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Old August 25, 2007, 21:49   #1
will_asher
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autoscum bites me in the foot

I'd been playing awhile without autoscum levels on, but I turned it on for this game because on the earlier game it seemed to take me forever to get ego weapons and stuff and the only artifact I found those several games was the phial. The first time I go to dungeon level 3 I get a "you like the looks of this level" feeling. I had already found a summon monster scroll, and I figure any other scroll normally found an the first few level are safe to read to find out what they are. I read a scroll from that level and it turned out to be curse weapon. So I had my -5 -5 shattered broadsword stuck to my hand until a remove curse scroll appeared in the temple.

And that's how I learn that auto-scum isn't always good. ..but I still like it better than without it.
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Old August 26, 2007, 00:29   #2
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I've almost exclusively played V with autosummer off in the past; I think I took that "many players consider this option cheating" line in the online help to heart!

However, something I've found with 3.0.8 & 3.0.9 (last version I played before that was 3.0.3) is that, like yourself, I simply find absolutely nothing at all until quite startling depths. My first run on 3.0.8 gave me no level above "boring place" until somewhere around 800 feet, when I finally got a floor that mightn't have been all bad...

I seem to recall Takkaria saying something about not having changed anything in dungeon generation, but I don't know whether this related to the maps only or the whole of level generation.
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Old August 26, 2007, 00:41   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daven_26d1 View Post
I seem to recall Takkaria saying something about not having changed anything in dungeon generation, but I don't know whether this related to the maps only or the whole of level generation.
It's possible the dungeon_align option being removed has some effect. That's really the only thing it could be. Either that, or the RNGs are collectively unionising against players at the moment. I don't know which is more likely.
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Old August 26, 2007, 00:52   #4
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I've never played with aligned rooms, except for my very first game or two, playing 2.x.y on Win. So its not that.

Probably I just used to be luckier.
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Old August 26, 2007, 06:05   #5
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Personally, I don't consider autoscum cheating. If I wasn't using autoscum, I'd want to spend only enough turns on a level to get a level feeling for the next level, but sometimes I get a little carried away with exploring even when it's basically pointless to explore that level. AFAIC (wow, I just realized what that acronym means), if you can do something without the option to have pretty much the same effect (scum for better levels), then it can't be cheating.
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Old August 26, 2007, 11:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will_asher View Post
Personally, I don't consider autoscum cheating. If I wasn't using autoscum, I'd want to spend only enough turns on a level to get a level feeling for the next level, but sometimes I get a little carried away with exploring even when it's basically pointless to explore that level. AFAIC (wow, I just realized what that acronym means), if you can do something without the option to have pretty much the same effect (scum for better levels), then it can't be cheating.
Next version and autoscum's gone (so this is fair warning!). I'm thinking of removing level feelings most of the time too, and only giving them when something truly exceptional is on the level, or perhaps just for artifacts. Something like that.
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Old August 26, 2007, 18:11   #7
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Originally Posted by will_asher View Post
Personally, I don't consider autoscum cheating...
...if you can do something without the option to have pretty much the same effect (scum for better levels), then it can't be cheating.
But scumming manually costs you food, and light, and IC / RL time... by your logic autoscum *is* cheating, surely...

I don't think autoscum is massively cheating anymore, but it certainly produces a different game. In fact, although autoscum is mostly advantageous, it can mean death for divers, or near the end of the dungeon (when you basically want a clear path to Sauron & Morgoth).

What *is* cheating in my book is turning it off and on as you feel like it, up to and including just before you post to the ladder! That's why I like the option fixed at birth, as it is now - you either play "autoscum angband" or you don't.
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The shopkeeper howls in agony!
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Old August 26, 2007, 19:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daven_26d1 View Post
But scumming manually costs you food, and light, and IC / RL time... by your logic autoscum *is* cheating, surely...
food and light are about the cheapest things in the game, and spending a lot of time finding nothing whatsoever of value just stinks. Having an option that reduces annoyance and boredom in the game is good.

Quote:
What *is* cheating in my book is turning it off and on as you feel like it, up to and including just before you post to the ladder! That's why I like the option fixed at birth, as it is now - you either play "autoscum angband" or you don't.
That makes sense. It's fine with me to have it as a birth option, but if the option dissapears I'll greatly miss it. Without autoscum or level feelings, I'll feel like I have to explore every level to find out if there's something worthwhile on it. And if there isn't anything worthwhile most of the time (which will be the case unless the rarity of good items is changed), it'll make the game more frustrating and less fun.
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Old August 26, 2007, 19:57   #9
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I bet takkaria is going to make autoscum the default and only cover it with weasel words about rebalancing and new better V.

BTW, I like it.
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Old August 27, 2007, 01:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will_asher View Post
That makes sense. It's fine with me to have it as a birth option, but if the option dissapears I'll greatly miss it. Without autoscum or level feelings, I'll feel like I have to explore every level to find out if there's something worthwhile on it. And if there isn't anything worthwhile most of the time (which will be the case unless the rarity of good items is changed), it'll make the game more frustrating and less fun.
If it disappears, it's because the game is to be balanced so that it's unnecessary (at least in theory). Autoscum is like squelch: it covers up a problem by adding optional behaviour to work around the problem, rather than by fixing the problem.

Scumming is encouraged by level feelings (which aren't particularly accurate) and also because the dungeon isn't all that interesting a fair bit of the time. The solution is to remove autoscum and make the dungeon more interesting more of the time. There's a balance to be had here, though -- current development versions of V are a bit too "interesting". Smaller levels help, too, and mean that exploring a whole dungeon level is generally less of a chore. (Current dungeons are too big.)

EDIT: er, it's late night, I'm tired and can't get to sleep -- please don't take the above as being right!
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