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Old December 18, 2009, 21:37   #1
bron
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Feature request: less inventory damage

I just completed an ironman game (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?t=2628). One of the biggest problems I had was with my inventory getting destroyed. In a standard game, this is an annoyance, but little more than that, since rare things you can stash at home, and common things you can buy replacements for. But in ironman, this can be a real headache. In my game, the monsters showed a special affinity for my copies of prayer book 4, and I had to devote an unfortunate amount of time to the mundane task of finding replacements. For some things, it is possible to stash the item(s) into an out-of-the-way place, and hope they are still there when the fight is over. But this is also dangerous, since something might come along and pick them up, or you might be unable to get back to the place you stashed them. You are also not always given the time needed to do this, and if the monster does give you the time, actually doing it is lengthy and boring. And in my particular case of a Paladin, I can't really stash away PB4 anyway because it's Heal spell is a crucial piece of the standard paladin fighting tactic of Hack&Heal.

Anyway, I'm requesting that the destruction of inventory items be dialed down in some way. There are various choices: my preferred option would be to change the current
+ percentage chance = (dam < 30) ? 1 : (dam < 60) ? 2 : 3;
make it be something like
+ percentage chance = (dam < 100) ? 1 : 2 ;
This directly addresses the issue, and makes having both a permanent and a temporary resist be more effective at safeguarding the inventory.

Another option would be to make books and scrolls only be vulnerable to only one of either acid or fire (not both). This is less effective because it is really fire that is the main problem (*lots* of things have fire attacks, especially down deep; not nearly so many have acid attacks). Another option would be to have the troublesome items (e.g. the books available in town), be declared "good" and so have them be dropped more often. I'm sure there are plenty of other possibilities. The tweak suggested above just has the advantage of being easy to implement.
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Old December 18, 2009, 22:38   #2
Derakon
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Inventory item damage is a pain in general. I'd actually rather have more frequent stat drain due to elemental damage in exchange for never getting inventory damage. Since that's probably not going to get accepted by other players, I suggest instead looking at the player's current resistance level instead of at the damage dealt:

No resistance => 3% destruction rate
Single resistance => 1% destruction rate
Double resistance / immunity => 0% destruction rate

And bring in Potions of Resistance (quaff for the Resistance spell, basically) from ZAng/ToMe. Those things are genuinely useful without being overpowered.
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Old December 18, 2009, 23:04   #3
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I think spell books are a special case and probably just shouldn't get destroyed. Being able to cast spells is inherent to characters' basic abilities. I don't see that it adds much to the game to manage stacks of books.

They could all be invulnerable. Or maybe in some later book you get some spell to apply the invulnerabilty to a book. After all, the high-level books are invulnerable, surely some mage must know how to make an invulnerable book.

Or maybe have a single spell book item which acts more like a container. When you learn a spell from a normal book, you copy it into your personal spellcasting book. Once you've learned all the spells you don't need to carry the other books. Or you could probably do away with the books and just have spellcasters learn from scrolls. But now I'm going off the deep end.
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Old December 18, 2009, 23:32   #4
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This has also been discussed on r.g.r.a. and has a ticket with some possibilities listed in trac:

http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/1008
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Old December 19, 2009, 00:49   #5
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Inventory damage is infuriating, spellbooks are one of the biggest victims, as are potions, but the biggest victim is ammo. Books should just be invincible, it is a hassle to carry extra copies to prevent some dlevel3 salamander from burning your level 50 character's copy of Sorcery and Evocations. (I don't believe salamanders are dlvl 3 but the point is understandable I'm sure.)
Ammo should just be harder to destroy I think and potions should be nearly indestructible but *not* quite.
I like derakon's idea of controlling destruction chance based on resistances; it makes sense but you should never be completely protected. That's one of the biggest advantages of immunities.
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Old December 19, 2009, 01:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tummychow View Post
you should never be completely protected. That's one of the biggest advantages of immunities.
I agree; only immunity should give you complete protection. But in my (admittedly quite limited) experience, the current rate of destruction is too high for a reasonable ironman game. I never had any problem with it in a regular game (where I would just stash stuff in my home, and buy extra books).

I do think the game needs to stay focused on the regular line of play, but I think dialing back the rate of destruction would significantly help ironman without having any significant impact on the main line.
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Old December 19, 2009, 01:49   #7
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I don't think this needs to be changed. Playing ironman should force you to change tactics. Seems that this change would make it easier, without adding anything to the game.
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Old December 19, 2009, 01:50   #8
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What does inventory damage accomplish, though? It basically makes you carry extra copies of items so that if one is damaged, then you still have access to the items. It basically amounts to forcing the player to spend more money and increase their "baseline" burden level without giving them anything useful in exchange. For items that can't be stocked up on, it just leaves you at risk of losing the item before you're unable to use it, which leads to players stockpiling useful items in the home because they don't want to risk being unable to lose them.

I'm just not seeing any interesting gameplay coming from this feature. Could someone who thinks that inventory damage, at some level, is good to have, provide their perspective?
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Old December 19, 2009, 02:00   #9
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Once again IRONMAN rears it's ugly head .
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Old December 19, 2009, 02:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
What does inventory damage accomplish, though? It basically makes you carry extra copies of items so that if one is damaged, then you still have access to the items. It basically amounts to forcing the player to spend more money and increase their "baseline" burden level without giving them anything useful in exchange. For items that can't be stocked up on, it just leaves you at risk of losing the item before you're unable to use it, which leads to players stockpiling useful items in the home because they don't want to risk being unable to lose them.

I'm just not seeing any interesting gameplay coming from this feature. Could someone who thinks that inventory damage, at some level, is good to have, provide their perspective?
I like the feature. I mean, it is infuriating when I lose a _telself or !heal but the game would be boring if I knew I only needed to carry a single ?WoR to get back to the surface.

I think that you answered your own question: it makes inventory management more tricky: should I carry 5 extra spell books or a swap weapon with rconf? Carrying extra copies of staves often pushes me to the brink of being slow; if I find a new shield, can I afford to carry use it when it slows me down?

It also makes me consider the battles I enter into. If I meet an ancient red dragon, how will I fight? Is it worth using melee or do I have to back off and fire arrows? (For that matter, what about arrows on the floor? Should I pick them up or risk them being incinerated?) I love that a giant salamander becomes extremely powerful in ironman play because it breathes fire and spell books and consumables are so valuable in the early game.

And inventory damage makes immunity so valuable (it is under-priced in the stores, BTW).

Inventory damage is so frustrating when it happens, and can sometimes be a game-ender, but the game would be significantly less interesting without it.
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