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Old June 2, 2018, 15:15   #41
fizzix
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I think trying to make the effects of stats on gameplay effects simple and transparent is going to be very difficult, and will probably sacrifice some significant amount of gameplay. Pretty much every major roguelike has very complicated calculations. The ones that get away with simple calculations do it by really simplifying. (Sil and Brogue come to mind here). These games do tend to be shorter overall, and extending Sil style gameplay to Angband is probably very difficult.

Other roguelikes have super complicated stats and effects (Tome, DCSS, and probably many others I haven't played) and they do fine. So I don't think this is a big turn-off. The important part is that the results of the complicated calculations should be made apparent to the player. We do this by displaying hit chance on monster recall screens, increased blows chance on weapon inspect screens, and damage boosts on device inspect screens. This is good, and we should keep things like these.

Fixing the scale from 3-40 or whatever is a good idea. If we are worried about a midgame effect on gameplay because you lose the stat gain boost after 18/00, then we can counteract that by making stat potions a bit more common, or more likely to drop in pairs, or whatever.
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Old June 2, 2018, 16:38   #42
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Are Sil mechanics actually simpler then V? The stealth mechanics certainly aren't & it certainly worth considering making the V stealth mechanics more complicated like Sil (though teleports as usual would be a headache to balance for). The basic melee mechanics are "simple" in Sil in the sense you'd have an easier time doing them with pen & paper but you certainly have a much harder time comparing 2 weapons & having a good idea which to use without going up & hitting a bunch of stuff. Then when you start adding in the other modifiers: penalties for being surrounded, bonus for lights, bonus for bane, status effects, special abilities. I'm not convinced.

So what is actually complicated about V mechanics? I get the impression the code calculates to-hit in an overly convoluted way, but underneath that are the mechanics too complex, or are they actually too simple? I actually suspect it's the later. Angband has a lot of incredibly binary mechanics(like FA - on/off, alive or screwed). There's a fair argument that it's too often simplistic, rather then overly complicated.
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Old June 2, 2018, 18:17   #43
Ighalli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
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.

...

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.
It looks to me that we can kind of eyeball it by making stat gain potions give 2 points of a stat until you get to 24 (18/60), and then they'd give just 1. We'd also have to make the new max stat into 29 if we want the same number of potions. Or we could make the final potion(s) have a failure chance to take effect. Of course, the stat interaction with items is not great around the 18/80 + item bonus territory, but the tables that use the stats to apply bonuses are rather coarse in any case, so these changes amount to edge cases, IMO.

Code:
Before	After	Before	After	Error
16	17	16	18	New way too good
18	~18/26	18	20	0.06 below average
18/26	~18/46	20	22	0.06 below average
18/46	~18/61	22	24	Accurate average
18/61	~18/72	24	25	Accurate average
18/72	~18/80	25	26	Good here
18/80	~18/86	26	27	New way a bit better
18/86	~18/91	27	28	Done 1 potion too soon?
18/91	18/100	28	29	Unless we extend the range by 1
It can be argued that this benefits low starting stats too strongly. I expect improving your dump stats from abysmal to good territory isn't all that important to preserve, but maybe it's a big change for folks who don't start with points in con.

Edits:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
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?".
The tables are quite ugly. I'd be happy to be rid of them and make the mechanics use the stats directly. I don't like having big jumps along with ranges that have no mechanical impact. But this is beyond the scope of stat representation, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Aha, GitHub deceived me. I apologize for having doubted you.
After you asked and I didn't see it in GitHub either, I actually panicked and thought somehow I had lost my changes. But the review is appreciated. I just discovered a bug in the blows calculations in my version, so more eyes are always welcome.

Last edited by Ighalli; June 2, 2018 at 18:33.
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Old June 2, 2018, 18:35   #44
Pete Mack
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The current stat gain model has the following attributes:
* punishes mediocre and bad starting stats (11 and less), giving lousy character attributes, with long slow climb.
* gives a huge boost at 18/00, when next stat potion gives ~3 extra, and significant improvement to character attributes
* Generally gives diminishing returns above 18/60 when equipment is added in, except for CON (which is valuable to the end for most race/class combos.)

The above is why !Toughness is the most potentially valuable (as opposed to immediately valuable) stat swap potion. It also means that any roughly linear solution (including modifications like +2 stat gain up to some limit) will mean significant gameplay changes.
The origin of this is the roughly normal distribution of dice rolls for 3d6. (18 is much better than 10.5, and 3 is much worse.)
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Old June 2, 2018, 19:08   #45
Ingwe Ingweron
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In my opinion, the complexity of Angband with all its nuances, intricacies, and deep, deep, learning curve are one of the principle reasons for the longevity of the game and my continued interest in playing all these years. I still learn things I never knew, and this is a good thing. The current push to simplify and make things less opaque not only runs the risk of destroying much of the nostalgia and fond memories of this game, but the very fabric that makes the game worth coming back to again and again. Please, be very careful about these changes.
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Old June 2, 2018, 19:48   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
In my opinion, the complexity of Angband with all its nuances, intricacies, and deep, deep, learning curve are one of the principle reasons for the longevity of the game and my continued interest in playing all these years. I still learn things I never knew, and this is a good thing. The current push to simplify and make things less opaque not only runs the risk of destroying much of the nostalgia and fond memories of this game, but the very fabric that makes the game worth coming back to again and again. Please, be very careful about these changes.
I agree completely. I have liked the proposed changes to the character classes, as it has made gameplay more interesting and more complex. But this change to attributes sounds like it has far-reaching complicated effects and may not be worth the effort.
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Old June 3, 2018, 01:04   #47
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I agree that it might not be worth the effort but I also question the value of leaving in such esoteric mechanics for the attributes. Why should stat potions have roughly triple their usual effects at one point on the curve?

If we care about preserving the total number of potions for characters with low stats, we could make the first stat potion of each stat count for, say, +3 (formerly whenever you drank at 18), then +2 (formerly 18/30->18/50 territory), +1 some number of times (I'll throw out 6, to keep the same number of potions for a character to get from 17 to 18/100 as we need now), then have progressively larger chances to have the potion fail to increase your stat. To get to 18/100 or 28 from 10 could be made to match the current number of potions.

Alternatively, we could keep all the percentile wackiness in the background and just make it a display option to show increasing numbers (rounded down, to 10% increments because the fractions only matter for stat potions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
In my opinion, the complexity of Angband with all its nuances, intricacies, and deep, deep, learning curve are one of the principle reasons for the longevity of the game and my continued interest in playing all these years. I still learn things I never knew, and this is a good thing. The current push to simplify and make things less opaque not only runs the risk of destroying much of the nostalgia and fond memories of this game, but the very fabric that makes the game worth coming back to again and again. Please, be very careful about these changes.
My opinion is that opaque mechanics are an annoyance to playing. When I see a monster can hit for 4d8, that tells a casual player almost nothing. If the player reads the source code and knows how AC works and how monster to-hit chances depend only on native depth and attack type, then in principal they can calculate how much damage the monster is likely to do. At that point, I think the game should do the math on behalf of the player; life is too short. People being surprised by how bless and heroism work after years of playing the game doesn't feel like a feature to me. It feels like the game isn't doing a good job of telegraphing it's mechanics to the player.

I'm not arguing that reworking how stats work is in the same camp of changes as making things less opaque; there are real gameplay changes that would result from this. I dislike the silly stat numbers, but I don't particularly want to change how the pacing of the game works.
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Old June 3, 2018, 02:47   #48
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A periodic reminder: linear behavior is next to predictable. Predictable is next to boring. Boring is next to grinding.
NONLINEAR BEHAVIOR IS THE STANDARD WAY TO AVOID GRINDING.
Take a look at the recent AAR for ironman paladin. The character dives moderately fast (as is required for ironman) and goes from "mostly comfortable, but with severe resource limitation" to "seriously underpowered with significant risk of life" to "mostly comfortable, with occasional risk". This is desirable, when the alternative is "each level is more of the same."

The specific cause here is a sudden change in monster power (from DL 40) followed by a sudden change in player power. I don't see a straightforward way to avoid this...unless you are willing to grind.
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Old June 3, 2018, 03:05   #49
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Originally Posted by Ighalli View Post
People being surprised by how bless and heroism work after years of playing the game doesn't feel like a feature to me. It feels like the game isn't doing a good job of telegraphing it's mechanics to the player.
I think this is just another result of the fundamental complexity of the game. There is a massive wealth of information that could be learned about the game, but it can be played effectively without doing that. The more I think about it, the more I am actually impressed with what a good job the game does of communicating the important information to the player, and of having the less important information available if the player wants to find it.

So, for example, anyone looking at the 'C' screen can easily see the effect of bless etc from the to-hit value. If that were important enough, it would be on the main screen, but as it is just having a "Bless" marker is enough, and if the player wants to see exactly what that means they can dig deeper (which may just mean hitting '?' when casting a spell).
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Old June 3, 2018, 04:14   #50
mrfy
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I think this is just another result of the fundamental complexity of the game. There is a massive wealth of information that could be learned about the game, but it can be played effectively without doing that. The more I think about it, the more I am actually impressed with what a good job the game does of communicating the important information to the player, and of having the less important information available if the player wants to find it.

So, for example, anyone looking at the 'C' screen can easily see the effect of bless etc from the to-hit value. If that were important enough, it would be on the main screen, but as it is just having a "Bless" marker is enough, and if the player wants to see exactly what that means they can dig deeper (which may just mean hitting '?' when casting a spell).
Yes! The information is there if the player wants to look for it. They don't have to be hit over the head with it. I would argue that this is what this forum is for too, to disseminate information about how the game works, but having it available in the help files would be good too.

I don't see a good argument for changing the attributes display just because we don't like the 18/100 scale or to make it simpler. Keep the complexity, please.
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