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Old March 22, 2017, 15:47   #31
wobbly
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
But I'm willing to give Nick the benefit of the doubt; he seems to have made basically sound decisions up to this point, for the most part.
You sure, he did accept become maintainer...
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Old March 22, 2017, 15:58   #32
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Yes, we need to differentiate between "the game will take longer" and "the game requires more grinding". Grinding is performing repetitive but "rewarding" (in terms of gear, experience, etc.) tasks, particularly ones that are largely safe. Ideally it would not be possible at all, but with a game with as large a power curve as Angband has that doesn't seem likely to be achievable without rules like forced-descent.

Making monsters more powerful can potentially result in grinding, if players (are able to) refuse to go anywhere near those monsters without having the relevant resists. If the player must engage with those monsters anyway, even if only by sneaking past them, then I'd say we aren't dealing with an increase in grinding.

It still might not be the kind of playstyle we want, of course. I'm not convinced that we ought to be making more monsters capable of one-shotting the player, for example. But I'm willing to give Nick the benefit of the doubt; he seems to have made basically sound decisions up to this point, for the most part.
@Derakon--
In this case, I expect it to mean more stat gain (and armor pickup) before dl 60, where high breathers start to get significantly more HP. This will make a whole lot of single-shot monsters, especially if the monster HP divisor is increased to 3 as it is for poison.
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Old March 22, 2017, 16:01   #33
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@Derakon--
In this case, I expect it to mean more stat gain (and armor pickup) before dl 60, where high breathers start to get significantly more HP. This will make a whole lot of single-shot monsters, especially if the monster HP divisor is increased to 3 as it is for poison.
That may be the case, or it may not. Our players are inventive folk.

More importantly, I would not expect this change to be made in isolation. We can scale up the potential damage from breaths and then adjust the actual damage done by specific monsters until the balance is where we want it to be. This could include changing the multiplier system, for example, or tweaking monster HP.
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Old March 22, 2017, 16:32   #34
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One of the issues of late game diving where one-shotting monsters abound is that it takes away decision making. When a given monster has a 1 in N chance of breathing something that will kill you, then the choice of engaging the monster is removed. You avoid the monster at all costs. The game gives ample tools of avoiding monsters, including teleport other and destruction.

If you remove those options from the player, then you run into situations where you force the player to be able to handle the monsters (leading to the grinding for equipment problem).

Personally I think that non-unique monsters that can do 600 damage a turn are a problem for us, and they really limit what challenges we can realistically throw at the player. Realistically this means that you either need the resist to handle the monster (assuming you get a 2/3 resistance) or you cannot engage it. If resistance is 1/3 and monsters do 400 damage resistance, we really limit what we can do. 2 monsters in LoS is a death sentence for most characters pre-endgame. Forcing players to handle multiple threats at once exponentially increases different scenarios. (yes exponential is right here, it's literally monsters^n), but no sane player is going to allow themselves to fight multiple monsters when a full health kill is a possibility.

I'm not sure what the best solution is, but I've always pushed for lowering single turn monster damage output and making guaranteed escapes rarer (perhaps these should solely be the domain of rogues and to a lesser degree mages). I certainly understand the fun of sneaking around amongst instant death to try to find quality gear, and that playstyle probably should be encouraged. But we need to do it in a way that doesn't force only 1v1 encounters with monsters that you are properly kitted for.
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Old March 22, 2017, 20:17   #35
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Just had a thought and I don't know if this is solving any particular problem, but there is a way to have predictable variability in resists that could be tactically interesting.

Say resists start by blocking 2/3 of damage. You receive damage on this element which starts a counter of X normal turns. When the counter is at X the resist blocks only 1/3 of damage, and as the counter counts down, damage reduction increases gradually back to 2/3.
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Old March 22, 2017, 21:23   #36
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@Estie--
It's really easy to test this. Just edit the list-elements.h file, and make every entry that has resistance to read like poison. I suspect you will end up doing more grinding, not less.
In fact, if you're playing the nightlies, it's easier than that - you just need to edit the numerator and denominator lines in projection.txt.

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Personally I think that non-unique monsters that can do 600 damage a turn are a problem for us, and they really limit what challenges we can realistically throw at the player. Realistically this means that you either need the resist to handle the monster (assuming you get a 2/3 resistance) or you cannot engage it. If resistance is 1/3 and monsters do 400 damage resistance, we really limit what we can do. 2 monsters in LoS is a death sentence for most characters pre-endgame.
The damage drop-off of cone-shaped breaths actually helps here quite a bit.
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Old March 22, 2017, 21:29   #37
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Keep in mind with all this that I am looking at significant adjustment to the monster list, including introducing new monsters, adjusting the depths of current ones, changing movement (and maybe spellcasting) AI, introducing new spells (including some with combinations of damage types), and giving existing attack types extra side-effects when unresisted.
In fact, given that high resists are just a data file change, I'm going to do all this other stuff first.
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Old March 22, 2017, 21:33   #38
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The damage drop-off of cone-shaped breaths actually helps here quite a bit.
Yeah it's certainly a step in the right direction, BUT, it's hard to calculate. If a dragon is 5 spaces away how much damage will the breath be? I don't know. The game currently doesn't tell you (unless this has changed). And getting that info to the player in a simple manner seems very difficult.
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Old March 22, 2017, 22:49   #39
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Yeah it's certainly a step in the right direction, BUT, it's hard to calculate. If a dragon is 5 spaces away how much damage will the breath be? I don't know. The game currently doesn't tell you (unless this has changed). And getting that info to the player in a simple manner seems very difficult.
I feel like it might be a good move to adapt the "Show damage player deals to monsters" option to display all forms of damage in numerical form - monster on player as well as vice versa, and including damage from things like spells, wands, breaths, etc. rather than just physical damage. (I know the monster damage information is technically already available by monitoring your HP, but it's much easier to grasp what's going on if you read "The Hellbound breathes fire (44)" than if you're trying to calculate 313-269 in the middle of a busy battle situation.)

It would still be a case of discovering how much damage things can do by getting hit once and knowing better for next time, but that kind of learning by trial and error is a grand roguelike tradition, and it would allow experienced players to learn ballpark estimates for things like how much breath damage drops with distance.
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Old March 23, 2017, 07:50   #40
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I see 2 options that make sense:

1) Remove high resists. The attacks are weird, so we can't reduce damage from them. We can keep things that prevent side effects. Cap them to a reasonable damage level.

2) We make high resists more easily calculable, more standard.

2a) We make ALL resists the same and reduce maximum damage caps for the standard 5.

If we make them more easily calculable, with a resist being 40% and a stacking resist being another 40%, then everything becomes much easier to understand.
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