Too much numbers, bad for gameplay?

I think the gameplay would be considerably improved if we’d have less stats for each item in game.
To elaborate : take food for example. It takes x min to cook something that has EXACTLY y nutrition quench, and it tastes PRECISELY z. This will make me almost always go for the optimal (easiest to get and most filling) food. If for example food would have some vague physical description, combined with the already good general description, or no physical description at all, this would make players vary their diet, allow the game to add some extra effects (like the mushrooms - the wrong type will give you hallucinations) and allow the player to discover for himself how good each recipe is.

Same can be applied to weapons and clothes. Mind you, i’m not saying to remove the stats from the game, but to make them more fuzzy, to both discourage metagaming and frankly, boredom and lack of motivation to try a newly found item. When i can see directly that this gun has less dmg, acc and range, there’s no reason to pick it up except to satisfy my hoarding instincts.

A lot of what a roguelike survival game has to offer consists in surprises, most of them unpleasant :). As it is now, Cataclysm DDA leaves little to imagination and surprise, and once a player learns the mechanics it becomes a … idk… something not so fun anymore.

I love for example how monster are introduced. No total HP, speed, dmg and so forth. You have to fight them to see how best to defeat them. I’d like for some of them to be able to sometimes insta-kill my char, instead of slowly chipping away my health.
But mostly, i’d like less numbers in the game. I’d like to see a new item and to be curious about it, not to pick it, examine it and put it away with no second thoughts.

That’s about it. Now rip it apart :stuck_out_tongue:

So if I’m reading this right, the problem’s not so much that the stats exist as it is that they’re visible.

I’ll put that down to varying playstyles. I despise surprises and consider the procedures for testing out an item in Nethack to be just as metagame-y as knowing what things are. Just that I have to remember and do a sequence of steps.

(So item-ID is a gamebreaker for me.)

As one who prefers the roguelike worldgen and interface, Cata’s about where I like it. Having the descriptions makes the game accessible for folks, and helps me feel comfortable trying new things. When New Stuff isn’t always commonplace, wasting a nifty new item because you didn’t know what it did is more frustrating than enjoyable.

Yeah, I agree with KA101. This seems like another thing that punishes new players more than experienced ones, who already know what everything does. Anyhow, Cata is a sandbox game, so it’s not like players are forced to use the absolute best equipment in search of progress. The people who want to know what everything does will just look it up, or rigorously test it, while the rest will continue using suboptimal equipment and get along just fine, because you shouldn’t need the absolute best equipment just to survive.

And the game doesn’t really need any instakill monsters.

it is indeed a matter of playstyle. But not only that.
Speaking of guns, they are here, in the game, as a concept mostly. No graphical representation, no special efects, and it’s normal, because it’s an ASCII game (even with the tiles support). What does the average player see when looking at a gun ? A series of numbers and a name. That’s what i see. Oh, so exciting. Do i use gun A that does 20dmg with ammo A1, or gun B that does 25dmg with ammo B1? A bit more fun that an Excel sheet :slight_smile:

Then food. Food it’s not the same for all. Not only that, i am a cook and i don’t know at least half of the recipes in the game. So we have variety. Food banana provides most nutrients and it’s very enjoyable. beside that it can be found by walking over bushes. Why spend hours trying to make a banana split when i know for sure that it’s only a little better, less nutritious and requires the fabled elephant milk?

My point is that this is somehow a false variety. Especially for a sandbox game where we have nothing to gain by using the best choice, but we are hardwired to do so. Not knowing the exact amount one item affects the game could be more interesting. Don’t you love the artifacts? oh, it’s a glowing ring with no hole. What does it do? What if next time you find it, it does maybe something else? (Not that i expect a gun to do something else next time i use it :D)

And i’m not saying to completely hide stats. Just to make them less precise.

Most of that was incoherent and I can’t really make out what you’re saying. Less precise? What exactly do you mean by that? How does having fuzzy stats help anyone accomplish anything? Again, if you make the stats in the game less precise, those who have already memorized the stats will continue to pick the same choices if that’s what they want to do, those who want the best options will look it up on the wiki, and those who don’t care about an optimal playstyle will continue to ignore stats. All you’re doing is making it harder for the average person trying to find that middle ground.

The issue I have with imprecise stats is that it makes it a fair deal more difficult to actually compare equipment, say I have Generic Gun A, and it’s damage stat is “Sucks” and Generic Gun B, with a damage of “Alright”; this makes Gun B the better choice, but then you look at the ammo you put in them, where Ammo A is “Awesome” and Ammo B is “Alright”, does the first gun turn out to be more effective than the second? There’s no real way to know.

Even using rounded numbers is kinda iffy in my eyes. For all I know, if an armour stated it gives ~40 bash protection, but encumbers me by 2, it could be that the ~40 is actually just a 37, and my two separate pieces of lighter armour, both giving ~20 turn out to give 22 each.

I like the idea of mystery in a roguelike, but I don’t like the idea that we would have to blindly feel out the object to see if we should be using it.

I really do not like the idea of making stats vague.

A roguelike, if you think about it, basically IS stats.

Even a game like STALKER had in depth weapon stats etc.

hmm, maybe i didn’t put my vague idea right. :). I’m not sure myself except something seems wrong. What good is diversity when the only criteria consists of cold hard numbers?

I would bet that after the first beginning games, all cata survivors wear army pants over the cargo shorts, with 2 toolbelts and 2 fanny packs beside the obligatory backpack (color assorted to the messenger bag of course).

Joke aside, i feel like the game is forcing me to use the best calculated combo, instead of using my common sense and some general knowledge combined with some info about things that i would use or not.

yeah, maybe Inadequate is right and i am incoherent, but i am also a bit frustrated with the game, and most probably i don’t know for sure what i exactly want.

Can’t say I’ve had that problem. I tend to go around wearing several layers of armour and carrying a zweihander with some guns.

I haven’t tried to use maths to calculate what’s best…

Yeah, I found a clown suit right off the bat in my most recent run, and I’ve never taken it off since.

It seems like you seem more frustrated at your mindset artificially limiting you, but this isn’t the right approach. With obfuscated stats you’ll probably revert to using whatever standbys you used previously, or after a period of trial and error figuring out the stats behind everything, and then using those top-tier items exclusively.

And really, I don’t think the game forces you to use any particular playstyle/item combo, and it shouldn’t. I’ve taken on just about every high-end enemy with practically every approach. Of course, there are limits, like not being able to punch a turret to death with brass knuckles, but on the whole I’ve found it’s a more rewarding experience not to seek out the ‘best’ items immediately, but to make the best of what you have.

It’s a roguelike, not casual iphone game. Of course there will be numbers involved, and lots of them.
And no, you don’t really need to go for the best calculated combo. Common sense is usually more than enough.

this is what i like about public debates. Even a bad idea may make a person realize that he’s fighting his own mindset . How useful this is idk, but i’m willing to accept i may be wrong :slight_smile:

What if the precision of numbers was tied to your character’s knowledge? (This might not work to well with the current skill system though :P). So for example when you are low on cooking skill then food might show you in increments of 10, but as you get to higher levels the display becomes more and more accurate. You could also do a similar thing with monsters, where when you have never fought a particular monster (maybe include some small bonus for fighting similar spices monsters) you don’t get any stats, but after you have fought them you slowly get more and more specific stats the more and more of them that you kill.

Then the game would just revolve around looking up the spoilers on the wiki.

Isn’t it that already?

Yes, but that’d make it more so.

We just need more naturally obscure content like the artifacts :> The Dwarf Fortress style forgotten beast generator should be stolen and repurposed!

(I think OP is sad because he knows banana is the replenishable power-food now and thus starts every new character with a furious banana-hunt :wink: and the banana hunt undermines all other foods as long as reliable bananas are there… Is banana really the power-food? Only food trick I know is one I saw a couple months back, where gourmand trait plus chugging raw mustard = 70-something enjoyment rating… So at least you could switch off to the mustard hunt, then!)

For food variety at least the replenishing sources could have randomized qualities attached to them (stringy meat, quality meat, etc)… For some of the scavenging fruits/veggies you could make it so about 75% of what you find isn’t ripe yet and has to sit around for a while to reach max enjoyment levels…

In all circumstances, randomization = fun :slight_smile: MOTTO!

(EDIT: forgot the reason I was even attracted to this post! At one point I suggested that when using a skill a bracket pops up at the end of the message telling you the percent your skill was at, like “You butcher the deer.” [Sur: 1:38%] where 1 is current survival lvl and 38% is percent til next level :> Also wanted the game to announce when you leveled a skill via text message, a simple “Your survival skill increased to 2.” kind of thing… Both suggestions were deemed “too gamey”, which they are… I’m just so used to stuff like that :> Will make a fine mod/toggle someday!)

I can’t say I’m for this, although a bar like system (like limbs) might be good for some numbers/attributes which you don’t want players obsessing over.

i browsed a few weapon sites, and some review guns like this :

  • first impression : look - not relevant here. (taken care of in the description)
  • handling : that would be grip, safety access, weight, ease of reloading.
  • firing ergonomic : recoil, sights, aiming point, aimed shot vs rapid fire, trigger pressure
  • reliability : how often it jams, misfires, etc
  • customization

if we’d have 1 * up to five * for each category( beside first), i’d be happier. i’m not exacly sure how they would reflect on guns actual performance related to game mechanics, but i’m sure there’s a way. Probably same for armor - with different categories, of course.

Edit : and one advantage would be that guns will reflect RL performance :slight_smile:

Edit 2 : that will also mean a respec of weapons, but i’m sure there are enough guns enthusiast here to take care of this aspect :slight_smile:

If it doesn’t have anything to do with in-game mechanics, that just seems like a lot of effort to write up and implement what is essentially flavor text. And I’m not entirely certain how this would cause guns to reflect real life performance, you just mentioned they wouldn’t be related to in-game mechanics.