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-   -   Feature branch drop balancing (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=8993)

Philip July 8, 2018 21:38

Fair enough. "The previous balance was fine" is definitely a clear enough goal. I will propose some metrics.

* The player should be discouraged from pursuing safe (unfun) behavior (scumming early levels).
This a restatement of Derakon's first rule, but I think there are fairly clear ways to define it. I would say that unsafe behavior is encouraged when the benefits of repeating levels are diminished. In the interests of this, I propose out of depth object frequency follows exponential decay. 1/2 the frequency for every 2 levels out of depth? This preserves the long tail of out of depth objects, which is a fun feature, without letting players redo dlvl 30 50 times and probably get a ring of speed.

* The player should not feel like they have to grind.
Establish, for each ability, and for certain objects, a point at which we expect the player to start finding it, and a point at which we think a player should have found it already, assuming one clear of each level. For Free Action, this might be dlvl 1 and dlvl 30 respectively, as an example. For ESP it might be dlvl 30-70. 95% of characters should find their first source somewhere between those points. If they don't, new objects need to be introduced, or rarities or native depths need to be changed to satisfy the rule. This metric already seems to exist, but isn't explicitly stated.

One assumption I am making is that there is some plan to stop players from skipping every level between 40 and 85. These plans do not really work without such a mechanism, because they assume linear progression through the dungeon.

Pete Mack July 8, 2018 21:47

Exponential decay is too strong; it does *not* have a long tail the way the current uniform model does. The issue is the overall frequency, not the out-of-depth scaling factor. I don't understand at all what happens with speed rings. With ego objects, however, the explanation is simple: get rid of junk ego items (res cold, *slay troll*, and the like), and suddenly the good stuff is everywhere.

Philip July 8, 2018 22:01

The current model does not appear to have any tail whatsoever. It appears to instead be a linear relation with a couple step functions involved.

Personally, I think that the only way to discourage grinding is to make the quality of objects roughly equivalent to danger (i.e. monster) level, and so long as monsters are capped to 5 dlvls out of depth (which I feel is somewhat necessary), then the only way to achieve that is with rapid decay.

Pete Mack July 8, 2018 22:26

To my knowledge, grinding in hopes of finding out-of-depth objects is vanishingly rare. You grind at or deeper than an object's native level in order to find it. Finding greatly out-of-depth objects is fun, so long as it is unexpected. With the odds of finding out of depth speed rings so high in dl 40-60 as they are now, it is no longer unexpected. And it is worse still because cursed rings are still usable. Cursed speed rings used to have negative speed bonuses.

PowerWyrm July 9, 2018 09:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 131572)
But, here's something that surprised me. 4.feature has, on average, far fewer monsters than 3.4. In fact at about level 40, the two branches diverge, with 4.feature having about 60% of the monsters per level than 3.4. There are a lot of possible reasons for this.

No, only one obvious reason: GV frequency has been halved.

fizzix July 9, 2018 21:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by PowerWyrm (Post 131675)
No, only one obvious reason: GV frequency has been halved.

Can't be. Vault loot is significantly increased in 4.feature.

Derakon July 9, 2018 21:49

Does that count non-vault special rooms as vault loot?

fizzix July 9, 2018 21:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 131749)
Does that count non-vault special rooms as vault loot?

I don't think so. It uses the square_isvault function. I don't think that applies to special rooms, but I could be wrong.

Personally, I think the decrease is more to do with the lack of pits.

PowerWyrm July 10, 2018 09:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 131743)
Can't be. Vault loot is significantly increased in 4.feature.

I was referring to monster density. Most monsters in deep levels are in vaults, and cutting the number of GVs in half will surely remove a lot of monsters from the deep levels.

Nick July 10, 2018 13:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by fizzix (Post 131753)
I don't think so. It uses the square_isvault function. I don't think that applies to special rooms, but I could be wrong.

It doesn't apply to template rooms, but does apply to all the things in vault.txt (including the new interesting rooms).


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