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Old September 6, 2013, 13:29   #1
PowerWyrm
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[3.5-dev] Targeting monsters detected by ESP

Build 519-gdfad37b allows you to do that.

Needless to say, it's very confusing. Now you will fire missiles, aim wands, cast spells and such at walls if the monster is in ESP range but not in LOS.

I'd say it's quite dangerous too. Suppose you're in LOS of a monster that you want to target and there's something behind a wall that is closest... Pressing "'" will target the wall, not the visible monster.

I don't see the point of this feature (you can use manual targeting if you want to target something out of LOS), but at least LOS should take precedence over ESP when targeting.
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Old September 6, 2013, 15:06   #2
fizzix
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I agree, this seems like a bug.
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Old September 6, 2013, 16:02   #3
Derakon
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Maybe it was an attempt to fix the bug where you automatically know if a monster is in LOS? E.g. if there's a monster down an unlit, unknown passageway (in a cavern level, say), then you can learn when the monster enters LOS by continually trying to target it.

If so, I think that leaving the bug in is less harmful than the current behavior, sad to say.
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Old September 6, 2013, 18:48   #4
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Maybe it was an attempt to fix the bug where you automatically know if a monster is in LOS? E.g. if there's a monster down an unlit, unknown passageway (in a cavern level, say), then you can learn when the monster enters LOS by continually trying to target it.

If so, I think that leaving the bug in is less harmful than the current behavior, sad to say.
I'd think it's pretty odd telepathy if you can't distinguish it from actually seeing the monster. Char knows when it sees the monster.

But this again reminds me: we need to unify targeting and LoS. Targeting should follow LoS rule. Hockey stick should be impossible, but chess knight move possible: you do see the monster with that. If you see it you should be able to shoot it. It doesn't need to be "symmetric" IE: if you can see it, it can see you.
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Old September 6, 2013, 19:02   #5
DaviddesJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
But this again reminds me: we need to unify targeting and LoS. Targeting should follow LoS rule. Hockey stick should be impossible, but chess knight move possible: you do see the monster with that. If you see it you should be able to shoot it. It doesn't need to be "symmetric" IE: if you can see it, it can see you.
If you want every hex on any path that you can target to be a hex that you can see (if lighting were sufficient), this is easier said than done. I don't know how to write a targeting algorithm that does that, without introducing other weird quirks.
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Old September 6, 2013, 19:08   #6
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
I'd think it's pretty odd telepathy if you can't distinguish it from actually seeing the monster. Char knows when it sees the monster.
The use case here is that the monster isn't lit up and isn't visible directly via infravision, so the character can't see the monster; they can only detect it via telepathy. And the path to the monster goes through unknown tiles that might have walls in them, and might not. It's really a pretty rare situation:
Code:
######
#@....            o
#...##
#####
Can you target that orc? Is there a wall in the way? Who knows! If there isn't a wall in the way then the player ought to be able to freely target the monster to make ranged combat simpler, but that gives free information to the player about the state of the map.

Like I said, this is pretty rare and any fix would probably be a net loss in terms of playability.
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Old September 6, 2013, 20:02   #7
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Like I said, this is pretty rare and any fix would probably be a net loss in terms of playability.
I think it's a pretty common situation and should be easy to fix. The targeting code should only select among monsters that the character can actually see (i.e., the ones that would be displayed on screen if ESP were off). The code can obvoiusly distinguish whether the character can see the monster, because it needs to know that to be able to determine whether to display it, when ESP is off.
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Old September 6, 2013, 20:30   #8
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I agree that it would be easy to fix. The problem is that IMO the game would be worse with the fix than without it. Fighting monsters that actually are targettable in such situations would become a pain, because you'd have to manually target them.

You'd remove a source of free information that is only rarely abused (if you "see" a monster down an unlit corridor, you're going to either try to attack it regardless, or move out of LOS regardless), but that is needed to keep gameplay flowing smoothly.
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Old September 6, 2013, 20:34   #9
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I agree that it would be easy to fix. The problem is that IMO the game would be worse with the fix than without it. Fighting monsters that actually are targettable in such situations would become a pain, because you'd have to manually target them.
It would be easy to add a single extra keystroke to toggle targeting to select *all* on-screen monsters, whether or not you have known LOS to them, or even if you can see that the LOS is blocked. This would actually be useful in other ways, too. Would that solve your problem?

In the diagram situation above, you don't need targeting anyway, you would (or I would) just fire in that direction.
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Old September 6, 2013, 20:39   #10
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Any extra keystroke would break "target nearest and fire" keymaps, including the builtin 'h' command. And it makes the (already-complex) targeting system even more arcane, all in the aim of removing a weird edge case.
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