Author Topic: a RL that requires skill?  (Read 49421 times)

Legend

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2012, 04:50:04 PM »
I'm familiar with PnP meaning "Print and Play" games. Games that are often free but you require you to print the files and construct them yourself. These are board games and card games obviously.

Z

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2012, 07:25:16 PM »
You guys appear to suck badly at roguelikes and thus make excuses for lowering the difficulty instead of increasing your skill.
I'm wondering where the hostility is coming from. It appears to me that we are having a discussion on rogue-like design and skill, whereas you are just being mean.

I think hostility is caused by punkbohemian's words that roguelikes do not require skill, just dumb luck. This is very insulting for roguelike players who actually do have the skill, and win DoomRL and Crawl most of the times, and can win a new roguelike in just a few plays (assuming that it is balanced for this).

I think the same critique could be given against any classic board/card game (e.g. Chess, Go, Bridge, Poker). Someone could play 50 games of Chess and lose all of them, and conclude that the game was unwinnable and you could win it only with dumb luck (although there is no random element in Chess and Go, the opponent's decisions are not predictable). And then go to a Chess forum and claim that there was no skill involved.

There are not many calculations involved in these games, it is rather about seeing the consequences of our simple moves, both immediate and in the big picture. Roguelikes are different that the game is not symmetric (adventurer against dungeon, not army against army), so it is harder to see that they are intended to be fair, but the idea is the same. In Poker/Bridge, sometimes you get bad cards and you cannot win whatever you do, but this does not stop very good players from being able to earn big money by playing against others; that would be an analogy to Crawl's 10% intended loss rate (all these games derive they charm from randomness, or rather about using skill to combat it, and the loss rate is a small price to pay for this).

Ancient

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2012, 08:52:53 PM »
Quote
I have recently read up on this thread and it just screams for some trolling.
I assume you're the troll, in which case, should we be ignoring you?

This question is for you to answer. My belief is your whole complaint about roguelikes involving little of skill is completely invalid thus this provoking preamble. I was surprised ... wait, shocked that no one challenged it head on.

Quote
You guys appear to suck badly at roguelikes and thus make excuses for lowering the difficulty instead of increasing your skill.

A developer of Crawl stated that even best players should die 10% of the time.

Just in case you were wondering, this is where you contradict yourself. You're basically saying that a player who cannot achieve the impossible (depending on the RNGs mood) is not a good player.

I am most interested how exactly you got to that conclusion. Both my statement can coexist peacefully with one another. That 10% death rate is not because skill is not enough to win or due to unreasonably elevated difficulty. It is caused by difficulty of balancing everything together while still maintaining interesting and challenging gameplay.

You're also missing the point. Because so much of the game is the product of the RNG, your strategy is pretty limited.

Agreed! I do not rely on some specific strategy at all except for very long games like Crawl and Adom where the abundance of random drops and law of large numbers virtually guarantees me some property I would like to receive from items. Tactics, by which I mean resolving particular encounters here and now without overarching plan for whole game is more what I revel in.

Your strategy generally cannot hinge upon specific enablers or any environmental variables, as they are all randomly generated and therefore you cannot count on them. All you can do is gen a PC, shoot for a survivable build and go through the motions hoping you don't get boned. I don't feel terribly engaged (mentally) when I'm playing a RL. I run through a limited set of "what ifs" in my head, maybe do some simple calculations (DPS, enemy strength vs. my own), but for the most part, the RNG dictates my actions.

Here we differ. RNG only expands or limits my available actions. For each obstacle I encounter it is me who chooses to engage it or not and how. This is also the source of my success at most RLs. I love the turn based nature of roguelike games. After meeting tough bunch of monsters I am free to leave it for 30 minutes and think about possible ways of defeating or evading them. No harm in saving the game and posting a YACD asking for help of other players. Visiting crawl IRC channel does not hurt either. Nethack USENET newsgoup to this day has a tendency to spawn long threads how to potentially resolve interesting situations put forth by the game. I have not found any other genre that can keep me interested for long periods of time and still require a lot of thinking. Puzzle games come close though.

You guys appear to suck badly at roguelikes and thus make excuses for lowering the difficulty instead of increasing your skill.
I'm wondering where the hostility is coming from. It appears to me that we are having a discussion on rogue-like design and skill, whereas you are just being mean.

Tell me then how polite is the statement "RLs require dumb luck"? I find it deeply offensive as a roguelike game developer. It implies I consciously design games to kill the player. Taken further this may imply I enjoy losing characters for the sake of dying alone because I play all games I develop. The fact that I won many RLs (two majors) just pours more salt on wound.

Since no one is able to balance a game perfectly one will end up leaning on one of these three sides eventually. Why not consciously pick random+challenging? It makes for best games.
Why not shoot for the perfectly-balanced inverted pyramid of fairness, challenge, and randomness?

When you aim for the perfect spot the shot may end up closer to the target but you have no idea on which region close to center it falls. It means in some parts of game it will lean a bit to not challenging or not random enough. I prefer a game that constantly leans to not fair enough. Not challenging and not random enough bore me leading to switching to another game. Not fair enough sometimes can be escaped from by clever play and use of a lot of resources giving considerable satisfaction.

You do have a point though. Attitude I stand behind results in somewhat less balanced game than shooting for all three.

@requerent: Man, thank you a bunch for cool headed approach! It is now apparent to me I was led a bit astray and drew some incorrect conclusions.
Michał Bieliński, reviewer for Temple of the Roguelike

Pueo

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #63 on: April 17, 2012, 11:09:36 PM »
Quote
You guys appear to suck badly at roguelikes and thus make excuses for lowering the difficulty instead of increasing your skill.

A developer of Crawl stated that even best players should die 10% of the time.

Just in case you were wondering, this is where you contradict yourself. You're basically saying that a player who cannot achieve the impossible (depending on the RNGs mood) is not a good player.

I am most interested how exactly you got to that conclusion. Both my statement can coexist peacefully with one another. That 10% death rate is not because skill is not enough to win or due to unreasonably elevated difficulty. It is caused by difficulty of balancing everything together while still maintaining interesting and challenging gameplay.
I think he got to his conclusion because if the "best" player only wins 10% of the time, then that implies that no matter what, the game will generate an "unwinnable" scenario once every ten games.  So, even if you're the best, you'll get an "unlucky" roll and lose, so if you "cannot achieve the impossible" (in his words) you're not good enough.  Reasons for that aside, it's still not very fair if even the best can't win every time. What does that say for the noob, who can barely get half-way?

You guys appear to suck badly at roguelikes and thus make excuses for lowering the difficulty instead of increasing your skill.
I'm wondering where the hostility is coming from. It appears to me that we are having a discussion on rogue-like design and skill, whereas you are just being mean.

Tell me then how polite is the statement "RLs require dumb luck"? I find it deeply offensive as a roguelike game developer. It implies I consciously design games to kill the player. Taken further this may imply I enjoy losing characters for the sake of dying alone because I play all games I develop. The fact that I won many RLs (two majors) just pours more salt on wound.
I'm not saying he wasn't being hostile, but many things are said when you're in "rant-mode" that you probably wouldn't say otherwise, and I'm guessing reading his rant put you in "rant-mode," however, I'm pretty sure he's only said that once, and he does have a point.  If you're unlucky and don't get that potion of healing when you need it, you're pretty much dead.
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Fenrir

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2012, 12:03:17 AM »
I'm pretty sure he's only said that once...
It is in the OP; it is the whole point of the thread. Much of what he has posted is in support of that assertion. It’s in the damn thread title.

It seems like a double standard to criticize Ancient for a lack of diplomacy when the OP is basically asking a community of Roguelike developers and players if there are any Roguelikes that don’t suck.

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #65 on: April 18, 2012, 12:24:18 AM »
It is in the OP; it is the whole point of the thread. Much of what he has posted is in support of that assertion. It’s in the damn thread title.

It seems like a double standard to criticize Ancient for a lack of diplomacy when the OP is basically asking a community of Roguelike developers and players if there are any Roguelikes that don’t suck.
Tell me you've never made a rant post.  Ancient's post was pretty ranty too.  Besides, OP has a legitimate point.  If you're playing a new (to you) game and you don't know all the spoilers, luck plays a main part in the game.  Ancient himself said that randomness was a pivotal point in the rogue-like genre.  

And maybe I wasn't clear, I'm pretty sure he's only said "RL's require dumb luck" insultingly only once.  The rest of the thread has been pretty level.  Just because he has a different opinion doesn't mean he's actively insulting you.
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requerent

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2012, 12:51:05 AM »
It is in the OP; it is the whole point of the thread. Much of what he has posted is in support of that assertion. It’s in the damn thread title.

It seems like a double standard to criticize Ancient for a lack of diplomacy when the OP is basically asking a community of Roguelike developers and players if there are any Roguelikes that don’t suck.
Tell me you've never made a rant post.  Ancient's post was pretty ranty too.  Besides, OP has a legitimate point.  If you're playing a new (to you) game and you don't know all the spoilers, luck plays a main part in the game.  Ancient himself said that randomness was a pivotal point in the rogue-like genre.  

And maybe I wasn't clear, I'm pretty sure he's only said "RL's require dumb luck" insultingly only once.  The rest of the thread has been pretty level.  Just because he has a different opinion doesn't mean he's actively insulting you.

Come on, PB has been whining this whole time. He says dumb things and then reiterates them in a slightly more esoteric manner and continues to do so until people concede to what he's saying. It's both bad and unproductive reasoning (I know because I like using it  ::)).

I think the discussion is useful, because there exists opportunities for developers to consider some things they may not have before, but he's not even close to being on target.

Roguelikes are hard.
Roguelikes don't provide much in terms of positive feedback.

That pretty much sums up what PB is saying. His use of words 'luck' and 'skill' are just ways for his ego to conceal these amateur complaints that exist for any new player in a new genre of gaming.

His entire argument is admissable ONLY because there are some developers who would like to hook a larger population of gamers. And its only valid as a study of how a new player reacts. We should be thankful he's expressing his opinion in the way that he is- it provides important psychological data on how roguelikes can be designed to be more addictive. Anything he is actually saying, however, is pretty pointless.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 01:06:51 AM by requerent »

Fenrir

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2012, 01:11:32 AM »
Tell me you've never made a rant post.
Irrelevant—my post was not an indictment of ranting. In fact, you are looking at one of my rant posts; it is a breed of prose that I promised myself I would never write again. This is not the first time I have lied to myself.

Ancient's post was pretty ranty too.
Yes, it was. Never intended to imply otherwise.

Besides, OP has a legitimate point.
So does Ancient.

If you're playing a new (to you) game and you don't know all the spoilers, luck plays a main part in the game.
Yes, having no skill puts one at the mercy of the RNG, but that is not what the OP is saying, is it? He is failing, so something is wrong, not with his playing style, but with the genre.

And maybe I wasn't clear, I'm pretty sure he's only said "RL's require dumb luck" insultingly only once.  The rest of the thread has been pretty level.
Well, I was obviously not clear. The insult is the very foundation of this thread. Besides the detours, he has been spending the rest of the thread supporting the validity of his assertion that Roguelikes are based on luck and require no skill.

Just because he has a different opinion doesn't mean he's actively insulting you.
Not something I said or implied. EDIT: Further, “Roguelikes require no skill. Success depends upon dumb luck,” is not an opinion; it is a contestable statement of fact.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 01:57:49 PM by Fenrir »

Pueo

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2012, 03:31:46 AM »
It's both bad and unproductive reasoning (I know because I like using it  ::)).
Yes. Yes you do  :P

I think the discussion is useful, because there exists opportunities for developers to consider some things they may not have before, but he's not even close to being on target.

Roguelikes are hard.
Roguelikes don't provide much in terms of positive feedback.

That pretty much sums up what PB is saying. His use of words 'luck' and 'skill' are just ways for his ego to conceal these amateur complaints that exist for any new player in a new genre of gaming.
Well, yeah. That's right.

His entire argument is admissable ONLY because there are some developers who would like to hook a larger population of gamers. And its only valid as a study of how a new player reacts. We should be thankful he's expressing his opinion in the way that he is- it provides important psychological data on how roguelikes can be designed to be more addictive. Anything he is actually saying, however, is pretty pointless.
That's right too.  So yeah, I would say I'm in the wrong right now.  I suppose I get on the protective side when it seems like people are being disproportionately trollish/hateful/etc.  (Not to say anyone was being malicious).

Sorry Fenrir, you don't get a quote, I'd rather not get into another debate.
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Ancient

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2012, 12:25:28 PM »
I think he got to his conclusion because if the "best" player only wins 10% of the time, then that implies that no matter what, the game will generate an "unwinnable" scenario once every ten games.  So, even if you're the best, you'll get an "unlucky" roll and lose, so if you "cannot achieve the impossible" (in his words) you're not good enough.  Reasons for that aside, it's still not very fair if even the best can't win every time. What does that say for the noob, who can barely get half-way?

[...]

I'm pretty sure he's only said that once, and he does have a point.  If you're unlucky and don't get that potion of healing when you need it, you're pretty much dead.

I have acknowledged punkbohemian's point in my first ranty post with a subtle difference. 10% of the time you are dead because you face too tough opposition. Its not the potion of healing to cure poison that you need. You could very well got yourself poison resistance beforehand and win that situation. Or a potion of resistance. Or a disintegration wand to aim at that cobra. Relying on a single type of enabler gets you dead much more often in roguelikes. Be versatile.

In average RL you need luck to make streaks, not just win. Even unfair death usually teaches something.



Rants and mud flinging aside I have learned important thing in this thread. Dying can be sweetened a bit. In PRIME there are two ways of killing something after you died. First, have acidic blood and have it splash the aggressor dissolving him. Second, install Glory Device (dev version only) implant which causes explosion after your death incinerating everything around you. The creatures wasted both ways get to your kill list. I plan to take this further and check whether you slain your killer after you death. If so you get additional line to your morgue:

Ancient the Help Desk Jockey was ripped to shreds by a zergling on Space Base 9. He took the bastard with him.

I actually want to give bonus score for doing this. This would be first step to giving some more positive feedback. Other ways could be achievement system like DoomRL (but without any kind of unlocking), showing detailed score calculation so you can pat yourself on the back by trying to overshoot your score or tracking bad things that happened to this character but were survived. Community can also be a source of positive feedback. Post a YASD!

More ideas anyone?

Another thing learned is I seem to have a peculiar berserk button...
Michał Bieliński, reviewer for Temple of the Roguelike

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2012, 02:37:40 PM »
I plan to take this further and check whether you slain your killer after you death. If so you get additional line to your morgue:

Ancient the Help Desk Jockey was ripped to shreds by a zergling on Space Base 9. He took the bastard with him.

I actually want to give bonus score for doing this. This would be first step to giving some more positive feedback.
Sounds like an idea I'll be using! :)

Oh, and sorry for pushing your berserk button.
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kraflab

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2012, 07:15:33 PM »
More ideas anyone?

In epilogue, there is a list of all the enemies in the game, and the effective 'knowledge' you have gained about them.  This is passed on to each adventurer, so it builds over time.  If you kill enough of each enemy, you can get up to a 10% damage bonus/resistance against them.  It isn't a lot, but it does give some positive feedback.  Of course the rare/difficult enemies don't show up very often, so getting a knowledge bonus on them is quite difficult, so I think it doesn't affect the game balance too bad.  I want to do more with this, such as unlocking bits of lore (although I know most players probably would completely ignore that).  Another interesting thing would be keeping track of all the ways to die and having that list available to the player (with unfound deaths hidden of course).  The only thing with that is that you don't want someone *wanting* do get killed in certain ways just to fill out the list.  Although if that is fun for someone, why not?  I have steered clear of achievements so far, because I know a lot of people really don't like them, but they'll probably be in in some form (i would stay away from unlockables though, unless the things unlocked are truly the type of thing that would be hard for a player to use unless they know the game really well).

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2012, 08:01:48 PM »
In epilogue, there is a list of all the enemies in the game, and the effective 'knowledge' you have gained about them.  This is passed on to each adventurer, so it builds over time.
That sounds awesome, too.  Another bullet added to my list.
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Z

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2012, 09:07:40 PM »
I think Desktop Dungeons should be mentioned here (I think it has not yet been in this thread). Just a roguelike-like, but the dungeons are small, separate blocks there, and you can either lose (which does not advance you in any way, but it also costs almost nothing) or win (which grants you some benefits if you have won in a new way). It also has more calculations, so it should be what punkbohemian likes.

However, I don't like the direction kraflab's ideas and this is going. It is a great feeling to finally win, say, Dungeon Crawl. You look at all your old characters and see how much better player you are now... very satisfying. With dead characters actively helping you, you would just feel that the game has finally let you win instead.

We should also mention two traditional roguelike features which allow you to get something from your old, dead characters. One is the high score list, 100 characters long in most classic roguelikes, so every notable character gets recorded there. Maybe not worth very much, but it does the job, to some extent. The other one is the ghost level: you can find a ghost of a previous character, which is often a good thing (lots of experience for defeating it, sometimes you can find all its equipment).

kraflab

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Re: a RL that requires skill?
« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2012, 09:22:01 PM »
However, I don't like the direction kraflab's ideas and this is going. It is a great feeling to finally win, say, Dungeon Crawl. You look at all your old characters and see how much better player you are now... very satisfying. With dead characters actively helping you, you would just feel that the game has finally let you win instead.

the bonus your previous characters give is miniscule and also builds very slowly.  It might help you go a little faster in the early levels, but it in no way would taint a victory.  Of course, this depends on how each person might implement it.  I am only speaking about my own game.