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Old January 12, 2009, 15:59   #1
Mangojuice
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Competition mode

It strikes me, after playing a bit in Comp 63, that Angband and variants would definitely benefit from a "Competition mode." It would be a birth option.

(1) Certain options, like disconnected stairs, might be enforced.
(2) When a character dies, on restarting the game with the same file, the game reverts to the original savefile, except:
(3) Monster memory grows and is maintained game to game. (The information is out there but the current format almost forces encyclopedic memory or spoiler use)
(4) Object flavors are re-randomized game to game. (No remembering that a Cast Iron Rod was Lightning Bolts last time -- new game mean you should have to learn flavors all over again. Also, it means that posted dumps can't help you cheat.)
(5) The original character should be suicided so that everyone has fully random object flavors.
(6) Character dumps should include a "competition stamp" that is random for every completely new character, but doesn't change game to game. The security-minded side of me just likes this idea, to identify the character for each competition with a unique tag.

If people think this is a good idea, I'll prototype it in Z+'s next version.
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Old January 12, 2009, 16:21   #2
Jungle_Boy
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I really like this idea. It would be nice to have monster memory and not have to redownload or recopy the savefile after every death.
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Old January 12, 2009, 18:08   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
(1) Certain options, like disconnected stairs, might be enforced.
I'd avoid doing this. While I'm not likely to play a competition, there's no chance at all of me playing without connected stairs. Sorry, but burning all my teleport scrolls bouncing around because I came down the stairs in a room with a pack of gravity hounds doesn't appeal to me. It also removes tele-level from the list of foolproof escapes. It's okay for some of the competitions, but it shouldn't be enforced upon all competitions or competitions will never be accessable to people like me.
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Old January 12, 2009, 18:49   #4
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Originally Posted by Atarlost View Post
I'd avoid doing this. While I'm not likely to play a competition, there's no chance at all of me playing without connected stairs. Sorry, but burning all my teleport scrolls bouncing around because I came down the stairs in a room with a pack of gravity hounds doesn't appeal to me. It also removes tele-level from the list of foolproof escapes. It's okay for some of the competitions, but it shouldn't be enforced upon all competitions or competitions will never be accessable to people like me.
My plan here is to make it a birth option when competition mode is enforced.

In V, disconnected/connected stairs is already a birth option. In Z+, it's settable in-game. I don't think I want it to be a birth option, but maybe it should behave like a birth option in "competition mode."
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Old January 12, 2009, 19:22   #5
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I'd say that it's probably not really worth it as a measure to prevent cheating - the competitions have always relied on people's honour to not cheat. Especially now that people are submitting char dumps instead of savefiles - it's trivial to change your 700,000 turn win into a 300,000 turn win by changing one number with your favourite text editor.

But saving monster memory would be kind of nice. Or a feature to "import monster memory from another character" would work well. It would make things a bit nicer for the people who've won the game dozens of time and have full knowledge of everything already in comps.

Importing monster memory would also be useful whenever savefile compatability is broken - eg. I understand why people can't upgrade their characters to 3.1.0 because of all the new objects and such, but the monsters remained mostly unchanged. Just saving monster memory would be nice.
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Old January 12, 2009, 19:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
It strikes me, after playing a bit in Comp 63, that Angband and variants would definitely benefit from a "Competition mode." It would be a birth option.

(1) Certain options, like disconnected stairs, might be enforced.
(2) When a character dies, on restarting the game with the same file, the game reverts to the original savefile, except:
(3) Monster memory grows and is maintained game to game. (The information is out there but the current format almost forces encyclopedic memory or spoiler use)
(4) Object flavors are re-randomized game to game. (No remembering that a Cast Iron Rod was Lightning Bolts last time -- new game mean you should have to learn flavors all over again. Also, it means that posted dumps can't help you cheat.)
(5) The original character should be suicided so that everyone has fully random object flavors.
(6) Character dumps should include a "competition stamp" that is random for every completely new character, but doesn't change game to game. The security-minded side of me just likes this idea, to identify the character for each competition with a unique tag.

If people think this is a good idea, I'll prototype it in Z+'s next version.
I think that there could be "promises", where for any option you can promise not to change it for the rest of the game. Then there wouldn't need to be a separate category of birth options, except perhaps a list options that must always be promised. Then for a comp, the instigator sets up what is considered to be important.

Either monster memory is a good idea or it isn't. If it's a good idea, no importing. It is not fair to give a comp advantage to people who have better savefiles lying around. If it isn't a good idea, add a birth option for perfect monster memory for the current game that doesn't mark the savefile as a cheater.
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Old January 12, 2009, 21:32   #7
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
Either monster memory is a good idea or it isn't. If it's a good idea, no importing. It is not fair to give a comp advantage to people who have better savefiles lying around. If it isn't a good idea, add a birth option for perfect monster memory for the current game that doesn't mark the savefile as a cheater.
I would think there's no reason to benefit people who have played more outside of the competition. Standard Windows functionality is that monster memory is saved per file (AFAIK) so the idea here would be that it's only the monster memory you build up during the competition that you would have.
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Old January 12, 2009, 22:27   #8
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Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
If people think this is a good idea, I'll prototype it in Z+'s next version.
I think it's a brilliant idea, particularly the monster memory and the reflavouring. I'd suggest not setting any particular birth options, to allow for variation from comp to comp.
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Old January 13, 2009, 02:14   #9
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I think it's a brilliant idea, particularly the monster memory and the reflavouring. I'd suggest not setting any particular birth options, to allow for variation from comp to comp.
if this is made (I think it is also a good idea), a patch against the [V] 3.1.0 codebase would also be welcome. for variants, if nothing else.
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Old January 13, 2009, 02:21   #10
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Originally Posted by Mangojuice View Post
(2) When a character dies, on restarting the game with the same file, the game reverts to the original savefile, except:
It is crucial that everyone starts with the same store items, and the same possibly added via wizard mode [or direct savefile hacking] inventory. I don't see how you can do this other than saving the original savefile.

It might be good to have a command that scrambles flavors that you can call from within the game. That wouldn't mess with aware/tried status on flavors which knowledge is stored with the object type and is not tied to the associated flavor name.
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