strongest background and probably the strongest god in the game

I think this is the best choice. Just edit the autopickup settings for Be, and turn it off for spellbooks. This way, new players can still use burn books for piety if they want to. The nerf would then only regard relatively experienced players who throw books, and can survive without it.
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Post Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 01:31

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

The suggested trog nerf that I support is making spellbooks auto combust as soon as they go into LOS.

The other possible nerf is removing the burn books interaction entirely.

You could argue that neither of these would really be nerf since they encourage players to play better.
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Post Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 11:31

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

Rast wrote:The other possible nerf is removing the burn books interaction entirely.

I'm also OK with that (the LOS thing becomes spoilery, distracting and boring for experienced players), but I can't code to save my life, so unless some good soul also agrees and works on a patch, we're stuck.
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Post Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 17:59

Re: Proposal: Remove book inventory slots

MarvinPA wrote:A prerequisite to making it work in a sensible way is to remove Trog's Burn Books entirely

There is no need to make any changes to Trog's burn book ability if you are willing to divorce memorization from having the relevant book at feet or in inventory. Burning the last or only source of a spell makes it un-memorizable, while books abandoned in portals/lava?/Pan/abyss can't be burned but their spells can be memorized. This can be achieved by having the game keep a list of books that have been possessed but not destroyed, including multiples. This is if you want burn book to stay exactly as it is.

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