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Old April 19, 2011, 17:28   #11
Spacebux
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
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.
You're starting to sound like a 'liberal'.

You are making a case against Blindness and Confusion, et. al., being temporary conditions as well. How many times have you hit a confusion / blindness / slowness / poison trap in the early levels of the game. Did you not stop and rest, waiting for the condition to alleviate itself?? Or, like a "good" player did you attempt to cure the condition right away with a proper potion or mushroom? One could say that resting in the hallways is "scumming".

I'm tired of play-policy being dictated rather than just left to player to decide for himself/herself how best to proceed.

Stair-scumming will happen.
Town-scumming will happen.
Scumming will happen.

New players, e.g., need to be able to scum until they are better adept at the game. Players that don't mind taking their time to get the right set will and ought to be allowed to "scum". That is their style of play.

Its not up to "us" to decide how "others" play the game.

What ought to be decided is how to make the game variable and challenging to those who want to be challenged.

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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
Therefore, stat draining has a readily available but tedious fix, which is more annoying than fun.
I'm not trying to blast you personally, but I want to state very clearly, this is all about how one plays the game. 'Tedious' & 'Annoying' are adjectives that describe the game when one "scums". If one is not a scummer, then the game is not 'tedious'. Tedious is only tedious if you are willing to wait for store stock rotation. I say leave it as is... in fact, the more 'tedious' the game becomes waiting for store stock rotation, the less likely one is to resort to that method of play.

I've seen countless posts to the point that "players are recalling too often!!", or "town scummers need to be stopped!!" or "we need to cull level scumming!!". Players who rely on level or town scumming are not likely to be the stronger players. While I don't consider myself to be an expert player by any means, I know now (having played the IronMan setting a number of times) how to play without recalling to town, ever. I know now, it is not necessary.

Using "play policy" as a means of determining code objectives, I feel, is invalid. Coders could be and should be spending time on other more pertinent projects: not fixing code to enforce play style, which is what this whole change is about.

This change in stat restoration was meant---it seems---to reduce some perceived 'scumming' play-style. In effect, however, it changes the play style of the game in other ways, preconceived or not.

Wow, I'm on a rant now....

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Old April 19, 2011, 17:33   #12
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Originally Posted by Spacebux View Post
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 wasn't trying to close all loopholes or even to reduce scumming (I generally avoid waiting for restore potions and quite often have drained stats for a while because scumming is really boring).

What I saw was a game mechanic which amounts to "inconvenience until you recall to town and spend 600 AU". I found it deeply boring. There's nothing wrong per se with being boring; but I want Angband to be more fun, and boring things are generally not that fun.

Judging from reports, it sounds like it definitely has made stat drains factor into the late game more. Most of the increases in difficulty in the game come from new mechanics being added in that you have to be protected from with new item abilities, or new monsters requiring new tactics. I think stat drain is now the only mechanic that remains constant throughout the game but whose impact is to make the game more difficult later on rather than one which is overcome with an accumulation of abilities, bonuses or money. I think this is far more interesting than it was before. I appreciate that you liked it (or at least didn't mind it) before, but it's not changing back, for what are pretty good game design reasons.
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Old April 19, 2011, 17:40   #13
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Originally Posted by takkaria View Post
I wasn't trying to close all loopholes or even to reduce scumming (I generally avoid waiting for restore potions and quite often have drained stats for a while because scumming is really boring).

What I saw was a game mechanic which amounts to "inconvenience until you recall to town and spend 600 AU". I found it deeply boring. There's nothing wrong per se with being boring, but it was crying out for some kind of change. Judging from reports, it sounds like it definitely has made stat drains factor into the late game more. Stat restore potions will not be coming back.
Ok, with that prose, I am at peace again..

Still think stat restoration on level up, though, is too generous. 600AU and a trip to town, for those who Recall, is a small price to pay. I'm more of the opinion, though, it teaches players better play practice---over time---how to avoid stat-draining mobs and dangers.

I also think having ones stats drained is, in part, a balancing part of the game.
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Old April 19, 2011, 20:33   #14
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Sorry if this was mentioned earlier - I didn't fully read some of the longer posts. I personally think this is a fantastic change though I haven't played any nightlies.

Late game stat drains shouldn't be so terrible to deal with due to the increased frequency of stat gain potions at lower levels, unless stat gain potions no longer restore stats (which would seem weird). It seems to me only in the CL25-35, DL 30-60 range that there might be more hiccups.
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Old April 19, 2011, 21:27   #15
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Gain-stat potions do still restore stats. Most characters are going to only have three sources of stat restoration: gain-stat potions, mushrooms of Vigor, and gaining levels. There's also the priest spell Restoration (which, IIRC, paladins don't get), the very rare rod of Restoration, and potions of Life (which you won't waste on mere stat restores unless you're in dire straits).

I can see how Spacebux's contention that the new method is more generous applies when you're playing ironman -- there, the early-game difference is marked. And I could believe that it'd be worth splitting Vigor into physical and magical versions. I still feel that the current version is an improvement over the previous version. It should never be optimal play to townscum. Yes, the player has the choice of not townscumming, but most players feel obligated to optimize their play in various ways, which generally ends up including "Don't enter the dungeon in a suboptimal state if you can help it". Thus availability of stat-restore potions in the town means they feel obligated to townscum. Does that make sense? Humans are weird sometimes.

It might be worth experimenting with removing the restore on levelup, in favor of re-introducing stat potions as dungeon-only items that could be found, rarely, at any depth. The difficulty would be in ensuring an even distribution across all depths.
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Old April 19, 2011, 23:03   #16
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Gain-stat potions do still restore stats. Most characters are going to only have three sources of stat restoration: gain-stat potions, mushrooms of Vigor, and gaining levels. There's also the priest spell Restoration (which, IIRC, paladins don't get), the very rare rod of Restoration, and potions of Life (which you won't waste on mere stat restores unless you're in dire straits).
Plenty of resources right there. Although the Rod of Restoration's rarity could be reduced a tad....

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I can see how Spacebux's contention that the new method is more generous applies when you're playing ironman -- there, the early-game difference is marked. And I could believe that it'd be worth splitting Vigor into physical and magical versions. I still feel that the current version is an improvement over the previous version. It should never be optimal play to townscum. Yes, the player has the choice of not townscumming, but most players feel obligated to optimize their play in various ways, which generally ends up including "Don't enter the dungeon in a suboptimal state if you can help it". Thus availability of stat-restore potions in the town means they feel obligated to townscum. Does that make sense? Humans are weird sometimes.
Again - it sounds like you are justifying the change based on making sure humans do the right thing. Who are "most players"? I don't think I am. Nor, do I want to feel like I am being pushed into a new situation to make sure I "play like the rest". I could not care less if the player across the Internet Town scums, Stairs scums, whatever scums. That is His/Her choice. Even if that is "most" of them.

It worries me that this will not be the end of attempts to curtail how players play the game. That's why I'm making such a stint of this.


In the past few revisions, I've seen revisions in trying to curtail how powerful mages are/were. The auto-roller was disabled: I suppose we had auto-rolling scummers. Guilty, I guess. Then the missile shots were so powerful, those had to be reigned in. Now, we have mobs whose attacks cannot be defended - brain smashing, the silly time attack, and mana attacks.

Just for fun, I put the code back in so Mages had all the spells again, in all books. CLW, Detect objects, Heroism, Berserk Str, Enchant everything. You know, those spells do not ruin the game. With the exception of CLW not being a true Mage spell to begin with, none of those spells ought to ever have been removed from the mage's playbook. Why were those spells taken out? Oh, probably someone perceiving someone else was "scumming" again. Detect Objects only slows down the game in the early levels, actually. For mages are then inclined on going around and checking _every_ object on a level, rather than just hit the stairs and go down to the next level when convenient. Heroism/Berserk - I bet those were taken away because mages were whacking away like warriors too much, and the warrior players got jealous. What happened was, over time, as mobs were made to be tougher, more resistant to nearly all mage spells, mages probably had little recourse but to imitate warriors and go for melee. Ever notice that of all the mage attack spells, only 2 of them are not resistable by mobs? (Magic missile and Meteor storm - Rift would also be but for RGravity mobs such as Gravity hounds, Kavlax, etc.) Chaos strike is only really useful for uniques. Mana storm - too little damage for too high a failure rate compared to other forms of attack. Ad naseum, point is: most mage spells fall far short of what a Heroistic/Berserked mage can do with a good beat-stick. Why would a mage attempt 400-pt. / round Mana Storm at 5~10% fail rate when the same mage can WHACK away at mobs for 700 - 1,000pts.+ w/ 5 swings (Haradrim) in melee combat? Nevermind what Warrior players can do w/ 6 or 7 swings.... "Oh, well, that's why we took away Heroism / Beserker Rage from the mage playbook!" Oh really? Thesedays---now that bow/xbow shots are once again worthless---I find it easy enough to dedicate slots for !s of Heroism/B-Rage. It's not hard to "scum" that up, even in IronMan games.

The problem is not that mage players should not be imitating warriors and thus have those spells removed from the mage playbook. The problem is most mage spells are in fact defunct and/or obsolete against high level mobs.

I remember a time when "Fire Ball" was a great spell to actually have and use.

I digress... (easy to do, I suppose). The Point I am trying to make is the underlying causes and the apparent issues are often different. You will not solve human behavior through policy change - that's a misguided concept spread by liberal thinking socialists. You will not stop town-scumming simply by eliminating one less need to return to town. In fact, I would dare say the "town-scummers" have won.

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
It might be worth experimenting with removing the restore on levelup, in favor of re-introducing stat potions as dungeon-only items that could be found, rarely, at any depth. The difficulty would be in ensuring an even distribution across all depths.
It was fine the way it was.... Players who like to rely on restoring stats in town can recall back to town if/when they feel they need to.
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Old April 19, 2011, 23:26   #17
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Originally Posted by Spacebux View Post
Again - it sounds like you are justifying the change based on making sure humans do the right thing. Who are "most players"? I don't think I am. Nor, do I want to feel like I am being pushed into a new situation to make sure I "play like the rest". I could not care less if the player across the Internet Town scums, Stairs scums, whatever scums. That is His/Her choice. Even if that is "most" of them.
I don't think you read my post very carefully. Let's go over it again.

1) Most players feel obliged to play the best they can, which includes not returning to the dungeon if stats are drained.
2) Stat restore potions are available, unreliably, in the alchemist's store.
3) You can refresh the stores by townscumming
4) Townscumming is boring.
5) Therefore, most players feel obligated to bore themselves when stats are drained.
6) Therefore, removing the incentive to townscum (without neutering the concept of stat drain) is a net win as most players will be more entertained.

Are some players going to be less entertained? Sure! Absolutely! But you can't please everyone with every change you make, so it's pointless to try. You just do the best you can.

And I'm sure the devs would appreciate it if you didn't try to make it out like there's a huge conspiracy to dictate the way you play the game. There isn't. It's fine if you feel strongly about an issue. Great! But please try to write your posts respectfully.

Incidentally, fireball has always sucked. It had a terrible mana-to-damage ratio back in the frog-knows days; I only used it to expedite taking out groups of weak monsters that were still strong enough that Stinking Cloud was pointless.

There was a big discussion awhile back about who should get which spells and whether spells should be removed/added/etc. One of the big goals is to increase the differentiation between the arcane and holy casters, and between different subtypes of the arcane casters. Rogues get Detect Objects; mages and rangers have to wait for Detect Enchantments which still isn't as good. Only rangers get CLW. And so on. I fully expect more spells to be removed in the future. You don't want each class to play broadly similarly, after all.
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Old April 19, 2011, 23:51   #18
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Originally Posted by Spacebux View Post
Again - it sounds like you are justifying the change based on making sure humans do the right thing. Who are "most players"? I don't think I am. Nor, do I want to feel like I am being pushed into a new situation to make sure I "play like the rest". I could not care less if the player across the Internet Town scums, Stairs scums, whatever scums. That is His/Her choice. Even if that is "most" of them.
I'm not interested in making sure that anyone does anything, and I don't do anything out of considerations of what "most players" want or like. I'm interested in what I consider a more interesting game, with more varied mechanics and one that is not optimally played by repetitive boring actions.

If people want to scum, they still can in a whole variety of ways. I have nothing against scummers. They're just not who I'm designing the game for.

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It worries me that this will not be the end of attempts to curtail how players play the game. That's why I'm making such a stint of this.
Any game chance curtails some possibilities and enables others, that's the point.

Games are sets of rules which you follow in order to have fun. Angband is just a program which makes it easy for you to follow them. I am not curtailing how people play the game; I am changing the game. This changes the possibilities of action when you follow the rules. You can do just as many kinds of things post-restore change as you could before; they're just different things, there are different playoffs, and different tactics. I prefer the new set of possibilities, and because I'm the person the community misguidedly accepted as maintainer, what I say goes, mostly.

However, if it doesn't go with you, that's fine. There's nothing objective about which game is "better" or "worse"; they're just different games. If you prefer an older version, you can still play it. In no sense am I curtailing your freedom–in fact, I am giving you more possibilities, because there is now a game where you can play without restore potions when before there wasn't. So, please don't dress up your dislike of a game change as anti-authoritarianism. (If for no other reason than that you'll get multi-paragraph replies boring you to death on philosophy of game design.)

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In the past few revisions, I've seen revisions in trying to curtail how powerful mages are/were.
Yup. They were widely considered to be unbalanced when they had invulnerability.

[quote]The auto-roller was disabled: I suppose we had auto-rolling scummers. Guilty, I guess.

Auto-rolling was disabled because point-based was changed so that you could get equally good outcomes without spending ages pretending that you were doing something randomly.

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Then the missile shots were so powerful, those had to be reigned in.
Again, balance.

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Now, we have mobs whose attacks cannot be defended - brain smashing, the silly time attack, and mana attacks.
These aren't "the last few revisions"...

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Just for fun, I put the code back in so Mages had all the spells again, in all books. CLW, Detect objects, Heroism, Berserk Str, Enchant everything. You know, those spells do not ruin the game. With the exception of CLW not being a true Mage spell to begin with, none of those spells ought to ever have been removed from the mage's playbook. Why were those spells taken out? Oh, probably someone perceiving someone else was "scumming" again. Heroism/Berserk - I bet those were taken away because mages were whacking away like warriors too much, and the warrior players got jealous.
Differential access to spells is a way of differentiating between classes. If you don't agree that classes should be different (and their difference be enforced by means of rules affecting certain classes that make them play differently), then you're playing the wrong game–you might prefer Sangband.

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In fact, I would dare say the "town-scummers" have won.
If they declared war then I certainly wasn't paying attention.

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You will not solve human behavior through policy change - that's a misguided concept spread by liberal thinking socialists.
Oh, bugger off and go design TeaPartyBand. If you give a rat two mazes, A and B, and they're different mazes, the rat will behave differently in either.
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Old April 20, 2011, 00:04   #19
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I don't think you read my post very carefully. Let's go over it again.

1) Most players feel obliged to play the best they can, which includes not returning to the dungeon if stats are drained.
2) Stat restore potions are available, unreliably, in the alchemist's store.
3) You can refresh the stores by townscumming
4) Townscumming is boring.
5) Therefore, most players feel obligated to bore themselves when stats are drained.
6) Therefore, removing the incentive to townscum (without neutering the concept of stat drain) is a net win as most players will be more entertained.
Yes, I did read your post correctly, but I do not concur with the logic--feeling obligated to bore oneself when stats are drained. I get bored taking out pack after pack after pack of witless hounds and 'v' storms.. and angels for that matter. Nothing about my post is an attempt to show disrespect towards the developers: I think they are doing a terrific job, actually. My gripe is with the reasoning for the change.

I'm happy we can have this discussion: helps me understand why you are attempting to modify the game... albeit I do not agree with the sentiments.


I can fully appreciate the difficulty of modifying or enhancing the game without tipping the balance one way or the other. I object, however, to attempts to modify game play style. If everyone is bored trying to restore stats, why not just give everyone 18/*** permanently from the get-go? Absurd, right? The annoyance one gets from having stats drained is part of the game - and so is learning how best to avoid getting dinged!

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1) Most players feel obliged to play the best they can, which includes not returning to the dungeon if stats are drained.
That really depends on the player; and, I have an issue with the term "most" in that statement. Some of us have learned how to cope with stat drains, even overcome them, whilest in the deep.

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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
3) You can refresh the stores by townscumming
4) Townscumming is boring.
You can also refresh stores by buying out the entire inventory.

Yes, if town-scumming is boring, don't do it! Easy. Get back in the deep and go find the remedy down there.


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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
There was a big discussion awhile back about who should get which spells and whether spells should be removed/added/etc. One of the big goals is to increase the differentiation between the arcane and holy casters, and between different subtypes of the arcane casters. Rogues get Detect Objects; mages and rangers have to wait for Detect Enchantments which still isn't as good. Only rangers get CLW. And so on. I fully expect more spells to be removed in the future. You don't want each class to play broadly similarly, after all.
Could not agree with you more! Except with the removal of more spells from the mage class.

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Old April 20, 2011, 01:31   #20
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Oh, bugger off and go design TeaPartyBand.
That sounds like a great idea!

Code:
You have found the Maul of *Shock and Awe*
You hit Glenn Beck, Spawn of the Pit
Glenn Beck, Spawn of the Pit hits you with Mind Blasting
Your stats are scrambled!
You feel stupider.
You feel less wise.
You die. -more-
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