[crossfire] RFC: dynamic alchemy

Raphaël Quinet raphael at gimp.org
Wed May 24 09:46:22 CDT 2006

On Wed, 24 May 2006 14:56:16 +0200, Wim Villerius <wim-cf at villerius.nl> wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-05-22 at 20:50 +0200, Raphaël Quinet wrote:
> > I am not sure that the dynamic alchemy as proposed here is the best
> > alternative, but at least it is better than the abuses that are
> > allowed by the shadow alchemy tricks. 
> Honestly, I am not sure as well but I am sure that it's better than
> current alchemy and I am even more sure that we can find a still better
> solution. That's exactly why I brought up this point. Hopefully we can
> design an alchemy-system that makes the alchemist-profession as useful
> as the warrior :)

As I wrote in my reply to Anton Oussik, I would prefer a system that
keeps some constraints on the ingredients and on the result of the formula.
A system with a bit more freedom than the current alchemy, but not much
more.  I think that the dynamic alchemy is very interesting but it goes a
bit too far.

> >  Also, shadow alchemy is player knowledge and not character knowledge:
> > this gives an unfair advantage to experienced players regardless of
> > their character level.
> Yes, shadow alchemy is player knowledge, not character knowledge. But
> the same goes for current alchemy, maps (passwords), where to find
> artifacts, how to beat monsters, etc etc. In other words, (almost) the
> whole game is player knowledge.

Well, it is worse for shadow alchemy: it is player knowledge that is very
hard to acquire while playing, but easy to remember (or write down) once
someone or some program tells you how to do it.  So it is a bit like "cheat
codes" for the game.  The shadow formulas are of very little use for the
normal players.

> Even using dynamic passwords would not change that much: an experienced
> player knows where to find the password.
> What's the point? Player experience is just everywhere, so perhaps it is
> not as worse as it looks.

I agree.  But the fact that some things are not perfect should not be an
excuse to making them even worse, if you see what I mean.

> Why do I suggest _that_? Because from a player perspective it's horrible
> to search for information you already know. Why do a quest to learn that
> water of the wise is made in a cauldron using 7 water if you already
> know that? Oh, just because the game forces you to do so.
> Nothing wrong with that for some items (especially powerful receipes)
> but I think it will be very annoying if you have to do so for all
> receipes.
> (Note that I am not suggesting that this was your suggestion, I just
> want to express a bit of frustration about games that forces you to find
> out what you already know)

I also agree with that.  None of the basic formulas should be locked.
There is no point in forcing the player to go to a specific place to find
how to make the water of the wise.  These formulas should be much easier
to find anyway and if a player already knows them, then they can as well
use them directly.  On the other hand, the most powerful recipes should be
locked because they are quest items.  Even if I remember how to create the
potion of fire immunity, I do not expect to be able to use it immediately
when I create a new character: I know that I have to go through the fire
temple first.

> I suggest to put a lock on every receipe that has a change of zero to be
> found in random treasure. (there are quite a few: face of death (dust,
> currently broken according to the formulae file), fire immunity,
> invulnerability, magic immunity, electric immunity, magic power (both
> formulae), fiery destruction, rainbow wave, bolt/arrow of Assassinating
> {Dragon, Troll}, bolt/arrow of Blessedness)
> My reason for that is that the formulae don't show up in the game, so
> players are not supposed to create them. And in fact, they cannot,
> unless they cheat.
> I would as well add the formula for the potion of cold immunity to that
> list, but it currently has a small but existing chance to appear.

As I mentioned earlier, I would also like to lock that potion.  But this
is only a suggestion.

> > P.S.: Did you know that there are <...> only two maps in which one can
> > find Ancient dragons (and the corresponding dragon steaks required for
> > entering the dragon training levels)?
> Nice statistics... Perhaps this one is not very player-friendly.

Well, the entrance to the dragon training levels requires three sacrifices
(Ancient dragon's steak, ancient red dragon's steak and Acient Blue Dragon's
steak).  That map is in /dungeons/train/dragon_train.  The sacrificed items
are difficult to find but I think that it was done on purpose.  However, it
would have been nice to give a few hints about where these items can be

In fact, one of the reasons why I wrote my map checking script is because I
could not find one of these 3 dragons' steaks, even though I had no problems
finding the items required for the other training levels (undead, humanoid,
etc.).  So I wrote the script in order to check if I had overlooked some
area of if that training map was broken because it was asking for an item
that does not exist in the game.  I will let you guess what the answer is.


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