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Re: [crawl-dev] Re: Dungeon Crawl Reference

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  • d.brodale
    ... Soliciting donations to the benefit one individual through association with Linley s Dungeon Crawl ( Donate to Dungeon Crawl Reference - donations go to
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 21, 2005
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      On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, pgbalb wrote:

      > Rather, I think it's pretty clear that the language is intended to
      > prevent people from _requiring_ you to pay for crawl. Categorizing a
      > donation as "using for gainful purposes" is kind of a stretch, since
      > donations are by their nature voluntary (I'm sort of imagining a world
      > where I can force people to take Crawl down from their website by
      > walking up to them on the street and throwing a dollar bill at them.)
      > There's also the issue that this "explanatory text" actually contradicts
      > other parts of the crawl license, which is why it was removed from the
      > Nethack license. But we'll live with what we've got.

      Soliciting donations to the benefit one individual through association
      with Linley's Dungeon Crawl ("Donate to Dungeon Crawl Reference" ->
      donations go to Peter Berger) is pretty hard to classify as anything
      but personal gain. I never said the license was a good license, but
      it's the license that stands, and ought to be applied.


      > But anyway, this is license wanking, which is the very definition of
      > pointlessness. Others have had to grapple with this question before,
      > for example: [url removed]

      No, it's not wanking, it's a reminder to abide by the license attached
      to Linley's Dungeon Crawl. The linux.debian.bugs.dist thread to which
      you refer isn't close to "grappling" nor does its substance resemble the
      issue of personal acceptance of solicited donations that prompted my
      earlier email.


      > Thanks for helping!

      Thanks for addressing an issue with a mature attitude and refraining
      from any weak attempts at sarcasm -- in the third of your reply that
      survives above, at least.

      -don
    • pgbalb
      ... Meh. Here is where we disagree. Dungeon Crawl is a dead project. There s an active community of people who are absolutely desperate to contribute to the
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 21, 2005
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        > No, it's not wanking,

        Meh. Here is where we disagree. Dungeon Crawl is a dead
        project. There's an active community of people who are
        absolutely desperate to contribute to the project, but who
        have been prevented from doing so by the fact that
        no one has been willling to step up to the plate
        and keep it alive. People have submitted patches:
        they've been ignored. The web page is utterly out of
        date. Users can't build the latest release on modern
        compilers on common platforms. The game might as
        well not exist for the average user.

        In that context, nitpicking about a donation link that,
        frankly, will never ever be clicked on is the very
        definition of "wanking." It is arguing about whether or
        not it is wrong to serve liquor to an underaged corpse.

        So let's start again. I promise not to use Dungeon
        Crawl Reference as my entree to entice hot hollywood
        starlets into bed and fund my trips to Rio de Janeiro,
        if you promise to help bring the codebase back to life,
        for the benefit of the users, instead of coming up with
        excuses about why doing so might be hard.

        Do we have a deal?

        peterb
      • d.brodale
        ... I cannot argue that LDC has become moribund. I ve been saying the same thing for at least a year. No one was prevented from doing anything with the game
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 21, 2005
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          On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, pgbalb wrote:

          > Dungeon Crawl is a dead project. There's an active community of people
          > who are absolutely desperate to contribute to the project, but who have
          > been prevented from doing so by the fact that no one has been willling
          > to step up to the plate and keep it alive.

          I cannot argue that LDC has become moribund. I've been saying the same
          thing for at least a year. No one was prevented from doing anything with
          the game (e.g. the four or so main variants that already exist) in the
          past two years of Brent's seclusion. By "keeping it alive" I've always
          assumed that you meant under some mantle of authenticity or officialdom,
          and not as a homebrewed variant.


          > People have submitted patches: they've been ignored. The web page is
          > utterly out of date. Users can't build the latest release on modern
          > compilers on common platforms. The game might as well not exist for the
          > average user.

          I cannot say one way or the other that Brent has ignored outside patch
          submissions. At times, it seemed as though he was reviewing them and
          probably including those that passed muster in some form or another. I
          believe we agree that this isn't exactly a good approach.

          As for the web page ... it's out of date because the game is. I've never
          been approached to update it for any particular reason, and I'm at a loss
          to identify what could be done apart from adding pointers to relevant
          variant projects and excising dead ends in its planned expansion. It will
          likely be revamped within the coming week or two, but I can tell you now
          how many requests for alteration I've received during its existence: zero.

          By all means, should you or anyone have suggestions, I've always been
          around to field them.

          As for platform support ... I think here again you're exaggerating. True,
          OS X is not properly supported as a build target. True, there are some
          lingering Windows XP issues. And also true, Linux support is flaky to some
          extent (it always has been). However, to say the game "might as well not
          exist" in light of these hang-ups is a gross overstatement. I'm not sure
          what your notion of "average user" might be, though.


          > In that context, nitpicking about a donation link that, frankly, will
          > never ever be clicked on is the very definition of "wanking." It is
          > arguing about whether or not it is wrong to serve liquor to an underaged
          > corpse.

          Unfortunately, I don't share this view, as it's tantamount to suggesting
          that those few guidelines attached to the source code in the form of the
          licensure can be ignored, as no one cares anyway. I don't buy the "never
          ever be clicked" statement, else why plaster the donation banner about
          in the first place, prior to even bringing cvs online? As one who has
          worked with the code and supported Crawl in even some small way for at
          least five years, to see a donation solicitation targeting an individual
          (absent any clarification of intent or purpose for donations received) in
          the name of LDC leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Beyond that, my original
          question as to why donations are even called for in the context of freely
          hosted resources stands.


          > So let's start again. I promise not to use Dungeon Crawl Reference as
          > my entree to entice hot hollywood starlets into bed and fund my trips to
          > Rio de Janeiro, if you promise to help bring the codebase back to life,
          > for the benefit of the users, instead of coming up with excuses about
          > why doing so might be hard.

          I believe you misread my posts if you think my objective is to find
          excuses not to revivify the codebase. However, that does not mean that
          I find it a mistake that Brent continues to duck things (or appears to
          be doing so), or that personal gain does attach to the donation request
          as presented, or that any project requires direction as much as it does
          code. I'm not out to get you or anyone undertaking whatever DCR happens
          to be, but that doesn't mean I won't throw up a caution flag when it
          seems fitting.

          -don
        • Johnny Piacentini
          ... Sorry Don... I just gave a look at the mentioned donation banner and indeed it reports all the cash goes to Electronic Frontier Foundation. Yep, I do
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 21, 2005
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            d.brodale wrote:

            >
            >I believe you misread my posts if you think my objective is to find
            >excuses not to revivify the codebase. However, that does not mean that
            >I find it a mistake that Brent continues to duck things (or appears to
            >be doing so), or that personal gain does attach to the donation request
            >as presented, or that any project requires direction as much as it does
            >code. I'm not out to get you or anyone undertaking whatever DCR happens
            >to be, but that doesn't mean I won't throw up a caution flag when it
            >seems fitting.
            >
            Sorry Don... I just gave a look at the mentioned "donation banner" and
            indeed it reports all the cash goes to Electronic Frontier Foundation.
            Yep, I do agree that there's no real point in having such a banner on
            Crawl dev page, but I don't see it as a violation to the license or to
            the spirit of a free project.

            Peter is setting up a small holy war using sarcasm and pragmatism as his
            weapons... rough, but effective nonetheless.


            I think he kinda overreacted to your comments... I've known you as a
            really polite and correct person... try to let him go a bit while he's
            in berserk. ;)
            I'm sure that, given time, he will understand and value even the
            licensing aspects you've correctly pointed out and take care of them.

            At the moment, his way of handling things is by far the most effective
            I've seen in a long while.


            Just trying to bring peace. ;)


            --
            bitMaster
          • Serg
            Good time for All! /and sorry my poor english -)/ JP Just trying to bring peace. ;) Agree, agree. Opensorsing in good for merging UI things (such as auto
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 21, 2005
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              Good time for All!
              /and sorry my poor english -)/


              JP> Just trying to bring peace. ;)
              Agree, agree.

              Opensorsing in good for merging UI things (such as auto exploring and
              tiles graphics). But for conceptual ideas - needed single
              coordinnator. For samle: patch for selling at shops - is good ideas
              for one side, but from other side (side of balance, item holding,
              food's insufficiency) - it is possible incorrect idea ...

              --
              Best regards,
              Serg
            • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
              pgbalb wrote: // // Meh. Here is where we disagree. Dungeon Crawl is a dead // project. There s an active community of people who are
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 23, 2005
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                "pgbalb" <pgbalb@...> wrote:
                //
                // Meh. Here is where we disagree. Dungeon Crawl is a dead
                // project. There's an active community of people who are
                // absolutely desperate to contribute to the project,

                The list doesn't really show that... I'll repeat, if people want
                to contribute you should start by making dialogue here... that's
                what the list is for. We're not ominscient (yet), and I've tried
                at points to get people to discuss things like the religion system
                without any success.

                Now I've been guilty of being rather disorganized... working on pieces,
                tweaking, and not putting things together for any sort of a release.
                That's my fault... and that's been stunting Crawl.

                However, if there is such an "active" community of people willing
                to contribute then it's certainly not here... the place where
                they will at least be noticed (just look at the message counts
                per month). A communtity that isn't communicating in the forum
                isn't any better.

                // but who
                // have been prevented from doing so by the fact that
                // no one has been willling to step up to the plate
                // and keep it alive. People have submitted patches:
                // they've been ignored.

                I have never ignored a patch posted to this list or the
                newsgroup. I've passed on some patches (eg the "ninja" patch
                was pointless (very similar to assassin) and selling from stores
                is against the design and breaks the economy balance)... and
                other patches I've held off on (eg the new OSX patch verses a
                previous patch... needed a review saying which one is definitively
                better... Darshan's patch I also held off on because I'd
                already changed the view and map code and it was not really
                easy to apply such a monster (hoping that he'll be willing
                to resubmit a patch against the newer code)).

                Brent
              • John Castner
                Ok, you d like discussion of the religion system? Do you want this from a player s standpoint, or from a developer s? I ve not looked at the code, or even
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 23, 2005
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                  Ok, you'd like discussion of the religion system? Do you want this
                  from a player's standpoint, or from a developer's? I've not looked at
                  the code, or even compiled anything in any language for about 8 years
                  (shortly after I dropped out of college; I've since re-entered), so I
                  can't help on the latter count. The former doesn't quite seem to be
                  what this list is for, or what should be aimed for in the code. I've
                  discovered no bugs (running in Win 2K, executable dc400b26-w32), so all
                  I can ask for is features. Given your description of the state of the
                  code, I suspect that would not be helpful.

                  However, assuming that my suspicion is incorrect, I'd like to see a
                  little more clarity on what the gods want of believers; one or more
                  gods who desire sacrifices of gold; more altars at lower levels (only
                  once have I seen an altar outside the temple, and that was after the
                  temple, in the Orcish Mines). I've played 56 games, according to the
                  score list. While I don't know too many ins and outs of LDC
                  specifically, I'm reasonably competent at roguelikes, having ascended
                  in NH about a dozen times on various systems and versions. This game
                  is harder than ADOM, and has less story. It's definitely still
                  intriguing, but... .

                  I can see what one poster meant about selling stuff in shops throwing
                  off the game balance in many directions, and concur with that
                  assessment. Nonetheless, the game balance is skewed, especially as
                  food seems to get _rarer_ the deeper you go and the bigger the monsters
                  become. Likewise, items that are plentiful on higher levels become
                  _more_ scarce. It hardly makes descending worthwhile, as there is less
                  and less reward to be had, and less to be discovered.

                  Maybe I've just not gotten far enough in the game. I've never cleared
                  the second level of the Mines, and only once seen a level with water
                  (same game I also saw lava, I think on the next level down). I'm
                  trying to play w/o spoilers, but it's not easy. I do believe the
                  balance needs to be tweaked.

                  John

                  --- bwross@... wrote:

                  > "pgbalb" <pgbalb@...> wrote:
                  > //
                  > // Meh. Here is where we disagree. Dungeon Crawl is a dead
                  > // project. There's an active community of people who are
                  > // absolutely desperate to contribute to the project,
                  >
                  > The list doesn't really show that... I'll repeat, if people want
                  > to contribute you should start by making dialogue here... that's
                  > what the list is for. We're not ominscient (yet), and I've tried
                  > at points to get people to discuss things like the religion system
                  > without any success.
                  >
                  > Now I've been guilty of being rather disorganized... working on
                  > pieces,
                  > tweaking, and not putting things together for any sort of a release.
                  > That's my fault... and that's been stunting Crawl.
                  >
                  > However, if there is such an "active" community of people willing
                  > to contribute then it's certainly not here... the place where
                  > they will at least be noticed (just look at the message counts
                  > per month). A communtity that isn't communicating in the forum
                  > isn't any better.
                  >
                  > // but who
                  > // have been prevented from doing so by the fact that
                  > // no one has been willling to step up to the plate
                  > // and keep it alive. People have submitted patches:
                  > // they've been ignored.
                  >
                  > I have never ignored a patch posted to this list or the
                  > newsgroup. I've passed on some patches (eg the "ninja" patch
                  > was pointless (very similar to assassin) and selling from stores
                  > is against the design and breaks the economy balance)... and
                  > other patches I've held off on (eg the new OSX patch verses a
                  > previous patch... needed a review saying which one is definitively
                  > better... Darshan's patch I also held off on because I'd
                  > already changed the view and map code and it was not really
                  > easy to apply such a monster (hoping that he'll be willing
                  > to resubmit a patch against the newer code)).
                  >
                  > Brent
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >




                  ____________________________________________________
                  Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
                  http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
                • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
                  // Ok, you d like discussion of the religion system? Do you want this // from a player s standpoint, or from a developer s? The standpoint of several vocal
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                    // Ok, you'd like discussion of the religion system? Do you want this
                    // from a player's standpoint, or from a developer's?

                    The standpoint of several vocal players is already well known
                    and isn't really that relevant... the fact that certain gods
                    are less twinky are aren't played as much isn't a reason for
                    them to be removed or an excuse for ham fisted kludging and
                    boosting in isolation in a goal to achieve complete equality
                    (often with suggests that make the gods more similar or less
                    interesting). The problem with player POV opinions as that
                    they tend to favour only one side of the balance and/or a very
                    narrow spectrum (that they recently ran into... either just a
                    single piece of a larger puzzle or an unlikely or special case),
                    so they need to be taken with a grain of salt. So all that can
                    really be gathered from the player comments is that the religious
                    system isn't all it could possibly be, and isn't living up to
                    what it was intended to be.

                    What I was looking for was a discusion from a designer's
                    point of view... a complete religious system designed largely
                    independant of the code with the god spheres and the intended
                    resultant game style defined.

                    // However, assuming that my suspicion is incorrect, I'd like to see a
                    // little more clarity on what the gods want of believers; one or more
                    // gods who desire sacrifices of gold; more altars at lower levels (only
                    // once have I seen an altar outside the temple, and that was after the
                    // temple, in the Orcish Mines).

                    Well, the Ecumenical Temple is really considered low level
                    (for all intents and purposes... although a bit of bad luck
                    can have it a bit deeper than you might have wanted to start,
                    but that helps keep the game fresh (although perhaps its range
                    could be tighted slightly)). Altars outside of it have
                    always just been considered bonus.

                    Item and gold sacrifices has always been a bit of problem.
                    It's very easy for the gods to become junk collectors who
                    are too easy to please (and potentially end up appearing more
                    stupid than the shopkeeps). I've thought about it and tinkered
                    with it from time to time, but it's a very tricky problem that
                    certainly could use more discussion and work.

                    // I can see what one poster meant about selling stuff in shops throwing
                    // off the game balance in many directions, and concur with that
                    // assessment.

                    It's pretty much been the official one since the start. If we were to
                    implement it while preserving the current economic balance you wouldn't
                    be able to get anything for 99% of items (in fact, they should probably
                    be charging for using their store as a trash can). Decent artefacts
                    might get you a handful of coins if they're fancy enough... Oh, shopkeeps
                    now have the same rudimentary "looks interesting" ability that players
                    typically pick up rather quickly and so they charge a little more for
                    fancier appearing item... the overall pricing should also be more reasonable.

                    The key here is that when a money influx is added it will allow the
                    player to more easily build up money and that will cause overall
                    inflation in costs that shops sell for. This results in prices that
                    are less accessible to low level characters.

                    // Nonetheless, the game balance is skewed, especially as
                    // food seems to get _rarer_ the deeper you go and the bigger the monsters
                    // become.

                    Food items get only slightly rarer at higher levels, but
                    only really in comparison to misc items (which are generated
                    separately by overriding another object). They actually start
                    out at their rarest because there's another override that
                    generates more potions and scrolls at the expense of books,
                    staves and wands in the early dungeon (and slowly fades out
                    by level 7). In addition, food shops are more common in the
                    early levels, and the costs of items in general should be a
                    lot more consistant now (perhaps a bit too cheap, but still
                    reasonable if influxes of money are kept out). As for food in
                    general getting rarer... those big monsters are food, and the
                    extra chunks pretty much guarantees that the available calorie
                    count is much higher deeper in the dungeon.

                    // Likewise, items that are plentiful on higher levels become
                    // _more_ scarce. It hardly makes descending worthwhile, as there is less
                    // and less reward to be had, and less to be discovered.

                    Actually, as you go deeper, the chances better quality weapons and
                    armour increase both on the ground as well as from the monsters
                    themselves (often a very good source). This is both in base type
                    as well as ego/artefact creation. Overall, the item quality does
                    get noticibly better as you progress down, although it doesn't
                    get spectactularily better (there not being much of a range
                    available to begin with). Most of the reason to go deeper has
                    to do with needing bigger monsters with more XP to help develop
                    skills and levels, along with the fact that exploring new dungeon
                    is an easy way to increase the chances of finding good items (simply
                    by generating more items). We also don't do monster creation off
                    level for this reason... that would potentially allow for a character
                    to cycle though a small group of levels to easily level up (although
                    the on level random creation allows for this at a very slow rate
                    and thus provides a potentially unwanted counterbalance to dive...
                    Mummies with patience are very abusable).

                    // Maybe I've just not gotten far enough in the game. I've never cleared
                    // the second level of the Mines, and only once seen a level with water
                    // (same game I also saw lava, I think on the next level down). I'm
                    // trying to play w/o spoilers, but it's not easy. I do believe the
                    // balance needs to be tweaked.

                    The game is certainly playable and winable without spoilers. You
                    do need to be careful (abort early and often) and capable of a bit
                    of inductive reasoning (eg the descriptions on items/spells are left
                    a bit bit vague and sometimes require a bit of experimentation to find
                    out what they really mean).

                    Brent

                    PS Oh, I just remembered that I had tinkered with the scoring and
                    was debating ripping that out (as that essentially might make the
                    game scorefile incompatible) but didn't to do it. Basically, I made
                    an attempt to give a bonus for earlier retrival of the Orb, but I think the
                    end result might be counter productive because the high XP score
                    is still viable and thus it's less tellable which is which from
                    the score file (before, the quick run honours could be judged
                    from having the lowest winning score on the file). Overall, I did
                    decide that I wasn't overly fond of the attempt (I was also going to
                    try to downplay XP to balance but it never seemed right... the
                    balance between rewarding the rune set collectors vs the dive into
                    the Realm while it's still interesting pretty much requires two
                    separate scores)... comments are welcome.
                  • Jeff Bay
                    ... This is the most shocking thing that anybody has ever stated about any software project, anywhere. The players are the only reason the project exists.
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                      > The standpoint of several vocal players is already well known
                      > and isn't really that relevant... the fact that certain gods

                      This is the most shocking thing that anybody has ever stated about any
                      software project, anywhere. The players are the only reason the project
                      exists. Being one of those players, I *want* the balance of the game to
                      change. I find it fascinating to see it evolve. Seeing it change is why
                      I've been agitating for the source to start moving again. I'm sure I can
                      see what you are saying, but the wording definitely didn't sound good to
                      me.

                      The most interesting thing about playing a game like this is the balance
                      changing. There's very little that is "abusable", or, alternatively, there
                      are a lot of things that are abusable. There isn't a "delicate game
                      balance" to preserve. There never was. I've been playing since 3.x was
                      still being updated by Linley himself, and I'll tell you, the balance was
                      changing every time. If he was looking for some perfect balance, I don't
                      think he ever succeeded. All powers and characters are not created equal.

                      Playing a patient mummy is an interesting way to play. You call it abuse?
                      My mummys take special pride in making sure every opponent's cold dead
                      corpse is used to its best ability. No corner left unturned, no item left
                      behind. They have eternity, and they mean to use it.

                      > What I was looking for was a discusion from a designer's
                      > point of view... a complete religious system designed largely
                      > independant of the code with the god spheres and the intended
                      > resultant game style defined.

                      It has a well designed religious system that is poorly implemented. In
                      addition, it has balance problems - some of the gods are unfun to pray to.
                      The design is fine, it's just difficult to modify in order to rebalance
                      things.

                      >


                      --
                      We have tamed lightning and now use it to make sand think.
                      Jeff Bay (469) 867-0370 jlb0170@...
                      Resume: http://www.xpteam.com/jeff
                    • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
                      Jeff Bay wrote: // The standpoint of several vocal players is already well known // and isn t really that relevant... the fact that certain gods // // This
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                        Jeff Bay wrote:
                        // > The standpoint of several vocal players is already well known
                        // > and isn't really that relevant... the fact that certain gods
                        //
                        // This is the most shocking thing that anybody has ever stated about any
                        // software project, anywhere. The players are the only reason the project
                        // exists. Being one of those players, I *want* the balance of the game to
                        // change. I find it fascinating to see it evolve. Seeing it change is why
                        // I've been agitating for the source to start moving again. I'm sure I can
                        // see what you are saying, but the wording definitely didn't sound good to
                        // me.

                        Oh, I knew someone would jump on that statement... did
                        a bit of thinking on how to diffuse that and realized that it
                        was inevitable so I decided not to waste time on it and just
                        say it (I was tired and don't mind being blunt to try and
                        stir things up a bit). The context was the important thing
                        there... I wasn't talking about player feedback in general,
                        but more about the fact that I wasn't looking for ill-informed
                        quick fixes here. The religious system would be far better
                        served by actually knowing who the gods are in the world definition
                        first, working out what we intend the play to be like second, and
                        making that happen third. Quick fixes to patch percieved differences
                        in the balance doesn't really apply here... the gods aren't really
                        supposed to be balanced against each other, but they should provide
                        their intended gaming experience. The player point of view tends
                        to not be very objective for that (focusing on things that they
                        found too good, or much more commonly things that they didn't
                        find useful in exactly the way they expected, possibly based
                        on one case studies). In context, it's not that shocking... I've
                        seen and made sterner.

                        // The most interesting thing about playing a game like this is the balance
                        // changing. There's very little that is "abusable", or, alternatively, there
                        // are a lot of things that are abusable. There isn't a "delicate game
                        // balance" to preserve. There never was. I've been playing since 3.x was
                        // still being updated by Linley himself, and I'll tell you, the balance was
                        // changing every time. If he was looking for some perfect balance, I don't
                        // think he ever succeeded. All powers and characters are not created equal.

                        See above. The religious system is not about balance in
                        that way. Bad gods like Mox are perfectly valid gods... overly
                        powerful gods are a balance issue, though (because there should
                        be a minimum difficulty).

                        // Playing a patient mummy is an interesting way to play. You call it abuse?

                        They produce an aberrant and boring behaviour which is something
                        we'd rather not be encouraging.

                        // My mummys take special pride in making sure every opponent's cold dead
                        // corpse is used to its best ability. No corner left unturned, no item left
                        // behind. They have eternity, and they mean to use it.

                        There's a big difference between just taking a bit more time
                        and clearing everything thouroughly vs things like sitting
                        around on level one farming monsters until you get to Clevel 27.
                        It's the ease at which mummies allow for all sorts of aberrant
                        behaviours like that that's always made them such a twinky choice
                        (they seriously break the game by not having any clock at all).

                        // > What I was looking for was a discusion from a designer's
                        // > point of view... a complete religious system designed largely
                        // > independant of the code with the god spheres and the intended
                        // > resultant game style defined.
                        //
                        // It has a well designed religious system that is poorly implemented.

                        Not really. The gods aren't that well defined beyond general
                        impressions, nor is that actual intended game play really defined
                        at all beyond what currently happens and the implications of
                        a couple of class labels. For example, The Shining One suggests
                        an aliance with the Sun domain, but only with the name (sketchy) and
                        the Palidin class (also sketchy)... certainly not the abilities. [1]

                        // In addition, it has balance problems - some of the gods are unfun to pray to.

                        Having the gods behave differently for things like prayer is
                        what makes the game interesting though... if they all behaved
                        similarly that would be Nethack. Not that gods like Mox that
                        are unfun to worship at all are perfectly fine... gods aren't in
                        a popularity contest (they just need to fulfill their design,
                        which is kind of hard to judge without an actual design for
                        them to be fulfillifying).

                        // The design is fine, it's just difficult to modify in order to rebalance
                        // things.

                        Actually, it's not that hard to rework the god code (even
                        easier now because I merged the naughty/do-good stuff into a
                        single function that simply handles the conducts appropriately).
                        That's a bit of a myth... the quick fixes really aren't because
                        the kruft just gets in the way and ill informed assumptions
                        will haunt the code for months or years. The religion code is
                        fairly nicely isolated in a couple of functions in a single file
                        (although the abilites are handled elsewhere that isn't much
                        of a problem)... it's not one of the areas that is dangerous
                        to make large changes in. [2]

                        Brent Ross


                        [1] Well, before I swapped out Lightning Bolt for Cleansing
                        Flame because: (a) I figured that since I kept bringing and
                        updating it it should be used (and TSO was the best fit) and
                        (b) it's always better to have god abilities that aren't available
                        elsewhere (limiting occurances of the same ability is generally
                        good given the open class design).

                        [2] If you want to change monster behaviour on the other hand,
                        you'd be better off ripping it all out and starting from scratch. [3]
                        Even slight changes in there can easily result in the game
                        hanging or crashing at odd intervals and often take a lot of
                        work to iron out. It's one of the few pieces of code that really
                        scares me in Crawl... and I successfully debugged the old FOV system
                        (before it was rewritten).

                        [3] Well that's assuming that you don't decide that you don't
                        really want to do that after all (which is really the best
                        option here).
                      • Josh
                        ... We ? Is this the royal we , or are you a hivemind? For the record, I agree with Jeff -- if some dude s life is such that the /best use of his time/ is
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                          bwross@... wrote:

                          > Jeff Bay wrote:

                          > // Playing a patient mummy is an interesting way to
                          > // play. You call it abuse?
                          >
                          > They produce an aberrant and boring behaviour which
                          > is something we'd rather not be encouraging.

                          "We"? Is this the royal "we", or are you a hivemind?

                          For the record, I agree with Jeff -- if some dude's
                          life is such that the /best use of his time/ is play a
                          patient mummy, hey, power to him. It's certainly not
                          my idea of fun. Why does it bug you?

                          ---J


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                        • bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca
                          Josh wrote: // bwross@csclub.uwaterloo.ca wrote: // // Jeff Bay wrote: // // // Playing a patient mummy is an interesting way to //
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                            Josh <doctornull@...> wrote:
                            // bwross@... wrote:
                            //
                            // > Jeff Bay wrote:
                            //
                            // > // Playing a patient mummy is an interesting way to
                            // > // play. You call it abuse?
                            // >
                            // > They produce an aberrant and boring behaviour which
                            // > is something we'd rather not be encouraging.
                            //
                            // "We"? Is this the royal "we", or are you a hivemind?

                            Are you proposing that everyone other than me would rather
                            have a game that activly encourages silly repetitive
                            behaviour and boredom?

                            It's been brought up many times over the years on the
                            list, and even casual players have caught on to the design
                            tenant that Crawl is a game that trys *not* to reward
                            typical roguelike munchkinish behaviours. I feel pretty
                            safe that the "we" here includes most of the community in
                            that regards (because that's what this is talking about).

                            (Oh, and Brents form a continuum not a hivemind)

                            // For the record, I agree with Jeff -- if some dude's
                            // life is such that the /best use of his time/ is play a
                            // patient mummy, hey, power to him. It's certainly not
                            // my idea of fun. Why does it bug you?

                            Because it's played on a /computer/ [1]... those things that
                            make tasks that used to be dull and repetative easy and trivial
                            [2]. You seem be thinking that it isn't a good use of time
                            to play a patient mummy... however, a little work writing
                            a macro that runs while you go get something to eat and you
                            can come back to character significantly boosted in some way.
                            That's multitasking and a more efficient use of time than simply
                            playing (character got things that in an aberrant way... player
                            got food and can play on a full stomach with a better character).

                            Aberrant behaviours are a sign of game inbalance... of course
                            they make the list of things that should be looked at and fixed
                            (although the priority isn't necessarily high... ie. you still
                            see mummies in the game, don't you? there are many other
                            things to do). Left too long (back to speaking of aberrant
                            behaviour in general here so don't bother strawmaning mummies
                            here) you start to see them making their way into game features
                            like in Angband... the word "auto" is pretty much a shortform
                            for automated aberrant behaviour there. For example,
                            autoscum == running up and down the stairs potentially dozens
                            of times to find a good level, autoroll == roll up thousands
                            of characters until you get one twinky enough... both of these
                            used to be done manually by the players themselves... now
                            they can be done several orders of magnitude more powerfully
                            in much less time. Automating these behaviours isn't really the
                            solution that should be used... better would be to simply produce
                            levels and characters the player wanted in the first place.
                            Aberrant behaviour is always a sign that there's potentially some
                            design flaw that you might want to look at (by definition).
                            Idealistically, all players should be playing in a fun and exciting
                            way without such silly or boring behaviours (achieving that is
                            impossible, but at the very least we should try). [3]

                            The arguement that such behaviour is isolated and can be ignored
                            only works at the single player on their own machine level... on
                            a multiuser box (or with a sharing system), twinkiness can
                            easily affect other players via ghosts and scoreboards... and
                            from a development point of view it can create an ugly feedback
                            loop: the existance of twinky chacacters typically results in an
                            increased amount of difficulty to counter their mere existance
                            which results in even the non-twinky characters having to tweak
                            to match... something that is undesirable.

                            Brent Ross

                            [1] No table top or LARP versions available, yet.

                            [2] For example:

                            3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078\
                            164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822\
                            317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288\
                            109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543\
                            266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917\
                            153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657\
                            595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248\
                            912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798\
                            609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608\
                            277857713427577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922\
                            7968925892354201996

                            ... 707 digits of pi, matching what William Shanks spent far
                            too much time doing back in the 1870s (and he got only got the
                            first 527 right). Not to mention the fact that Van Ceulen spent
                            his life calculating it to only 35 places back in the 1500s.
                            I used a function I coded and tested in a few minutes in dc(1)
                            (to duplicate the bc(1) math library functionality)... plus a
                            few seconds were I used a vi shell insert to plop it inline.
                            The computer took less than second to do the boring work.

                            Roguelike-wise, I know of one player who I watched develop
                            monster farming in Angband into an artform where he could have
                            Angband practically roll up a 45th level character while he read
                            books, played other games, and went to class (with the use of
                            of screen(1) macros and detaching them it was also faster and
                            didn't tie up a terminal... he just had to log in later and start
                            playing). This is a far step from the bordom normally associated
                            with farming (where one does it manually by holding down a key).

                            [3] And to counter the person who's about to say "what about
                            those players who find such behaviours fun?"... There are two major
                            problems with that: (a) those players don't acutally find the
                            process fun, they find the end result fun (a causal fallicy)
                            and (b) since they actively avoid experiencing the part in
                            between, their opinion of the difference in fun between the
                            aberrant way and the intended way doesn't hold any weight
                            (an inductive fallicy).
                          • Serg
                            Hello All. Month ago I be tried of munch with HighElf-Crusader s, SlufgeElf-Transmuters, Spriggans and so on. And I start to play with Human-Paladin. And I
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 24, 2005
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                              Hello All.

                              Month ago I be tried of munch with HighElf-Crusader's,
                              SlufgeElf-Transmuters, Spriggans and so on.
                              And I start to play with Human-Paladin. And I very very glad.
                              -)

                              IMHO game has good balance.

                              --
                              Best regards,
                              Serg
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