Deck Merging


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 8th December 2017, 20:05

Deck Merging

Could you do whatever you did to wands with Nemelex card decks too?
Inventory clutter is the only thing that keeps me from experimentig with this god. Perhaps it's the same for other players, who knows.

Thank you.

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Post Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 19:19

Re: Deck Merging

How do you suggest handling the god ability that stacks a deck, and then discards the rest of the deck? There needs to be some way to pay for predictability of draws by reducing the overall number of cards while retaining the ability to draw blind or three or four from a deck of the same type.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 10:19

Re: Deck Merging

Yeah I was surprised that anybody thanked that post, given that stacking decks together breaks both the fundamental concepts of having different decks, and the basic mechanics that arise from having a deck in the first place. Might as well make Nemelex the god of dice, and you get a random effect or effects when you use him.

That said, Nemelex is an awful thematic fit to Crawl. I can't stand fighting my way down a dark corridor full of skeletons and gnolls and giant acid blobs, only to find a giant magical deck of modern playing
cards lying on the ground. It's a throw back to DnD (Deck of many things), but it just doesn't fit. It's also bad game design to layer an entire mini-game onto the existing game mechanics. Crawl, the dungeon exploring las vegas card game of chance! What other god is there, that requires its own special inventory item(s) in order to exist? Shouldn't gods be stand alone features, independent of your inventory?

Remove Nemelex.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 12:06

Re: Deck Merging

Playing cards by now are around 600 years old, though: about the same as plate armour. Now sure, the model of the vaults and altar tiles is much more recent, but still 500 years old.

Personally I don't like Nemelex too much, because you have to give up your character and just keep using the cards. So you are giving up a good part of choice.

Being able to stack decks would be OK with just a little adjustment. Like "instead of the whole deck, discard 10 cards". Thematically, draw 3 and draw 1 can be from middle or from bottom.
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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 12:50

Re: Deck Merging

Shtopit wrote:Playing cards by now are around 600 years old, though: about the same as plate armour.


Fair enough, though it still just feels off compared to finding a suit of plate armour. The issue with Nemelex being odd: requiring a considerable amount of inventory space for special items which exist pretty much entirely to support the god and which otherwise encroach heavily on wand/potion/scroll territory, and layering an entire mini-game over the Crawl foundation in order to actually play him, stand regardless of thematic considerations.

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bel

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 13:48

Re: Deck Merging

MainiacJoe wrote:How do you suggest handling the god ability that stacks a deck, and then discards the rest of the deck? There needs to be some way to pay for predictability of draws by reducing the overall number of cards while retaining the ability to draw blind or three or four from a deck of the same type.

There are many ways to handle this. Removing Stack 5 is an option. Another option is to discard a bunch of cards before stacking the deck. Or you can increase piety costs.

For details, see this old post of mine about Hellcrawl.

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 15:44

Re: Deck Merging

I see significant drawback to merging decks and little benefit. Aside from different cardcounts, they have different qualities. Inventory squeeze is far less of a problem than it used to be with the reduction in slots used by food, ammo, and now wands.

I enjoyed playing with Nemelex. Yes it's an odd mechanic for the rest of Crawl but that's what religion in Crawl is for. As an argument not to implement it in the first place I could give it some weight, but as an argument for taking a fully-designed and implemented system out, no way.
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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 19:34

Re: Deck Merging

If anythging Makhleb's Desctructions are more random than nemelex's card effects, since you have no control over them whatsoever. Greater Destruction is so dangerous with its chance of AOE effects that I almost never use it on nearby foes. But Makh is strong without it, so no one cares.
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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 20:51

Re: Deck Merging

Mahkleb's minor destruction gives you a guaranteed ranged magical attack, other than the flavor it's not that random is it. But it's not even the randomness that is at issue here, I mean summon whatever X is the same kind of randomness and that works fine.

Minor destruction doesn't require its own inventory item, and all you can do is invoke it simply. Can you imagine if you had to collect "demonic candles" that could replicate wands when evoked? And there was a special mini game around how to optimally use those candles? Now you are talking Nemelex. Who, I just realized, Xom must really hate.

If Nemelex is going to stay, then decks and the entire deck mechanic should go, and Nemelex should have his abilities reworked around directly tweaking the RNG. Abilities like "loading the dice" which for a short period of time, forces every roll on the RNG to be done twice, with the more favorable result for the player selected, and "stacking the deck", which guarantees success for every player action that requires an RNG roll for a limited number of actions. Basically, Nemelex should be a luckamancer, if anybody else here follows Erfworld.

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 21:17

Re: Deck Merging

crawlnoob wrote:Mahkleb's minor destruction gives you a guaranteed ranged magical attack, other than the flavor it's not that random is it. But it's not even the randomness that is at issue here, I mean summon whatever X is the same kind of randomness and that works fine.

Minor destruction doesn't require its own inventory item, and all you can do is invoke it simply. Can you imagine if you had to collect "demonic candles" that could replicate wands when evoked? And there was a special mini game around how to optimally use those candles? Now you are talking Nemelex. Who, I just realized, Xom must really hate.

If Nemelex is going to stay, then decks and the entire deck mechanic should go, and Nemelex should have his abilities reworked around directly tweaking the RNG. Abilities like "loading the dice" which for a short period of time, forces every roll on the RNG to be done twice, with the more favorable result for the player selected, and "stacking the deck", which guarantees success for every player action that requires an RNG roll for a limited number of actions. Basically, Nemelex should be a luckamancer, if anybody else here follows Erfworld.

There've been proposals for luck gods in the past, aside from the opaqueness of the effect (Which I think largely people don't like), there's no standard definition in crawl dice rolls for "the better result" or for "a successful roll" so you would have to literally hard-code a special exception for every possible place that uses the RNG to create such a god, if you limited the number of places it could effect (like for example only to-hit and damage rolls, those being ones that most people care about) it gets much more feasible, but the "god of get a passive bonus to hit and damage" isn't very interesting.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 21:44

Re: Deck Merging

Yeah I figured it would have to be limited to things like in-battle rolls for precisely those reasons, but didnt feel like fleshing it out entirely as its just an opening suggestion. Not sure I think the opacity of it is such a bad thing. Nobody f-ing knows how the RNG works anyhow with crawl, even the local tavern experts get confused following the code, so its not like opacity is a new thing. But people do understand the simple concept "This ability will make you luckier in combat" or "this ability will guarantee that you always hit your opponent" etc etc. I would argue that a luck-god is worth revisiting, and if not, then Nemelex is still awful as he stands now.

but the "god of get a passive bonus to hit and damage" isn't very interesting.

I certainly wouldnt make those passive abilities, it would be invocable. And in that respect, that specific kind of bonus is no different than Trog giving berserk. There you could add a penalty, gotta pay the fates back when you borrow your luck from the future, so during the cool down period you suffer a moderate luck penalty. Presto, its an interesting decision.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 00:22

Re: Deck Merging

crawlnoob wrote:Yeah I figured it would have to be limited to things like in-battle rolls for precisely those reasons, but didnt feel like fleshing it out entirely as its just an opening suggestion. Not sure I think the opacity of it is such a bad thing. Nobody f-ing knows how the RNG works anyhow with crawl, even the local tavern experts get confused following the code, so its not like opacity is a new thing. But people do understand the simple concept "This ability will make you luckier in combat" or "this ability will guarantee that you always hit your opponent" etc etc. I would argue that a luck-god is worth revisiting, and if not, then Nemelex is still awful as he stands now.

but the "god of get a passive bonus to hit and damage" isn't very interesting.

I certainly wouldnt make those passive abilities, it would be invocable. And in that respect, that specific kind of bonus is no different than Trog giving berserk. There you could add a penalty, gotta pay the fates back when you borrow your luck from the future, so during the cool down period you suffer a moderate luck penalty. Presto, its an interesting decision.

Well, I think it'd be more productive to disconnect "this is what I don't like about nemelex" from "this is what I think would make a good luck good" If Nem is removed, and your a luck god does take it's place, I personally would rather see the new god get his own identity and name, at very least to avoid conflating two totally different gods who had different mechanisms

It's probably possible to flesh out a "luck god" such that it was an interesting and useful concept, it might or might not be possible to fix the things that you don't like about Nemelex, but I don't think the two are connected.
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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 05:43

Re: Deck Merging

crawlnoob wrote:
Shtopit wrote:Playing cards by now are around 600 years old, though: about the same as plate armour.


Fair enough, though it still just feels off compared to finding a suit of plate armour. The issue with Nemelex being odd: requiring a considerable amount of inventory space for special items which exist pretty much entirely to support the god and which otherwise encroach heavily on wand/potion/scroll territory, and layering an entire mini-game over the Crawl foundation in order to actually play him, stand regardless of thematic considerations.

The basic idea of Nemelex is simple. You get a random but powerful effect from your god when you ask for it. This basic idea can be tweaked in two ways by spending some piety: either reduce randomness, or increase power. These ways correspond to Triple Draw and Draw Four respectively. Stack Five is basically the first thing, only more powerful.

The basic idea does not encroach on potion/wand/scroll territory, any more than any other god does. The implementation is not ideal, for sure.

The inventory clutter is the main issue, but that can be solved by goldifying decks or merging them. From what I understand, goldifying decks requires a fair amount of work, so Hellcrawl took the latter approach: there are only 3 kinds of decks: destruction, summoning, escape.

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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 06:15

Re: Deck Merging


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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 06:21

Re: Deck Merging

When I play Nemelex, the only deck type which causes inventory cluttering is escape, because escape is only used in (or before expected) emergencies. I have no trouble using up decks of destruction and summoning. So imo just reduce the rate of dropping escape decks and the problem is solved.
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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 18:12

Re: Deck Merging

Sprucery wrote:When I play Nemelex, the only deck type which causes inventory cluttering is escape, because escape is only used in (or before expected) emergencies. I have no trouble using up decks of destruction and summoning. So imo just reduce the rate of dropping escape decks and the problem is solved.

I usually carry 1-2 stacked decks of escape and just drop the rest, if I end up using one of my stacks I come back for it, typically I end up with an overabundance of escape decks, so I would agree that too many are generated, personally.
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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 19:42

Re: Deck Merging

Siegurt wrote:I usually carry 1-2 stacked decks of escape and just drop the rest, if I end up using one of my stacks I come back for it,

Yes, just to be clear, I do that too :)
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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 23:01

Re: Deck Merging

Sprucery wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I usually carry 1-2 stacked decks of escape and just drop the rest, if I end up using one of my stacks I come back for it,

Yes, just to be clear, I do that too :)

Oh, I had just assumed from the "causes inventory cluttering" phrase that you had more of them in your inventory than you actually needed..
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Post Thursday, 14th December 2017, 23:13

Re: Deck Merging

Siegurt wrote:Oh, I had just assumed from the "causes inventory cluttering" phrase that you had more of them in your inventory than you actually needed..

Yeah, well, I guess they do cause inventory cluttering until I drop the excess decks :)

Btw. does anyone use stack five on anything else than escape decks? I think it's a bit funny that stack five requires the most invocations when most people (everyone?) only use the ability to stack escape decks and the failure percentage does not matter because the operation is done out of combat anyway...

Imo decks of summoning and destruction are way too valuable to waste cards with stack five.
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Post Saturday, 16th December 2017, 18:17

Re: Deck Merging

Why not just make merging decks its own ability as otherwise Nemelex loses some utility. That way I can keep a few stacked decks around while merging anything I'm not intending to stack. For decks with large size we could also have ~1/3 (or min of ~10) of the deck discarded rather than discarding the entire deck. Could even have an option to auto merge decks of the same type and quality but I'm unsure how this would work from a UI perspective.

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