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Old December 19, 2015, 08:23   #1
Wanderlust
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Birth option - monsters learn from their mistakes?

I'm curious about the birth option "monsters learn from their mistakes".

It seems this makes it so individual monsters will avoid repeating attacks that were ineffective the first time they tried them. But another monster of the same type will not have that information, so it'll draw from its full palette of attacks the first time it attacks.

This is a very interesting mechanic in that it reduces the likelihood of escaping dangerous situations through luck. At first glance it seems like an option that makes things harder by demanding more foresight and skill from the player ... which is an attractive concept.

I'd be interested in hearing from experienced players about how this option actually affects the gameplay, and most especially the enjoyment of the game. Do you use it?
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Old December 19, 2015, 16:16   #2
Rowan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
It seems this makes it so individual monsters will avoid repeating attacks that were ineffective the first time they tried them. But another monster of the same type will not have that information, so it'll draw from its full palette of attacks the first time it attacks.
Oh! That never even occurred to me- I just assumed once one of them tried and failed, they'd all have that information. Your way makes much more sense but I bet it's harder to implement.
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Old December 19, 2015, 21:17   #3
Bogatyr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
I'm curious about the birth option "monsters learn from their mistakes".

It seems this makes it so individual monsters will avoid repeating attacks that were ineffective the first time they tried them. But another monster of the same type will not have that information, so it'll draw from its full palette of attacks the first time it attacks.

This is a very interesting mechanic in that it reduces the likelihood of escaping dangerous situations through luck. At first glance it seems like an option that makes things harder by demanding more foresight and skill from the player ... which is an attractive concept.

I'd be interested in hearing from experienced players about how this option actually affects the gameplay, and most especially the enjoyment of the game. Do you use it?
I avoid using this option but I'm ignorant of exactly how it works. What's the point of gaining invulnerability to something that each class of monster (or even a unique) will only try on you once? But maybe it doesn't work that way?
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Old December 20, 2015, 02:18   #4
Bowman
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I don't know the details of how the option works either, but I've always played with it turned on, and it doesn't completely stop enemies from using actions that you resist. My guess would be that it puts some kind of weighting on casting actions. Like, say you're fighting the Tarrasque and you don't resist disenchant but do resist the other breaths, my guess would be that it'll still have the 1/2 chance to cast, but maybe it'll be 50% chance of disenchant breath and only 25% chance of the others after "learning" your resists rather than a uniform chance for each. Actions are definitely still randomized because, for instance, my current character has free action and lacks pBlind, but dark elf mages sometimes make multiple attempts to cast paralyze before trying to blind.

That's just a guess, though. It certainly seems like enemies with, say, both fire breath and plasma breath tend to favor the latter over the course of a long fight, but I don't trust my sense of probability distribution without having some actual data to back it up.
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Old December 21, 2015, 08:09   #5
Wanderlust
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Initially I ignored the option completely because the '?' documentation indicates it makes the game much harder and is not recommended.

However I noticed TooMuchAbstraction activated that option in his second LP: http://lparchive.org/Angband/Update%2023/

Seeing that made me curious, since as I mentioned it has a certain conceptual attractiveness. So I tried it and had quite a good run ... actually it was my best run so far, @ made it to DL 39 before he had an unfortunate tangle with an undead beholder.

Thing is, I didn't really notice any obvious gameplay difference. Which makes me even more curious about it ...
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Old January 12, 2016, 08:03   #6
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
Initially I ignored the option completely because the '?' documentation indicates it makes the game much harder and is not recommended.
I use that setting in pretty much every game. In my experience it doesn't really make game much harder. A bit harder, but not much. There was a setting which made monsters "smart" and that changed everything. Healing monsters were practically impossible to kill because they kept healing themselves, every attack they did was the max damage attack and so on. That setting doesn't even exists now, it was so badly broken.
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