Author Topic: Thoughts on this identification system idea?  (Read 15867 times)

Skullcoder

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2015, 10:02:48 AM »
Let's say I'm holding an unknown potion.  In a real pinch, rather than gulp the whole damn thing like a fool I'd probably sip just a tiny bit it and see what the effects were.  Unless it's the most potent of poisons I might still live, or I might only immolate a little bit and survive.  I think I'd find it strange that I'd have lived to at least adolescence (able to carry weapons and shoot bows), and yet no one ever gave me any hints on what common odors or colors some potions might be.  Perhaps I know that health potion smells [sweet | acrid | etc.] just like an immolation potion, but that eliminates a couple of possibilities without revealing the identity completely.

Poor little @, his creators made him a fool so he drinks the whole potion every time without considering any alternative, and he fancies himself an adventurer without ever asking anyone in the (procedurally generated) universe anything about what such a life might be like.  Of course, I might expect this behaviour from a brutish hero, but not from a mage or some such who you would expect would have studied the common color / smell / viscosity / etc. properties and be able to discern the rough probability of a potion's type.  Let's face it: If every potion of "healing" can be identified on sight after the first one is quaffed then there's a good chance there were similar looking healing potions around when growing up, or at least rumours about them.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 10:12:36 AM by Skullcoder »

jere

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2015, 12:38:07 PM »
Your idea is perhaps more realistic, but I personally don't place a huge value on realism when we're talking about a world with kobolds and orcs and magical potions. And anyway if it's a magical potion, I can handwave away any of your complaints by saying that the magic is only activated by consuming a large amount.

More importantly, I think it's a nonstarter for gameplay. If you can ID a potion with little or no consequences, you will do that. Every time. It will offer no interesting choices. The only thing I see it adding is a layer of spoiler content: deadly for beginners and tedious for everyone else.
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Paul Jeffries

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2015, 10:36:04 PM »
Let's say I'm holding an unknown potion.  In a real pinch, rather than gulp the whole damn thing like a fool I'd probably sip just a tiny bit it and see what the effects were.  Unless it's the most potent of poisons I might still live, or I might only immolate a little bit and survive.  I think I'd find it strange that I'd have lived to at least adolescence (able to carry weapons and shoot bows), and yet no one ever gave me any hints on what common odors or colors some potions might be.  Perhaps I know that health potion smells [sweet | acrid | etc.] just like an immolation potion, but that eliminates a couple of possibilities without revealing the identity completely.

Poor little @, his creators made him a fool so he drinks the whole potion every time without considering any alternative, and he fancies himself an adventurer without ever asking anyone in the (procedurally generated) universe anything about what such a life might be like.  Of course, I might expect this behaviour from a brutish hero, but not from a mage or some such who you would expect would have studied the common color / smell / viscosity / etc. properties and be able to discern the rough probability of a potion's type.  Let's face it: If every potion of "healing" can be identified on sight after the first one is quaffed then there's a good chance there were similar looking healing potions around when growing up, or at least rumours about them.

To nit-pick; that assumes that the only ingredients in each potion are the active ones and they're distinctive enough to be able to recognise them by smell and texture, which may not be the case.  Lemon and Blackcurrent Lemsip do the same thing but taste, smell and look very different, for example.  Go into somebody else's medicine cabinet and empty out all the pills into a pile without looking at the bottles - do you think you'd be able to identify what each pill was just by looking at them?  Probably not, though after you've tried some of them you might be able to figure out that the small round ones made your headache go away, the red ones get you high and the blue ones cure erectile dysfunction.  In a medieval-esque fantasy world pre-mass-production there's no real reason to assume that potions made by two different people would be anything alike and prior experience of other healing potions may not help you recognise the kind found in the dungeon.

On the topic of realism, though; it has always struck me as very strange that some anonymous wizard goes to the trouble of brewing up all these potions and lugging them into a dangerous underground dungeon to leave them scattered randomly around the place for wandering adventurers to find and yet never bothers to actually label any of them.  That's a pretty weird hobby.

Skullcoder

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2015, 11:36:59 PM »
In a medieval-esque fantasy world pre-mass-production there's no real reason to assume that potions made by two different people would be anything alike and prior experience of other healing potions may not help you recognise the kind found in the dungeon.
While that might be true, it begs the question: "Why don't all the potions cause different effects?"  Not that this isn't answerable, it's just that it's equally ridiculous to claim I can identify all health potions as such simply by drinking one.  They could all be completely randomly flavoured, scented, artificially coloured and etc.  If there is a commonality among such items and this dungeon wasn't just created yesterday (or a few milliseconds ago) according to some narrative, then it stands to reason the identification of items in this particular dungeon -- being exceedingly valuable information -- might exist outside the dungeon prior to ones entering it.  For instance, after having discovered the blue pills cause erections I could thereafter describe such pills to others; Indeed, there are many individuals who know what color Viagra pills are, and even though I've never seen one in my life, I know they're typically blue.  That's because information about the pills has escaped the metaphorical dungeon, as would any such information about legendary substances.

Of course, in reality, the dungeon "magically" changes its items identification for each adventurer.

I put it to you that at character creation it's not too terrible an idea to allow some level of familiarity with worldly knowledge to assist one in identification of items.
The potion is blue, like the one your mentor gave after training, but it also looks like the one grandma used to kill weeds.

As for whether this makes things "tedious", it gives a purely optional layer to the identification game.  If one is so inclined they can draw out a logic graph of properties to more quickly identify items.  Or, they can stick to the "classic" identification processes.  I put it to you that players do, in fact, play differently.  Just because an avenue is available doesn't mean one will take it "Every time".  I mean, you can run any Roguelike in a VM and save scum as often as you like... but just because you can drink the potion, die, reload, then know what that potion is, doesn't mean the player will actually take that avenue.

I'm not saying it's the best mechanic, it's just one that is an alternative to the 1st post's "process of elimination" via vastly reducing types available.  It performs the same function (aiding process of elimination) without reducing the types.

Quote
On the topic of realism, though; it has always struck me as very strange that some anonymous wizard goes to the trouble of brewing up all these potions and lugging them into a dangerous underground dungeon to leave them scattered randomly around the place for wandering adventurers to find and yet never bothers to actually label any of them.  That's a pretty weird hobby.
Equally as strange as stuffing gold up monsters' bums.

akeley

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2015, 08:59:00 AM »
Quote
On the topic of realism, though; it has always struck me as very strange that some anonymous wizard goes to the trouble of brewing up all these potions and lugging them into a dangerous underground dungeon to leave them scattered randomly around the place for wandering adventurers to find and yet never bothers to actually label any of them.  That's a pretty weird hobby.
Equally as strange as stuffing gold up monsters' bums.

Not necessarily. Potions (and other bits n` bobs) might`ve been dropped by other adventurers upon death, fleeing or some other circumstance. Perhaps a transportation spell misfired or maybe a bunch of teenage kobolds got high, stole few crates from the depo and scattered them around. You never know.

Stuff like rats-carrying-crossbows is silly, no doubt, and should be avoided. Gold...hmmm, yes, difficult also...but hoarding is fine - some "normal" animals do that. Overall, lots of things in an imaginary setting can be easily explained without being ridiculous.

Paul Jeffries

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2015, 07:22:49 PM »
Quote
On the topic of realism, though; it has always struck me as very strange that some anonymous wizard goes to the trouble of brewing up all these potions and lugging them into a dangerous underground dungeon to leave them scattered randomly around the place for wandering adventurers to find and yet never bothers to actually label any of them.  That's a pretty weird hobby.
Equally as strange as stuffing gold up monsters' bums.

Actually, that one has a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Untrustedlife

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2015, 04:05:47 PM »

Its definitely an interesting system, but doesn't it trivialize the iding itself, I mean you can make some of them anomalous, but isnt that a bit boring?

I guess when you have played  a roguelike many times to the point where an ID system feels like a chore that smells could be used to allow players who play alot to avoid using the system.

But then in that case, why have it at all? players will just put it on a wiki, and it will further trivialize the id system.
I guess if you want to avoid the problem for later players, why have it at all.

jere

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 05:25:36 PM »
Several people have indeed commented that you might as well get rid of the ID system entirely. Perhaps they (and you) are right. That's been done in games like ToME and people to seem to appreciate it being gone.

But still, I like something about IDing. The risk/reward. The sense of magic hidden right under your nose. The ever present danger of the dungeon that extends beyond monsters and pops up in your items themselves.

Hopefully I can get around to testing out this system soon and it will be more clear whether it works.
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akeley

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2015, 07:05:59 PM »
Several people have indeed commented that you might as well get rid of the ID system entirely. Perhaps they (and you) are right. That's been done in games like ToME and people to seem to appreciate it being gone.

The fact that lots of people like something is not always the best indicator of quality or the thing being done "right". Removing IDing simplifies the game and makes it easier to win, and people like to win, thus the approval. And if we keep streamlining RLs  (I already hear grumblings here and there how permadeath sucks and is a "crutch" (?) or "bad design" (??)) we`ll end up with CRPGs, maybe procedurally generated at best. But these are already out there so what`s the point?

I actually like ToME and even some extreme streamliners like Cardinal Quest, but get bored with them pretty fast. Still, it`s good that they exist. Variety is a plus in any genre and playing lots of differently designed RLs is what keeps me forever entertained.

The one danger I see is if gradually it would be decreed in the community that this or that system sucks and should be forever removed from roguelike blueprints (despite people enjoying it for decades already). That would be, ahem, unwise.

jere

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2015, 10:32:33 PM »
One of the first questions was how this was going to be represented. Here's how it's looking currently: https://twitter.com/GoldenKroneGame/status/635939461646413824

Simply using icons to represent the possible options with tooltips or sidebar description to be added later when hovering over icons. I'm leaning towards three "possibles" for each potion. Four feels like it would cause analysis paralysis and a smaller number means more bundles of potions.

One issue I'm running into is how to automatically remove possibilities for the player as it becomes possible to do so through process of elimination. Every time I come up with a solution I realize it doesn't cover all cases. Still working on it. Convoluted example:

-A, B, and C in a bundle. Only A would currently have a side effect if chugged.
-You have B and C. You have quaff one of each. Nothing happens.
-Well, we know B can only be B/C. C can only be B/C. Neither can be A, because A would have an effect and there was none.
-You pick up A.

Logically, A should be identified at that point, but my early ideas on how to do so were far too simplistic.
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Skeletor

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2018, 05:33:26 AM »
Neat idea.
Having some potions coming out as already identified, and the unidentified ones having one possible outcome out of 4 specific randomly determined ones.
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corremn

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2018, 12:55:36 PM »
I think the gaming community has changed since the item identity game was invented. Nowadays there is soooooo muuuchhh choice for gamers to find a game to play. Having any sort of identification game within a game simply does not appeal to today's gamer. They will quickly more on to a more user friendly game.  They want instant gratification - and therefore instant knowledge on what an item will do in a game. Think of the modern wiki-based players, every item, every quest is basically already spelt out for them.

I'm sorry but any form of identification game is catering for the past.  Lose it and move on.
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Skeletor

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2018, 01:38:23 AM »
corremn raises an interesting point.

Personally I (mid 30s bloke) like the identification mini-game as gauging odds and gambling accordingly is part of a satisfying gaming experience. For example, throwing that potion at an enemy hoping it's a confusion or blindness one knowing that there's a good chance for that is really rewarding when the prediction is right and I manage to get out of an otherwise deadly situation.

However I do agree that some players, in particular new ones who didn't go through certain videogames in their childhood might prefer instant gratification.

The solution from my point of view resides in making both types of gaming experience possible within a system which favours customization within character building.
Hate the identification mini-game? Fine, but you must chose a certain character class (mad scientist.. sage..) who insta indentifies loot.. or you must chose a certain skill (herbalism.. medicine.. arcane lore) which grants immediate identification of all potions automatically.
This way you hit two birds with one stone.รน

And same can be done with any other features certain players like and others don't.
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Krice

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2018, 07:11:52 AM »
corremn raises an interesting point.

I think it was a joke. As if roguelikes should be watered down to "modern" (whatever it is) players. Identification game can be fun it's well thought, but it can become tedious as well. My explanation for not using identification in my games is that I'm using rigid, static data structures for item data and it feels like a pesky task to make the identification system in that scheme in the first place.

Skeletor

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Re: Thoughts on this identification system idea?
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2018, 11:20:38 PM »
corremn raises an interesting point.

I think it was a joke. As if roguelikes should be watered down to "modern" (whatever it is) players. Identification game can be fun it's well thought, but it can become tedious as well. My explanation for not using identification in my games is that I'm using rigid, static data structures for item data and it feels like a pesky task to make the identification system in that scheme in the first place.

Not sure.. have you played his game Warlock of Firetop Mountains? Stuff is unidentified only as long as you don't pick it up. True that it's a roguelike version of Ian Livingstone's omonymous gamebook.

What I enjoy the most in roguelikes: Anti-Farming and Mac Givering my way out. Kind of what I also enjoy in life.