Micromanagement Reform

The topics on this page are for the distant future, they may never materialise. Comments are welcome, but if you only intend to add “this is silly” or “it won't work”, please don't. — dpeg 2011-11-13 03:36

Remove waiting for regenerating HP and MP

This is a pet idea of dpeg. The reason: having to rest after every fight is very mechanical and something that should be thrown out. A couple of more modern roguelikes do this. Note that pressing 5 to regain Health is already extremely abstracted and unrealistic (there are CRPGs who go for a more realistic model requiring longer periods of rest (think overnight camping) but that is usually less fun).

Here are some principal ideas to go about it (I will write “healing” to mean both HP and MP):

  1. Healing from kills (a la Makhleb). Rate would depend on species. (This sounds like a thematic nightmare, but the flavour could be adapted, including the good gods. Not to be done here and now.)
  2. Healing from potions only. Plenty of potions to be found. Drawback: this turns potions of healing into two-sided items, of tactical and strategical nature. In particular, it enforces the problems we have with item destruction (which is a good mechanic against tactical items but bad against strategical items).
  3. A mixture: Monster drop potions on kills (type of monster determines the chance and type (HP vs MP) of the potion).
  4. Another mixture: Walking over corpses heals a bit but only when it is safe to do so (nothing dangerous in sight). Advantage: can be delegated to autoexplore. Drawback: areas without corpses (that can be worked around, of course).
  5. Healing by eating (some usability project testers already tried that). Could be done with any food or with permafood only. (But see below, elliptic would like to remove eating as well.)

The differences between these are:

  • How much emphasis is put on actual killing. (Not so much an actual issue, since killing is necessary for skilling anyway.) If healing is done via potions, you have an easier time with skipping certain fights.
  • Tactically, when to heal: only after the battle is over, or for each killed monster individually. This matters not only in who to attack next but also how to kill.

The most serious issue with the whole idea is this: no matter what healing method we choose, a character can fade out: unable to heal up (or just very short on healing items), they cannot sensibly attempt the battles that would lead to healing powers. Even if they are stuck due to previous mistakes in assessment, this transforms the game. (It is already now possible to arrive in such a deadlock situation: your skills are not enough to kill whatever your are facing the in various branches, meaning that you cannot improve your skills (and gear) to increase killing power. However, that is a strategical impasse; the one about healing feels more tactical.) This does not mean that the change would make the game necessarily harder: that is a function of how much healing we hand out. For example, if there are very many healing potions to be found, then it is actually easier, since more tactical healing is available. Also, note that Deep Dwarves (and to some extent Vampires) can be seen as guinea pigs for the concept.

Some things to have in mind:

  • Regeneration should still be valuable in battle.
  • No scumming: for example, if innate healing is related to exploring, then players can be tempted to not explore levels fully when at full health, so as to have a “healing buffer” for later.
  • One could think of healing provided “by the dungeon”, for example with fountains giving back all (or some) health. This might work but seems more problematic than just handing out a number of portable items.
  • Games where you cannot backtrack get by with fully restoring whenever you enter a new level. This is not an option for Crawl.
Healing by potions means a lot of potions, so you can work through many battles simply by quaffing a potion every second turn. It is, of course, possible now too, but there are only so many potions at the moment, so you cannot pull this out in more than a few battles. — doublep 2011-11-13 13:13
Maybe no health regeneration could work,but i fear that no mp regeneration turns all casters into fighter/caster hybrids,to conserve their precious MP.
It could make sense to split strategic healing and tactical healing items. Killing monsters could provide fantasy “medkits” which take a certain number of turns to use, or in some other way aren't useable for mid battle healing. One other thing to keep in mind is that turning health into a storable resource gives every fight strategic implications. Killing a rat more efficiently with clever tactics means more healing available for zot or w/e later. It could make popcorn fights interesting, but it could also strongly encourage tedious but optimal behavior to avoid resource drains from non threatening monsters. — o_o 2011-11-13
But I like playing as a Mummy (and health through food/drink would kill THAT species)! And when I'm not playing as a Mummy, Fedhas and okhlob plants are just plain fun (death by exploding mushroom and killer plants… what's not to like?) Seriously, if time-based healing *augmented* by potions and such goes out the window, all that would be left is items (potions/food) and magic (add a set of Healing spells, follow Elyvilon, etc.) This would necessitate a lot of changes to DCSS gameplay mechanics, and I do mean lots. Since this section is about the “longterm” then I suppose speculation is fine, but some of the problems I potentially see are:
Game can only be played through the player character → Player character must therefore be alive → Alive means you have HP → This thread is about switching the fundamental means of acquiring HP → HP is therefore a fundamental gameplay mechanic, so this is going to be a so-and-so to implement, and require revision of gameplay (where does the health come from?), items (what effects health and how?, maybe spells (a whole new Healing and Restoration school?), DEFINITELY some playable species (like the Mummy, Deep Dwarf, and Vampire especially), how enemies deal with health/healing/damage, and likely a ton of other stuff I can't think of right now.
The downside is that the longer you wait, the more you'll have to revise when this gameplay mechanic is changed/modified. My suggestion would be that you (dpeg) get with the rest of the DCSS team (like through e-mail or chat), come up with a list of possibilities and the benefits/problems with each, then post it and let us peons go through it. Then we can tell you all our concerns (like my Mummy!) and you can tell us why we're idiots. :)=) — andy 2011-12-08 19:35
In my opinion a change as huge as this one should be done in a fork, not in DCSS. It strongly affects every part of gameplay and would fundamentally change how the game feels. Better to give it a new name instead of just changing the version number. — galefury 2011-12-08 20:49

Remove eating

I hope that elliptic has some comments on this.

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dcss/brainstorm/gameplay/longterm.txt · Last modified: 2011-12-22 00:29 by XuaXua
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