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Old September 6, 2013, 08:33   #1
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Autopickup/always_pickup issues

While looking into a vaguely related pickup problem, I noticed that picking up items that have been marked for autopickup (by having been fired/thrown or inscribed with =g, or by having the always_pickup option enabled) doesn't take any time. This makes it optimal to do things like toggle the always_pickup option every time you move onto something that you want to pick up. When doing things like looting dragon hoards this is particularly relevant, so picking up an item should probably consistently either cost a turn or not cost a turn. Unfortunately making it always cost a turn means some actions (moving onto items that are marked for autopickup) will take multiple turns, which doesn't occur anywhere else in Sil that I can think of (except forging). I don't really see a good alternate solution other than making item pickup always take no time, which seems a little weird to me but would also fix the problem.

If autopickup is changed to always take a turn then it should probably be disabled while monsters are visible. Crawl also takes the precaution of disabling your autopickup when you are hit by an invisible monster - I'm not sure how easily this would translate to Sil's invisible/dark monsters though...
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Old September 6, 2013, 14:56   #2
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Does Sil still have the '-' command from Angband? IIRC it does exactly that: toggle autopickup for one turn.
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Old September 6, 2013, 16:32   #3
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I think MarvinPA's qualm is that such a mechanic would encourage people to do silly things like typing '-' before they pick up an item for purposes of optimal play -- losing a turn in V isn't a huge deal outside of combat, but Sil does have that game clock that keeps ticking away...
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Old September 6, 2013, 17:28   #4
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I don't think the time spent picking up items contributes very much in comparison with that spent walking around or fighting, but Sil has many situations in which you may want guarded loot but would have trouble fighting the guardians (dragons' hoards, vaults, floor drops you pass while fleeing from something nasty...), in which case the turns spent picking up items are important.
Personally, I like these considerations, so I dislike 0-turn autopickup of most items.

On the other hand, some things like fired ammunition would be a pain not to have picked up automatically, and as MarvinPA mentioned, spending turns automatically isn't so great and fixing the interface for it is nontrivial.
I've thought of two more solutions, but I'm not really happy with either of them.
  • Some items like ammunition could be special and always picked up in zero turns; these are the only items that autopickup would work with. This way, most loot would still require time to pick up, and autopickup would work on the most important cases, without automatically spending turns or the like. Of course, the inconsistency is bad, and ammunition can make nice loot.
  • Everything always takes a turn to pick up, and the - key can be used to forego picking up an item when stepping onto it. This also works with disabling autopickup when monsters are around, and wouldn't require anything special for invisible things, assuming the player can remember to hit - when something might be around. Probably players would need some time to adjust, during which I imagine deaths caused by this would feel incredibly unfair and dissatisfying.
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Old September 6, 2013, 18:02   #5
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Just posting to say that I agree this is a -- small -- issue, and that mnoqy's post is an excellent summary of the relative considerations. Keep the ideas coming!
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Old September 6, 2013, 21:40   #6
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Wait - does that mean I can gain up to 2-300 turns for ladder purposes by using and toggling autopickup?

Currently I am not consciously picking up anything automatically, just owned ammunition where this is the default option. You already spend a lot of turns walking around for ammunition so I wouldn't want this to take even longer, but if you can pick-up a corslet in different velocity depending on method this is clearly a bug, isn't it?
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Old September 6, 2013, 21:47   #7
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In the interim, I am totally using '-' to pick up items when they're in dragon hoards or when I'm fleeing from dudes but want to grab that potion on the way. Special tactics! Thanks Derakon
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Old September 11, 2013, 18:22   #8
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Personally, I think that auto-pickup should continue to not cost an extra turn. If you want to do this, the better way would just be to remove auto-pickup entirely. That said, I would be in favor of one small nerf : auto-pickup should take no time, but should cancel the sprinting bonus.
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Old September 13, 2013, 00:42   #9
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Maybe this is the controversial opinion, but:

I think picking up and dropping things should be a free action - costing 0 time and not interfering with any skill (sprinting, concentration, blocking, whatever). Reason being, with optimal (tedious) play all pickups should be done in 0 time anyway, and dropping items doesn't have many interesting tactical applications - if you forget and accidentally auto pickup something you have no need for, or need to do it to see the weight, or whatever, why should you be penalized a turn for something not tactically interesting?

You could add a new item flag, (weighed down). Items in vaults would be obstructed, stored, whatever. and this would make those items specifically not be able to be picked up as an instant action. When attempting to pick up such an item you are prompted 'Spend X turns to pick up this obstructed <item>?' (maybe X will only ever be 1 though, but for example imagine if X was 100 - you'd have to clear out the vault 100% to get it, as though it was a forge room!). This way you can have forced spend turns to pick up where it is most interesting (vaults and other specially set up rooms/drops) and stuff lying around, ammunition, stuff you've dropped or thrown, etc. will always be OK to grab in 0 turns.
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Old September 13, 2013, 04:45   #10
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Another idea is that items you have thrown or fired can be picked up instantly while items you have never touched take a turn. This would allow for easy ammo retrieval while still making vaults harrowing while keeping the ruleset consistent. Also, I just want to say I love the game! Great flavor and straightforward yet interesting mechanics.
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