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Oramin August 7, 2013 04:04

The Monster Memory
 
David and I have been having a discussion on this subject. Since he decided to be a bit of a douche in his response (after I said I wasn't going to post any more as a courtesy to the other posters), I'm going to reply to him here.

David:

Here's my most recent post in the other thread:

Quote:


Ok, sorry about the delay and sorry about continuing this discussion (for those who don’t want it in this thread). The good news for you is that this will be my final post on the subject.

Anyway, David, let’s discuss the philosophy of game design.

Angband, as you know, is a “hardcore” game. You die, you start a new character. That’s part of the concept of the game. If you activate the in-game setting to have infinite lives (I’m assuming this is still an option - didn’t check), then you’re labeled a cheater by the game.

A game doesn’t have to be designed this way. Diablo II has two separate modes - Hardcore and Softcore. Ultima IV doesn’t even have a hardcore mode; you automatically get resurrected by Lord British if you die. If you have infinite lives in these games, then you aren’t cheating because the designers made the decision that it isn’t cheating.

When I start a character in Diablo II, I make the decision whether to play a Hardcore character or to have the convenience of a Softcore character. When I win the game, Hardcore and Softcore characters get different titles.

Now, suppose for a second that I have selected a Softcore character and manage to finish the game without dying a single time (which I have done several times). I could have won on Hardcore; should I be entitled to the Hardcore title? No, I shouldn’t be because I made the choice to have the convenience of infinite lives.

Now, as I’m sure you’re going to point out, the convenience of infinite lives isn’t the same thing as the convenience of the monster memory. Sure, that’s a valid point - but have you noticed that neither of the other games I mentioned have in-game monster memories? Yep, they have infinite lives but no in-game monster memories.

When Angband was designed, the Implementors (Blessings upon them), made a decision that a lot of information would be hidden in-game. For example, is there any real reason not to have full information in the game about the StandArts before you ever enter the dungeon?

The monster memory is a convenience and reward for playing the game. As players learn about the game, they get rewarded by the program conveniently keeping track of this information for them.

Every one of us who has won the game for the first time had to earn a complete monster memory; I see no legitimate reason to change that now.

Sure, it is denying experienced players like you the convenience of having it available because you don’t want to have the cheater flag enabled on a new character on a new machine. But, frankly, if you’re actually experienced, you should have a pretty good idea of what the monsters do. If you just installed a new copy of Angband on a new computer, is there a reason you can’t look at the online spoilers? For that matter, can’t you just setup a second Angband on the same computer with a different character and have that one with the complete monster memory?

Frankly, I’d prefer the devs to remove the monster memory entirely rather than have the cheater flag removed for unearned knowledge.

If the cheater flag bothers you so much, you know what to do about it. I didn’t deserve the Hardcore titles for my Softcore character even though my character didn’t die because I made the choice to play a Softcore character. People who choose to have the game generate a complete unearned monster memory don’t deserve to avoid the cheater label even if that (extremely) slightly inconveniences experienced players.
Now, here is David's response:

Originally Posted by Oramin
Now, as I’m sure you’re going to point out, the convenience of infinite lives isn’t the same thing as the convenience of the monster memory.

Infinite lives aren't a convenience, they fundamentally change the game. We have ample evidence about this. When you make it easy for people to just keep playing when they die, or revert to a recent save, they play the game very differently. A strategy and style of play that dies dozens of times before reaching the end becomes no big deal. Yet if you played "hardcore" with such a strategy your chance of ever winning would be almost exactly zero.

Monster memory doesn't change the game at all. People who want to know what the monsters can do, just look in the source or in the spoiler file or in their browser. It takes a few extra clicks, so it's an annoyance, but it's like deleting the run command and making everyone move every single step one at a time, or like getting rid of macros. The game isn't any different if you have to move one step at a time and you can't use macros, the things you can do are all exactly the same, the game is just more annoying to play.


Quote:
Every one of us who has won the game for the first time had to earn a complete monster memory; I see no legitimate reason to change that now.

No, we just didn't. I never played Angband without looking up what the monsters can do, from the very beginning, sometime in the early 1990s. I always thought of that as the only way to play the game. My observation is that most Angband players also played in that same way.

If I really had no other way to learn what monsters could do than by encountering them, I never would have played Angband in the first place, because I don't enjoy that, I think it makes the game dumb. I don't have any problem with players who do enjoy playing that way, but the game was always completely public so that everyone could view the source, plus the spoiler files were just as available as the game itself. All of this information was out there so that people who wanted it could use it.

When I happened to think of playing Angband again, some months ago, I discovered that many improvements had been made to the game, and one of the biggest of those was the option to have all of the monster data immediately accessible and automatically displayed through the monster memory! Fabulous improvement!


Quote:
If you just installed a new copy of Angband on a new computer, is there a reason you can’t look at the online spoilers?

Of course. I can and I do. Like so many others. I don't need to do it for monsters, because of complete monster memory, but I do it for other things.


Quote:
If the cheater flag bothers you so much, you know what to do about it. I didn’t deserve the Hardcore titles for my Softcore character even though my character didn’t die because I made the choice to play a Softcore character. People who choose to have the game generate a complete unearned monster memory don’t deserve to avoid the cheater label even if that (extremely) slightly inconveniences experienced players.

It doesn't bother me at all. People will make one decision or the other, and the game will go on. Either I'll play the game the way it is or I'll just modify the code. Easy enough either way. But neither alternative will keep me from also making the case for making the game better. You were the one who asked me to make my argument, remember? (Practically demanded it.)

P.S. You also never explained at all what your "public map" analogy has to do with anything. After demanding my response, it seems that you ignored it because it actually undermines your argument.

-----------------------------------------

So, I'm going to address a couple of things.

1. A free Monster Memory provides people with information that makes the game easier to play. The fact that you admitted that you wouldn't have played the game without having access to the spoilers demonstrates the difference between having the information and not having the information.

2. I've been playing this game just as long as you have. As far as I know, you *could* get the information but it certainly wasn't as freely available as you're making it out to be. And, in case you're missing the point, you always had to get it *outside* of the game.

Also, I don't know where you're getting your information from in this quotation:

Quote:

No, we just didn't. I never played Angband without looking up what the monsters can do, from the very beginning, sometime in the early 1990s. I always thought of that as the only way to play the game. My observation is that most Angband players also played in that same way.

Oh, really, what a shock. Based on *your* observations, *most* Angband players played like you. Well, based on *my* more honest observations, nobody I know played like you. They weren't lazy bastards and actually tried taking on the challenge of figuring the game out.

Now, I don't have a problem with you being a lazy bastard, David, just as long as you don't get the same title that the rest of us earned by staying within the parameters of the game.

3. As for this:

Quote:

P.S. You also never explained at all what your "public map" analogy has to do with anything. After demanding my response, it seems that you ignored it because it actually undermines your argument.
This is where you decided to be a bit of a douche and try to take advantage of the fact that not only was I trying to keep that post short but that I also said I would be courteous enough not to respond in that thread. So, fine, I'll get to it.

Here's the original questions I asked you:

Quote:


Ok, let me explain this a different way.

Suppose you are playing a game with a persistent map.

In the beginning, in order to have a copy of the map, you have to engage in copious note taking.

Finally somebody decides that is inconvenient and includes an automapping feature so that a record is kept of the map where your character has explored.

See the difference between the map that you have earned by exploring and having the full map revealed in-game the instant you start playing?

Or how about if you are playing a game where you speak with NPCs and the conversations are the same between games.

In the beginning, in order to have a copy of the conversations, you have to engage in copious note taking.

Finally somebody decides that is inconvenient and includes a log of the in game conversations so that a record is kept of conversations that your character has had.

See the difference between the log of conversations that you have earned by exploring and talking to NPCs and having every conversation in the log before you've ever played the game?


There's a difference between a convenient method of recalling information you have already earned by playing the game and getting free information.

I'd like to point out that it took multiple attempts before you would answer even *one* of those questions, and when you finally did, well, here it is:

Quote:

Some games are designed to be played once only, and some games are designed to be played over and over again.

If you have a game with hidden information that is only supposed to be played once, and there's no point in replaying because once you've played through it you know the hidden information (e.g., the point of the game is to find locations, and once you know where they are then the game is uninteresting), then revealing the hidden information before you play would sap some of the point of the game.

On the other hand, if the game is designed and intended to be played many times, then it's expected that you will may know the map (from previous playings) and the game will still maintain its character. In that case, it would definitely make sense to have an option (or even an automatic choice) to reveal the map from the start, and it doesn't make any sense to call that "cheating". It's just giving you information that everyone can already have from previous playings. Some people might prefer to reveal information as they go, in their first playing, while others might prefer to just see it all from the beginning. Everyone should play as they want and there's no reason to call one approach "cheating".

If knowing the map is a big advantage, but you want to make the game replayable, then the best solution is to make the maps random rather than fixed. That way it can be different every time and hidden from the start.

I used to play multiplayer AOWSM, sometimes on fixed maps and sometimes on random maps. When we played on random maps, we would usually play with the map hidden from the start, and each player would have to explore to discover the map. When we played on fixed maps, we would generally expose the whole map to everyone from the start, so that some players don't get an advantage over others from knowing the map better. Exposing the map there is not "cheating", it's a balancing mechanism. To say that some players have the map exposed from the start, because they have played it before and it stays revealed for them, while others have to explore it from scratch, with no peeking, would seem unfair to me.

This is my best attempt to answer (one of) your hypotheticals. That's about as much effort as I care to invest in this. If you need to refine or elucidate or interpret your examples further, I suggest you at least make a new thread for them.

Note that you started your long-winded answer with this:

Quote:

Some games are designed to be played once only, and some games are designed to be played over and over again.
You decided to base your answer on game design and avoid actually answering the question as it was presented to you.

So, I responded with a discussion of the philosophy of game design since that was the basis of your response.


Let me repeat: There's a difference between a convenient method of recalling information you have already earned by playing the game and getting free information.

Just because you *can* get it outside of the game that doesn't mean the game should provide it for you. And, yes, you've already admitted that it does alter the gameplay because you admitted that you wouldn't have played the game without using the spoilers.

Finally, while you can claim that your suggestion is to improve the game, I think that you're really just trying to improve it for *you*.



If you want to continue this, now that we're in a different thread, I have no problem explaining things to you until even somebody with your intentional (and I believe it is intentional) obtuseness can get the point.

P.S.

I don't feel like going back to edit this point in. Having infinite lives does *not* fundamentally change the approach to the game. I play my Softcore D2 characters *exactly* the same way I play my Hardcore D2 characters. However, if I choose to have the safety net of playing a Softcore character, I don't deserve the Hardcore titles even when I finish the game without dying (which is most of the time).

Derakon August 7, 2013 04:19

I'll note that the only times, so far, that I've seen an argument with DaviddesJ end are when the other party gives up and walks away. As far as I can tell, he is physically incapable of letting anyone else have the last word in any discussion.

Thanks for moving this to a new thread though, so at least we can keep the 3.5 freeze thread clean.

Oramin August 7, 2013 04:43

Derakon:

I figured. I was going to let him have the last word until he decided to imply that I was arguing in bad faith. ;)

Scatha August 7, 2013 10:54

Just to give a data point: while I think there's something cool about the exploration aspect of not knowing what a monster does when you first meet it, I only have a certain amount of time to play games in and I'm much more likely to want to engage with a turn-based game (such as a roguelike) if it's telling me all of the relevant rules (such as what that red 'D' can do).

So something's which changed since Angband was first written is that people have many more games competing for their time. If I knew ahead of time that I'd be sinking 100 hours into the game, I might prefer the exploration aspect of no monster memory. But presenting the information freely allows me to engage with the game more quickly. I think this would actually be a great precedent to set, as it would encourage variants to go the same way by default, which would in turn make them easier to try out.

Nick August 7, 2013 11:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 83309)
Just to give a data point: while I think there's something cool about the exploration aspect of not knowing what a monster does when you first meet it, I only have a certain amount of time to play games in and I'm much more likely to want to engage with a turn-based game (such as a roguelike) if it's telling me all of the relevant rules (such as what that red 'D' can do).

So something's which changed since Angband was first written is that people have many more games competing for their time. If I knew ahead of time that I'd be sinking 100 hours into the game, I might prefer the exploration aspect of no monster memory. But presenting the information freely allows me to engage with the game more quickly. I think this would actually be a great precedent to set, as it would encourage variants to go the same way by default, which would in turn make them easier to try out.

That's a really good point.

takkaria August 7, 2013 12:47

This argument has pretty much convinced me that full monster memory shouldn't be a cheating option. I find the 'monster memory is a reward from the game, something you earn and something you have to deserve in order to have' line to be weirdly moralistic, especially in light of the huge amounts of extra information the game has made available to players in recent years.

If you see monster memory as a reward, then it makes sense that it has to be earned, I guess. I don't see it as a reward; the reward for fighting monsters is the XP they bring. Monster memory is just a convenience. It's an automating of something that you could do manually. Angband in recent years has a history of automating things that you could do manually: the monster list, the object list, the 'I' command, being able to see what's in the stores when you're in the dungeon (using the ~) command and so on. I don't see this as being any different.

Timo Pietilš August 7, 2013 13:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 83313)
If you see monster memory as a reward, then it makes sense that it has to be earned, I guess. I don't see it as a reward

As long as you do add it as option I don't care. I like to have something more to find, so I like to have cumulating monster memory. I see it as an reward I guess.

takkaria August 7, 2013 13:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83315)
As long as you do add it as option I don't care. I like to have something more to find, so I like to have cumulating monster memory. I see it as an reward I guess.

Yeah, it would always be an option, and off by default. I prefer not to have full knowledge straight away myself.

Timo Pietilš August 7, 2013 14:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 83316)
Yeah, it would always be an option, and off by default. I prefer not to have full knowledge straight away myself.

Monster descriptions could need some work so that you get a better hint of how dangerous some previously unknown monster really is.

Maybe also some information you get from one monster of some type could give you information of all of it's kind (all dragons and zephyr hounds have breath attacks for example), so when you meet drolem for the first time you see from monster description that it can have breath weapon (drolem is dragon for slay point of view).

Derakon August 7, 2013 15:21

That could actually be an interesting project. You could break monsters down into categories based on their symbol, color, and substrings of their name (e.g. "white", "fire", etc.) and then track what attributes creatures in a given category have in common and use that to insert probabilistic entries into the monster memory.

I'm not gonna do it myself, but it does sound interesting.

Oramin August 7, 2013 15:31

Takkaria:

Fine. I've made my point. If you add it as a non-cheating option in Vanilla then you're changing the design philosophy of the game. You would be using the excuse of a cool convenience (allowing us to avoid note-taking) to provide free information within the game.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the other Rogue-like games have ever told the player what the monsters do prior to facing them. Nor has Vanilla without it being a cheat option.

And, yes, it does alter actual gameplay. Suppose that you're a Warrior with decent melee gear including a lucky Trident of Wrath drop and you're facing Mim for the first time. A player not knowing about the disenchant attack is likely to try meleeing Mim. A player with the free monster memory won't. If you're a Mage, you'll find out, in advance, that he's resistant to all the elements (IIRC) without trying out the attacks on him first.

Surprises are part of the game.

Sure, the information is easy enough to get because people have provided the spoilers. People have provided spoilers for many other games as well; should the devs go back into those games and provide that information at the start of the game in-game because of that fact?

Just because it is easy to "cheat" doesn't mean that it should be declared not to be cheating.

Also, note that one of your examples, being able to see what is in the stores while you're in the dungeon, IIRC it shows you what was in the stores the last time you were in town, so it is information that you *could* have found in-game and copied down.

If you want to have something like Scrolls of History or Scrolls of Probing within the game to make monster info easier to come by then I don't have a problem with it. I do have a problem with free in-game information for the player that isn't something the character could reasonably have discovered.

Oramin August 7, 2013 15:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 83309)
Just to give a data point: while I think there's something cool about the exploration aspect of not knowing what a monster does when you first meet it, I only have a certain amount of time to play games in and I'm much more likely to want to engage with a turn-based game (such as a roguelike) if it's telling me all of the relevant rules (such as what that red 'D' can do).

So something's which changed since Angband was first written is that people have many more games competing for their time. If I knew ahead of time that I'd be sinking 100 hours into the game, I might prefer the exploration aspect of no monster memory. But presenting the information freely allows me to engage with the game more quickly. I think this would actually be a great precedent to set, as it would encourage variants to go the same way by default, which would in turn make them easier to try out.



An interesting argument but why can't people simply use the spoilers if they have limited time and want information about the game? Why make it a non-cheating option for free in-game information?

Besides, how many people who play Angband aren't going to have a pretty good idea of what a red 'D' is going to do? ;)

Seriously, a lot of the monsters in the game are based on monsters from other sources. Folks who have read Tolkien have a general idea of what those monsters do. Folks who have played AD&D have a general idea of what those monsters do.

If you want to provide information in the base descriptions to help people avoid insta-death situations (e.g. with the Tarrasque "Many of the greatest Warriors throughout history have been instantly slain by the noxious breath of this foul beast."), then do it. Don't tell people in advance information that their characters haven't discovered by playing the game.

takkaria August 7, 2013 16:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83321)
Takkaria:

Fine. I've made my point. If you add it as a non-cheating option in Vanilla then you're changing the design philosophy of the game. You would be using the excuse of a cool convenience (allowing us to avoid note-taking) to provide free information within the game.

I really don't think that it's changing the design philosophy of the game; I think it follows a lot of design decisions from the beginning of Angband to now, where information previously unavailable in-game is made available in-game.

Quote:

And, yes, it does alter actual gameplay. Suppose that you're a Warrior with decent melee gear including a lucky Trident of Wrath drop and you're facing Mim for the first time. A player not knowing about the disenchant attack is likely to try meleeing Mim. A player with the free monster memory won't. If you're a Mage, you'll find out, in advance, that he's resistant to all the elements (IIRC) without trying out the attacks on him first.
Sure, I never said it didn't alter gameplay.

Quote:

Surprises are part of the game.
Yup, they are - I'd prefer to play without full monster info.

Quote:

Sure, the information is easy enough to get because people have provided the spoilers. People have provided spoilers for many other games as well; should the devs go back into those games and provide that information at the start of the game in-game because of that fact?
I don't really have an opinion on that. What other devs do with their games should depend on what they think.

Quote:

Just because it is easy to "cheat" doesn't mean that it should be declared not to be cheating.
I really don't think looking at monster spoilers is cheating, especially not for an experienced player.

Quote:

Also, note that one of your examples, being able to see what is in the stores while you're in the dungeon, IIRC it shows you what was in the stores the last time you were in town, so it is information that you *could* have found in-game and copied down.

If you want to have something like Scrolls of History or Scrolls of Probing within the game to make monster info easier to come by then I don't have a problem with it. I do have a problem with free in-game information for the player that isn't something the character could reasonably have discovered.
This is an argument from realism and I find those very unconvincing in Angband. There's loads of information in the game that the character in the fictional game universe wouldn't know - like the damage dice of the weapon, the numbers on the character screen, the number of turns you've been playing for etc.

I understand you feel strongly on this issue but you can just not play with the option on. Angband's got loads of difficulty options already and I don't see why this can't be another one.

Oramin August 7, 2013 16:19

Takkaria:

Right, that why I put "cheat" in quotes. I don't consider experienced players looking something up outside of the game to be cheating because they've already discovered the information. It isn't any different from referring to your own notes.

On the other hand, I believe that getting free information without discovering it in-game *is* a form of cheating and so did whoever originally came up with that cheat option.

Regarding realism, showing the damage dice on weapons is a representation of what our characters should know by having lived in that world. A dagger generally does much less damage than a long sword. To convey the information that our characters have to our players we get to see the damage dice. Ditto with our stats since we don't get to admire our characters' bulging muscles in handy-dandy mirrors. Number of turns is just time keeping - how long since you graduated from college? (Not actually asking, just using that as an example.)

Incidentally, if we want to ignore realism, why don't we completely eliminate food and light sources from the game?

Timo Pietilš August 7, 2013 16:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83322)
An interesting argument but why can't people simply use the spoilers if they have limited time and want information about the game?

Because it spoils the game? Hence the name "spoilers".

I think you are asking a wrong question, I think better question is why people think they need to use spoilers?

If person is interested about finding things without actually playing the game then they could always have text-editor open with monster.txt in it. This finding things outside game is a engineer phenomenon: you have some neat gizmo and you tear it apart trying to figure out how it works instead of just use it for what it is supposed to be used to.

debo August 7, 2013 16:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 83309)
Just to give a data point: while I think there's something cool about the exploration aspect of not knowing what a monster does when you first meet it, I only have a certain amount of time to play games in and I'm much more likely to want to engage with a turn-based game (such as a roguelike) if it's telling me all of the relevant rules (such as what that red 'D' can do).

So something's which changed since Angband was first written is that people have many more games competing for their time. If I knew ahead of time that I'd be sinking 100 hours into the game, I might prefer the exploration aspect of no monster memory. But presenting the information freely allows me to engage with the game more quickly. I think this would actually be a great precedent to set, as it would encourage variants to go the same way by default, which would in turn make them easier to try out.

+100000

I don't really care how this ends up going in V one way or another, but I personally played V with spoilers the first time around because it is incredibly long. I'm not going to play to 4000' just to die to something that has a 1600HP damage breath because I didn't know it could do that -- or if I do, I'm probably never going to play again. With things like Nexus in the game, it's even worse -- although most nexus things advertise their powers in their names, IIRC.

I was also lucky that people here were so responsive to questions, which avoided a lot of the dying-at-3000'-because-I-didn't-know-it-was-coming problems. Even if you know what a monster does, you still have to learn how to deal with it reliably, or in combination with other things -- that's a whole other level of learning that, for me, is really the fun part.

I tried to sort of play Sil without any spoilers or reverse engineering the first few times because it's relatively much shorter. I still ended up gunning for loremaster pretty early on, though, because I don't have fun discovering stuff about what things can do, I have fun figuring out what to do with it once I know what it does.

Places where I do find discovery interesting are e.g. new area types ("cool I've never seen this terrain / situation before") which many variants are good at. in V, I think I probably would have appreciated the ability to play with spoilers on right in-game as a new player. I'd still appreciate it if I were to play again.

Oramin August 7, 2013 17:11

Debo:

So your argument is that you want the information because the game is so long?

Angband was, to an extent, designed to be a marathon. In Rogue, you had to go down to the 26th level to pick up the Amulet of Yendor. In Larn, there were 10 levels of the dungeon (which you don't actually need to complete) and 3 levels of the volcano. In Moria, there were 50 levels. I don't know the specifics for NetHack or Omega.

Length is sort of the point of Angband.

As I indicated, I can understand wanting to avoid insta-death situtations and making the information easier to obtain by playing the game. I don't think that a free complete monster-memory should be a non-cheating option. That's sort of like saying that you want to play the game by not playing it.

Derakon August 7, 2013 17:16

Just because Angband is a long game and there's a sizable time investment doesn't mean that the player should be okay with dying over and over again. Sure, that's how many people play the game, myself included, but I can definitely understand the opposed attitude of "Look, I only have so much time to dedicate here, and I'm not gonna spend it replaying the game just so I can learn each new way to die."

For most games, I figure anywhere from 10-40 hours is a reasonable time investment; if the game expects me to invest more than that then it's doing something wrong. Angband may be an exception to that rule for me, but that doesn't mean that it's exceptional for everyone.

In any event, the bottom line is that it's a singleplayer game, so however you choose to enjoy it is up to you. Your use of spoilers does not harm my game. If we want to move the "always have full monster memory" option from the cheats section to the birth options section, then I am totally fine with that (barring the technical problem of us being full up on birth options already, anyway...).

Oramin August 7, 2013 17:44

Ok, let me see if I can explain it differently.

Consider the two spells Clairvoyance and Probing.

Suppose we had an option to allow auto-mapping of the entire level the instant you enter it. I suspect many of us would regard that as cheating (if not, feel free to pipe up). IIRC, that's part of what Wizard mode in an earlier version of Angband used to do (might have been Moria, this is from 20 years ago).

That's the equivalent of being given an infinite supply of the Clairvoyance spell.

A free complete version of the monster memory is like being given an infinite supply of an improved version of the Probing spell (don't even need to be in LOS).

Either both are cheating, neither or cheating, or you can draw a distinction between the two. Personally, I think both should be considered cheating.


Derakon:

You are correct that since this is a single player game what one player does ostensibly does not affect any other player.

So, are you fine with eliminating *all* cheating options?

Infinite lives, you still get to be a *WINNER*. Creating items, you still get to be a *WINNER*.

I also understand that people want to invest limited amounts of time, but they are quite capable of just looking at the spoilers as opposed to the game providing them the information.

(If you like, we can get into a discussion of whether players in the steroid era belong in the Hall of Fame. ;) )


Edit:

Also, the simple fact that we're having the discussion not of adding an option for a free complete monster memory but of removing the cheating flag for using that option pretty much demonstrates that it does matter. If it didn't then the people using the option wouldn't have a problem being flagged as cheaters in their single player high score list, would they?

bio_hazard August 7, 2013 20:52

I'd prefer NOT to have auto-monster memory labeled as a cheat. I'm a pretty casual (and pretty bad) player who doesn't play that often. Sometimes I play with the monster memory cheat on, because I really don't care about my ladder scores. At the same time, there are clearly degrees of cheating, and that one is pretty minor. It shows up in the birth options, so if someone really cares about it their mark of shame will be there for all to see even if it doesn't say CHEAT all over in big bold letters.

Thematically, it doesn't make any sense to me why player memory would transfer @-to-@, but @ never brags about anything to the shopkeepers who are actually persistent game-to-game. Also, the uniques are, you know, famous things in the world of Angband.

Since the monster attributes are static game-to-game, the "get knowledge" part of the game is not interesting (i.e. fun) to me. To me it seems like an artificial hurdle because it's something that mostly affects beginners.

If monster attributes were variable, then everyone would have to play the "get knowledge" minigame every time the head into the dungeon. I would actually prefer something like this if it were well implemented.

but hey, this is all just my opinion. I'm not that passionate about it one way or the other, and I think it's kind of neat that not only is there a team of coders working to keep the polish on a 30 year old game, but there are players who are ready to write thousands of words in an internet forum defending her honor. Go on, buddy, tell us what's what! :D

Oramin August 7, 2013 21:26

Bio_Hazard:

(Text inserted to make the post long enough.)

;)

AnonymousHero August 7, 2013 21:36

Look, it's very simple.

As a player who wants information about monsters at the time I face them I (currently) have two options: a) be labeled a cheater, or b) suffer the huge and insurmountable (/sarcasm) inconvenience of opening monster.txt in a text editor and doing a Ctrl+F once in a while. Which am I most likely to choose if I, for example, am going to post my character to the ladder?

The point being the negative connotation of "cheat" and the relatively small inconvenience of monster.txt versus having in-game perfect recall: Labeling the option as a cheat option can only encourage people to meta-game rather than enabling the friggin' option. As long as the effort to open monster.txt in an editor is trivial (it is) nobody's actually going to use an option labeled "cheat". (Well, OK, some will but people playing roguelikes are a weird bunch :))

Nick August 7, 2013 21:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 83291)
I'll note that the only times, so far, that I've seen an argument with DaviddesJ end are when the other party gives up and walks away. As far as I can tell, he is physically incapable of letting anyone else have the last word in any discussion.

I dunno, Derakon, he might just have met his match :D

Oramin August 7, 2013 22:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnonymousHero (Post 83340)
Look, it's very simple.

As a player who wants information about monsters at the time I face them I (currently) have two options: a) be labeled a cheater, or b) suffer the huge and insurmountable (/sarcasm) inconvenience of opening monster.txt in a text editor and doing a Ctrl+F once in a while. Which am I most likely to choose if I, for example, am going to post my character to the ladder?

The point being the negative connotation of "cheat" and the relatively small inconvenience of monster.txt versus having in-game perfect recall: Labeling the option as a cheat option can only encourage people to meta-game rather than enabling the friggin' option. As long as the effort to open monster.txt in an editor is trivial (it is) nobody's actually going to use an option labeled "cheat". (Well, OK, some will but people playing roguelikes are a weird bunch :))


You do realize that your argument boils down to "It is incredibly easy to cheat and I'm going to do it anyway so therefore it shouldn't be considered cheating."?


“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
― John Wooden

From:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quot...41.John_Wooden

Oramin August 7, 2013 22:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 83342)
I dunno, Derakon, he might just have met his match :D

That has yet to be determined. He hasn't had much time to post in this thread yet. ;)

Djabanete August 7, 2013 22:48

(1) There is something to be said for exploration (acquired monster knowledge), and something to be said for transparency (automatic monster knowledge). But in of Angband, the difference in difficulty between the two is a mere hairsbreadth. Even when I was a new player, I only died once or twice to the unknown, and much more often to my own rashness. Rather than being a question of difficulty, I think acquired vs automatic monster knowledge is a question of enjoyment for personalities who cannot abide "gotcha" moments (such as having Mim put -1/-1 on your artifact weapon), and for people who often change between computers/game versions. I support adding a non-cheat option.

(2) Tangent: monster memory should say what things a monster doesn't resist. It's frustrating when information that my ancestors have learned through trial and error isn't there. (The lack of mention of, say, fire resistance could be owing to a monster's lack of fire resistance, or I might never have used fire on this monster before --- my human memory doesn't know if I have or not, but my character's monster memory ought to.)

(3) @OP: Please, let's not have name-calling in our discussions on this site.

Quote:

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
― John Wooden
In this case we can deduce that AHero, like many others, prefers his strategy games to come with transparency when no one is watching. But it sounded kind of like you were trying to say something less nice.

AnonymousHero August 7, 2013 23:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83343)
You do realize that your argument boils down to "It is incredibly easy to cheat and I'm going to do it anyway so therefore it shouldn't be considered cheating."?

No. I'm saying that it literally does not matter if it's called cheating or not -- unless you're competing against others on a supposedly equal footing. If it's an option, everyone can see exactly what I've done when I upload my character. If it's a "cheat" option I'm not even sure I can upload my character.

(In fact, I'd be for removing the "cheat" flag from every single option and just uploading the option information when you upload a character and be done with it. That may be a bit extreme for others, but whatever.)

The only context in which this matters is if you're competing against others, and I'm saying it's absurd to call it "cheating" if you're just playing against yourself.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83343)
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
― John Wooden

"A witty saying proves nothing". - Voltaire. So please stop it with the smugness, mkay?

Oramin August 7, 2013 23:27

AnonymousHero:

Quote:

(In fact, I'd be for removing the "cheat" flag from every single option and just uploading the option information when you upload a character and be done with it. That may be a bit extreme for others, but whatever.)


Well, at least you're consistent.

As for this:

Quote:

The only context in which this matters is if you're competing against others, and I'm saying it's absurd to call it "cheating" if you're just playing against yourself.
You are playing solo but you aren't just playing against yourself.

Oramin August 7, 2013 23:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djabanete (Post 83345)
(3) @OP: Please, let's not have name-calling in our discussions on this site.


In this case we can deduce that AHero, like many others, prefers his strategy games to come with transparency when no one is watching. But it sounded kind of like you were trying to say something less nice.


Assuming that you are referring to what I said to AnonymousHero, let me be clear what I was trying to say.

1. The free complete monster memory is currently considered a cheating option just like the infinite lives option.

2. It is possible to get around the cheater label that the game marks your file with by actions outside the game itself.

3. In the case of the monster memory, as far as I'm concerned, if you do this to get information that you have not already discovered within the game then you are still cheating. You've just avoided getting caught by the game.


Should the game be changed to reflect his apparent opinion that it is not cheating, then it won't be cheating. At the moment, however, it is.

Now, if you have a problem with my conclusion or you consider that to be name-calling, that is unfortunate.

Clarified?


Edit:

Perhaps this will help. IIRC, Chessmaster 2100 had a Championship option which eliminated all possible "cheating" options. If you won, it printed out a special certificate to commemorate your victory under those circumstances.

Consider this: There's nothing stopping you from getting help from other people, analyzing it on a board by moving pieces, consulting with books, or even getting a better program to suggest moves.

I would consider any and all of those to be cheating because they violate what I consider to be the premise, that you will have earned the victory within the intended parameters of the game.

Sure, you can change the parameters so that the free complete monster memory isn't a "cheat" option; I just think it violates the spirit of Angband (and Rogue-likes generally) to do it.

Djabanete August 7, 2013 23:55

"Name-calling" refers to you calling the other guy a douche, in the OP.

As for the other bit, I'm sure you're capable of having a discussion about what is or isn't cheating without casting aspersions on your interlocutor's character.

Sorry for going off topic. I already said what I thought about the option, so I'm done now.

Oramin August 8, 2013 00:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djabanete (Post 83352)
"Name-calling" refers to you calling the other guy a douche, in the OP.

As for the other bit, I'm sure you're capable of having a discussion about what is or isn't cheating without casting aspersions on your interlocutor's character.

Sorry for going off topic. I already said what I thought about the option, so I'm done now.


Fair enough. I actually called him a bit of a douche and then explained what he did that I thought qualified. I'll try to watch that particular language in the future.

A discussion about cheating *is* a discussion about character; frankly I thought that was the politest way of making the point without directly casting aspersions on any participant's character. :)

HallucinationMushroom August 8, 2013 00:21

mca, that casts aspersions.

takkaria August 8, 2013 00:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83353)
Fair enough. I actually called him a bit of a douche and then explained what he did that I thought qualified. I'll try to watch that particular language in the future.

A discussion about cheating *is* a discussion about character; frankly I thought that was the politest way of making the point without directly casting aspersions on any participant's character. :)

I believe Djabanete was referring to the quote you posted, not the original post where literally used the word 'douche', which was quite a direct attack on another poster's character IMO.

The thing is that people disagree about whether it constitutes cheating. Trying to get one up in the argument by invoking your higher moral status isn't going to make people agree with you, it'll just get people's backs up.

Oramin August 8, 2013 00:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 83355)
I believe Djabanete was referring to the quote you posted, not the original post where literally used the word 'douche', which was quite a direct attack on another poster's character IMO.

True, but then that was after I politely permitted him to have the last word by stating that I wouldn't continue in that thread and he abused that courtesy by engaging in an attack on my character.

Quote:

The thing is that people disagree about whether it constitutes cheating. Trying to get one up in the argument by invoking your higher moral status isn't going to make people agree with you, it'll just get people's backs up.
Ok, then how do you suggest it be done? If the point is that certain behavior is considered cheating, do you think it would be better to argue that I'm against cheating because I do the behavior considered cheating all the time? In that case I could be accused of hypocrisy - I'd prefer to be accused of being "smug". :rolleyes:


Seriously, how often do people willingly admit that their behavior is cheating? They typically have some sort of rationalization why it isn't (see, Lance Armstrong).

I've explained why I think certain behavior is cheating and why I think that a free monster memory should continue to be a cheating option. If people think that fun and convenience and playing solo are adequate justification for using it, then why are they so offended about it being a "cheat" option?

takkaria August 8, 2013 01:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83358)
Ok, then how do you suggest it be done? If the point is that certain behavior is considered cheating, do you think it would be better to argue that I'm against cheating because I do the behavior considered cheating all the time? In that case I could be accused of hypocrisy - I'd prefer to be accused of being "smug". :rolleyes:

All I'm saying is that insinuating someone's character is flawed because their opinion on or actions in a frankly ancient game that they play in their free time for fun, in a way that affects no-one else's enjoyment of the game, is going a little bit far.

Playing the game is fundamentally about having fun. If people are having fun, I don't really mind how they do it. I used to savefile-scum when I started playing ZAngband, and I've tried playing V a few times with cheat_death on, but it's not as satisfying. If other people find those options satisfying, good for them. Obviously it's not the same kind of achievement - I would be lying if I claimed a clean win after savefile scumming - and I think if you use those options you miss out on a big part of the point of the game. But honestly, how other people play the game does not really bother me and I don't think it reflects their character in any way.

TLDR; It's fine (obviously!) that you have an opinion and you're discussing it, I wouldn't want you to stop. But making out that you are a better person than someone else ain't gonna get you anywhere.

Quote:

Seriously, how often do people willingly admit that their behavior is cheating? They typically have some sort of rationalization why it isn't (see, Lance Armstrong).

If people think that fun and convenience and playing solo are adequate justification for using it, then why are they so offended about it being a "cheat" option?
I'm not sure I've seen anyone be offended at it being a 'cheat' option; some people just think it shouldn't be. From the tone of people's arguments, I don't think anyone is trying to rationalise some kind of behaviour they feel is wrong. I suspect that like with many other gameplay issues, different people feel different things about how the game should be played, and find different things fun. I have no problem with the game catering to these different feelings.

Oramin August 8, 2013 01:41

Takkaria:

All fair points. I freely admit that when I first played Angband about 20 or so years ago, I save-scummed in the OS (I don't recall if it was an in-game cheat option then). I also freely admit that I was cheating by doing so. ;)

If people are playing just for fun then it shouldn't matter to them that the game labels certain options cheating. As I observed earlier, players *already* have the option to play the game with the free complete monster memory; the only penalty is that a cheater flag gets enabled.

Therefore, the *only* reason we're having the discussion about making it a non-cheat option is for those players to avoid getting hit with the cheater flag.

The *WINNER* status for characters, IMO, should be for those players who have accepted the equivalent of Championship Mode from CM2100 as I discussed in an earlier post.

Take on the challenge, get the reward. :D

buzzkill August 8, 2013 13:35

Maybe we just need a "SPOILED" flag, since players who are merely spoiled don't want to be conflated with real "cheaters", save scummers and the like.

If it weren't for the ladder none of this would matter, but there is a ladder and for the ladder to mean anything, then equal footing MUST be maintained. By flat out eliminating the cheater flag for spoilers, you're throwing all previous ladder entries under the bus.

@ Oramin: :).

Nick August 8, 2013 14:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 83378)
Maybe we just need a "SPOILED" flag, since players who are merely spoiled don't want to be conflated with real "cheaters", save scummers and the like.

If it weren't for the ladder none of this would matter, but there is a ladder and for the ladder to mean anything, then equal footing MUST be maintained. By flat out eliminating the cheater flag for spoilers, you're throwing all previous ladder entries under the bus.

Oooh, flags! Can I suggest some too?
  • PRESERVED - played with preserve on (don't want to confuse those with the hardcore heroes who risked losing artifacts by not clearing levels)
  • UNIRONIC - non-ironman players
  • CONSUMER - those who gave in and allowed themselves to play with shops
  • STACKED - allowed gear to pile up willy-nilly around them instead of being destroyed when there was nowhere for it to go like the RNG intended
  • CONNECTED - losers who didn't blindfold themselves and spin around three times on reaching the bottom of the stairs

By thus classifying we maintain ladder purity!

chris August 8, 2013 14:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 83381)
Oooh, flags! Can I suggest some too?
  • PRESERVED - played with preserve on (don't want to confuse those with the hardcore heroes who risked losing artifacts by not clearing levels)
  • UNIRONIC - non-ironman players
  • CONSUMER - those who gave in and allowed themselves to play with shops
  • STACKED - allowed gear to pile up willy-nilly around them instead of being destroyed when there was nowhere for it to go like the RNG intended
  • CONNECTED - losers who didn't blindfold themselves and spin around three times on reaching the bottom of the stairs

By thus classifying we maintain ladder purity!

Ideally, there would be separate ladders for *each* of these tags. That way, we don't mix things up. Pav?

MattB August 8, 2013 14:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris (Post 83382)
Ideally, there would be separate ladders for *each* of these tags. That way, we don't mix things up. Pav?

Actually, Pav, we need a ladder for each COMBINATION of these flags.
And how about:

SLACKER - for those players who cheat by turning off the 'pick up items matching inventory' option, instead of repeatedly hitting <g> every time. An immoral practice, if ever I saw one.

Oramin August 8, 2013 15:01

The last few posters:

The ladder isn't actually the point of my argument, but thanks for the laugh. :)

Raajaton August 8, 2013 16:13

Personally I wouldn't view having a full monster memory option as cheating. Angband is all about making tactical decisions to survive while the game is actively trying to kill you. Sure, having all of the information available to you may help nudge you in the right direction, however you still need to make good decisions in order to survive. I've died on plenty of occasions knowing full well what the enemy can do.

Perhaps this isn't the greatest example, but it came to mind while I was reading the discussion. I played a game some of you may have heard of called I Wanna Be The Guy. For those that don't, it is an incredibly difficult and sadistic 2d platformer. It requires incredible amounts of speed and precision in order to beat even the most basic obstacles. While attempting to beat the game, I on many occasions would look at YouTube videos of people playing that particular area to see how in the hell they beat it. Now, for many games I would consider looking at a walkthrough to be pure cheating. However, for that game, seeing somebody else beat it didn't make it any easier for me. It still required me to play properly in order to do it myself.

I also think that the argument about people having many more games to occupy their time is a valid one. Those of us that play roguelikes are absolutely gluttons for punishment, however I think for many people there is a frustrating line where 20 hours in to a game you die to the unknown and know you have to start over from the beginning. Many people will throw their hands up, say fuck this, and play something else. But, with the option of having full monster memory on, even if they died in the exact same manner, they'll know that it's because they made a mistake and MIGHT be interested in playing again to try to overcome their mistake and be a better player rather than be annoyed that all their time and effort got taken from them for god knows what reason.

Perhaps you can say that roguelikes aren't the type of game for those people, and the community should remain the small, hardcore community that it already is. I happen to disagree. There are a lot of games coming out lately that at least have roguelike elements to them, and I see the genre making somewhat of a resurgence. In my opinion, Angband is the best and my personal favorite game of the entire genre. I believe adding an option (particularly one that does not in any way effect your own gameplay, as you don't have to enable it) that might make the game a bit more accessible to more players (and possibly future developers) is a very good thing. Angband has a lot to offer to this community, why should we keep it purely to ourselves?

dzilla77 August 8, 2013 17:06

I have no real opinion one way or the other on this matter, but I think the issue boils very simply down to two points:

If moster discovery is deemed an important part of game play, then monster memory should be tied to the character (i.e. it starts at 0 for each @).

If monster discovery is not deemed an important part of game play, then monster memory should be available at game start for all players.

Since I am not a developer of the game (and only recently found the game), I have no way of knowing what the original/current design intent was.

Giving monster memory to the player as a reward for longevity does not keep everyone on equal footing with respect to the ladder or comps and seems like a strange mechanic (i.e. how does my new character know what my old character knew?)

MattB August 8, 2013 17:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzilla77 (Post 83392)
how does my new character know what my old character knew?)

Before you went out into the big bad dungeon on your own, your Daddy sat you down on his knee and told you everything he knew about the baddies that lurk within, in the hope that you might come back to see him with all of your limbs attached. Someof the knowledge was passed down to him from his father, and his father's father and so on.

It should only work with dynasties (e.g. Funt I, Funt II, Funt III etc).

Oramin August 8, 2013 17:43

As I indicated earlier in the thread, I think the fact that Probing is a spell available in the game indicates that the game design is to provide information about monsters in-game only after learning about the monsters by playing the game.

I think that this is an important part of the game and should remain as it is.

Of course, I also think that people should learn how to do math in school before being allowed the convenience of calculators and I also think that people should learn how to spell and not rely on their (there/they're) spell checkers. Perhaps I'm just turning into a grumpy old man (and I'm only in my early 40s). ;)

debo August 8, 2013 18:10

This definitely sounds like a grumpy old man thread, imo. We have a bunch of players saying "the monster memory is not something I like", and others trying to argue from first principles that they're "wrong". I don't particularly care what anyone think of my playstyle, so if asked my opinion I would tell the truth. However, if the game designers decided that was the "wrong" way to play -- well, it's their baby, and I'm fine with that.

I think this comes down to a "do the designers make the game they want to play, or the one the players want to play" call. I think history has shown that either approach can be right. The interesting part of this is that the intersection of those groups in this case seems to be somewhat large :)

There is a lot of (solicited) noise on some of the Sil topics, where people are basically saying "I don't like it this way and here is why", and in some cases the designers are saying "this was our reasoning and we believe we're correct". In some cases, they're making the suggested changes. I'm totally fine with that, and I will continue to play the game because the majority of the decisions they're making are ones that I like, and none of them are dealbreakers for me.

The monster memory thing in V isn't a dealbreaker for me either. I just personally don't like the decision.

One last thing -- Oramin mentioned before that length is inherent to the design of V, and that it's supposed to be a marathon. That's fine, but it's not why I liked V. For me, V's homogeneity of experience (dive, kill stuff, back to town, repeat) meant that it was easy for me to pick up, play a few levels, come back a day later, and keep doing the same thing. There aren't any huge skill trees for me to study or forks through the game for me to decide on, I just have to get to D100 and kill the big guy. That was why I liked it, in that my play could be sort of memoryless. The only thing impeding that playstyle was -- you guessed it -- not knowing anything about which monsters were dangerous, and so I used the spoilers.

(At the time I played, it was also very easy (3.2 -3.3). I was looking for a game with some risk, but not for one that was hard as nails. That incarnation of V definitely fit the bill, and I had a lot of fun with it.)

Anyhow, do what you will :) I just don't really understand the point of soliciting opinions from players on a topic if counterarguments are going to be made from the angle of "right" or "wrong" rather than "fun" or "annoying".

Oramin August 8, 2013 18:35

Debo:

The key point that I've been trying to make is that the free complete monster memory *is* an option which anybody can already activate if they find it to be more "fun" or "convenient".

The real argument is based on whether or not it *should* continue to be considered to be a "cheat" option and, for the aforementioned reasons, I believe it should remain a "cheat" option.


Edit:

Maybe a real life analogy would make more sense.

Consider speeding and murder. There are laws against both. Let's equate save-scumming with murder and activating the complete free monster memory with speeding.

Obviously they aren't the same level of infraction but if you violate either set of laws then you are a lawbreaker.

Whenever I speed, I have no problem admitting that by doing so, I'm a lawbreaker.

Sure, it is more fun and convenient to speed and I can almost always get away with it, but I'm still a lawbreaker.

I could argue that the law should be changed but, personally, I don't think that arguing fun, convenience, or ease of ignoring the law are particularly good arguments.

If I want to change it, I need to show that the underlying reason for the law is flawed.

Yes, I realize that there's a difference between a game and real life but this is just an analogy to explain a point.

Getting a free complete monster memory was originally considered to be cheating by the folks who put the option into the game. I believe I have already explained why the game design indicates that this *should* be cheating.

So, fine, since the cheater flag doesn't stop you from using it (other than not wanting to get flagged) and there's no way to catch you using spoilers, why do the players who want a free complete monster memory feel the need to have their gameplay choices validated by not having the cheater label contrary to the design of the game?

Scatha August 8, 2013 19:29

If you label something a cheat option, lots of players won't think about it and will assume it's a generally less enjoyable way of engaging with the game. I know if I came across a game I'd tend to take it at its own terms. I might play around with 'options', but I'd be quite likely to just use defaults, and unlikely to use options labelled as 'cheat' until I was familiar enough with the game to judge for myself.

You have some duty as a game designer to label the enjoyable ways to play. I think this is debo's point. Leaving it as a cheat option should be a statement that this is something which makes the game easier but a large majority of people will find less satisfying (such as infinite lives). If it's a majority but not a large one, it could be sensible to have it as an option, but not a default one. If a majority of players are likely to find it more satisfying, there's a good case for it being the default option.

Derakon August 8, 2013 19:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83401)
Maybe a real life analogy would make more sense.

Consider speeding and murder. There are laws against both. Let's equate save-scumming with murder and activating the complete free monster memory with speeding.

I'll freely admit I started only skimming posts pretty quickly in this thread.

But I can't imagine that you're making any friends when your argument starts from the supposition that the activity someone is performing is a crime.

1) This is a singleplayer game.
2) How you play the game does not affect my enjoyment of the game.
3) If the reverse is not true, then it is your problem, not mine.

The only exception to this is the ladder, since it exists in part so people can compare each others' performance. But you said earlier that the ladder wasn't why you were having this argument. Is it just because you think everyone would have more fun if they played without full monster memory? Clearly that's not the case; plenty of people are posting in this thread saying "Yeah, I tried that and I have more fun doing things my way". So what, exactly, are you trying to accomplish here?

I can't think of anything that can't be answered by pointing to item 3 in the list above.

dzilla77 August 8, 2013 20:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83395)
As I indicated earlier in the thread, I think the fact that Probing is a spell available in the game indicates that the game design is to provide information about monsters in-game only after learning about the monsters by playing the game.

I think that this is an important part of the game and should remain as it is.

Based on that logic - monster memory should be wiped at the start of every character (not how it is now) and using saved or accumulated monster memory should be a cheat.

Like I said, I don't care either way, but the "I get the convenience cuz I played 60, 600 or 6000 hours in the game, but you don't, noob" doesn't feel like the right mechanic.

Oramin August 8, 2013 21:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 83404)
I'll freely admit I started only skimming posts pretty quickly in this thread.

But I can't imagine that you're making any friends when your argument starts from the supposition that the activity someone is performing is a crime.

1) This is a singleplayer game.
2) How you play the game does not affect my enjoyment of the game.
3) If the reverse is not true, then it is your problem, not mine.

The only exception to this is the ladder, since it exists in part so people can compare each others' performance. But you said earlier that the ladder wasn't why you were having this argument. Is it just because you think everyone would have more fun if they played without full monster memory? Clearly that's not the case; plenty of people are posting in this thread saying "Yeah, I tried that and I have more fun doing things my way". So what, exactly, are you trying to accomplish here?

I can't think of anything that can't be answered by pointing to item 3 in the list above.

Then, Derakon, why don't you read the entire post before you comment?

I've done you the courtesy of reading your posts (and every other post in this thread, for that matter) in their entirety and carefully considering your arguments. If you believe the game should be changed then do me the same courtesy.

Maybe this sentence would have made a difference:

Quote:

Yes, I realize that there's a difference between a game and real life but this is just an analogy to explain a point.
And, if it is truly the case that how other people play the game is irrelevant, then may I conclude that you are endorsing removing *all* cheat flags - including the one for infinite lives?

Oramin August 8, 2013 21:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzilla77 (Post 83405)
Based on that logic - monster memory should be wiped at the start of every character (not how it is now) and using saved or accumulated monster memory should be a cheat.

Like I said, I don't care either way, but the "I get the convenience cuz I played 60, 600 or 6000 hours in the game, but you don't, noob" doesn't feel like the right mechanic.

I take it you missed MattB's answer to your earlier question?

Quote:

Before you went out into the big bad dungeon on your own, your Daddy sat you down on his knee and told you everything he knew about the baddies that lurk within, in the hope that you might come back to see him with all of your limbs attached. Someof the knowledge was passed down to him from his father, and his father's father and so on.

It should only work with dynasties (e.g. Funt I, Funt II, Funt III etc).

Oramin August 8, 2013 21:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scatha (Post 83403)
If you label something a cheat option, lots of players won't think about it and will assume it's a generally less enjoyable way of engaging with the game. I know if I came across a game I'd tend to take it at its own terms. I might play around with 'options', but I'd be quite likely to just use defaults, and unlikely to use options labelled as 'cheat' until I was familiar enough with the game to judge for myself.

You have some duty as a game designer to label the enjoyable ways to play. I think this is debo's point. Leaving it as a cheat option should be a statement that this is something which makes the game easier but a large majority of people will find less satisfying (such as infinite lives). If it's a majority but not a large one, it could be sensible to have it as an option, but not a default one. If a majority of players are likely to find it more satisfying, there's a good case for it being the default option.

A reasonable argument.

I wouldn't make that assumption, however, about seeing something labeled a cheat option. I would just regard it as an option provided for the players to goof around with or learn more about how the game works. I woudn't regard it as necessarily a less enjoyable way to play.

DaviddesJ August 8, 2013 21:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 83291)
I'll note that the only times, so far, that I've seen an argument with DaviddesJ end are when the other party gives up and walks away. As far as I can tell, he is physically incapable of letting anyone else have the last word in any discussion.

Looks like I'm winning this argument without even having to join it.

Oramin August 8, 2013 21:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaviddesJ (Post 83411)
Looks like I'm winning this argument without even having to join it.

It does kind of seem that way. Give it a bit longer. ;)

Nick August 8, 2013 21:57

Well, dzilla77 and Scatha have convinced me - I'm making it not a cheat option in FAangband. Also, I'm going to relabel all the other cheat options as debug options.

Who am I to tell any alphabet-slaughterer who plays FA that they're a cheat?

Oramin August 8, 2013 21:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 83413)
Well, dzilla77 and Scatha have convinced me - I'm making it not a cheat option in FAangband. Also, I'm going to relabel all the other cheat options as debug options.

Who am I to tell any alphabet-slaughterer who plays FA that they're a cheat?

Go for it - your game, your rules. Are you also removing Probing spells (if they exist in that variant)?

Nick August 8, 2013 22:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83414)
Go for it - your game, your rules. Are you also removing Probing spells (if they exist in that variant)?

No - having some useless spells can be the punishment for using that option :D

dzilla77 August 8, 2013 23:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick (Post 83413)
Well, dzilla77 and Scatha have convinced me - I'm making it not a cheat option in FAangband. Also, I'm going to relabel all the other cheat options as debug options.

Who am I to tell any alphabet-slaughterer who plays FA that they're a cheat?

I suspect you are being facetious, but if not, don't misconstrue what I am saying - if foreknowledge prior to playing is cheating, then, in my opinion, so is foreknowledge gained from prior characters when starting a new character.

I rather like the discovery myself and will probably never submit a character to a comp or ladder anyway, so keeping it as a cheat is fine with me- but I think it should be erased when you start a new character.

I *might* be convinced that a win could provide the knowledge.

dzilla77 August 8, 2013 23:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83408)
I take it you missed MattB's answer to your earlier question?

No, I read it, laughed, and moved on - doesn't justify the game mechanic. Most characters get killed before they have a chance to start a family anyway. :D

Monkey Face August 8, 2013 23:12

I'm going to come out with one more argument in favor of making monster memory a non cheat option. I've been playing the game for about 15 years and know what most of the monsters can do by now, so their memories come up when a see them. However, the developers keep improving the game and releasing new versions. In at least some cases, a save file from one version won't work on the next. This means I have to start to build my monster memory up from scratch. It would clearly be easier to have someplace to check whether it is the hill or cave orc that does 1d10 damage per hit. So is it right that I "lost" this knowledge when I change versions?

Oramin August 8, 2013 23:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monkey Face (Post 83424)
I'm going to come out with one more argument in favor of making monster memory a non cheat option. I've been playing the game for about 15 years and know what most of the monsters can do by now, so their memories come up when a see them. However, the developers keep improving the game and releasing new versions. In at least some cases, a save file from one version won't work on the next. This means I have to start to build my monster memory up from scratch. It would clearly be easier to have someplace to check whether it is the hill or cave orc that does 1d10 damage per hit. So is it right that I "lost" this knowledge when I change versions?

That's when I consider it appropriate to be checking out the spoilers within the rules of the cheat options. ;)

But, really, how often does a situation like that come up? When I accidentally wiped my monster memory by overwriting my character file (note to self - don't select "new"), even though I made a point of examining or killing the monsters enough to restore the monster memory, I almost never checked it since I'm an experienced player and already "knew" (outside of the game) what the monsters did.

Really, that sounds more like an argument for convincing the devs to create a way to transfer monster memories between versions rather than making it a non-cheat option.

(One of the two choices is, of course, obviously less work...)

Mikko Lehtinen August 9, 2013 00:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzilla77 (Post 83421)
if foreknowledge prior to playing is cheating, then, in my opinion, so is foreknowledge gained from prior characters when starting a new character.

IMO writing down stuff about monsters in your notebook is an honest way of trying to become a better player. Monster memory just removes the tedious work.

It's kinda like automapping in modern Dungeon Master -style games. Legend of Grimrock does have an option to play without automaps for real men who love their grid paper...

BTW, do all *bands have the EyAngband artifact memory yet?

takkaria August 9, 2013 00:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 83426)
BTW, do all *bands have the EyAngband artifact memory yet?

Is that so that once you ID an artifact once in one game, all future games have it ID'd already? Not sure I like that...

Mikko Lehtinen August 9, 2013 00:41

You do have to identify the artifact normally to learn its name. At that point it becomes fully identified if you've *identified* it in previous games.

MattB August 9, 2013 00:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzilla77 (Post 83423)
Most characters get killed before they have a chance to start a family anyway. :D

Have you never wondered why your @ sometimes spams off a WoR when you don't really need to return to the town...;)

takkaria August 9, 2013 00:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 83429)
You do have to identify the artifact normally to learn its name. At that point it becomes fully identified if you've *identified* it in previous games.

Ah, I see. V doesn't have this, but it got rid of *ID* yonks ago so I guess it doesn't apply there.

Oramin August 9, 2013 01:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by MattB (Post 83430)
Have you never wondered why your @ sometimes spams off a WoR when you don't really need to return to the town...;)

@ keeps a log.


"Angband Date 113,425, @'s Log, @ reporting. I have just returned from the 35th level of the dungeon of Angband. My most recent encounters include Medusa the Gorgon who summoned many Hydrae and several hundred Tribbles who bred explosively. I am beginning to fear for my life as I boldly explore where no @ has gone before."

Mikko Lehtinen August 9, 2013 01:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 83431)
Ah, I see. V doesn't have this, but it got rid of *ID* yonks ago so I guess it doesn't apply there.

It's cool that identifying objects is getting more interesting in Angband. (I've been doing a bit of spying on v4.)

It bothers me slightly that identifying artifacts used to be so tedious in *bands that people learned to use spoilers rather than wait for the *Id* scroll. The gameplay wasn't fun, so that's perfectly understandable.

I think I have pretty fun identify mechanics in Halls of Mist (though not everybody likes them) and lots of new, cool artifacts to identify in the next version. Part of that fun may be lost because of the spoiler addiction. Game balance also suffers slightly, because your identifying ability depends on your stats and skills. A friendly note from the game designer is probably enough of an antidote against this behavior.

I don't feel as strongly about monster memory because Mist doesn't have any fancy game mechanics there. Giving perfect monster information might even lead to better gameplay, I'm not sure.

Timo Pietilš August 9, 2013 06:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83401)
The key point that I've been trying to make is that the free complete monster memory *is* an option which anybody can already activate if they find it to be more "fun" or "convenient".

I'd argue that this option should be removed. Really. The entire reason for this long debate is that it exists in the game. If you want to use spoilers, then use spoilers, there is no reason game should give them freely. Maybe put it in debug-mode commands.

As a side-point, monster abilities should be more or less hinted in the description directly. There really are not many surprises to learn:

1) the fact that unresisted basic four and poison can reach so high damage that it might kill even maxed out char at the time you meet the first bad one (AMHD, Dracoli(sk/ch), drolem)
2) stunning can lead to knock out which is pretty much same as instant death.
3) paralyzation is deadly, if not instantly, then without good luck.

.... And that's it basically. If you think there are more that you could fit into monster memory entry, please put it in here. It doesn't take long to learn those few that exist.

Complete monster memory is not needed for convenient playing. If you feel that you need to know everything about monster before you have even seen it then you are doing something wrong.

fizzix August 9, 2013 06:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83437)
I'd argue that this option should be removed. Really. The entire reason for this long debate is that it exists in the game. If you want to use spoilers, then use spoilers, there is no reason game should give them freely. Maybe put it in debug-mode commands.

As a developer, I'd much prefer it not be removed, if only because I'm always restarting save files because I inevitably corrupt them accidentally through bug-fixing and the like. It's possible to keep a completely clean branch and save-file for playing, but it's easy to make mistakes.

For the non-developer, playing a couple times to gain full monster memory is not *too* much of a hardship, but it would be super-annoying to someone like me who loses their main save file all the time.

DaviddesJ August 9, 2013 06:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83437)
Complete monster memory is not needed for convenient playing. If you feel that you need to know everything about monster before you have even seen it then you are doing something wrong.

What I like is different from what you like. What I want to know when playing is different from what you want to know when playing. It's not "right" or "wrong" for me to enjoy something different from what you enjoy. The fact that different people like different things is one of the most wonderful aspects of human existence. Just imagine how boring life would be if everyone liked exactly the same things. And think how uninteresting it is for you to tell me what I should like and how I should play. How interested would you be if I started telling you that you shouldn't like what you like, and you should like what I like and follow my instructions about how to play, instead?

Oramin August 9, 2013 06:47

And how about if people starting saying the official rules of chess should be altered to allow people to add extra queens for free because they like it?

Nothing is stopping you or anybody else from using the free complete monster memory; you only need to accept that currently under the design of the game that is considered to be cheating.

Timo Pietilš August 9, 2013 06:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaviddesJ (Post 83440)
How interested would you be if I started telling you that you shouldn't like what you like, and you should like what I like and follow my instructions about how to play, instead?

You do that all of time anyway, so I just ignore your opinions.

Timo Pietilš August 9, 2013 06:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83441)
Nothing is stopping you or anybody else from using the free complete monster memory; you only need to accept that currently under the design of the game that is considered to be cheating.

I believe that for people like DaviddesJ it is more difficult to have an option that makes gaming a bit easier and marks their char as cheater than not have an option at all. I'm pretty sure that if that option were never added to the game he would be happy and not think of it at all.

Hint to Takkaria: this is perfect candidate for option removal.

DaviddesJ August 9, 2013 06:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83442)
You do that all of time anyway, so I just ignore your opinions.

Never. Not in a million years would I ever tell you how to play or that you're doing it "wrong". That only flows one way.

Timo Pietilš August 9, 2013 06:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 83439)
As a developer, I'd much prefer it not be removed, if only because I'm always restarting save files because I inevitably corrupt them accidentally through bug-fixing and the like. It's possible to keep a completely clean branch and save-file for playing, but it's easy to make mistakes.

This makes my other point important: separate monster memory from savefile.

I too have lost monster memory couple of times and while I don't really need it it bugs me to lose something I have worked so hard to achieve. It is a reward lost, even if it isn't a big deal for game point of view.

DaviddesJ August 9, 2013 06:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83443)
I believe that for people like DaviddesJ it is more difficult to have an option that makes gaming a bit easier and marks their char as cheater than not have an option at all.

I love the option, just as it stands. It's one of the best things about the current version, compared to Angband as I remember it from many years ago. That doesn't mean it couldn't be even better, but this one trivial thing, by itself, has greatly increased my enjoyment of the game.

Mikko Lehtinen August 9, 2013 07:52

Currently in all variants I've played, including my own, monster memory forces me to play only one character at a time. Being able to alternate between several characters freely might give me more enjoyment than the monster memory game mechanics...

Djabanete August 9, 2013 08:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen (Post 83447)
Currently in all variants I've played, including my own, monster memory forces me to play only one character at a time. Being able to alternate between several characters freely might give me more enjoyment than the monster memory game mechanics...

If I have one savefile with fairly complete knowledge, I just copy the file as if I was about to savefile scum (:cool:), open it in the game, suicide, and start a new character. Though perhaps you already do this; it's still not a perfect method, because if the new character adds to the memory, the additions don't feed back to the old character.

jrodman August 9, 2013 22:14

Splitting memory out from save files (making it per-player, not per character) seems right.

Thematically it says "ancestors", but it isn't too much of a stretch to allow for multiple descendents if the theme is important.

Mechanically it's recording things that I did as a player, and making multiple separate such recordings makes things more confusing for me, at least.

----

Mostly though, i lose monster memory because when I decide to start playing angband again it's typically on a new computer, and I don't think to go fish out an old savefile from another computer at another location. Eg, right now I started playing Angband on the train. So my fantasy would be that monster memory would be cloud synched. (Not a realistic fantasy I guess.)

buzzkill August 10, 2013 01:58

@ Tak: As long as we're heading down this read... how would you feel about full item knowledge as an option, seriously? Instant full ID on sight. IMO this might be interesting, and would certainly fall in line those who want to streamline the game, have limited time to invest, or simply don't like the ID mini-game.

Derakon August 10, 2013 03:14

I once patched the game so that everything automatically identified itself. It works decently well, though it does IIRC leave you vulnerable to losing artifacts (since identifying an artifact counts as "seeing" it). Certainly this style of play is preferable to the ID game pre-3.1 or so, which is when I tried that patch.

My personal preference would be to switch everything to a "flavors"-style identification system. Different ego items are just different flavors, so once you recognize one Holy Avenger, you recognize them all. Pluses, pvals, random high resists, etc. would all be automatic once you recognize the flavor. Artifacts can be automatically fully-ID'd since they're unique; justify it as the lore about famous items being well-known (as e.g. Glamdring is well-known as a bane of orcs).

The main goal of this is to make finding an un-identified item be innately exciting, since it's something you haven't encountered before (with this character).

wobbly August 10, 2013 03:39

Tome 4 plays this way. Both full monster info & item info from the start. It works, it's just different. Not my preference, I like the Id game & find the idea that my character is omniscient a little weird. However I understand why others like to play that way & can see no reason to label those players a "cheat". Just a different way of playing, same as ironman or no selling or any other optional setting. Why not just let people play the way they want to play? Makes no difference to my enjoyment of the game.

Oramin August 10, 2013 04:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 83465)
Tome 4 plays this way. Both full monster info & item info from the start. It works, it's just different. Not my preference, I like the Id game & find the idea that my character is omniscient a little weird. However I understand why others like to play that way & can see no reason to label those players a "cheat". Just a different way of playing, same as ironman or no selling or any other optional setting. Why not just let people play the way they want to play? Makes no difference to my enjoyment of the game.

I'm still waiting for the folks who want to use the option to admit that this discussion is happening only because they don't want the game to label them as "cheats".

The earlier programmers of the game came up with a balance they preferred and decided that instant monster omniscience violated that balance. I personally think that since this was an earlier choice, some respect should be given to that determination by the current devs. If this were an entirely original game then I wouldn't feel that way and the current programmers could strike whatever balance they wanted.

DaviddesJ August 10, 2013 06:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83468)
I'm still waiting for the folks who want to use the option to admit that this discussion is happening only because they don't want the game to label them as "cheats".

Huh? Hasn't that been the point from the beginning? What other reason could there be? If I'm just playing on my own system, it makes no difference that I'm labeled as "cheating", but it's inconvenient for participating in the ladder, competitions, etc. If you want fewer participants in those things then the "cheat" setting serves that purpose.

Quote:

The earlier programmers of the game came up with a balance they preferred and decided that instant monster omniscience violated that balance.
I don't think so. I think it's just to satisfy players who like accumulating information as they play (which are obviously a significant fraction, judging from the comments here). It never had anything to do with balance, as anyone who wanted to know what a monster does would just look in the spoilers. And you've argued vociferously that anyone who has played the game a short while already knows everything they need to know, so if that's true there can't be any "balance" change from looking up monsters, anyway.

Oramin August 10, 2013 07:18

Hmm, just because anybody *can* look things up in the spoilers currently doesn't mean that the earlier programmers intended for the game to be played that way. I don't recall the monster spoiler being around 20 or so years ago.

As I pointed out with the CM2100 Championship mode example - when you're playing that mode all the in-game conveniences (take backs, hints, etc.) were disabled. The programmers obviously couldn't prevent people from going outside the game and doing things like analyzing moves on a board but I'm pretty sure that was contrary to the spirit of that particular option.

I think the game design indicates that it was the intent that people should discover information about monsters by playing the game. If people don't want to, they're welcome to use the spoilers, use the cheat option, or tweak the program. I think that the changing the official rules of the game in this way violates the integrity of the earlier design choices.

Sort of like, if people want to play chess with 3 queens and a teleporting king, more power to them, but that doesn't mean that I think the basic rules of chess should be altered to reflect that as an official option.

DaviddesJ August 10, 2013 07:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83474)
I don't recall the monster spoiler being around 20 or so years ago.

I do. Maybe my memory is better than yours. Here is the "monpedia.faq" for Angband 2.4 from May 1993:

http://web.mit.edu/games/lib/angband...onpedia.faq.gz

I remember this particular file very well. This, and other spoilers, even predate the *.spo files that came later. There have always been people who wanted to play the game with more information and people who wanted to play it with less information.

Oramin August 10, 2013 08:20

Or maybe I just downloaded the DOS executable from a local BBS and it didn't come with the monster spoiler. ;)

Timo Pietilš August 10, 2013 09:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 83461)
@ Tak: As long as we're heading down this read... how would you feel about full item knowledge as an option, seriously? Instant full ID on sight. IMO this might be interesting, and would certainly fall in line those who want to streamline the game, have limited time to invest, or simply don't like the ID mini-game.

AFAIK whole ID sub-game is going thru overhaul so that you get rune-based ID: once you learn what firebrand is you recognize it automatically on new items.

IMO that should be huge improvement as long as you get that even without picking things up, just seeing them should be enough.

takkaria August 10, 2013 13:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš (Post 83477)
AFAIK whole ID sub-game is going thru overhaul so that you get rune-based ID: once you learn what firebrand is you recognize it automatically on new items.

IMO that should be huge improvement as long as you get that even without picking things up, just seeing them should be enough.

Yeah, we've not done that in V yet - it is in v4 though. I wonder if it's actually overly complex - I'd probably prefer the ego item flavour approach, so when you learn one flavour of ego item, you can ID them all on sight. Maybe combined with artifact knowledge saved over characters. What do you think?

takkaria August 10, 2013 13:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83474)
I think that the changing the official rules of the game in this way violates the integrity of the earlier design choices.

In which case, I and others have broken the design integrity of the game many times and I expect future developers to do so in future. That's part of what it is to have a living game.

Quote:

The earlier programmers of the game came up with a balance they preferred and decided that instant monster omniscience violated that balance. I personally think that since this was an earlier choice, some respect should be given to that determination by the current devs.
Monster memory goes right back to Moria; but the cheat option goes back to Ben, circa 2.7. I'm not sure that the team of people who made the first version of Angband really thought about it much - it certainly wasn't modified very much and remains in much the same form today. So I don't think you can rely on the fact there was an intentional decision about monster memory, because there probably wasn't.

Mikko Lehtinen August 10, 2013 14:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by takkaria (Post 83480)
Yeah, we've not done that in V yet - it is in v4 though. I wonder if it's actually overly complex - I'd probably prefer the ego item flavour approach, so when you learn one flavour of ego item, you can ID them all on sight. Maybe combined with artifact knowledge saved over characters. What do you think?

I like! But what about weapons that only have plusses/minuses?

I'd prefer plusses and minuses on weapons and armour to be always visible. Unidentified ego weapons could be marked with (ego).

After these changes, Identify could be made much rarer and more expensive, to encourage identifying potions and scrolls by use. IMO that's the fun part of the identify system.

EDIT: But actually v4's rune-based system solves the identifying chore with non-ego weapons more elegantly. Simple plusses/minuses are based on runes, too, right? Does the game tell you if a weapon has no runes at all, or do you need to identify it to be sure?

buzzkill August 10, 2013 14:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaviddesJ (Post 83472)
If I'm just playing on my own system, it makes no difference that I'm labeled as "cheating", but it's inconvenient for participating in the ladder, competitions, etc. If you want fewer participants in those things then the "cheat" setting serves that purpose.

It's not any less convenient. It's exactly the same.

Competitions and ladder entries is the ONLY reason why this should be an issue (that I can think of). I could care less if you achieve ***WINNER*** status with full info turned on in your own little world. I DO care if you nose me out in a competition, or romp on my ladder entries (to a much lesser extent, but other more serious players may care more) while playing with thumbed down difficulty, and full monster info is a difficulty thing. I go so far as to say if you're using spoilers in lieu of "in game cheats", you should state so in your comments.

Angband isn't a variant. I'd err on the side of original intent and historical precedent. It's not the maintainer's, to do with as they choose. They should strive for minimal change to core gameplay and start a variant if they get the urge to get creative.

Splitting monster memory from the save file is exactly the type of thing the maintainer should be tackling. It's been discussed for years now. It would render this a discussion nearly irrelevant. It would also be hard to do. This is easier.

Oramin August 10, 2013 15:53

Takkaria:

It depends on how far you want to go. The ID mini-game has sped up but people still have to ID things during the course of the game. That's a design concept that you've kept in the game but if speeding things up or making things more convenient is the primary issue then why bother with IDing things at all? And if individual playing style is more important than design integrity then why is having infinite lives flagged as a "cheat" option.

Of course, as I recall, you folks recently removed the "Angels" in favor of "Maia" (I believe, I haven't updated from 3.3.2). While it is more consistent with the Tolkien theme, I think it undermines the earlier artistic choice just like I wouldn't care for removing creatures from Greek mythology or AD&D. That's part of the flavor of the game.

So if you want to change things, well, as you pointed out, this is a "living" game - but it also is "Angband" and not somebody's personal variant. Just consider how far you're changing it from previous versions.

takkaria August 10, 2013 16:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oramin (Post 83485)
Takkaria:

It depends on how far you want to go. The ID mini-game has sped up but people still have to ID things during the course of the game. That's a design concept that you've kept in the game but if speeding things up or making things more convenient is the primary issue then why bother with IDing things at all? And if individual playing style is more important than design integrity then why is having infinite lives flagged as a "cheat" option.

Of course, as I recall, you folks recently removed the "Angels" in favor of "Maia" (I believe, I haven't updated from 3.3.2). While it is more consistent with the Tolkien theme, I think it undermines the earlier artistic choice just like I wouldn't care for removing creatures from Greek mythology or AD&D. That's part of the flavor of the game.

So if you want to change things, well, as you pointed out, this is a "living" game - but it also is "Angband" and not somebody's personal variant. Just consider how far you're changing it from previous versions.

Christ, I've been doing this for six years and a half years now, through hundreds of discussions like this and with hundreds of thousands of lines of code that I and other contributors have altered. I'd have to be pretty stupid and throughly uninterested in listening to what anyone else has to say not to have considered how much the game has changed. Please credit the people who have developed the game in the past six years with a bit of intelligence. We're not a bunch of cretins who do stuff willy-nilly with nary a thought about how it affects the big picture.

Everyone wants different things. If you want an Angband true to the original artistic ideas of the original creators, go play 2.4 in a DOS terminal. If you're playing 3.3.2 you're playing a ridiclously easy version anyway. That's probably the biggest change in terms of gameplay compared to earlier versions, so I recommend you back up to 2.9.3 if you're going to complain about game difficulty.

I think people always overlook the fact that if the original maintainers were still here they would probably be making loads of changes that fit in variant territory. There was an earlier version of Angband - before 2.4 - that was entirely internal to the university where it was developed which added all kinds of terrain types, quest levels you could stumble across and probably a bunch of other stuff that never made it to the public record. It got lost though and never released.

Derakon August 10, 2013 16:42

Siding with Takkaria here. The original maintainers ceded their authority to control the direction the game goes in as soon as they stopped controlling its development. If they disagree with what has happened to the game, they are more than welcome to come here, fork the game code, and try to establish a competing "True" Angband. Same goes for anyone else who doesn't like what the latest versions are doing.

In the absence of anyone actually doing that, arguing about the Original Maintainers' Vision is just an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy because the Original Maintainers have no authority. It's also really insulting to the Actual Maintainers, which is the only reason I stuck my nose into this clusterfuck of a thread again.

Raajaton August 10, 2013 17:13

I'm sure there are many things, even in 3.3.2, that was never intended by the original devs. A great many things have been added or changed to the game to make it significantly easier than early versions of the game, so I don't understand why this now suddenly has become such a big issue. Particularly when a) it's an option you do not have to enable in your own playthrough and b) in Oramin's case it would be included in a version of the game he's not likely to play anyway. I know I've read a few posts regarding certain issues that have since been fixed in newer versions, and you haven't updated anyway.

IMO people are free to enjoy the game however they want. The developers are free to make any decisions they want in regards to how to change the game. We're not talking about the constitution here, we're talking about a video game we all play for fun. The beauty of this particular game is that the major versions of the game are archived, so you can continue to play whichever one you decide fits your vision of Angband the best. Let everyone else decide what they like best as well.

DaviddesJ August 10, 2013 17:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzkill (Post 83483)
Competitions and ladder entries is the ONLY reason why this should be an issue (that I can think of). I could care less if you achieve ***WINNER*** status with full info turned on in your own little world. I DO care if you nose me out in a competition, or romp on my ladder entries (to a much lesser extent, but other more serious players may care more) while playing with thumbed down difficulty, and full monster info is a difficulty thing. I go so far as to say if you're using spoilers in lieu of "in game cheats", you should state so in your comments.

Monster info, by itself, isn't a difficulty parameter, because the same information is available to everyone in other ways, regardless of what game settings they use.

You can look at the comments from people posting about the game way back to 1993. People say things like, "Don't look at the spoiler files unless you want to take away the surprise." It's a game designed to be fun. Some people have fun being surprised by monsters they come across and have no idea what they do. Some people want to know what the enemies will be able to do so they can fight them with more strategy. Both attitudes toward the game have existed from the very beginning. I think virtually everyone who stuck with the game for more than a few hours came to look at spoilers or get information from online discussions, at least occasionally. But it's up to each of them how they do that.

If you want to create a competition, then you can create whatever competition rules you want. If you want a special ladder for people who have never viewed any spoiler file or ever read a forum posting that would reveal anything about any monster, you could create that. I don't think you would have very many players, though. Oramin says he looks at monster spoilers when he wants, plus he probes all of the monsters so that his subsequent characters can have complete monster info, which gives him the same information that you say players shouldn't have. I think it's pretty hard to find any two people who have exactly the same views as you about this. But I have no problem if you want to give it a shot.

DaviddesJ August 10, 2013 18:08

If arguments about the "original vision" had any weight at all, surely that would apply much more to core gameplay changes that affect everyone whether they like them or not (of which there are plenty!), rather than simple options that anyone can just turn off if they don't like them. Let's remember this whole thread is about one person who is upset at the idea that other people might have an option that the he doesn't want them to have. Or he wants them to only have it if they change one line in their source code before compiling. Or something.


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