Felids


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

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 02:33

Felids

I don't keep up with development at all, and I have to say I was pretty surprised that the Felid made it into the final release of 0.8 in its current state. I don't know about you, but I feel that not only is it the most boring race in the game, but that the extra lives mechanic goes against the spirit of the game, basically functioning as an "Amulet of LIfe Saving" which was never supposed to be in Crawl.

Vampire is an awesome race, and a very cool addition. It has a very unique gameplay style, and is a lot of fun. Deep Dwarves aren't super exciting, but the "no-healing" mechanic is interesting because you have to find other ways of surviving and regaining your lost health. I love races with unique and fun aspects to them, and the game definitely could use some more.

A race that just can't use any equipment or many items in return for 3 extra lives is just... not fun. There's nothing that makes them stand out or any fun to play. You can argue that it's a good newbie race, but how is it, really?

I would personally rather have the Octopode race in Experimental Crawl over the Felid in its current state. Either that, or the Felid needs some serious modifications to make it any fun to play. I'm not really sure what; I just thought I'd open this thread to get a discussion going.

Thoughts?

7hm

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:02

Re: Felid is not a good race

I think its interesting. Octopode is more interesting though, so I agree that of the two I'd rather have Octopode in / worked on.

The lives mechanic is bleh and the boringness is bleh.

On the other hand, its fun to work on bots for em.

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:03

Re: Felid is not a good race

I'd pretty much agree. I won the first two I played with barely any effort (a 15-rune firestormer and a pure summoner respectively, so the problem isn't just FeBe), and have very little interest in boring myself by playing them much more (there's plenty of other races I don't have any interest in playing, but not for anything like the same sorts of reasons). Extra lives serve to make tense, dangerous situations meaningless, since that you know that careless play will barely be punished. Making a desperate attempt to run for the orb and try to escape? Just let yourself die after you pick it up and you're guaranteed to be teleported to safety - so you're even rewarded for dying, which is possibly the worst part of all.

Even just leaving you on the spot where you died (so you're still in danger and have to do something about it) would be a huge improvement.

Edit: oops, didn't mean to hit Thanks.
Last edited by Kate on Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:04

Re: Felid is not a good race

I don't like the way extra lives work. They remove a lot of the tension from the game, and promote careless play. They might have other effects too but those are the only two I've experienced directly. Felids are easy enough without extra lives.

Felids would work a bit better if dying actually had penalties (or some element of risk). Right now you just respawn at full health, with all your items, generally in a safe location.

As for the other aspects of felids... I'm not too keen on them, but they aren't as big of a deal to me as extra lives are. I read a proposal somewhere that had them getting certain "cat-like abilities" such as pouncing, and that seems like a good way to make them a bit more interesting.

I don't think I will play another felid for quite a while (barring random characters), at least in their current form. Granted, I've only played one, but it was also the easiest character I've ever played.

I guess one advantage of felids is that they are perfect for bots...

Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:07

Re: Felid is not a good race

I agree with this.

I think the removal of dependable life saving one of crawl's major strengths. I also think it goes against the nature of roguelikes; permanent death is indeed one of the strongest identifying mechanics of them, especially given the nature of games today.

As far as bots go -- isn't it just as easy to simply use wizmode?

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 03:17

Re: Felid is not a good race

fnwc wrote:As far as bots go -- isn't it just as easy to simply use wizmode?

The idea with bots is basically to play (and ideally win) crawl without any human intervention. So, wizmode has nothing to do with it.

A combination of bot + human control was recently able to win crawl in a little over an hour, which also is the record for the fastest win ever. "Pure" bots still have quite a ways to go, but this should give you an idea of what they can be used for.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 09:08

Re: Felid is not a good race

I think the reasoning is a bit convoluted. You basically choose your difficulty based on what background you pick. An Ogre Artificer is going to be harder than than a Kobold Berserker. Felid just presents another choice, the fact that you can min/max Felid in a way that bores you is entirely up to you. This doesn't equate to it being an uninteresting choice overall.

I like Felids. I like that they simplify inventory management, and I like that they introduce some limited forgiveness. I freely admit that I die stupidly alot the time, but, some of the time, I also die randomly because the RNG hates me. With a felid when I lose one of my extra lives stupidly, I feel like I just lost the cushion I was going to have when I fall down a shaft and land near saint roka (or whatever). I like that I can play something offbeat like a Felid Artificer of Nemelex and see if I can accomplish a card/unarmed only win, but not feel as frustrated as I would with other races that don't have that little bit of forgiveness.
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Zot Zealot

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 09:15

Re: Felid is not a good race

I think I agree with all of the criticisms, and also with the support. I'm ambivalent about them.

I admit I only had one serious go, a FeSu who made it to XL20mumble before running out of gas (and motivation, which is a problem for me with the Crawl midgame anyway) at the bottom of Elf, but I wasn't really enjoying it very much - for reasons others have stated. The early game was characterful and fun, but the novelty wore off and the experience actually ended up feeling a bit grindy.

But others love them - I don't have to think everything is awesome.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 09:23

Re: Felid is not a good race

"Not fun" is not an argument. What's fun for someone isn't for someone else, and some people like Hushed enjoy playing felids (I don't btw). At the very least, we should really fix the life saving so it only teleports you in case of drowning or lava accident.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 09:23

Re: Felid is not a good race

This is purely a flavour issue, but I find it really silly and a bit unintuitive that a race of what is essentially sentient housecats is more powerful (well, easier to play) than beefier races like ogres or, say, minotaurs.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 10:34

Re: Felid is not a good race

i haven't weighted on this, because i've yet to play one. i strongly dislike multiple lives, even on paper. i'm particularly surprised the teleport-after-death mechanic is still in place for the 0.8 release, as it sounds way too forgiving.

my main gripe with it is that you *know* that you have a cushion to fall on if you screw up (see marvinPA's post for flagrant offenders). so i propose this (without much thinking, so feel free to yell at me and call me names): a fixed chance that you'll be revived after death (e.g. 50%, a coin flip). like xom's i guess (which i've never experienced), but as a race trait. it'd remove the guaranteed safety net while retaining flavour. it'd also be random and unfair, but i'm ok with that, as you know in advance what you're getting yourself into.

outright removal of multiple lives wouldn't be terribly bad either, and can be balanced with better apts, if need be.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 12:06

Re: Felid is not a good race

What if character levels or even skill levels were removed on each death? That way there would be a penalty, but the character would be out of harm's way for a while. Equipment could stay with the corpse, too, to make going back into that situation attractive and an interesting choice.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 12:39

Re: Felid is not a good race

jejorda2 wrote:What if character levels or even skill levels were removed on each death? That way there would be a penalty, but the character would be out of harm's way for a while. Equipment could stay with the corpse, too, to make going back into that situation attractive and an interesting choice.

Good idea. Lose 1 level and drain all skills for the equivalent XP.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 13:10

Re: Felid is not a good race

I like the extra lives system, but why was it implemented at the first place, anyway? What was the purpose?

The way I see it, Felid needs extra lives because it is so weak it would be very hard to win the game with just one life. But in reality, Felid is not that weak (it's not even weak). So, the logical solution is to nerf Felid so hard the extra lives become worth it. Maybe bring it to the level of Ogre, make it a challenge race.

Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 14:12

Re: Felid is not a good race

minmay wrote:Other species do not go so far as to outright remove and add entire mechanics - the closest thing we have to that is demigods.


Mummies remove the food clock altogether.
Vampires add a unique satiation mechanic.
Demigods remove the diety option.
Demonspawn/Draconians add unique mutation-set mechanics.
Deep Dwarves have a unique healing and damage reduction mechanic.

While there may be better ways to implement the "cats have 9 lives" schtick, arguing that it breaks precedent by introducing new mechanics doesn't seem to hold up.

Personally, I find the death-teleport counter-intuitive, and I think that removal of that, perhaps in combination with a "drain" effect as suggested above, would be enough of a nerf. It won't make the race for everyone, but almost no-one likes all races/classes/dieties, with so many options out there.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 18:59

Re: Felid is not a good race

Are the changes you're proposing going to cause you to like playing Felids?

It seems pretty pointless to me to cater to the whim of people who dislike playing the race if all they're trying to do is dictate how they think other people should play. If you want the changes because you think you'd have more fun with them, then that's interesting. If you want the changes because you don't like that players aren't toughing out the dungeon the same way you are, that's boring.

Do I think that the extra lives are too powerful? I didn't before, but then I've never used them to try to grab Zot. I still lose mine on early orc priests, angry anacondas, epic miscasts, etc. Instead of a safe teleport, why don't we change it to an uncontrolled blink? I think that would be interesting.

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 19:23

Re: Felid is not a good race

I didn't even suggest any changes, nor did I say anything about the difficulty of the race. A lot of the talk here is about the opinion that they are overpowered, but I simply think that they are BORING. I think that restricting all equipment as well as items/wands while giving nothing interesting in return is very bland, and they either need some major tweaks or simply to be replaced with Octopodes as the "armorless" character race.

I love races with unique mechanics that add something fun to the game. Spriggans can't eat meat/chunks, but they make up for it by being extremely fast and having high EV. Mummies can't drink potions, but spell hunger is a non-issue for them. Vampire has all of its crazy vampire stuff. Taking a human (more or less) and restricting equipment and wands/items, which in itself is a large part of the game, and then adding extra lives which seem very out of place in Crawl is just... meh.

If Felids are going to stay, they really need something to make them interesting. I dunno, some unique cat-like abilities? Or maybe the ability to charm non-humanoid monsters? I don't know, something. It seems as though a lot of people agree with me that the race in its current state is weirdly out of place and boring.

Temple Termagant

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 20:28

Re: Felid is not a good race

Very good point.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 20:31

Re: Felid is not a good race

minmay wrote:
Hushed wrote:It seems pretty pointless to me to cater to the whim of people who dislike playing the race if all they're trying to do is dictate how they think other people should play.

One could apply this exact argument to the halfling changes from 0.5 to 0.6, or the merging of ogre and ogre mage, or the outright removal of the grey elf, hill dwarf, and gnome species.
You seem to be trying to make a point but I don't know what it is. That was then, this is now, that precedent doesn't make it right, for all I know it was wrong then (though that would only be conjecture because I wasn't playing back then and therefore don't know the details). Right now, some people enjoy Felids. Others don't. But rather than not play the race they apparently don't enjoy (like I don't play mummies), it seems to be the cool thing to do to complain about how others enjoy them. Like it's some sort of insult to you that a bot can play a Felid through most of the game.

Getting all the resistances you need with only 2 rings and an amulet is a non-trivial challenge. Dungeon crawling with abysmal hp is a non-trivial challenge (if this weren't true there wouldn't be so many posts on fighting skill changes). Not being able to use wands is a challenge.

The fact that you choose to play in ways that obviate those challenges is your own fault. Any compatible race can win with berserker or summoner background, and in some ways those backgrounds make the entire process of race selection unimportant. Pointing to a Felid berserker or Felid summoner and saying this boring when the Felid side of that equation hasn't appreciably changed the play from any other type of berserker or summoner is disingenuous.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:28

Re: Felid is not a good race

minmay wrote:Nobody is saying it's bad that people enjoy felids.
No, they're just saying that what they enjoy should be changed to suit people who find the entire race boring anyways. Because that's so altruistic.

minmay wrote:
Hushed wrote:Getting all the resistances you need with only 2 rings and an amulet is a non-trivial challenge. Dungeon crawling with abysmal hp is a non-trivial challenge (if this weren't true there wouldn't be so many posts on fighting skill changes). Not being able to use wands is a challenge.

Having -5 aptitudes for everything would be a non-trivial challenge. That doesn't make it interesting, or appropriate for a species.

minmay wrote:
dolphin wrote:Honest, non-snarky question: What about demigods is so enjoyable to you, minmay?

I consider the lack of a god and poor aptitudes to be an interesting drawback, and the high HP/MP/attributes an interesting advantage.
I seriously find it appalling that you tried to prop up this absurdity as an argument. Are you just arguing to rationalize?

minmay wrote:Would you want to put all of these in the game? I bet you can find at least one that you think would be very inappropriate for Crawl, completely unbalanced, etc.
Crawl is a game made by committee. What's appropriate for crawl is whatever the group can decide on. Arguments about what's appropriate are usually just a way to say my opinion is more important than yours. Likewise, there is no real balance in Crawl. When the rash of ubernaga multirune wins started, did we turn around and nerf Nagas? Have we nerfed Nemelex? Trog? If we seriously want to say balance should be important in Crawl, I don't mind- but I think cherry picking the balance issues is dishonest.

I'm not saying Felids can't or even shouldn't change. But they should be changing for the better, to be more interesting, not just pointed at and say that ain't right, nerf it, just because you don't like how other people play and can't be bothered to challenge yourself.
Last edited by Hushed on Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:35

Re: Felid is not a good race

Where is the felid vault branch?
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:36

Re: Felid is not a good race

Just a reminder: 'balance' is an overloaded term, it is used with several meanings. We are certainly striving for balance in topics such as individual spells (don't want some to be strictly better than their would-be competitors) or as to remove broken features (Tomb of Dorokhloe spell, staff of earth melee, stone of earth summon abuse). Among species, diversity is more important than equal power -- as long as all species are reasonable (to us), we don't mind some being harder or easier. Gods are in the middle: it is okay if some gods provide more direct access to power but are less useful in certain areas.
Personally, I would definitely say that caring for balance is one of Crawl's selling points.

Thus regarding Felids, the question is not so much about power, but rather whether they're fun. Again, fun to us. It is very valuable to know they're not fun to some players, especially if we get explanations why (stabwound and minmay did this). It is also good to know that some players enjoy them. Every single feature is fun to some, and un-fun to others. We don't decide by vote (and definitely not by vote among players); still, we listen to feedback and are very grateful for it.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:47

Re: Felid is not a good race

I agree with arguments against Felids. The extra lives mechanic, if there is one, should be for all races/backgrounds and not for one specific race. The low hitpoints and lack of use of most items in the game make them more fragile and less exciting to play (at least for me).

Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:49

Re: Felid is not a good race

Don't even think about extra lives for any other species.

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 21:57

Re: Felid is not a good race

dpeg, on that note I do agree that spending a life to teleport safely with the orb would be a broken feature.

I think changing the safe teleport into an uncontrolled blink would fix the problem.

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 22:14

Re: Felid is not a good race

minmay: You explained yourself why the extra lives are not so hot. They're somehow the current perk of Felids -- that may or may not change. But why on earth would we taint the other species with this?

To give another example: Nethack has the amulet of life saving. It does exactly what is says on the tin. Some players argue that it's worse than amulets which actually help in the game. In this sense, life saving is a meta ability (and with the amulet, there's at least the choice of whether you want to sacrifice the amulet slot for that) -- with Felids, we can make death more painful to the player, but the essential issue remains).

The ancient Egyptions were obsessed with cats. I had the idea that we might get inspirations about Felids from them. They should be more than just housecats in Crawl.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 22:29

Re: Felid is not a good race

I think minmay is right on the money about this: Extra lives aren't useful during play - they only allow you another chance after you've screwed up or gotten really unlucky. You can't actively capitalize on them by playing differently, unless you consider kamikaze runs, and that can't be done more than 8 times. Kamikaze runs are not actually that useful, as far as I can tell - does anyone who plays Felids use them this way?

Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 23:04

Re: Felid is not a good race

minmay wrote:Of course we like the changes we're proposing. Otherwise we wouldn't propose them!
I asked quite clearly if the changes being proposed would cause you to like playing Felids. Everyone can enjoy armchair quarterbacking even if the suggestions are bad ones. Saying you'll like the change when you have no intention of being affected by it is setting a pretty low bar.

minmay wrote:The first quote was intended to illustrate that "non-trivial challenge" is not in itself a reason to add/keep a species. In the second, note the "I consider." (As an aside, I am not really happy with demigods as they stand because apparently most people find them boring.)
Together the quotes illustrate the absurd reduction of an opposing argument and a bit of hypocrisy. When it suits you low aptitudes are an interesting drawback but when it doesn't they're boring and unsuitable for a species.

minmay wrote:But, to elaborate on a major difference: high HP/MP/attributes is something that you actively take advantage of, exploit, and consider. Extra lives are...extra lives, a crutch for bad play, and I can't think of a practical situation where they would be a factor in tactical considerations. If you can, please tell me; I'd like to know.
Seeing as spending an extra life tactically to teleport with the orb of Zot was brought up in this very thread, I find this statement odd. I think it's a broken feature if this is indeed possible, but it doesn't take too much imagination to see that you can spend a life to achieve an objective. You see extra lives as a crutch for bad play, and they can be, but I also see them as an opportunity to explore gameplay styles I would get too frustrated with to play otherwise. Extra lives allow you to learn something about the game without having to start over entirely. Maybe I don't want to chuck 20 characters into the graveyard trying to get a monk off the ground before I even get to the point of learning to deal with an octagon. I'm not that new now, but once I was.

minmay wrote:
Hushed wrote:I'm not saying Felids can't or even shouldn't change. But they should be changing for the better, to be more interesting, not just pointed at and say that ain't right, nerf it, just because you don't like how other people play and can't be bothered to challenge yourself.

I have no idea what you mean by "can't be bothered to challenge yourself," but my complaints about felids have nothing to do with them being too powerful, nor do I think flatly nerfing them would be an improvement at all.
MavinPA's post, which you said you thoroughly agreed with.


Part of the problem is I think alot of you are coming at this from the point of view of players for whom DCSS is a puzzle you've already found the solution to. You're already good players and you already jump past the intended use of mechanics to how to potentially break them. I can understand how to you Felids would just be an opportunity for you to be sloppy or lazy and just novel in a limited kind of way.

I'm probably not what you'd consider good at Crawl. I don't play it with a need to win. I don't invest energy in easy solutions. If I want to see how viable playing a transmuter is without fulsome or evaporate (because I think it'd be interesting to remove or move them for various game design ideas), Felid makes this more accessible. If I want to see if berserk makes crusader a one spell wonder, I can try that with some wiggle room. I don't normally play wizards, but if I wanted to see how to tackle the Snake pits as one I'd probably do so as a Felid.

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Post Tuesday, 10th May 2011, 23:24

Re: Felid is not a good race

Instead of safe random teleport, what if the mostly dead felid player had some kind of ghost form that could move around but not affect the environment (no attacks, no picking up items, no opening or closing doors). After a somewhat random number of turns (I'd propose XP level + 1dXPLevel)/2 ), the ghost turns back into the standard player. The ghost form would have :
  • permanent levitation
  • felid movement speed
  • the ability to walk through closed doors at will
  • the ability to displace enemies like allies while moving
  • invisibility (even to enemies with SInv)
  • Invulnerability (HP might read "N/A")
If used well, the ghost gets you to safety or in a good position to launch the next attack. If used poorly, the ghost earns another death.

Halls Hopper

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 00:31

Re: Felid is not a good race

There is a huge difference between unique race with finite lives and wizmode. You aren't going to learn the same things in an environment with no consequences and no challenges that you would with a fragile character and very real consequences. Wizmode is great for learning what the dungeon is susceptible to, not so much for learning what your character is susceptible to. I think it's weird that you can see extra lives as a crutch for bad play but suggest wizmode for experimentation to solve the same sorts of problems. I see them as opportunities for experimentation about very different sorts of problems.

Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 03:15

Re: Felid is not a good race

The extra-life mechanic is interesting because it can make an interesting choice between using rare consumables and dying. Zot as a felid is going to be interesting because on jewelry alone you probably won't have your resistances as covered as you like, and the inability to use wands of healing, haste and teleport is a real limitation. Felids can need rare consumables in Zot to a greater extent than other races (resistance, speed, might, and agility in particular), and I'm going to die now and save that consumable for the endgame, is potentially an interesting tactical choice.

If felids are overpowered, removing extra lives makes them nerfed spriggans. Reasonable compensations might be any of
1. Making extra lives a Borgnor's revivification effect. No teleport unless drowned, with loss of max HP. This might be enough of a nerf that
2. Just making felids overall even more fragile, so the consumable-or-extra-life choice comes up more often.
3. FeBe-specific: give felids an unarmed-damage divisor like, but not as severe as, bat form.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 05:33

Re: Felid is not a good race

I see Felids as a species for unexpirienced/medicore/casual players. They give the chance to hurry ahead of the places you normaly are able to reach in the game. You can get farther as usual without having to care about too many gameplay details. That is the job cats do for their witches. I would change the felid background narative in the point that these cats are not 'on their own', but still telepathicaly controlled by their 'mistress' (the player in the end). But you will also have not much use for many cool items/weapons you will find for the first time.
I mostly play 'full random' (means I let the RNG decide which build I play). To get the chance to play Felid means luck, because I have the chance to get a new personal decending record. Felids played this way are not boring at all, they have their function in game. I like the 9 lives extra-rule, but would also like to see the 'save teleport version' exchanged to a 'blink'-resurection with HP/MP reduced to just one point + 'starving' and 'confused' state. Or the 'food'-level should depent on str and degree of confusion on int + a chance of 'magical contamination' based on dex. Death should have 'augustness', even for witch-cats. But they should be hard to drown. Real cats can shut-up their loungs in some way and depending on size can reanimate if the body gets out of the water again. Maybe thats the real reason for the '9 lives' cliché. They can swim but don't like wet fur.

Some more ideas:

1. Maybe there should be some rule/reason implemented that makes it harder for felids to accent when they actualy have the orb? (-> so that they become the first half of the game an 'easy-play' species and the second half a 'challenge'-species?

2. No gods for cats. The 'god' of a cat is her witch. They can get help from their witch per [a] command and can sacrifice gold, magical items, scrolls, potions etc. for gain of 'piety' vs. lost of 'food'-level. (they are a kind of living probe on telepathic-magical/organic basis for their controller in the end)

3. If 'food'-level of felids gets 'very hungry' they switch in hunting mode. Means they go on their own like in auto-exploration to the nearest animal (rats, little snakes, newts etc.). Player just gets controll again when they are interupted by a monster coming into view.

4. No berserker-mode for felids or even better: ...only when they go under 10% of their HP and then also 'per instinct', not player-controlled. (-> Could get interesting when also the 'near death'-random blink (with HP reducing) get's installed, ...there should be a good reason for the player to 'horde' cat-lives.)
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 10:21

Re: Felids

This thread has a lot of noise and pointless arguments. It's not very surprising given its title (which I've changed) and the OP.
Now let's try to focus. I don't like much the race and the life saving, but I still think having it in the game can be a good thing. It does have the potential for an easier and much simpler gameplay. This is different, which is good because it can make the game appealing to more people.
Maybe we'll end up removing them or the life saving, but I'd like to give it a chance. So let's start by fixing what's obviously wrong. If we're still not happy with the result, we'll remove it knowing we have really tried.

1) Don't teleport on dying. I don't really see the point of a random blink, we can revive the felid on the very cell he died.
2) Drain 1 XL when dying. For now, we'll just drain the XP pool, but later, we'll drain skills too.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 11:39

Re: Felids

Sounds good to me.

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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 13:51

Re: Felids

Since I wasn't experimenting with Felids while 0.8 was in development, I'm pretty late to the game. I must say that the first teleport-on-death was actually pretty jarring for me. I'd been expecting something more similar to the amulet of life saving.

In fact, the "AoLS is avoided by a fair number of Nethackers because it takes up an equipment slot that can provide a number of extremely useful effects that can't be obtained in other ways (magical breathing, unchanging) or are difficult to obtain or require other tough equipment choices (ESP, reflection, THE Amulet for finding endgame portals if you've run out of other ways). It may save your life, but you come back in the exact same situation that you were in before (with full HP)...but with nothing in your amulet slot and possibly with no time to do something about that. Whereas if you'd been using one of the other amulets (like reflection or magical breathing), what killed you may not even have had a chance to kill you.

That being said, I don't care one way or another, although modifying the safe teleport in some way does sound like a plan. They're a different kind of fun. Put another way, the extra lives are a variation on playing Xom. Xom's mechanics actively encourage somewhat reckless play. Felid extra lives give you an opportunity to play recklessly, but you'll pay for it, or should.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 20:52

Re: Felids

Maybe I should have left the "extra lives" thing out of my original post, because this whole thread has become about that aspect of the race. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the concept of a race with multiple lives, although I do feel that the current implementation needs work. I like the "ghost" idea jejorda2 posted. However, like I said, my main concern is that it just makes for a bland character to play, which would be the case even without extra lives. The suggestions of limiting Felids even more would be just making it even MORE boring. The last thing they need is god or berserk limitations.

The concept of a race that can't equip anything is cool. I like that. My issue isn't about balance at all, more in that it's just boring because they don't have anything fun that makes up for removing a large part of the game. A race that can't even pick up anything would be cool, but it needs something else unique to make it fun to play. I'm currently playing a Felid and it's one of the most boring characters I've ever played. I have the same kind of issue with Demigods and their god restriction, but at least they make up for it by making hybrid characters easy to do. Felid's extra lives are something you probably won't even use.

All I'm suggesting is to give Felids something cool other than the extra lives.
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Post Wednesday, 11th May 2011, 23:02

Re: Felids

stabwound wrote:However, like I said, my main concern is that it just makes for a bland character to play, which would be the case even without extra lives. The suggestions of limiting Felids even more would be just making it even MORE boring. The last thing they need is god or berserk limitations.

You keep talking about what's fun and what's boring, but this is just a personal opinion. Some players find Hu and DG boring, some other love them. Same for felids. Also, I don't remember reading anything here about giving them even more restrictions.

stabwound wrote:All I'm suggesting is to give Felids something cool other than the extra lives.

Like what?
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Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 18:35

Re: Felids

Eventhough I have nothing against the extra lives, a suggestion: Hightened senses - Felids gain the ability to track enemies. (once you meet a creature they appear permanently on the mini map.)
It would allow you to dodge dangerous uniques and track enemies that have escaped.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Thursday, 12th May 2011, 18:58

Re: Felids

minimap is tiles-specific
constantly checking the X map would be an interface burden for console players

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Post Tuesday, 17th May 2011, 10:38

Re: Felids

While digging through some code (in ng-setup.cc, to be specific), I noticed this:

// Before we get into the inventory init, set light radius based
// on species vision. Currently, all species see out to 8 squares.

This gave me an idea for a unique perk for Felids. Instead of extra lives, give them an expanded vision range. Say 10 squares, or even 12. This would fit with the theme of felids having "strong senses" and the extra information would give a real tactical advantage to the player.
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Post Tuesday, 17th May 2011, 10:50

Re: Felids

to the best of my knowledge line-of-sight is reciprocal, so it'd be a double-edged sword, even if they're faster than most dungeon creatures. greater LOS means a much larger area in sight.

if you want a racial advantage of that sort ash/antennae-like sensing might work better, but it's been done to death.
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Post Tuesday, 17th May 2011, 10:51

Re: Felids

ibanix wrote:While digging through some code (in ng-setup.cc, to be specific), I noticed this:

// Before we get into the inventory init, set light radius based
// on species vision. Currently, all species see out to 8 squares.

This gave me an idea for a unique perk for Felids. Instead of extra lives, give them an expanded vision range. Say 10 squares, or even 12. This would fit with the theme of felids having "strong senses" and the extra information would give a real tactical advantage to the player.

LOS is symmetrical in crawl. If you can see a monster, it can see you. Thus, it would often be a disadvantage. Breaking the symmetry would open the door for a lot of abuse. And bigger LOS would also mean higher minimum requirement. You can't display a LOS of 10 on a 80x24 terminal or a 800x480 window.
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Post Friday, 20th May 2011, 00:54

Re: Felids

I'm really surprised to find that so many people hate Felids' multiple lives, and think that they're uninteresting or a crutch for bad players.

Having multiple lives changes everything. I don't play felids like a character with a single life that gets an extra chances if I screw up. I play them knowing that I can take more risks and things will be okay if things don't turn out. Normally, you shouldn't do something with a character unless it has a 99.9% chance of succeeding - with a felid, this drops to something more like 95% (depending on the number of extra lives you have left), and I find it oddly liberating. Even in just ordinary encounters, it means you can take the lazy way out and just play slightly less carefully. I find the complete lack of item management very liberating as well, and good for when I want a game of crawl with less micromanagement.

I don't offer any suggestions in this post, just my opinion that I think felids are great as is. Probably the weakest mechanic is teleport on death, but escaping with the orb of zot is a weak example since you can just read a teleport scroll for the same effect, and one life is quite a steep cost. Removing extra lives completely neuters felids (so to speak), and takes away most of what's special about them.
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