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Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

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Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » January 30th, 2013, 11:27 pm

It is my pleasure to announce the release of Brogue v1.7.1 for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Downloads, screenshots, a forum and a wiki can be found here:

https://sites.google.com/site/broguegame/home

New with v1.7.1:
⁃ Certain terrain features (locked doors, stairs, altars, etc.) are noted in the sidebar, and like monsters and items, can be selected from the sidebar by mouse or with the tab key for pathfinding and targeting.
⁃ The dungeon generation code has been rewritten from scratch, and the dungeon is generated with several new basic room shapes.
⁃ The lighting state of the player’s location (lit/unlit) is displayed at the top of the side bar.
⁃ New armor runic: the Armor of Respiration, which renders you immune to harmful gases.
⁃ New weapon runic: the Weapon of Force, which flings enemies backward and damages them if they hit something along the way, in proportion to the distance that they traveled.
⁃ New terrain feature: bloodwort plants, which grow seed pods that release healing gas when struck.
⁃ The rapier deals slightly more damage, requires 15 strength, and will perform a triple-damage never-miss lunge attack if you are one space away from an enemy and step directly toward it. Runic effects on rapiers are also more likely to trigger.
⁃ Brief flashes of light are displayed to indicate discovered secrets and other events.
⁃ The deepest dungeon depth is now 40 instead of 100, and it contains a reward for players skillful and insane enough to reach it.
⁃ Groups of monsters will now swarm their enemies more intelligently.
⁃ Plate armor now grants a base armor value of 11, down from 12.
⁃ Natural crystal formations reflect magical bolts.
⁃ Removed scrolls and charms of fear.
⁃ A type of item will automatically become identified if it is the last type of that item category not to be identified.
⁃ All item types in a vault will auto-identify as soon as you enter the vault, obviating the need to sequentially pick up and drop each such item.
⁃ When monkeys steal darts or other stackable weapons, they will steal only half of the stack at a time as long as you have more than three.
⁃ Charms are less common.
⁃ Swamp gas will explode only if it’s completely surrounded by swamp gas, fire or terrain that obstructs gas. Otherwise it just burns.
⁃ Weapons of multiplicity can summon up to 7 images and armor of multiplicity can summon up to 5, in each case based on their enchantment level, up from a maximum of 3.
⁃ Diagonal movement is permitted around all terrain except for walls and obstruction crystals. In other words, you can now step diagonally around statues, caged altars, wooden barricades, etc.
⁃ Vaults are no longer generated with destructible corners, which previously allowed a player with tunneling/shattering and blinking to rob vaults without unlocking them.
⁃ Tossing an item into lava will result in a one-cell gout of flame, which can ignite flammable gas clouds.
⁃ Items carried by monsters are now always identified in the monster details display.
⁃ Attempting to move while confused and next to lava will prompt the player for confirmation, as will attempting to drink a potion that is known to be bad.
⁃ Saved games load about twice as quickly.
⁃ Allies and other monsters are less likely to clip through walls in a variety of contexts, including upon summoning and when moving between depths.
⁃ Enemy monsters are again willing to cast offensive spells at allies that have learned reflection.
⁃ Wands of plenty are now generated with 1-2 charges, like wands of domination, instead of 2-4 charges.
⁃ Polymorph will no longer generate liches or phoenixes, to avoid odd outcomes with phylacteries and phoenix eggs.
⁃ Phoenix eggs have twice as much health, and phoenixes do more damage.
⁃ Negation will clear the “reflects magic” status from monsters.
⁃ Fixed several potential causes of out-of-sync errors.
⁃ Fixed a few bugs related to vault generation edge cases.
⁃ Fixed a bug that could cause the player's armor value to display as negative, even though it cannot go below zero.
⁃ Fixed a bug that could mess up dart/javelin quantities.
⁃ Fixed a bug that could cause memory corruption when items that had been ‘c’alled long names auto-identified.
⁃ Fixed a bug that allowed you to spend a scroll of identify on a charm.
⁃ Fixed a bug that caused the duration of entrancement to be shorter than it should be.
⁃ Fixed a bug that could cause the upward stairs on depth N to become discovered (and, potentially, could cause recordings or saved games to go out of sync) if you took the downward stairs to depth N+1 and then back up to N.
⁃ Fixed a bug that caused weakened monsters to hit more accurately instead of less accurately (though their damage output and defense were correctly lowered).
⁃ Fixed a bug that could cause high-level charms of protection to provide too much shielding and potentially destabilize the game, and rebalanced the charm of protection to offer more benefit at lower enchantment levels.
⁃ Fixed a bug that caused monsters to wander back and forth repeatedly (by rewriting the wandering code from scratch).
⁃ Changed the open source license under which Brogue is distributed to AGPLv3.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:29 pm

Nice!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:34 pm

Pender wrote: ⁃ The dungeon generation code has been rewritten from scratch, and the dungeon is generated with several new basic room shapes.
⁃ The lighting state of the player’s location (lit/unlit) is displayed at the top of the side bar.
⁃ New armor runic: the Armor of Respiration, which renders you immune to harmful gases.
⁃ New weapon runic: the Weapon of Force, which flings enemies backward and damages them if they hit something along the way, in proportion to the distance that they traveled.
⁃ New terrain feature: bloodwort plants, which grow seed pods that release healing gas when struck.
⁃ The rapier deals slightly more damage, requires 15 strength, and will perform a triple-damage never-miss lunge attack if you are one space away from an enemy and step directly toward it. Runic effects on rapiers are also more likely to trigger.
⁃ Brief flashes of light are displayed to indicate discovered secrets and other events.
⁃ The deepest dungeon depth is now 40 instead of 100, and it contains a reward for players skillful and insane enough to reach it.
⁃ Groups of monsters will now swarm their enemies more intelligently.
⁃ Natural crystal formations reflect magical bolts.
⁃ A type of item will automatically become identified if it is the last type of that item category not to be identified.
⁃ All item types in a vault will auto-identify as soon as you enter the vault, obviating the need to sequentially pick up and drop each such item.
⁃ When monkeys steal darts or other stackable weapons, they will steal only half of the stack at a time as long as you have more than three.
⁃ Charms are less common.
⁃ Swamp gas will explode only if it’s completely surrounded by swamp gas, fire or terrain that obstructs gas. Otherwise it just burns.
⁃ Weapons of multiplicity can summon up to 7 images and armor of multiplicity can summon up to 5, in each case based on their enchantment level, up from a maximum of 3.
⁃ Diagonal movement is permitted around all terrain except for walls and obstruction crystals. In other words, you can now step diagonally around statues, caged altars, wooden barricades, etc.
⁃ Tossing an item into lava will result in a one-cell gout of flame, which can ignite flammable gas clouds.
⁃ Phoenix eggs have twice as much health, and phoenixes do more damage.



Wow, for a .x release this is an awesome feature list.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:35 pm

Any reason for the license change / quickie explanation for people who aren't familiar with common open source licenses and are too busy (ok, lazy) to read the license, read the previous one, compare, etc.?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » January 30th, 2013, 11:48 pm

fugori wrote:Any reason for the license change / quickie explanation for people who aren't familiar with common open source licenses and are too busy (ok, lazy) to read the license, read the previous one, compare, etc.?

Here's a quick explanation of the difference: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-affero-gpl.html
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:48 pm

Are captives not tortured any longer? I've only found two so far, but it took me a while to make it to them and free them and they were at full health when I did, which never happens.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:50 pm

Pender wrote:
fugori wrote:Any reason for the license change / quickie explanation for people who aren't familiar with common open source licenses and are too busy (ok, lazy) to read the license, read the previous one, compare, etc.?

Here's a quick explanation of the difference: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-affero-gpl.html


Hmm, thanks that's clearer than the other sources I had skimmed.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 30th, 2013, 11:55 pm

The bloodwort pods are making the early game very different for me so far.

I am going to stop geeking out publicly and let it soak in for a while instead.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » January 31st, 2013, 12:03 am

fugori wrote:Are captives not tortured any longer? I've only found two so far, but it took me a while to make it to them and free them and they were at full health when I did, which never happens.

Ha, I guess you're right... congratulations on finding the first bug a few minutes after the release :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » January 31st, 2013, 12:20 am

First, thank you Brian & Joshua!
Pender wrote: ⁃ New armor runic: the Armor of Respiration, which renders you immune to harmful gases.

Yay traps!
⁃ Groups of monsters will now swarm their enemies more intelligently.

I haven't played yet, but this terrifies me.

⁃ Enemy monsters are again willing to cast offensive spells at allies that have learned reflection.
⁃ Wands of plenty are now generated with 1-2 charges, like wands of domination, instead of 2-4 charges.

Thank god. Every time I encountered a wand of plenty I knew it was going to be a grindy 10 hour game. This should remove the tedium.

fugori wrote:I am going to stop geeking out publicly and let it soak in for a while instead.

Don't you dare. Revel in it. :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 31st, 2013, 1:00 am

First game ended at level 17, but I got to witness new swamp gas ignition behavior firsthand. :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » January 31st, 2013, 1:10 am

Woaha sounds very nice. Though I'm at work now and can't try it for some time. Thanks guys for keeping such a good work.

And as fugori said that one hell of a minor version :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby imp_rover » January 31st, 2013, 2:26 am

Really cool release, my favorite changes are the healing plants and the new rapiers. If only I could stop dying so early...
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Blazko » January 31st, 2013, 3:15 am

ggoDeye wrote:Thank god. Every time I encountered a wand of plenty I knew it was going to be a grindy 10 hour game. This should remove the tedium.

I think a 10 hour game is not at all a bad thing. Provided you can save it and continue playing next day without fearing OOS.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » January 31st, 2013, 4:30 am

imp_rover wrote:Really cool release, my favorite changes are the healing plants and the new rapiers. If only I could stop dying so early...


Additional rapier notes:
* Great synergy with allies.
* Lets you finish off ogres 3x faster if you can stand toe to toe against them.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby magikmw » January 31st, 2013, 6:37 am

There seems to be a problem with the Linux curses building.
With the help of leo___ on the irc channel I've noticed that the CURSES_LIB var is missing a -lm, so that the math library cannot be linked.

I cannot say anything about 1.7.1 yet, since I haven't played it yet :]
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby evilmike » January 31st, 2013, 7:10 am

Very cool, I was looking forward to this release, since I knew it would rebalance a lot of the issues in 1.7 for the better. The improvements to the dungeon are also a nice surprise, I wasn't expecting to see that in a point release.

One thing has me curious though - why has fear been removed? Is it simply due to the nuisance it causes during ally play? I don't really mind the loss, it is just interesting to me that you have removed it.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » January 31st, 2013, 7:23 am

Very cool! Will recompile seed scummer asap.

Pretty much every addition is cool or interesting or intriguing.

⁃ Polymorph will no longer generate liches or phoenixes, to avoid odd outcomes with phylacteries and phoenix eggs.


This is a bit disappointing, since liches are such interesting foes to deal with.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby eliotn » January 31st, 2013, 9:57 am

Found what might be a bug.

On ubuntu, I play this game and I can't use the mouse to move around. I hated displaying the path everytime I moved the mouse then my character but this...
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » January 31st, 2013, 10:20 am

Amazing. I'd be excited just by some bug fixes - this is way more than I expected. I'd list my favourite things in the changelog but it would be about as long as the original post.

Instead of adding an extra property to monsters, eg. a variable that says whether or not a monster should revert to a phylactery or pheonix egg rather than just dying outright, could you make it so that polymorph has a chance of spawning pheonix eggs and phylacteries? Not as a variable, but so that a dragon could potentially get transformed into a phylactery, just sitting there on the ground.

EDIT:

As far as stealth is concerned, is being "lit" worse than the default light level? Since the new light-level indicator mentions it, that implies that the player should try to avoid "lit" areas when sneaking around.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby klapse » January 31st, 2013, 10:48 am

I'm building an 800x480 version for Nokia N900 based on linuxbochs' work for OpenPandora. https://github.com/lunixbochs/brogue/commits/master Except I managed to get segfaults after modifying IO.c. Since I don't understand much of the code it will take a while for me to track down what is going wrong.
Perhaps you could merge his modifications using #ifdefs for 800x480 devices? There aren't that many changes.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » January 31st, 2013, 12:33 pm

evilmike wrote:One thing has me curious though - why has fear been removed? Is it simply due to the nuisance it causes during ally play? I don't really mind the loss, it is just interesting to me that you have removed it.

Yes, the ally effects weren't great, especially with all the uncertainty about whether they'd rejoin you. It also wasn't totally reliable as a panic button, since cornered monsters would continue to attack and I think there were cases where ranged attackers would fire off an extra shot. All in all not a star performer among the item types.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Franny » January 31st, 2013, 2:13 pm

Pender wrote:
fugori wrote:Are captives not tortured any longer? I've only found two so far, but it took me a while to make it to them and free them and they were at full health when I did, which never happens.

Ha, I guess you're right... congratulations on finding the first bug a few minutes after the release :)

I found a monkey who was half dead...so not for all....and it was great to lead him into the bloodwort gas to heal him up!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby imp_rover » January 31st, 2013, 2:26 pm

andrewdoull wrote:Additional rapier notes:
* Great synergy with allies.
* Lets you finish off ogres 3x faster if you can stand toe to toe against them.

Other interesting uses:

- chasing and killing those pesky spellcasters
- cutting a straight path toward goblin conjurers
- conjuration dance (getting triple damage guaranteed attacks for every enemy hit, as long as you can restrain them)

Overall I'm not sure if I prefer rapiers or axes as early-game weapons, which is probably the best possible result.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Levi » January 31st, 2013, 2:49 pm

imp_rover wrote:
andrewdoull wrote:Additional rapier notes:
* Great synergy with allies.
* Lets you finish off ogres 3x faster if you can stand toe to toe against them.

Other interesting uses:

- chasing and killing those pesky spellcasters
- cutting a straight path toward goblin conjurers
- conjuration dance (getting triple damage guaranteed attacks for every enemy hit, as long as you can restrain them)

Overall I'm not sure if I prefer rapiers or axes as early-game weapons, which is probably the best possible result.


Holy crap... being able to hit fleeing enemies is going to make rapiers awesome earlier on... and rapier + conjuration sounds like it has some serious potential.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Rev » January 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm

I kind of liked fear, even though it was chaotic. I knew the risk I was taking when I used it and it made the game fun sometimes. It definitely screwed me over plenty of times, too, so I definitely understand the change.

I like the changes overall, especially the addition of new content.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » January 31st, 2013, 4:47 pm

Pender wrote:
evilmike wrote:One thing has me curious though - why has fear been removed? Is it simply due to the nuisance it causes during ally play? I don't really mind the loss, it is just interesting to me that you have removed it.

Yes, the ally effects weren't great, especially with all the uncertainty about whether they'd rejoin you. It also wasn't totally reliable as a panic button, since cornered monsters would continue to attack and I think there were cases where ranged attackers would fire off an extra shot. All in all not a star performer among the item types.


Dungeon Crawl's scrolls of fear have a similar usefulness level (literally the same as what you said, cornered monsters stop panicing and monsters can fire off their ranged attack one more time) and they haven't been removed yet. An item doesn't have to be always useful to be worth having around.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Sas » January 31st, 2013, 6:11 pm

Thank you for the new release, I like the feature list.
Except, maybe, stopping vault robbery, I found that fitting the style of the game even though it was unintentional and unbalanced.
Pender wrote: ⁃ Saved games load about twice as quickly.

Would you care to elaborate what changed in the save and load system?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 31st, 2013, 6:42 pm

omg I found force! this rune is so cool i can't even bring myself to type this properly!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 31st, 2013, 6:54 pm

fugori wrote:omg I found force! this rune is so cool i can't even bring myself to type this properly!


OK, this seed is overkill. TWO weapons of force, within one depth of each other. I also have an n/8 lightning staff set up, on level 10, and I still have 4 scrolls of enchanting left over!

Are there more scrolls of enchanting distributed throughout the dungeon in this version?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » January 31st, 2013, 6:58 pm

Runics seems to activate much more frequently with rapiers when performing the lunge attack - is the lunge attack basically identical to the sneak attack / does it double the chance of activating runics as well?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » January 31st, 2013, 7:06 pm

The new dungeon generation code is leaving a lot more big spaces in the dungeon floor "empty," as in unfilled by rooms. Spaces this big almost always contained secret rooms in previous versions, and I'm finding it hard to search diligently when I'm almost never rewarded for the effort. It's fun cracking open a secret room, like a ripe melon.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby DalaranJ » January 31st, 2013, 7:27 pm

Creaphis wrote:EDIT:

As far as stealth is concerned, is being "lit" worse than the default light level? Since the new light-level indicator mentions it, that implies that the player should try to avoid "lit" areas when sneaking around.


"Lit" is clarifying when you step in a "patch of sunlight" since the patch of sunlight text is so frequently overridden by terrain features.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » January 31st, 2013, 7:37 pm

Sure, but does it actually affect anything gameplay-wise or doesn't it?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » January 31st, 2013, 7:37 pm

Creaphis wrote:The new dungeon generation code is leaving a lot more big spaces in the dungeon floor "empty," as in unfilled by rooms. Spaces this big almost always contained secret rooms in previous versions, and I'm finding it hard to search diligently when I'm almost never rewarded for the effort. It's fun cracking open a secret room, like a ripe melon.

This also seems to be leading to too much food and weaker allies.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby sorta-stupid » January 31st, 2013, 10:46 pm

Creaphis wrote:Sure, but does it actually affect anything gameplay-wise or doesn't it?

Being lit halves your stealth bonus relative to normal light. Being in darkness increases it by +5 (or +10, I guess, since the bonus gets doubled for dark and normal light). Stealth bonus, like armor, accuracy, and damage, is exponential, not linear. Actually, I never really code dove for stealth mechanics, so I'm just going off this, which may be out of date:
http://brogue.wikia.com/wiki/Stealth

Not as transparent as most of the other game mechanisms, which, I guess, is actually appropriate ;)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » February 1st, 2013, 12:00 am

Creaphis wrote:The new dungeon generation code is leaving a lot more big spaces in the dungeon floor "empty," as in unfilled by rooms. Spaces this big almost always contained secret rooms in previous versions, and I'm finding it hard to search diligently when I'm almost never rewarded for the effort. It's fun cracking open a secret room, like a ripe melon.


That's my biggest reservation with the new release. The levels don't feel like Brogue anymore: too many clumps of items together because there's not enough space to redistribute them, not enough secrets to be found in unexplored areas. The advantage of different room geometries that the new dungeon generator gives come at a pretty big cost; and the pay off (slightly more unusual room shapes) doesn't seem to compensate.

Which I'm sure is disheartening to hear, given the amount of work I imagine was required.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 1st, 2013, 1:17 am

Though I haven played much, I have liked new system. I also noticed that there is more emptiness, but I found new shapes and especially much more common "columns" and lumps of walls in a middle of the room a nice addition that I have been waiting for.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby DalaranJ » February 1st, 2013, 1:21 am

Rapiers are indeed amazing. Rapier vs axe (or sword) seems to be a hard decision.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Goratrix » February 1st, 2013, 4:46 am

I don't like the new dungeone layouts :( Too much open space, too many items, too few secret rooms and generally it takes away much of the "dungeon is a killing machine" feeling of Brogue. It's trying to be a series of caves instead of being "mechanistic", I don't think that is a good direction to go.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 1st, 2013, 6:15 am

As I said previously, new layout sits well with me. More space to work with is good, especially if more new terrain features will be added. Also more open space more opportunities for enemies to surround you. And columns/lumps to dance around is very nice too.

But I too get the feeling that there seems to be a tad bit too many items generated. I'm on depth 10 and had found like 7 armors, something like 6 weapons, 2 of which are broadswords, one is somewhat enhanced. Also there seems to be more potions than usual. But maybe thats just one lucky seed.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 1st, 2013, 8:26 am

1.7.1 is pretty cool!

TOP FEATURES:

- I love the flash when you discover secrets. It makes the game feel more alive and really adds to the user experience.
- Bloodwort pods are great. The fact that you can heal your allies with them, or in a disastrous move, heal all enemy jellies to full health really makes them a ton of fun. Before I played I was worried that they would seem out of place, but after playing I can see that they give the dungeon much more character.
- The new level generation is much more difficult to predict. It seems more like a bunch of caves than a planned dungeon, which is IMO great. I cannot find secret doors with any regularity. Indeed, I seem to be terrible at this version of Brogue, not having gone deeper than level 8 in about 5 games, though I was probably just playing terribly last night. But I like it!

A few questions:
- Do we start with less HP now, or am I just good at dieing?
- Are there more enchant scrolls than usual or am I just lucky?

I can't wait to reach level 40!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby roguewombat » February 1st, 2013, 3:41 pm

Patashu wrote:An item doesn't have to be always useful to be worth having around.


It does in Brogue. And that's why I play Brogue instead of DCSS. :D

Killer release, guys. Downloading now, can't wait to die!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby imp_rover » February 1st, 2013, 3:43 pm

I prefer the new dungeon layout, secret door placement and space filling is less predictable and I consider that an advantage. There definitely seems to be too much food though, the one time I got to the amulet, I was running around with 5 rations, even after clearing every level.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » February 1st, 2013, 4:52 pm

The rapier changes, runes of force and respiration add enourmous amounts of tactical complexity to the game. All are amazing additions. I'm geeking out along with fugori on the weapons of force. I didn't think that they were all that powerful until I realized that they can reset monsters to wandering...

EDIT: Tossing revenants all over the board is beyond entertaining.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 1st, 2013, 10:57 pm

I'm happy with the new feel of the dungeon layout. The previous system was the first bit of Brogue that I wrote, and as a result it was an utter mess from a code design perspective -- global variables everywhere, hacks everywhere, stuff hard-coded everywhere, really tough to adapt or maintain. Now it's a more robust system, and very expandable. If I can write a function to paint a room of any shape or description on an empty grid, the new architect will automatically find a place for it, decide where the door should go and possibly place a hallway connecting it to the level. I plan to use that flexibility in future development. It also makes it easier to add pieces of twisting caves here and there, whereas before, it was binary whether a given level was a cave level or a room level. And that means the shape of the dungeon can gradually and generally shift from discrete rooms with hallways at the shallower depths into twisting organic shapes in the deep levels -- atmospheric, and another way to make life more difficult in the depths (as chokepoints are usually a tactical advantage against monsters). It's also a change for the better that you can't glance at a map and know exactly where all of the secret doors are, IMO.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » February 2nd, 2013, 4:02 am

I'm sure the cleaner code is immeasurably better. Won't disagree on that part of things.

Regards your comments concerning secret doors: With guessable secret room locations in pre 1.7.1, it becomes worth spending the time looking for secret doors and therefore whether or not it is worth the increased food consumption trade off vs. possible item finds. Without guessable room locations, it is no longer even worth attempting to look...

Of course, a large part of my initial reaction is fear of the new. Have you run the numbers on total visible space in the dungeon on pre 1.7 versus 1.7.1?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 2nd, 2013, 4:10 am

Secret doors being more secret is good :) As for worth, well it depends on what is behind those doors. And as of current it appears 1.7.1 considerably more than enough food, somehow. + there is always clairvoyance.

And one important thing is, "without guessable room locations" is temporary, I think, after we get used to new generation it might become just as easy to guess them (though that woudl be slightly sad in my opinion :) ).
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby enderale » February 2nd, 2013, 9:42 am

Hey, really enjoying the new version, many thanks Pender.

I agree with morphles that having secret doors hard to find is great. It makes items like clairvoyance and awareness far more useful which means that vault choices will become that little bit harder. Plus I like the idea that while walking along you will only occasionally go "oh, what's that crack in the wall? My, it must be a secret door!" instead of "secret door, secret door, secret door... well I guess that's all of them."

Anyway, really enjoying this and I hope bloodwort is the start of many of these types of variations.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby evilmike » February 2nd, 2013, 3:30 pm

andrewdoull wrote:Without guessable room locations, it is no longer even worth attempting to look...

Sounds good to me. Mashing the 'search' key in certain places in order to find everything is just the sort of nonsense that modern roguelikes should discard. I think it's unfortunate that Brogue still has this feature, but at least it seems to be moving towards getting rid of it. That's something I'm happy to say DCSS has done in 0.12 - you can't discover things any more by waiting around and searching (the system is deterministic now, and seems to be working quite fine).
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Karuku » February 2nd, 2013, 4:00 pm

Pender wrote: ⁃ The rapier deals slightly more damage, requires 15 strength, and will perform a triple-damage never-miss lunge attack if you are one space away from an enemy and step directly toward it. Runic effects on rapiers are also more likely to trigger.

Does this work in conjunction with blinking?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 2nd, 2013, 4:08 pm

Karuku wrote:
Pender wrote: ⁃ The rapier deals slightly more damage, requires 15 strength, and will perform a triple-damage never-miss lunge attack if you are one space away from an enemy and step directly toward it. Runic effects on rapiers are also more likely to trigger.

Does this work in conjunction with blinking?

Nope. I guess it would be pretty cool, though annoying to get the behavior right for acid mounds. Josh has been suggesting blink-attacks for a while.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Karuku » February 2nd, 2013, 4:18 pm

I hate posting twice so quickly, but {excuses, excuses}.


DalaranJ wrote:Rapiers are indeed amazing. Rapier vs axe (or sword) seems to be a hard decision.

And that's how we know rapiers have been fixed!

andrewdoull wrote:Without guessable room locations, it is no longer even worth attempting to look...

With the new addition of the healing plants, required rest time is dramatically reduced, freeing up all those turns you would've spent sleeping so you can 's'earch, instead. Or lug around the extra food, I guess, but I'd rather take a second look around the dungeon floor before descending (assuming I think there could be a room somewhere), myself
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Levi » February 3rd, 2013, 9:50 pm

Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » February 3rd, 2013, 10:45 pm

Levi wrote:Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.


Monster spawns can drop items.
If food didn't exist, you could farm monster spawns indefinitely.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Joshua Day » February 4th, 2013, 12:28 am

Levi wrote:Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.

Food was never really meant to limit level gain. Levels were meant to correspond more to which kind of monsters you were killing than to how many, and if that had been the only problem there were other ways to fix it (see Sil). It limits exploration time and backtracking freedom. Traps are very powerful as weapons against monsters, for instance; if you could always walk as far as you wanted you'd be able to lead monsters to any trap you wanted. You'd also be obligated to return to vaults more often to swap out items.

There's way too much food in the game right now, and that is a serious problem. A big part of the reason 1.7.1 feels too easy, exploits aside, is that you just have too much freedom to waste turns grinding around.

(Imagine if there were less food, even if there were too little. When you found yourself starving, you could stretch your search for food out by healing at bloodwort stations and generally have a fine time of it. In general, you'd have to measure the tradeoff of wasted time against the gains of seeking more advantageous terrain. It's always been a mainstay of Brogue's interest, and it's not really doing its job right now.)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Blazko » February 4th, 2013, 4:06 am

Patashu wrote:
Levi wrote:Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.


Monster spawns can drop items.
If food didn't exist, you could farm monster spawns indefinitely.

I am not very happy with the fact the monsters spawn indefinitely out of nowhere. It feels artificial and unrealistic. I think the necessity to take food is already an efficient means to prevent the player from waiting long in order to heal indefinitely.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 4th, 2013, 8:38 am

Well for brogues dungeon maybe, but you can come up with very reasonable explanations for monsters coming in the level, for example wandering from levels above/below. Though the current situation where they appear from thin air is admittedly "not very cool". But IIRC Brian said something somewhere about the possibility of spawning points or spawning mainly near stairs.

In general I think there is nothing wrong from stopping "permanent safety". If you could clean a level, then could abuse that in a very not fun way of luring monsters from previous levels to clean one, to fight them one by one. Now the threat of unexpected ambush may quickly and such plans.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 4th, 2013, 8:41 am

Patashu wrote:
Levi wrote:Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.


Monster spawns can drop items.
If food didn't exist, you could farm monster spawns indefinitely.


I thought there was a set number of drops, after which you get nothing?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 4th, 2013, 5:50 pm

I was thinking about something like this earlier but I never got around to posting it. If monster spawns got progressively more dangerous regardless of depth it would create an implicit clock forcing players to dive for the amulet without dilly dallying around the dungeon.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » February 4th, 2013, 6:09 pm

Guitar wrote:I was thinking about something like this earlier but I never got around to posting it. If monster spawns got progressively more dangerous regardless of depth it would create an implicit clock forcing players to dive for the amulet without dilly dallying around the dungeon.

I like this idea far better than the food system.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » February 4th, 2013, 9:11 pm

fugori wrote:
Patashu wrote:
Levi wrote:Regarding food, what role does it play in Brogue now other than taking up at least 1 inventory slot? I haven't thought about it until now, but since XP was removed from the game, there's really nothing that the player could gain by hanging out on one floor for too long, right? Taking too much time to heal is already balanced by risking new enemy spawns.


Monster spawns can drop items.
If food didn't exist, you could farm monster spawns indefinitely.


I thought there was a set number of drops, after which you get nothing?


Yes, 100 drops. That's more than most people see in an ascension.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Levi » February 4th, 2013, 10:28 pm

ggoDeye wrote:
Guitar wrote:I was thinking about something like this earlier but I never got around to posting it. If monster spawns got progressively more dangerous regardless of depth it would create an implicit clock forcing players to dive for the amulet without dilly dallying around the dungeon.

I like this idea far better than the food system.

I don't know. It could punish players who are barely scraping by in a tough seed by making it even tougher. Though I don't like the food system as it is now.

You all bring up great points, about items and backtracking. But to me, I don't feel that my backtracking is restricted, or that I'd honestly have all that much to gain from backtracking so much that it drains a ton of my energy; if I'm running away from a hunting enemy, another newly spawned enemy is far more dangerous than running out of food. I guess I can see people farming items, but without source diving to see what kind of items there are that are worth farming for, I'd think that the player would have just as much chance of using items during the grind as they would obtaining items from the grind.

Right now, I just feel like the food system is something that takes up an extra turn here and there to eat, as well as 1-3 inventory spaces. It normally doesn't present a danger to a smart player, though once in a great great while, I'll die from starvation after playing a seed as smart as I could, meaning the food system felt like a cheap death.

I haven't played enough of 1.7.1 to see the abundance of food. It's not a big deal considering how infrequently I starve to death. But I figured it was at least worth discussing, since I personally thought (after a very brief consideration) that the game already has enough safeguards against grinding and farming.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » February 4th, 2013, 11:08 pm

Here's the thing about the food system - it doesn't have to kill you, it just has to make you feel that it could kill you, and just having the threat there will change how you play the game. It's kind of like cursed equipment in roguelikes - even if the overwhelming majority of items are not cursed, if a cursed item feels awful to put on, you'll now treat everything as potentially cursed. You might then think 'curses aren't so big of a deal', but it's only because you've changed your gameplay to cater for the possibility.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » February 5th, 2013, 12:08 am

On a related note, one possible way to penalize hauling would be for monsters to spawn based on the deepest level you've reached regardless of where you are in the dungeon.

This has the side effect of making the ascent part of ascensions more difficult, but I'm not strictly sure whether that is a bad thing.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 5th, 2013, 3:49 am

Food system is good, its tried (not only in brogue) and it works, and it is very simple - to implement, and for the player. Now to come up with some weird rules for monsters spawning would be ugly unclear and hard to balance. I do not see any problem with current status at all. Except that 1.7.1 has a bit too much food somehow.

We have two distinct things:
monsters spawns to keep player from getting perpetual safety
food to keep player moving

In my opinion they both do their role properly and work really well, with the exception of couple mentioned tweaks - a bit too much food currently; and monsters appearing from thin air is not that great visible spawning points (one of the would be stairs) would be nicer.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 5th, 2013, 9:12 am

I wanted to update my Idea about random monster spawns: I was thinking that random monster spawns could be as they currently are unless you are descending too slowly.

Every 2000 turns or so (however long it should take to clear a floor) the minimum depth of new monsters spawning would increase by 1 depth.

This means that if you are on level 2 by turn 2001, you get level 2 monsters. If you are on level 1, you still get level 2 monsters. If you have already made it to level 3, you get level 3 monsters as usual. I don't think that this system would be too punishing to players because I think that it would be relatively rare for it to kick in too seriously, unless you are wasting a lot of time.

The monsters that spawn when the level is created would not change, only the monsters that spawn after you have entered the level.

My biggest misgiving about it is that it may not be one hundred percent clear to players why more difficult monsters are showing up in the shallower depths, but this hopefully could be solved by displaying a message when the minimum depth increases. "You hear an ominous beating of drums as more of the denizens of the dungeon become aware of your intrusion."

This would make ascension more difficult, as you would have to deal with more dangerous enemies the whole trip up, but in my opinion, this would be an improvement. Currently coming back up feels pretty trivial (the three or four times I've done it!).

In regards to food: To me it feels a little clunky in a game as elegant as Brogue. As long as you dive at a reasonable pace, it almost never is a factor, and it always seemed strange to me how quickly @ gets hungry. I think that the force driving you downwards should be the same that makes the game fun: the fear of being clawed to bits by nasty monsters!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Tomahawk » February 5th, 2013, 9:14 am

Quick question: do enchanted armors and weapons no longer have reduced strength requirements, or am I thinking of something else?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 5th, 2013, 9:18 am

Tomahawk wrote:Quick question: do enchanted armors and weapons no longer have reduced strength requirements, or am I thinking of something else?


Items that start enchanted do not have reduced strength requirements. However when you use a scroll of enchantment on an item it will lower the strength requirement by 1 in addition to raising the enchantment level by 1.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Tomahawk » February 5th, 2013, 9:54 am

One other thing: is there any way of telling what seed you're playing after you've started?

EDIT: Never mind, found it. If anyone else wants to know, it's the tilde ("~") key.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 5th, 2013, 10:00 am

Guitar wrote:In regards to food: To me it feels a little clunky in a game as elegant as Brogue. As long as you dive at a reasonable pace, it almost never is a factor, and it always seemed strange to me how quickly @ gets hungry. I think that the force driving you downwards should be the same that makes the game fun: the fear of being clawed to bits by nasty monsters!

Again this is not correct food is way simpler than any random monsters spawns that are more complicated to express, implement and balance. That reasonable pace applies to monsters mostly. How quickly @ gets hungry is inconsequential, maybe its his metabolism maybe its nature of the dungeon. Food makes game fun, of when there are not plenty of it.

As for monsters idea it would only make game more boring imho. Supposedly you would need to fight all the way back to the surface, on levels you have been monsters you have fought. Don't see the point int this as compared to current situation: you get amulet, start going up, some floors above still has those nasty monsters, if you pass them you basically prove that you are good to go, no need to grind them all the way up. This would also introduce significant imbalance favoring only very solid builds that could keep fighting sustained onslaught.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 5th, 2013, 10:14 am

morphles wrote: Supposedly you would need to fight all the way back to the surface, on levels you have been monsters you have fought. Don't see the point int this as compared to current situation: you get amulet, start going up, some floors above still has those nasty monsters, if you pass them you basically prove that you are good to go, no need to grind them all the way up. This would also introduce significant imbalance favoring only very solid builds that could keep fighting sustained onslaught.


If you think this is the case, why not have the game end immediately in victory as soon as you grab the amulet? It seems that you have proved that you are good to go, no need to grind all the way up. You could put the amulet one or two floors deeper to compensate for not having to go through some floors above that still has those nasty monsters.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 5th, 2013, 10:20 am

IMO hunger is a relic and the problem it solves will eventually be solved in a more elegant fashion, but maybe it's not worth touching in Brogue, I don't know. Personally I think it works OK right now, but in the broader context of roguelike design I think it's a discussion worth having.

I'm sure someone with a wider net of experience playing roguelikes can answer this: are there any "traditional" roguelikes that have decided to scrap food entirely? Did they immediately descend into wanton scumfests?

Obviously roguelike-likes (ugh) have long ago abandoned it, for varying reasons and varying results probably, but I don't think the Diablos of the world can really be compared to Brogue (or Sil, etc.) 1:1.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 5th, 2013, 10:56 am

DoomRL doesn't have any food mechanic, and the only form of monster respawning that it has is that monster corpses come back to life on "Nightmare!" difficulty. Even then, you can prevent monsters from resurrecting by stacking monsters on top of each other, killing them on doorways, blowing the corpses up, etc. This means that expert, optimal play consists of waiting hundreds of turns near doorways waiting for monsters to wander in your direction so you can hit them with point-blank shotgun blasts. That's an end-game I'm not interested in, but there's a significant player population over there that subscribes to that style of play and seems to enjoy it, so who am I to complain?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 5th, 2013, 11:07 am

IMO hunger is a relic and the problem it solves will eventually be solved in a more elegant fashion, but maybe it's not worth touching in Brogue, I don't know. Personally I think it works OK right now, but in the broader context of roguelike design I think it's a discussion worth having.


This is basically how I feel as well. I wanted to share what I think could be one possible solution, but am quite interested in hearing other people's ideas.

I think that it is worth noting that in DoomRL you cannot go back up stairs once you descend, which prevents a lot of shenanigans. I enjoy playing that game, but I admit that I play nowhere near optimally.

I'm not sure how closely you can compare DoomRL and Brogue, as Doom diverged from it's Rogue roots from the get go, while Brogue wholly embraces it's Roguishness while seemingly paring it down to it's most basic form.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ais523 » February 5th, 2013, 5:16 pm

Food is still a good mechanic. It affects how many trips back to reward rooms you can make to change which item you got from them, for instance. And it rewards exploring efficiently. For instance, you have to limit the area you search thoroughly because you'd run out of food if you mashed s in every room in every level.

I actually liked the way food mattered in Brogue, and have run out before now and had to do a mad exploration dash for more. That may be with previous versions, though; my most recent win (in 1.7.0) was with four rations remaining.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby IanBurrito » February 5th, 2013, 7:25 pm

Guitar wrote:
morphles wrote: Supposedly you would need to fight all the way back to the surface, on levels you have been monsters you have fought. Don't see the point int this as compared to current situation: you get amulet, start going up, some floors above still has those nasty monsters, if you pass them you basically prove that you are good to go, no need to grind them all the way up. This would also introduce significant imbalance favoring only very solid builds that could keep fighting sustained onslaught.


If you think this is the case, why not have the game end immediately in victory as soon as you grab the amulet? It seems that you have proved that you are good to go, no need to grind all the way up. You could put the amulet one or two floors deeper to compensate for not having to go through some floors above that still has those nasty monsters.


No spoilers, but um, *cough* D:40 *cough*.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Patashu » February 5th, 2013, 9:43 pm

Guitar wrote:If you think this is the case, why not have the game end immediately in victory as soon as you grab the amulet? It seems that you have proved that you are good to go, no need to grind all the way up. You could put the amulet one or two floors deeper to compensate for not having to go through some floors above that still has those nasty monsters.

Escaping the dungeon with your mega artifact is a roguelike tradition (Rogue, Nethack, Crawl, Castle of the Winds, Sil)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 5th, 2013, 9:48 pm

Sorry that wasn't a very serious suggestion. I do think you should have to escape with the amulet!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 5th, 2013, 10:02 pm

fugori wrote:I'm sure someone with a wider net of experience playing roguelikes can answer this: are there any "traditional" roguelikes that have decided to scrap food entirely? Did they immediately descend into wanton scumfests?

NetHack has corpse-eating, and Angband threw up its arms and added a Satisfy Hunger spell. My opinion is that both games suffered for it.

I really believe in having a strong food clock. The metaphor is intuitive, and the consequences are immediate enough that it's easy to learn from. None of the alternatives suggested on this thread, nor any that I've seen implemented in other games, satisfy both of those criteria as well, IMO. The worst kind of food clock (aside from an ineffective one) is one in which the consequences of player behavior are felt thousands of turns later. It's a distinctly negative experience to suddenly realize not only that your character is doomed, but that its fate was sealed an hour ago. It's frustrating, and it makes it difficult for the player to adapt her play style without spoilers, since each trial takes an hour to assess and learn from.

All that said, I have no objection to the claim that the food clock is currently too loose. I'll tighten it somewhat.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby sorta-stupid » February 6th, 2013, 2:53 am

Pender wrote:All that said, I have no objection to the claim that the food clock is currently too loose. I'll tighten it somewhat.


I don't know about other people's experiences, but to me, it only seems loose towards the end of the run. It can still be somewhat tight early on depending on how much item shuttling I have to do while waiting for a detect magic potion or some scroll to help sort through gear. Currently, more food per floor is generated with greater depth, right? Maybe just flatten the rate out for the entire dungeon at the current amount produced around depth 8-10 or so.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Buzzkill » February 6th, 2013, 7:31 am

sorta-stupid wrote:
Pender wrote:All that said, I have no objection to the claim that the food clock is currently too loose. I'll tighten it somewhat.


I don't know about other people's experiences, but to me, it only seems loose towards the end of the run. It can still be somewhat tight early on depending on how much item shuttling I have to do while waiting for a detect magic potion or some scroll to help sort through gear. Currently, more food per floor is generated with greater depth, right? Maybe just flatten the rate out for the entire dungeon at the current amount produced around depth 8-10 or so.


Maybe it's just me, but IMP shuttling things between levels to maximize vault selection is irregular and highly specialized behavior that should come with 'food clock' risk. I play rather efficiently, clearing levels and moving downward and have never starved to death and only been near starvation once (the first time I got deep I skipped a few levels going down and probably missed some food). Surviving that near starvation was quite exciting, IIRC it involved evading the first horror I ever saw and levitating over lava. It bothers me when I waste tons of turns on a given level (chasing down monkeys or tip toeing around ogres) and I'm thinking that the food clock is going to come back to bite me eventually, but it never does.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 6th, 2013, 7:58 am

So again food is simple (in many ways as discussed) and works really well, I'm very glad that Pender agrees :)
As for discussion well here is a wild idea: suppose we replace hunger with thirst, and drinking any potion quenches thirst a bit :) (this is nothing serious, just some drink for though... ahem:) )
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ais523 » February 10th, 2013, 2:44 am

Pender wrote:
fugori wrote:I'm sure someone with a wider net of experience playing roguelikes can answer this: are there any "traditional" roguelikes that have decided to scrap food entirely? Did they immediately descend into wanton scumfests?

NetHack has corpse-eating, and Angband threw up its arms and added a Satisfy Hunger spell. My opinion is that both games suffered for it.

I really believe in having a strong food clock. The metaphor is intuitive, and the consequences are immediate enough that it's easy to learn from. None of the alternatives suggested on this thread, nor any that I've seen implemented in other games, satisfy both of those criteria as well, IMO. The worst kind of food clock (aside from an ineffective one) is one in which the consequences of player behavior are felt thousands of turns later. It's a distinctly negative experience to suddenly realize not only that your character is doomed, but that its fate was sealed an hour ago. It's frustrating, and it makes it difficult for the player to adapt her play style without spoilers, since each trial takes an hour to assess and learn from.

All that said, I have no objection to the claim that the food clock is currently too loose. I'll tighten it somewhat.

As someone pretty experienced with NetHack's food clock, removing eating corpses wouldn't make a major difference to the food clock itself; it'd still be very lax in that respect. (The main influence would be on new players, who tend to starve a lot.) On the other hand, corpse-eating has a bunch of other gameplay purposes in NetHack that it fulfils well (IMO), so it would be a shame to remove it.

(In fact, through the early levels, I have a suspicion that deathdropped food rations contribute more to the nutrition available to a character than corpses, which tend to have low nutrition values early on.)

So I think the fundamental problem isn't that corpses are edible. It's that there is too much food. And there's a difference between the two points of view.

(You could achieve a workable food clock by making the character hunger more quickly as time went on, and also making corpses more nutritious as time went on. It'd work quite differently from Brogue's, but probably better than NetHack's current food clock at driving the player onwards. Unlike Brogue, NetHack isn't really the sort of game that needs a food clock, though.)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 10th, 2013, 11:24 pm

I'm not sure I like how the new "intelligent" monster swarming interacts with allied spectral blades. "Real" allies tend to waste turns moving around, even when they're already in melee range of enemies, presumably to help the blades get into position. In reality this just gives the enemies a free turn to knock a spectral blade out of the air.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Goratrix » February 11th, 2013, 1:42 am

Pender wrote:NetHack has corpse-eating, and Angband threw up its arms and added a Satisfy Hunger spell. My opinion is that both games suffered for it.

I really believe in having a strong food clock. The metaphor is intuitive, and the consequences are immediate enough that it's easy to learn from. None of the alternatives suggested on this thread, nor any that I've seen implemented in other games, satisfy both of those criteria as well, IMO. The worst kind of food clock (aside from an ineffective one) is one in which the consequences of player behavior are felt thousands of turns later. It's a distinctly negative experience to suddenly realize not only that your character is doomed, but that its fate was sealed an hour ago. It's frustrating, and it makes it difficult for the player to adapt her play style without spoilers, since each trial takes an hour to assess and learn from.

All that said, I have no objection to the claim that the food clock is currently too loose. I'll tighten it somewhat.


One thing that I realized now is how elegant Brogue's food is, from a development point of view. The fact that food and also strength, life, and enchantments are all separate "clocks" independent of anything else enables you to balance the game without worrying about interdependencies and feedbacks. You can change monsters, items and the dungeon, and if something gets out of balance, just tweak the distribution of those four "clocks". But if for example corpses would be a source of food, then all sorts of problems would start popping out. To tighten the food clock, you would need to reduce the number of monsters, which would unbalance the game in a complex feedback loop, or reduce the nutrition from specific monsters, etc...
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Sylverone » February 11th, 2013, 4:15 am

Hi folks! Just stopped by, and that is a very exciting changelist! It's got me excited to pick the game up again. I'm repeatedly impressed by the quality of your updates, Pender. Off to play! :D
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Joshua Day » February 11th, 2013, 11:08 am

Sylverone wrote:Hi folks! Just stopped by, and that is a very exciting changelist! It's got me excited to pick the game up again. I'm repeatedly impressed by the quality of your updates, Pender. Off to play! :D

I missed you the last time you stopped by, so welcome back! There are a few bugs in this version that affect balance; a patched one should be coming pretty soon, I hope.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 11th, 2013, 10:13 pm

Creaphis wrote:I'm not sure I like how the new "intelligent" monster swarming interacts with allied spectral blades. "Real" allies tend to waste turns moving around, even when they're already in melee range of enemies, presumably to help the blades get into position. In reality this just gives the enemies a free turn to knock a spectral blade out of the air.

But from then on, new spectral blades continue to fill in the gap, and the monster can either spend all of its turns swatting them out of the air while the "real" ally attacks, or it can endure an incremental point of damage per spectral blade around it until the battle ends. I think it's a pretty serviceable approximation of ideal behavior, no? :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » February 12th, 2013, 10:10 am

Pender wrote:
Creaphis wrote:I'm not sure I like how the new "intelligent" monster swarming interacts with allied spectral blades. "Real" allies tend to waste turns moving around, even when they're already in melee range of enemies, presumably to help the blades get into position. In reality this just gives the enemies a free turn to knock a spectral blade out of the air.

But from then on, new spectral blades continue to fill in the gap, and the monster can either spend all of its turns swatting them out of the air while the "real" ally attacks, or it can endure an incremental point of damage per spectral blade around it until the battle ends. I think it's a pretty serviceable approximation of ideal behavior, no? :)

I personally love the new AI when it comes to allies. There are several situations where it results in slightly sub-optimal behavior, but it's never cost me a game, or even an ally.

I personally hate it when it comes to enemies because I can no longer abuse quirks of the previous AI, like them just standing by watching their peers fight you when they could just walk around a corner and get into the fray. Also, dar casters get LOS way better then before which means that I die to them much more then before. You should consider my hatred a huge design success. :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » February 14th, 2013, 2:45 pm

I didn't see it in the change list, but I'm no longer getting killed by my own allies when using stairs in a jelly master build. Thanks.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 16th, 2013, 12:04 am

Can allies' XPXP be visible in omniscience mode? This would be interesting information and would be very useful for testing/debugging experience gain.

I enjoy trying to get far into the game with "flimsy" ally setups, with 4-5 allies that are all weak on their own but synergize well. This synergy tends to fall apart in lumenstone territory for no other reason than each ally's eagerness to learn abilities that hurt the team overall. The most common example is when they all start learning reflection from dead golems, meaning that buffers have to spend twice as many turns on average trying to haste and heal reflective allies, and those spells are just as likely to bounce and buff some random angry dragon instead. Corpse-seeking behaviour also tends to lead allies away from the battlefield, giving the monsters a chance to isolate and destroy them. This is a major headache for me and when I lose a game after my team has fallen apart for these reasons I feel like I've wasted hours of my life. Conversely, negation and discord are interesting mechanics and I enjoy trying to deal with them - it's just this particular self-destructive behaviour of allies that sucks the fun out of the late game.

I know you love simple fixes so here's the simplest ones I can think of:

-Allies already seem to use the player's LOS to decide whether they should cast haste or protection. Extend this so that they only try to eat a corpse if there are zero opponents in the player's LOS.
-Halt all XPXP growth after D:26
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby sorta-stupid » February 16th, 2013, 12:23 am

Creaphis wrote:-Halt all XPXP growth after D:26

This change makes perfect sense, as the player's abilities necessarily stop growing after D26.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 16th, 2013, 1:41 am

OK, I'll halt XPXP generation after depth 26.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 16th, 2013, 1:48 am

I was just looking at this and would it be possible to halt xpxp after you pick up the amulet instead? (Or if the player has the amulet?)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ggoDeye » February 16th, 2013, 1:51 am

Pender wrote:OK, I'll halt XPXP generation after depth 26.

But that means no more invisible, blinking, fire immune, discord & negation & heal & haste & lightning casting dar priestesses of doom.

I guess it seems pretty ridiculous when I type all of that out, but how will we determine contest winners if everyone just ascends with less than 3 lumenstones?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby sorta-stupid » February 16th, 2013, 3:55 pm

ggoDeye wrote:... but how will we determine contest winners if everyone just ascends with less than 3 lumenstones?


I don't want to give spoilers or anything, but I have a feeling that's not going to be the issue on this week's contest.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 16th, 2013, 10:04 pm

The problem with protection charms isn't that they're overpowered, it's that they're dull. It's already possible to get nigh-infinite protection by bouncing a protection* bolt off of a reflective ally or crystal, and much more interesting. Can we stick with that?

The funny thing about the current recharging charm glitch is that I still ignore them in vaults. When these charms are fixed they can safely be changed to become "ready" much sooner. Alternatively they could keep their slow rate but recharge all other charms (aside from charms of recharging, of course).

In my entire Brogue career I've never successfully used a potion of darkness as a stealth aid, and now potions of invisibility do the same job but better. Also, drinking one by accident isn't usually as problematic as drinking a potion of hallucination, so they're really entirely redundant and could be removed.

Now that you've added a few more armor runics with interesting situational protection to the game, some useless ones can be removed from the rotation (or significantly improved) to make good ones more common and thus worth looking for. I'm thinking that reprisal can be cut from the list (mutuality works in a more interesting and controllable way) and that multiplicity's rate of activation should increase with enchantment, or it should be able to activate on missed attacks, or its spectral clones should be immune to physical damage, or something.

*Edited typo.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Karuku » February 17th, 2013, 1:15 am

Creaphis wrote:In my entire Brogue career I've never successfully used a potion of darkness as a stealth aid, and now potions of invisibility do the same job but better. Also, drinking one by accident isn't usually as problematic as drinking a potion of hallucination, so they're really entirely redundant and could be removed.


My initial reaction to this made me think I must occasionally sound like a stoner; Dude, what if they were the same thing?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » February 17th, 2013, 5:00 am

Creaphis wrote:In my entire Brogue career I've never successfully used a potion of darkness as a stealth aid, and now potions of invisibility do the same job but better. Also, drinking one by accident isn't usually as problematic as drinking a potion of hallucination, so they're really entirely redundant and could be removed.


I would like to apologise to dpeg in an untirely unrelated thread for being grumpy at him earlier, but I'm really worried that all this improving the game design might be sucking some of the flavour out of the game. Were scrolls of Create Fear not that great? Possibly. Were they interesting? A lot more than Remove Curse IM(NSH)O.

Darkness is just too darn interesting an effect to throw away... even if it isn't that useful.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 17th, 2013, 6:48 am

I have to agree with andrew stongly. There seems to be some huge uprising in lets make things better by chaging almost everything. (of course most likely this will not happen and it's mostly discussion and no one really thinks that all of that should go in, still...).

All this talk about how this or that makes optimal play tideous, well, its troubling my somehow. Proabablty in a way that if one can so clearly say what is optimal play, maybe the game is too simple? Or maybe if we have such a clear idea what is optimal lets write a bot and be done playing. Yeah I have a fealing that I'm sounding needlesly harsh again, so sorry if that is the case.

I have a feeling (which I admit might be comepletly wrong, let me know if thats the case), that there is considerable push to decrease uncertainty in a game, or maybe lessen it's impact. Consider: curses debate. I on the other hand believe that uncertainty is a very very nice part of game, probably core part. And only places where I think it should go are the palces there causes basically instant death with quite little chance to fight it. For example paralysis in front of the turret. Though this was fixed, at least in my opition. Though someone still complained about it not so long ago.

Another thing that I think not many people consider is at who the changes are being targeted. We had some discussion about this on irc with dpeg. How some players in crawl contest would go very far, drawing maps and something like that. Now then, there is a question if the game should target those who are very obssesed and/or are playing contest games, so that such tidious stuff somehow matters to them? Maybe someonw will start to cound possible monster positions while out of LOS based on monster speed and place where it dissapeared from LOS. One can come up with quite interesting though excruciating ways to extract some usefull information or other kind of advantage from the game. But the question is how much game should concern itself with that those people are doing? As I said on irc, if one wishes to calculate everything as much as possible, there are other games for that, like chess or GO. Just a point to think about.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 17th, 2013, 9:52 am

andrewdoull wrote:...but I'm really worried that all this improving the game design might be sucking some of the flavour out of the game. Were scrolls of Create Fear not that great? Possibly. Were they interesting? A lot more than Remove Curse IM(NSH)O.


That's only a problem if this refinement is done wrong. I agree that cause fear should be put back into the game, and I repeat my suggestion that it should be guaranteed to make allies hostile.

andrewdoull wrote:Darkness is just too darn interesting an effect to throw away... even if it isn't that useful.


Fair enough. My thinking, though, is that if an effect is redundant or uninteresting then it can be removed to make way for something more interesting.

morphles wrote:There seems to be some huge uprising in lets make things better by chaging almost everything.


Since roguelikes are usually hobby projects, they're usually perpetually unfinished and in development - and that's one of my favourite things about them. I like getting to try out new mechanics and ideas every new version. Also, not being a coder myself, it seems that bitching to Pender is the closest thing to game development that I can accomplish.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Goratrix » February 17th, 2013, 10:20 am

Creaphis wrote:I agree that cause fear should be put back into the game, and I repeat my suggestion that it should be guaranteed to make allies hostile.


Agreed completely. And on a broader scale, I think there should be more items that are "balanced" like this, i.e. offering benefits but also some drawbacks, depending on the situation they are used in. Instead of having the current "bad" scrolls, which, after you identify them, can simply be ignored, we could have scrolls that are generally "bad" but maybe also useful in some very specific situations (I think Summon Monsters already is like this, guess it could be used in a constructive way involving discord or domination).
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 17th, 2013, 10:25 am

I was thinking that summon monsters could teleport to you monsters that are already on the level. Kind of like a mass unlimited range beckoning. Perhaps even allied monsters. Would rarely be helpful. For example tracking down a monkey.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Joshua Day » February 17th, 2013, 10:27 am

morphles wrote:All this talk about how this or that makes optimal play tideous, well, its troubling my somehow. Proabablty in a way that if one can so clearly say what is optimal play, maybe the game is too simple? Or maybe if we have such a clear idea what is optimal lets write a bot and be done playing. Yeah I have a fealing that I'm sounding needlesly harsh again, so sorry if that is the case.

As with an overpowered item, an overpowered tactic can often be broken by changing apparently unrelated rules. Darkness is a good one; there are lots of problems that darkness gives the player that hallucination doesn't, like the inability to judge how many enemies you're going to face, or how fast they're moving. And darkness can be counteracted by a Ring of Light, which gives it a marginal use in the early dungeon.

Redundancy between darkness and hallucination can be reduced by removing one, or by laying them out side by side and tweaking them until they're more distinct.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 17th, 2013, 10:30 am

Also if the effects were applied to the player in two different ways I think they would feel more distinct. I like both effects!
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 17th, 2013, 10:32 am

Hallucination as a monster-applied status effect is interesting. When drunk as a potion, not as much. So much for the next 300 turns...
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 17th, 2013, 11:15 am

I agree hallucination is probably most annoying potion. Though it has an iteresting property, the longer you have it unidentified the scarier it gets, simply because monsters become more dangerious.

I though what if hallucination were made a scroll, though from rp side it's a bit hard to explain. But, maybe it could be interesting. There is no lack of negative potions to hinder potion id. On the other hand there basically is single bad scroll, and even that can be mitigated with good placement. For example agreviate monsters mostly seems like minor nuisance. Summon monsters of course can be very dangerious depending on depth (pro tip, if one is deep enough being surrounded by lava and reading it is not a good ide :) one can get vampire bats for example). But again standing near the locked door scroll can be limited to single monster summoned, and I guess using obstruction one can forgo all summons.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 17th, 2013, 6:30 pm

morphles wrote:I though what if hallucination were made a scroll, though from rp side it's a bit hard to explain.


"The runes fly from the scroll, obscuring your vision!" Or, "The scroll floods your mind with chaotic images!" I like it.

An aside: it seems that searching and waiting in place are still functionally different.

Another aside: Sometimes when the player is paralyzed, the game state updates too fast for the user to see what's going on. I'd prefer to be able to watch my own demise. Can this be slowed down a bit (both in game and when watching recordings)?

One more aside: I posted somewhere about the inconsistency between caustic gas and other gasses - caustic gas doesn't damage players or monsters the first turn that they're inside it, but paralysis and confusion (in particular) take effect instantly. Delaying this effect by a turn would immediately eliminate one of the remaining "cheap deaths" in Brogue and would make allies seem less dumb around expanding gasses. This would also cure an inconsistency between different gasses and between how gasses affect enemies and allies (enemies already get an extra turn to act in paralysis and confusion gas much of the time.) This seems like one of those "easy fixes" though I can only guess as I don't know how the game's code is strung together.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby dpeg » February 17th, 2013, 8:56 pm

andrewdoull wrote:I would like to apologise to dpeg in an untirely unrelated thread for being grumpy at him earlier, but I'm really worried that all this improving the game design might be sucking some of the flavour out of the game.

At least I get to accept that in the appropriately unrelated thread :) I didn't take offense; my skills are mediocre at best. However, I noted something else which can also be seen here:

morphles wrote:I have to agree with andrew stongly. There seems to be some huge uprising in lets make things better by chaging almost everything. (of course most likely this will not happen and it's mostly discussion and no one really thinks that all of that should go in, still...).

Hopefully I don't sound too much like a smartass, but I'll relate a few things I've learned over the years (from Crawl development) -- please trust me that I don't mean to value persons or opinions:

1. There is a crucial difference between (some) players and (some) developers, in my experience: Longtime players, especially good ones, are fans. As such, they can be offended by drastic changes (this is a typical trait of fandom in general, I think). I have seen one possible explanation in the context of Crawl: very good players put a lot of effort into learning the game, and instinctively won't like the idea of losing that (I know for sure that it does not apply to all good players, and perhaps just to very few indeed).
Personally, when I got tired of trying to convince particularly dedicated players of the value of some radical changes (in my case, often interface modifications or turning a god upside down), I decided to always design with a new player in mind. Obviously, veterans will also benefit from improvements, but the new player has no mental negative costs associated with the release. Crawl has a pretty big player base, and it is amazing to see how many veterans keep sticking to the game despite all the changes.

2. On the other hand, to some designers (perhaps most? certainly including me!) the development process is more a tool of self-expression, and always in flux. In particular, the current game, which is discussed so much at any given moment on the forum, is just a snapshot for the developer(s): they may have a quite specific vision for the next major release (think 1.8.0), and perhaps a broader version for the next capital release (think 2.0).
I have helped recruiting a number of Crawl players to the devteam, and it is very interesting to witness how the approach to development often changes: more conservative in some regards but more radical in others.

3. Brogue's community is small and very dedicated. That's great but carries its own problems -- at least on the main Crawl forum, things are somehow more open-minded. By no means that's equivalent to "those ideas are implemented"; far from it. But enough Crawl players have internalised the design philosophy/concepts so much that very often, great discussions emerge without any developer attending. Bad ideas are shot down at once; possibly good ones are carefully nurtured (and may actually lead to code).

4. I think you should trust Pender and his crew more: seeing an abundance of proposals (some of them wacky) will not have them keel over. Since Brogue is a game with a consistent vision, no harm can come from plentiful player input. (Apart from attention span of the developers, but they seem to frequent these pages rarely enough to make this a problem.)
On the other hand, they may value in-depth and elaborate game discussion -- when we started with DCSS, one key point was to exchange Nethack's ivory tower model by something much more open. The point is not to let the player base design the game for you (that leads to horrible results quickly -- you really need leadership and vision) but to realise that so many people are thinking so much about the game and provide all kinds of input that you'd be silly to ignore it!

5. On the bit about "changing everything": these games we play are free of money. An aspect I always loved about this is that they're therefore also free in design. When Pender decided to removing experience, that was a radical step and he could "just" do it (just = solving a number of minor design questions inherited from the paradigm shift). In my opinion, it is crucial that no feature is exempt from potential modification, including nerf and removal. Doing otherwise would mean stagnation of design -- something we can leave to lesser games :)
Also, never forget that changes can be undone. If a particular idea turns out to suck, then you go back. That's a bit annoying (wasted time on design, code, documentation) but otherwise no big deal. This is why I like experimentation also as a player: if it works, we get more ambitous (hence better) results; if not, there is always the previous release that I (and the developers) can go back to.

6. Andrew has a point that smoothening the gameplay (for example, we have discussed ring/staff identification and hauling) threatens flavour. I have myself killed some Crawl flavour that never came back, and I still feel guilty -- but the game really did get smoother (removal of Nemelex' portable altars) or more balanced (removal of Berserkers' starting spears), though. What is often forgotten, in my opinion, is that new flavour will emerge. Like with evolution, that's just harder to see than extinction because we don't know what version 1.9 will play like and what kind of new theme we will cherish then.

7. Morphles brings up a different point: how much should a game care for the player?
For example, if I (as dpeg) complain about how hauling is a tedious activity I feel compelled to do because it seems optimal. Even if true -- should that make Pender & Co care, especially when they don't do it themselves? That question has no universal answer. Older games (*bands and Nethack, for example) don't care at all. There, you can grind (in all senses of the word) and if you find that unfun, it is your very own responsibility not to do it. In Crawl, we would have none of that (this was the first bit I put in the Philosophy section): optimal play should be fun, and we declared that repetitive/tedious behaviour and fake choices ("no brainers") are not fun. (It's a declaration because for someone else, different things will be particularly (un)fun.)
There were at least two very concrete reasons behind this choice:
  • If I, as a developer, choose to not to do certain things in the game, because I find them un-fun, isn't it my responsibility to make sure that my players will get the better game where that thing is no more? (Crawl says yes. From Pender's and Joshua's reaction I guess that Brogue also says yes.) This extends: if I spot a player doing something that's actually sensible but that I find un-fun, I'll put a clamp on it. (This may be not very popular with that particular gamer, but it's all for the good cause.)
  • The things that are un-fun also tend to upset balance. If you make balance a high point of your game (seems to be the case for Brogue), then that's another reason to watch out. (As I said elsewhere, it is rarely clear-cut: the tedious activity may come with its own gameplay choices, and you'll start thinking about how to preserve those while reducing the tedium.)
I think I can sum this up differently: whereas many players would be happy to have their favourite game only expand (e.g. in Crawl, more species, more gods, more branches etc.), for a developer it may be a lot more interesting to change the ruleset so that pieces interact more smoothly, and to perpetually balance the pieces you already have. Being a designer myself, I sit firmly in the latter camp, even when playing Brogue -- hence the myriad of suggestions. Experience tells that even so, there will be lots of new content anyway, because new stuff is cool to develop and cool to code.

Sorry for the long rant -- it may be my last long one for a while (these do take a lot of time). Take it as a token of my love of Brogue, thoughts are the only thing I have to offer.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 18th, 2013, 8:57 am

I think hallucination is great as-is, very interesting effect actually, and if anything should be made more debilitating as is being discussed here.

Darkness would be a shame to remove, and not just because it's a cool effect and adds flavor. I think it's underutilized and just needs some love.

How about (one of these ideas I just mentioned here):

1. Darkness kills or damages creatures that are in some way magically linked to light (pixies, will-o-the-wisps)
2. Darkness effect can be applied in another way, like add a runic armor that creates a field of magical darkness around you. It would be a perfect negative runic, but would have positive applications since you could combine it with light or clairvoyance to make a feasible stealth build.
3. Add a vault puzzle or vault key puzzle where an orb of searing light blinds or damages or simply blocks you from progressing past it, with the primary solution being to throw a potion of darkness at it which you leave nearby on the level.
4. Monsters that enter fields of magical darkness have a chance to "lose their sense of direction" and change their movement path. This could break up dar parties, for instance, with the battlemage wandering west while the priestess wanders east.
5. Cause some monsters to be 100% sight-reliant and just freeze in place while in magical darkness, leaving them unaware (ripe for the stabbing).
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 18th, 2013, 9:35 am

dpeg wrote:1. There is a crucial difference between (some) players and (some) developers, in my experience: Longtime players, especially good ones, are fans. As such, they can be offended by drastic changes (this is a typical trait of fandom in general, I think). I have seen one possible explanation in the context of Crawl: very good players put a lot of effort into learning the game, and instinctively won't like the idea of losing that (I know for sure that it does not apply to all good players, and perhaps just to very few indeed).
Personally, when I got tired of trying to convince particularly dedicated players of the value of some radical changes (in my case, often interface modifications or turning a god upside down), I decided to always design with a new player in mind. Obviously, veterans will also benefit from improvements, but the new player has no mental negative costs associated with the release. Crawl has a pretty big player base, and it is amazing to see how many veterans keep sticking to the game despite all the changes.


I can't comment on Crawl, but as far as Brogue is concerned, I will agree that there's some of this, but I also think Brogue is Different™ for me. Here's what I mean: what attracted me to roguelikes initially was the variety of options they presented, and the kitchen sink approach to design they seemed to adopt. After years playing some roguelikes that exhibit these traits I got kind of bored. I found Brogue, and after an initial learning curve became hooked. What attracts me to Brogue is precisely the opposite - it's the limited scope and how well everything interacts, how necessary everything feels, how every individual monster and every item seems to have its own place in the game, that's what makes me love it. Now that's not to say there aren't other things to love, like how it makes ASCII beautiful again, or how the flavor is integrated with the game and doesn't require talking NPCs or big pages of background text, but primarily it was the notion of encountering a roguelike that seemed so concerned with design, and pulled it off so well, that got me.

Now, if you think of Brogue that way, as system very carefully designed, then you understand that not all players who love the game and are "fans" are objecting to changes out of fandom or fear of the new - it might be that they're objecting to them because radical change could break the system they love, and that would be very unfortunate.

Personally I understand your point that discussion is always good and I'm trying to curb some of my more conservative instincts, but I don't think it's fair to say that long-time players are operating from a position of fandom and just objecting to any and all changes because they're afraid of losing mastery or something.

dpeg wrote:3. Brogue's community is small and very dedicated. That's great but carries its own problems -- at least on the main Crawl forum, things are somehow more open-minded. By no means that's equivalent to "those ideas are implemented"; far from it. But enough Crawl players have internalised the design philosophy/concepts so much that very often, great discussions emerge without any developer attending. Bad ideas are shot down at once; possibly good ones are carefully nurtured (and may actually lead to code).


"Bad ideas are shot down at once" sounds not unlike what happens around here every now and then ;). I think we've had some pretty good discussions and continue to have them, but yeah the community here is small and leaders haven't really emerged and sometimes there is an aversion to change and sometimes things happen on IRC, I think, that don't make it here.

dpeg wrote:4. I think you should trust Pender and his crew more: seeing an abundance of proposals (some of them wacky) will not have them keel over. Since Brogue is a game with a consistent vision, no harm can come from plentiful player input. (Apart from attention span of the developers, but they seem to frequent these pages rarely enough to make this a problem.)
On the other hand, they may value in-depth and elaborate game discussion -- when we started with DCSS, one key point was to exchange Nethack's ivory tower model by something much more open. The point is not to let the player base design the game for you (that leads to horrible results quickly -- you really need leadership and vision) but to realise that so many people are thinking so much about the game and provide all kinds of input that you'd be silly to ignore it!


Totally agree and this is the thing I need to remind myself more frequently of.

dpeg wrote:5. On the bit about "changing everything": these games we play are free of money. An aspect I always loved about this is that they're therefore also free in design. When Pender decided to removing experience, that was a radical step and he could "just" do it (just = solving a number of minor design questions inherited from the paradigm shift). In my opinion, it is crucial that no feature is exempt from potential modification, including nerf and removal. Doing otherwise would mean stagnation of design -- something we can leave to lesser games :)
Also, never forget that changes can be undone. If a particular idea turns out to suck, then you go back. That's a bit annoying (wasted time on design, code, documentation) but otherwise no big deal. This is why I like experimentation also as a player: if it works, we get more ambitous (hence better) results; if not, there is always the previous release that I (and the developers) can go back to.


Agreed, but this point is kind of in conflict with the point about discussion. OK, so yes this is a free game with a single author (at least officially) and we have no right to demand this or that, but if discussion is open and desirable, and we want the game to grow and become even more amazing, then I don't see the harm in objecting to radical changes if the objections are not just a matter of "well I'm used to it being this way and I don't want to have to learn the new way", but instead are genuine and meaningful objections. That's healthy, just as proposing wild new features is healthy.

dpeg wrote:6. Andrew has a point that smoothening the gameplay (for example, we have discussed ring/staff identification and hauling) threatens flavour. I have myself killed some Crawl flavour that never came back, and I still feel guilty -- but the game really did get smoother (removal of Nemelex' portable altars) or more balanced (removal of Berserkers' starting spears), though. What is often forgotten, in my opinion, is that new flavour will emerge. Like with evolution, that's just harder to see than extinction because we don't know what version 1.9 will play like and what kind of new theme we will cherish then.


I agree but this is secondary - maybe something shouldn't just exist for the sake of flavor, but if we can think of a way to make that thing more useful and more interesting, isn't it better to keep it and change it or improve it rather than scrap it entirely? The former allows us to expand the "decision tree" in an interesting way without sacrificing flavor I think that's preferable. I have no problem seeing useless things go away, and I don't want to see feature creep turn Brogue into another kitchen sink game, but I'd rather err on the side of keeping cool things unless it's clear that they just serve no purpose at all.

dpeg wrote:7. Morphles brings up a different point: how much should a game care for the player?
For example, if I (as dpeg) complain about how hauling is a tedious activity I feel compelled to do because it seems optimal. Even if true -- should that make Pender & Co care, especially when they don't do it themselves? That question has no universal answer. Older games (*bands and Nethack, for example) don't care at all. There, you can grind (in all senses of the word) and if you find that unfun, it is your very own responsibility not to do it. In Crawl, we would have none of that (this was the first bit I put in the Philosophy section): optimal play should be fun, and we declared that repetitive/tedious behaviour and fake choices ("no brainers") are not fun. (It's a declaration because for someone else, different things will be particularly (un)fun.)


Quick question: is any activity too small to be deemed not worthy of fixing? Let's say we had some data-based way to analyze player behavior and determined that only .5% of players engage in "item hauling" - would it still be worth fixing?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Goratrix » February 18th, 2013, 9:56 am

dpeg wrote:in my experience: Longtime players, especially good ones, are fans. As such, they can be offended by drastic changes (this is a typical trait of fandom in general, I think)


The ghosts of those poor Mountain Dwarves are still haunting you at night? j/k, couldn't resist :lol:
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby dpeg » February 18th, 2013, 10:31 am

fugori wrote:Quick question: is any activity too small to be deemed not worthy of fixing? Let's say we had some data-based way to analyze player behavior and determined that only .5% of players engage in "item hauling" - would it still be worth fixing?

Generally, I'd say no (that probably resembles the Crawl devteam approach). However, there were cases when we did act *before* the players realised some untapped potential but that was always about balance (a broken spell combination, for example) rather than tedium,
In my opinion, strong imbalancies have to be tackled quickly (for Brogue, think of staves of Lightning dominating all the competition) because you never want a case where trying different builds means playing a conduct game. With smaller imbalancies (imagine if staff builds were generally superior to melee builds, but not always, and only by a bit), it is much less crucial because there will be games where you have to take the "inferior" route, and it is a test on playing skill if (and how quickly) someone realises that in a given game.

As far as the battle against tedium/repetition/grinding goes, numbers do help: From the Crawl bots, we knew that a sizable number of players would startscum characters (probably for Health or stats). This didn't feel good, and the fix was easy to do, so it got in.

Here is another one that it is known, but I've never seen addressed (not sure if it comes up in Brogue): theoretically, you should remember all squares that you or your allies ever stepped on and use those later on (e.g. for autotravel). Is this done? Should it? I don't think players are marking squares somehow, but I do find the principle of the thing a bit annoying.

Regarding hauling: it also depends very much on whether the activity actually *is* optimal (in many cases at least). If not, then it becomes much less urgent -- there is not much incentive to prevent players from boring themselves with *bad* play.

Another example from Crawl (which applies to Brogue but only irregularly) is pillar dancing: assume you had bad luck in a melee fight and instead of trading the last swing (which could kill you), you run around an obstacle (the "pillar") until you (and the enemy) are whole again. Monster spawning helps to prevent this. For Brogue, there might be running activities for recharge purposes. In all of these, frequency matters: if it happens rarely (assuming good play), then it is an interesting and valid option; if it happens all the time, then one may start thinking about it.


Goratrix: No, never! The Mountain Dwarf incident was not at all the reason why I stepped back -- the whole devteam supported me, and I am very happy that there was no move go back. (Like with raising kids, it'd have a terrible effect on players if they see that they can get what they want by applying pressure.) In fact, removing MD is an instance of free design: there is no money involved, we all agree that three species were underdifferentiated and opted to remove one. It is a solid decision and we did lose some players from that (and I did get my share of insults) but in retrospect, Crawl did certainly not suffer from it.
[Note: I'd love to discuss more on this, but this place seems not appropriate -- if you're curious, please take it to message or mail.]
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 18th, 2013, 10:54 am

dpeg wrote:Another example from Crawl (which applies to Brogue but only irregularly) is pillar dancing: assume you had bad luck in a melee fight and instead of trading the last swing (which could kill you), you run around an obstacle (the "pillar") until you (and the enemy) are whole again. Monster spawning helps to prevent this. For Brogue, there might be running activities for recharge purposes. In all of these, frequency matters: if it happens rarely (assuming good play), then it is an interesting and valid option; if it happens all the time, then one may start thinking about it.


I'd say the Brogue equivalent is "stair dancing". You can go up and down the stairs indefinitely for infinite regen, unless something has changed, and while this only occasionally saves you (you will still need to find a way to escape or deal with whatever is pursuing you) it's useful enough that I've engaged in it multiple times. I wouldn't mind seeing it go away forever.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 18th, 2013, 11:52 am

Some repepetive actiosns while waiting for regen or recharge do not seem to warrant anything, at leas in brogue. Sometimes you simplly just need some more turns, and your choice is one - wait.

As for lightning I have strong doubts on how dominating lightning is, though there was discussion about staffs some time ago. I'd say that inderect staffs can be considered more valuable (unless you have no other means to deal damage). For example blinking, entrancement and discord are very kick ass staffs, and choice would most likely depend on charges. Otho entracement can be so powerfull that one might be very tempting to take it.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Goratrix » February 18th, 2013, 12:37 pm

morphles wrote:Some repepetive actiosns while waiting for regen or recharge do not seem to warrant anything, at leas in brogue. Sometimes you simplly just need some more turns, and your choice is one - wait.


I think fugori was talking about the fact that going up or down the stairs does not consume any turns (or food), but still regenerates your health, so you can heal indefinitely this way. Although I'm not sure if that is really the case, I've never done it.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Guitar » February 18th, 2013, 12:46 pm

One solution to this would be to give any entity (including you) one free turn after ascending or descending stairs. Or would that look weird?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby fugori » February 18th, 2013, 4:45 pm

Goratrix wrote:
morphles wrote:Some repepetive actiosns while waiting for regen or recharge do not seem to warrant anything, at leas in brogue. Sometimes you simplly just need some more turns, and your choice is one - wait.


I think fugori was talking about the fact that going up or down the stairs does not consume any turns (or food), but still regenerates your health, so you can heal indefinitely this way. Although I'm not sure if that is really the case, I've never done it.


I actually think what I do is ascend, press 'z' to rest (and the monster follows), then descend, press 'z' to rest (and the monster follows) and continue until healed.

It has a food cost, but otherwise is a 100% safe way to regen in a tough situation. I did it during some weekend contest or another to heal up so I could escape from a vampire bat pack.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 19th, 2013, 10:13 am

Simple stair dancing fix: When the player takes the stairs to a new floor, he appears directly on top of the stair tile rather than next to it. This means that he needs to move off of the stairs and back on them if he wants to go back to where he came from, and if a monster is right on your tail, it'll appear on the stair tile before you can do that, blocking your way. The only problem with this is that if the player chooses to stand still on the stairs for a turn, hunting monsters will appear next to the stairs, blocking the player's exit from that tile. Maybe border stairs with statues instead of torches so the player can pass them diagonally?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby morphles » February 19th, 2013, 11:23 am

I have to instantly agree with this :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 19th, 2013, 2:23 pm

I've got a good fix for stair dancing. Stay tuned :)
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby andrewdoull » February 19th, 2013, 5:57 pm

dpeg wrote:
fugori wrote:Quick question: is any activity too small to be deemed not worthy of fixing? Let's say we had some data-based way to analyze player behavior and determined that only .5% of players engage in "item hauling" - would it still be worth fixing?

Generally, I'd say no (that probably resembles the Crawl devteam approach). However, there were cases when we did act *before* the players realised some untapped potential but that was always about balance (a broken spell combination, for example) rather than tedium,
In my opinion, strong imbalancies have to be tackled quickly (for Brogue, think of staves of Lightning dominating all the competition) because you never want a case where trying different builds means playing a conduct game. With smaller imbalancies (imagine if staff builds were generally superior to melee builds, but not always, and only by a bit), it is much less crucial because there will be games where you have to take the "inferior" route, and it is a test on playing skill if (and how quickly) someone realises that in a given game.


It would be good to get a consensus of where the problem areas are in Brogue. Off the top of my head, I'd say the following:

* Armor - plate armor being a no brainer to enchant, and scale armor being not as good as leather. I think buffing weapon enchants got 90% of the way there.
* Level 40/lumenstone runs/golem packs - from what I can see, most highly experienced players are dying due to tedium/inattention whilst fighting golem packs while trying to get to level 40 when they get a build capable of doing this.
* Ally builds dominating all other builds - there's a number of reasons for this a) other builds are boring/one dimensional or too reliant on getting a particular combination of items; b) most builds are better with allies, not worse. Charms did a lot to address (a).
* Lack of a decent throwing build - it feels like an opportunity being missed here.
* Spears/pikes/maces/hammers being underpowered or too specialised - again improving enchants for weapons may have fixed a lot of this.
* Item hauling - not a problem for me, but some people seem to think this is an issue.
* Cursed items / ring swapping / charge counting on staffs / iding ring enchantment level - ditto

Here is another one that it is known, but I've never seen addressed (not sure if it comes up in Brogue): theoretically, you should remember all squares that you or your allies ever stepped on and use those later on (e.g. for autotravel).


It is done for yourself, but not as far as I am aware for your non-flying allies.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Pender » February 19th, 2013, 6:18 pm

andrewdoull wrote:
Here is another one that it is known, but I've never seen addressed (not sure if it comes up in Brogue): theoretically, you should remember all squares that you or your allies ever stepped on and use those later on (e.g. for autotravel).

It is done for yourself, but not as far as I am aware for your non-flying allies.

Correct... the game keeps track of tiles that you have stepped on or witnessed other ground-based monsters step on, and will prefer to route you through those tiles when auto-exploring or when pathing to a set destination (which is why you sometimes see it plot a seemingly suboptimal route on deeper depths). Allies rely on it when pathing (e.g. trying to make their way back to you when separated) but generally not otherwise.
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby Creaphis » February 19th, 2013, 6:28 pm

Charms of protection (if they're staying in the game) and staves of protection would both benefit from a linear power growth. Staves could start a bit stronger than they do now (5 HP is negligible) but both should be weaker than they are now at higher enchant levels.

Why does the player stay "stuck" in webs longer than monsters?
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Re: Announcing Brogue v1.7.1

Postby ais523 » February 20th, 2013, 11:29 pm

dpeg wrote:Here is another one that it is known, but I've never seen addressed (not sure if it comes up in Brogue): theoretically, you should remember all squares that you or your allies ever stepped on and use those later on (e.g. for autotravel). Is this done? Should it? I don't think players are marking squares somehow, but I do find the principle of the thing a bit annoying.

I made the simplest possible fix for this in AceHack: I made the game engine mark stepped-on squares automatically. Strangely, this turned out to have a lot of side benefits too; I don't use it for trap avoidance (it's pretty marginal for that), but I do use it to know where I've been, which is information that's both very useful and easy to forget. Especially in mazes (NetHack's mazes aren't as amenable to automatic solution as Crawl's used to be because the best solution normally involves digging through walls), where it's easy to not know which side of a wall you've stepped on. It also helps solve the problem of "I magic-mapped the level, where have I been?"; Crawl and Brogue each have their own perfectly solutions to this, but it was nice to get one for free :)

In general, if a problem with a game is "the optimal strategy is X, but X is tedious to do", sure it's worth investigating removing X, but often, the strategy turns out to be a worthwhile one and the solution is to make it less tedious.

(One other argument is when non-optimal strategies are tedious and yet people do them anyway, e.g. item hauling in NetHack; if you actually need those items you're hauling around, you're likely to need them just to be able to survive the haul. I'm normally willing to let the player just go through with them; some people seem to like that sort of gameplay, and the people who don't, can just not do it because there are better strategies anyway.)
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