So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage finally


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Post Saturday, 4th January 2020, 14:55

So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage finally

I revisited this game once again with the release of 0.24.0 and with the unofficial console version being synced up with it. I only play on Android.

I was so happy to finally be able to comprehend my spell damage like how they show for regular attacks. I don't know about others but this subtle change drastically improved my gameplay experience with spell casters. I now knew roughly what damage my spells did and whether to forget them or not later. I'm not a person who wants to go deep into numbers, via the wiki etc. This seems to be applied across almost all forms of damage, be it an enemy throwing a fireball at you or you using a wand of acid. Love this. I now know when ****'s about to go down. "The fireball engulfs you!!!" is way more informative than the previous static messages. Even obscure damage like my weapon's pain brand is covered! I knew I was doing more damage thanks to my high Necro spell skill ("you bludgeon the ogre!! The ogre convulses!!" vs "you bludgeon the ogre!! The ogre convulses.")

However, having played a really long DwNe (my first spellcaster background reaching Zot, he just died FYI) I did notice one spell not having it. Vampiric Draining. I would like to report this if it's an omission but kind of new to the forums despite being a long-time player.

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Post Saturday, 4th January 2020, 18:10

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

if true, that sounds like a bug. file it over on mantis for better visibility with devs.
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Post Saturday, 4th January 2020, 22:33

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

oops nvm, edited to remove

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Post Monday, 6th January 2020, 07:39

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

It is a step in right direction, but seriously I don't see much difference between "you bludgeon the ogre. The ogre convulses." and "you bludgeon the ogre!! The ogre convulses!!". Now compare that to "you bludgeon the ogre (43) The ogre convulses (27)"
Our brain parses digits much better than punctuation, especially when comparing "you bludgeon the ogre!!!!!!" to "you bludgeon the ogre (315)".
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Post Saturday, 25th January 2020, 12:59

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin


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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 02:58

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

VeryAngryFelid wrote:It is a step in right direction, but seriously I don't see much difference between "you bludgeon the ogre. The ogre convulses." and "you bludgeon the ogre!! The ogre convulses!!". Now compare that to "you bludgeon the ogre (43) The ogre convulses (27)"
Our brain parses digits much better than punctuation, especially when comparing "you bludgeon the ogre!!!!!!" to "you bludgeon the ogre (315)".

You're not wrong but the decision to NOT show explicit numbers most of the time was and is a base design consideration for DCSS from the beginning. Just as I'm against over-meddling with stair mechanics, I feel changing this would be a strong alteration of the basic "flavor" of the game, pushing it further towards some imaginary "average" roguelike that has lost all of what made DCSS... DCSS.

vt

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:16

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

The status quo *is* to show an explicit number: "You bludgeon the ogre!!!!!!" doesn't not show the number six because it uses slashes instead of Arabic numerals. AFAICT the primary difference between it and "You bludgeon the ogre (6)" is that you have to count the exclamation marks to get the information most of us can get from glancing at the numeral. Either way you have to look up six in a spoiler table to convert it into a value that matches your other information about the monster and about you, i.e., damage that can be subtracted from hp.
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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:22

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

The monster HP is shown in the monster description. The explicit number we want is hit point damage. So if the monster has 150 HP and you get "you bludgeon the monster (43) The monster convulses (27)" you know it has 80 HP left. No need to convert anything.
...MiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}
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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:35

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Bozobub wrote:You're not wrong but the decision to NOT show explicit numbers most of the time was and is a base design consideration for DCSS from the beginning. Just as I'm against over-meddling with stair mechanics, I feel changing this would be a strong alteration of the basic "flavor" of the game, pushing it further towards some imaginary "average" roguelike that has lost all of what made DCSS... DCSS.


Other guys already replied to you, but I'd like to add that I don't see how displaying numbers can be compared to having stairs. The former does not affect gameplay at all, it is just QoL improvement that sometimes creates funny moments (being killed by a monster with 1 HP left or dealing 666 damage in a single attack). It's not like DCSS becomes chess if you can see more details because you can still deal or receive 0 damage 20 times in a row (speaking from experience here on both deal and receive part)
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vt

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 13:17

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Sprucery, with the explicit number we have *now*, whether it's represented as a series of exclamation marks or a numeral, you have to convert it to a range of damage values in terms of hit points (by using a table or knowing the rule) in order to compare damage usefully to monster max hp. Obviously a conversion is not needed if the game is changed to directly tell you the exact damage in terms of hit points taken off in the message.

My point is that you can see numbers representing damage done right now. It matters for at least some of the arguments that get wheeled out against just including the exact damage directly; for example, the idea that adding numbers will change the game to allow tedious bookkeeping is wrong because you can do that right now (but it's complicated since you have to keep track of ranges of damage).
Last edited by vt on Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 13:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 13:17

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Bozobub wrote:You're not wrong but the decision to NOT show explicit numbers most of the time was and is a base design consideration for DCSS from the beginning. Just as I'm against over-meddling with stair mechanics, I feel changing this would be a strong alteration of the basic "flavor" of the game, pushing it further towards some imaginary "average" roguelike that has lost all of what made DCSS... DCSS.


To the extent that mere opinion can be objectively wrong, this opinion is objectively wrong. There are versions of crawl you can play that show these numbers. Doing so does not destroy some ineffable quality of the game. Everything feels and plays the same, but if you're interested you can watch the numbers and get a feel for what's going on in combat a lot faster than you would without them.

In general, these appeals to "feel" or "roguelikeness" should be rejected in the strongest possible terms. It is absolutely false that changes of these kind can destroy the "character" of a game. This rhetorical tactic is purely manipulative. It has no analytic content. Claims of these kind have been disproven time after time over decades of experience with these games.
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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 19:55

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Personally, I would prefer it if exclamation marks indicated "Percentage of the creature's max possible HP" rather than being an absolute scale (Since doing twice as much damage to a creature that has twice as many hps is insignificant in terms of it's effect on your game) Of course my interpretation is that the whole point of the exclamation marks isn't to give data, but rather to generate a sense of excitement for doing something "cool" (that they do give data is just a side effect and an uninteresting one at that)
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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 22:31

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

"Percentage of the creature's max possible HP" is a lot worse for getting a sense for how good your weapon does over time with normal play (ie, not constantly pulling up monster stats).

that they do give data is just a side effect and an uninteresting one at that


"How much damage do my attacks do" is data many people are interested in, and the choice to reveal that data and to what extent has generated a lot of discussion---one might say, interest---over the course of crawl's development. If you don't care about the topic, you might, you know, not feel compelled to comment on it. If you do comment on it, you might consider how rude it is to come in to a thread just to tell people that what they are discussing does not interest you.

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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 00:19

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Nevermind
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 01:16

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Well, we could even have both: exclamation marks for percentages and the exact amount in parentheses! Perhaps the player could choose which display to use, if not both.
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 08:00

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

I still don't see how exclamation marks are better than numbers for percentages. How exactly is it supposed to work? One exclamation mark is 20% of monster HP or what? My branch was displaying it in the following form as far as I remember:
  Code:
You hit ogre for 47 damage. Ogre has 13 HP remaining.

What would you want to replace with exclamation marks here?
And my main question is "why would DCSS be worse if it used this form?"
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 09:24

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Showing a monster's exact HP would definitely make DCSS worse, because you'd get advantages from constantly monitoring it. For example, if you know a monster has 1 HP left, you know it's better to cast Freeze than to attack it with a weapon (or cast almost anything else). If you just know that the monster's HP is within a wide range, you don't have this problem.
Note that even the current system has this problem for monsters with low max HP!

You can indeed get away with showing player damage as long as you keep monster max HP randomized. However, you need to answer the question "Why would DCSS be better with this change?" Just saying that it wouldn't be worse is not enough.

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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 09:32

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

duvessa wrote:Showing a monster's exact HP would definitely make DCSS worse, because you'd get advantages from constantly monitoring it. For example, if you know a monster has 1 HP left, you know it's better to cast Freeze than to attack it with a weapon (or cast almost anything else). If you just know that the monster's HP is within a wide range, you don't have this problem.
Note that even the current system has this problem for monsters with low max HP!


Good point. My next question is why exactly is it bad? Because we would need to monitor it or because there should be no easy way to kill a monster. If the former, then we can somehow remove the need to monitor it. Something like
  Code:
Ogre has 13 HP remaining and can be killed with Freeze.

Of course the last part should be displayed only when player has Freeze memorized.
And then players can use "force_more_message += killed with Freeze" to automate the monitoring.
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 09:35

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

By the way you have a good point about why weapon accuracy should be displayed. Players have no idea how accurate their weapon is and how much damage spells do. It would be great to be able to use spells to guarantee kills, but currently it is kind of gambling which is bad IMHO.

PS. Maybe it could be added as a god who encourages smart fighting and gives hints about guaranteed kills:
  Code:
That ogre can be killed with Magic dart, my son

or even finishes almost dead enemies on their own:
  Code:
I killed that almost dead ogre for you, my son
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 20:26

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

vt wrote:"Percentage of the creature's max possible HP" is a lot worse for getting a sense for how good your weapon does over time with normal play (ie, not constantly pulling up monster stats).

that they do give data is just a side effect and an uninteresting one at that


"How much damage do my attacks do" is data many people are interested in, and the choice to reveal that data and to what extent has generated a lot of discussion---one might say, interest---over the course of crawl's development. If you don't care about the topic, you might, you know, not feel compelled to comment on it. If you do comment on it, you might consider how rude it is to come in to a thread just to tell people that what they are discussing does not interest you.


I'm not uninterested in changes to the game and the presentation of information. I'm claiming that *that specific metric* isn't actually a useful or interesting one.

It *sounds* useful, because "how much damage I do" sounds like something that it would be valuable to know, however my claim is that the amount of damage done is *irrelevant* without the context of what you're comparing it to, in this case monster hps (which are wholly unrelated to player hps, and providing player damage and player hps without providing monster hps gives you an unrealistic and misleading scale to compare it to) That's why I say that the number is uninteresting, because by itself it tells you literally nothing useful.

I contend that what's actually *important* is "how quickly am I likely to kill that thing" (something that, for things that are "currently decently hard things", stays in a similar range, throughout the game) and "percentage of a creatures max possible HP" is actually a better analogue for that then the damage with no context. If we're going to reveal damage numbers, then we, by implication, need to also reveal what the damage numbers are being applied to, because otherwise the information is useless.

Revealing *both* damage and monster HP would be something that the player could turn into actionable information, but as long as it remains an abstract, we might as well abstract the proportion between the two, which actually has merit, in addition to "generating excitement" (Besides "I almost one shot that thing instead of doing 25% of it's health" is a more exciting thing to me than "I did 7% of that creature's health in that attack instead of mere 2%", yet both could be represented by the same number of exclamation marks in the current system)
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Post Thursday, 6th February 2020, 20:57

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

I agree that seeing exclamation marks for the % of max hp damage done would, in general, be more useful than exclamation marks for absolute damage.
Currently at the beginning of the game I see almost no exclamation marks, and at the end of the game I can't see the difference between !!!!!!! and !!!!!!!!
if there was 1 ! for every 25% of maxhp damage done, it would be more useful.
If you actually want to optimise your weapon, you can scour the wiki or use fsim

vt

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Post Friday, 7th February 2020, 14:34

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Siegurt, you can see about what a monster's max hp is right now. (Well, I don't know why the display says "about.") So the game does expose the context you mention, and revealing how much damage you did does reveal (approximately) the percentage of monster hp you just took away. Am I missing something?

> at the end of the game I can't see the difference between !!!!!!! and !!!!!!!!

This seems like a good reason not to represent numbers above like four with a series of slashes.

> If you actually want to optimise your weapon, you can scour the wiki or use fsim

"Which weapon does more damage" is a very common question, and one that experienced and good players have trouble answering too. Wanting more information here isn't a niche desire. At the moment it is optimal---and not really in some highly theoretical, getting a tiny edge kind of way---to use fsim or become at least somewhat spoiled about how weapon damage works. It's nice that you don't personally mind that, but it's pretty clear that requiring spoilers to make good and informed decisions is a bad thing from the perspective on game design crawl has taken (which is obviously not to say it is the only bad thing or to be avoided at any cost).

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Post Friday, 7th February 2020, 17:31

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

vt wrote:"Which weapon does more damage" is a very common question, and one that experienced and good players have trouble answering too.
I don't think showing the damage of your hits would actually help players answer this question, because the variance of weapon damage is so high. And if finding out which weapon is better requires making a bunch of attacks with your real character than loses hp and piety, it's still gonna be just as optimal to use fsim or spoilers instead.

I'm not against showing damage, and I certainly would prefer seeing digits to seeing DCSS's current habit of representing numbers as an oblique series of '!' or '#' or '+'. But I don't think it solves this problem.

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Post Friday, 7th February 2020, 19:19

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Yeah, the game should just tell you straight up which of two weapons is better. It would be a reasonable addition to the dungeon crawl item search engine. Compare weapon and armor qualities, automatically rank them etc. So much mystification around these things could be eliminated by very simple, obvious features.
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vt

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Post Saturday, 8th February 2020, 03:16

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

Sure, I wouldn't complain about more up-front info, and I doubt most of the people who would like exact damage indicated would. But I figure that's even more not-going-to-happen than the thing we're discussing now. Using damage numbers to compare weapons is at least continuous with the method we are apparently supposed to use, try them and see what the results are. (Well, so the manual; I don't know how committed current devs are to what's in there).

> And if finding out which weapon is better requires making a bunch of attacks with your real character than loses hp and piety, it's still gonna be just as optimal

Unless the player has some costless way to get all the info fsim or whatever gives---or at least all of it that might lead to changing their in-game actions---it'll be optimal to do a bunch of fsimming (or whatever). I'd say giving all that in-game is a non-starter. Still I think it's a better design, all else equal, the thinner the edge fsimming gives you. "You could have saved a tiny bit of piety by killing things with the better weapon all along" is a pretty thin edge in most games.

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Post Saturday, 8th February 2020, 03:41

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

vt wrote:Still I think it's a better design, all else equal, the thinner the edge fsimming gives you.
I'm saying that I don't believe showing damage dealt would thin that edge. This isn't a game where weapon A does 5 damage and weapon B does 6 damage, it's a game where hits with this +4 flail do between 0 damage and 33 damage, but you probably won't see the 33 damage because it requires your fighting skill bonus and weapon skill bonus and strength bonus and enchantment to all roll their maximum and for several steps of random rounding to all round up, and then your other weapons not only have different max damage but different distributions of damage and the weapon with the highest maximum damage is often not the weapon with the highest average damage, and then monsters also have different AC and EV and SH. And then the player also has to remember to account for attack delay in their comparison. And then even if they somehow manage to come to a conclusion, it becomes obsolete as soon as they get more skill or strength or slaying or a different shield or...



edit: hey has anyone linked to the last thread yet

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Post Saturday, 8th February 2020, 06:16

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

I understand what you mean, but given how little feedback there is now and how off the wall unspoiled player's choices can be, I have trouble believing it wouldn't help at all. I'm not talking about people taking records and trying to reconstruct distributions, but getting a rough sense for what typical values are as they play with a particular weapon during "normal play." Perhaps I'm overoptimistic.

Anyway, seeing as how the linked thread makes it clear this discussion is academic at best.... *shrug*
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Post Sunday, 9th February 2020, 15:20

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

There is no such thing as "not going to happen." If these features are important to you, play forks that have them. Request features like sort by average damage in ctrl-F, if not in dcss then in other crawl projects. You may think people don't change, but personnel does and the fact is some developers who might have viewed this as a matter of principle in 2015 are now retired or largely inactive. Don't think things can't change because they haven't in the past. That is not how it works.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 04:35

Re: So happy to see exclamation marks in my spell damage fin

That's a good point. In fact, that's how several of the bigger changes to date happened ^^' .

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