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Old September 12, 2018, 16:02   #37
the Invisible Stalker
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 164
the Invisible Stalker is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by Carnivean View Post
Part of the meta-narrative is that you have to evolve the way you think about the game and how you play it. If you responded to the initial set of conditions in a way that you perceived to be optimal, but actually only worked for the limited conditions that you encountered, and then stubbornly followed that same way throughout the rest of the game with disastrous results, then you will get frustrated and quit. However if you followed the scientific method (get data -> hypothesis -> test -> update hypothesis -> repeat) you'd evolve the way that you played the game. This is part of the fun of the meta-narrative.

The problem, therefore, with Eddie's suggestion is that you reduce the options in the meta-narrative and only deal with the options within the game. Eddie's meta-narrative wasn't trying to beat the game but beat the game faster than anyone else. If you were to simplify the options presented to the player then you are locking them into an easier version of Phillip's meta-narrative.

My contention then is that presenting the player with a bewildering selection of methods and having them learn which is better overall by progressively attempting and discarding theories as more data becomes available.

If you limit the options to a handful of pre-selected optimal choices then you're changing the fundamental nature of the game to something different. It's no longer about learning the game but rather about mechanically progressing through each game.
It seems I wasn't clear enough in what I wrote. I'm not trying to limit options. For the record, I don't think Eddie was either. The problem is that Angband has never been very good at providing the feedback needed for the 'test hypothesis' stage in your cycle. To update properly you need to be able to figure out which of two failures was closer to being a success. Score is useless. Character level is a tempting proxy, but leads to very bad habits. You achieve that by killing lots of things, and killing things mostly a waste of time. Maximum dungeon level is probably the best of the simple ways to judge which of two failed attempts was more successful. That certainly wasn't obvious to me when I was a new player though.
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