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CF: Obsolete options (was Re: Object decay, etc...)

> Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 21:26:37 -0700
> From: Mark Wedel <>
> > 
> >     * STAT_LOSS_ON_DEATH - toggle between stat loss or stat depletion

    This should be decided and not optional.  It strongly affects the
value of stat and restoration potions.  Personally, I think that it
should always be stat loss.  Either that or make depletion attacks
wear off naturally and death depletion require some strong magic to
recover.  There should be some difference between the side-effects of
death and common undead attacktypes.  Currently, being cornered by an
undead creature you're not prepared for can be significantly worse
than death.

    I'm already planning a minor change to experience objects to allow
experience to be regained after a drain attack, but not after death.
Setting STAT_LOSS_ON_DEATH would complement that nicely, making
restoration potions a general cure for undead attacks, to be used as
soon as possible after the battle, and stat potions an even more
precious resource that doesn't become superfluous when you max out
your stats.

> >     * SPELL_ENCUMBRANCE -- weapons or wearing heavy armour may cause
> >       you to fumble spells.

    I hate when it happens, but I like the fact that it's there.  It
shouldn't be optional, though.  It would be much harder to balance
mages without knowing whether they will be penalized for wearing
armour and using heavy weapons.

>  CASTING_TIME probably makes sense - the casting times may be a bit
> long for many spells, but that is more a tuning issue - using those
> times probably makes sense.
>  One of my more long term goals is to have many actions take
> variable time.  Taking off and putting on a set of armor is going to
> take more than one tick.  When these variable action times are
> added, the casting time may not be as unbalancing for mages as it
> would seem right now.

    I agree.  Actions that take time are a good thing.  Crossfire
needs to handle time better if it's going to add more RPG-ish
elements.  Making skills and spells take time based on the difficulty
of the task being attempted and the applicable level of the player
is a step in that direction that doesn't require implementing a whole
time system first.

>  I would say no cone propogate should probably be disabled (ie,
> cones do propogate through monsters).  After all, in most cases, the
> creature is not taking up the entire space - only a fraction of the
> space, so they would not be able to block the entire blast anyways.

    On the other hand, an ice storm shouldn't be damaging the dragons
across the room as much, or more than, the ones that are in clawing
range.  Instead of just pulling out the #ifdef NO_CONE_PROPAGATE, how
about replacing it with a test for whether the creature being hit is a
multi-space object?

>  permadeath is a big decision, as that radically changes the way some people
> might play.  However, games like nethack, rogue, and so on have permadeath.

    I don't like permadeath.  It makes mages almost unplayable.  It's
hard enough when one slip costs you 20% of your experience, but with
permadeath, mages have to be so cautious that they aren't worth
playing.  I've had numerous spellcasters die of starvation because
they couldn't kill enough creatures to make money fast enough to buy
food.  And casting spells costs food, since for some reason that has
never been clear to me, each spell point regenerated costs one food

    Permadeath is much more realistic though, even with reincarnation
and resurrection spells.  My complaint isn't as much with permadeath
itself as with the way it amplifies the present prejudice of the game
against mages.  If steps are taken to correct that balance issue, I'd
be in favor of making PermaDeath the default setting, if not the only

>  The others are harder to say.  probably spell failure effects could
> be balanced by having the bad affect depend much more on the potency
> of the spell - a first level spell is fairly likely to just fizzle
> out and do nothing, while that 15'th level spell that takes a bunch
> of mana to cast should be more likely to have a fairly intense
> affect.

    I agree.  Although this can make things worse for mages, it can be
balanced so that as long as you're casting spells appropriate for your
skill, path modifiers, and intelligence, it's highly unlikely that
anything seriously harmful will happen.  Encumberance is a major issue
here, since low-level mages don't have the hit points to survive
without armour, and armour makes spells fail.  I think there should be
more cheap, low-level defensive spells for mages.  I just haven't come
up with any good ideas for defensive spells that would be reasonable
at level 1.

> > >    * RANDOM_ENCOUNTERS - add in special encounter maps?
> > >       Had a recent discussion on this.  Seems this is less likely to
> > >   be needed in the future.  Having it on does allow for an unlimited
> > >   oppurtunity to kill stuff.
>  The big thing on this may depend on the future move of the game.
> IF the game moves at least a little away from hack and slash (not
> fighting 10 monsters at the same time, but instead fighting a couple
> monsters appropriately more powerful), the need for random
> encounters may get reduced some.

    I thought it was pretty clear, from the recent "Opinion Poll",
that that's the way most players want to go.  Perhaps we should keep
this option around until the new world map is ready, and populated
with random maps, but I don't really see any point in keeping it
after that.  Of course, that's only if we stay on our current course,
which may not be a particularly safe assumption.  I think this one
should go away, but not yet.

> > >    * SEARCH_ITEMS - let players search for items on the ground
> > >       Doesn't really affect gameplay.  Arguably, this should be a
> > >       client issue.
>  I don't know when people use this most.  In shops, I suppose it can
> be handy if it is a big shop and you want to know where that object
> is.  I would be removing it is likely to result in few complaints,
> especially if similar functionality is added to the client.

    I occasionally use it for just that purpose, or when the pickup
modes aren't selective enough.  Collecting hill giant body parts for
my chemistry set without picking up their boulders is a good example.
Dropping this from the server and implementing it (or something like
it) in the client, which is already comparing lots of strings, sounds
like a good plan to me.

> > >    * SIMPLE_EXP - uses simpler experience system

>  I've been using the simple exp.

    So have I.  I prefer it over the old system, even though there are
numerous balance issues affecting either one of them.  The experience
progression has to be reworked and a maximum level decided, and those
are going to be pretty tough tasks if they have to balance against two
different experience functions.  I suggest dropping the old system,
lowering the maximum level, and balancing the experience progression

>  The main difference in simple exp is that level difference does not
> adjust the exp award.  So if that orc is listed as giving 15 exp,
> you get 15 exp no matter what your level is.  Old system would do a
> level ratio - if you killed something that was twice the level as
> you, you get twice the exp.  Likewise, you get less for things of
> lower level.

    Doesn't the old system also factor up to three of your stats into
the equation?  That's the part I object to.  The relative experience
thing would be fine if the experience progression was specifically
balanced for it and deathstrikes took that into account.

    Oh yeah, and REAL_WIZ.  We should only keep that optional if we
want to allow servers with irresponsible Wizards to retain some
semblance of balance.  That's a question of philosophy that I have yet
to form an opinion on.

            -Dave Noelle,       
            -the Villa Straylight,
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email  ==

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