Proposal: Rework Item Destruction


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

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 07:10

Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Potion and scroll destruction lead to fiddly behavior, like caching strategic items and dropping scrolls when you meet a fire drake. No one, apart from a Jiyva follower, will carry around cure mutation or acquirement. Food destruction is a less bothersome important problem, due to its rarity and very low probability of actually killing the player.

On IRC we discussed replacing item destruction with use prohibition. Fire effects prevent scroll use ("You're still smoldering!"), ice effects would block potion use ("You're too chilly to drink that!"). Food destruction could be replaced with the hated nausea status. This would shift the threat of item destruction from a strategic to tactical.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 08:39

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Good.
What would be fun is a God who uses piety like a fighting game style super meter. Piety decays rapidly outside of combat, builds up during fights, spend it for secret techniques and super moves.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 09:52

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Good!

It might be interesting to have ice cave and volcano have a permanent effect where you can't use items. Many players already drop their consumables outside these portals already.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 10:32

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Yes please. As an added benefit, it reduces the need for stashes since there's no need to keep your fragile stuff safe anymore.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 10:53

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Personally, I don't mind item destruction. And if we made these effects temporary, we'd have to reduce the overall spawn rate of several types of scroll. This would hurt the early game much more than the late game, since early on there are extremely few sources of item destruction but consumables are in limited supply and you don't yet have other means to deal with many challenges.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 11:30

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

The idea certainly has some merits.

The goal of the current item destruction mechanic (as I understand it) is to make sure players don't carry all their tactical consumables all the time. In other words, even if you have amassed six scrolls of blinking, you're probably better off running around with just one or two. The price to pay is a hefty dose of interface pain (for example, you can carry all your items, and drop almost all of them by the stairs; or you Ctrl-F a new scroll of blinking every time you used/lost one).

Brendan's proposal removes the interface worries, but you would then be able to carry all your scrolls of blinking. I also notice that you can still bypass the temporary potion/scroll disabling by dropping them. Regarding overall balance (more available items once item destruction is removed) I'd not worry so much. For example, every branch cut (we had many, and some will probably come) removed loot without compensation.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 12:35

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Although I thoroughly welcome the idea (I just played a game this morning with few nasty fire monster spawns) I'm not so worried about too many items, rather that it might add a lot of 'unfair deaths'. In so far as, scrolls/pots are your main route of escape/recovery, and if you weren't able to use them I think there would be a lot more 'unfun' situations of ending up completely stuck without an out. Obviously they burn away quickly now, but with a moderate amount of scrolls you can still find *something* to escape with.

This is compounded by the fact that most things that do destroy items also tend to be pretty dangerous (sticky flame for example) and it would drive players further towards absolutely needing a wand of teleport/blink (which they do anyway, but even more than now).

How about if certain scrolls became 'too hot to use' and potions 'too cold to use' which would grey out (or red/blue out) a few scrolls/potions at random?
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 12:39

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

mumra wrote:Personally, I don't mind item destruction. And if we made these effects temporary, we'd have to reduce the overall spawn rate of several types of scroll. This would hurt the early game much more than the late game, since early on there are extremely few sources of item destruction but consumables are in limited supply and you don't yet have other means to deal with many challenges.


Wouldn't it be posible to tweak the spawn rate of scrolls so that they apear more often in the early game and less often in the late game?

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 13:30

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Bim wrote:Although I thoroughly welcome the idea (I just played a game this morning with few nasty fire monster spawns) I'm not so worried about too many items, rather that it might add a lot of 'unfair deaths'. In so far as, scrolls/pots are your main route of escape/recovery, and if you weren't able to use them I think there would be a lot more 'unfun' situations of ending up completely stuck without an out.


Teleport is far too strong right now so more methods of being able to nerf it is not a bad thing. "Not having an out" just means that you already screwed up and killed yourself some number of turns in the past, the actual death is just somewhat delayed.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 14:20

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

yogaFLAME wrote:Teleport is far too strong right now so more methods of being able to nerf it is not a bad thing. "Not having an out" just means that you already screwed up and killed yourself some number of turns in the past, the actual death is just somewhat delayed.


I basically agree, but it's all about the amount of foresight that's needed. Scrolls and potions give you a way out of unexpected situations and help balance out the 'unfair' nature of the game. Although it's a RL and it's supposed to be hard and everything, one of Crawls strengths is that after the early game, most situations can be successfully navigated, and part of this is through scrolls and potions.

Basically, I could imagine it being *extremely* annoying for new/newer players to just suddenly not be able to use all their potions/scrolls when they were in situations where you need them most (situations like sticky flame/big cold attacks). I don't think it's a bad idea, I'd just prefer it to just randomly choose a few scrolls/potion slots and say 'These are too hot/cold to use' instead of saying 'you can't use any consumables except wands'.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 14:27

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Eh, I'm on the fence. I don't like when consumables get destroyed, especially enchant scrolls which have almost 0 tactical value, but part of me thinks never really losing consumables is too generous to the player. I'd be happy though if item destruction was more tied to how much damage you actually took, so armored characters wouldn't suffer disproportionately to evasion characters.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 14:51

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Just for the sake of discussion, here are some variants of the proposal:
  • Full prohibition (Brendan's original suggestion): getting hit with a certain type of attack (that would currently destroy potions or scrolls) denies use of all potions (or scrolls) for some time.
  • Prohibition per item: as above, but the attacks selects one or more potions (or scrolls), which would then be marked as "currently unavailable". This is more forgiving, but less clear-cut.
  • Statistical prohibition: instead of denying use outright, there could be a chance that it works, or it could just take longer.
  • Marbit's dangerous use version: reading scrolls while under the "hot scrolls" status effect has a chance to burn up the scroll instead.
Looking at this list, I like the strictest version best, though. It is a simple and very noticeable status effect. I don't think it comes up too often early enough: the only notable source which spring to mind are wands (which we can address, if we want) and orc wizards (which are okay even with this buff, in my opinion).
Last edited by dpeg on Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:04

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

dpeg wrote:Just for the sake of discussion, here are some variants of the proposal:
[*]Statistical prohibition: instead of denying use outright, there could be a chance that it works, or it could just take longer.[/list]


what about statistical item destruction when the player uses the item under the effect of fire or ice.
"as you draw the scroll of teleportation it catches fire and gets consumed before you finish reading it"

Devs can modiffy how often this happens to get almost the strict option (100% of the time) or something more relaxed (33%).

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:08

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Marbit: ah nice. Items would be safe as long as you don't try to use them. Already satisfies the Painless Interface criterion. Players would still shout strings of expletives in case their scroll does burn up. A definite improve over status quo, of course (the proposal, not the expletives).

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:19

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

This suggestion violates the Painless Interface principle, but I think retains more of the original purpose of consumable destruction.

What if destruction was weighted towards items at the "Top" of your inventory, i.e. earlier indexes. This way, with just a little use of =i, you could put your more valuable things towards the bottom. There would still be a noticeable chance of destruction even at the bottom, but it makes sense logic-wise, and gives the player some more decision making at a fairly low interface cost.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:39

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

TeshiAlair wrote:Sorting your inventory as necessary part of optimal play.

No. No. No! Please no. No. NO.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 15:50

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Those could be interesting effects, but they actually have very little to do with current item destruction. All variants of the proposal have no effect on inventory management. Depending on how it's implemented, per item suppression encourage either carrying as much as you can or drop the stuff before suffering the effect.
I'm a bit worried that being able to carry all your consumables without any risk or downside would remove a lot of tension.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 16:20

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

dpeg wrote:[Y]ou would then be able to carry all your scrolls of blinking.


What's the problem with this? It'll make some previously fatal encounters survivable, but at the expense of not having your scrolls of blinking later on (making future encounters potentially fatal!)

dpeg wrote:I also notice that you can still bypass the temporary potion/scroll disabling by dropping them.

This was discussed on IRC. Disabling individual items or stacks seems complicated and fraught with bizarre behavior around items on the floor.

I like Marbit's proposal. In some ways it's even nastier than the current item destruction because it causes turn loss.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 16:31

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

brendan wrote:I like Marbit's proposal. In some ways it's even nastier than the current item destruction because it causes turn loss.


What about turn loss minus the actual item destruction?

As you're trying to drink the potion, its contents freeze! You put the potion away to thaw.

As you're trying to read the scroll you notice its edges start to singe. You put the scroll away before it catches fire.


Whenever you're under the effects of the 'freezing' or 'burning' status (probably need some more appropriate names for that), reading a scroll/quaffing a potion has a 50% chance of causing one of the above messages, which wastes the turn but doesn't consume the item.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 16:40

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

FalconNL wrote:What about turn loss minus the actual item destruction?


There are merits to either solution. Simply skipping a turn would probably cause less player swearing (and be very similar to Blurred Vision). Destruction is strictly riskier and more keeping in line with the current behavior.

In practice I don't know which would work better, but I'm leaning toward destruction. We're moving the equation from "Do you want to carry that around?" to "Do you want to risk using that?" As an example, currently it's almost always preferable to use a scroll of teleport over the wand. If you think there's a risk of the scroll burning up, suddenly the wand looks more attractive.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 17:11

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Yeah, I think I actually like the whole "items only burn up if you try to use them after getting hit with fire/ice". It keeps the idea that potions/scrolls aren't 100% reliable and can be destroyed, but it really turns item destruction into something that's your fault, instead of just an issue of not wearing conservation, dropping items, or killing a popcorn orc wizard fast enough. It keeps destruction, but essentially protects items that have only strategic value without special-casing them.

Wasting the turn and losing the item seem fair game to me though. It's a roguelike; it's supposed to be cruel, just in a fair way.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 17:22

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

galehar wrote:Those could be interesting effects, but they actually have very little to do with current item destruction. All variants of the proposal have no effect on inventory management. Depending on how it's implemented, per item suppression encourage either carrying as much as you can or drop the stuff before suffering the effect.
I'm a bit worried that being able to carry all your consumables without any risk or downside would remove a lot of tension.

Yes, I understand what you mean. The change would mean players are indeed encouraged to carry all tactically relevant items on them.
However, I think that the tactical implications of "no scrolls for you!" are more interesting than the strategical implications of "you might be punished if you carry more than two of these".

I would certainly want to try the change. For that to matter, we would need enough scroll/potion inhibition sources.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 19:01

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

galehar wrote:I'm a bit worried that being able to carry all your consumables without any risk or downside would remove a lot of tension.

As minmay stated, as it stands with optimal behavior you're never without a nice padding of consumables: carry two or three scrolls of blinking at a time and if you use one or lose one, go back after the encounter and grab one that you left behind. The only difference with the new proposal is you'd have the ability to blow through a big stack of consumables in one encounter, which is a bad idea anyway (you'd be using up way more consumables than you need to). However I do see your point when it comes to Abyss/Pan/Hell, since in those places going back to your stash is not so simple.

But regardless, there is no doubt that this proposal would result in a significant increase in tension overall, since some enemies will now be able to cast temporary blurry vision on you.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 20:47

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

I also support this. I like Marbit's proposal best.

Here's where the item disabling idea originally came from.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 22:14

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

I like Marbit's suggestion as well, but I worry that it will mean only the commonly useful items will ever be touched.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 22:35

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Wear an amulet of conservation. If every feature that someone sometime found "annoying" in crawl was removed there wouldn't be much left of the game. And what would be left wouldn't be very challenging.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 22:43

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

On the other hand, if we kept "every feature that someone sometime found "annoying"", we'd still have nausea, praying to dedicate kills, and secret doors.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 22:46

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

The problem is this feature is it's annoyance comes from the fact it actively harms other features.
When was the last time you managed to use a scroll of holy word in combat? What about torment?
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:07

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

I've implemented Marbit's proposal. It has been pushed to the branch 'destruction'.
http://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl/commits/destruction

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:23

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

brendan: Awesome! Let's play it for a bit and see how it works out. I have no time for ##crawl-dev these days -- presumably the various approaches have been discussed at length over there.
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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:32

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

dpeg wrote:presumably the various approaches have been discussed at length over there.


There's a sentiment that this is a very large change and we'd need to modify item spawn rates to balance it out. I don't have the same intuition.

We discussed moving strategic scrolls (enchant weapon, acquirement) to a new indestructible item class while leaving existing destruction in place. neil pointed out that the flavor doesn't really work with lava orcs or djinni.

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:41

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Yes, I recall the talk about a new indestructible item type. Your change is much simpler, though (for players but I'm sure also for the code). I don't think we have to worry too much about LO or Dj at this point.

Regarding item spawn rates: in principle, it would be possible to automatically generate data on this: add a log note for every destroyed item (this can be done with an option) and write a script that collects all these lines. I would hazard a guess that many more items got lost from the level cuts (Lair, Hive, etc.) than from actual item destruction. But as I said, in principle this could be scientifically examined :)

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Post Saturday, 29th June 2013, 23:43

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Don't forget to remake conservation/preservation (also Ds and Slime god).
What would be fun is a God who uses piety like a fighting game style super meter. Piety decays rapidly outside of combat, builds up during fights, spend it for secret techniques and super moves.

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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 02:45

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

This sounds awesome. I don't think conservation needs any change with it.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 09:12

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

njvack wrote:I don't think conservation needs any change with it.

I thought "you can't use stuff" variant implemented, where current conservation mechanic does like nothing.
Reading is hard.
What would be fun is a God who uses piety like a fighting game style super meter. Piety decays rapidly outside of combat, builds up during fights, spend it for secret techniques and super moves.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 12:43

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Conservation either needs removal, or allows item use under harsh conditions.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 13:05

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

WildSam wrote:I thought "you can't use stuff" variant implemented, where current conservation mechanic does like nothing.
Reading is hard.

Brendan implemented the version in which, after receiving fire or cold damage, you risk destroying your potion/scroll if you try to use it.

XuaXua wrote:Conservation either needs removal, or allows item use under harsh conditions.

I see no need to remove or change conservation. Under the patch that brendan submited, conservation helps you to read scrolls / quaff potions after fire or ice damage.
That is if I understood the code correctly.

Check the code:
http://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl/commit ... a2f880a301
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 15:30

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Marbit wrote:I see no need to remove or change conservation. Under the patch that brendan submited, conservation helps you to read scrolls / quaff potions after fire or ice damage.
That is if I understood the code correctly.


Exactly. With the -Scroll/-Potion status there's a 50% chance of destroying an item on use. Conservation reduces this to 5%. Demonspawn mutations do the same and stack with conservation (1/2%). The base destruction chance can probably be shifted around (even 90% might be reasonable). My goal was to provide a starting point for tweaking and balancing.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 16:34

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

brendan wrote:Exactly. With the -Scroll/-Potion status there's a 50% chance of destroying an item on use. Conservation reduces this to 5%. Demonspawn mutations do the same and stack with conservation (1/2%). The base destruction chance can probably be shifted around (even 90% might be reasonable). My goal was to provide a starting point for tweaking and balancing.

Conservation should prevent the status in the first place - you shouldn't be able to swap amulets for conservation after getting hit by an attack.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 17:36

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

pubby wrote:Conservation should prevent the status in the first place - you shouldn't be able to swap amulets for conservation after getting hit by an attack.


Yes, this. Just like clarity doesn't cure confusion, just blocks it.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 19:12

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

I would say 50-60% is good to aim for (not that I've tested it extensively) to make it above a half chance that scrolls/potions won't work, but not so much higher that there is pretty much no point in even trying. In my opinion/what I would aim for is that if you have 4 teleport scrolls you should be more or less confident that you can initiate a teleport whilst burning through a lot of them.
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Post Sunday, 30th June 2013, 20:07

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

I realize the idea is still early and numbers will probably end up being tweaked, but we can even have multiple levels of the debuff with differing chances. The chance of getting the debuff could also depend on how much damage the attack did, to make it more fair for AC characters. If you want to go for realism, you could also make it so that if you're currently standing in fire/freezing vapor, your chances of item destruction are even higher than normal.

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Post Monday, 1st July 2013, 06:02

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

pubby wrote:Conservation should prevent the status in the first place - you shouldn't be able to swap amulets for conservation after getting hit by an attack.


Done.

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Post Monday, 1st July 2013, 09:41

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

These are the kinds of ideas and feedback that make me love this community.

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Post Monday, 1st July 2013, 14:12

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Would it be possible to have a config option that would warn you before you try to consume an item under these conditions?
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Post Tuesday, 2nd July 2013, 02:48

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

Moose wrote:Would it be possible to have a config option that would warn you before you try to consume an item under these conditions?


This is planned!
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Post Tuesday, 2nd July 2013, 19:57

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

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galehar wrote:I'm a bit worried that being able to carry all your consumables without any risk or downside would remove a lot of tension.

To put it bluntly: this is fucking stupid.

There's no tactical difference between carrying 2 scrolls of blinking or 6. There's a weight system to prevent players from carrying too many items. The tension you speak of has never and will never exist: it's a fantasy that only exists in your head.

Also please stop "improving" things. It seems your goal as a dev is to just add as much tedium and micromanagement as possible.
Last edited by Grimm on Wednesday, 3rd July 2013, 00:26, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Put insults in spoiler tags and added information.
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Post Tuesday, 2nd July 2013, 20:03

Re: Proposal: Rework Item Destruction

snow wrote:
galehar wrote:I'm a bit worried that being able to carry all your consumables without any risk or downside would remove a lot of tension.

To put it bluntly: this is fucking stupid.

You must be fucking smart to make such fucking clever statements. Oh my.

There's no tactical difference between carrying 2 scrolls of blinking or 6.

Man that's brilliant. Doesn't matter that you're just repeating what minmay already said, it's still awesome.

Sure, there's no difference between 2 or 6 scrolls of blinking. Except in Pan/Abyss but whatever. However, I'd say there is a difference between 2 and 6 potions of healing. Or why do people value the wand so much? And it might not make such a big difference for great players, but I do believe it does make one for less skilled ones.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
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