Added difficulty?


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 04:02

Added difficulty?

It would seem the early stages of the dungeon have become a great deal harder in .1, am I crazy? Some of it may be because of increased medium armour AC, but I will also see ogres on floor 1, and other crazy stuff.

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Post Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 04:27

Re: Added difficulty?

Boodz wrote:It would seem the early stages of the dungeon have become a great deal harder in .1, am I crazy? Some of it may be because of increased medium armour AC, but I will also see ogres on floor 1, and other crazy stuff.

It's 0.10.0, not .1. (unless you're playing a version of DCSS from 5+ years ago)

As for the difficulty of D:1, it really shouldn't be much different.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 07:01

Re: Added difficulty?

Do not stay on the same level for too long, or the harder monsters will come to chase you away from it.
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 14:39

Re: Added difficulty?

I haven't noticed any change in difficulty. But the challenge of the first levels of the dungeon varies massively between species & background, maybe you've chosen a different thing.

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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 16:09

Re: Added difficulty?

The only thing I've noticed is killer bee rooms appearing more frequently (and maybe earlier) - which can be inescapable death for some characters.

But like lots of things in Crawl, it might just be my imagination.

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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 16:13

Re: Added difficulty?

Killer bee rooms probably ARE appearing more often, now that the Hive has been yanked.
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 22:54

Re: Added difficulty?

Happy Corner wrote:Killer bee rooms probably ARE appearing more often, now that the Hive has been yanked.

Yeah, they are more common since Hive was removed, much to the amusement of my Naga Assassin of Chei. I now have 57 honeycombs. :D
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Post Monday, 27th February 2012, 23:18

Re: Added difficulty?

Bees of all kinds are major trouble for most ogres! But I haven't noticed a big increase in the number of them.. they are always a pain in the ass though lol

/edit
lol didn't see I already responded to this topic

some bees been ruinin' my day lately :P

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 00:19

Re: Added difficulty?

I think early game difficulty is nothing but cheap. You lack escape options so it's just like wasting time. I've encountered some out of depth wands. Walk around a corner, a kobolt blasts you to death in one shot. Great.

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 01:27

Re: Added difficulty?

That really doesn't happen very often, and even then you can usually make up for it by using consumables :) Also makes you pay attention haha
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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 02:16

Re: Added difficulty?

supified wrote:I think early game difficulty is nothing but cheap. You lack escape options so it's just like wasting time. I've encountered some out of depth wands. Walk around a corner, a kobolt blasts you to death in one shot. Great.

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Yes, inescapable deaths happen, and yes, they suck, but they're incredibly rare -- rare enough for something like the above to happen. The fault of almost every death lies not with the game, but with the player. Yes, the early game is difficult, but cheap? No. It is brutally fair.
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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 13:06

Re: Added difficulty?

Blade wrote:Winning Streak:
11 games elliptic


Which leads to the question: what happened in the 12th game? The fact that no-one has endless streaks suggests there are some challenges in the game that, if not entirely insurmountable (just post one on here and someone will tell you what you could have done to escape), present game-ending problems to even the best of players.
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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 13:40

Re: Added difficulty?

Confidence Interval wrote:Which leads to the question: what happened in the 12th game?


  Code:
16,352   MuMo   Kikubaaqudgha   Cruncher   Lair:6   slain by a death yak   12   17,936   01:36:21
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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 13:44

Re: Added difficulty?

Thank you - though in fact I meant the question rhetorically rather than literally. Still, always a good idea to watch out for those death yaks.

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 19:50

Re: Added difficulty?

I've noticed this as well and have been looking over the forums on and off since I ran into this like 3 times in a row last night.

On D:4 I was cornered by a centaur, 4 gnolls, a gnoll shaman, and then had a hobgoblin, a dog, and a hipogryph block my retreat from them.
Ridiculous!

That was the worst offense, but I've had a few times where I had my ghost on lvl 2 summoning insane amounts of stuff then while on retreat get blocked by ogres and hordes of orcs.

It feels like there's baddies way outside of their proper depth, and really just making me have a terrible day. This almost seems like a bug.

I'm not saying that these situations are impossible, but I'm a returning player to the game and just starting to get to/through the lair with some regularity, and now I'm getting my ass handed to me left and right going from 0.09 > 0.10. I really wanted to mess around with an Octopode, but I may just go back to .09 so that I can get back on track to seeing more of the game, not less.

Also, this situation happen to my partner as well right next to me.

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 03:14

Re: Added difficulty?

What build are you running?
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 12:51

Re: Added difficulty?

Shapermc wrote:a centaur, 4 gnolls, a gnoll shaman, and then had a hobgoblin, a dog, and a hipogryph



That doesn't really sound like that much on D:4
Last edited by Dustbin on Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 16:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 13:25

Re: Added difficulty?

Shapermc wrote:Ridiculous!

Sounds more like a bad case of fleeing into unexplored areas to me.

Shapermc wrote:This almost seems like a bug.

Crawl does a pretty good job of rewarding good play and punishing bad play, it's by design.

Shapermc wrote:I'm a returning player to the game and just starting to get to/through the lair with some regularity, and now I'm getting my ass handed to me left and right going from 0.09 > 0.10.

I have a somewhat decent win% and I still get my ass handed to me every time I return from a few months of inactivity. Of course, every time that happens, I know it's my fault - the game hasn't seen a major increase in difficulty since the 0.6 update.

Shapermc wrote:I really wanted to mess around with an Octopode

Well that might just explain everything, octopodes are made of wet paper.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 15:10

Re: Added difficulty?

ebarrett wrote: - the game hasn't seen a major increase in difficulty since the 0.6 update.


In fact it's a bit easier early on, because lot of instadeath cause were tweaked or removed, all player now start with 3 more HP and now the butcher knife tedium is gone...

The only thing that are more difficult are some backgrounds, but that's mostly because they were dull or broken (eg. transmuter).

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 15:26

Re: Added difficulty?

Was the code that places uniques changed around 0.9? I've noticed a lot more cases of floors having 6-8 uniques at once.

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 15:59

Re: Added difficulty?

BlackSheep wrote:Was the code that places uniques changed around 0.9? I've noticed a lot more cases of floors having 6-8 uniques at once.

I seem to notice this too, plus I've encountered what seems to be significantly more early gnoll packs. Now that they occasionally spawn with shamans and sergeants + often have polearms I find them to be more difficult than they were in the past. Perhaps the spawn rate of gnolls isn't that different, it's just their deadliness due to the inherent reaching on polearms.

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 16:54

Re: Added difficulty?

I would counterpoint all the examples that people have given for why I may feel this way, but that would take too long and besides the point. I had over 100 games in .09 after coming back and now within about a dozen at least 10 of them have had dramatically increased difficulty; as a great example, in D:3 last night I ran into my ghost with 2 Troll zombies, and a slew of other things I decided not to fight.

I noticed this sharp increase in difficulty the moment I upgraded from .09 to .10, and I know that what everyone has said in defense of the game is true, but it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth that something has changed increasing the difficulty of .10 early game in a way that is uncharacteristic of the difficulty of .09.

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 23:25

Re: Added difficulty?

I've been playing since around 0.8 and I've noticed the first few dungeon levels have gotten a lot easier.
But in 0.10 I've noticed what seemed to be OoD monsters appear a lot more. Or at least what I think are OoD combinations.
Centaurs on level 2/3 or 4 dogs on level 1 or 4 gnolls on level 2 don't seem accurate.
Plus I've gotten 2/3 normal Orcs, an Orc priest and two Orc wizards before. On level 2 I can expect to see (I don't take my time, I tend to just hit auto-explore and rush to the temple) two normal Orcs, an Orc priest and an Orc wizard. Granted, it's somewhat rare (2/10 games or so) but it's still a lot more noticable than in .8 or .9.

Of course, I'm just noticing them more now. That's not to say I didn't notice packs of Orcs but never till around level 5 or 6 of the dungeon in .9 and even when .10 was in trunk, I didn't notice them there either.
Maybe it's gotten harder overall with more monsters and combos but survival wise, I've found it a lot more managable in terms of actually getting to the lair without any trouble.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 17:01

Re: Added difficulty?

minmay wrote:Funny, 0.10 is the first version in several years that I'd say has been easier than the previous one. Mostly because of spears and tridents, though.

Also I think it's hilarious that DD of Makhleb was buffed.

I don't think it's harder per se, but I've definitely seen what seems to be clusters of uniques more often and I don't think I'm alone in that since I see people talking about it in IRC. For example one recent game I think I had Grinder, Sigmund and Edmund all on the temple floor. Needless to say that I didn't make my stash there :)

That said, in my current game I haven't seen anything like that, so it could just be self-selection. No one mentions when they meet Pikel alone, but Pikel + Erolcha + Maurice might get mentioned.
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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 22:34

Re: Added difficulty?

rebthor wrote:Now that they occasionally spawn with shamans and sergeants + often have polearms I find them to be more difficult than they were in the past. Perhaps the spawn rate of gnolls isn't that different, it's just their deadliness due to the inherent reaching on polearms.


I find them easier, since when they attack with reaching, it does less damage (or miss more) than in melee. So it's less deadly to flee in a corridor and go upstair.

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 06:16

Re: Added difficulty?

varsovie wrote:I find them easier, since when they attack with reaching, it does less damage (or miss more) than in melee. So it's less deadly to flee in a corridor and go upstair.


That sounds wrong - that probably doesn't happen, and if it did it really shouldn't. I did a quick grep through the code and I didn't notice anything that would reduce accuracy or damage of reaching attacks.

I think there's a thread that complains about the added early game difficulty for every release, whether there is any or not. Probably even for the version that game everyone more HP at the start. ;) I don't recall any (intentional) changes to OOD monsters or unique spawning. I'm not active an active dev at the moment though.

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 06:37

Re: Added difficulty?

I'm just going to say that the last two games in a row I died to a group of 4+ gnolls on D:2. Perhaps this is something related to the MacOSX version when upgrading from .09 to .10? I can't see any reason to have groups of 4+ gnolls twice in a row on D:2. Is there any way to completely uninstall from Mac OS to wipe my entire history of the game? It's all I can think to do at this point to avoid this obnoxiousness.
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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 07:08

Re: Added difficulty?

Reduced damage/accuracy or not, the fact is that two polearm wielder in a corridor will not by themself close up to attack both.
Yes it makes them a little harder to attack (by melee), but if a stair is near they are easily avoidable.
Maybe sometime they should try to close up, an enemy to strong for you is a bigger threat if both of them attack you and one get a free attack if you try to flee.
And reinstalling the game won't change anything. ;)

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 12:30

Re: Added difficulty?

Shapermc wrote:I'm just going to say that the last two games in a row I died to a group of 4+ gnolls on D:2. Perhaps this is something related to the MacOSX version when upgrading from .09 to .10? I can't see any reason to have groups of 4+ gnolls twice in a row on D:2. Is there any way to completely uninstall from Mac OS to wipe my entire history of the game? It's all I can think to do at this point to avoid this obnoxiousness.

I've really noticed the same but for me, it's when I'm by a corridor so I can just back into it and take them 1 on 1.
On D:4 or later is when they appear in a larger area (so I less chance to back into the corridor).

But all you really should be doing is just deleting the folder or unistall it.
I don't know if it would even make a difference. I usually delete player ghosts, only. Haven't noticed any major change after downloading it or installing it again.

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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:48

Re: Added difficulty?

It is in the nature of randomness to have many apparent "clusters" of events. Plus there are plenty of cognitive (psychological) errors going on when you aren't looking at things objectively via raw data (you don't write down every game and what happened on each floor, do you?). In this context, we can see that encountering "4+ gnolls twice in a row on D:2" is absolutely nothing unusual.

Also just walk away in an intelligent way and hope their throwing nets miss.

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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 01:18

Re: Added difficulty?

To both of the above about the Gnolls... I can understand it's programmed into the game but I've never noticed it before .10. I mean, yes, a Gnoll at d:1 or d:2 is somewhat normal to me but I've never seen packs of them or packs of Orcs in this manner so early.
I've seen two or three normal Orcs and an Orc caster (wizard/priest) but I can see an Orc warlord in a group as early as D:3. Do keep in mind that this is probably 100% normal and I've just been lucky since I've started playing early last year.
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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 02:03

Re: Added difficulty?

dmurray wrote:To both of the above about the Gnolls... I can understand it's programmed into the game but I've never noticed it before .10. I mean, yes, a Gnoll at d:1 or d:2 is somewhat normal to me but I've never seen packs of them or packs of Orcs in this manner so early.
I've seen two or three normal Orcs and an Orc caster (wizard/priest) but I can see an Orc warlord in a group as early as D:3. Do keep in mind that this is probably 100% normal and I've just been lucky since I've started playing early last year.

A Orc Warlord on D:3 in absurdly out of depth. I'm glad I've never had the bad luck to encounter one that early.
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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 02:14

Re: Added difficulty?

he meant a warrior.
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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 02:33

Re: Added difficulty?

I once had an orc warrior on D:2 and a giant frog on D:1. OOD encounters like that are terrifying, but I don't think they're inherently bad. The only time you should have an investment in your character at that point is when you're streaking. The early game is usually quite manageable if you know what you're doing; dying a lot is a sign that you're doing something wrong.

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Post Sunday, 4th March 2012, 00:47

Re: Added difficulty?

Jabberwocky wrote:
dmurray wrote:To both of the above about the Gnolls... I can understand it's programmed into the game but I've never noticed it before .10. I mean, yes, a Gnoll at d:1 or d:2 is somewhat normal to me but I've never seen packs of them or packs of Orcs in this manner so early.
I've seen two or three normal Orcs and an Orc caster (wizard/priest) but I can see an Orc warlord in a group as early as D:3. Do keep in mind that this is probably 100% normal and I've just been lucky since I've started playing early last year.

A Orc Warlord on D:3 in absurdly out of depth. I'm glad I've never had the bad luck to encounter one that early.

It's rare, though.

absolutego wrote:he meant a warrior.


Nope, I meant a warlord. I know the difference. It's rare, like I said but it's still weird to see at times.
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Post Friday, 9th March 2012, 08:37

Re: Added difficulty?

well, sorry then. but the only way that can happen, as far as i know, is when you trip all over the OOD timer. which is a separate discussion.

edit:
Crawl sometimes generates unusally hard monsters to keep you on your toes. The maximum possible is a 9 level difference, or 5 on D:1; add 12 as a special farmer penalty which only triggers after ~1k turns and is quite rare even then. Other times when something seems overly powerful, it's just a vault -- e.g. death yak guarding the lair.


the mines can appear as early as 6, and i've seen warlords on orc:2 or :3, so maybe it's technically possible, but i'm not sure branches are considered here.
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Post Friday, 9th March 2012, 15:44

Re: Added difficulty?

Out of interest, when does the OOD timer kick in? I've never really isolated just how long it is and the mechanics behind it since I don't really count turns.

But, it can take 1000 turns easily per level, even if you rest only once or twice. More for vicious vaults and end branches.
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Post Friday, 9th March 2012, 16:23

Re: Added difficulty?

eharper256 wrote:Out of interest, when does the OOD timer kick in?


3000 turns.

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Post Monday, 12th March 2012, 14:23

Re: Added difficulty?

As someone who has been playing 0.8 for the last 3-4 months, I doubt that the game has gotten harder. It's not unusual for me to die to packs of gnolls on D:1 or D:2, I usually have to fight a pack of jackals on D:1 or D:2, and I almost always encounter my first orc wizard no later than D:3. One of my most recent games had an orc pack with a couple normal orcs and three priests on D:3.

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 11:07

Re: Added difficulty?

Crawl is a random game. There's a known and understood psychological effect where the human brain can't really deal with true randomness and always tries to spot patterns in it. When you study the probabilities, it's more likely than not that particular combinations of things will turn up now and then.

The fact is that some players have had this happen to them a few times in a row, and they've decided to post here or on IRC. The hundreds of players for whom this has not happened have had no reason to post and therefore remained silent on the issue! What I'm saying is that on the basis of this thread you might perceive there is a problem, but you are actually just looking at a small sample of people who have all just had a run of bad luck with the RNG.

Some common examples of unexpected probabilistic scenarios:

1. You have rolled a dice 100 times. It has come up '6' every time. What is the probability of the next roll being another 6?

2. There are 50 people at a party. What is the probability that two people at the party share the same birthday?
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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 11:52

Re: Added difficulty?

Thanks for the lesson in elementary probability, mumra :)

A small number of comments:
mumra wrote:Crawl is a random game.

I think what these comments relate to is not the randomness of Crawl but the fact that the parameters of the random events can be changed (by the developers) - for example, the likelihood of OOD encounters on low levels could be increased. The game would stay random but the mean and distribution of occurrences of such encounters could shift, in this example making the game more difficult.

mumra wrote:The fact is that some players have had this happen to them a few times in a row, and they've decided to post here or on IRC...

We ought to start a thread about how the game has got easier and see if similar numbers of players join in to report easier games.

mumra wrote:1. You have rolled a dice 100 times. It has come up '6' every time. What is the probability of the next roll being another 6?

Highly likely. If a die comes up with a six every time I'd say it's very probably weighted, or has a six on every side, or something like that.

Using your thinking: if players reported finding the game more difficult, and it *had* actually become more difficult, we would still dismiss their reports. Based on player report alone, on what basis would we ever be able to identify whether the game's difficulty had changed?

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 13:01

Re: Added difficulty?

Confidence Interval wrote:
mumra wrote:Crawl is a random game.

I think what these comments relate to is not the randomness of Crawl but the fact that the parameters of the random events can be changed (by the developers) - for example, the likelihood of OOD encounters on low levels could be increased. The game would stay random but the mean and distribution of occurrences of such encounters could shift, in this example making the game more difficult.


This is certainly true. But things can vary so wildly in Crawl, a sample based on a handful of games doesn't give you anything near an accurate mean or distribution. You have to take a very large sample to get an accurate picture.

Confidence Interval wrote:
mumra wrote:The fact is that some players have had this happen to them a few times in a row, and they've decided to post here or on IRC...

We ought to start a thread about how the game has got easier and see if similar numbers of players join in to report easier games.


It would be a smaller thread; only because statistically, people are less likely to post on forums if they have nothing to complain about :)

Confidence Interval wrote:
mumra wrote:1. You have rolled a dice 100 times. It has come up '6' every time. What is the probability of the next roll being another 6?

Highly likely. If a die comes up with a six every time I'd say it's very probably weighted, or has a six on every side, or something like that.


Incorrect. It was one of Xom's dice. The next roll was '0'.

Confidence Interval wrote:Using your thinking: if players reported finding the game more difficult, and it *had* actually become more difficult, we would still dismiss their reports. Based on player report alone, on what basis would we ever be able to identify whether the game's difficulty had changed?


Actually it's happened before. I can't remember the exact context; but at some point there were some reports about a particular RNG issue, and those reports were being dismissed using similar arguments. Eventually someone did look at the code and discover a bug.

Again we're talking probabilities: plucking numbers completely out of thin air, I'd say there's a 1% chance of truth in any given report of RNG bias. If 10 people make such reports for each released version of Crawl, then on average every 10th version will have an actual genuine issue.

The thing is, the OP started with "It would seem...". Nothing is out of place here. It's perfectly normal for someone to perceive that the game has got harder after they start playing a new version. It's a logical connection to make - I've installed a new version, and had a run of bad games. Must be the new version! Crawl is a popular and hard enough game that we can expect this chain of circumstance to happen to more than one person. So you can't on that basis expect a developer to go hunting after a bug that probably doesn't exist.

Now if someone were to, say, set up a simulation of D:1-3 to tally the monsters seen there, and run that simulation 1,000 or 10,000 times ... and then do the same on 0.9, and show there was a significant change ... that might get someone's attention and maybe there would be something to fix. Or you could just pull that data from online play - and those are statistics that get looked at anyway, and I'm pretty sure it'll be noticed if there's a significant difference. Actually I'm pretty sure this would have been noticed during the tournament, and by the top players, who have a generally good sense of what is and isn't realistic/fair for Crawl to throw at you. Personally, I've played a bunch of games on 0.10 and it seems to me things are just the same as ever, i.e. Crawl is vicious and unforgiving. I haven't seen any spawns quite like the worst that people are describing in this thread but I had my share of tough situations.

So "on player report alone" would have to be:
a) A known top player, or
b) An overwhelming number of individual reports (which we're not seeing), or
c) Statistical analysis as above, or
d) A player actually digging through the source and proving there's been a change

Until I saw one of those, I would be inclined to be slightly dismissive ;)
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 15:14

Re: Added difficulty?

mumra wrote:1. You have rolled a dice 100 times. It has come up '6' every time. What is the probability of the next roll being another 6?

The chance that the next roll of the dice will be a six is always the same, 1 in six.
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Sewers Scotsman

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 15:18

Re: Added difficulty?

Jabberwocky wrote:
mumra wrote:1. You have rolled a dice 100 times. It has come up '6' every time. What is the probability of the next roll being another 6?

The chance that the next roll of the dice will be a six is always the same, 1 in six.

Yes, outcomes of this type should be independent of previous outcomes. But if you roll 100 6s in a row you might think that that independence was dubious and that something else was going on.

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 15:27

Re: Added difficulty?

Jabberwocky wrote:The chance that the next roll of the dice will be a six is always the same, 1 in six.


Well exactly, and most people know this, but it's worth pointing out now and then because even if you're quite familiar with probability math, the brain has kind of an in-built reaction of "this time must be different!"

Loaded or broken dice aside, it is entirely possible for this to happen, and for the 101th dice to also be a six. And if you have enough people rolling dice it will happen sooner or later. Crawl rolls a lot of dice :)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 17:56

Re: Added difficulty?

The chance of any next roll being six is one in six, but the chance of one hundred rolls in a row being six is for practical purposes zero.

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Post Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 17:57

Re: Added difficulty?

Sounds like the opening of a Tom Stoppard play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Have YASD".
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