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Old September 21, 2010, 21:20   #93
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
That point on measuring peoples' observations is a good one. It's hard enough right now to tell what "too many artifacts" means and if things have changed from previous versions. I don't have a good answer for that.

As for moving back towards a harder base game, I wouldn't see these options as preventing us from changing the reference frame. A "balanced at 0" game might be easy or hard; the options would just be there to make it easier or harder, depending on taste and aptitude.
Agreed on the latter point. I do actually have an answer to the observation issue, which is to gather hard data. Takkaria pointed me to wiz-stats.c, which I plan to expand into a proper monte carlo test suite for item and monster generation. That way I can tell it to generate a million monsters (or items) and get output which tells me all about which artifacts drop at which depths, whether stat potions are too common or too rare etc. etc. Then each set of changes can be re-tested to see how far they've changed those results. I think it's high time we had a rigorous test suite for both monsters and items, but particularly for items.

The thing is, this is like number 31 on my ever-increasing to-do list, and I spend far more time adding to it than reducing it. That's partly RL - work has been crazy this summer and I'm hoping it will get a bit easier this winter and allow me to have some free evenings. But also because I'm getting less and less focused in what I want to do. I think this one might actually be pretty important.
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