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Old June 17, 2013, 12:30   #1
Patashu
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Sil tournament idea: Build challenge?

Over at the Brogue forums there's a regular tournament called the 'enchantment challenge' (I think?) where a seed is picked out that has a specific item near the start of the dungeon, and you have to dump at least half your enchantments into that item.
Since enchantments are how you specialize and become an endgame-ready character in Brogue this is an effective way to make you rely on that item's powered up nature (and synergize well with your remaining half enchantments) or die.
It also encourages looking into items you would never otherwise use (since scrolls of enchantment are strictly limited and it's tempting to just stick with what works) and discussing uses you found for them, as well as indicating if an item is not powerful enough (= if everyone finds the challenge difficult).

Well, with the recent topic 'Which ability is the worst in Sil?' and a lot of discussion and debate on it that's purely theoretical, why not get some actual data? I propose a 'build challenge' which would be something like weekly and force you to get a specific ability and use it. Now, how to force that ability's use needs to be ironed out:

-I think that a save file should be released that starts you out reasonably deep into the game, with the skill selected for the build challenge, as well as the rest of the exp allocated in a way that makes sense for someone trying to use said skill. Makes retrying faster and makes it so different players' attempts are more consistent (unlike in Brogue, you can't pre-determine the whole dungeon in advance, so this is the closest we can get)
-But that still leaves the problem of how to force reliance upon the selected skill. The honour system is one thing (having to talk about how you used it, I guess) but possibly builds and abilities that can be used to cinch a win no matter how your exp is otherwise allocated might need to be banned...

The above two points mean I don't have any idea how one would actually run this, but I think it would be a really great way to explore the game's abilities, especially ones that aren't so often taken. Thoughts?
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Old June 17, 2013, 14:50   #2
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There were some Sil competitions as part of the general Angband competitions. As I only play Sil among roguelikes I wouldn't mind more competitions. As far as I can tell people played with archery when there was an archery competition etc. Although if you try with throwing weapon mastery people would probably not be induced enough to actually use it as much as you like.

Some builds which could make nice competitions (in my mind)...

- stealthless archery
- pacifist build (no archery, no melee other than to knock off the crown)
- polearm mastery (give a decent polearm, polearm mastery, focus, zoc right away)
- stealthless light-weapon (only one-handed weapons, start with very low STR to make the point)
- singer (high grace with a helpful singing artefact at start and heavy investment in song skill without songs chosen)
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Old June 17, 2013, 15:18   #3
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My favorite challenge is the THREE skill tree challlenge, with my main choice being Melee/Evasion/Will.
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Old June 17, 2013, 16:41   #4
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I think it's a cool idea Patashu, but I don't know how to make it work. I had been on a similar line of thinking... that being random skills that you must purchase, but I tend to fall asleep before I figure out a way to make it work. Kind of like, Chess960... there's bound to be some simple elegant way to create a random set of skills that can only, and must, be purchased.

It's not quite the same, since you want the skills to be used, and my way doesn't have this stipulation. However, they both force players out of their comfort zones. So, that is the same page, at least. We could just prescribe each other challenges.

The above mentioned non-stealth archery. I tried a few of those recently and I went high protection archery... I really hate shooting arrows, but have to admit it was fun tanking with arrows.
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Old June 17, 2013, 17:05   #5
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You could maybe start characters off with certain skills pre-bought? And then figure out some way to retroactively charge them for the cost. Run a few competitions where characters have to use skills from the "bad skills" thread and see how it goes.
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Old June 18, 2013, 01:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taptap View Post
There were some Sil competitions as part of the general Angband competitions. As I only play Sil among roguelikes I wouldn't mind more competitions. As far as I can tell people played with archery when there was an archery competition etc. Although if you try with throwing weapon mastery people would probably not be induced enough to actually use it as much as you like.

Some builds which could make nice competitions (in my mind)...

- stealthless archery
- pacifist build (no archery, no melee other than to knock off the crown)
- polearm mastery (give a decent polearm, polearm mastery, focus, zoc right away)
- stealthless light-weapon (only one-handed weapons, start with very low STR to make the point)
- singer (high grace with a helpful singing artefact at start and heavy investment in song skill without songs chosen)
I think you have the right idea - the demands on how you make your build need to be strict enough such that you are playing in that way (such as banning hitting monsters with certain types of weapons, banning whole skills, etc). All of those sound like interesting builds to hold a competition around.

Here's another build idea: Max protection. Heavy Armor Use and Toughness required abilities, must equip a new piece of armour if it is a higher protection value (or weight?) than what you're wearing in that slot, must wear the best rings of protection you can find, must use shield when found... Playing it to the absolute extreme could be amusing

Any thoughts on which of the two would be better:

1) Hack the game or the savefile to add items that the build ought to start with
2) Advance the savefile by normal means until it has the build cemented and items it needs (if any) and then make that the canonical start of the challenge

Also, for the Brogue challenges, since seeds give you a fixed dungeon every time, you were only permitted to play the challenge once and submit whatever score you got, which lead to a tense change in how you had to play (optimizing for making every adventurer a winner, rather than optimizing for maximum number of winners/hour spent playing). I think for a Sil challenge this would not be necessary, but maybe sometimes it would be interesting enough to include.
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Old June 18, 2013, 12:17   #7
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I would ask the guys running the Angband competition how they did it (they had several Sil competitions already) and run a few additional Sil competitions on the same line. The jack-of-all-trades and minimal skill tree challenges are discussed in the other thread and working without any formal framework.

Personally for me the fun is partly to see what people make different despite being highly committed to a certain path and doing a similar build in general so I wouldn't be too harsh with commands. (Not being able to wield your artefact shield because some 1d8 kite shield is on the floor isn't fun.)
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Old June 21, 2013, 22:58   #8
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So there's no competition currently - do you guys want to do one of these? Just tell me what you want as the rules, and give me a savefile, and we'll be good to go.
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Old June 21, 2013, 23:40   #9
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I would actually like to see a Sil competition that is the exact opposite of this -- start with a Noldor Feanor with standard starting kit and a decent stat allocation, and leave all 5k exp available to allocate and see what crazy shit people manage to pull off
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Old June 22, 2013, 00:13   #10
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If that, then ironman and/or artifactless, I think.
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