Recovering from Very Heavy Draining


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 20:35

Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Just lost a moderately promising Deep Dwarf Fighter of Elyvilon due to heavy draining. Short version is I was level 12, ran into Sonja who had a dagger of draining on Lair:3, and since she moves so fast, was getting hit and drained lots of times. I killed her off without taking a lot of damage (Though it took awhile), checked my skills to see what they were down to, and to my dismay saw that I had all 0's:
(This is from when I died, so the skills would have been a bit lower than this, initially)
  Code:
 + Level 8.6(0.0) Fighting
 + Level 11.4(0.0) Axes
 + Level 2.5(0.0) Crossbows
 + Level 10.0(0.0) Armour
 + Level 6.8(0.0) Dodging
 + Level 1.8(0.0) Stealth
 + Level 12.2(0.0) Shields
 * Level 9.5(0.0) Invocations
 + Level 3.1(0.0) Evocations


Well, I figured, that's pretty bad, but I'll just have to be careful, kill off weaker monsters for awhile while my skills recover, and go from there. But then I noticed it was extremely hard to fight even weaker monsters, since with all skills at 0, plate armor was messing up my attacks, the attacks were very slow. This is as intended, of course. But after switching to +3 leather armor and a dagger, so as to fight better at my current skill levels (Staying with my war axe and plate armor almost got me killed) and killing off a fair number of monsters, I checked and was still at all 0's. More shallow dungeon levels had hardly any monsters to fight, and the ones that hadn't been cleared were very dangerous.

So, with the choice of fighting previously-easy-but-now-often-lethal monsters, or hunting around for really weak things (Like goblins or orcs), I was in a bad situation. I kept killing what I could, running from what I couldn't, even got the notification that my shields skill had gone up to 12 (Checked the skills, but they were still all at 0, due to the draining), but it was like trying to use a level 1 character with more HP. Finally, I got surrounded and killed around 2500 turns later (I probably could have escaped but my heart wasn't in it anymore), and just before I died, I checked my skills, and they were *still* at all 0's. Not even a single 0.1 to give me hope of progress.

So, my question is this:

If you get heavily drained, how are you supposed to come back from it? Yes, you try and kill monsters to get experience to get rid of it, but I was, and it wasn't doing anything (Or it was, and I was so far in the hole that it wasn't making any difference). There's not really any consumables you can use to help with it (That I know of. I'm not saying there necessarily should be an easy potion fix, but it would be nice to have some consumables you could burn to help). You're basically just stuck being super weak, trying not to die, and in my case, for what seemed a very long time.

Is there a cap to how drained you can be? Better feedback as to how drained you are, or how much experience it will take to recover (Or even start to recover) would have helped. As it was, I just felt like I was killing monsters, but still stuck at all 0's, with no idea how much progress, if any, I was making. If your skills are at 0's, some indication of how far "in the hole" you are would be nice, so you know if you're just about to get 0.1, or you've got a long way to go to break past 0. Perhaps shows skills as negative, so you know how far gone they are (Although that might confuse people into thinking the skills had penalties or something).

Does experience recover draining at a 1 to 1 ratio? Meaning, to recover 1 level of a drained skill (It's at 11, and should be 12, for example), does it take as much experience as it normally would to go from 11 to 12?

I guess I'm just not sure what I should have done differently at that point (Obviously, not getting heavily drained beforehand would have helped). If you're drained enough to get to all 0's, are you supposed to essentially be dead, or find it nearly impossible to recover? I'm not asking for draining to be made easier necessarily. Draining should be nasty and something hard to deal with, but if you're going to be so badly drained that recovering will be nearly impossible without trying to grind levels 1 through 5 for hobgoblins, newts, etc, where are you supposed to go from there?

Just looking for insight on how draining is supposed to be balanced, gameplay-wise, and what the intentions and purposes of it are, and if it's achieving those in it's current state, given a case of heavy draining like I experienced. It seems like heavy draining is hard to come back from, and so perhaps there needs to be a cap, or experience should cancel out draining more quickly than it currently does. Thanks!

This is the last few notes from my character, so you get a sense of the timeline, and how long after the draining it was before I died:
  Code:
 14251 | Lair:3   | Reached skill level 12 in Shields
 14495 | Lair:3   | Found a staircase to the Shoals.
 14532 | Lair:3   | Noticed Sonja
 14598 | Lair:3   | Killed Sonja
 15752 | D:12     | Found a staircase to the Orcish Mines.
 16144 | D:10     | Noticed Erica
 16642 | D:13     | Gained mutation: Scrolls take you a little longer to read. [potion of mutation]
 16642 | D:13     | Gained mutation: You passively map a large area around you. [potion of mutation]
 16646 | D:13     | Lost mutation: You are partially covered in icy blue scales (AC +1). [potion of cure mutation]
 16646 | D:13     | Lost mutation: You passively map a large area around you. [potion of cure mutation]
 16646 | D:13     | Lost mutation: Scrolls take you a little longer to read. [potion of cure mutation]
 17026 | D:13     | Reached skill level 10 in Armour
 17050 | D:13     | HP: 8/168 [hell hound/blast of flame (7)]
 17052 | D:13     | HP: 1/168 [poisoned by an orc wizard]
 17053 | D:13     | Succumbed to an orc wizard's poison

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 20:44

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Stopped reading at "ran into Sonja who had a dagger of draining".
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 21:10

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Draining is meant to damage you without reducing your HP, similar to mutations. I have no problem with the way draining exists right now.

Bottom line, its something you have to be careful of, I have died from it before from getting drained in elf and it was not fun, but its a lesson that must be learned.

Additionally, draining is very easily dealt with using a ring of rNeg, it significantly reduces the effects of draining and is something you should probably carry with you if you want to avoid getting yourself into a sticky situation. Additionally, the player needs to be checking for glowing weapons at all times, if that was distortion then this thread would be about banishment, not draining.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 21:28

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

seriously people don't melee sonja

(it's the only way in the game you could have actually gotten this drained without dying, outside of Ru, and with Ru you have offense anyway)

Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 21:37

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

The question isn't what the OP should or could have done to avoid heavy draining, or how rare this level of draining is. The issue is this: if extremely heavy draining (i.e. all skills to zero, like the OP) is basically just a protracted death sentence, that's unfun and should be changed.

I don't know if it'd be possible to do without too much interface burden, but perhaps the player should be able to pay some massive strategic cost to reverse this type of draining. I'm thinking something like rotting 1/3 of mhp + yellow or even red glow. Another option would be to have a floor for draining - like maybe you can't lose more than 80% or 90% of your skill points - so you'll be left with some quasi-usable skills.

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 21:38

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

With most characters I don't think it's really a death sentence, though admittedly the ways to fix it are pretty annoying. If you want to arbitrarily apply a cap to drain then that's ok. Alternatively just replace Sonja drain brand with elec again.

If you adjust how drain fixes itself (which is the way you make it not annoying to fix) you have to come up with a different mechanic for Ru ability costs, probably, and I'm not sure that the work involved in doing so is worth the benefits.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 21:58

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

ion_frigate wrote:The question isn't what the OP should or could have done to avoid heavy draining, or how rare this level of draining is. The issue is this: if extremely heavy draining (i.e. all skills to zero, like the OP) is basically just a protracted death sentence, that's unfun and should be changed.


This is my point. I've had several acensions (Even one 15 rune one, though that was awhile ago), so I'm not as much concerned with the difficulty of the game, or in paying a price (Even death) for doing something stupid (As mentioned up above, just going toe to toe with Sonja wasn't overly smart of me), but it seems like there aren't any non-grindy/unfun options to deal with heavy draining. Someone mentioned mutation. If you're heavily mutated, it can also screw you up reall badly as well, but you can always be looking for/buy a potion of cure mutation, or even convert to Zin to try and fix the problem. Is that easy? No. Is it fun? Perhaps, depending on the player, but there's at least a strategic choice to make (Even if it's deciding to just soldier on with the mutations as you are).

But with really heavy draining, there don't seem to be many options available that are at least plausibly fun (Grinding newts on the upper levels has a food cost, of course, but sounds *very* unfun). A heavy sacrifice might offer some alternative (Even if it's potentially too high of a cost, then at least the choice is there for the player). Maybe something like using potions of heal wounds or curing to restore your skills a small amount (So you could get your skill up from 0 to maybe 1/3 of their normal, but you'd use up 10 heal wounds potions to do it. 20? Just spitballing here). Or draining permanent magic points (Or maybe hit points), or some difficult sacrifice to give you an option, while still paying a heavy penalty.

I'm not overly familiar with Ru, so I don't know what would mess things up for Ru worshippers, mechanically-speaking, but any potential solution shouldn't screw things up for other parts of the game, like Ru. I just wanted to have a clearer idea of how long/hard it was going to be to get back out of the hole, and potentially have another option, however damaging that might be: Well, I can try and survive with 0 skills for awhile, and see if I can pull it off, or I can, (for example) give up 1/2 of all my hit points, permanently, to restore my skills fully (Or restore them to 1/2, or 1/3, or whatever seems like a good balance/trade-off.

Then you're faced with a strategic choice, which is one of the things Crawl does so well.
Last edited by Twilight on Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 22:00

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

For a while, being drained past a certain point did bonus damage instead of draining you further, making it likely to actually kill you directly. I'm not sure it was a good idea to remove that feature, tho I'd prefer if it drained you and also started dealing extra damage based on how drained you are to make death that much more certain.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 22:04

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Lasty wrote:For a while, being drained past a certain point did bonus damage instead of draining you further, making it likely to actually kill you directly. I'm not sure it was a good idea to remove that feature, tho I'd prefer if it drained you and also started dealing extra damage based on how drained you are to make death that much more certain.


Interesting. That would also help draw attention to the fact that not only are you getting drained, but drained *heavily*. Part of my problem was that I saw that Sonja had drained me a bit, but I didn't realize how much until I checked and saw all 0's. It was showing red Drain, which I had had before on that game, and usually meant 2 or 3 skill levels lost, at most. Perhaps there should be a way of telling the player that they're really badly drained. Red drain, while more serious than yellow, can mean a couple of levels, or it can be 12 or more levels. The extra damage would help alert the player, or maybe there's another way, although yes, it was still sloppy of me.

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 22:31

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

I think part of the problem here is that in order to be as drained as you were it requires an extraordinary effort of will and a near fatalistic determination.

To take that much draining damage without dieing means you were tough enough to survive, poorly trained/ equipped enough not to prevail in a reasonable time frame, and stubborn enough not to run away when it was evident your weren't making headway. Either that or you did run away, and then chose to come back for even more abuse.


In all the non pathelogical cases, draining, even dark red draining, is inconvenient, plausibly dangerous if bad enough, but in no cases should it ever be unreasonable to kill things that will let you recover from it in a reasonable time frame, unless you act specifically to make that the case.

I think if anything, when you get to a certain level of draining you should just die outright, but I also think that level of draining should never be one you see without going to great lengths out of your way to do so.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 22:48

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Siegurt wrote:I think part of the problem here is that in order to be as drained as you were it requires an extraordinary effort of will and a near fatalistic determination.

To take that much draining damage without dieing means you were tough enough to survive, poorly trained/ equipped enough not to prevail in a reasonable time frame, and stubborn enough not to run away when it was evident your weren't making headway. Either that or you did run away, and then chose to come back for even more abuse.
.


Well, according to my character notes, it was 66 turns between when I noticed Sonja and when she died, which isn't an overly long time. I was a Deep Dwarf, so the damage absorption/shaving they have built-in was helping me with the damage, as well as the fact that I had on plate armor with Armor skill 10 (Although that was apparently reduced to 0 over the course of the fight). As for the length of the fight, it was 66 turns total (From when I saw her), and with her blinking around, she wasn't hitting me for all of those turns. Of course, on the other hand, she was fast enough that when she was attacking, I would often get in one attack to her three or four, but it didn't seem like a really long, dragged out fight of attrition.

I don't remember being over hurt, although I might have used my wand of Heal Wounds once or twice (Honestly don't remember, but that's not unreasonable for a fairly tough fight, is it?). My armor seemed to be handling most of the damage, so I kept fighting (She's hard to hit, so there was a lot of missing in there), until she died. I remember it seeming a bit like a bat fight at level 2 or 3, where they're all over the place, and you take a bit of damage, but aren't ever really in much danger.
Last edited by Twilight on Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 23:06, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 23:00

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Sonja gets three attacks per turn, plus she is fast, so even with her blinking it's many many more drain attacks than any other source. Also Sonja is the only source of drain that doesn't come with sizable damage attached.

I wasn't joking when I said Sonja is the only way to get drained like that, outside of intentionally doing it to yourself. Replacing her draining with elec is not a joke suggestion either, since it accomplishes a similar thing but does it by just plain killing you.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 23:06

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

OK, did a little testing in Wizard mode, setting up a Deep Dwarf Fighter of level 12, with the same skill levels I listed above, then spawning in Sonja with a dagger of draining and letting her hit me until all my skills hit 0. Didn't take very long; I counted the number of times drained (45, I think), even though for most attacks she was doing no damage (This was with me just wearing the starting scale mail a fighter has).

Then I gave myself potions of experience to drink, one at a time, to see how much experience it would take to get my levels back (I didn't see a wizard mode option to give experience directly, just change experience levels, and I didn't know if that worked the same way). After drinking 12 of them, putting me at level 24, my Shields skill was at 0.2, and all other were still at 0.

How much experience does it take to gain back levels after being drained? Was my experiment flawed because potions of experience work differently than gaining experience from killing monsters? Because if it really would have taken me more than 12 levels of experience to get my skills back, then I was better off dead.

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Post Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 23:40

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Potions of experience do not seem to recover drain at all.

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 00:43

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

I dunno, I'd say that trying to survive as a heavily drained character does seem pretty fun, as you have to weight your decisions differently. Admittedly, the correct decision is probably "go scum some upper level for non-threatening XP bags", but that could be solved by stopping spawning enemies on cleared levels!

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 01:07

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

I had this happen to me, the best solution I found was to put on lighter armour and try to find some scary creatures to kill with berserk pot.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 01:57

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Being drained too heavily should probably just kill you.

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 02:41

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

How about diminishing returns on drain, or at least no draining past all-zero skills?

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 04:55

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Twilight wrote:But after switching to +3 leather armor and a dagger, so as to fight better at my current skill levels (Staying with my war axe and plate armor almost got me killed)

I'm pretty sure that, at zero skill, a war axe is a better weapon than a dagger. The only sorts things I think might be exceptions are highly evasive things like adders.

If you were going to switch, pick up something like a quarterstaff, trident, or rapier. The trident would have the advantage of benefiting cross training (if you ever got skill back).

I'm not actually sure the leather is a better choice than the plate mail either, if you have the strength for it.

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 07:31

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

i know stat drain has a faster recovery rate when you're below zero (or it used to be at some point), maybe the most simple solution is for drain to recover faster when you're drained really really badly? it's a very unlikely case but it seems silly that you can go about 2500 turns scumming for xp and not recover a single .1 of your skills, this could at least help you until you get back to 2-3 skill levels.

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Post Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 17:57

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Maybe draining should be able to push your skills into the negative, until you die because your negative fighting skill lowered your max HP to 0.
Or maybe you shouldn't be able to ever be drained past 0, so your first kill after being so drained immediately starts recovering your skills.
A less likely to be implemented solution would be to eliminate all draining once you kill the source, although a player could still run into this situation if they found themselves unable to kill sonja with their 0 skills.

To be honest taking lots of extra damage from draining once you've been drained into the red seems like enough. It's not so crazy to imagine a new player hitting tab tab tab "Oh, drained, but my HPs are still full, so no big deal I guess" tab tab tab tab. "Hah, take that Sonja! Wait why can't I hit anything?!?" But if their HP starting dropping fast they'd know something was going badly in the fight.

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Post Sunday, 17th April 2016, 17:27

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

I think the issue here is similar to the issue with contamination, that is, that the status light indicator basically conveys the information so vaguely it's difficult to differentiate when it's actually going to be an issue or not, outside of having a player pull up their skill screen every time an opponent with a draining weapon hits them. Yellow draining can mean anything from 'insignificant' to 'major impact' with red ranging from 'gonna suck' to 'horrible'. And then dark red is just 'oh, I didn't know this was a color, I really fucked up didn't I'?

Putting a number in parentheses next to drain to give some indication of how many levels are lost that a player can actually see and visualize the impact of an individual source would be swell.

Also do that for contamination, so that you can tell the difference between totally negligible and about to malmutate yourself if it gets any higher.

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Post Monday, 18th April 2016, 04:08

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

I don't believe trying to change the game to make it easier to not have to pay attention to what is going on around you would be a good thing. I like draining as-is, it provides a fairly unique challenge to be considered and as with other enemy abilities, depending on the circumstances there are times when you probably should GTFO if you can.

I think it would be nice though if the brands of weapons held by enemies had some kind of visual hint that is a bit less tedious to obtain information about (for web tiles.) Like red for fire, blue for cold, black for draining, etc. Maybe the color of the weapon or some tiny little logo. I don't know what to say about the fairness factor for non tiles players.. I don't see why they would mind since it seems they are already handicapping themselves so what is a bit more.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 29th April 2016, 23:40

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Aethrus wrote:I think the issue here is similar to the issue with contamination, that is, that the status light indicator basically conveys the information so vaguely it's difficult to differentiate when it's actually going to be an issue or not, outside of having a player pull up their skill screen every time an opponent with a draining weapon hits them. Yellow draining can mean anything from 'insignificant' to 'major impact' with red ranging from 'gonna suck' to 'horrible'. And then dark red is just 'oh, I didn't know this was a color, I really screwed up didn't I'?


This is exactly what I'm talking about. It's really hard to know how badly things are going without more feedback, and the current colors, while giving a vague idea of the general magnitude, still have a very large range for each color.

Aethrus wrote:Putting a number in parentheses next to drain to give some indication of how many levels are lost that a player can actually see and visualize the impact of an individual source would be swell.

Also do that for contamination, so that you can tell the difference between totally negligible and about to malmutate yourself if it gets any higher.


I think a number or something similar in parentheses would be an excellent idea, so you can easily see how badly things are going, instead of trying to guess if red is "somewhat bad" or "really bad". I know clutter on the screen can be a problem, but this would take up a minimal amount of space, and most of the time wouldn't be there at all, unless you spend large portions of the game drained/contaminated, and if you do, then you'd probably find it very helpful.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Friday, 29th April 2016, 23:43

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

You can alternate between drained and non-drained levels on the skills screen so I don't think it's that important to show a number on the main screen.

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Post Saturday, 30th April 2016, 00:48

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Wahaha wrote:You can alternate between drained and non-drained levels on the skills screen so I don't think it's that important to show a number on the main screen.


But the idea is to show you easily at a glance how bad it is, so you're not having to bring up your skill screen every few attacks.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Saturday, 30th April 2016, 03:30

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Oops, sorry, Twilight13 was me. I thought I typed in my normal login, but something got messed up?

Shoals Surfer

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Post Monday, 2nd May 2016, 13:33

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

If the status bar can support it, you could slowly color the letters of the status word with the next level of effect based on how close you are to it changing, like:
Drain
or
Contam

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Post Monday, 2nd May 2016, 16:55

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

That'd be great, if, as you say, it's actually possible. But even if not, you could have each letter be it's own status light...
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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 2nd May 2016, 18:52

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

What if, on draining, you got messages as your skills passed whole numbers on the way down? Might be problematic for message spam, but the info is pretty important...
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Post Monday, 2nd May 2016, 21:06

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

A better idea would be "as the drain-amount passes whole numbers." IIRC, draining works by increasing drainAmount, and every skill is actualSkillLevel - drainAmount. So as drainAmount hits one, two, three, you'd get a warning.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 18:27

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Doesn't the Demonspawn powered by death mutation give numbers next to the regen Status indicator (Maybe it's another mutation, I can't remember), like this?

Regen 1

Regen 2

etc? Or maybe it was Regen (1) and so forth. It's counting deaths, so you know how regenerative you are at the moment, but something similar with Draining would be nice, either as you passed whole skill numbers, or whole draining numbers, so you could see it stacking up. Messages in the console telling you when you lost whole skill levels would be a bit more cluttery, but still important information worth showing.

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Post Thursday, 5th May 2016, 13:03

Re: Recovering from Very Heavy Draining

Yeah, and song of slaying does something similar. That's a good point, why not just have drained (1), (2), etc instead of getting all fancy with color coding.

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