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Old January 30, 2019, 21:20   #1
Nick
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Water in Angband

Plenty of variants have water terrain. The implementations I know (something) about are:
  • Oangband - water makes small differences to combat, and the player cannot step into water when too burdened
  • FAangband - similar to O, but rather than being unable to cross when overburdened, the player's slowing by burden is tripled
  • UnAngband - water puts out torches and lanterns, and the player gets tired while in water and can drown if too tired
  • ToME (and other Z-likes?) - there is shallow water which has little effect, and deep water which steadily drowns the player in most circumstances
I am considering adding water as a terrain - it seems a reasonable thing to have in the dungeon, it adds tactical elements, and it could contain monsters.

Is this idea good, bad or indifferent? If good, how should it be done? Opinions are most welcome, as are explanations of how I've misrepresented variants
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Old January 30, 2019, 21:58   #2
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I guess my question would be, what do you want water to add to the game? It sounds like you're coming at this from two main angles: thematic and game depth. From a thematic standpoint, sure, it's weird that there's no water supply in Angband (beyond the potions, ale, and wine). A purely thematic water, which doesn't affect gameplay in any way, would add some verisimilitude at the cost of making the display a little muddier, so to speak.

From a game depth standpoint, I'd want to be very clear about what the rules are. They both need to make sense (to avoid surprising the player) and add something to the game. I find that burden-based rules tend to be less interesting, for me anyway. The basic burden system needs to exist in some form to keep the player from carrying the world on their back, but intensifying the burden penalty in certain circumstances results in fiddly gameplay or players just shrugging and putting up with it.

I also find damage zones to be not very interesting, plus they create the odd situation of the player being able to recover from lacking oxygen by the expedient of drinking healing potions.

So if you want tactical depth from your water, here's my proposal:
* Walking in shallow water imposes a -5 speed penalty. This is irrespective of (and in addition to) any burden penalty. Ever try to walk in 3'-deep water? It's not easy.
* Some monsters ignore this movement penalty, because they can fly (or walk on water), are insubstantial, or would logically be good swimmers (some snakes, say). This imitates existing movement-limiting obstructions in the game: some monsters can move through walls or walk past weaker monsters.
* Some monsters are unable to walk on water, because of lore (vampires), physics (fire elementals), or small size and inability to swim (...insects?).
* Water forms streamers in the dungeon, providing alternate paths that don't require tunneling but do require putting up with the speed penalty.

Deep water, in the sense of water that covers the player's head, doesn't exist.
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Old January 30, 2019, 22:17   #3
tangar
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I like this idea. TomeNET got pretty cool water system and even 'swimming' skill: https://www.tomenet.eu/guide.php?chapter=4.15 They got:

- aquatic monsters which can spawn only at 'water' tiles; they can pursue player even in 'shallow' water, but can't leave it to surface
- swimming in deep water give a chance for scrolls & other items to be destroyed; water resistance items or tarpaulin (tool slot) protect from it.
- eventually you could die (drown) if you are tired and bad at swimming :E
- 'swimming' skill & racial parameter; It would be fun to have it in Angband (like 'Digging') eg makes hobbit swim not really good ^^
- you can not create walls on deep water; not all stuff could be summoned on deep water
- there is fresh and salt water. You could fill bottle; eg with salt water and use this potions to throw to the enemies or 'clean' your stomach

The problem:
Levitation. After player get this property, swimming become pretty useless and you do not notice water anymore. Maybe levitation shouldn't work above water? (explanation: this kind of magic need to have solid 'pillar').. Maybe levitation could make 'deep' water work as 'shallow'?
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Last edited by tangar; January 30, 2019 at 22:35.
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Old January 30, 2019, 22:28   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derakon View Post
a purely thematic water, which doesn't affect gameplay in any way, would add some verisimilitude at the cost of making the display a little muddier, so to speak.
rofl
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Old January 30, 2019, 22:38   #5
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Also maybe water could be used with new hunger system..? Frodo and Sam had biggest problems with water in Mordor, not with a food..

How to implement water to hunger without making overcomplex stuff? Maybe to make water act as multiplier to hunger: if you didn't drink for a long time, you loose satiation point in 2-3-4 times faster (vice versa to slow digestion), depending on how long you didn't drink
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Old January 30, 2019, 23:17   #6
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A word of warning on funky terrain:

In the latest feature branch I had tons of fun with fire immunity standing in the middle of a lake of lava (something or other breathed fire) and shooting or OoD'ing the many monsters who would rather move back and forth getting shot to ribbons than walk across the ouchy hot stuff.

Fun? Certainly.
Balanced? Perhaps not.
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Old January 31, 2019, 00:02   #7
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I'm anti-Water:
* Ok for a variant, but not for Vanilla. One of the few consolations for poor @, who regularly gets incinerated, electrocuted, confused, blinded and frozen, is that (even without wearing any boots) @'s feet are always dry. More serously, I think it could change the feel of the dungeon too much.
* Adding an effect primarily for thematic value can often decrease the fun. Next thing, you'll be introducing food and hunger into the game... (oops)
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Old January 31, 2019, 00:30   #8
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I like it, especially after reading Derakon and Tangers responses. I always get excited by new room and terrain types (sorry Tiberius). Adding water to cavern rooms or a river crossing a "squiggly cave" level would add a further dimension. How about a stream moving through a vault (eg. a fountainhead where a spring or underground river emerges). I can imagine @ standing totally flummoxed at a river like a bunch of Dwarves lost in Mirkwood.

It could be expanded to a greater (possibly not worthwhile) mechanic but then we have further possibility of how to cross certain types or navigate the level without being able to do so.

I've not played the latest classes yet but sounds like druids have different forms? How about a water creature. Would an Ent be able to ignore water or speed healing while standing therein? Spell effects could also expand; "fly" "levitate" "pass water" (grief, that one needs a better name) "dry ground". Would there be steam effects (same impact as negative light) if you drop a fire bolt/ball?

And (because I can't resist), how many broken sticks does it take to make a raft?
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Old January 31, 2019, 03:25   #9
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I really like Derakon's take - it seems like the most Vanilla-flavoured thing that water could be. A nice mechanic and not adding loads of extra faff or rules.
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Old January 31, 2019, 09:14   #10
tangar
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Water in Angband

A few comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
UnAngband - water puts out torches and lanterns, and the player gets tired while in water and can drown if too tired
Considering removing lights - it could be a case if a character get _very_ tired and bad at swimming or if he was attacked by monster. But it shouldn't be permanent or player would fear too much to go to the water. Lets make it as a chance to put out light for a turn or two. It would make light 'flicker' in deep waters sometimes which make sense and would add some atmosphere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
ToME (and other Z-likes?) - there is shallow water which has little effect, and deep water which steadily drowns the player in most circumstances
Having deep/shallow water concept make sense. As we do not have much relief in Angband, adding new Z-dimension increase immersion to the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
From a game depth standpoint, I'd want to be very clear about what the rules are. They both need to make sense (to avoid surprising the player) and add something to the game.
Sorry, I can not agree with this particular point: "to avoid surprising the player". The beauty of roguelike game is to surprize player again and again, it's core of the game replayability. Of course this surprizing should have sense. But it's not always has to be obvious. It has to have depth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I also find damage zones to be not very interesting, plus they create the odd situation of the player being able to recover from lacking oxygen by the expedient of drinking healing potions.
In most cases drawing should cause stat drop (STR, CON, DEX), not the actual damage. But there is no need to fear that drinking healing pots after drawning make no sense: healing potions don't really make sense already anyway (how you could cure severe stuff with them so easely?), so we presume that they are 'magical'. There are a lot of magic around what makes game exiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
* Walking in shallow water imposes a -5 speed penalty. This is irrespective of (and in addition to) any burden penalty. Ever try to walk in 3'-deep water? It's not easy.
It's too harsh.. -5 speed is death sentence, because speed influence not only for moving, but to performing actions and attacking monsters.

What is 'shallow water'? It could be a few inches deep up to, as you noted, 3'. This is nominal term. Maybe shallow water should affect player less, maybe it's effect has to depend on character height (shallow water for hobbit or kobold could be a problem). But I suppose it's pretty alright to take presume that as it's nominal term - relativity works there and when you play hobbit and meet shallow water - it's shallow compared to you only; as it's single-player experience, there is no any logical problem with it.

I suppose 'shallow water' should be a term which indicate ankle/knee-deep water and should influence player accordingly (in lesser way); see Tolkien citation below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Deep water, in the sense of water that covers the player's head, doesn't exist.
This is shallow water @ JRRT:
Quote:
Gimli strode forward undeterred, and found that the water was shallow, no more than ankle-deep at the edge
This is deep water @ JRRT:
Quote:
Then far below, as if the stone had fallen into deep water in some cavernous place, there came a plunk, very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft.
And:
Quote:
'Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.'
..and Gandalf was able to get out of this 'deep' water to persuade the Balrog, so it's not pure well with smooth sides..

But back from lore to gamedesign:

Deep water is a possiblity to add Z-dimension directed 'down'. And its not too hard to implement (compared to some other stuff).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voovus View Post
One of the few consolations for poor @, who regularly gets incinerated, electrocuted, confused, blinded and frozen, is that (even without wearing any boots) @'s feet are always dry.
Btw. It make sense to multiply lightning damage when player stands in the water

It's beautiful thing to 'amaze' player with some 'roguelikish' tiny details which he reveals during gameplay.

In general, adding any kind of water would give player more choices - choose watery path or to avoid it and try another direction toward fining exit from the dangerous lvl. Some players could have pros to go to water, some have cons. It's fun.
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