Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?


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Post Monday, 5th February 2018, 22:52

Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Now, this isn't intended to be a facetious question - it's actually meant to be a serious question that should be taken at face value. Many times, the subject of stairdancing being a degenerate tactic and the need to remove stairdancing comes up, but over the past few years (while I've played the game, that is), there has been no attempt to tackle it aside from making it impossible in Tomb. One of the most common propositions that tends to come up is to simply replace all stairs with hatches, or some differently flavored equivalent. The advantages of this solution is that it should be relatively simple and uses a mechanic that's already in the game, while hopefully not upsetting the game too much (obviously it makes things harder, although it would affect new players less, since they tend to be the ones who don't instinctively stairdance as much and wander into dangerous situations far away from stairs, so it's not such a big issue really - but there can be various balance adjustments to counteract this change, such as thinning out monster herds near where the hatches would dump you, increasing the spawn rate of magic mapping scrolls, reducing overall monster density and so on). So I'm wondering: why is it that stairs haven't been reworked?

  • Is it because of balance issues? Of course, there would be quite a few. But as said above, these can be counteracted.
  • Is it because of the complexity of the change? Clearly a stairs overhaul would be pretty complex - but is it the case that the devs already want to replace stairs with hatches, only that this simply hasn't been executed yet? That would be good news as far as I'm concerned, since it means that either the change is just a matter of time, or (if it's too complex) that it will never come and we need not be worried about it. There are several edge cases to be sorted out. For example, how would passage from the Dungeon to Depths, or to Lair, or from Lair to its branches be handled? Would these still be handled as classic stairs? (Not a terrible idea IMO, giving players the crutch of stairdancing for one level to help them acquaint themselves to the new area before taking said crutch away on subsequent levels.) But it'd still be nice to hear that the overhaul is already agreed upon in principle - so we can just refine this idea instead of trying to come up with new ones. The Hellcrawl fork has no upstairs, which already removes stairdancing (having just hatches would be far less harsh since people could still flee to an upstairs hatch to rest and recover, they'd just need to face some danger for a while as they make their way towards the nearest upwards hatch), and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. Personally I don't play Hellcrawl because it has a lot of features that I really don't like, but the fork might still be considered proof of concept that it can be done.
  • Is it because the devs wish to handle the stairdancing problem in a different way? (In which case I'd be curious what ideas they're looking at, so that we can brainstorm on those instead.)
  • Is it because the devs are simply OK with stairdancing in most of the 3-rune game, and consider stairdancing-free areas such as Tomb or Pan to be a challenge that shouldn't be part of the norm? Even if this is the case, I kind of feel like at least a part of the compulsory 3-rune game should be changed in this way - such as Zot, which is already meant to have a chaotic and dangerous theme. (Removing stairdancing from Zot could even be a good way to beta-test this overhaul before it is removed from the rest of the game.)
  • Or is it because the devs think stairdancing is perfectly alright as it is, as a part of most of the game, and do not want to make further changes in this area? I'd find that disappointing, but I'd still want to know so that I wouldn't waste time brainstorming about it and participating in discussions about it.

Basically, I'm looking to know what exactly the developers's stance on the issue of stairdancing overhaul is - preferably from the devs themselves, or people who are "in on" the development process - so that we as a community (and I in particular) can know what challenges still lie ahead in tackling the stairdancing issue, and so that we can brainstorm about it. With the removal of backspawning, or newly generating monsters after level generation, luring and stairdancing have become even more viable strategies (since you won't have to be afraid of getting backspawned if you wander far away from the stairs to pull them back towards a staircase), and thus the viability of degenerate tactics have actually increased - which is why I feel it's important that it should be clarified where DCSS stands regarding stairdancing and what our prospects are.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 01:50

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

ur proposal only nerfs <><><> stairdancing, which is not the only problem. uphatches are still a degenerate way to split poorly managed enemy packs and heal completely with no cost. you can still retreat upstairs, wait a buncha turns, and then go back down when the mobs have dispersed. you can still camp/lure to any uphatches you find.

the fact that you couldn't retreat upstairs from the getgo would be an improvement; starting every level without a place to retreat to is one of the best parts about hellcrawl.

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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 04:29

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

I don't think anyone has seriously proposed replacing all stairs with hatches in vanilla crawl, so that is why it hasn't happened "yet".

Maybe a good first step would be to go from 3 downstairs + some hatches per level to 1 + at least two hatches.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 06:05

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

I'm not a dev, and I can't speak for devs. But for all the many times I've read here that stair dancing is degenerate, I so far fail to understand the rationale for it. How is it different from,say, fighting in a corridor, or teleporting away to reset a fight, or hasting yourself to run away from a fight you cannot win? The first tactical advice that anyone gets here on these pages is that you don't have to fight every monster. This only works if you have means of breaking contact with a monster that you encounter at an inopportune moment. Going up (or even down) stairs seems to be a legitimate way to do this (and in countless situations, like in Zot, the only way).

Stair dancing as a means to divide enemy crowds into manageable chunks also does not strike me as degenerate, but as a tactically sound option that does not feel in any way scummy to me. Why should it? I'm not really wasting any time upstairs like I would if I engaged in heavy luring. In terms of real time, hitting 5 to heal up only takes a few seconds, so it does not have the ring of sitting in a corner to me, where I wait endlessly for monsters to come along so I can pounce on them. Stair dancing does nothing to reduce the enjoyment of the game like real scumming tactics or even summons would.

So, in summary, I'm still waiting for anyone to carefully explain to me in short words why stair dancing has to be evaluated in any way as degenerate. Sure, you can make the game more challenging by removing stair dancing as an option, but is that really a challenge that makes the game objectively better?
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 12:07

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

chequers wrote:I don't think anyone has seriously proposed replacing all stairs with hatches in vanilla crawl, so that is why it hasn't happened "yet".


Well, it may not have been 'seriously' proposed in the sense of 'someone posted a long and detailed thread about how they would propose this change' too many times. I've seen it proposed in shorter, sometimes throwaway comments plenty of times, although I haven't made a log of these occasions - I hadn't anticipated the need to do so.

amaril wrote:ur proposal only nerfs <><><> stairdancing, which is not the only problem. uphatches are still a degenerate way to split poorly managed enemy packs and heal completely with no cost. you can still retreat upstairs, wait a buncha turns, and then go back down when the mobs have dispersed. you can still camp/lure to any uphatches you find.

the fact that you couldn't retreat upstairs from the getgo would be an improvement; starting every level without a place to retreat to is one of the best parts about hellcrawl.


I mean, uphatches make the problem less severe because it makes the process less trivial. Aside from a few characters in a few situations, going down and straight up with whatever monsters are next to the stair is survivable, but if there is a big pack surrounding the uphatch, it's more likely that they'll actually prevent you from beelining to the stairs (safely, at least) and start pulling them up. Though if the devs want to implement Hellcrawl's no-upstairs mechanic, or some equivalent, I also welcome that - though it's probably a bit too radical to be done in one big overhaul. Just having hatches only is much simpler.

Actually, one could consider - what if stairs were removed, and monsters couldn't follow you up a hatch? One could still escape upstairs and regenerate, but it would take effort to get through the monsters to begin with, and one couldn't split the pack by stairdancing - sure, splitting the pack by luring them within the level would still be an option, but that's generally riskier and one can't just retreat within just over a single turn if things are going wrong.

Majang wrote:I'm not a dev, and I can't speak for devs. But for all the many times I've read here that stair dancing is degenerate, I so far fail to understand the rationale for it. How is it different from,say, fighting in a corridor, or teleporting away to reset a fight, or hasting yourself to run away from a fight you cannot win? The first tactical advice that anyone gets here on these pages is that you don't have to fight every monster. This only works if you have means of breaking contact with a monster that you encounter at an inopportune moment. Going up (or even down) stairs seems to be a legitimate way to do this (and in countless situations, like in Zot, the only way).


Alright then...

"How is it different from,say, fighting in a corridor,"

Fighting in a corridor is all about tactical positioning. You might not always be able to do it, because the option isn't there, or because your tactics are poor, and if something ambushes you from behind in a corridor, it might be hard to escape, so you need to make sure that's not likely to happen. There is some actual sophistication involved in typical positioning, which makes it much less degenerate (there is very little danger in stairdancing, unless you can't survive even just one or two rounds of monsters focus-firing on you, and once you've pulled up some monsters to a cleared floor, the fight becomes perfectly predictable). But even if we consider both behaviors degenerate, removing one degenerate tactic (provided it doesn't create more problems than it solves) is IMO always good, even if we cannot or don't want to remove another problem. It's not an all-or-nothing game.

"or teleporting away to reset a fight, or hasting yourself to run away from a fight you cannot win?"

These options require you to spend a limited consumable if you mess up.

Majang wrote:Stair dancing as a means to divide enemy crowds into manageable chunks also does not strike me as degenerate, but as a tactically sound option that does not feel in any way scummy to me. Why should it? I'm not really wasting any time upstairs like I would if I engaged in heavy luring. In terms of real time, hitting 5 to heal up only takes a few seconds, so it does not have the ring of sitting in a corner to me, where I wait endlessly for monsters to come along so I can pounce on them. Stair dancing does nothing to reduce the enjoyment of the game like real scumming tactics or even summons would.


To me, it feels at least a bit immersion-breaking - you pull up monsters one by one, while the others see what you are doing and yet do not make any attempt to follow you up the stairs. And I think that actually matters - the game feels more exciting if optimal play doesn't involve doing something that's clearly so silly and requires so much suspension of disbelief, and a game that feels more exciting has better replayability. But maybe "immersion-breaking" doesn't count for much in Crawl development. One could also argue with purely gameplay-related concepts: having to deal with a pack of monsters is an interesting tactical challenge that is almost entirely removed by stairdancing, while if you didn't have the option you'd at least have to go through some effort to split them up by retreating through the level, potentially risking running into another pack while fleeing, or having to run through unexplored parts of the level if you have just entered the level... It means you can heal up after killing every 1-2 monsters, which means that a big, interesting pack fight just becomes a series of smaller, easy, near-identical fights. If you had to retreat through the level the pack is on, instead, the monsters have a chance of wearing you down through attrition even if you manage to split the pack up, especially if you have poor regeneration (again, this depends on where the nearest uphatch is, but that's alright - fleeing might be easier on some levels, harder on others, but RNG is a part of the game).

To me, it seems like the devs already recognize stairdancing as something that should be discouraged - vault wardens or the changes of Tomb seem to indicate this. The question to me is: why didn't they go further?
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 12:26

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

I believe degeneracy depends on frequency.
It is fine to lure a pack into a corridor to avoid being attacked by several monsters simultaneously but it is degenerative to lure 1-2 monsters into a corridor, kill it/them there, then lure another 1-2 monsters into a corridor, kill it/them there and so on.
It is fine to retreat upstairs with a couple of adjacent monsters to kill them there. It is degenerative when you do it 3-4 times in a row, especially if stairs are in a corridor so only 1-2 monsters can attack/follow you.
Maybe we can limit stairs in some way like displaying "You have used these specific stairs too often, you are no longer able to use them while some hostile monsters are adjacent". Corridor is a different issue, maybe adjacent walls should vanish if too many monsters have been killed near them ("destroyed by fight" flavor or something). If you killed the royal jelly in recent versions, you know how much danger/excitement vanished walls can create.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 12:40

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

If stairdancing is a problem, it is extremely easy to fix by making it impossible to use stairs if a hostile monster is next to you. Some games use this mechanic.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 13:22

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

To me it has to do with how 'scumming' or 'degenerate play' have been defined by others: do something that is extremely tedious to the player in order to receive a marginal benefit. Anything that costs me lots of real time, or that involves an endless succession of key-presses or mouse-clicks without anything actually happening in the game would fit the description. Going upstairs in order to break up a pack does not do that. It is a tactical option provided by the game, and one that is not possible to pursue in all places. It requires the player to pay attention to the dungeon layout and encourages tactical thinking, trading off quick exploration against the need to provide a secure route to safety. I just don't see how 'degenerate' comes in there. In that sense even the term 'stair dancing' evokes the wrong idea, as it puts it on the same level as pillar dancing, which indeed is very tedious play if you engage in it more often than on level 1.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 13:25

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

There is a problem with this proposal that I think has not yet been called out. When you go downstairs to a floor for the first time, you always have the first action. So, if you descend next to a pack of orc priests, you aren't smitten to death, because you can run upstairs. But this becomes meaningless, if you can't use that one action to save yourself.
In general I think that stairdancing is a problem, because it's the one trick that always works. If it were removed, I would be OK with that. But there needs to also be some work around placement, to avoid a huge increase in the number of inescapable death traps.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 13:45

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Shtopit wrote:There is a problem with this proposal that I think has not yet been called out. When you go downstairs to a floor for the first time, you always have the first action. So, if you descend next to a pack of orc priests, you aren't smitten to death, because you can run upstairs. But this becomes meaningless, if you can't use that one action to save yourself.
It works fine in hellcrawl. There are still very few inescapable deaths; you are just forced to use consumables sometimes/build a character capable of surviving tough situations. However, if you want to keep current crawl's safe 1st stair policy, doing so would be trivial. The first time you hit > on a hatch per level you are shown what los would look like if you descended. Pressing > again causes you to descend; < or escape causes you to remain. This 'new' mechanic would communicate itself quickly through gameplay.

Sprucery wrote:If stairdancing is a problem, it is extremely easy to fix by making it impossible to use stairs if a hostile monster is next to you. Some games use this mechanic.
All hail the new swiftness/blink metagame! Variants of this idea could work tho. Requiring the player to be at full hp with no monsters in sight or 'level locking' the player until the lv is 90% clear (at which point remaining monsters die and you get the xp - idea stolen from watertreatmentrl) might be worthwhile experiments. These solutions would ruin modern crawl's competitiveness for turncount speedrunning tho.

Majang wrote: trading off quick exploration against the need to provide a secure route to safety
This is the classic tedium/reward problem though. Unless you think that turncount speedrunning is the default way to play (a la bel) in which case degenerate time consuming strats are tautologically punished, quick exploration provides negligible benefit relative to its cost.

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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 14:10

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Touching on what VeryAngryFelid said, I don't think removing stairs entirely is the right option, because sometimes there are scenarios when you pop onto a level, are surrounded by a mob, starting fighting...bigger mob assembles...etc. There is nothing tactical about 30+ monsters mobbing you just because you entered the level...you didn't even have a chance to step off of the stairs.

To give a concept to his idea, why not have "rickety" stairs? These can only be traveled X times before they collapse...and travel includes monsters. So you go down...that's 1. Then you pop back up later with 3 monsters in tow...you're second use. You go down again, and suddenly the stairs collapse on their third use.

I think this gives the option of a single retreat, but removes the concept of stair-dancing.

That said, I think we also have a bigger issue. The reason I would be wary of removing stairdancing is that unless you happen to be a super skilled player, a main way of survival is taken from you. Sure, people who have win-lists and know how to nuance just about any situation might be fine, but what about the newer/worse players? They might need this type of recourse in order to survive.

One issue with DCSS that I have is the "Well ****. I'm screwed." mechanic of some mobs. I don't mind meeting a ton of monsters, but I want to do so on my terms. As an example, one time on Orc:2 I ran into a mob of idk...if I remember the count it was something like 43 ogres, mostly two-headed and mages. I don't mind that, because I had been exploring the level and encountered that group. Fine.

What I don't like is popping onto Orc:2 and running into about 6 high priests, 10 priests, 2 warlords, 5 knights, a ton of warriors, etc. I drop to 30% HP from first-turn smites alone. No one here can argue about "Well now, see, you should have been tactical blah blah blah without stairdancing." If I dared to take one step off of those stairs, I would have been dead in less than 3 turns from smites alone. If I had tried to read a teleport scroll and wait, I would have died. I had no scrolls of blinking.

Or perhaps another time on Spider's Nest:3 when I enter the level and run into 3...3 player ghosts at once. Oh, and by the way, all of the stairs were within 4 squares of each other, so between the spider mob that was already there, the orb-weavers I had to dodge, and the 3 ghosts, I couldn't enter the level...plus one ghost having a powerful draining weapon. That's not a "tactical management" situation. That's a "hop up and down and hope I live" situation. Again, on Swamp:2, ran into the ghost of a Chei worshipping mage...who had CBlink and summoning. I go downstairs, run into the ghost. It can move much faster than me and has more power, so I retreat. I come back down different stairs, as soon as I fight two monsters and make a bit of noise it's blinked its way over to me and starts summoning things again. Etc. Stairdancing was the only way I cleared that level (never did fight the ghost, just had to keep running and used up all my blinks and teleports).

Stairs are a legit tactical solution to many mobs. So I think the problem is less about the stairs, and more than the mob-system often FORCES you to stairdance. I think that is the bigger problem. You make it so that if you encounter a mob, it will NOT be when you are within 2 squares of a staircase, and that makes things more balanced. I agree that trying to lure mobs back to stairs to pick them off is degenerate. Trying to save your skin because you realize you're screwed if you don't retreat repeatedly isn't tactical.

Again, maybe this is something only someone who is not a good player yet experiences, but I'd suggest that a game be designed so that someone like myself can at least HOPE to survive the early-mid dungeon. Keep lategame hard as hell...that's fine.

In light of that last statement, what about selective stair restriction? Keep stairs in the early/early-mid game branches (Dungeon, Lair, Lair Branches, Orc, Elf). After you cross the threshold into the next level of difficulty and start doing Depths/Vaults, etc, start using the "rickety stairs" concept where you can only make 3 total trips (up,down,up, or any combination thereof). It certain even harder places (like in Tomb already) cut stairs entirely.

This scales the difficulty, but keeps you having the option of stairdancing during that point in the game where a couple lucky hits spell insta-doom. By the time someone is clearing Vaults/Depths and later, they should be powerful enough/well equipped enough to be able to make do without that option.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 14:25

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

amaril wrote:All hail the new swiftness/blink metagame!

The point is that you couldn't split a pack this way.

Anyway, IIIRC we've had several threads about how to fix stairs and stairdancing in the past, and the devs are surely aware of the many different proposed fixes. The fact that stairs in the current version behave like they've always done must mean something.

Removing monster spawns was bad wrt. stairdancing imo.
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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 14:50

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Just speaking for myself and not the entire dev team, I think stairdancing is an extremely mild instance of a significant problem: luring. Stairdancing isn't the worst case because it tends to be relatively cheap in terms of player grind. The worst case is repeatedly dragging individual monsters from dangerous areas of the map to safe areas of the map before fighting them. In this case, the player spends non-trivial real time in order to get a substantial bonus in safety -- a grindy behavior that our design doc is against. Stairs are a very safe place to fight monsters, but if they were removed, any good terrain could be used as a nearly-equal replacement, as you see in hellcrawl.

Because the worst cases of luring also take significant numbers of player turns, one possible solution is in a meaningful clock. As many have posted in other threads, crawl only has at most two clocks for any character right now: the negligible food clock and the often-negligible piety decay clock. Adding more compelling clocks would do a significant amount to solve luring, but they would do even more to punish weak characters/players, backtracking, autoexplore, insufficiently-dug-out levels, and other things that we don't necessarily want to add punishments to.

As such, a good solution that doesn't fundamentally change crawl's explorable, backtrackable, branch-order-optional dungeon is tough. I tried to implement one in the "bezotted" branch, in which monsters periodically upgrade themselves when they are chasing after the player. The branch wasn't tried heavily, but the response from the player community overall wasn't very positive.

If stairdancing alone was the issue -- and again, I don't think it is -- it would be more effective to make taking damage interrupt stair travel rather than making stairs into hatches.

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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 15:25

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Lasty: good points wrt luring and the difficulty of punishing that. However, I think the problem w/ stairs is more that they are an exploitably powerful terrain feature and that luring is just the obvious symptom of that. It doesn't take skill to split up enemies with stairs or go upstairs to rest mid-fight. Even the kinkiest killhole is less safe than a staircase, and this would still be the case if luring were punished by a stricter clock.

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Post Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 18:00

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Personally I would make it so if monsters didn't follow you up the stairs, but were in LOS when you took a staircase you can't re use *that* staircase until you enter the level by another means:

"You cannot get [down|up] this staircase, monsters are blocking the way"

I have difficulty deciding how long that status should exist though, it seems weird and arbitrary for it to "wear off" at some interval.

That means each staircase would have always be a single escape-use, and is a safe place to lure things to (which really just reduces the amount of time you have to spend luring things, without stairs, you can still lure things it just takes longer and is more boring) But can't be used to quickly and easilly break packs into chunks by using <>

Alternately (and more nastily) if things were left behind and waiting around at the other side of a staircase, there could be a chance of you being "shoved aside as you descend" and not ending up on the upstairs, and having to fight your way back onto it if you want to use it to escape, being displaced from the upstairs sometimes happens with elephants and the like, making it a general thing that sometimes happens would probably be an effective way to discourage the worst cases of stair-usage, without losing the positives they bring.
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Post Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 00:02

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Lasty wrote:Just speaking for myself and not the entire dev team, I think stairdancing is an extremely mild instance of a significant problem: luring. Stairdancing isn't the worst case because it tends to be relatively cheap in terms of player grind. The worst case is repeatedly dragging individual monsters from dangerous areas of the map to safe areas of the map before fighting them. In this case, the player spends non-trivial real time in order to get a substantial bonus in safety -- a grindy behavior that our design doc is against.

While not a 100% complete solution, Cheibriados solves the bulk of this problem. You still want to back up a few spaces and try to fight half a pack at a time rather than the whole pack, but you certainly aren't dragging monsters across the entire floor over and over again. It encourages you to take the fight where you are (or at least rather close to where you are) and then continue to move forwards. It's one of the reasons I enjoy Chei runs so much more than other runs.

The worst game of crawl I've ever played was a spriggan conjurer of vehumet which took 145k turns to win, on a streak. 145k turns may not sound very high but that is the slowest win I've ever had, for 3 runes; I've won 15 rune hunters in fewer turns (and they have to constantly pick up all their ammo). My first ever 15 rune game back when I was new (and slow) was 141k turns. I used necromutation in that game, and won it faster than a 3 rune spriggan.

Perhaps a better question is why have the devs not removed spriggans yet? The problem with luring is monsters aren't faster than you. Monsters should be faster than the player.

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Post Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 17:01

Re: Why have the devs not replaced stairs with hatches yet?

Thank you for the replies! After reading some replies, I'm convinced that some of the other solutions presented against stairdancing (such as preventing upstairs use while surrounded/being hit, or the possibility of being pushed down the stairs after descending) are at least as good, or even better, than the original idea for the purposes of preventing stairdancing.

Regarding the general problem of luring:

Lasty wrote:Just speaking for myself and not the entire dev team, I think stairdancing is an extremely mild instance of a significant problem: luring. Stairdancing isn't the worst case because it tends to be relatively cheap in terms of player grind. The worst case is repeatedly dragging individual monsters from dangerous areas of the map to safe areas of the map before fighting them. In this case, the player spends non-trivial real time in order to get a substantial bonus in safety -- a grindy behavior that our design doc is against. Stairs are a very safe place to fight monsters, but if they were removed, any good terrain could be used as a nearly-equal replacement, as you see in hellcrawl.


With that in mind, do you (and the devs in general) consider the removal of monster spawns over time to have been a successful change? The way I see it, it significantly improved the viability of luring, and more monsters being generated awake is not a sufficient counter because backspawning monsters can be generated anywhere, while awake monsters would still have to randomly wander to these safe areas in order to be a hazard to your luring exploits. (The actual argument in favor of this change, that OOD spawns might be scummed for XP, doesn't really make sense since simply changing newly spawned monsters to durable summons would have solved that problem, in addition to providing the player feedback about whether they're clearing the level at a "good" pace.)

Lasty wrote:Because the worst cases of luring also take significant numbers of player turns, one possible solution is in a meaningful clock. As many have posted in other threads, crawl only has at most two clocks for any character right now: the negligible food clock and the often-negligible piety decay clock. Adding more compelling clocks would do a significant amount to solve luring, but they would do even more to punish weak characters/players, backtracking, autoexplore, insufficiently-dug-out levels, and other things that we don't necessarily want to add punishments to.


I agree - and sadly I don't really have any productive ideas for that either.

Lasty wrote:If stairdancing alone was the issue -- and again, I don't think it is -- it would be more effective to make taking damage interrupt stair travel rather than making stairs into hatches.


Would the dev team be willing to address the issue of stairdancing with a "bandaid" measure like this one, until a more comprehensive overhaul against luring can be implemented, though? I think the fight against luring doesn't necessarily have to be an all-or-nothing thing, and removing the possibility in some cases/making luring more situational is still an improvement IMO even if not all of the problems can be rooted out yet.

tasonir wrote:Perhaps a better question is why have the devs not removed spriggans yet? The problem with luring is monsters aren't faster than you. Monsters should be faster than the player.


Personally I don't agree with the logic of that - spriggans can be fun for players who don't mind the kiting, and for everyone else, there are a bunch of other races. It'd be better to just address the problems of luring instead in such a way that spriggans too get less benefit from extreme kiting. I don't think it's necessarily a problem if one race involves a somewhat grindy mechanic, since people can always choose races that they find fun to play and avoid those they don't - for example, I think most of us would agree that the vine stalker mechanic of no potion heal combined with fast regeneration is a solid racial perk, but some people might not enjoy it at all, so they can choose other races instead. Further, with their low HP, spriggans might be better at luring but are also in greater danger in situations where luring doesn't help (or at least when there's no time for it), such as with swarms of extremely fast monsters, getting blocked during retreat, ambushed by smiters etc. That being said, I don't mind if people want to remove a race if they can suggest a better one to replace it.
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