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Derakon October 29, 2014 16:50

Instadeath mitigation: "dying" status
Just a random idea I had that I figured I'd punt out there.

If you take more damage than you have HP and your HP is above 0, then your HP is set to 0 and your status is set to "dying". While in the "dying" status, regeneration is disabled and any damage is fatal. The only way to remove the status is some form of magical healing -- which will remove the status, but leave you at 0HP, which means that any follow-up damage before you can heal "properly" will still kill you.

The basic concept is to give players a buffer against surprise instadeaths. Of course it won't protect you from getting hit twice in one turn (and is thus of limited use in melee), but it should be enough to guard you from "I didn't know it could breathe for that much!" kinds of deaths.

Zireael October 29, 2014 21:00

LOVE the idea.

EpicMan October 30, 2014 19:30

So if I got knocked down to dying, then chug a potion to get out of dying, I am still at 0 HP, right? So if I get hit will I go back to dying again?

So if you get the dying status, you would have to decide between spending two turns healing, or to try to teleport/TO to reach safety before healing for two turns (i.e. be at risk of death for one more turn). That sounds like it will create interesting tradeoffs in dealing with dying.

Maybe you could change the UI text from white to red when in dying status, as a noticeable alert.

Derakon October 30, 2014 19:47


Originally Posted by EpicMan (Post 96309)
So if I got knocked down to dying, then chug a potion to get out of dying, I am still at 0 HP, right? So if I get hit will I go back to dying again?

My proposal was that if you get hit when at 0HP, you will die, regardless of status. You have to have at least 1HP to benefit from the "dying" status. Otherwise you could burn healing consumables/spells while waiting for the monster to do something "safe". This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was worried it might make the game too easy.


Maybe you could change the UI text from white to red when in dying status, as a noticeable alert.
That could be interesting. Angband doesn't usually go in for wholesale changing of the UI, but back in the day Invulnerability used to make the game go monochrome, and I think Sil does something similar with Rage. I was figuring that the current HP warning, plus a couple of extra messages, would probably suffice:


The Ancient red dragon breathes fire. -more-
Your scroll titled "aque bitre" of *Acquirement* was destroyed! -more-
You are dying! *** LOW HITPOINT WARNING! ***

You are no longer at death's door. -more-
You have 12 more Cyan Potions of Cure Light Wounds. -more-
The Ancient red dragon tries to confuse you. You resist the effects! -more-

You feel very good. You have no more Gold Speckled Potions of Healing.

Ingwe Ingweron October 31, 2014 02:01

I've always thought of instadeath as one of the hazards of Angband that are good. Good in the sense of increasing the stakes. Plus, @ always gets the first move when arriving on a level, so if @ later comes around a corner unawares and gets blasted, so be it. If it's about learning what monsters are so dangerous as to instakill, well, I think tweaking instadeath should be for a tutorial setting or level, but still remain part of the regular game.

wobbly October 31, 2014 08:03

Interesting. What would you do with poison/bleeding etc.

Derakon October 31, 2014 15:37


Originally Posted by wobbly (Post 96316)
Interesting. What would you do with poison/bleeding etc.

"Tick" damage should still kill you if you're at 0HP. However, I don't think there's a problem with magical healing still removing poison/cuts as appropriate, so e.g. if you get breathed on by a Drolem and get poisoned, you'd need to at least drink Cure Critical Wounds to clear the poison, or else it'd kill you next turn.

EpicMan October 31, 2014 15:55

So the "Dying" status mostly just means that regeneration and healing are both disabled. Is mana regeneration disabled as well?

This is a mechanic that would get weaker as you go deeper, in that (assuming you are not cut and/or poisoned) you could use your turn following the drop to dying status to teleport away in order to heal, if you though you could not survive two turns in your current location. At deeper levels teleporting is more and more likely to result in "It breathes, you die".

I really like this idea.

Estie October 31, 2014 16:54

The basic game is about not losing all of your hit points. Adding another step before death might just complicate a simple and good thing.

The issue with "it breathes, you die" is 1. unknown monster property and 2. offscreen monsters which are in vision range of the @, but not the player. To adress strictly this, maybe add another condition for the "dying" status, namely that the health of @ must have been at least 1/2 max or so, so it wont trigger if you stay too long in a mele fight. I think I wouldnt like the global change to "every time you die, you dont really die at first".

It is a good idea, wether I like it if it goes live, I will have to see.

wobbly October 31, 2014 17:29

I'd say the basic instadeath problem is: too easy access to teleport = need for instadeath monsters. Though the idea is still interesting and done right might work.

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