Pooling advice for making a guide


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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 13:59

Pooling advice for making a guide

Hello there.

I'm trying to write a comprehensive GrFi / GrGl melee+invocations guide, with beginner/intermediate bad players (such as me) in mind, taking 0.13 and 0.14 trunk into account.

I will soon make another thread with the guide proper or a link to it, in case anybody wants to check it for wrong factual statements or bad advice, but I was wondering if any of you were already willing to contribute some advice :)

(In case you're wondering, yes, I'll post it at the wiki; and I want you to tell me stuff in order to avoid as much as possible the defects often associated with wiki material)
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 14:03

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sorry, I don't think intermediate bad players should write guides, even (or especially?) for beginner players.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 14:23

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sandman25 wrote:Sorry, I don't think intermediate bad players should write guides, even (or especially?) for beginner players.


Well, thanks for your input but (un?)fortunately, you have no authority over that :roll:

Now, I'm writing that guide and not any other because it's the only kind of toon I can ascend with (three to five runes) and because I think I have a reasonably solid idea on how to handle that kind of character (which is REALLY easy)

Still, I invite you to check the complete (but not finished) guide when I post it here, and tell me how horrible it is, in a detailed and constructive way.
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 14:30

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Fair enough. I will be glad to provide my feedback.

Edit. By the way do you mean you can ascend the combo or you usually do it? Because I am an average player who won all 3 Grxx which I played but I still don't feel I am in position to write the guide.
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 15:12

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sandman25 wrote:Fair enough. I will be glad to provide my feedback.


Yay! Awesome, I'm sure you'll be able to point out a lot of mistakes :)

Sandman25 wrote:Edit. By the way do you mean you can ascend the combo or you usually do it? Because I am an average player who won all 3 Grxx which I played but I still don't feel I am in position to write the guide.


I mean the former, trying to graduate to the later (just splatted a gladiator thanks to an ogre mage LCSing me in the face twice, I tried to teleport away after the first one, which did an ungodly amount of damage, but didn't manage to)

I understand your reasons, but my rationale for writing the guide is the following:

I can't win with anything other than this. Therefore, these combos must be really easy. Still, there is apparently no guide for them. If new players used this combo, their chances of winning would increase. If on top of that, they had access to a guide about it, their chances of winning would increase even more.
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 15:25

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:If on top of that, they had access to a guide about it, their chances of winning would increase even more.
This is incorrect. A bad guide can harm your chances of winning, and anybody who has been tricked by the bad wiki Mummy Wizard guide can testify to. People tend to take a guide as too definite, so if you have any incorrect or low quality information new player can be stuck doing it for a long time.

If you want to encourage new players to play GrBe then just tell new players to play GrBe.
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 15:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

reaver wrote:
Psiweapon wrote:If on top of that, they had access to a guide about it, their chances of winning would increase even more.
This is incorrect. A bad guide can harm your chances of winning, and anybody who has been tricked by the bad
wiki Mummy Wizard guide can testify to. People tend to take a guide as too definite, so if you have any incorrect or low quality information new player can be stuck doing it for a long time.


Yes, all of that is true, which is the reason why I will post it here, so it can be "peer reviewed" of sorts, to weed out the harmful parts and hopefully add even better tips.

Of course any contributions will be credited properly :)

Nobody wants to make a bad guide for anything. A bad guide is a result of any combination of ignorance, pride, and isolation. If the first statement is too strong, at least I don't want to make a bad guide, and as such I'm attemting to remedy those three pitfalls.

If you want to encourage new players to play GrBe then just tell new players to play GrBe.


Well, so far the guide is based on Okawaru, but it could easily extended to Trog too (except that I have much less experience with Trog, and that I like Okawaru better). If that sentence was some sort of irony it flied straight above my head :?
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 16:03

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:Well, so far the guide is based on Okawaru, but it could easily extended to Trog too (except that I have much less experience with Trog, and that I like Okawaru better). If that sentence was some sort of irony it flied straight above my head :?
It isn't. I just assumed it was GrBe once I saw "new player" and "Gr".
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 17:32

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

The best way to solicit advice is to ask specific questions you'd like answered, or to show us what you have written and ask for feedback. I'd be happy to put in my two cents for whatever it's worth, but you'll need to give something more concrete than a request for general advice.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 17:40

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

What's unique to GrBe/GrFi of Oka that isn't covered an a generic "how to melee" guide? Or isn't covered in Psyeye's How to MiBe? viewtopic.php?f=12&t=7699 (which has some slight modifications needed for trunk, but otherwise golden).

The real guide that's needed is generally not build specific, but more generic "how not to be stupid" (that's what make's Psyeye's post so golden: it's a sequence of situations in which one could be stupid and then the fix for how not to be stupid); the best build-specific guides are more like http://crawl.develz.org/info/index.php?q=hyperbolic than a novel. Because late game diverges more than early game, the best such guides are early game only.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 17:53

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:Well, so far the guide is based on Okawaru, but it could easily extended to Trog too (except that I have much less experience with Trog, and that I like Okawaru better). If that sentence was some sort of irony it flied straight above my head :?


Well, in your first post you said you wanted to write a melee Gr guide, and I think most people would agree that melee Gr of Trog is a lot stronger than of Oka. If you lack experience with Trog, I'd recommend playing a few Gr of Trog games before writing that guide.

Here was a (not very good) GrBe guide; unfortunately the poster deleted his text after Tavern harshly criticized it. But reading the thread should still give you some good ideas.

FWIW, I think I understand where you're coming from. My first ever win was a 15 runer MiFi of Oka who was gifted a ton of bling (CPA, boots of running, triple sword). After that win, I thought I knew everything. 200+ games later, I've realized how much more I still need to learn. I just hope your GrFi guide doesn't reduce to 1) worship Oka 2) get gifted awesome stuff 3) win because that's what a lot of bad guides look like.

One last thought. I'm not sure character guides are actually all that useful for beginner players. One thing that I really could have used though (and still could!) are tactical guides. Think of chess problems where you're given a certain board setup and asked the best way to proceed. So, for example, what if you walk into a room in D:3 with an adder coming from one direction, a pack of jackals in another, and an orc just steps up from an unexplored corridor to block off your retreat? That's the kind of situation where a novice would lose his head instead of recognizing the danger he's in. (Edit: as posted above, the "how to MiBe" guide is very nice precisely because of the focus on tactics - we could use more stuff like that, IMO)

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:02

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Thanks a lot for the attention and criticism, especially for the links to good (and bad) examples.

Right now I'm formatting what I have written and putting it into the wiki, will post it here as soon as it's available. Should I make a new thread or post it here? Bear in mind that the first version posted will still lack a couple of sections.

I don't claim to know everything under the scope of the guide :( I never would. I also don't claim that my guide will be definitive, in fact I want to correct it with whatever you guys come up with, and update it in the future with new findings.

Two questions I could use answer for right now (credit will be given):

-What are the effects of Unbreathing beyond no additional damage over time because of engulfing attacks? (such as water elementals and starcursed masses)
-What is the exact formula for gargoyle's extra AC in 0.13 and 0.14? (monsterinfo says [4 + (3/5)*XL])

Edit: Also whether Gargoyle's vulnerability to LRD and Shatter have been removed in trunk, lately I've seen deep troll earth mages targeting the wall besides my toon with LRD rather than the toon itself...
Last edited by Psiweapon on Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:06, edited 1 time in total.
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:05

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Do you really think that a newbie-oriented Gr guide should have exact formula for Gr AC instead of just saying that they get huge AC bonus up to X (20?) AC?
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:07

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sar wrote:Do you really think that a newbie-oriented Gr guide should have exact formula for Gr AC instead of just saying that they get huge AC bonus up to X (20?) AC?


That's what I'm stating, I just want to make sure I'm not dishing out inaccurate information. :roll:
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:11

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

why do you hate new players

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:19

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sar wrote:why do you hate new players

Dude, what the fuck? :lol:
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 19:55

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:
Sar wrote:why do you hate new players

Dude, what the fuck? :lol:
What Sar is saying is the exact AC formula is useless if you're trying to win. You've proven this yourself by winning with GrGl without knowing the exact formula.

Furthermore, by trying to add the formula to your guide, you have proven you lack the expertise to necessary to write the guide.

I suggest dropping the project now unless you want to actively deceive some poor new player, making them less likely to win and possibly turning them off Crawl forever.
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 21:49

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

reaver wrote:
Psiweapon wrote:
Sar wrote:why do you hate new players

Dude, what the fuck? :lol:
What Sar is saying is the exact AC formula is useless if you're trying to win. You've proven this yourself by winning with GrGl without knowing the exact formula.

Furthermore, by trying to add the formula to your guide, you have proven you lack the expertise to necessary to write the guide.

I suggest dropping the project now unless you want to actively deceive some poor new player, making them less likely to win and possibly turning them off Crawl forever.


This kind of commentary needs more explaining I think. Why is the formula useless? (Not that I care about it at all in particular since I think spading a game to break it down into total math analysis makes it totally unfun.) Why can't a person include it in a guide and not still have great things to say?

Btw OP I would not write a guide about GrXX if I were you (because you will not garner thanks from the regulars here). I would write a YAPV (or maybe NOT "P") in detail and then put the insights you think helped you win in that. (And if it is an entertaining enough read maybe you will teach a newb something.) Not that I think a GrXX melee guide wouldn't help but as far as dealing with the hate slinging on here you are safer expressing something solely as an opinion that is not labeled "guide" at all.

Still I commend you for wanting to improve the community's wealth of information. The fact is most players of Crawl are still learning and because it is ever changing the "Pearls of Wisdom" that could be brilliant today may be flawed tomorrow (How many times have you heard/read contradictory information?) I expect there are very few total experts of the game who are not also devs (and thus changing the game as we speak.)

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 21:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Hopeless wrote:Why is the formula useless?
I think the burden of proof is on proving the formula is useful. Can you think of a non pathological case where knowing the exact formula is useful?
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 21:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Hopeless wrote:Why is the formula useless?

Because it doesn't factor in your decision making at any point in the game. It's just useless info thrown there for the sake of making guide longer (?). It would be actively harmful, even: it makes it harder to find things that actually matter in that guide (assuming it will have such things) and makes people think that those numbers matter and are worth reading.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 22:16

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

@OP: I saw the thread title on main page, and thought immediately "the only appropriate reply is 'don't'". I'll stand by that -- so far you have not demonstrated analytical skill or discernment beyond most of the writers of existing guides (most of which are poor-to-terrible). Nothing personal is intended, it's just that writing a good guide seems to require rare skill and discernment.

Hopeless wrote:This kind of commentary needs more explaining I think. Why is the formula useless? (Not that I care about it at all in particular since I think spading a game to break it down into total math analysis makes it totally unfun.) Why can't a person include it in a guide and not still have great things to say?


* Spending the space on giving an exact formula implies that it's important enough that you need to know it. This is not the case; at most, you might want to know the rough AC difference between a XL1 Gr and a XL27 Gr.
* The idea 'Gr get increasing amounts of intrinsic AC' is unlikely to change. The same cannot be said for the formula (in this particular case, Gr are a bit OP, so it's fairly likely that they'll get a nerf in the future). Once the formula changes, the guide would be propagating misinformation.

Btw OP I would not write a guide about GrXX if I were you (because you will not garner thanks from the regulars here). I would write a YAPV (or maybe NOT "P") in detail and then put the insights you think helped you win in that. (And if it is an entertaining enough read maybe you will teach a newb something.)

I agree, but not for the same reasons. Statistically, most DCSS guides range from overly-rigid to flat-out-terribly-horribly-wrong, though to be fair, some of this is because of the age of the guides. They were written by people who thought they knew enough to write a guide. There is no particular reason to think you're outside of this trend.

Writing a YAVP with analysis doesn't pretend to be authoritative, but you can still use the feedback you get to improve your understanding of what is necessary to play Gr. And if in the future several people see one of your YAVP+analyses and say 'you should write a guide', THIS would be your cue to think 'Maybe I understand enough to write a decent guide'.

Still I commend you for wanting to improve the community's wealth of information. The fact is most players of Crawl are still learning and because it is ever changing the "Pearls of Wisdom" that could be brilliant today may be flawed tomorrow (How many times have you heard/read contradictory information?) I expect there are very few total experts of the game who are not also devs (and thus changing the game as we speak.)


Ironically, most of the devs are not particularly good at the game. You might consider this as a commentary that knowing exactly how some stuff works does not necessarily help you actually deal better with a complex system such as DCSS.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 23:35

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

reaver wrote:What Sar is saying is the exact AC formula is useless if you're trying to win. You've proven this yourself by winning with GrGl without knowing the exact formula.


True, but trivial.

Furthermore, by trying to add the formula to your guide, you have proven you lack the expertise to necessary to write the guide.


You can't possibly know whether I was planning to add the formula to my guide or not, you can merely guess, all you can possibly know about that particular subject is that I bothered to check monsterinfo for it, and asked here for confirmation.

I suggest dropping the project now unless you want to actively deceive some poor new player, making them less likely to win and possibly turning them off Crawl forever.


Casually disregarding all my explicitly stated intentions of not including misleading or false information.

...

You have all (well, some of you) JUMPED to the assumption that I'm asking about the Gargoyle AC formula to include it.

WRONG

I'm asking about it in order to not state anything that contradicts it blatantly. If any of you are curious, the exact statement goes "...have an intrinsic AC boost that raises with level, reaching +20 AC at XL 27. "

What a nice Catch 22 you have set up here, guys. If you post inaccurate info on the wiki, you're doing it wrong. If you even TRY to post accurate info, you're doing it wrong too! APPLAUSE! :lol:

savageorange wrote:@OP: I saw the thread title on main page, and thought immediately "the only appropriate reply is 'don't'". I'll stand by that -- so far you have not demonstrated analytical skill or discernment beyond most of the writers of existing guides (most of which are poor-to-terrible)
[...]
Statistically, most DCSS guides range from overly-rigid to flat-out-terribly-horribly-wrong, though to be fair, some of this is because of the age of the guides. They were written by people who thought they knew enough to write a guide. There is no particular reason to think you're outside of this trend.

Writing a YAVP with analysis doesn't pretend to be authoritative, but you can still use the feedback you get to improve your understanding of what is necessary to play Gr. And if in the future several people see one of your YAVP+analyses and say 'you should write a guide', THIS would be your cue to think 'Maybe I understand enough to write a decent guide'.


Fair enough. I haven't yet demonstrated anything, that's true, and there's no reason to think that my guide will be any better than those already available. I'm not even sure myself, how could I know?! I can only try.

...I think you're going a bit overboard with the "authoritative" thing. It's not like I'm writing a book on medical anatomy. I'm not claiming I know everything there is to know, I'm not claiming following my guide to a T will produce the best possible character within its scope.
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 23:41

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sar wrote:Do you really think that a newbie-oriented Gr guide should have exact formula for Gr AC

Psiweapon wrote:That's what I'm stating

Psiweapon wrote:You have all (well, some of you) JUMPED to the assumption that I'm asking about the Gargoyle AC formula to include it.

Either my English sucks more than I thought it does or
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Post Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 23:51

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sar wrote:
Sar wrote:Do you really think that a newbie-oriented Gr guide should have exact formula for Gr AC

Psiweapon wrote:That's what I'm stating

Psiweapon wrote:You have all (well, some of you) JUMPED to the assumption that I'm asking about the Gargoyle AC formula to include it.

Either my English sucks more than I thought it does or

Your English isn't bad, but I could see how somebody could be confused by your full question:

Sar wrote:Do you really think that a newbie-oriented Gr guide should have exact formula for Gr AC instead of just saying that they get huge AC bonus up to X (20?) AC?
If "That's what I'm stating" was meant to refer to "just saying that they get huge AC bonus up to X (20?) AC" the mistake is understandable.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 00:14

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Oh, fuck, I understand my mistake now (that particular mistake)

I never intended to list the detailed formula. I only wanted some confirmation to prevent saying something completely off such as "bonus AC starts at 10 and grows up to 25" or "bonus AC is equal to XL"
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 00:19

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

"Gr receive bonus AC as they level, up to X at XL27."?

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 00:23

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

"Pooling Advice" is not really what is needed when writing a good guide, though, because what makes for good play is generally not a bunch of factoids or little tidbits of advice that need to be aggregated. Sometimes little tips are helpful but very seldom are they actually necessary, and sometimes things that are passed off as little "protips" are actually terrible (e.g., wield bread to fight Mara).

Stuff like Psieye's breakdown of tactics is really great but also very generally applicable, so there isn't much there that would want to be included specifically in a GrBe (let's say) guide. I mean what else should a GrBe guide specifically cover? General berserker advice, maybe some of the basics, but what else? There is nothing there that is really unique to consider. Well maybe make special mention that smiting really hurts gargoyles to a degree that will always seem out of proportion to the damage you are taking from everything else, so be *especially* careful about smiters. (I mean you have to be careful anyway but it is easy to get overconfident with Gr damage mitigation.)

I kind of get the impression you wanted people to start mulling over "When/how much evocations could I get?" or "Is ranged combat worth it?" but you don't need to do those things to win and whether it makes sense to go down those paths is very case-specific. So outside of a specific case, in general it is probably better to leave that out except maybe to note very briefly that those are reasonable options once you've gotten your character established (i.e., post-Lair, prob post-Orc) but not things to focus on before that point. And, uh, don't put your stat points into intelligence; either str or dex will be fine and for GrBe in particular are close enough in value that it really isn't worth worrying about.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 01:47

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:...I think you're going a bit overboard with the "authoritative" thing. It's not like I'm writing a book on medical anatomy. I'm not claiming I know everything there is to know, I'm not claiming following my guide to a T will produce the best possible character within its scope.


Yes, I'm not viewing you as arrogant or presumptive here, it is more a problem with how the wiki itself is perceived (unless you intend to keep your guide off of the wiki..)

A problem that repeatedly comes up for newbies is that they treat the wiki as definitive (because it is a wiki?) and repeatedly make terrible, often deadly choices as a result.
Consequently we are in the position of trying to make sure that what information -is- added to the wiki is definitive, which is incredibly hard for stuff like guides.

(IOW, personally I'd encourage you to write up all your observations. Just avoid putting it in a format or location that looks 'definitive' until you have damn good reason to.)

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 02:05

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:...I think you're going a bit overboard with the "authoritative" thing. It's not like I'm writing a book on medical anatomy. I'm not claiming I know everything there is to know, I'm not claiming following my guide to a T will produce the best possible character within its scope.

Unfortunately there isn't much choice in the matter. When people are reading a guide they will naturally tend to read it as authoritative, especially the group of people who are looking for guides. It's not just about game knowledge, it's about presenting that knowledge in the right way.

Bottom line, the reason all Crawl guides are terrible is that everybody ludicrously underestimates the difficulty involved in making a good one.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 03:19

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Where else could I post the guide to, besides the wiki?
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 03:26

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Just for fun, I spun up a GrBe* to see if there's anything worthy of a guide. About the only thing unique about Gr as a species is the easy mode built in resistances and AC; the only thing worth of a guide here is to warn the player that playing Gr may lead to surprises later on.

I continue to maintain that the only worthy guide would be a general "how to be a melee dude" guide, focusing much more on basic positioning and tactics than anything else.

* Early game (up to L9 and D15) was your average early game. But then found CPA in a bailey, and Trog dropped a +1/+9 dwhip of electricity, and the game was suddenly a very different exercise. Now have AC of 70 and branded an eveningstar with vampirism: did V5 without even breathing hard. Going to end up with 80+ AC.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 03:45

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

HenryFlower wrote:Just for fun, I spun up a GrBe* to see if there's anything worthy of a guide. About the only thing unique about Gr as a species is the easy mode built in resistances and AC; the only thing worth of a guide here is to warn the player that playing Gr may lead to surprises later on.

I continue to maintain that the only worthy guide would be a general "how to be a melee dude" guide, focusing much more on basic positioning and tactics than anything else.

* Early game (up to L9 and D15) was your average early game. But then found CPA in a bailey, and Trog dropped a +1/+9 dwhip of electricity, and the game was suddenly a very different exercise. Now have AC of 70 and branded an eveningstar with vampirism: did V5 without even breathing hard. Going to end up with 80+ AC.


Wow, sounds like a very smooth run :D

You're spot on, but this leads us to the following:

Easy combos don't need guides, nobody qualifies for making a hard combo guide, ergo: no guides.

Also, what is L9 ? ;)
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 04:10

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Psiweapon wrote:Also, what is L9 ? ;)

A typo? My guess :)

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 06:31

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

XL9. Not really any other option it could be.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 06:49

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

I think he meant Lair 8.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 08:18

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

You see, the problem is that Crawl isn't compatible with these kinds of guides. You can't just tell players "Do X, then Y" because it simply doesn't work that way. It is possible to write guides that follow the "Do X, then Y" formula to achieve success for many other games, but this is not true for Crawl as its design philosophy is specifically designed to purge no-brainer decisions and grindy behaviours. It's simply not possible to just throw down a detailed roadmap and tell players "Here, follow this", because no two games are ever the same and what is true for one GrBe might not be true for the next GrBe.

You should not plan ahead in a game like this. For example, "I'd better get started training necromancy so I can cast Bjongr's Revivification later" and "I shouldn't use my enchant scrolls on my battleaxe, I'd better save them for when I find that executioners axe later" is not sane thinking. What if you end up not finding find a book with Revivification? What if you never find an executioners axe? This applies to guides as well. How can you be sure that what you're telling the player is actually relevant or even helpful?

Crawl forces players to be adaptive. "Do X, then Y" simply isn't applicable. The only universally applicable advice you can give players are small tips that follow an "If X, then Y" formula, and the thing is those small tips make the biggest difference. A great example of this is Psieye's 'guide' that has already been linked in this thread.

Psieye wrote:I ought to be putting on that plate armour ASAP but I want to save my one and only remove curse scroll for later. So for now I tolerate the cursed cloak preventing me from swapping armour. Those sling shots at 0 skill? A troll zombie on D:5 - because zombie (of a speed 10 monster) I could kite it.

Now here in D:7 I had a bad situation with polymorph: I was a tad greedy as I was short on ID scrolls and a jelly was about to eat one in front of me. So I polymorphed it... into a yellow wasp. I failed to transform it into something else and I don't have BiA yet, so I had to teleport out and just descend to the next level for the time being.

D:8, I see a lot of orcs and an orcish idol. This is probably an Orc Mines entrance floor, I don't feel like fighting lots of orcs right now so I ditch the floor.

Hmm, now would be a good time to train some fighting/armour. I found another remove curse so I'm wearing plate armour now.


^^ All of those lines from his guide are great examples of the little things that new players need to be worrying about, because those types of things are what make the biggest difference. The very last thing a new player needs to be doing is following an overly specific guide (Gargoyles only? What? So nothing in your guide is relevant for any other species, only Gargoyles?) to learn the "right" way to match the falsely archetypal picture of an "ideal" character that your guide paints out for them.
Last edited by Laraso on Monday, 24th March 2014, 15:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 12:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

DracheReborn wrote:One last thought. I'm not sure character guides are actually all that useful for beginner players. One thing that I really could have used though (and still could!) are tactical guides.

That's one of the most interesting things I read here.

Most new players seeing a guide will consider it as a walkthrough...
I already made my point here.
Multiple understood deaths and general tactical advice are what help the most.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 14:15

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

I thanked Hopeless because he was the first to suggest what I see as the best option for Psiweapon: post a YAVP post. Specifically, document a game you are playing in detail, describing each decision you make and why you made it, and detailing each time you realize that you should have made a different decision (or stopped and made a conscious decision) earlier. Edit that into something readable, post it to YAVP or to Advice or both, and get feedback. By doing this, you will achieve these things that I think you are trying to achieve:
    1) You will present an account of your experiences that new players can learn from without taking on the mantle (and burden) of being authoritative.
    2) You will provide the opportunity for more experienced players to build on what you've provided by critiquing and offering corrections/suggestions.
    3) You will have contributed something that moves the Crawl community forward in some sense.
I think everyone is being quite rude in the way they are telling you not to write a guide, but I also think they are correct for two reasons:
    1) as others have already pointed out, character guides aren't actually useful as such. What's useful is examples demonstrating how to use tactics, decision-making, adaptability, etc. First-person accounts detailing a single game can help with this, because if written correctly they make it clear that in this one case you did A, while you may otherwise have done B/C/D/E/F/etc.
    2) as you've acknowledged, you are not an authoritative source, and by definition guides make a claim to be an authoritative source. No matter how much you qualify your guide, by presenting it as a guide, you're making an implicit claim that this document will be an effective guide to some aspect of the game. You can totally avoid this trap by creating something that does not claim to be a guide.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 14:32

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Sar wrote:I think he meant Lair 8.


Yes!

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 14:39

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

If you make a guide, it will be much better than the existing guides, which are mostly not too great to begin with, and even the ones that were good are pretty outdated.

I would say if you're going to make a guide, you've got to be very general, which is going to be tough. Obviously one cannot write a walkthrough for crawl, so you'd want to be very explicit that it is NOT a walkthrough.

But there's a lot of room for guides, especially combo specific ones. Newish players are often confused about things like what skills to raise when, what to do about specific encounters you might experience early on (for example, what to do if you see an orc band, or a bunch of bees, or Sigmund). You could explain (in very general terms) how aptitudes work, and other fundamental game mechanics, in the context of an actual game of crawl.

You can see the groupthink that goes on here, and the current groupthink says giving any guidance whatsoever is going to be taken the wrong way, make people worse at crawl, and somehow destroy the game. Ignore it, and instead continue doing what you're doing. Write what makes sense to you, and ask a lot of people to look over it. If they say one particular thing is bad, work on improving it. If they say the idea of writing a guide is wrong, thank them for their useless input and move on.

What's the worst that could happen? Someone splats a character based on your guide instead of based on the wildly conflicting advice from this forum? There's a lot of basics you could help people with, and I think the experienced players forget about all that stuff. And as it stands now, there's already some really really bad guides out there, and somehow new people still start playing the game, and some of them go on to win. I know when I started out I would have been very happy to see a guide that wasn't insanely outdated.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 16:41

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

damiac wrote:But there's a lot of room for guides, especially combo specific ones. Newish players are often confused about things like what skills to raise when, what to do about specific encounters you might experience early on (for example, what to do if you see an orc band, or a bunch of bees, or Sigmund). You could explain (in very general terms) how aptitudes work, and other fundamental game mechanics, in the context of an actual game of crawl.


But none of those concerns belong in a combo specific one. Also aptitudes don't matter that much unless extreme (+/- 3/4), and beginners tend to pay too much attention to them (I know I did).

You can see the groupthink that goes on here, and the current groupthink says giving any guidance whatsoever is going to be taken the wrong way, make people worse at crawl, and somehow destroy the game. Ignore it, and instead continue doing what you're doing. Write what makes sense to you, and ask a lot of people to look over it. If they say one particular thing is bad, work on improving it. If they say the idea of writing a guide is wrong, thank them for their useless input and move on.


That's not the point. The point is that most guides focus on exactly the wrong points -- they are strategic rather than tactical, and where they are strategic, they focus on specific strategies, rather than on the considerations that motivate certain strategic directions, and that those kinds of guides (AKA almost all of them) tend to make players worse rather than better.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 16:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

FWIW, I think it's great that OP wants to help the game. And crawl definitely needs more resources for beginners.

I don't really see the big downsides that people are warning about. One more bad guide isn't going to matter much in the grand scheme of things. The basic problem really is that there isn't enough accessible resources for newish players, and this vacuum is going to be filled by bad guides until good ones replace them.

In OP's case, he could have written that guide and posted it to the wiki without asking anyone here. Now that he did, the guide he'll end up posting will be better than if he hadn't (though honestly I think it would still be pretty bad). Maybe some of the advice being given here would stick though and the OP would go on to write better guides in the future.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 17:10

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

damiac wrote:Newish players are often confused about things like what skills to raise when

The answer is always "it depends". Giving new players rules like "train nothing else until your weapon is at 10 skill" does as much harm as it does good. People skilling based on guides very, very often end up with skilling that is worse than simply using auto mode (seriously, just use auto mode, it works fine in most cases).

Notable exception is elliptic's SpEn guide, but that's a very formulaic combo that can win the game with its starting equipment, and the guide is written by one of the best players in the world, about a combo that he probably knows better than his own phone number. And even his guide is deliberately vague.

what to do about specific encounters you might experience early on (for example, what to do if you see an orc band, or a bunch of bees, or Sigmund).

Walk away. No exceptions.

And this is why "we need guides" is a dumb way of looking at the situation. The problem isn't that people don't know what to do with GrFi (it seriously is very fucking simple), the problem is that people don't know how to play Crawl. And the guy making this guide doesn't know how to play Crawl either, so of course his guide will help no one.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 17:24

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

This guy is looking for advice specific to his guide, not advice regarding whether or not to write a guide.

By the way, by your estimation, how many people "Know how to play crawl"? You say the problem is "nobody knows how to play crawl", so why don't you enlighten everyone? What are we all doing so wrong? And how can we improve, oh wise one?

I'd say, going by actual definitions of words, that the fact that he's actually won means he does in fact know how to play crawl. Maybe he's no expert (which he freely admits, and is part of the reason he's asking for advice), but hell, maybe there's more ways to play crawl than yours.

There's plenty of space for guides that give some general advice, just like how general advice is given on these forums. I see why there aren't many guides, going by the responses here.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 17:27

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

Been a bit of time since OP posted, so you may have scared him off before I got to the thread, but in case you're still around: OP, I was once you!

I wrote a melee naga guide, which I still think is a generally above average guide (meaning, since all guides are terrible, and mine is only slightly less terrible, it's above average). I have one advantage over you in that I picked an actually *hard* combo, which has somewhat unique considerations (you've below average speed and can't run from much of anything, especially after you pick up Chei). Here's the guide:

http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Tasonir%27s ... Naga_Guide

There's one major additional problem with my guide: Nagas lost level 1 constriction, they only get it at level 13 now, so my combo went from tricky but reasonable to much, much harder. As such it's hard for even me to recommend melee nagas these days. So while I never updated the version flag, there hasn't been any combo-specific changes since .11, and you can consider it a .13 guide. But the real point here is that updating such guides is rarely done. Don't include everything in my guide in your guide. I should probably cut entirely the branch order paragraph, equipment section should just be a brief explaination of deformed body and needing less shield skill due to being large size, and the spellcasting hybrid section is far, far too wordy. It should focus primarily on how nagas and chei interact, and dealing with being terribly slow. Especially how to survive until you get constriction/slouch + high piety online.

Maybe I'll update it in the next couple of days to show what I'd write now that I have much more experience and 20 wins vs ~4 wins when I wrote the guide originally. I would recommend that you DO go ahead and write the guide. But post it on the forum, in this thread or a new one, before posting it in the wiki (edit: I see you already did post it in another thread now). It will need a LOT of revisions. All of the warnings you've gotten, while perhaps a bit rude, are nevertheless accurate. Guides for crawl are extremely difficult to write.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 17:58

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

tasonir wrote:Been a bit of time since OP posted, so you may have scared him off before I got to the thread, but in case you're still around: OP, I was once you!


As if! :lol:

I'm PORING through all the shit I'm being thrown at in the other thread (that's why I'm not posting here) and taking note (nicknames included) of everything specific bit that can hold water (30 points so far! Whee! :D )


tasonir wrote:I wrote a melee naga guide, which I still think is a generally above average guide (meaning, since all guides are terrible, and mine is only slightly less terrible, it's above average). I have one advantage over you in that I picked an actually *hard* combo, which has somewhat unique considerations (you've below average speed and can't run from much of anything, especially after you pick up Chei). Here's the guide:

http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Tasonir%27s ... Naga_Guide

There's one major additional problem with my guide: Nagas lost level 1 constriction, they only get it at level 13 now, so my combo went from tricky but reasonable to much, much harder. As such it's hard for even me to recommend melee nagas these days. So while I never updated the version flag, there hasn't been any combo-specific changes since .11, and you can consider it a .13 guide. But the real point here is that updating such guides is rarely done. Don't include everything in my guide in your guide. I should probably cut entirely the branch order paragraph, equipment section should just be a brief explaination of deformed body and needing less shield skill due to being large size, and the spellcasting hybrid section is far, far too wordy. It should focus primarily on how nagas and chei interact, and dealing with being terribly slow. Especially how to survive until you get constriction/slouch + high piety online.


I have read your guide several times, and took it into account it for some games, some time ago :) Will probably give it another read.

tasonir wrote:Maybe I'll update it in the next couple of days to show what I'd write now that I have much more experience and 20 wins vs ~4 wins when I wrote the guide originally. I would recommend that you DO go ahead and write the guide. But post it on the forum, in this thread or a new one, before posting it in the wiki (edit: I see you already did post it in another thread now). It will need a LOT of revisions. All of the warnings you've gotten, while perhaps a bit rude, are nevertheless accurate. Guides for crawl are extremely difficult to write.


Please!

I posted it in the wiki already because it's a fixed place where I can go to edit it, and also because of wikitext.

I'm entertaining the thought of posting it to Gamefaqs or some other videogame FAQ site. Maybe some of the regulars here would perform seppuku if I did that? :lol:

Thanks for the support :)
Hirsch I wrote:Also,are you calling me a power-gamer? this is highly offensive! now excuse me, I have to go back to my GrBe game, that I savescummed until trog gave me a Vampiric +9 claymore.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 18:08

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

damiac wrote:I'd say, going by actual definitions of words, that the fact that he's actually won means he does in fact know how to play crawl.

Sadly, skill in Crawl is hilariously disparate from win numbers. This is precisely because races like Gr/Mi/HO and gods like Trog enable a player to get damn near everything wrong and still win. And then the player comes to the conclusion because they did thing X and then won, that thing X is a good idea, when actually that's very often wrong. And so we end up with insane guides recommending terrible god choices, telling you to save your enchant armour scrolls for Gold Dragon Armour and walk around in Lair with 0 Dodging skill, and wield any flail ever in a game where morningstars/direflails exist.

damiac wrote:By the way, by your estimation, how many people "Know how to play crawl"? You say the problem is "nobody knows how to play crawl", so why don't you enlighten everyone? What are we all doing so wrong? And how can we improve, oh wise one?

I have no idea how many people are good at crawl. The regulars on ##crawl mostly seem competent; certainly the advice you get there will be sound, albeit possibly debatable. And I already told you how to improve. When you see a monster, walk away from it. No exceptions. If you actually followed that advice, I guarantee you would be better than I am at Crawl, because my problem is that I don't follow that advice often enough. But we both know you WON'T follow that advice, because for whatever reason you don't want to. You refuse to accept the facts of the game, trying to find some walkthrough that will let you ignore the core precepts of Crawl's design, when really you should just play a different game.

but hell, maybe there's more ways to play crawl than yours.

This is the sort of remark that makes bad players obvious. The very fact that there are lots of ways is the problem with guides! You can pick up the first sling on D2, train it exclusively, and use ranged combat for 90% of situations on your GrFi. And depending on the circumstances, that might be the best choice for winning. This is what is meant when I say that almost every guide is much too rigid. Sometimes training nothing but weapon skill until it reaches 10 is a good idea, but sometimes it is a bad idea.

I see why there aren't many guides, going by the responses here.

There are actually lots of Crawl guides, but I would never deliberately draw attention to them because they are all terrible.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 18:39

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

I think just like with chess, people underestimate the gulf between beginner and expert. In chess and Crawl there are endless ways you can do things, but the number of "sound" choices are often relatively few. The hallmark of the beginner is that they consider everything, whereas the expert quickly hones in on what the sound choices are, and then devotes his energy to finding the best one among them.

An expert's insight is valuable; in chess it is worth good money. It pays to listen and consider, even if you disagree. It's important for beginners to imitate good models and "learn the rules", because only after you've done that will you know when's the right time to break them.

I'm nowhere near expert and am guilty of giving newbies an inferior model to imitate sometimes. Chess is also full of mediocre players eager to give advice. It's fun to do, and not necessarily bad, so long as you take care not to overstep your knowledge, and humbly accept correction.

I guess in summary: Crawl is a punishing game, and should be treated like chess if your goal is to win.
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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 18:40

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:There are actually lots of Crawl guides, but I would never deliberately draw attention to them because they are all terrible.


Most guides are indeed terrible, but not all. Some of those that are not were already named here and in the twin thread, so I won't repeat.

A personal note: I was playing SpEn when I was a newcomer, and the famous SpEn guide was VERY helpful. And I found it on the wiki, yes.

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Post Monday, 24th March 2014, 20:30

Re: Pooling advice for making a guide

reaver wrote:
Psiweapon wrote:If on top of that, they had access to a guide about it, their chances of winning would increase even more.
This is incorrect. A bad guide can harm your chances of winning, and anybody who has been tricked by the bad wiki Mummy Wizard guide can testify to. People tend to take a guide as too definite, so if you have any incorrect or low quality information new player can be stuck doing it for a long time.

If you want to encourage new players to play GrBe then just tell new players to play GrBe.

Just because you suck doesn't mean you can't write a good guide. Here's my MuNe guide, and I think it's fairly good:
Press Alt-Q
Restart as MiBe

I think it covers the basics.

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