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Old July 8, 2018, 20:38   #21
Philip
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Fair enough. "The previous balance was fine" is definitely a clear enough goal. I will propose some metrics.

* The player should be discouraged from pursuing safe (unfun) behavior (scumming early levels).
This a restatement of Derakon's first rule, but I think there are fairly clear ways to define it. I would say that unsafe behavior is encouraged when the benefits of repeating levels are diminished. In the interests of this, I propose out of depth object frequency follows exponential decay. 1/2 the frequency for every 2 levels out of depth? This preserves the long tail of out of depth objects, which is a fun feature, without letting players redo dlvl 30 50 times and probably get a ring of speed.

* The player should not feel like they have to grind.
Establish, for each ability, and for certain objects, a point at which we expect the player to start finding it, and a point at which we think a player should have found it already, assuming one clear of each level. For Free Action, this might be dlvl 1 and dlvl 30 respectively, as an example. For ESP it might be dlvl 30-70. 95% of characters should find their first source somewhere between those points. If they don't, new objects need to be introduced, or rarities or native depths need to be changed to satisfy the rule. This metric already seems to exist, but isn't explicitly stated.

One assumption I am making is that there is some plan to stop players from skipping every level between 40 and 85. These plans do not really work without such a mechanism, because they assume linear progression through the dungeon.
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Old July 8, 2018, 20:47   #22
Pete Mack
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Exponential decay is too strong; it does *not* have a long tail the way the current uniform model does. The issue is the overall frequency, not the out-of-depth scaling factor. I don't understand at all what happens with speed rings. With ego objects, however, the explanation is simple: get rid of junk ego items (res cold, *slay troll*, and the like), and suddenly the good stuff is everywhere.
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Old July 8, 2018, 21:01   #23
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The current model does not appear to have any tail whatsoever. It appears to instead be a linear relation with a couple step functions involved.

Personally, I think that the only way to discourage grinding is to make the quality of objects roughly equivalent to danger (i.e. monster) level, and so long as monsters are capped to 5 dlvls out of depth (which I feel is somewhat necessary), then the only way to achieve that is with rapid decay.
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Old July 8, 2018, 21:26   #24
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To my knowledge, grinding in hopes of finding out-of-depth objects is vanishingly rare. You grind at or deeper than an object's native level in order to find it. Finding greatly out-of-depth objects is fun, so long as it is unexpected. With the odds of finding out of depth speed rings so high in dl 40-60 as they are now, it is no longer unexpected. And it is worse still because cursed rings are still usable. Cursed speed rings used to have negative speed bonuses.
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Old July 9, 2018, 08:11   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
But, here's something that surprised me. 4.feature has, on average, far fewer monsters than 3.4. In fact at about level 40, the two branches diverge, with 4.feature having about 60% of the monsters per level than 3.4. There are a lot of possible reasons for this.
No, only one obvious reason: GV frequency has been halved.
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Old July 9, 2018, 20:15   #26
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Originally Posted by PowerWyrm View Post
No, only one obvious reason: GV frequency has been halved.
Can't be. Vault loot is significantly increased in 4.feature.
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Old July 9, 2018, 20:49   #27
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Does that count non-vault special rooms as vault loot?
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Old July 9, 2018, 20:55   #28
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Quote:
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Does that count non-vault special rooms as vault loot?
I don't think so. It uses the square_isvault function. I don't think that applies to special rooms, but I could be wrong.

Personally, I think the decrease is more to do with the lack of pits.
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Old July 10, 2018, 08:21   #29
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Can't be. Vault loot is significantly increased in 4.feature.
I was referring to monster density. Most monsters in deep levels are in vaults, and cutting the number of GVs in half will surely remove a lot of monsters from the deep levels.
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Old July 10, 2018, 12:43   #30
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Quote:
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I don't think so. It uses the square_isvault function. I don't think that applies to special rooms, but I could be wrong.
It doesn't apply to template rooms, but does apply to all the things in vault.txt (including the new interesting rooms).
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