About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

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ancestral
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by ancestral »

Yeah this is turning into a rant :) Just a fair warning, hehe.
Turuk wrote:At which point is it a minus sign?
Well… actually… it's not a true minus sign at all!

Typographically, a minus sign would usually be slightly longer. I'm sure Wesnoth uses a hyphen-minus (like I just typed here), which is associated with every standard computer keyboard. It's sort of a general-purpose hyphen. But a true minus sign '−' is actually slightly longer.

As below, these are dashes, hyphens, minus signs and bars that are in most major fonts, including Deja Vu Sans, which is what Wesnoth uses:

‐ (hyphen) 7‐3
– (en dash) 7–3
‒ (figure dash) 7‒3
- (hyphen-minus) 7-3 #what Wesnoth uses
− (minus sign) 7−3
— (em dash) 7—3
― (horizontal bar) 7―3

Annoyingly, Wesnoth uses the lazy form "--" for an em dash for types of attacks which follow the damage line. I'd love to see true em dashes myself (there's no advantage to having a double hyphen), like "melee—blade" instead of "melee--blade", and "ranged—pierce" instead of "ranged--pierce". It's not much different than using an ellipsis (…) in place of three periods (...) or a single right quote ( ’ ) in place of an apostrophe ( ' ).

Sadly, most people don't care about good typography anymore :( Which is a shame. There is much beauty to be found in the written languages around us, in very subtle ways.
A rant on proper use of single quotes and apostrophes:
Turuk wrote:I'm not entirely sure why you seem to put this as it won't change solely because the developers are the hurdle in the way. Particularly for your (b), there is a large number of old-school players on this forum and on the server that vastly outnumber the developer community and would be affected by the change in usage as well.
The future in any community is new people. If Wesnoth is to grow even further, it needs to attract and make things easier for new players. This is a very, very small example of something that could make adopting Wesnoth easier and more fun. It's things like this that I feel the community should be open to and allow discussion.

The argument "but it's always been like this" is an easy one to make. However, sometimes you need to take a step back and think how this is going to feel for the new person. If you don't try new things it's impossible to get any better.

To be honest, I don't see why veteran players should care one way or another. We're talking about one character or like a dozen pixels. Given I know what "damage, strikes" means, I certainly don't care what it looks like. Heck, you don't even need to have a letter here; it could be a symbol, like a picture of two swords crossed. Even if it was as ridiculous as a smiley face, it wouldn't matter. Nothing functionally with the game would change, and we'd still be able to read who attacks for how much how many times.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Turuk »

ancestral wrote:The future in any community is new people. If Wesnoth is to grow even further, it needs to attract and make things easier for new players. This is a very, very small example of something that could make adopting Wesnoth easier and more fun. It's things like this that I feel the community should be open to and allow discussion.

The argument "but it's always been like this" is an easy one to make. However, sometimes you need to take a step back and think how this is going to feel for the new person. If you don't try new things it's impossible to get any better.
I'm not making the argument that it has always been like this, therefore it does not need to change. If you actually read my previous posts, you would understand this.

The community is open to it, and it is being discussed, so why do you feel that you have to act as if it's being repressed? This has been a mature, back and forth discussion of the various possibilities and the reason behind them, and so your "rant" is entirely unnecessary.
Ancestral wrote:To be honest, I don't see why veteran players should care one way or another. We're talking about one character or like a dozen pixels. Given I know what "damage, strikes" means, I certainly don't care what it looks like. Heck, you don't even need to have a letter here; it could be a symbol, like a picture of two swords crossed. Even if it was as ridiculous as a smiley face, it wouldn't matter. Nothing functionally with the game would change, and we'd still be able to read who attacks for how much how many times.
By that logic, most of the people who have posted in this thread have no input, yourself included. I would say that veteran users who have been around and seen how new players react to the game both on the forums and in multiplayer would probably have good advice, as well as the fact that they have been around through many of the changes the game has been through over the years.

For making it easier for new people, you can read in previous posts how it was pointed out that new people would have to learn how the system worked regardless of the number setup used based on the fact that since it is not clearly written out, they will have to figure out that they are only going to hit for that damage a potential of that many strikes. This may differ from what they have had in the past with other games or they may have no experience with it anyways, so changing it might make it just as equally confusing in a different way.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by bert1 »

For about a year of occasional casual play I thought it was a range (duh). The orc grunt did between 10 and 2 damage each attack, I thought. It was more carelessness than stupidity on my part - I didn't need to know what the numbers meant in order to beat scenarios. I only figured it out after I stared lurking on the forums. Normally a hyphen often signifies a range or 'to' but not 'of'. 2x10 seems the most intuitive notation to me.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Turuk »

bert1 wrote:Normally a hyphen often signifies a range or 'to' but not 'of'. 2x10 seems the most intuitive notation to me.
Hmm, and what of the notion that users would think they are going to hit twice for 10 damage? What if it was changed from 7-3 to 7 3x or 7-3x, as in hitting for 7 damage potentially 3 times?

3x-7hp (Or some other letter or letters to indicate wound/damage)
3-7hp
3-7
7 x3
3x 7
*Ping* Player, you are about to hit the target for 7 damage, anywhere from 0 to 3 times. Good luck. *Ping*

The possible ideas brought up so far, and the best solution yet at the end. ;)
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ancestral
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by ancestral »

Turuk wrote:I'm not making the argument that it has always been like this, therefore it does not need to change. If you actually read my previous posts, you would understand this.

The community is open to it, and it is being discussed, so why do you feel that you have to act as if it's being repressed? This has been a mature, back and forth discussion of the various possibilities and the reason behind them, and so your "rant" is entirely unnecessary.
Even though I quoted you, this isn't about your post and I don't feel the idea is necessarily being repressed.
Turuk wrote:
Ancestral wrote:To be honest, I don't see why veteran players should care one way or another. We're talking about one character or like a dozen pixels. Given I know what "damage, strikes" means, I certainly don't care what it looks like. Heck, you don't even need to have a letter here; it could be a symbol, like a picture of two swords crossed. Even if it was as ridiculous as a smiley face, it wouldn't matter. Nothing functionally with the game would change, and we'd still be able to read who attacks for how much how many times.
By that logic, most of the people who have posted in this thread have no input, yourself included.
Not true.
Turuk wrote:For making it easier for new people, you can read in previous posts how it was pointed out that new people would have to learn how the system worked regardless of the number setup used based on the fact that since it is not clearly written out, they will have to figure out that they are only going to hit for that damage a potential of that many strikes. This may differ from what they have had in the past with other games or they may have no experience with it anyways, so changing it might make it just as equally confusing in a different way.
My roommate just downloaded Wesnoth for the first time last night and he immediately asked me "what does 5-3 mean?"

Maybe we need a symbol instead of a letter (like 7Image3) and perhaps something clearer in the tutorial that better describes damage/attacks and other things in the GUI early on.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Turuk »

If you don't feel it is being repressed than a rant about the open discussion of new ideas served little purpose. If stating that veteran players should not care one way or another was stated previously but is no longer true, then okay.

The tutorial does cover how the whole damage and strikes system works fairly clearly, as it gives you the 5-3 and then even explains to you what each number means. As shown previously:
Tutorial wrote:Unfortunately, you've used up your turn attacking the quintain. The quintain will now get a turn."

"The DUMMY gets a turn?"

"Yes. It's a magical quintain. Now, this quintain gets 5 chances to hit you for 3 damage each.


Later on......


"But before you send your fighters against the quintain, you should know they have two kinds of attack..."

"I'll tell them to use the one that does the most damage!"

"And which would that be? The sword (5-4) or the bow (3-3)? I suppose you'll find out..."

"Your elf used a sword (5-4; or 5 damage, 4 attacks), which is a melee attack. Quintain defended with its melee attack (3-5). The ranged attack was safer."

Your elf used a bow, which is a ranged attack (3-3; or 3 damage, 3 attacks). The quintain has no ranged attack, only a melee attack, so it could not defend itself."
As to the symbol, how would that prove more intuitive for a new user? You would still need an explanation of what the symbol meant, while would prove similar to the existing explanation in the tutorial, and the 7-3 at least implicates that there is a relationship between the two numbers.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by bert1 »

Turuk wrote:Hmm, and what of the notion that users would think they are going to hit twice for 10 damage?
Yeah, well, I can't think of an unambiguous brief notation. You'd have to spell it out to be really clear: "2 attack attempts for 10 damage each". Too verbose for the UI.
Turuk wrote:You would still need an explanation of what the symbol meant
Indeed. Maybe there's no way round it apart from doing some work to find out the meaning. And if you have to do that, it doesn't really matter what the brief notation is.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by tsr »

I've been around too long to be of use in guessing what new players might find useful or not. But I just wanted to add that using a symbol (like the crossed swords) that we don't normally use for other things might make people try to actually find out what it means instead of assuming what it means based on prior 'knowledge' of games and symbols. ???

/tsr

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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by turin »

tsr wrote:I've been around too long to be of use in guessing what new players might find useful or not. But I just wanted to add that using a symbol (like the crossed swords) that we don't normally use for other things might make people try to actually find out what it means instead of assuming what it means based on prior 'knowledge' of games and symbols. ???

/tsr
Right, that's kind of the point. The problem isn't that the meaning of 7-3 isn't immediately obvious, it's that there's a few intuitive meanings for it - seven minus three, or a range of seven-to-three - that some players will just assume it means, and be wrong. Offering an explanation helps if there's no obvious meaning, but if there's an obvious but wrong meaning, the explanation won't help, because the player will assume they know what it means and so won't bother to read anything about it.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Zachron »

This means that more effective notation could be devised that lacked said precedents, but then there's always the chance that the symbols have been encountered before. For example, The Crossed Swords symbol could be misinterpreted as a "vs." symbol giving a player an impression that the second number is the prospective retaliation. I would be for the usage of a large dot(●), as it has the same grammatical meaning as the hyphen we already use, and it has the same mathematical meaning as "*" or "x."
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Lord Ork »

After reading a lot of arguments, I think I am deciding for "7 x3". Inverse order seems more intuitive, but it's confusing for current (veteran or not) players. In the other hand, the change from "7-3" to "7 x3" it's easy for all current players, and easier to understand to new ones.
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by jonathantan86 »

If we're going to use the "x", may I suggest the "times" symbol instead:

7×3 instead of 7x3

It looks nicer and the default font should already have this glyph as it is within the extended ASCII (256-character) set.

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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Matthias1217 »

Lord Ork wrote:After reading a lot of arguments, I think I am deciding for "7 x3". Inverse order seems more intuitive, but it's confusing for current (veteran or not) players. In the other hand, the change from "7-3" to "7 x3" it's easy for all current players, and easier to understand to new ones.
As someone already said " How would I make this change myself so I wouldn't have to wait for the official patch."

I looked all through the gui files and just about everything to see where it could be changed, and I could not find it anywhere. :hmm: Does anyone know where I could change it? If you already decided to change it, it would be nice if you would tell me how to. (and I know you have to be very careful with the files like that.) :)

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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Dave »

ancestral wrote: Annoyingly, Wesnoth uses the lazy form "--" for an em dash for types of attacks which follow the damage line. I'd love to see true em dashes myself (there's no advantage to having a double hyphen), like "melee—blade" instead of "melee--blade", and "ranged—pierce" instead of "ranged--pierce". It's not much different than using an ellipsis (…) in place of three periods (...) or a single right quote ( ’ ) in place of an apostrophe ( ' ).
I like this and agree. Please submit a patch that uses a proper em dash!

Thanks,

David
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Re: About the format of attacks ( damage-strikes )

Post by Simons Mith »

ancestral wrote:Yeah this is turning into a rant :) Just a fair warning, hehe.
Turuk wrote:At which point is it a minus sign?
Well… actually… it's not a true minus sign at all!

Typographically, a minus sign would usually be slightly longer. I'm sure Wesnoth uses a hyphen-minus (like I just typed here), which is associated with every standard computer keyboard. It's sort of a general-purpose hyphen. But a true minus sign '−' is actually slightly longer.

As below, these are dashes, hyphens, minus signs and bars that are in most major fonts, including Deja Vu Sans, which is what Wesnoth uses:

‐ (hyphen) 7‐3
– (en dash) 7–3
‒ (figure dash) 7‒3
- (hyphen-minus) 7-3 #what Wesnoth uses
− (minus sign) 7−3
— (em dash) 7—3
― (horizontal bar) 7―3

[HTML glyphs for minus, en dash and em dash are − – — Don't remember the others off-hand. - Simons]

Annoyingly, Wesnoth uses the lazy form "--" for an em dash for types of attacks which follow the damage line. I'd love to see true em dashes myself (there's no advantage to having a double hyphen), like "melee—blade" instead of "melee--blade", and "ranged—pierce" instead of "ranged--pierce". It's not much different than using an ellipsis (…) in place of three periods (...) or a single right quote ( ’ ) in place of an apostrophe ( ' ).

Sadly, most people don't care about good typography anymore :( Which is a shame. There is much beauty to be found in the written languages around us, in very subtle ways.
A rant on proper use of single quotes and apostrophes:
a) I agree, and have been applying like changes to the manual redraft I'm working on
b) Yay, Dave's given a thumb's up too.
c) Good summary. Further info here: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/emen/
d) Could a nice mod please transfer this post into the Writer's Forum?

Thanks.

I'm delighted to see someone else who notices this stuff - using double hyphen-minuses bugs me as well.

BTW, the minus sign isn't just longer than the hyphen minus, it's at a different height. Compare minus, en dash, hyphen-minus and the plus sign. Note how the minus and plus line up, but the others may not, depending on the font.
 

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