JOB: Ighalli's Experimental God System

Feb 29, 2016, 3:43 pm
#26
Joined: Dec 17, 2007
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why not have mellis' actions be a non-negotiable trade. he is a god after all, why should he have to lower himself to negotiate with a mortal.

when you pray to him he exchanges your potions for other potions. if the potions he gives you are more valuable than what he took, he iether taxes your gold or if you have no gold in your inventory takes one item from you randomly or some other negative effect.
Feb 29, 2016, 6:31 pm
#27
Joined: Mar 17, 2008
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As far as negative effects for angering the gods, they barely even exist today. As far as I'm concerned, it's about as much of a threat as dissolving yourself in vomit. Every god (except for Valp and Mort, obviously) can be prayed to safely at 2 hours 30 minutes*, unless you've angered them by previously praying or studying a book that's more than 2 alignment steps away. The reason I put that new prayer interface in place was because I was playing with a piece of paper next to me that I was marking when I could pray on it. You are only punished if you don't know the rules; it's not interesting as it stands.

You guys might be right that adding spells is too big of a step in the direction of things that have been done a ton of times already. What I don't like about the current system is being rewarded for having read the source code and knowing what the weird if statements say. The gods are not at all unpredictable today, but if that's what people actually enjoy about the prayer system, perhaps we should embrace that aspect and make them much riskier. I'm not super crazy about it, but it's a thought.

* The timer is longer if you pray to them while they're angry, but you never do that because you know how to pray, so it doesn't matter.
Mar 1, 2016, 1:21 am
#28
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So what if we compromise? You can choose to pray whenever, no timer, but the amount of favour you have with the gods influences the result. So rather than a flat "you have so many points, you get X reward when you pray" it's chance-based, something like "you pray to god for help in dire straits, since you have Z amount of points there's a Y chance of such and such happening, if it fails something else happens". Maybe we can rework the existing timer into that probability, so the more recently you prayed the less chance of a successful prayer.
Mar 1, 2016, 2:42 am
#29
red_kangaroo's avatar
elder dark mage


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chaostrom wrote
Maybe we can rework the existing timer into that probability, so the more recently you prayed the less chance of a successful prayer.

Several prayers in quick succession could heavily drain your piety instead of being unsuccessful. So praying twice will help you, praying too often will result in you being smitten.

If we want worhshipping gods to be more dangerous/Fun, I think POWDER has an interesting system. In POWDER, all of the gods are watching you all the time and your piety is based on all your actions - but no two gods like the same thing. Thus, you will mostly have some gods to like you, some to hate you, and all can act on a whim to help or hinder you. It is even possible to get most gods to hate you, but that results in quick demise...

This could be adopted into IVAN by making your piety for all gods you know (so forgoing books of gods you don't want to worship may be beneficial) fluid based on your actions and their likeings and dislikeings. Then you could have both active effects (prayers) the player can try, but that may not work if you have angered the god by some forbidden action; and passive effects that the gods throw at you sometimes, whenever highly pleased or angered. Gifts, for example, could be moved to passive-only effects, so you won't be guaranteed to get any item or creature on a prayer, but rather have to sustain high piety for some time to increase your chances of getting one.

Mar 1, 2016, 3:45 am
#30
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Ighalli wrote
...perhaps we should embrace that aspect and make them much riskier.

It looks like Ighalli has done well to limit the number of god actions to four or five, which is good because it makes things easier to balance.
One of the features of the present system is that the Lawful gods tend to get you out of dicey situations, the neutral gods get you cool stuff and the chaotic gods pimp you with wicked powers to make you badass (but don't rely on them to save you). I like that a theme runs through the pantheon.

Holy books are all you need to change alignment, and there is no penalty for changing alignment other than forgoing benefits of other gods. Imagine if the way to increase relations would be via prayer only. Holy books would allow you only to learn about the god. The range of gods to be able to pray to would be say five, with highest chance of top relations with the centre god, and say 67% max relations with adjacent gods, 33% max with next adjacent gods. If you wanted to switch to a god with which you have negative relations, you would have to undergo a penance with that other god, so praying to them would mean you get punished until your relation with that god enters positive territory, and you start gaining better prayer effects. During this process you lose champion status and gradually that relation goes negative.
Once you reach champion, the adjacent gods lock in to 67%, 33%, 0% pattern, meaning adjacent gods give you the benefits of their lesser prayer outcomes in a tiered way.

Admittedly it sounds a bit like a frequent-flyer scheme.

It seems like there are different types of petitions (with relation requirement in brackets):
(0) common petition (pray for a new limb etc)
(1) god-specific effect 1 (0 - 33%)
(2) god-specific effect 2 (34 - 67%)
(3) god-specific effect 3 (68% - 99%)
(4) god-specific effect 4 (champion effect 100% relation)

You would be able to tell whether you can pray for an effect if it appears on the list of available petitions on the "prayer screen", giving you an idea of your current relation with that god.
You could forgo the champion effect and pray to two gods in exchange for their two tier-three effects, and on and on.

Positive relations could die away to zero (negative remain negative), so there is a reason to pray relatively frequently in order to keep relations up, until you reach champion.

One thing you could do is create two different types of behaviour, instant and delayed outcomes:
1) Instant outcome. You lose a limb or you are losing a battle. You pray, the god answers and saves your ass (or not, by some random factor).
2) Delayed outcome. There is no immediate danger, you pray to the god. He or she is busy, and they'll get back later.
2a) You get into shit, BAM! the god answers your prayer from before and saves your ass.
2b) After some random time (say within a bandwidth of 1000*(god-specific effect tier) - RAND_N(relation) or somethign) your prayer finally gets answered and you get what you prayed for (or maybe not, depending on some random factor). Prayer timer goes back to zero and then you know you can pray again for another effect.

If you pray multiple times (it resets the timer?) and you can change your petitition to the god, so the outcome of the prayer follows the last thing you prayed for. So high frequency prayer is pointless, but incurs no penalty. Means you can be a devout follower (being punished for frequent prayer seemed counterintuitive).

The trick is, IVAN would need a good way of monitoring and prioritising what sort of help the player should receive, and whether it should be instant.

If you want to make the gods more capricious: So you want to be champion to a new god? Simply offer a limb at an altar, or renounce your old god for which you are currently champion (and face punshment by being scourged - scarred and covered in blood), or do battle with an armed warrior sent to kill you in `%gd`'s name. Or maybe you get sent a kamikaze dwarf to blow you up?

In fact, I think the type of kamikaze dwarfs should be restricted to the gods that you have negative relations with.

chaostrom wrote
You can choose to pray whenever, no timer, but the amount of favour you have with the gods influences the result.
We could decouple the player's Lawful - Neutral - Chaotic meter to be restricted only to the types of deeds that the player does, as opposed to being a status meter showing the player's overall alignment to a Lawful/Chaotic god + deeds. If the central, or champion god is say neutral, and the player's deeds tend toward Chaotic for example by eating human flesh, then when the player next prays, he may be hit with a punshment instead. So the player's behaviours need to align with their chosen god's morals. So if you're in with the chaos gods, you better be looking for evil deeds to do, just to stay in the gang. In this way, the player may be punished by prayer, but it is still within the player's control somehow, and gets to play a mini game to stay in control of their alignment.
It could also be that between when the player prays and when the prayer is answered, the difference in the values of the "Deed-alignment Meter" need to stay within some band in order for the prayer outcome to be positive. If the player has prayed to a lawful god when he was Lawful, but does evil and becomes neutral, then there is a negative gradient and the god may choose to punish the player.

Building a new god system is terribly difficult. The above is only one idea out of myriad different types of models you could implement. I hope it contributes to stimulating you own ideas. The game has extensive ancilliary machinery, like the danger system working in the background, which I haven't got a good handle on, but which can be utilised to assist the automation of some things. I think the main thing is that there is some structure nailed down in order to balance out the effects. Using a table or a matrix is usually a good way.
Mar 13, 2016, 10:46 am
#31
Joined: Mar 17, 2008
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I've started working on changes similar to what fejoa suggested. When you learn of a god, you are able to pray to them to begin worshiping them. When you are worshiping them, there's the old prayer timer running in the background. Every time that runs out, you slightly raising your relationship and possibly get a benefit like gift items, summoning allies, training stats, and enchanting equipment. Since these effects will be specific to each god, they're not actually there yet, aside from the generic relationship improvement stuff. This will cover all of the effects that are not emergency / combat stuff. Each god you pray to makes the help you get from each proportionally less frequent, so that your overall number of times you'll be helped is constant. Your relationship will cap out at some function of your Wisdom, alignment, and the number of gods you follow. I'm also thinking of a dress code for some of the gods: Loricatus would prefer using his favored metals, Silva prohibits metal armors, Cleptia likes daggers. In addition to that, all of the gods help you somewhat more often if you're carrying their holy book around (if I do this, I'll make the books only teach you of the god and not raise relationship directly or disappear).

After worshiping a god, you can also pray to them for help to solve some problem. I think they'll only respond under certain circumstances, with a message like "There is no response to your prayer. You believe Legifer helps those fighting powerful enemies." or "You believe Seges will aid those who are injured." or "You believe Valparus does not help newbies." reflecting the players knowledge of the gods gained from reading their holy book. Nothing bad will happen if they don't help, other than losing your turn. When they answer prayers, it will set a second timer. If they are granted another prayer while under the timer, their relationship will be reduced.

Most of this stuff is still not implemented, so feedback is welcome.

EDIT: Is this subforum still private? Maybe we should move the discussion elsewhere so that everyone can have a say.
Mar 13, 2016, 4:05 pm
#32
red_kangaroo's avatar
elder dark mage


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This sounds very cool, I can't wait to try it.

The first timer grants you gifts/allies/stats passively?

Dress code sounds very nice, as does the change to the prayer books. But why change the way they work now? You could have two possible benefits from a book: either read it until it disappears for a piety boost, or let it sit in your inventory and empower your prayers. Or would the piety boost be too powerful under the new system?
Mar 14, 2016, 5:26 am
#33
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This is awesome, just do what you feel is right, you have my as well

Edit: cool changes in the attached images by the way
Mar 15, 2016, 1:12 am
#34
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fejoa wrote
This is awesome, just do what you feel is right, you have my as well
Banana? Banana?!
Mar 15, 2016, 5:41 am
#35
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chaostrom wrote

Ha! Classic chaostrom
Apr 6, 2016, 5:53 pm
#36
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Mellis still feels vastly overpowered.

For example, kiwis are abundant, carrots are not. I just kept picking up kiwis and other foods and was able to collect a lot of carrots and gain perception.

Also had some steel gauntlets converted into gauntlets of strength. I feel like you could easily just pick up junk and wait for them to be randomly turned into something else.

I think it's an awesome update but needs some tweaking. It also happens really really frequently, even though I only prayed to him once.

When I'm on the worldmap, since time is faster, it happens nearly every other step! Also the game crashes frequently while on the world map. And finally, he still replaces stuff while I am resting, I don't think he should do that.

Also got this rendering bug (Not sure if it is from the god branch)
Apr 6, 2016, 5:57 pm
#37
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Update:

It also crashed while in the UT. All I had in my inventory was a lantern, the encrypted scroll, the book of Mellis, and a banana flesh

Update: after trying multiple times from the autosave, seems like the lump of banana flesh is what is causing it to crash.
Apr 6, 2016, 9:41 pm
#38
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Hmm, I have not observed a rendering bug like that before. Can you reproduce it on demand? Can you try compiling the master branch too? I didn't touch anything that should affect rendering.

Not sure about the banana flesh crash; I'll try to reproduce it. I had crash problems on an earlier version due to `SendToHell` timing, but I thought those were all gone.

All of the gods have some background effects that are frequent, although most are less obtrusive than Mellis. Mellis takes a break after giving you something more expensive than what he took, but it's proportional to what he took in the first place. I've just changed it so that his rate of swapping items is slower. (twice as long for cheap things like bottle -> bottle of water, and the same absolute amount of time added to expensive upgrades too) Now it's actually slower than it was in the original version, although before it was slower if you were going to pray to more than one god. Which isn't really possible now because I don't have his neighbors in yet.

The kiwis to carrots thing surprises me since I didn't see that happen often in my tests. Perhaps because I try not to carry much food, although I was a bit worried about ommel fluids since I carried around a ton of empty bottles. The gauntlets to gauntlets of strength thing does not worry me because only 1 set of gauntlets is going to be useful, and at some point every single character will have the str or dex/agi boots and gloves and whatever flavor of cloak they want. After he potentially gives you your first set, getting your gloves swapped is just a missed chance to have a potion filled or get a flaming sword or something more useful. Sure, you can some money by selling it, but most characters max out their money, anyway. The idea behind mellis is that you have to carefully manage your inventory to get the most out of him. But yeah, the rate was somewhat off.
Apr 7, 2016, 7:33 pm
#39
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There has to be something messed up between our builds.

See the screenshots. Mellis is replacing something every 9 minutes. That has to be too often?

I haven't pulled your updates in, but even 18 minutes would be way too frequent
Apr 7, 2016, 8:02 pm
#40
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You can disregard the carrots comment though, as I've played a lot more I haven't seen them too frequently

I am still getting a lot of crashes though
Apr 7, 2016, 8:29 pm
#41
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There was a factor of two error in my code (really, my brain) for how long he was supposed to wait! It was supposed to be going from 2x as slow as what you see to 4x as slow. I'm surprised I didn't notice it, but I'm grateful for your complaints! I guess I didn't see it because when he converts your stuff into more expensive stuff, it slows this stuff down. Now, it's a delay of 30 minutes + 30 minutes / 100 gp of price difference. Your version has a 7.5 minute + 30 min/100 gp delay that was supposed to have been 15 minutes + 30min/100 gp. The corrected stuff is up now. Sorry about that, I really do try to test this stuff before foisting it off on you guys!
Apr 7, 2016, 11:51 pm
#42
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glad to help, I was worried I was complaining too much. I really do like the changes overall. Now I still have to try out Atavus and Valpurus, if only my characters would live long enough!
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