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Old April 18, 2011, 23:15   #1
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Stat zaps

Part of the game that made it challenging was being able to mitigate zaps in ones character's abilities. The current nightly code that allows a character to suddenly restore zapped stats at level-up, I feel, is far too generous.

No need to worry about looking for mushrooms of vigor (which, I feel are even a bit too powerful - I would like to see them restore 1 or 2 random stats at most); restore Str/Int/Wis/Dex/Con potions are practically squelchable; and stat-draining mobs are not much of a threat any more.

If this is the way the vanilla coders intend to take the game, would it be too much to ask for another "option" to disable the stat-restore-on-leveling?

Another consideration if you want to diminish the effect of stat-draining - put a timer on zaps - say 2,000 to 5,000 turns per hit? Or leave stat-draining as it was, and allow a slightly greater percentage of low-level armor to be "Sustain Stat" type ego-class that could be found at depths of 500' downward? Or get rid of the bloody "time" attack.

I don't think you needed to do anything more with the stat-zapping issue... didn't seem broken to me, i.e., no need to fix it.

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Old April 18, 2011, 23:41   #2
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Those potions - restore Str/Int/Wis/Dex/Con - don't exist any more. Mushrooms of vigor are nice, but not terribly common past the early levels. So save some.

This reduces the dramatic impact of stat draining early, when levels come easily, mushrooms are common, and money is scarce, and increases it in the midgame with longer levels, more heavy duty drainers (Dreads!) and no way to spend money to fix your problem. The new setup definitely has reduced store scumming and necessary trips to town, which I think was the goal.

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Old April 18, 2011, 23:46   #3
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I used to be a proponent of the timed-stat drain, but cogent arguments convinced me it was a bad idea. If you get drained then all you need to do is go to the town and wait until your stat comes back. This is a problem, because there's no penalty to waiting around in town unless you're playing for low turncount. Therefore, stat draining has a readily available but tedious fix, which is more annoying than fun.

This was the same reason why stat gain was changed. In the old version, you could scum the town until the proper stat restore potion showed up. Enough people thought that was bad gameplay to warrant the change. Stat restore on level-up is in the testing phase, if enough people hate it, it will probably go away. However, so far, most responses have been positive.

As far as generosity is concerned. Restore on level up is very generous in the early game when level gain is easy but less generous after dlevel 30 where there is significant adventuring to be done between levels. At the endgame it's more punitive, and late game stat-drainers can actually be a big pain.
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Old April 18, 2011, 23:53   #4
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I agree with Fizzix--my experience is that I don't worry about stat gain until mid-to-late game, but then I actually worry about it more, and probably value sustains more than I previously did.
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Old April 18, 2011, 23:53   #5
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The way I see it, this has made stat drain worse, not better. Oh, sure, early on it's not as much of a threat, since each level is within spitting distance of the last one. But I'm much more leery of e.g. Dreads now than I used to be, because it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll lose a few points of STR to them if I try to melee them, and those points won't be coming back until much later unless I get a lucky potion drop.

In other words, in the mid- and late-game, whether or not a monster drains stats has become a far more significant factor in my decision on whether or not to fight it. It used to be that I didn't really care one way or another, since any stats that got drained would be back to normal next time I was in town. Now if I get drained I'm stuck with it for an indeterminate amount of time.

In any case I don't see this being something that will be made optional.

EDIT: holy cow, rapid-fire pile-on! No hard feelings, Spacebux.
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Old April 19, 2011, 02:02   #6
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Maybe nobody's complaining about it because those likely to complain about the current state of V, have pretty much given up on V. I'll still throw my hat in the ring every once in a while, but I don't really care what happens to V anymore. It's in the hands of competent maintainers and I suppose that's good enough for me. There are still plenty of things happening that I disagree with, but more often than not I remain silent, because I just don't care that much about what happens to V.

Having not actually played it, I'm with Spacebux. IMO The 'proper' fix would have been to 'fix' town scumming, which for some strange reason seems untenable.
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Old April 19, 2011, 02:43   #7
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This change has almost entirely eliminated townscumming from my game -- the only remaining reason I scum is when the stores have failed to stock Word of Recall and I've forgotten about the buyout mechanic. That's a rare occurrence indeed. And that elimination was done without changing how the stores work, thereby avoiding the very much larger argument over how to change stores to eliminate townscumming. I guarantee that if the stores had been modified then you'd see way more threads complaining about how stores weren't broken so why were they changed?

In other words, this is a no-win situation. The old system was broken in that it encouraged townscumming whenever your stats were drained. If you have a solution that fixes that problem without making someone unhappy, then you're either very skilled or an excellent liar, because there are diametrically-opposed viewpoints all over the place when it comes to Angband development.

It's a shame you don't care about V any more. The maintainers definitely do listen to feedback from users. They won't always do what you want them to do, of course, but it's quite literally impossible to keep everyone happy about every aspect of the game.
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Old April 19, 2011, 04:23   #8
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I was kindof turned off when I heard about this change, but I'd play it a bit before saying it's a bad idea. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think I will try it.

I don't usually say much in these debates either, because I also don't really care what happens to V. It certainly isn't because I think the current devteam are doing a bad job -it sounds like they're doing a great job. It's just when I've learned to customise the game to the way I like it in my own variant, I don't have any inclination to play V anymore. Just a matter of taste & the impossibility of pleasing everyone: With my own variant, there's no reason to compromise with the tastes or opinions of anyone else. I make it just how I like it.
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Old April 19, 2011, 06:08   #9
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I kind of like the change, mostly because I hate townscumming, and I think of level-up restores as the lesser of two evils.
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Old April 19, 2011, 16:57   #10
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
I kind of like the change, mostly because I hate townscumming, and I think of level-up restores as the lesser of two evils.
No hard feelings taken.

The reason I would rather see the timed-zap or revert back to the old way is because I am playing IronMage more-and-more, particularly with RandArts.

I can see town-scumming being a cause for concern, but lets be honest, there are always going to be aspects of the game that are "scummable". If you try to close down all the loop holes, you pretty much end up with a game that is un-enjoyable for preventing something else in the game occuring.

I love playing Half-troll mages---so, I love Dreads. Others like playing Hobbits for the HoldLife aspect.... the fact that the game allows so much variation is what keeps it of interest to so many.

Personally, I think increasing variation is a good thing. If someone WANTS to scum going to/from town, resting 4000-10000 turns at 50' waiting for store rotation - fine - let them! It shouldn't be up to the coders to really corral all players into a single refined style of play unless absolutely necessary. (Not trying to put coders down!! )

I just thought/think the way stat reduction / restoration used to be was fine.. didn't / doesn't require alteration to avert 'Town Scumming'.

I think its great, for example, the code allows switches to turn off certain aspects; e.g., you could just take away Restore Stat potions from being sold at shop 4. Or reduce the odds that such potions are sold. But, taking away that aspect completely... well, that seems like you shouldn't have shopping at all then.
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character stat drains, stat hits

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