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Old November 19, 2015, 17:42   #1
Nomad
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More thematic level feeling messages

So, there's already been much discussion about level feelings, whether to remove them and if so what to replace them with, and it's probably going to go round a million times more before anyone agrees on anything. But in the meantime, I'd like to propose a simple cosmetic update to the existing level feeling messages, to make them sound less like random psychic predictions pulled out of the thin air, and more like actual observations @ could plausibly have made by looking around a bit.

My suggested system would be to make the "danger feeling" based on the amount of monster activity that can be heard, and the "treasure feeling" based on how fancy and well-kept the rooms look. So here's a proposed set of replacement messages:

Danger feelings (AKA: how much activity does @ hear?)

Code:
1. All seems quiet and still.
2. There is little sound of activity.
3. You occasionally hear footsteps.
4. You hear monsters in the distance.
5. You hear guard patrols nearby.
6. You hear many marching feet.
7. You hear the clash of battle.
8. The halls ring with fearsome cries.
9. Drums! Drums in the deep!
Treasure feelings (AKA: does this look like somewhere they'd be keeping the good loot?)

Code:
1. The hallways here are in poor repair.
2. This place is thick with dust.
3. These rooms seem shabby and neglected.
4. Rooms here are bare and functional.
5. Rooms here are comfortable and well kept.
6. Fine furnishings decorate the rooms here.
7. Works of art fill these chambers.
8. The rooms here are grand and ornate.
9. Awe-inspiring finery surrounds you.
(Another advantage of more thematic messages is that unlike the current level feelings they don't directly promise you're actually going to find "superb treasures" or whatever, so they work just as well as potentially meaningless flavour text.)

Thoughts?

Last edited by Nomad; November 19, 2015 at 18:16.
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Old November 19, 2015, 17:54   #2
Derakon
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My only gripe is that all of the treasure feelings repeat the phrase "rooms here" and that's a really minor gripe. Put this in post-haste.
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Old November 19, 2015, 18:03   #3
Nomad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
My only gripe is that all of the treasure feelings repeat the phrase "rooms here" and that's a really minor gripe. Put this in post-haste.
I'm definitely open to suggestions on better wording if anybody's got them! It's just that the combined message has to fit within the 80-character limit and "rooms here" is nice and short compared to most of the alternatives.
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Old November 19, 2015, 18:33   #4
Ingwe Ingweron
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These sound much better than the current level feeling messages. Hope Nick will implement them.
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Old November 19, 2015, 19:56   #5
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I like the idea in theory, but there are going to be a lot of cases where the apparent direct observation of the message is going to conflict with what is actually in the level. For example, "rooms" messages aren't going to make sense in a cavern level, and monster noise for a bunch of sleeping uniques or wallpass ghosts or something, or a low noise message when you land in a bunch of ogres and orcs.

I would be less worried about similarities across messages now that we display the numerical score.

I'm just going to throw this out there (and I can't believe I'm saying this because I'm always advocating for more flavor), but maybe we don't need 9 separate text messages. This would avoid confusion, and potentially help new players not get sucked into the difference between a 1 and a 3. These aren't perfect either, but

1-3: Few cries break the eerie silence.
4-6: Careful! Morgroth's twisted servants patrol these halls.
7-8: Behold! You hear the muster of great armies!
9: Drums! Drums in the deep!

1-3: This area seems shabby and neglected.
4-6: The supplies in this region could sustain an evil host.
7-8: This place looks crafted to protect great treasures.
9: Fates be praised! Morgroth's greatest secrets lie about!
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Old November 19, 2015, 20:25   #6
Nomad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bio_hazard View Post
I like the idea in theory, but there are going to be a lot of cases where the apparent direct observation of the message is going to conflict with what is actually in the level. For example, "rooms" messages aren't going to make sense in a cavern level, and monster noise for a bunch of sleeping uniques or wallpass ghosts or something, or a low noise message when you land in a bunch of ogres and orcs.
True, but to an extent it's an existing problem: you already get good old "This seems a quiet, peaceful place" when you step out into a pack of dozens of orcs and hounds, and the like. I don't know that mismatched monster noises are such a problem because you can always imagine the monsters you 'heard' went off down the stairs, so it's more a general indication of a busy level than anything specific. The treasure feelings could probably be tweaked to be more generic, though, it's true. Hmm - the character limit makes it a bit tough, but how about:

Code:
1. The passages here are in poor repair.
2. This place is thick with dust.
3. These passages seem shabby and neglected.
4. Furnishings here are bare and functional.
5. This place seems clean and well-equipped.
6. Fine furnishings decorate this place.
7. Works of art cover the walls here.
8. Grand, ornate decoration abounds here.
9. Awe-inspiring finery surrounds you.
And I do agree that having 9 levels of feelings seems like a bit too many, but my aim with this was to come up with new messages that can just be dropped in to replace the old without having to tweak anything code-wise.

Last edited by Nomad; November 19, 2015 at 20:30.
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Old November 19, 2015, 22:16   #7
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Maybe this is too derailing, but so long as the feelings are based on out-of-depth contents, shouldn't the messages trend more towards that?

The stuff about how many enemies are around is going to be wrong a lot of the time, and even when it's right it's kind of weird to describe the clash of battle when everything is sleeping in a vault clear across the level.

I suppose what I'm really saying is the messages *are* psychic premonitions in the way they work mechanically, and it doesn't bother me that they sound that way (so long as that's the mechanic we're keeping). But I'd feel better about them if it was something along the grade of

"Nothing out of the ordinary.. for this depth in the dungeon"

to

"A sense of forboding of many powerful enemies"


Meanwhile the treasure text suggestions seem like a game I'd like to play, but when I play angband, it always seemed to me like it was all poorly furnished, dank, dark, stone with a poor eye for finery, the only bits of brightness being left abandoned on the floor in stony galleries.

------

I'd be happy with changing the mechanics to make them less prescient, and more broad themes, like hinting at vaults, major quantities of monster types, etc., but I think that's not the thread you were trying to have here.
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