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Old October 2, 2011, 12:19   #1
fph
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Some torch ideas

I find the "torch handling" mini-game kinda tedious: you have to switch to a new torch (not recharge) when you have ~1000 turns left to avoid the reduced light radius, and then remember to 'F'uel the remaining stub back in after another ~1000 turns, so that it doesn't consume an extra inventory slot. This makes torches more cumbersome to use than lanterns, and as such they are almost useless when you find your first lantern (torches weigh more and consume more inventory space). Moreover, it's not obvious for new players to realize which is the best strategy, and this strategy changes completely if you happen to find a torch of brightness.

I'd like to advance some proposals to make them more interesting. First, the obvious thing:
-either make MAX_CHARGE=6000 or FUEL_VALUE=4000, so that one can refill them without losing turns when the light radius goes down. Or remove the light radius reduction completely --- what is its purpose, other than requiring constantly the player's attention?
-alternatively, change refilling so that the "fuel" doesn't disappear if it's not used completely: that is, if my torch has 2000 turns in it and I 'F'uel it with a 4000 turns one in my inventory, then I end up with a filled torch (5000) and one with 1000 turns. This would also apply to the scenario "I have found an extra lantern in the dungeon but the one I am using still has 12000 turns, I'd better wait for a while before fueling".

And then something more interesting:
-make the pvals of torches of brightness stack when they're combined: if I combine two torches of brightness <+1 to light radius>, I end up with a torch of brightness <+2>. This could make torches useful also after "lantern depth", since you could then build up your super-torch and use it despite the additional weight/inventory requirement for recharges.
-Optionally, we could extend this mechanic to other "ego torches" (e.g., make one with rDark, or rCold, and have the flags stack upon combining).

What do you think about it?
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Old October 2, 2011, 12:28   #2
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fph View Post
I'd like to advance some proposals to make them more interesting. First, the obvious thing:
-either make MAX_CHARGE=6000 or FUEL_VALUE=4000, so that one can refill them without losing turns when the light radius goes down. Or remove the light radius reduction completely --- what is its purpose, other than requiring constantly the player's attention?
Yes, torches should have radius 1 only unless it happens to be brightness in which case it should have radius 2 no matter what the fuel status is.
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Old October 2, 2011, 13:06   #3
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This is a relatively recent addition.
Together with that, lanterns were removed from shops (except 7, of course). The goal was to have radius 2 light that is obviously worse than lanterns. It was introduced because there was no real reason to pick torches over lanterns, and now there is - torches are available in shops.

I'd support the removal of oil flasks from 1 instead, by the way. That way torches stay relevant longer. And fps's first suggestion in one form or another.
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Old October 2, 2011, 13:20   #4
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Yes, torches should have radius 1 only unless it happens to be brightness in which case it should have radius 2 no matter what the fuel status is.
Yes, reverting to radius-1 torches is a possible solution, but with some problems:
* if I understand correctly, the torch radius was extended to avoid monsters popping out of nowhere into melee range, which is viewed as quite unfair (especially for races without infravision).
* this doesn't solve completely the refueling problem: I still have to either lose lots 20% of my light turns by refueling whenever I get the first "your torch is running out" message, or always take care that I don't end up in a difficult fight when the counter reaches 0.
* this creates a flat and dull layout: "torches worse than lantern worse than phial, switch when you find the better object". I'd love it to be more nuanced. Take for instance missile launchers: you can't sort them like "sling worse than bow worse than crossbow"; it always depends on the launchers and ammo that you can get your hands on, and on your weight allowance.
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Old October 2, 2011, 16:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narvius View Post
This is a relatively recent addition.
Together with that, lanterns were removed from shops (except 7, of course). The goal was to have radius 2 light that is obviously worse than lanterns. It was introduced because there was no real reason to pick torches over lanterns, and now there is - torches are available in shops.
I know. Reason why I suggest removing the radius two for torches is that radius one is actually very efficient way to make early levels more dangerous. To keep levels exciting they need to be dangerous. Keep lanterns deep.
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Old October 2, 2011, 16:27   #6
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I'd be happy to see the starting fuel of torches reduced to 2500 with a max of 5000 (and perhaps the fuel for lanterns and oil reduced too so the two types stay competitive). I can't even remember the last time I actually ran out of light in the dungeon.

It seems like there's no real resource management involved with either light or food in the current game; they're both too readily available in the dungeon. I think it would help if both torches and food rations were changed to drop singly instead of in stacks.

For another idea, how about lanterns always being found/sold empty to start with, so you need to find oil before you can make use of them? Maybe you would even have to fuel or ID ego lanterns (other than everburning, obviously) before you could discover their powers.
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Old October 2, 2011, 16:42   #7
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I've never found myself wishing "Man, if only I hadn't wasted those torch light turns earlier". Just lose the <1000 turns remaining on the torch when you refuel it; it's not a big deal.

And yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing torches and lanterns reduced to radius-1 and the phial reduced to radius-2.
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Old October 2, 2011, 19:05   #8
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Actually, radius 1 light used to annoy me in variants, but I think since floating eyes and the like are no longer instadeath, it's entirely sensible to revert torches to radius 1.

That said, torches shouldn't be refillable, but should be destroyed upon running out. Just a cosmetic change, but I always wondered how exactly you refill a torch (probably by wrapping the rug from one around another, but still).

Plus reducing the phial to 2 and removing oil from stores should make light much more interesting again, especially since it's available off artifacts and egos (the value of light from these sources would drastically increase).

Additional light slot egos (fire resist and the like, nothing too powerful) as recompensation would be nice (and, now that I think of it - if torches would run out and be destroyed as I suggested, throwing in a couple of really powerful torches now and then could be a very interesting way to create toggleable, powerful buffs - like, a torch with +2 attacks, or immBase. Sounds awesome to me, but feels more like variant material).
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Old October 2, 2011, 19:30   #9
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What if we keep plain vanilla torches as radius 1, and lanterns and 2, but give torches a small effect in melee, either a 1 blow-per-round 1d2 or a small chance to block an incoming attack?
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Old October 2, 2011, 19:36   #10
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What if we keep plain vanilla torches as radius 1, and lanterns and 2, but give torches a small effect in melee, either a 1 blow-per-round 1d2 or a small chance to block an incoming attack?
Too powerful. Nobody would be using anything else than torches then. Any easy to get extra off-weapon combat boost beyond what we have now is too powerful.

Torches are supposed to be low-level soon-to-be obsolete stuff, like any other low level consumable. There is no need to buff them. No reason to make them "interesting", because making them interesting makes everything else in same category less interesting.
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