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Old June 15, 2012, 14:34   #21
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Ah, I'm afraid to have to point out that this system doesn't really achieve anything. Or rather, it's equivalent to just multiplying the experience gap between level n and level n+1 by n
...
The effect of this would be that you are fairly rewarded for killing monsters of equal or greater level to you (and as deeper monsters will tend to be worth more experience, particularly rewarded for defeating these, as per the current system), but when you get to a certain point the experience for shallow monsters really dries up.
I'm confused. The current system which you state does nothing, pretty much does exactly what you describe in the last paragraph. If you kill 10 wolves at dlevel 8, you are likely to gain one or two levels. If you kill 10 wolves at dlevel 20, you won't really gain any experience of note.

There are two issues with the experience discounting, and they both have to do with the function rather than the methodology. 1) The player can only get up to level 50 while the monsters can go up to level 100. This means that there's never any discounting for monsters greater than level 50. (ok, because most monsters this deep are uniques or very dangerous anyway.) 2) As monsters go up in level the relative discount gets less. (ok because the spacing between level increases goes up also which is what determines the relative discount deeper in the dungeon.) I haven't noticed that the XP system in Vanilla is a major problem. Both of the biggest issues are actually fine for gameplay. That's not to say that the Sil system isn't good also, it almost certainly is. I just don't think Vanilla is broken in this regard. In fact, the progression of player levels seems to be one of the best balanced mechanics right now.
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Old June 15, 2012, 15:27   #22
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I'm confused. The current system which you state does nothing, pretty much does exactly what you describe in the last paragraph. If you kill 10 wolves at dlevel 8, you are likely to gain one or two levels. If you kill 10 wolves at dlevel 20, you won't really gain any experience of note.
IIUC the point is that you could get the same effect by keeping XP constant and adjusting the amount of XP needed for each character level.
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Old June 15, 2012, 16:06   #23
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
IIUC the point is that you could get the same effect by keeping XP constant and adjusting the amount of XP needed for each character level.
The experience increases are already exponential... doing this would require scoring billions of experience points at level 50 no?
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Old June 15, 2012, 16:27   #24
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
IIUC the point is that you could get the same effect by keeping XP constant and adjusting the amount of XP needed for each character level.
With the exception that being 1 XP point below level 2 doubles the XP for a kill, if I'm reading the mechanics right.
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Old June 15, 2012, 16:29   #25
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Originally Posted by Scatha View Post
Sil is certainly not the only recent roguelike to make some effort to make the commands more accessible, but since its changes were from an Angband-like system, they might be relevant here:
- Added a unified (u)se command and promoted this to new players. The old, specific use commands almost all still exist.
- Similarly added a unified method for terrain interaction.
Oddly enough Vanilla already has an "interact with terrain" command (ctrl + direction) that picks the most sensible interaction depending on the terrain type. I think the only remotely common situation in which this produces undesirable results is jammed doors, where you'd rather try to tunnel through or bash down the door than fruitlessly attempt to open it over and over again.

The way I think I'm going to handle item usage in Pyrel is to make items discoverable via the inventory screen. Players are likely to stumble across the inventory command on their own. It will allow users to select items using the arrow keys and the enter key -- an intuitive interface. When an item is selected, you're given a list of commands you can perform with it, e.g.
Code:
12 Potions of Cure Light Wounds. Would you like to:
(u)se (quaff)
(q)uaff
(I)nspect
(v)olley (throw)
(d)rop
(k)ill (squelch)
Quote:
Fair point about giving people room (Sil essentially takes the approach that it's okay for people to die a lot near the start while they're learning, but in some ways that's unnecessarily cruel), and interesting idea. The problem I see with cliff-facing like that is that it's not transparent to the player; why should they expect level 3 to be so much tougher? And if it is, why shouldn't level 4 be tougher too? This is avoidable if you can somehow label it as a different part of the dungeon.
One possible way to do this would be to have townspeople wandering around the first two dungeon levels. Having them vanish from the third level on would send a message that things are no longer as safe.

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We had a similar issue in Sil (but no monster had more than two attacks). Our solution was to make them attack just once each round, but randomise which attack they used. I don't know whether that would be of use here.
I don't think so. For example, Sauron's drain-charges ability becomes much less worrisome if he only has a (chance to hit) * (.25)% chance of using it on any given round. Not to mention we'd have to rescale damage values to keep the player taking the right amount of damage each turn.

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(I don't know the history here. I'd assumed that escapes were easy and then more deadly situations were added to keep the game interesting, because it was harder to imagine it flowing in the other direction, but perhaps they've both always been around.)
I believe what's going on here is mostly that while escapes were plentiful, people were also much more likely to not use them. Part of that was ignorance (we really had no idea what "optimal" play looked like), and part of it was down to the lack of preserve mode, since players were typically not willing to abandon special levels. Of course that latter excuse goes out the window as soon as the preserve option was added (sometime shortly after Ben took over, IIRC), leaving us with just the former.

Angband's always been pretty deadly. I don't think that's changed much -- the only major make-it-more-deadly changes that come to mind are the addition of Julian's new monsters, which include a bunch of high-powered uniques; the removal of confusion resistance from chaos resistance (which nerfed Thorin, a very common equip), and the more recent changes.

Quote:
I certainly agree that there is a space for games which allow grinding (and I think Angband should probably be one of them), but let me explain why you might not want to:

Allowing grinding in some sense makes the game a continuous "choose your own difficulty level" as you go. This can be great for people pottering around having fun with their character. But it makes the game less of a challenge to be beaten. At least personally, something I enjoy is trying to optimise my play. This runs into problems if "optimal" play is to grind a lot, which I don't enjoy.
One of the neat things about Angband is how limited grinding is. It can be helpful in the early game, when character level has a big impact on your ability to kill things. But it rapidly becomes much less useful than equipment and stats. So again I tend to think of this as catering to new players who want a gentler introduction to the game.

Of course, you can also grind for equipment and stats. Ideally you should never need to grind for the former, and the latter should happen fairly organically as you play. But people used to hang out at 1650' until they maxed their stats out. *shrug*

Quote:
Perhaps that's something I should have mentioned in my list:
- Ensure optimal play is interesting.

You can have a challenge like "win the game in as few turns as possible", but this has a couple of problems:
- Without external reference (e.g. the ladder) or playing a lot of times you have no yardstick to measure yourself against.
- It's terrible as a goal when you're learning the game and have no idea what the late game is like.

The forced descent is a way of saying: "You don't have to choose your difficulty level, we've done that for you." This may annoy some players, but it's great for those enjoy meeting and overcoming external challenges. It also helps us from a game balance point of view to try to construct situations which stay dangerous for a majority of characters through the game while not being unfair on others.
There's definitely something to be said for removing options, both for making the game easier to design, and for making the remaining options more interesting to optimize from the player's perspective.

Quote:
Interestingly, Angband has an option which prevents grinding: Ironman. Is playing Ironman a sensible way to learn the game? I'm not sure. There's a lot of weight in default settings; if you thought that no grinding was the best way to play then making Ironman the default with an option not to would significantly change the perspective of new players to the game, while doing very little to old players who know how they prefer to approach the game.
Back in the day, the few gameplay options we had were presented to the user as yes/no questions during character creation. IIRC this was mostly just limited to maximize and preserve mode. But I think it'd be a good idea to present more of the significant gameplay options to the player during character creation so they're more willing to experiment with them. Right now birth options are basically never going to be found unless you read the docs or the forums, and our options interface does a bad job of explaining what all the options do and why you might want to use them.

That said, I doubt we'd be able to swing making Ironman the default option, for the same reason that we wouldn't be able to remove the town from the game outright.
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Old June 15, 2012, 17:31   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon
Code:
12 Potions of Cure Light Wounds. Would you like to:
(u)se (quaff)
(q)uaff
(I)nspect
(v)olley (throw)
(d)rop
(k)ill (squelch)
So THAT explains why the throw command is "v"!
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Old June 15, 2012, 22:49   #27
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Originally Posted by ekolis View Post
So THAT explains why the throw command is "v"!
heh, and here I thought it was "impart (v)elocity to"
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Old June 15, 2012, 23:44   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobbly View Post
With the exception that being 1 XP point below level 2 doubles the XP for a kill, if I'm reading the mechanics right.
Indeed. But Scatha is right - this system does nothing meaningful to prevent grinding, because you get the same xp for the millionth orc killed at level X as for the first orc killed at level X. The Sil system, IIUC, reduces the xp for each successive monster killed of the same type.
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Old June 16, 2012, 00:23   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
heh, and here I thought it was "impart (v)elocity to"
You are reminded that the momentum of objects is preserved as they pass through a portal. In layman's terms, "speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out"!

Sorry, couldn't resist!
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Old June 16, 2012, 01:32   #30
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
heh, and here I thought it was "impart (v)elocity to"
I've always thought 'v' was reasonable without tracking down why - I now, weirdly, realise it's because it sounds like the first letter of 'werfen'. Sometimes I wonder about myself.
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