Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)


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

Sol

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2011, 19:41

Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

First of all, thanks to all the developers for the great game!

Recently i got my first win in 0.8 (MDBe) (my YAVP is here), so there is some feedback on this.
Armour. Seems far better then it was in 0.6 and 0.7, heavy armours are again a good choice for warrior-type charasters. I definitely like this.
New enchant scroll mechanic is really good. First, it makes sence that heavy armour is better for AC. Second, casters now have to choice (choices is fun!)
between robe of resistance (previosly a no-brainer), new improved robe of archmage or maybe some heavier armours for better protection (assumed they can find all this stuff, of course, and not including randarts). Last, but not least - no more losing your precisios scrolls of enchant armour. You may actually use some of this as you find it, not just stash all of them in hope to get "your_best_armour" +9 enchantment.

Suggestions:
1. Make scroll of enchant weapon use the same mechanic as scrolls of armour, i.e. 100% success rate. Now you almost guaranteed to make +8/+8 (or better) weapon anyway, assuming you don't "waste" your scrolls. If it seems overpowered, make this scrolls more rare. Or make progressive "cost" of enchantment. I.e. going from +4 to +5 = 2 scrolls, +5 to +6 = 3, etc. Of course this is just example, exact numbers most likely must be different.
It's really fun and intresting to upgrade you equipment, and with 100% success you may actually plan you upgrades.
2. Ring of slaying and enchantment bonuses on weapons. Currently, they have similar descriptions (i.e. +Acc, +Dam), but different mechanics (slaying bonuses are better). Either tweak the description (something like "power of this ring surpacess even most weapon enchantments") or - better - make them use same mechanic.

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2011, 22:15

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Thanks for feedback!

The asymmetry between weapon enchantments and slaying rings is not so easy to address: the former are too weak, and the latter are too strong.

I added your comment about EW scrolls to the wiki: https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:item:scrolls
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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2011, 22:47

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

I think we should make slaying work like weapon enchantment, and compensate by increasing the effect of stats and skills.
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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2011, 22:53

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Hear hear!
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Post Thursday, 14th April 2011, 07:43

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Another idea regarding slaying vs weapon enchantment. Make slaying like weapon enchantment, and change both so that they actually add +n to accuracy/damage instead of +1d(n).
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Post Thursday, 14th April 2011, 13:30

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

I don't see slaying as an interesting choice, it's too good. If you're not a pure caster, any slaying source with dam >= +4 is a no-brainer. And I really don't see how the mechanism of it could be explained in-game or why it makes fast and weak weapons suddenly awesome. Rewarding player investment (stats and skills) is more interesting than rewarding pure luck (finding a powerful slaying ring).
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Sol

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Post Thursday, 14th April 2011, 19:31

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

galehar wrote:Another idea regarding slaying vs weapon enchantment. Make slaying like weapon enchantment, and change both so that they actually add +n to accuracy/damage instead of +1d(n).

I like this. BTW, the mechanics will exactly match in-game description, which imho is good for consistency.
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Post Friday, 15th April 2011, 06:21

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

There was a topic here similar to the scroll consolidation suggestion but the topic was vorpal discussion and we got into enchant weapon consolidation then the topic died.

Here it is: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=899
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Post Sunday, 17th April 2011, 12:58

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Slaying is a good ring, no doubt about it. There are some key balancing factors:

Slaying doesn't help your character stay alive. I often don't wear slaying when I have it. I was in an interesting situation in a bazaar recently when I found a good randart amulet and a +4,+4 ring of slaying and could only afford one. That was certainly not a no brainer, and I chose the amulet.

Slaying is extremely rare. You go a whole game without finding it. Sometimes you want rF+, sometimes you want protection from magic, sometimes you have AC+ rings. It is a no brainer *if there were no other rings*. I don't get what all this rubbish is about no-brainers. The term gets thrown about and hardly any situation is a no brainer. I certainly think about what rings I wear, and I often don't choose slaying.

There are certain people (eg elliptic) who have such good control of the game that they can wear 2 rings of slaying and a two handed weapon and completely ignore defence. Most of us can't, we choose +ac or a shield.

Finally, slaying makes short blades viable. Given the recent change to nerf speed in such a way that it affects short blades much more, which is extremely odd, given it was much more powerful for higher damage weapons, short blades need a reason to become viable. Do you use a ring of slaying and a sabre, or have higher than that damage with a demon whip and a ring of AC+5? This certainly isn't a no-brainer, in fact it's about do I train up another weapon skill and often that answer would be yes.

One simple balancing factor would be to add slaying to the things that are limited to +4. Just make rings of slaying instead of having "damage" rings of slaying and normal rings of slaying, have their bonuses randomly calculated from -4 to +4. This way you could get interesting rings of slaying, and no really overpowered ones; would you use a -3,+4 ring of slaying? Probably, but not without thinking, and certainly not if you had other jewellery better for the situation.
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Sol

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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 08:37

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

I've win enother time, this time with MfCr. You can find YAVP here.
So, again, some feedback.
1. Okawaru. In 0.8 become more "thematical". God of battle should favour combat, not fleeing one. Haste is often used this way, so it's replacement with Finesse is a good thing.
But, Finesse is still not-so useful. Finesse will rapidly decrease your piety, and you need ***** to even start using it. I actually almost never use it myself, in the beginning Berserk Rage was much more powerful, and later I learn Haste. Even after 0.8 nerf Haste is very good. As for pure melee charasters - Finesse is again underpowered in compare with Trog's berserk (which available right from them start). Heroism, on other hand, has some uses, especially early on, then your skills are low.
So, maybe make finesse available at **** and somewhat reduce its piety cost?
2. Buff spells. I'm fully support this proposal, about spell upkeep. Constantly recasting spells like Swiftness, Ozocubus Armor, etc is boring. Maybe in 0.9?
3. I was in Pandemonium, on level with unique lord. Got rune, and start wielding/unwielding distortion weapon to get mysefl banished to abyss. No luck, but start glowing like Christmas tree :D Then walk to another level and this time it was ok. Banishment was disabled on levels with uniques? It makes sence, but I've never heard of this change.
4. Lernaean hydra. I'm just lucky or she is actually pretty easy to kill? Used demon blade of flaming (no long blades skill at all), Heroism and Berserk.
5. In one of ziggurat levels meet company of angels and daevas (worshipped TSO). Most of them was friendly, but some was not, so there was some kind of angels civil war. Was pretty funny to watch and read their speeches :D Is friendliness of holy monsters based on your piety? (I think it should).

And again, thanks to all the developers!
Last edited by Sol on Thursday, 21st April 2011, 10:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 09:54

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Sol wrote:2. Buff spells. I'm fully support this proposal, about spell upkeep. Constantly recasting spells like Swiftness, Ozocubus Armor, etc is boring. Maybe in 0.9?

The time frame for 0.9 is very short. Since we aim to release in july, we'll have to freeze beginning of july. That leaves us only 2 months to bring new features. So unless someone submits a patch, this will have to wait for 0.10.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 10:01

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

That proposal on the wiki page is in a better state than I imagined/remembered, but there is still a whole lot to iron out. Permabuffs is a topic for .10 the earliest, I am afraid.

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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 10:17

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

I agree completely with casmith789 here when it comes to slaying, so I won't repeat any of his points.

I'd like to respond directly to the following comment, in particular:
galehar wrote:Rewarding player investment (stats and skills) is more interesting than rewarding pure luck (finding a powerful slaying ring).

This isn't necessarily true. While it's good to reward long-term investment and strategic planning and all that, having occasional random luck is a good thing too. In most games I don't find a good ring of slaying, but when I do there's something exciting about it. It can sometimes be a significant game changer which causes me to rethink my plans for a character (even rather late into the game), perhaps by focusing more on melee if I'm playing a caster. Or, if I'm already playing a melee character it might encourage me to change the weapon I'm using (switching to something faster), which is also interesting. A rough comparison to this might be finding wizardy on a melee character: it's something that makes you choose whether to continue with your current path, or branch out into something new. Changing the effect of slaying to work like weapon enchantments would severely diminish this aspect.

Even when it's not a gamechanger, it's still exciting because of how it is both rare and powerful. There is something that is simply _fun_ about finding things like this and having an immediate power boost (rather than a slow and gradual build up over time). It's important for crawl to have stuff like that: it makes characters with otherwise identical skills/stats stand out from one another, and occasionally giving players a sense of immediate reward (rather than a gradual payoff) makes the game more entertaining. Even if it's just luck. (Personal anecdote: one of the funnest crawl games I ever had was when I was lucky enough to find the sceptre of torment on a character with necromutation... even though it caused me to get careless and die at level 27, ultimately)

If you want to imagine what I mean by this, consider two different scenarios: (a) 15 good pieces of loot scattered around one big level, and (b) 15 good pieces of loot inside a small room. Both cases are materially the same, but case (b) offers a much greater sense of reward and excitement due to how everything is there in one place, and how you can see it all at once. A big part of it is just psychology. (This loot analogy isn't perfect, but it hopefully illustrates the difference between gradual rewards and immediate ones).

Changing it to the way weapon enchantments work would also have the effect of making slaying lose its uniqueness. Finding a Dam+4 ring would be about the same (maybe marginally better) as finding a weapon enchanted to +4. There would really be nothing exciting about it at all... it would be worth using in some cases, but so what?

If there's a problem with slaying, it's mainly that it's a bit too easy to stack it to ridiculous levels (you can get a bit _too_ lucky, sometimes). But, the way the effect itself works is fine... being rare and powerful is good, and so is being different.


As a side note, the reason why I'm making this post is because I feel that crawl actually needs _more_ things that can cause a player to reevaluate their character (and perhaps shift gears) in the middle of a game. I don't think there are many things that can do this, currently, and diminishing them (thus making characters revolve even more around long-term investment in skills and stats) is a bad direction for Crawl go in.

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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 10:51

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

evilmike wrote:As a side note, the reason why I'm making this post is because I feel that crawl actually needs _more_ things that can cause a player to reevaluate their character (and perhaps shift gears) in the middle of a game. I don't think there are many things that can do this, currently, and diminishing them (thus making characters revolve even more around long-term investment in skills and stats) is a bad direction for Crawl go in.


Wholehearted agreement. Could mutations be shifted into something game-direction changing, rather than being simple bonus/malus effects?
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 11:37

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

dolphin wrote:Could mutations be shifted into something game-direction changing, rather than being simple bonus/malus effects?

First, why the passive question? Where are the proposals?
Second, we are trying to do that. A number of mutations do change your game. We're happy to have more of that type.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 13:02

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

evilmike wrote:If there's a problem with slaying, it's mainly that it's a bit too easy to stack it to ridiculous levels (you can get a bit _too_ lucky, sometimes). But, the way the effect itself works is fine... being rare and powerful is good, and so is being different.

The problem with slaying is that it is sometimes a bit too good, but also that its effect is really obscure. I'm suggesting to change its effect to be the same as weapon enchantment for clarity, but also change the bonus from +1d(n) to +n. That makes them both much easier to understand. And we can widen the range for the slaying bonus. With the new system, you could still get excited and change your strategy if you find a +10/+12 ring of slaying.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 17:24

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

@dpeg: A while back, I posted a rough proposal in an attempt to make mutations more game-changing, using the mutations we already had. Minmay didn't think it was a good idea, and no one else weighed in, so I figured it wasn't something people wanted to do.

However, I guess I assumed that people wanted good/bad mutations and really didn't want game-changing mutations, since game-changing was my goal, and I didn't consider that my proposal might be a bad way to implement game-changingness. Oh well.

What I was attempting to ask in the post above was whether the community was open to suggestions making mutations game-changing mutations. I wasn't trying to ask for some generic, and so far, proposal-less idea implementation.
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Post Thursday, 21st April 2011, 22:53

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

dolphin: That's interesting. When I started thinking about new DS mutations, I also had mutations like "frail but swift", "robust but slow" on my list. There wasn't even a lot of opposition within the team (though not much support either), but the main gripe was that the mutations are too technical. I couldn't come up with nifty slogans for them, and then the idea faded away...
However, you don't really need good+bad combinations for mutations to matter. Some mutations like robust, shouting, berserkities matter and should make your reconsider your ways already.
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Post Saturday, 22nd October 2011, 11:43

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Can devs kill spam posts? or will it be not worth the trouble?
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Post Sunday, 23rd October 2011, 13:56

Re: Some feedback and suggestions (0.8)

Done. Thanks for the heads-up (the report button is all of our friend) :)
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