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 JamesDoyle March 4, 2008 16:07

[User Guide Development] Questions

Thought I'd start a new thread for my work on the User Guide in the correct forum :)

At the moment I'm wrestling with how to explain time and game turns, and I'd appreciate some input on this.

Turns are shown on the character screen, in the hall of fame (these show the same number), and also tangentially in the number of turns left for a light source. This causes some ambiguity; the former would seem to be the number most people quote as the number of turns taken, but the latter is only (approximately) one tenth of the former, and also the latter is closer to most people's idea of what a 'turn' is, i.e. you move one space, and one turn has passed.

The first thing to note, therefore (developers!), is that it would be helpful both for explaining it and for users to understand if these were brought into line with each other, I would presume on the basis of having light sources multiplied by 10.

The explanation then has to be, I guess, that (at normal speed) you take 10 turns to move 1 space, and other actions can take anything from 1 turn upwards.

Would that seem reasonable?

 Big Al March 4, 2008 19:24

Every "turn", the player and monsters gain a certain amount of "energy". The amount of energy gained is dependent on the player or monster's speed - at normal speed, you get 10 energy per turn. Once your energy is over 100, you get to do an action.

So, at normal speed, moving around is exactly 10 turns to 1 action. At eg. +10 speed, you gain 20 energy per turn, therefor it's 5 turns to 1 action. All actions take the same amount of time, except for melee and/or ranged attacks where you get multiple blows per round.

 zaimoni March 4, 2008 22:00

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JamesDoyle (Post 6094) Turns are shown on the character screen, in the hall of fame (these show the same number), and also tangentially in the number of turns left for a light source. This causes some ambiguity; the former would seem to be the number most people quote as the number of turns taken, but the latter is only (approximately) one tenth of the former, and also the latter is closer to most people's idea of what a 'turn' is, i.e. you move one space, and one turn has passed. The first thing to note, therefore (developers!), is that it would be helpful both for explaining it and for users to understand if these were brought into line with each other, I would presume on the basis of having light sources multiplied by 10.
I think changing the label on the chardump /high score list is more reasonable. I call them "time ticks" rather than "turns". [The full resolution should remain there; it's useful for preventing spells from timing out unexpectedly, not wasting fractional mana recovery, and other finicky attention-to-detail things.]

Both torches, and timed effects, have their duration measured in normal-speed turns. Their duration is updated whenever the internal time tick counter (the ultimate game-time quantum) is divisible by ten.

Currently, a new V game starts with the time tick counter at 11. One of these is the tick increment immediately before checking for the player's command, so ten time ticks have elapsed before the player takes his first turn.

The number of time ticks before the player's next move is controlled by the energy recovery statistic, calculated from speed.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JamesDoyle (Post 6094) The explanation then has to be, I guess, that (at normal speed) you take 10 turns to move 1 space, and other actions can take anything from 1 turn upwards. Would that seem reasonable?
Yes.

 Anne March 5, 2008 03:13

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Big Al (Post 6106) Every "turn", the player and monsters gain a certain amount of "energy". The amount of energy gained is dependent on the player or monster's speed - at normal speed, you get 10 energy per turn. Once your energy is over 100, you get to do an action. So, at normal speed, moving around is exactly 10 turns to 1 action. At eg. +10 speed, you gain 20 energy per turn, therefor it's 5 turns to 1 action. All actions take the same amount of time, except for melee and/or ranged attacks where you get multiple blows per round.
Hey, I actually understood that! Woo! :p Seriously, that's a very good way of explaining it for the benefit of us lil newbies.

 JamesDoyle March 6, 2008 20:07

Intersting that you like that, Anne - I found the use of the 'energy' concept to be an unnecessary complication of explaining Angband time,m and I was deliberately trying to stay away from it!

Zaimoni - I tend to agree with you that the character screen number is less intuitive as a time indicator (as it's slightly baffling at first that what seems to be aturn - moving one space) is actua;;y ten 'turns'; but I assumed that precisely because it IS used in the high score list, most veterans would be averse to 'demoting' it to be less signficant than the other definition of turns.

Ibviously I have to write the manual to explain both concepts, as they're both there, but I'd be very happy to see one disappear, as I think it's an unnecessary barrier to new players' understanding of the game

 zaimoni March 6, 2008 20:36

I was doing some testing of a metagaming "exploit" last night that depended on watching the time tick count. [I think it's misleading to call it turns.] V-style stores (as opposed to Zangband-style stores) do not rotate the stock while the player is in town.

As the V-style stores rotate every 1000 normal-speed turns (10,000 time-ticks), this leads to a convenient way to intentionally clean out stores of consumables: return to town "right before" the 10,000 time-tick turnover point, to prevent their rotating. (Inverse store scumming: instead of waiting for rotation to get something not in stock, prevent rotation to keep things in stock.) Of course, you point-blank cannot clear dungeon levels at all when doing this. Also, trap doors will ruin this tactic before you have a reliable supply of Word of Recall.

[I also found, ahem, several bugs while exercising Zaiband. I think I'm going to have to release the revised line-of-sight/line-of-fire algorithm with a failsafe fallback, there are some exotic abuses of the l)ook command that will cause algorithm invariant failures.]

 JamesDoyle March 10, 2008 20:22

Some more questions, some of which are simple to answer, I think, plus a slight problem I've discovered with my flavour descriptions for wands!

Firstly, I'm using the overall term 'magical items' for scrolls, potions, wands, rods, staves, rings & amulets. I don't recall seeing a term for this grouping anywhere, and I don't think it clashes with anything else. I am right?

Secondly, cash found in the dungeon can be precious metals or gemstones - I can recall offhand copper, silver, gold, mithril and adamantite for the former, and garnets and diamonds for the latter. I'm sure there are others (platinum, emeralds?) which I can can list while playing (now I've realised I want to!), but if anyone can supply the full list, that would help.

Similarly for traps, I have found the following:
pits (with or without spikes)
trapdoors
darts (which can affect STR or DEX - or others?)
gas (which can blind or paralyse - or other effects?)
runes (which can teleport the character or summon monsters - or other effects?)
discolored spots (which can cause fire)

What do I need for a complete list?

Finally, according to Leon's version, electricity destroys wands, and (apparently) nothing destroys rods. If Andrew adopts my flavour names, as he indicated he might (in part or whole), electricity should probably destroy rods and fire should destroy wands.

 zaimoni March 10, 2008 20:36

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JamesDoyle (Post 6320) Similarly for traps, I have found the following: pits (with or without spikes) trapdoors darts (which can affect STR or DEX - or others?) gas (which can blind or paralyse - or other effects?) runes (which can teleport the character or summon monsters - or other effects?) discolored spots (which can cause fire) What do I need for a complete list?
Take a look at the terrain feature editor. All sixteen distinct traps are listed there, although that may not handle all of the pit variations.

 Pete Mack March 10, 2008 21:17

I think there are 3 kinds of pits. Without spikes, with spikes, and with poisoned spikes.

 JamesDoyle March 10, 2008 21:20

Thanks, both, that's what I was looking for!

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