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Re: CF: Re: Preventing players from repeating quests

David Andrew Michael Noelle wrote:
> > Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 16:33:44 -0500
> > From: Steven Lembark <>

> > i'm describing a 1-time adjustment, at pickup time.  and, yes,
> > folks could cheat by pulling a level-1 character behind them
> > to pick up the items. for the most part, however, it would mean
> > that a high-level character playing a low-level map would get
> > less payoff.
> Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see a need for this.
> Do high-level players ever actually go through low or medium-level
> quests?  The treasure generated in a dungeon that is no longer a
> challenge will no longer be worth getting, even if it's not adjusted
> for that player's level.  What would a 12th level warrior want with a
> sword +1?  And the experience gained won't make a dent in the amount
> needed for the next level.  So, why bother?  If there *is* any
> important treasure there worth going back for after the rest of the
> quest is no longer a challenge, that treasure must be too valuable for
> that quest.

 I agree with David's reply here.  I would expect that the rewards on maps
significantly below the characters expected level are just going to be less

 Note also the problem with level comparison - many have said you just can't
look at the character level and have any really good idea of the characters
power, since fighters are significantly different from mages, which are
different from some of the challenge races.

 Perhaps a map that is designed for 10'th level people is still really a
challenge for that 15'th level fireborn.  Reducing the reward because the
fireborn is higher level just ends up making it even more difficult for the
fireborn to get parity.  And at the same time, if a character has been lucky or
has some nice friends and can do that map at 8'th level, he gets even more
powerful.  The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

 Also, from a technical aspect, adjusting things at pickup time causes all sorts
of problems.  Certainly if a creature is using armor, he should get the full
benefits of it being +2 or whatever, and not have that tuned after he has been
killed and the player picks it up.  Also, some spells like detect magic/detect
curse need to know something about the item before it may have been picked up.

 At best, you could adjust the quality of treasure when the map is generated,
and then all works well.

 But I really agree with David's comment - if that reward is still something
really decent such that the higher level player still find it really useful, it
is probably too good a reward.

 Its interesting to note the progressing in things like armor.  Generally, you
go from the standard +2 or +3 stuff to artifact equipment which several
protections ore other abilities - there is major dump there.  There is certainly
room in between for things like +3 swords that adjust one or two stats a point
or two.  Or maybe have a special attacktype.

> > there are plenty of places that  fireborn cannot get
> > into because they require physical contact to get
> > thigns like castle guards out of the way in no-magic
> > zones.  no magic, no access to fireborn.  if there
> > were some maps that had varying levels of difficulty
> > and required higher levels of spell-power (or mental
> > for spotting hidden locks) then it can add some
> > variety to the game.
> All spellcasters have that problem to some degree.  Low hit points,
> poor combat skills, low strength, light weapons and armour, etc.
> There are way too many no-magic areas in the game, just to prevent
> things like Dimension Door from letting mages cheat.  Asyvan Temple is
> a perfect example.  The whole temple is unholy and anti-magic to keep
> people from getting through the doors without using keys.  There's no
> need for that.  It keeps priests and mages from using magic to prepare
> for battle, for no good reason.  And doorways in general are usually
> magic-proof, which makes no sense and is thoroughly unnecessary once
> the door has been opened.

 I think no magic is overly used.  In some cases, it is used properly to prevent
dimension door into various areas (but in that case, you only need to line the
walls with it.)  too often maps have it over wide areas to increase the
challenge of the map.  Back before skills, this may have made sense, since every
character was a spell caster to some degree.  Now days, it does not make sense,
and as said, makes some maps virtually impossible for some classes.

> I'd rather not have special locks require special picks.  Better
> lockpicks might give a Dex bonus, or even a skill bonus, but they
> shouldn't be required.  Allowing special locks to be picked at all is
> the same problem as Dimension Door.  Then thieves can get to the
> treasure without having to complete the quest.  Less critical special
> doors might be pickable, with some high difficulty rating, but not all
> of them.

 On one hand, being able to bypass areas of quests with clever use of skills may
not be a bad thing.  On the other, if thieves could pick the special locks, for
some maps that means they can pretty much bypass the entire quest.

 Now there should probably be some difficulty value to picking lock on doors. 
Thus, you could make some doors impossible to pick lock unless you are a high
level or have the extra lockpicks (since nothing prevents a character from
re-trying to pick a lock, they can pretty much stand there forever trying to
pick it). 

> I think you missed the point.  Of course the healing spells can be
> programmed not to heal monsters.  The difficulty is determining
> whether the player healed the monster by accident or for some reason
> really does want to heal it.  I would suggest that healing spells
> should count aggressive, unfriendly monsters as a miss, but heal
> friendly or passive monsters normally.

 Right - I couldn't think of any cases immediately offhand, but I could see
cases where perhaps a player wanted to heal a monster for some reason.

 Certainly, the code has to be carefully done, so that monsters can still heal
themselves (or even potential friends if they are zapping a wand and don't know
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