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Old June 1, 2018, 18:45   #31
Ighalli
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I've opened a PR to change the stats from 3-18/220 to 1-40. There's no particular reason to keep the minimum of 3, if we're doing away with D&D conventions, though I doubt it will come into play very often.
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Old June 1, 2018, 19:46   #32
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I see you added entries for adj_mag_fail and adj_mag_stat, but wouldn't the other stat tables also need to be adjusted? What's your HP penalty if your CON is 1, for example?
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Old June 1, 2018, 20:05   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ighalli View Post
I've opened a PR to change the stats from 3-18/220 to 1-40. There's no particular reason to keep the minimum of 3, if we're doing away with D&D conventions, though I doubt it will come into play very often.
Hmm, that's interesting from a ToME2 perspective: In T2, this is purely a display option, but I suppose there have been a few tweaks in Angband since then that would necessitate actual code changes. (The "mixed" attribute potions being one of them.)

I think I'll be removing the 18/xxx option too in T2 soon.

There just isn't any point to keep the old system around. (I actually grew quite accustomed to it from playing Vanilla/Entro for a loooong time, but it's probably time for it to go.)
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Old June 1, 2018, 22:11   #34
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I see you added entries for adj_mag_fail and adj_mag_stat, but wouldn't the other stat tables also need to be adjusted? What's your HP penalty if your CON is 1, for example?
The diff of the relevant file is too big to display by default, but I set Con 1 to be -3.5 hp per level. Here is the line in question.
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Old June 2, 2018, 00:07   #35
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So when I tried this out in the dev branch some years ago (maybe 5?), people pointed out that when you switch from the current scheme to one where you basically move from 18/10 -> 18/20 -> 18/30, you spend a lot longer at the lower end of the 18/x stats and it takes a lot less time to go from 18/80 to 18/100.

I reverted this change but not completely (by accident). The historic algorithm [1] gained 1/6 to 1/3 of of the distance to 18/100 between 18 and 18/98. The modern one [2] retains this behaviour between 18 and 18/90, but then moves straight to 18/100. I think it's worth thinking about the historic behaviour rather than the new one, because the idea was to make stat gain more marginal over time, relative to equipment bonuses. This is an interesting bit of design that deserves some consideration.

You could preserve this by having fractional stats, so 11.3 or 18.3 or whatever. (I think maybe late Zang did this.) You can retain the increasingly marginal gains of stat potions while still removing the bizarre display, and without having to rejig the stat tables. Drinking a potion of stat gain at 18.0 will still on average take you to 20.6 and the next one to 22.6, while a +1 stat piece of equipment would move you from 18.0 to 19.0.

Maybe the decimals feel too metric for Angband, which has always had a bit of an imperial units thing going on. Maybe stats could go up in increments of 1/3. Less clinical feeling than decimal places, maybe more in theme, but with similar functionality. Or you could keep the decimal representation behind the scenes but just show the whole numbers.

The other option, which is removing the fractional component completely, decreases the early power of stat gain potions but increases their later power. At the moment the average progression from stat gain, starting at 18, is:

0. 18
1. 18/26
2. 18/46
3. 18/61
4. 18/72
5. 18/80
6. 18/86
7. 18/91
8. 18/100 [3]

(The historic algorithm had an extra three steps:

8. 18/94
9. 18/97
10. 18/99
11. 18/100)

So with a simple linearisation that didn't adjust the stat tables, the power of stat gain at the beginning of the game would be less. However, at the end of stat gain, when it used to take 7 potions (and currently takes 4) to get from 18/80 to 18/100, it now takes 2. That's a big change!

So I there would have to be some reassessing of the stat tables. Maybe the old 18 to 18/100 isn't 18 to 28, but 18 to 32 or 34. Compress the beginning of the range a bit, and stretch out 18/80 to 18/100 over 4 or 5 different increments.

There are probably other things I've not thought about with this. But a simple linearisation is quite a major gameplay change and is worth looking at in more depth.

[1] https://github.com/angband/angband/b...pells1.c#L1004
[2] https://github.com/angband/angband/b.../player.c#L142
[3] If you want to see how I worked these out, it's a Google Sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
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Last edited by takkaria; June 2, 2018 at 00:44. Reason: It was wrong the first time
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Old June 2, 2018, 01:20   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
There are probably other things I've not thought about with this. But a simple linearisation is quite a major gameplay change and is worth looking at in more depth.
Thanks for the detailed history.

Now that this can of worms is open, I am going to open another one.

My first thought was "why not just multiply all the stats by 10?"; so rather than 3 to 40, we would go from 30 to 400. Then I recalled an intention I had to try and make some of the calculations in the game simpler and more transparent.

So I went and had a look at the various tables for things like effect of WIS on saving throw, and my next thought was "what if we could get rid of all those, and have simple relationships from the stats to all the things they depend on?".

So (and here narrative catches up with reality) I am now wondering if this is a realistic aim. There are a great many little calculations in the game - class.txt, for example, is full of them - and they all form a massive web of interdependence. On thing that's clear from the class/magic branch process is that detail of things like exactly how much mana spells cost and what level they are available at and what their fail rate is like are critical to gameplay (mage Frost Bolt and necro Dispel Living, for example, are probably too much mana to be useful). Maybe Angband is now fundamentally a complex game, and simple, clean calculations as used to such great effect in Sil are simply too coarse-grained for Angband.

So that's the "simpler" bit dismissed. As for "more transparent", I'm starting to wonder about that too. I've been on a drive to push stuff out to data files, and this has reached possibly ridiculous lengths now that there is an object_power.txt which basically contains the algorithm for calculating powers of objects (used for determining prices and level feelings, and in the randart algorithm). It seems unlikely that anyone is ever actually going to edit that for their own play, in which case what was the point?

In summary, I think this entire post was a waste of time, but if it gives anyone an idea of something useful to the contribute to the discussion, please fire away
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Old June 2, 2018, 01:32   #37
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Maybe Angband is now fundamentally a complex game, and simple, clean calculations as used to such great effect in Sil are simply too coarse-grained for Angband.
This is why I reverted the linearisation change I made
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Old June 2, 2018, 01:33   #38
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This is why I reverted the linearisation change I made
Yeah, I really probably should have just deleted that post, but I had spent too long thinking I was saying something useful...
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Old June 2, 2018, 01:46   #39
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It is a line-drawing problem. At what point is something a special trick or a silly hoop? Is it a special trick to read unid scrolls on stairs, so that @ has a convenient escape... .
Or if it's an ironman you read scrolls after clearing a level so if you hit deep descent, you're only really being pushed down four levels not five.
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Old June 2, 2018, 04:39   #40
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Originally Posted by Ighalli View Post
The diff of the relevant file is too big to display by default, but I set Con 1 to be -3.5 hp per level. Here is the line in question.
Aha, GitHub deceived me. I apologize for having doubted you.
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