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Author Topic: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er  (Read 21379 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2012, 07:50 »

Ok, I've followed this thread for some time, and yeah, it got nasty :). I'd like to remind people here, that DoomRL's *main* objective is to create a *fun* experience for *everybody*. The difficulty system is in place exactly for that purpose -- so die-hard players can challenge the Nightmare, while casual players can enjoy the ITYTD smooth gameplay.

That said, the differences between the difficulties will get more noticable in the subsequent (and DRL2) release. My aim is to (and I know not everyone will like it) provide a different experience on different levels of difficulty -- up to the possibility of streamlining the mechanics on ITYTD and HNTR. This will be especially noticeable in DRL2, but also DRL1 will get some of that as a staging area. Stay tuned. And, addressing the ideas in the first (and some subsequent) posts, this might appear as an option/default on lower difficulties. Nightmare gameplay (and probably UV) assumes you know what you are doing, and nothing will change here. Except that I might push it even more forward, by removing some of the prompts.

Now, I'll experimentally reopen this thread, but please keep the discussion free from personal attacks. Everyone has their way of playing DoomRL, and everyone's way is different, but by no means less valid. I won ITYTD twice, and *once* HNTR. Seriously. Still, I consider myself a hardcore gamer, who in the day won UFO: Enemy Unknown on Superhuman using Save/Load only to take breaks. One may seek hardcore play in DoomRL which doesn't make him enjoy "press X to dodge!" anyway less. And on the opposite, one may play Dwarf Fortress every day, but seek a fast and light experience in DoomRL instead of careful N! Diamond hunting. Anything goes, and everyone is welcome.

And as far as it is possible, I'd like to accommodate both extremes of the experience in this game. And I welcome any ideas to do so -- just keep in mind that any changes need not to detoriate the experience for the other end of the spectrum.

Play nice, write nice.
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2012, 11:36 »

And, addressing the ideas in the first (and some subsequent) posts, this might appear as an option/default on lower difficulties. Nightmare gameplay (and probably UV) assumes you know what you are doing, and nothing will change here. Except that I might push it even more forward, by removing some of the prompts.
While I would welcome improvements, I believe making it difficulty-based is really a step in the wrong direction.

It shows where our ultimate disagreement lies: you accept that punishing the player for inadvertent actions is part of difficulty, and I think difficulty should be from requiring important decisions.  My idea isn't to stop players who want to walk onto acid from doing so because they might not know it's dangerous.  I want to let players tell the game, "I know there's some acid pools lying around, and I just want to walk around without melting, without wasting more time than necessary."

It may not seem like a lot of time, but I'd say for someone like me who already plays slowly, having to take that extra time to check the screen for enemies, see where all the dangerous fluid is, and check what keys my fingers are on, could probably add half an hour to my play time for a win.  And I think that's a conservative estimate, based off my time when I rushed through a game on ITYTD compared to when I would take it slowly; it might be as high as an hour on higher difficulties where I would have to be careful for longer before clearing a floor.  That's an extra half hour of me just looking around before either proceeding to do what I already wanted to do (the most common result) or noticing something dangerous (the much rarer, but admittedly much more important result).

The best way to summarize my position is this: if I make a list of reasons why the diamond hunters are awesome players, "they don't accidentally walk into lava sometimes" won't appear.  I don't think that's the sort of skill that people work hard for.
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raekuul

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2012, 12:29 »

Yes, but take a look at how long the diamond hunters spend on a game with a diamond. They. Don't. Rush. They take their time and observe. From what I've read of the thread thus far, the main complaint I've been able to gather is that some people equate "Fast and Furious" with "Safely Ignore Environment." You can't do that in any game, because that gets you walking into an Arch-Vile crowd/flying into the Eiffel Tower/running face-first into Bowser.

Having said that, compared to every other Roguelike out there, DoomRL *is* fast and furious. No, it's not perfect - it won't be until 1.0 has gone Gold Platinum Diamond - and there are problems with the interface. But here's the thing. The interface appears to be low-priority in comparison to the actual engine. Improvements to how Run works, Safety Mode, Keyboard-Pathing... Yes, those are all nice things to have, but (1) we've all been playing well enough without them, (2) it's still much better nowadays than when I first discovered this place back in 2008, and (3) there are more important things to fix, such as applying damage from explosions before calculating knockback (this was an issue in 0.9.9.5, but I haven't deliberately checked to see if it's been fixed yet - and that's really neither here nor there anyway).
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2012, 12:46 »

I don't consider myself to be someone who rushes.  I routinely take 2.5-3 hours to finish a game, when I see some people finishing with the same feats in half the time.
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Murkglow

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2012, 13:19 »

The best way to summarize my position is this: if I make a list of reasons why the diamond hunters are awesome players, "they don't accidentally walk into lava sometimes" won't appear.  I don't think that's the sort of skill that people work hard for.

Actually yes I do think it would be though likely in the form of "paying attention to their environment and not rushing."  I've read a number of posts talking about how the player saved the game and took a break from it to help keep themselves from becoming impatient and making mistakes during runs (which is exactly the kind of thing talked about in this thread, being impatient and making foolish mistakes).  And again we're back to differing opinions on what makes a game (which is a far cry from the interface needing to be "fixed" which is something that was said a number of times here).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 13:22 by Murkglow »
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Napsterbater

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #65 on: April 01, 2012, 13:36 »

I usually play HMP. I can get places in UV, I just find HMP to be more fun. It's the perfect difficulty level for my playstyle. I'd be satisfied with having a few of the changes I requested be part of HMP and earlier. UV is a pretty big step up. I have to play much slower and carefully, and the tweaks wouldn't have much meaning for that reason. Not really my style.

I actually think playing HMP the way I play it is more difficult than playing UV carefully. Maybe I'll upload a video one day of a good run to give people a good idea. But I doubt watching me pound through 100 levels at speed would be all that interesting.

And I don't think the difficulty level of games like Angband or Nethack is being properly appreciated. It takes years to win those games. Angband has been getting easier of late. At least the guys who've been playing for 15 years say that.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 13:42 by Napsterbater »
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #66 on: April 01, 2012, 13:41 »

I would say that an interface where you have to look for any changes after every action, when a lot of the times there won't be anything worth seeing, is flawed.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #67 on: April 01, 2012, 15:58 »

I would say that an interface where you have to look for any changes after every action, when a lot of the times there won't be anything worth seeing, is flawed.
That makes the interface of 100% modern shooters flawed :P (and good God, I wouldn't have it any other way!)
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #68 on: April 01, 2012, 16:16 »

That makes the interface of 100% modern shooters flawed :P (and good God, I wouldn't have it any other way!)
I should have specified that I'm talking in the context of DoomRL.  Observation and reaction are certainly valid skills for a real-time game, but I'm not good at that and so I avoid a lot of real-time games.
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Tormuse

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2012, 01:42 »

First off, I want to say that one of the things that makes this game great is that it accommodates a wide variety of playing styles.  You can play fast and furious, or slow and ponderous and still get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  I have a lot of respect for Kornel and the devteam for being able to keep it balanced enough to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers.  I'm very firmly in the category of players who take the "slow and ponderous" route, but nevertheless, I'd like to approach this thread being open to the fact that other people will want to play it differently.

Napsterbater had a neat little summary of his points a few pages back:

Yes, I posted this to get discussion going, and it seems the best way to fix this would be to add three things:

1) Have Shift-R on combat shottys interrupt when an enemy comes into view.
2) A smoother Run function. I suggest making shift-move work.
3) Make the character confirm moving into a fluid that will damage him. Optionally, only make him confirm when it would do a certain amount of damage or percentage of current health.

1)  This is reasonable.  At present, using full reload on Combat Shotguns is completely useless.  (unless you're invulnerable)  Implementing this idea will make that feature useful again and benefit anyone regardless of playstyle.

2)  If by "smoother," you mean clearing the buffer issue, then I'll agree that that's reasonable too.  (provided it isn't a major headache to rework the input system; I'm not sure about the programming side of things)  I've only leaned on an arrow key once, but I did observe the problem that I continued moving for over a second after I released the key, and so I took a lot more damage than I would have if I had stopped moving the instant I had released the key.  Personally, I don't lean on the buttons any more, but I can see how fixing the buffering issue could be a big help to people who favour that playing style.  As for using "shift-direction" to run, that's also perfectly reasonable.  (Or just make a bindable key for it?)  Perhaps it could even be made a toggle  (Just like "fast-play" in the original Rogue!)  Switching to "fast-play" mode would make it so that any time you push an arrow key, it treats it as if you did the run command.  That feature alone, I think, would cover a lot of Napsterbater's complaints.

3)  This one I would only accept if it's an option I can turn off.  Even though I take things slowly anyway, I don't want the game prompting me every single time I step into acid.  (That would just get irritating)  My suggestion is to have a line in the config.lua file that says something like "safety threshold for fluids" followed by a number which would be your percentage of health.  If you set the number to 0, then the game will never prompt you when you try to step in acid.  If you set it to 200, the game will *always* prompt you when you step in acid.  If you set it to, say, 20, the game will only prompt you if you're close to death.  This way, it's customizable to fit any playstyle.  (Obviously, it shouldn't bother prompting you if you're invulnerable or wearing an envirosuit)

As for difficulty balance issues...  I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the line underneath my username to the left.  I was once told that I "deserved to die" after I complained about the "unfairness" of a DoomRL game I had just played.  I didn't take it as a serious insult, but it did raise an important point.  I learned, that day, that the subject of DoomRL's difficulty is a real hot button on these forums.  So, let's all keep that in mind if we decide to talk about difficulty again.  :)  The fact that we're all exchanging messages by text here makes it really easy to misinterpret emotions and intentions, so it's really easy to appear hostile when we don't mean to be.  In cases like this, I think it's important to choose your words carefully.  (Hopefully, mine are chosen carefully enough!)  ;)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 01:46 by Tormuse »
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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2012, 06:55 »

I'd like to apologize for my rant, if anyone's interested in accepting my apology. Roguelikes and Counter Strike are my sole refuges against what I consider to be the plague of consoleitis and difficulty drops, so I tend to overreact when I think that something that I love as much as DoomRL would have it's sharp edges removed. Really, it's up to you how you want to play the game. I know that I'm incredibly obsessive and I won't stop until I've done everything that there is to be done. I also know that I'm not the majority of people, and I'm alright with that.

In summary:

The game should not hold your hand, and ask you if you're sure if you want to do something obviously stupid. This might be acceptable on ITYTD, but not on N!.
Any actual interface flaws should be fixed.
Perhaps there should be a greater difficulty spread.
In the future, I'll try hard to not discuss difficulty in games. It seems to be such a source of rage and flames that it's not worth bringing up.
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2012, 10:05 »

I'd like to apologize for my rant, if anyone's interested in accepting my apology.
No biggie.

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The game should not hold your hand, and ask you if you're sure if you want to do something obviously stupid. This might be acceptable on ITYTD, but not on N!.
I agree that players shouldn't have to jump through any hoops if they really want to do something stupid.  I think we disagree on what is and isn't hand holding.  My "safety mode" idea is something the player turns on, with a keypress in-game, when they want it, and they turn it off when they don't want it anymore.  I don't imagine it to be, and I don't want it to be, a "help me beat the game" mode.  I imagine it as more along the lines of a "let me know when something happens" mode.  Perhaps walking along until seeing an enemy isn't the best play (I very rarely radar-shoot, because I'm over the top with ammo conservation), but if so then that playstyle will be punished even if I don't accidentally keep walking.

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Perhaps there should be a greater difficulty spread.
That depends on which end you want to spread :)  I think ITYTD really needs some tweaking.  There's already hardly any enemies, so the levels just feel empty.
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skarczew

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #72 on: April 04, 2012, 06:43 »

Still, I consider myself a hardcore gamer, who in the day won UFO: Enemy Unknown on Superhuman using Save/Load only to take breaks.

Kornel, it was not that hard, as there was bug within the game that was resetting the difficulty to the easiest after the first Load ;) .
Try Terror From The Deep on Superhuman, now this is something hard to play even with savescumming.
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Game Hunter

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #73 on: April 05, 2012, 12:44 »

There are a few things in here that could be worth implementing:

  • Directional run buttons. The idea of using "SHIFT+[direction button]" is pretty appealing, and it would be a nice shortcut from the current setup. Eight separate keybindings for this is probably the "easy" way to do this, but it might be more fluid to have binding that simply selects which button you hold down and assumes you'll be using the same directional keys to step as well as run. (Note that you can very easily change the binding of the run command right now, making its use a lot smoother: in my case, since I use a numpad for movement, I have it on the INSERT key.)
  • I imagine there's a way to add a safety buffer: that is, based on the same conditions that stop you during run, you additionally wouldn't be able to input anything for some amount of time. Definitely needs to be an option, though, since I know I would never want it on (as, perhaps ironically for some, it would break the fast and furious flow for me).
  • Along the same vein, there could also be a confirmation to continue an action if you're caught by surprise. To prevent abuse, however, I'd only want this to be of use for particularly long actions, like (full) reloading: otherwise it'd be the same problem as waiting in 0.1s intervals. Thus, it would be tied entirely to the player's speed value (1.0s normally, 0.9s for scouts), and if something happens in between a speed interval, you could stop what you're doing to do something else.
  • "Save anywhere" is slated for the next release, or at least Kornel wants to work towards it.

Insta-deaths are usually the result of two things: Mancubi and/or barrels. The Mancubus already needs a spread-attack rewrite, so that's something we can strive to balance appropriately; barrel-deaths are almost always the fault of the player, so I don't lose sleep at night because people aren't being as safe as they should be around them.

But let me just vaguely and briefly comment on the "other" dicussion here. DoomRL is meant to be a fast-paced game, and a lot of the design is centered around just that. This is not the same thing as saying it is a game that expects you to be reckless all the time, and I can't really think of a goal-oriented game that fits such a bill. Games require you to learn their rules, and you have to allow yourself the time to get used to them. In particular, this is one of the main contributors to difficulty in roguelikes: learning through death.  Just as recklessness in Doom got you killed, so too will it occur here: at the same time, I believe that DoomRL is pretty forgiving when it comes to what you're allowed to do, just as you often have plenty of time to react to a given situation in Doom. This is already balanced quite well, in my opinion, but certainly we can accomodate a few things here and there to get players used to the setting.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot the funny comment I was going to make.
I was once told that I "deserved to die" after I complained about the "unfairness" of a DoomRL game I had just played.
Maybe we should tell more people that: if they turn out the same way you do, we'll be swimming with veterans in no time!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 13:06 by Game Hunter »
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Matt_S

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Re: Ideas to make DoomRL even faster and furious'er
« Reply #74 on: April 05, 2012, 16:49 »

I imagine there's a way to add a safety buffer: that is, based on the same conditions that stop you during run, you additionally wouldn't be able to input anything for some amount of time. Definitely needs to be an option, though, since I know I would never want it on (as, perhaps ironically for some, it would break the fast and furious flow for me).

I'm glad to hear that.  But I think a key to toggle it on and off in-game would be better than just a config option.  I think even I'd get annoyed if it popped up, say, if an enemy I was already corner shooting popped into view and it made me wait.  And just FYI, I used to play slower before I saw how fast you were in some of your videos :)

Quote
Along the same vein, there could also be a confirmation to continue an action if you're caught by surprise. To prevent abuse, however, I'd only want this to be of use for particularly long actions, like (full) reloading: otherwise it'd be the same problem as waiting in 0.1s intervals. Thus, it would be tied entirely to the player's speed value (1.0s normally, 0.9s for scouts), and if something happens in between a speed interval, you could stop what you're doing to do something else.
I do think something should be done to make full reloading more useful, and having it be interruptable by enemies is acceptable to me. I'm not sure about extending it to other long actions, though.

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Insta-deaths are usually the result of two things: Mancubi and/or barrels. The Mancubus already needs a spread-attack rewrite, so that's something we can strive to balance appropriately; barrel-deaths are almost always the fault of the player, so I don't lose sleep at night because people aren't being as safe as they should be around them.
I mostly agree.  But barrel levels can be pretty frustrating, especially if one wants to stay and kill enemies.
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