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Old June 26, 2007, 18:22   #1
andrewdoull
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[All] Protecting the @ from player stupidity.

Just pick a random character death like http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=6817

Now, this is a perfectly respectable character dump, played by someone who should know better making the one-step wrong move, when help was at hand.

What mechanisms should the game have to protect against player stupidity?

I know Angband has the ugly 'low hit point warning'. I believe Sangband has a more useful 'flush input plus delay' that does a better job of cancelling silly key presses.

I'm thinking of implementing 2 systems in Unangband:

1) instead of 'low hitpoint warning', you get a 'low hitpoint confirmation' e.g. you have to confirm any action when you get below a certain number of hit points. This may just be too painful though, if it occurs too frequently. I may make it work similar to inscriptions, where you inscribe e.g. ^; on your digger to prevent you from moving or attacking whilst you are wielding your digger. Instead it'll be a 'low hitpoint inscription' e.g. <20% hit points, you can't choose move or attack, without removing the inscription.

2) gambits, similar to the Final Fantasy XII. If hitpoints < 10%, quaff potion of healing.

Thoughts?

(And apologies in advance to Nick for picking on him).
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Old June 26, 2007, 21:06   #2
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What about requiring a confirmation, but only when the character first falls below the set hpwarning, and then not again until he is back above it.
This should give the player enough time to remember that the next turns might be dangerous.
I don't think this or any other implementation would have saved the mentioned character. The death looks like a typical "just one more turn" decissions that has gone wrong. The 1 second required to press the confirmation button will not make the player change his (risky) decission. Or at least... it wouldn't have for me
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Old June 26, 2007, 21:55   #3
HallucinationMushroom
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Interesting! Some off the top of my head brainstorm suggestions: Um... Perhaps a timer? After a couple of hours of playing the game informs the player that they should take a break. Or, perhaps if the time is late the game says that you really should get some sleep instead!
Maybe if you dip into critical hitpoints several times over a small amount of time you get a warning message. A breathalyzer exam before play would've saved some of my characters...
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Old June 26, 2007, 22:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
Just pick a random character death like http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=6817
I read this line and thought "I bet it's one of mine".

Quote:
Now, this is a perfectly respectable character dump, played by someone who should know better making the one-step wrong move, when help was at hand.
I was pretty sure I knew which dump now, too. Clicked the link - no surprises there.

I think Matthias is right. I was treating the Dreadmaster as if it had no ranged attacks (it had done me most of the damage in melee) and I'd already phased a couple of times and was shooting it quite successfully. This was hard core stupidity.

There are situations where the other strategies would be good. "Really try a Scroll of Word of Recall?" would have saved one of my characters when I'd meant to read Teleport Level. On the whole, though, I think the player can circumvent most things designed for their protection - I had a hitpoint warning set, for example. And part of the beauty of Angband is the cycle of stupidity, death and learning. Well, some people learn.
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Old June 26, 2007, 23:56   #5
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If the damage the player received during the last turn is equal or more than the remaining HP, there should be a paperclip popping up and saying:
"It seems that you are facing a dangerous foe, may I suggest:
* Quaff a !CCW
* Read ?oT
* Read ?oWOR
* ..."
And just to make sure the player treats this seriously, he shouldn't be allowed to do anything until he confirms five times that he doesn't want any help.
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Old June 27, 2007, 10:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuma View Post
If the damage the player received during the last turn is equal or more than the remaining HP, there should be a paperclip popping up and saying:
"It seems that you are facing a dangerous foe, may I suggest:
* Quaff a !CCW
* Read ?oT
* Read ?oWOR
* ..."
And just to make sure the player treats this seriously, he shouldn't be allowed to do anything until he confirms five times that he doesn't want any help.
Nice. It helps that the @ symbol looks a little like the squashed paperclip
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Old June 27, 2007, 11:29   #7
zasvid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuma View Post
If the damage the player received during the last turn is equal or more than the remaining HP, there should be a paperclip popping up and saying:
"It seems that you are facing a dangerous foe, may I suggest:
* Quaff a !CCW
* Read ?oT
* Read ?oWOR
* ..."
And just to make sure the player treats this seriously, he shouldn't be allowed to do anything until he confirms five times that he doesn't want any help.
Ooh, that is a nice solution.

However, I'd like to say that in my opinion Angband shouldn't be too foolproof, because that would make the game too easy. 90% of my deaths past early game are because of "ooh, just one more turn and I heal/teleport". With that kind of warning I would think twice before doing stupid things and provided I wouldn't be tired, probably make the right decision. This would make Angband almost ... easy.
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Old July 1, 2007, 12:52   #8
Daven_26d1
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In my opinion, roguelikes shouldn't have these kind of safety features, even the hitpoint warning! After all, you should check your darned hitpoints...

To me, the sort of people that would want additional features like this are probably the same ones who copy their save files.

A win is so *satisfying* in angband because it's such a remorseless beast.

Edit: After some thought, and the untimely demise of one half-elf, I've decided that the breathalyzer idea is sound and should be implemented as soon as possible.

Last edited by Daven_26d1; July 2, 2007 at 14:16.
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Old July 2, 2007, 12:22   #9
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I vote no, because the harsh lessons of dying without warning will prevent you from doing it again the next time (as long as you know what killed you). A good player becomes so not by doing it right the first time, but by doing it right after a lot of wrongs.
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Old July 3, 2007, 04:16   #10
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I normally don't advertise Animeband since it is indeed the worst variant ever, but I do feel that I have managed to figure out a balance in eliminating a bulk of random death, but yet let stupid death slide through. However, a lot of those methods probably won't work in other variants.

Random death is more infuriating than stupid death. At least with stupid death, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
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