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Old September 6, 2015, 14:19   #1
mushroom patch
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suggestion: remove fuel, darkness/turn draining revisions

Hi angband guys.

tl;dr, see subject line. More specifically: Fuel for lamps and torches has little or no gameplay impact (outside of eating inventory slots in the early-to-mid game). This situation could be improved by simply not having fuel in the game. (Flasks of oil are a bit cheezy in the very early game anyway.)

Now you might say, "Wait, there are monsters that drain turns!" Indeed, but these also have little impact on reasonably competent play. Most of the time you can just not fight these monsters, but even when you do, this is about the least interesting/relevant monster ability.

Even so, you can keep silver jellies, etc. by making them instead inflict a stackable status that reduces light radius. I would recommend making the effect wear off with xp gathered rather than with time, so that it's legitimately dangerous to get. Similarly, I recommend that darkness effects inflict the same status.

If you're feeling really ambitious, this same logic would apply to food and hunger attacks, but baby steps...

Last edited by mushroom patch; September 6, 2015 at 14:35.
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Old September 6, 2015, 23:06   #2
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Both of these do have a considerable effect in ironman games.
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Old September 7, 2015, 00:52   #3
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Still its a nice idea about silver jellies
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Old September 7, 2015, 05:44   #4
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Both of these do have a considerable effect in ironman games.
Unless the drop rates for fuel have changed a lot since the last version I played, I doubt that. 8000 turns is like a quarter of what you can expect to play before gaining access to unlimited light sources. That's probably a conservative estimate.

In any case, it sounds like we agree that with default options the situation is as I described it.
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Old September 7, 2015, 07:04   #5
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I've always thought that creatures that consume light were neat and flavorful, if nothing else. The lowering light radius effect sounds nifty as an alternative/addition, in any case.

Almost overreacted to the original post. The word "uninteresting" terrifies me these days, seeing what it's done to Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
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Old September 7, 2015, 07:52   #6
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DCSS is in an awkward transitional stage right now where it's cut a lot of tedium that was there purely (or at least largely) for flavor, but not enough to where it's achieved really tight, clean gameplay. It's slowly getting there though. There seems to be serious talk about removing hunger from the game, for example. That's a big step for crawl and a necessary one, imo.

Angband is in a place where it has some odds and ends that make it brutally hard if you don't know what you're doing and don't use spoilers, but if you do know what you're doing, it's quite easy, easier than, say, crawl. To look at the big picture re: angband, the basic problems are an underdeveloped tactical game and the overpowered mechanics that create that situation. It's a deep problem, imo. The problems center around a simplistic stealth system in which you don't have to run any risk of unintentionally waking up monsters, lack of incentives to move during combat (this is a big problem, maybe the biggest, imo), overpowered teleportation/summoning mechanics, and to a lesser extent overly high-damage breath weapons. They're all interrelated and it would take a serious effort to unravel the web that's been weaved here.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, it's dangerous to justify mechanics by reference to flavor instead of gameplay. I don't think light draining has ever been a factor in any game of angband/moria and I've been playing since kindergarten. (Keep in mind, when I was a kid I was so bad I died to lice infestations.) Light radius reduction, especially if it can get you down to no light, would be a real threat.
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Old September 7, 2015, 08:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
lack of incentives to move during combat (this is a big problem, maybe the biggest, imo)
Do you only play Warriors? I use Phase Door quite a lot! Perhaps you're talking strictly about movement as in arrow keys?

Quote:
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Anyway, back to the subject at hand, it's dangerous to justify mechanics by reference to flavor instead of gameplay. I don't think light draining has ever been a factor in any game of angband/moria and I've been playing since kindergarten. (Keep in mind, when I was a kid I was so bad I died to lice infestations.) Light radius reduction, especially if it can get you down to no light, would be a real threat.
I have never run out of light in Angband even when I started just diving a lot more instead of going back to town (yay, no_selling!) -- drain or not. It's just not a factor -- it's a minor inconvenience and an inventory slot spent. (However, I don't play ironman, so I can't speak to that.)

I kind of like the light radius idea, but it'd quite a bit a balancing to get the danger level right. (I mean silver jellies are a level 1-10ish monster right?)

Personally, I think fuel should just be removed -- and if that means silver jellies go, then so be it.
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Old September 7, 2015, 08:42   #8
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Do you only play Warriors? I use Phase Door quite a lot! Perhaps you're talking strictly about movement as in arrow keys?
I use phase door in the early game, yes. I play mostly rogues, some priests and paladins. Never warriors. And yes, I mean movement movement.

The very early game isn't as bad from a positioning perspective. It often makes sense to move! Later in the game, it's a thing where you move to lure and perhaps retreat to a summoning/breath corridor only. In actual combat, movement is a waste of turns and you don't want to have anywhere to move to anyway. You don't even want to teleport within a level. Late game teleports are teleport level and teleport other, imo. (I mean, ignoring monsters that are both slower than you and neither breathe nor summon, which are monsters that don't matter anyway. Here you can do the move and attack thing, but w/e. Pretty thin combat movement, imo.)
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Old September 7, 2015, 08:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
it's dangerous to justify mechanics by reference to flavor instead of gameplay. I don't think light draining has ever been a factor in any game of angband/moria and I've been playing since kindergarten. (Keep in mind, when I was a kid I was so bad I died to lice infestations.) Light radius reduction, especially if it can get you down to no light, would be a real threat.
The terror that flaps in the night is the "it may be flavorful, and it's not harming anyone, but it doesn't make me change my gameplay significantly, so it should be axed" mindset. Suggesting alternatives and improvements is one thing, but hacking flavorful things out because they're not significantly gameplay-impacting drives me batty. I don't come to roguelikes for serious flavor and storytelling by any means, but the flavor that does exist is absolutely desirable. It's what initially drew me to DCSS, and the recent gutting in the name of efficiency and "it should only exist if it's making me change my strategy by making things more challenging" is what made me abandon it. Got a little too axe-crazy over there.

But that's my paranoia talking, and getting off-topic. I do like the light radius effect suggestion.
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Old September 7, 2015, 08:45   #10
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Interesting, though. What specifically prompted your flight? Or what were the main contributing factors?
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