Regarding the rumours of a killer tune

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Regarding the rumours of a killer tune

Post by sowilo » Sun Mar 31, 2019 00:05 am

As there seems to be some confusion pertaining to what the 'killer tune' is
about, from word of mouth, through hearing rumours, sometimes through
hyperbolic tones that don't translate all too well in text format, I feel like
this should be addressed in a transparent way.

What this 'tune' or recent tunes have been about is basically about changing
monster configuration on spawns to include certain default calculations
depending on a monster's given level, race and species, so that these
calculations are no longer necessary to be written manually as lines of code
in the monster's own codefile (i.e. customization by the coder), thus,
speeding up content creation down the line as creating npcs from scratch is
made faster through this overhauled system. It also gives nifty tools for
outworld encounter tables on a provincial scope, much like the 'outworld
regions' I much wanted back in the day: If we were to, say, want to add
giants as outworld monsters to a certain area of the valley now but not on a
global scale, it's very doable right now.

These configurations include values for stats, natural armor, number of
natural weapons, natural weapon damage, resistances, skills, combat AI, skin
data, size, bodypart data, corpse data, additional kill rewards etc. Now,
there are monsters out there who have these 'manual adjustments' in their
code, for example, because their race was not supported by the old monster
race list, but who might now have these default values available for that
race. In these cases the monsters have default values AND the manual
adjustments on top of that. Some of them overwrite the defaults, some of
them might further increase or decrease them. Basically, as a result of
these default values being changed, some monsters received a larger uptune
than others. There are also bugs involved - as always. So, some monsters
might now be larger/smaller in physical size, making them unable to wield
their weapons due to size difference now - or their natural weapon data (
= limbs that can wield) got changed so now the line of code in them that
spawned a weapon to their right hand might not find that exact "right hand"
to wield it, for example, if they now have a "right claw" natural weapon.
Some might now wield their weapon in their teeth/bite, if such a natural
weapon was added to their race and due to line of code position in relation
to the other natural weapons, and their weapon wielding code doesn't
specify that limb they wield with: As in, 'wield x in best'. Like, how
In-Chirn (sp?) wielded a shield in jaws.

Basically, we have a classical case of 'change one part and the entire
system reacts'. Before this tune, monsters used to have miserable stat
values, for example, a level 30 monster with exp value around 100k, had
maybe 45 points of strength, and 20-25 in the rest of the stats. But now,
they have higher stats overall, with bonuses to stats that are associated
with the kind of weapon they are using now, mainly to strength and
dexterity. The increase in strength and dexterity will naturally affect
their accuracy and damage, also the damage of their natural weapons which
plays a part in the overall damage of their weapon: If their weapon has
lower damage than what their natural weapon damage is, they use the
natural weapon damage and some of the weapon's damage. If the weapon
damage is higher than their natural weapon damage, they use the weapon
damage and a portion of the natural weapon damage. The battle code also
gave special suffeli to npcs, faking their dexterity to be higher than it
was when it came to hit accuracy calculations to compensate for their then
low stat and almost non-existant skills. That bonus is still in effect as
far as I know, so their accuracy is now quite high - and I'll adjust that
compensation bonus soon - now that they have higher dex, they really don't
need all that high a bonus.

Also, with increased strength and dexterity, the combat maneuvers they use
benefit from those increased stat values. You saw strike-maneuver using
monsters suddenly dish out abnormally high damage - this is why. They used
to compensate for the low stats by having higher strike and strike mighty
blow skill percentages. And since strike is mainly given to npcs through
combat kit 'fighter', it comes with its own adjustments to monster's
performance on top of the old default values, mainly in the form of skills
and combat AI.

Monsters are now also more likely to flee from combat when they are hurt.
While this is a believable behaviour in an intelligent being who doesn't
want to die, it does cause gameplay issues with stationary effects in
combat, which become less useful when the combat changes into an adjacent
room. For example, coven scourges dissipate if they tick when the caster
is not in the same room as the target. Mage mirror images vanish when they
move etc. Basically, this is only a problem because of how things were
previously. If they had been prone to fleeing in a similar magnitude from
day one, people would have grown accustomed to it and taken it as how
Icesus is Icesus, although, I don't see why at least the scourges have to
vanish that eagerly. I'll take a look at them at some point, maybe just to
suppress them from doing damage when the caster isn't there, while the
duration still ticks down. That way, if you don't immediately follow them
to the other room, the scourge might still be there when you do.

There are also bugs in this new system, which manifest in bizarre,
unintended ways. Such as how snakes were - had immunities even when nothing
anywhere should have given them those, apparently because the race 'snake'
was not found for them in the new race table for some reason
(typo/brainfart?), but this has been fixed since. Also saw an ice crawler
the other day that had 5 natural weapons instead of 3: right hand, left
hand, spikes, teeth, body - and when it was fixed, it had 4 natural weapons
instead of 3: spikes, teeth, body, and a beak. How it got the beak, I have
no idea, but Cyto fixed it. Also, when the rats were still vermin species,
the newbie warehouse rats boasted natural weapon damage scores four times
the ones that they were meant to have, resulting in brave newbies getting
torn a new one when they tried to start their adventuring careers, even
though I could find nothing in the vermin defaults that would explain that
much of an increase. I'll also try to think of a good (better?) way of
handling species-deriven resistance bonuses, as right now they are fixed
values, like poison resistance 100 of vermin.

So yeah, keep your eyes open. Don't take all weirdness as being wholly
intended, be willing to inquire about stuff that seems suspicious. There's
a huge pile of work to be done for sure, and limited manpower to process
through that all. Thus, there is some degree of prioritization when it
comes to what to tackle and in which order. For example, you have seen some
errors about natural_weapons and levels when running in the outworld, which
is an issue that comes from moles and owls failing to spawn properly. Let's
(re-)state the obvious also: When it comes to feedback, personal insults for
'breaking stuff' accomplishes nothing; and wizards have a steady stream of
spam filling their screen from reports, system status messages etc, so we
don't always notice tells or individual channel messages. There's
frustration around - we get it. I'll see if we can get some nifty
reporting-command that you can then use to highlight these cases of weird
monster behaviour, since that would speed up our reaction time a lot if it
points out the direct filepath to the monster in question, so that we
wouldn't have to navigate in the file folders ourselves to find out that
one goblin in diamond mine etc.

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