Water in Angband

There is an interesting discussion @ oook about water. My 0.02$:

I like this idea. TomeNET got pretty cool water system and even ‘swimming’ skill. They got:

– aquatic monsters which can spawn only at ‘water’ tiles; they can pursue player even in ‘shallow’ water, but can’t leave it to surface
– swimming in deep water give a chance for scrolls & other items to be destroyed; water resistance items or tarpaulin (tool slot) protect from it.
– eventually you could die (drown) if you are tired and bad at swimming :E
– ‘swimming’ skill & racial parameter; It would be fun to have it in Angband (like ‘Digging’) eg makes hobbit swim not really good ^^
– you can not create walls on deep water; not all stuff could be summoned on deep water
– there is fresh and salt water. You could fill bottle; eg with salt water and use this potions to throw to the enemies or ‘clean’ your stomach

The problem:
Levitation. After player get this property, swimming become pretty useless and you do not notice water anymore. Maybe levitation shouldn’t work above water? (explanation: this kind of magic need to have solid ‘pillar’).. Maybe levitation could make ‘deep’ water work as ‘shallow’?

Also maybe water could be used with new hunger system..? Frodo and Sam had biggest problems with water in Mordor, not with a food..

How to implement water to hunger without making overcomplex stuff? Maybe to make water act as multiplier to hunger: if you didn’t drink for a long time, you loose satiation point in 2-3-4 times faster (vice versa to slow digestion), depending on how long you didn’t drink

And few comments over discussion considering water:

Originally Posted by Nick
UnAngband – water puts out torches and lanterns, and the player gets tired while in water and can drown if too tired

Considering removing lights – it could be a case if a character get _very_ tired and bad at swimming or if he was attacked by monster. But it shouldn’t be permanent or player would fear too much to go to the water. Lets make it as a chance to put out light for a turn or two. It would make light ‘flicker’ in deep waters sometimes which make sense and would add some atmosphere.

Originally Posted by Nick
ToME (and other Z-likes?) – there is shallow water which has little effect, and deep water which steadily drowns the player in most circumstances

Having deep/shallow water concept make sense. As we do not have much relief in Angband, adding new Z-dimension increase immersion to the game.

Originally Posted by Derakon
From a game depth standpoint, I’d want to be very clear about what the rules are. They both need to make sense (to avoid surprising the player) and add something to the game.

Sorry, I can not agree with this particular point: “to avoid surprising the player”. The beauty of roguelike game is to surprize player again and again, it’s core of the game replayability. Of course this surprizing should have sense. But it’s not always has to be obvious. It has to have depth.

Originally Posted by Derakon
I also find damage zones to be not very interesting, plus they create the odd situation of the player being able to recover from lacking oxygen by the expedient of drinking healing potions.

In most cases drawing should cause stat drop (STR, CON, DEX), not the actual damage. But there is no need to fear that drinking healing pots after drawning make no sense: healing potions don’t really make sense already anyway (how you could cure severe stuff with them so easely?), so we presume that they are ‘magical’. There are a lot of magic around what makes game exiting  

Originally Posted by Derakon
* Walking in shallow water imposes a -5 speed penalty. This is irrespective of (and in addition to) any burden penalty. Ever try to walk in 3′-deep water? It’s not easy.

It’s too harsh.. -5 speed is death sentence, because speed influence not only for moving, but to performing actions and attacking monsters.

What is ‘shallow water’? It could be a few inches deep up to, as you noted, 3′. This is nominal term. Maybe shallow water should affect player less, maybe it’s effect has to depend on character height (shallow water for hobbit or kobold could be a problem). But I suppose it’s pretty alright to take presume that as it’s nominal term – relativity works there and when you play hobbit and meet shallow water – it’s shallow compared to you only; as it’s single-player experience, there is no any logical problem with it.

I suppose ‘shallow water‘ should be a term which indicate ankle/knee-deep water and should influence player accordingly (in lesser way); see Tolkien citation below.

Originally Posted by Derakon
Deep water, in the sense of water that covers the player’s head, doesn’t exist.

This is shallow water @ JRRT:

Gimli strode forward undeterred, and found that the water was shallow, no more than ankle-deep at the edge

This is deep water @ JRRT:

Then far below, as if the stone had fallen into deep water in some cavernous place, there came a plunk, very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft.


‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into the deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.’

..and Gandalf was able to get out of this ‘deep’ water to persuade the Balrog, so it’s not pure well with smooth sides..

But back from lore to gamedesign:

Deep water is a possiblity to add Z-dimension directed ‘down’. And its not too hard to implement (compared to some other stuff).

Originally Posted by Voovus
One of the few consolations for poor @, who regularly gets incinerated, electrocuted, confused, blinded and frozen, is that (even without wearing any boots) @’s feet are always dry.

Btw. It make sense to multiply lightning damage when player stands in the water 

It’s beautiful thing to ‘amaze’ player with some ‘roguelikish‘ tiny details which he reveals during gameplay.

In general, adding any kind of water would give player more choices – choose watery path or to avoid it and try another direction toward fining exit from the dangerous lvl. Some players could have pros to go to water, some have cons. It’s fun.

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