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Old October 10, 2013, 00:29   #21
Derakon
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Speaking, again, as someone who has yet to play Sil (), it sounds like debo and taptap have a fundamentally different approach to the game from BlueFish. All three of you have plans for how you want to build your character, but it seems like BlueFish really wants to stick to that plan come hell or high water, while debo and taptap are more willing to abandon it if things go poorly. BlueFish's approach could easily make the game more frustrating (since something that would "derail" a normal character from the Plan will instead "defeat" them), especially when going for more marginal/gimmick builds.

I'm not saying that BlueFish is playing the game wrong, merely that his chosen way to play makes some obstacles more frustrating than they are for other players. Apologies if I've mischaracterized anyone or if this armchair analysis is bogus.
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:15   #22
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Speaking, again, as someone who has yet to play Sil (), it sounds like debo and taptap have a fundamentally different approach to the game from BlueFish. All three of you have plans for how you want to build your character, but it seems like BlueFish really wants to stick to that plan come hell or high water, while debo and taptap are more willing to abandon it if things go poorly. BlueFish's approach could easily make the game more frustrating (since something that would "derail" a normal character from the Plan will instead "defeat" them), especially when going for more marginal/gimmick builds.

I'm not saying that BlueFish is playing the game wrong, merely that his chosen way to play makes some obstacles more frustrating than they are for other players. Apologies if I've mischaracterized anyone or if this armchair analysis is bogus.
Actually I didn't get that at all, but thanks for the pot-shot-that-wasn't-a-pot-shot,-no-sirree. Nowhere in anything taptap or debo wrote is there more of an implication of adaptable, fluid builds than what I've written. Actually smithing is by nature adaptive since you always have a choice of what to forge. The only static thing about playing a dwarf smith is that you're essentially low-stealth melee character. Whether that turns out to be one handed or two handed and what skills and items you end up with is random and based on how the game plays out.

I think you'll find though that virtually everybody goes into a game with some sort of broad plan of which skills they're working towards.
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:32   #23
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Originally Posted by taptap View Post
Since I started to win the game from time to time constitution looks increasingly like dead weight to me. It is somewhat necessary, but it adds little to your performance (unless you are going strength in adversity) just more tolerance for mistakes. I am quite proud of winning with 0 constitution once (mostly pacifist) and my first winner ever had 3 constitution at start ("hunter" build). My personal heroine, however, is Gonelin, the number 3 on the ladder, an Haleth girl starting with CON 2 and killing Morgoth in melee and record speed.
Duly noted, taptap. Very impressive. But it's also entirely vacuous relative to my point. You take whatever constitution you think you need or want in your build. You take whatever you take for a reason, to give yourself whatever HP cushion you want. The issue of Con drain that is unavoidable through strategy or build and which is based on dumb luck, and which isn't likely restorable for a very long time after, remains. And no amount of bragging about what a glorious Sil player you are has any bearing on that.

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I died many deaths with smiths that insisted on clearing forges when they couldn't do it. The right decision is almost always to abandon the forge, even if it hurts badly as leaving the greatest forge of all surely has to do. But fighting a violet mold out of stubbornness without even realizing it was your choice to do so and to complain after the fact, I don't know.
Sigh. It's a 20 minute old game at that point. You can walk away from Orodruth if you'd like, just to rigidly stick to a no-chances-taken play style, but I would consider that a very strange way to play. Worst case scenario is you lose a 20 minute old game, and there is always the chance that you won't get dinged in melee.

The point of that anecdote was to illustrate one way in which violet molds, to whatever extent they may have some theoretical game design purpose, can counteract other very real and very fun parts of the game.

The other point was to illustrate that no matter what build you have, even a high-will build, you roll the dice about getting dinged by violet molds, no matter how carefully you play. 2 dings to Con in 5 melee rounds with 8 will, very early in the game. Those same statistics will apply when you blunder next to one with your 1 radius light in a hallway.

Anyway, rather than removing them from my game, I decided to make them glow. It's a good compromise.
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:40   #24
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Early con drain is tricky and annoying but not impossible. I don't mind it.
Well, people will always stick up for the status quo, that will never change. I'm much more interested in the discussion of why it's good rather than shrugs about not minding it. I've never claimed it was impossible. Only not fun.
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Old October 10, 2013, 03:42   #25
Derakon
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Sorry, I didn't mean it as a potshot -- they're just different ways of approaching the game. One is to try to make each character win; another is to try to make each build win. The latter is of course less flexible because it's the build that's being put to the test, not the character. I'm sorry I came across as sniping at you; that was not my intent.
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Old October 10, 2013, 04:47   #26
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No problem Derakon, thanks.

I never define "build" rigidly, but thematic stuff is important to me for role-playing reasons. I haven't played a high elf since my first win, mostly because I find Tolkien elves uninteresting and a bit annoying. They're too perfect. That's clearly what Tolkien was going for - some sort of idealized culture of people. But it feels bland to me.

So I play dwarves, and developed a liking for Smithing. I've never played an archer and I've only played a couple stealth characters and only while I was learning the game. My dwarves, I prefer to be thematic. By far the most powerful character I ever played was a dwarf who happened to stumble into a non-thematic build due to finds in the dungeon - an artifact shortsword which gave a certain skill which turns evasion into offensive power, and another very potent blade that could be wielded in his off-hand. So I ended up going very high evasion and sticking everything with two pointy little swords. Completely destroyed everything and killed Morgoth easily, but since, I always pass up that artifact sword when I find it in the dungeon. That's not my idea of the sort of character I want to play. But there are still plenty of options for characters I do want to play, within the "dwarf" theme.

Last edited by BlueFish; October 10, 2013 at 04:53.
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Old October 10, 2013, 07:51   #27
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Violet molds make early light valuable; failing that they make early will valuable. Both are nice effects. Yes, it's no fun to blunder into a violet mold and lose a con point through your mediocre-to-decent will by random chance, but some element of random chance is part of what makes roguelikes interesting.

Losing one point of Con isn't the end of a character, it's just annoying. To lose two looks like carelessness.
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Old October 10, 2013, 08:48   #28
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If you roleplay other things in the game why not roleplay the all important question of life and death? That is, why not make the choice whether to abandon a forge / floor as a character struggling for survival not as a player willing to sacrifice a few low investment characters early in the game to push others through?

Say if there was an avoidable unique native at 50 ft. with a very good automatic drop but quite deadly - would you try to always kill him and only continue when you succeed to do so?

I found derakon's comment quite on spot, it reminded me of episode 77 of roguelike radio (the hero trap), where they discussed people complaining about certain events in FTL that they were completely free to avoid, but never did because they always took the "heroic" / possible high reward choice without considering the risk.

That con drain by molds is unavoidable by strategy or build is simply not true. Keen senses and not cutting corners allows you to avoid them almost 100%, a longbow and arrows allows you to shoot them down in most cases but doesn't prevent bumping into them - of course many people are highly committed to lore keeper / master and have little patience for other perception abilities, but please try. Regarding con drain I find the herb of sickness far more annoying - especially when I already got drained once and am looking for recovery. That said, I wouldn't want them to be more common than they are now, but while I have died countless times to almost every early game monster (incl. humble bats) indirect death due to mold exposure has been extremely rare.

P.S. The most impressive char I mentioned was played by wildkhaine, so slightly less bragging than you may think, my own low constitution chars were archers or singers and for them it was not an additional difficulty but easier to start with more points in other, more important stats.

Last edited by taptap; October 10, 2013 at 09:03.
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Old October 10, 2013, 09:07   #29
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Violet molds make early light valuable;
Early light is not a choice, so this fails as a game design consideration.

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failing that they make early will valuable.
One way to re-balance violet molds would be to lower their will, which would make reasonably high player Will give reasonable "sustain con" against them.

I take all reasonable early Will - for the specific and solitary purpose of sustain Con vs violet molds. Even with high starting grace of 3 or 4. I still get dinged consistently. A Will of 8 is not reasonably analogous to "sustain con" against a violet mold. Going beyond a Will of 8 by that point is absurd. That would be a "Will Build". Nobody plays those because there's nothing thematic or fun about them.

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Both are nice effects. Yes, it's no fun to blunder into a violet mold and lose a con point through your mediocre-to-decent will by random chance, but some element of random chance is part of what makes roguelikes interesting.

Losing one point of Con isn't the end of a character, it's just annoying. To lose two looks like carelessness.
Oh, I could definitely be called careless. I play with "automatically dismiss -more- prompts" on, after all. And yes, I don't micromanage my "shift-direction" running, and I don't micromanage my manual walking. Sometimes while I'm exploring, I will press the direction keys in a rather automated fashion where I might not notice the purple 'm' on my diagonal that I'm sliding past. He might get 2 shots at me before I notice. He might get another while I try to distance myself.

This is a UI issue as well, and one that I wasn't the first to bring up. Make a UI prompt for movement next to a violet mold. It wouldn't be abstract and it wouldn't be beautiful. But if you want them in the game, then realize the importance. I get Master Vampires and their amazing stat reducing powers. But I also get that by that point, you have means to sustain and means to restore. Violet Molds, in the universe of Sil, have drained way more stats than Dracula ever has. That's the gameplay that should be concentrated on. And if there's no legitimate abstraction of that which accounts for both violet molds AND all the other stat reducing monsters, then maybe that just points once again the fact that violet molds are an outlier, in some important way.

The early game is inherently less variable than the late game. Depending on the race you play, you pretty much know what you have at 150 feet. More or less. Violet molds have huge leverage there. And they end up just making people start over a lot. Violet molds are wrong for the same reason that variable use forges on that first forge was wrong.
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Old October 10, 2013, 09:27   #30
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Originally Posted by taptap View Post
If you roleplay other things in the game why not roleplay the all important question of life and death? That is, why not make the choice whether to abandon a forge / floor as a character struggling for survival not as a player willing to sacrifice a few low investment characters early in the game to push others through?

Say if there was an avoidable unique native at 50 ft. with a very good automatic drop but quite deadly - would you try to always kill him and only continue when you succeed to do so?
Silly hypothetical since no such thing exists. Even extrapolated, no such thing exists. I can't imagine basing any character on the assumption of any automatic drop of any unique, even beyond 50'.

Last edited by BlueFish; October 10, 2013 at 09:33.
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