In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
// In article <email@example.com>,
// ***@csclub.uwaterloo.ca says...
// > In article <***@news.indigo.ie>,
// > Gerry Quinn <***@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote:
// No, I'm not telling them it's correct to have it turned on all the time.
You are. Roguelikes are inherently munchkin, and you're putting out
a big sign saying: "LOOKY HERE BOYS! FREE TURNS!". Munchkins cannot
be ignored (see below).
// They will be aware that it makes the game very slightly easier at the
// cost of a possibly inconvenient interface.
Most people would say "more convenient interface". You're essentially
giving them candy with something they typically want anyways.
// Unless they are foolish, they will choose the interface they prefer,
// be it auto or manual.
Except that you've tied that to an in-game mechanic, thus deciding to make
playing the interface they don't prefer a tactical option. So you're not
really giving them preferences, but just screwing around with the player.
// > What you're doing is punishing players who play in a less simple
// > fashion... and that's plain backwards. Typically, you want to give boons
// > to players who plan and develop and take the harder road... and up the
// > risks and penalties to those that play fast and loose on Easy Street.
// > That's reasonable game balance design, and you're doing it backwards
// > for no good reason other than you want to do it that way.
// That's the best reason in the world!
Hardly. There are many things you might want to do that will get you
killed or thrown in prison. That's a bit extreme, but even at the most
trivial level the point remains: wanting to do something in a certain
way is a neccessary condition, however it's not a sufficient reason.
You need another reason to say why what you're doing is appropriate... and
you've never actually presented one (which is guaranteed to sound overly
pretentious to the players... you need at least a plausable in-game excuse
to give out to the players, because they're going to keep knocking at
your door over something like this).
// But seriously, while I don't see
// any reason to give bonuses to players on the basis of doing things in a
// difficult way, it is irrelevant to my motivation.
It's not so much a matter of giving out a bonus, as it is rewarding the
player for hard work. It's not a matter of doing things the difficult
way (which might just be plain bad playing style or a conduct challenge
to simply make the game harder), it's in rewarding the characters that
take the harder road (an accepted and more involved path of character
development). If a player spends the time and effort to round out their
character they should be rewarded for such... and likewise, a player who
doesn't do this and advances rapidly in a single fashioned way should
have obvious flaws in their character. This is the basic nature of
game balance for developing characters (reward work, punish sloth).
To go against it is to guarantee imbalance (the Munchkins will jump
on the sloth du jour, and the rest of the game will be pointless).
You might want to ignore those Munchkins, and say "this game is not
for them so it does't need to be balanced against that", but in the
end all types of players will be playing... and the non-Munchkins will
certainly enjoy a fair playing field. Note that I've typically played
on multiuser systems so they're always an important consideration to
me... so I never accept arguements that use "free to do whatever you
want on your own machine, since it doesn't implact others" as a premise
(and certainly, the claims of anyone who's playing only on their own
machine should always be taken with a grain of salt). This means that I
always assume that shared resources like the scorefile and bones files
are always freely and properly shared, which speaks otherwise to the
belief that playing style can't impact others... Munchkins can easily
warp these and that will impact other players. A fair playing field
is the bane of Munchkins (who love to rules lawyer every hole and twink
every detail), and a boon to all other styles.
// My motivation is
// simply that, whether a player prefers manual or auto-pickup, the game
// should be designed to be as enjoyable as possible in their chosen mode.
So why not have manual and auto-pickup be the same? Why break the
symmetry by giving them different costs? That interferes with player
preferences on interface very directly.
// I also wish to discourage meta-gaming in the form of swapping modes to
// gain an advantage. That is all. You have mentioned some things that
// matter to you, and that is fine, but they matter not a whit to me!
I understand what you want here... but your design isn't solid enough to
get it. You want to discourage swapping modes, but your limiter simply
isn't a limit for most players. They'll completely ignore it, so you
might as well not have the choice at all.
// > Having a fast pickup mode is a reasonable design choice. However,
// > your design is flawed, because there shouldn't be any reason that any
// > pickup (automatic or explicit) shouldn't be able to take advantage
// > of this. So autopickup (as a player tool) should be independant of the
// > character's fast pickup... you clearly have this concept of making pickup
// > a tactical issue, so why would you want to firmly lock it together with
// The word 'shouldn't' appears to have dropped accidentally from a
// discussion on ethics into a discussion of game design!
Ah, semantics. If you prefer: There is absolutely no valid reason for
why a player cannot take advantage of different pickup modes regardless
of autopickup setting. Simply "wanting to" is insufficient.
Your own example shows this... if there are two items in a room and I want
to grab them on the run, I am able to do so. However, if I only want
to grab one of them, but have to pass by the other (to get the shortest
route) then why should I suddenly be forced to take an extra turn at
the moment of pickup (it's the most efficient way under your system)?
Personally, the presence of a second item in a room seldom causes me
to pause at the moment I'm picking up the item I want... yet in your
system it's the correct thing to do! Clearly, the method of picking
up an item is determined on a case by case basis and at the moment
of pickup in reality. You're stretching the simulation away from
reality in an unecessary (at the very least an easy enough to avoid)
and unintuitive way. That's simply confusing, pointless, and bad design.
// > Some ideas:
// Some quite nice ideas, but really they don't go in the direction I want.
And neither does your choice, that's the problem. You've got an idea, but
you're not implementing it in a way that's truly meaningful. It might as
well not be a feature at all, and that's just a waste. You can do better.
// > Simply put, limitations involving items and whatever is the reason for
// > the bonus. At that point, the catch would be in making sure that the
// > tradeoff is well balanced so that it's reasonable to choose one mode
// > over the other (otherwise, you should simply go with one of the modes and
// > toss the other... if it's never going to be a factor, just toss it out).
// I suppose it depends - do you think it's reasonable to play games the
// way you like, even if this does not give you maximum tactical advantage?
// I do, and I play games that way, but I'm aware that others may differ.
Oh, I roleplay quite a bit when I play (as opposed to rollplay)... more
so than most (I often play in unusual styles that are suboptimal to
explore what I call the "game-space"). But twinkiness of particular
players isn't really what's at issue here (especially in my case,
since if I was thinking that way I wouldn't have any problem with this
at all... it's Munchkin candy, and Munchkins are often very protective
of their pet rule holes).
What we're talking about is a balanced, fair system with choices that are
meaningful. It's one thing to pretend that my character is a Haberdasher,
but not have any game support for it (other than making some small and
often meaningless choices)... it's quite another to present the player
with an actual game feature, and have it carry pretty much exactly the
same weight (but with less meaning!). You're essentially robbing me of my
playing experience by not giving me a meaningful feature that I can use
to really enhance my roleplay (You cur!)... or a reasonable roleplaying
explanation for what does happen (the roleplaying entertainment factor
of playing characters who meditate to switch pickup modes is very
shortlived). Using "I want to do it like this" as a reason just marks
it as another arbitrary limitation on the rollplayers (and roleplayers
be damned!). So give us real limitations and trade-offs to our features
so that Real Roleplayers and Loonies (both thrive on real adversity)
can feel as at home in the game as the Munchkins.