Game irks. Early draft


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Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Thursday, 10th December 2015, 19:42

Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 01:14

Game irks. Early draft

1) Too much cheese tactic in the game. I'll admit I've used them, but I shouldn't be able to.

1.a) Stair dancing is CHEEEEEEESY. More monsters should follow you up the stairs, at least the ones that see you when you go up/down, more so if they got high intelligence and are chasing you. Conversely, when using stairs, I don't think the adjacent monsters should immediately pop up with you on the other end.

Suggestion: You take a turn using the stairs (just like now), then monsters start coming up/down the stairs 1 by 1, that is 1 new monster pops up each turn. I like how a staircase would act as a bottleneck (same as a narrow hallway), which would be fairer than the current stair dancing.

1.b) Monsters that spawn in groups (and have at least some intelligence), shouldn't be split from the group so easily. Basically, luring a few out at a time (by shouting from distance or just glancing LOS, then them running after you and leaving the others behind) is too easy. They should call the rest of their group to come with them.







2.0) I HATE the meticulous stashing, most of it is caused because of the somewhat shortage of inventory.

You CAN bring lots of (different types of) potions, scrolls, rings, amulets, food, ammo, plus the equipment on you. But then you will have little space left for loot, and very soon you have to go back to your stash (AGAIN), do a bit of sorting and come back. You have to do this too often OR...

In practice, you take a lot less with you (only the essentials) and the more obscure items, that could be useful or might offer a different tactic, get left behind.

There is no added strategy here, it's just a nuisance in the game.


2.1) Solution: Double the number of inventory slots (104). BUT make the time delay of putting equipment (everything except rings&amulets, also I'm hearing ranged weapons will have their own slot(so no issue there)) on&off high enough to make it unfeasible during combat. Right now it's 5+5 turns to switch equipment, make it I dunno 10+10?

TECH:
For keyboard, make the second tab (the other 52) accessible by hotkeys like "=a", "=b", "=c", ...
Frequently used item categories are prioritized so you will see them on the first tab.

For GUI, add tabs on the side of inventory like:
|I| +++++++
|II|+++++++
....+++++++
....+++++++


I could say quadruple the inventory (4 tabs instead of 2), but I think 104 should be more than enough.




3.0) I HATE going through my stash of spell books, looking for a spell. It's a mess.

3.1) Instead make a Spell Memorandum. A Book is read (and consumed?) at which point, all of it's spells go to your Spell Memorandum and will stay there permanently.
From then on, you can access it at any time, and memorize the spells you want. But add time delay, so it's not feasible in combat.
When seeing a book in a shop, it should be in a different color if you already have all the spells. Similairly, if you inspect the book, the spells you got are also in a different color. Grey, as in useless?
This can probably be merged with the Memorization Tab. But I would like a menu, where I see my list of spells which I can filter with regex and where I can inspect the individual spells.




ALSO
====
*Why do the monsters all have the same LOS as you? Maybe it could vary. Concept of sniping/getting sniped sounds cool (getting hit by something outside LOS). So does blinding (narrowing a target's LOS).

*A key to: Chop ALL Good Corpses.

*Make basic ammo of choice (set default choice somewhere) out of corpses. Do this automatically when chopping.



P.S. Felids' several lives is silly. Dead = Game over. Common!
Last edited by Tranquil Suit on Sunday, 27th December 2015, 01:28, edited 3 times in total.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Thursday, 10th December 2015, 19:42

Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 01:20

Re: Game irks. Early draft

P.S. from https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... ng:wont_do

"52 item slots, that's it."


ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRhgghghhg, I refuse to accept this.

Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 01:33

Re: Game irks. Early draft

Tranquil Suit wrote:1) Too much cheese tactic in the game. [stair dancing and luring]
I actually agree with this, but I don't think your solution for stair dancing is very good (especially I'm against making stairdancing less urgent by changing how adjacent monsters work -- this seems to be in direct contradiction with what you want?!).

Something should certainly be done about luring, your proposal is one way to start.

2.0) I HATE the meticulous stashing, most of it is caused because of the somewhat shortage of inventory.
Extending the inventory may improve one aspect of the interface, but it comes with immediate drawbacks. It is definitely not that simple. As an example, think of the extreme: the player can carry everything she wants (unlimited inventory).

I've thought about this, and if you really want a proper solution for this issue, then I believe it'd be something like items dropped or left on the ground disappear after a while. Crawl might not be the best game to slap this mechanic on at this stage.

3.0) I HATE going through my stash of spell books, looking for a spell. It's a mess.
All of what you want can be achieved by improving how Ctrl-F interacts with spells. Specific proposals are welcome. (Start with how Ctrl-F "shop" has a special interface, and work from there?)

*Why do the monsters all have the same LOS as you? Maybe it could vary. Concept of sniping/getting sniped sounds cool (getting hit by something outside LOS). So does blinding (narrowing a target's LOS).
May sound cool, will play very badly, won't happen: if monsters have larger LOS than the player, you risk "it breathes, you die". If you have larger LOS than monsters, there is immediate cheese abuse, something you don't like in 1. above.

A key to: Chop ALL Good Corpses.
ce
(mnemonic: e for edible)

What's really needed is autochopping, especially since autoeating exists. (Yes, I know that there is a desire to do something Big about food. But it's nontrivial, there has been one discarded attempt already, and the interface can probably be improved more easily.)

Felids' several lives is silly. Dead = Game over. Common!
What's this? Our game, our rules. Don't play felids if you disagree with their perk.

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dynast, Tranquil Suit

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 02:06

Re: Game irks. Early draft

I stopped keeping an actual organized stash once monsters stopped picking up stuff off the ground. Now I just drop anything I don't currently need and, if I need it later, use Ctrl+F to find it. The hunger cost to pick things up from arbitrary locations is pretty much negligible, so why bother storing it all in one place?

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WingedEspeon

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 02:59

Re: Game irks. Early draft

dpeg wrote:Don't play felids if you disagree with their perk.
Isn't this the exact "argument" that gets thrown at the developers every time they remove a race/background/spell/god? Seems counterproductive to keep throwing it around.

Jarlyk wrote:I stopped keeping an actual organized stash once monsters stopped picking up stuff off the ground. Now I just drop anything I don't currently need and, if I need it later, use Ctrl+F to find it. The hunger cost to pick things up from arbitrary locations is pretty much negligible, so why bother storing it all in one place?
The concern is piety cost rather than food cost (stashing in one place is not optimal for minimizing piety cost either, but neither is just dropping things wherever).

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Rast

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 03:37

Re: Game irks. Early draft

duvessa wrote:
dpeg wrote:Don't play felids if you disagree with their perk.
Isn't this the exact "argument" that gets thrown at the developers every time they remove a race/background/spell/god? Seems counterproductive to keep throwing it around.
No, of course not. When content is *removed*, it is because of lack of variety or of balance concern. It does happen that players then ask to get that content back, arguing "if you don't like it, you don't have to play it".

Observe how this is different from us saying "you don't have to play it" for content we're *keeping* because we consider it alright. This works well for species, as these are extraneous content: you can truly ignore all species you've not chosen for a particular game. This is not true for gods, and highly false for spells. (Okay, if you care about greatplayer or streaks, it starts to matter, but that is a metagame story.)

The latter suggests that players voluntarily ignore species they dislike. We believe that we offer a fair range of interesting species, varying in difficulty and gameplay. With more than 20 of them, it's absolutely to be expected that every single player will have species she loves and others he hates. So we ask players to have fun by making choices they like. Sounds alright?
On the other hand, the former (players petitioning by "don't do it if you don't like it") means that players ask the devteam to compromise standards in order to preserve content. Accepting that would mean a game the developers consider worse on behalf of some vocal players. Hopefully does not sound alright?
The words look similar, but the direction is completely different.


Note: I played very few Felids, and they have little appeal to me. I cannot convincingly argue that they're a great species, and I see many complaints about them. However, the OP argued by "silly because genre demands single lives", which means nothing: invoking the roguelike ruleset is a dud. If you have better arguments for changing/removing Felids, tell us.

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archaeo, Sar

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 04:10

Re: Game irks. Early draft

dpeg wrote:This works well for species, as these are extraneous content: you can truly ignore all species you've not chosen for a particular game.

Well, I can't ignore Hill Orcs no matter how much I may dislike them, because I have to choose them when I want to play with Beogh!

Opportunistic jab aside, I wouldn't really mind seeing the extra lives mechanic go, since what differentiates felids for me (squishy and no weapons, but you get fast movement which is a huge boon) doesn't have much to do with their extra lives.

If anything, their aptitudes might be moved around a bit to distinguish them better from spriggans.

Lair Larrikin

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Joined: Thursday, 10th December 2015, 19:42

Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 05:16

Re: Game irks. Early draft

Thank you for addressing my post. I appreciate the attention from dev.

dpeg wrote:
Tranquil Suit wrote:1) Too much cheese tactic in the game. [stair dancing and luring]
I actually agree with this, but I don't think your solution for stair dancing is very good (especially I'm against making stairdancing less urgent by changing how adjacent monsters work -- this seems to be in direct contradiction with what you want?!).

Something should certainly be done about luring, your proposal is one way to start.

I'll add some thought to the cheese tactics later. But let me ask a question first. So like, no offense to the devs here, the monster AI is dumb. So by standard, gameplay is always bit cheesy. Are there any long term plans to improve AI (which would drastically change the game for better or for worse) or is it considered okay as is?




Tranquil Suit wrote:2.0) I HATE the meticulous stashing, most of it is caused because of the somewhat shortage of inventory.
Extending the inventory may improve one aspect of the interface, but it comes with immediate drawbacks. It is definitely not that simple. As an example, think of the extreme: the player can carry everything she wants (unlimited inventory).
0
I've thought about this, and if you really want a proper solution for this issue, then I believe it'd be something like items dropped or left on the ground disappear after a while. Crawl might not be the best game to slap this mechanic on at this stage.

If the extreme case is technically feasible (or at least a practically infinite number of slots), I'd like it very much. If dev has decided to forego item weighting (dropped earlier, I noticed) and the current number of slots is simply a nuisance (see earlier post) and there is no strategic value to it ("what do I take with me with this limited space" is not the case), then my only concern is switching gear during combat (if necessary, increase time delay for taking off/putting on equipment, with exception of rings&amulets).

The first 52 is enough for all the consumables and 'usable' items and worn gear. Basically, all the 'active' items. So for interface, only regex on inventory is needed.

From there, I also like the disappearance of items on the ground (lying long enough). Next to my stash (as is today), lies a growing junk pile of inferior equipment. It would be nice to see it all go actually.

In any case, 52 is definitely too small in my humble opinion. I did my first Ziggurat yesterday, I was full after 14 levels (and I was being selective with my loot). No way I'd have enough space for a full Zig.


Tranquil Suit wrote:3.0) I HATE going through my stash of spell books, looking for a spell. It's a mess.
All of what you want can be achieved by improving how Ctrl-F interacts with spells. Specific proposals are welcome. (Start with how Ctrl-F "shop" has a special interface, and work from there?)
Will do later.

A key to: Chop ALL Good Corpses.
ce
(mnemonic: e for edible)

What's really needed is autochopping, especially since autoeating exists. (Yes, I know that there is a desire to do something Big about food. But it's nontrivial, there has been one discarded attempt already, and the interface can probably be improved more easily.)
Is the discarded attempt publicly viewable? I have thought about autoeat before (every time I ran D1 to D8 with a Berserker), and would like to see what's already been discarded.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 06:10

Re: Game irks. Early draft

dpeg wrote:The latter suggests that players voluntarily ignore species they dislike. We believe that we offer a fair range of interesting species, varying in difficulty and gameplay. With more than 20 of them, it's absolutely to be expected that every single player will have species she loves and others he hates. So we ask players to have fun by making choices they like. Sounds alright?
On the other hand, the former (players petitioning by "don't do it if you don't like it") means that players ask the devteam to compromise standards in order to preserve content. Accepting that would mean a game the developers consider worse on behalf of some vocal players. Hopefully does not sound alright?
The words look similar, but the direction is completely different.
The only difference is that the latter is said by someone who is part of the devteam, and the former is said by someone who is not part of the devteam. Your twisting of the words works equally well to give the opposite impression:
The latter suggests that the devteam voluntarily ignore species they dislike. We believe that Crawl offers a fair range of interesting species, varying in difficulty and gameplay. With more than 20 of them, it's absolutely to be expected that every single developer will have species she loves and others he hates. So we ask devs to have fun by making choices they like. Sounds alright?
On the other hand, the former (devteam petitioning by "don't do it if you don't like it") means that devteam ask the players to compromise standards in order to preserve content. Accepting that would mean a game the players consider worse on behalf of some vocal developers. Hopefully does not sound alright?
Obviously developers are the ones who decide what the game consists of. But bad arguments don't magically become less bad when you're the one making them. "Don't do it if you don't like it" is obnoxious noise with identical meaning (i.e. none) whether it's coming from a player or a developer, and it's disappointing to see it from someone who should absolutely, definitely, 100%, know better. From my past reading it seems like you want to "resolve" all criticism by either accepting or deflecting it. If a piece of criticism is stupid, it's much easier to either ignore it or just reject it outright and say "no". Trying to deflect it with a meaningless platitude just makes you look immature, but more importantly it encourages other people to do the same thing to your criticism in the future - maybe even when it's valid. In a context where some people will think you're speaking for the whole DCSS devteam (unfair, I know, but they do), that's a frustrating, time-wasting game to play.

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 06:44

Re: Game irks. Early draft

For the AI issue: Crawl is very clearly built with intentionally dumb monsters that use their good abilities a variable but low percentage of the time. There are some, very rare, games that allow enemies to act as smart as possible and provide interesting but not brutal challenges; Crawl is not one of those games. In order to rework Crawl AI to be remotely competent, you would need to change so many things about the game (monster depths, monster spells, monster packs, the existence of hellfire/torment, what value smiting is assigned) that it wouldn't be Crawl anymore. To give just one example, with "smart" AI a pack containing an Orc priest and a large amount of popcorn would be guaranteed death/panic usage for early-midgame character.

If you mean specific issues, like how easy it is to cheese packs of monsters into having low-threat monsters lead the charge, that's different, but "smart" AI is a giant can of worms and making the AI better outside of edge cases would be a massive undertaking.

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Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 27th December 2015, 17:26

Re: Game irks. Early draft

milski wrote:For the AI issue: Crawl is very clearly built with intentionally dumb monsters that use their good abilities a variable but low percentage of the time. There are some, very rare, games that allow enemies to act as smart as possible and provide interesting but not brutal challenges; Crawl is not one of those games. In order to rework Crawl AI to be remotely competent, you would need to change so many things about the game (monster depths, monster spells, monster packs, the existence of hellfire/torment, what value smiting is assigned) that it wouldn't be Crawl anymore. To give just one example, with "smart" AI a pack containing an Orc priest and a large amount of popcorn would be guaranteed death/panic usage for early-midgame character.

If you mean specific issues, like how easy it is to cheese packs of monsters into having low-threat monsters lead the charge, that's different, but "smart" AI is a giant can of worms and making the AI better outside of edge cases would be a massive undertaking.

To clarify, I don't find dumb AI an issue. My question is whether this is "core design" or something that dev has plans for, and if so what kind? I ask since the former implies that some cheese is standard. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But then I would suggest other alternatives to the current stairs mechanic.

And yes I agree, "smart" AI would change the game VERY drastically.

Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Tuesday, 29th December 2015, 15:01

Re: Game irks. Early draft

Tranquil Suit wrote:1.b) Monsters that spawn in groups (and have at least some intelligence), shouldn't be split from the group so easily. Basically, luring a few out at a time (by shouting from distance or just glancing LOS, then them running after you and leaving the others behind) is too easy. They should call the rest of their group to come with them.

When a monster shouts, monsters in its LOS begin patrolling--but the patrol point is not a grid XY, it's the monster that shouted. So everyone who hears the shout, follows the shouter and fans out to look for you.
Won (52). Remaining (15): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 5 Backgrounds: AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 5 gods: Jiyv, newNem, WJC, newSif, newFedh

Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 29th December 2015, 16:06

Re: Game irks. Early draft

My impression is that dumb AI really is "core design". But it's worth noting that there are two kinds of dumb: monsters can act randomly, or monsters can act predictably (as anyone who has used conjure flame has realized). It's reasonable to think about where on this spectrum Crawl ought to be.

Predictable monsters give the game more depth, since they make it possible to plan many moves ahead without a pen and paper. On the other hand they make possible some cheese (as anyone who has used conjure flame has realized).

An example where more precitability could be good: it might be fun if orc priests never move while the player is in LOS, only smiting or cantripping (but cantripping more than they do currently).

An example where more randomness could be good: it might be fun if melee enemies randomly select a minimum-length path to reach you, to increase the chance that they manage to surround you and to decrease cheesing with conjure flame.

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Post Tuesday, 29th December 2015, 20:56

Re: Game irks. Early draft

Enemy AI used to be smart, and it was bad. Smart AI creates a pattern, so players learn how to counter those patterns and repeat the process over and over, leading to tedious gameplay. Also, in game where positioning is half of the battle, you can only expect smart AI to be annoying.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Wednesday, 30th December 2015, 14:41

Re: Game irks. Early draft

The current monster movement needs some work: I've had a monster on one side of a bush next to a wall and the character on the diagonal, stabbing it with a trident over and over. What's needed here isn't so much intelligence but stupidity: I'm thinking each time a monster gets hit and it can neither attack nor close the gap with the character, it should have a chance to just get frustrated, temporarily mimicking a confusion or fear effect.
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Post Wednesday, 30th December 2015, 21:44

Re: Game irks. Early draft

Chicken wrote:The current monster movement needs some work: I've had a monster on one side of a bush next to a wall and the character on the diagonal, stabbing it with a trident over and over. What's needed here isn't so much intelligence but stupidity: I'm thinking each time a monster gets hit and it can neither attack nor close the gap with the character, it should have a chance to just get frustrated, temporarily mimicking a confusion or fear effect.


It does this already in certain circumstances.
take it easy

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