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Old May 30, 2018, 10:52   #11
Sky
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well, those used to be cursed potions. potions you are not supposed to drink.

later on, like most "bad" items in the game, they evolved into something which has tradeoffs. However, if used in the very specific manner described above, they no longer become half-good/half-bad items, but just good items. This is generally considered outside of the original intent and therefore referred to as an exploit.
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Old May 30, 2018, 16:36   #12
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Originally Posted by Sky View Post
would that mean that you *always* get +1.0 points? because regular stat potions don't give you the full point once you reach around 18/50+

i'm partial to making all stat potions simply +1 or +1/-1 swap.
Gain-stat potions used to give you +/10 per potion until you got near 18/80 or so and then started giving you less, so you needed several potions to get those last few effective points. E.g. a single potion might take you from 18/90 to 18/94. At some point that was changed, and (possibly at the same time) you got more than a point's worth of gain per potion early on in the 18s (taking you from 18 to 18/30 in a single potion). I assume that the goal was to reduce the amount of time people spent scumming for stat gain potions, which is something I have trouble arguing with. We could make stat potions all linear; that'd mostly mean you'd have to find, what, 2-6 more per stat to max out? I don't have a good feel for what that'd do to the pace of the game.

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Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
A mild rant... The Sun doesn't revolve around the Earth, the orbit of the planets isn't a circle, despite the death of Copernicus and the arrest of Galileo. Why is it an "exploit"? Why must things be symmetrical? Why must they fit into a box?
My perspective on this is that exploits are things that a) are non-obvious, b) grant an advantage, and c) are not fun, they're just silly hoops that optimizing players have to jump through. Of course there's some fun to be had, for at least some players, in going "I know a special trick for getting stats faster!" So deciding whether something is an exploit is going to vary from person to person, even if they agree with my definition of the term above. Personally I don't enjoy hoarding stat-swap potions until I hit that magic threshold, so I consider it an exploit. You are free to disagree.
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Old May 30, 2018, 19:11   #13
Ingwe Ingweron
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
My perspective on this is that exploits are things that a) are non-obvious, b) grant an advantage, and c) are not fun, they're just silly hoops that optimizing players have to jump through. Of course there's some fun to be had, for at least some players, in going "I know a special trick ..."
It is a line-drawing problem. At what point is something a special trick or a silly hoop? Is it a special trick to read unid scrolls on stairs, so that @ has a convenient escape, or is it just knowledge learned from playing? How is that knowledge different from knowledge about stat swap potions? Sometimes I use stat-swap potions before the "magic" natural 18, sometimes I hoard them. Sometimes I ignore them entirely (except the one id use).
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Old May 30, 2018, 19:46   #14
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The difference seems pretty clear to me - knowledge that having an escape handy when doing something dangerous is a good idea is just basic reasoning. Minutia about the mechanics of stat boosts is just that - minutia.

In the first case, you have discovered that stairs are a good all-purpose escape, and you have learned that un-id'd objects can be dangerous, so you combine that knowledge. These are all intended mechanics, and it is also intended that the player minimizes those risks that cannot be eliminated. Taking the three criteria, it sure seems like an obvious conjecture to me, and it also doesn't seem like a tedious process.

In the second situation, a player learns that stat gain and loss contains (probably unintended) asymmetries that the player can use to achieve an unintended and unbalancing goal, at the cost of tedious gameplay. The fact that stat gain and stat loss are not determined by inverting the other, but by some other, asymmetric process is counterintuitive, especially in a game where your first interaction with stat boosts is "gain one, lose one" which implies that the process is symmetrical. It also does not seem fun.

It may be possible to set up an actual edge case (asymmetric LoS comes to mind), but this is certainly not one, and even if there is an edge case, it wouldn't actually devalue the assertion that this is an exploit.
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Old May 30, 2018, 20:20   #15
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Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
It is a line-drawing problem.
Per my definition, it is a fun-having problem. I don't enjoy it, which is part of why I classify it as an exploit (it must require obscure knowledge AND grant an advantage AND not be fun to be an exploit).

To the extent that fun is a line-drawing problem then, I agree with you.
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Old May 30, 2018, 22:55   #16
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I definitely get the no-fun arugment. It's the symmetry argument of the original proposition that doesn't resonate with me.

For myself, I still find the Stat-Swap potions interesting. They pose a tactical choice, quaff now and take the risk, take up an inventory slot to carry it around, waste time taking it home and taking up a slot at home, saving for later might end up being a waste also. Sure waiting *might* provide an asymmetrical swap, but there is no guarantee and there is an opportunity cost. I don't see those tactical choices and the *possibility* of an asymmetrical swap as an "exploit". I find often I will quaff now or just pass it by rather than waste all the effort to carry, return, and store at home.
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Old May 31, 2018, 00:22   #17
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stat swap potions also have a downside nobody is considering.

in a world without stat swap potions, i can quaff any potion in the game, without any negative consequences. Maybe at most a Lose Memories, which now amounts to the loss of 400g as i need to buy a RLL potion.

in a world *with* stat swap potions, the dreaded Contemplation means you'll lose a point that could be vital. Imagine a beginning mage, maybe even not HE. Losing a point of INT that cost him an extra 4 character creation points, and he could have had 4 extra points of CON for.

Toughness isn't great either, while a high CON is fundamental in the endgame, having an extra 2hp won't help your warrior if he can't get more than 1 blow per round.

Intellect for warriors, unless you are superlucky and have WIS drained, you're gonna lose a point in a vital stat.

This means, i need to stash my un-ID potions until i can sell them. Otherwise, i only do this at the very start, to find !Speed, and endgame, to find !Life.
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Old May 31, 2018, 00:38   #18
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@sky--
Actually, toughness is the only stat swap potion I have ever stashed, and exactly for the reason you suggest: thd need for CON comes on suddenly later in the game. A few !Toughness grants that, if you have a stash (once your base CON hits 17 or 18.) The trouble is I blow through DL 40 so fast, there is no chance to actually accumulate.
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Old May 31, 2018, 00:53   #19
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It makes sense to me to make all stat gains linear and then get rid of the dumb 18/xxx system, and just make stats go from 0 to X, where X is the current maximum.
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Old May 31, 2018, 01:32   #20
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The xxx stuff is silly, and purely a historical accident from early D&D; a number of variants just go from 3 to 40. It used to actually matter, though: stat drain after 18/10 sometimes only took you down half a full point. And stat gain after 18/80 was on average less than 1 point. That said, I assume by linear you mean integrer valued. If by linear, you mean: linear in effect, I think it's a bad idea. That last point of CON (or DEX, etc) should really matter.
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