AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

This forum is for threads formatted to present useful gameplay mechanics in a concise format for the community at large, and also for threads that summarize knowledge from TPTB that is otherwise impossible to spade.
User avatar
stupac2
Oh my! Guy with Pie!
Posts: 3027
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:04 pm
Location: Stanford, CA
Contact:

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by stupac2 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:17 pm

Ok, as far as I can tell, based on everyone I've talked to, this post is now completely in line with our knowledge of the game. I've finished both flowcharts, and I've segmented the C/NC portion better.

Is there anything else?

User avatar
Eleron
Has a thing!
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:52 pm

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by Eleron » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:27 pm

Posting for stu, from /clan. (What I care about is just making clear that it's a different type in the database, not some colloquial characteristic.)

8) Superlikelies: Contrary to popular belief, superlikelies are not any noncombat that is unaffected by +/- combat, or any noncombat with a condition on it. In fact, they're not really noncombats at all (unless you use the word "noncombat" to mean "anything that's not a combat", which is awkward). In fact, superlikelies can be affected by +/- combat, Mr. Alarm is one that is affected. So what is a superlikely? It's another class of encounters, and what's special about them is that every superlikely in the zone is checked when you adventure there, before normal combats/noncombats are considered. If you meet all of the conditions for a superlikely adventure (and didn't get something else first from steps 2-7), you will always get that adventure. If you meet all of the conditions for multiple superlikelies, a 1DN is rolled to decide which you get (these include BM adventures). Helpful definition, right?

This definition would be very helpful if we all had access to the innards of KoL. But we don't, and our main way of detecting superlikelies is to look for encounters that appear to be noncombats but that aren't affected by +/- combat, hence that belief (another way is that they can override combats, noncombats, and other superlikelies. This is only helpful if you know you're due for a certain encounter, which is rare. But if you've ever had the stone rose or a page adventure in the oasis override an ultrahydrated, you've seen that they're superlikelies). At any rate, most superlikelies fit that empirical definition, but not all do. That's the takeaway here.

User avatar
stupac2
Oh my! Guy with Pie!
Posts: 3027
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:04 pm
Location: Stanford, CA
Contact:

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by stupac2 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:46 pm

My intention is to post this in GD tomorrow morning. Please look over it and make any comments before then.

User avatar
Eleron
Has a thing!
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:52 pm

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by Eleron » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:01 pm

stupac2 wrote:My intention is to post this in GD tomorrow morning.

Yay! :D

User avatar
stupac2
Oh my! Guy with Pie!
Posts: 3027
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:04 pm
Location: Stanford, CA
Contact:

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by stupac2 » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:06 pm

I could do it tonight too, if everyone's fine with it. Since eleron the super-pedant is, I think it ought to be ok, but I do want to hear from the snarks and serras who wanted readability stuff fixed.

User avatar
Eleron
Has a thing!
Posts: 870
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:52 pm

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by Eleron » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:11 pm

stupac2 wrote:I could do it tonight too, if everyone's fine with it. Since eleron the super-pedant is, I think it ought to be ok, but I do want to hear from the snarks and serras who wanted readability stuff fixed.

Nono, get some feedback and do it tomorrow. :)

The parts I pointed out are probably correct now, but not necessarily readable. And I might also have missed heaps of things entirely =)

User avatar
Serra725
AFH
Posts: 719
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: California

Re: AFH Presents: An Encounter Taxonomy

Post by Serra725 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:44 am

Since you asked me to be picky, I edited some of the more glaring grammar nitpicks in red below, as well as highlighting a couple of things that could be clarified. I think it's pretty understandable the way it is, though, and it's definitely great to have all this in one place!
stupac2 wrote:Thanks to recent discussion in the Mechanical Transparency thread, I thought it would be a reasonable time to discuss how, exactly, KoL decides what happens when you click those adventure links. At the same time this should hopefully clear up some long-standing confusion about the encounter taxonomy, especially with regard to superlikelies. And there will be flowcharts! So let's begin!

Starting at the beginning, an encounter is what happens when you spend an adventure. It is the absolute broadest term, it's where we begin. There are many different types of encounters, and to simplify things we'll discuss them in the order in which they are checked by the game. (The order of some of these things isn't known completely. We know that 1-5 happen before the rest, but not how they relate to each other thanks to their rarity. The displayed order for those is somewhat arbitrary). That is, if you qualify for one, you get it and the checking stops. If you don't, it moves to the next one. I'll also try to explain, where appropriate, how we know this order.

First: flowchart!

Second: While this applies to the majority of zones, there are few that are handled through entirely different mechanisms. Examples of these are the various mines, shoring, etc.

1) Drunken stupor: Drunken stupor works by setting your adventure zone to drunken stupor. This effectively eliminates most things further down in the taxonomy. However, before the game decides which stupor you get, it still checks the rest of the taxonomy, but they just can't be met (since most are tied to a zone). But you can get scheduled encounters that aren't tied to a zone (discussed below). SSPD adventures would be either superlikelies or noncombats; depending on how they're coded they could be either (see below for discussion on those).

[So many "see below"s are a bit dizzy-making. Perhaps you could point to a specific number for some of those?]

2) Hardcoded adventures: Such as the knob lab key and maybe some others. Pretty rare and exceptional.

3) Wandering monsters: These are the monsters that you get on regular intervals during special holidays/events, such as FoB, El Dia, and during the sand event. Not tied to any zone.

4) Flashbacks: Those rare adventures caused by using astral mushrooms. Known to override superlikelies. (A clannie of mine once had one override one of Azazel's items, and he was unable to get liver until CDM reset his flags the next day. Oh, and it was during a contest, fun times).

5) Welcome Back: if you're due for this and you don't get anything above, you get this.

6) Clovers: If you have a ten-leaf clover in your inventory, your zone has a clover adventure and you've made it this far, you'll get the clover adventure.

7) Semirares: Good ol' semirares. They're the special adventures that occur on predetermined intervals based on a counter you can see if you eat fortune cookies. There are some claims that superlikelies can override semirares, but AFH's spading indicates otherwise. (As an aside if you want to help add data, there are a few ways. You need a character with a closed goatlet, one who's due to get the Mega Gem from Mr. Alarm, or access to an instance of hobopolis with the boss ready. If you hit any of those zones while your cookie counter is up and don't get the semirare, then this order is incorrect.)

8) Superlikelies: Contrary to popular belief, superlikelies are not any noncombat that is unaffected by +/- combat, or any noncombat with a condition on it. In fact, they're not really noncombats at all (unless you use the word "noncombat" to mean "anything that's not a combat", which is awkward). In fact, superlikelies can be affected by +/- combat; Mr. Alarm is one that is affected. So what is a superlikely? It's another class of encounters, and what's special about them is that every superlikely in the zone is checked when you adventure there, before normal combats/noncombats are considered. If you meet all of the conditions for a superlikely adventure (and didn't get something else first from steps 2-7), you will always get that adventure. If you meet all of the conditions for multiple superlikelies, a 1DN is rolled to decide which you get (these include BM adventures). Helpful definition, right?

This definition would be very helpful if we all had access to the innards of KoL. But we don't, and our main way of detecting superlikelies is to look for encounters that appear to be noncombats but that aren't affected by +/- combat, hence that belief. (Another way is that they can override combats, noncombats, and other superlikelies. This is only helpful if you know you're due for a certain encounter, which is rare. But if you've ever had the stone rose or a page adventure in the oasis override an ultrahydrated, you've seen that they're superlikelies). At any rate, most superlikelies fit that empirical definition, but not all do. That's the takeaway here.

9) Combat/Noncombat: These are the familiar encounters we all know and love: the majority of encounters fit this definition. I've grouped them together because the game decides whether or not you get one or the other at the same time. I'll discuss how you choose which adventure you get in a zone separately. But as one last word, combats and noncombats can have conditions on them, so not everything with a condition is a superlikely (for instance, the Strung-Up Quartet is a normal noncombat with a conditional).

So there you have it, that, in a nutshell, is how the game picks which encounter you'll get.

Now, let's go through how the game decides which of the combat/noncombat choices you get.

First: flowchart! [Can you label the flowcharts so that it's crystal clear that you're not just repeating the first one here?]

1) Picking combat or noncombat: Every zone has some combat percentage, and this number is an integer (usually a multiple of 5). This number can be modified with +/- combat skills. The game rolls a 1D100, and if the rolled number is higher than the modified combat rate, you get a noncombat. If it's the same or lower, you get a combat. Let's illustrate with an example.

In the haunted ballroom the combat rate is 80%. If you have -20% combats running (say, smooth, sonata, RoC, and the ballroom song) then the rate is 60%. The game rolls a 1D100 and it's 59. You get a combat. The next roll is a 60, you get a combat. The next roll is 61, and you get a noncombat.

Noncombats: Ok, so now you know whether you're getting a combat or a noncombat. How does it choose among the possible alternatives? First we'll go through noncombats, because they're simpler.

2) Building the list: Once the die roll to determine C/NC is done, the game builds up a list of available adventures. For noncombats, this is solely a check to see if you meet the conditions on the adventures in the zone. Yes, that's right, any adventure can have a condition. These can be things like delay() (friar noncombats, adding machine) or number of turns spent since it was last seen (Quartet, O Cap'm), or even a die roll to see you can get the adventure at all (Izchak's, Astronomer). If you don't meet those conditions, the adventure isn't added to the list.

3) Choosing an adventure: Once the list is built the game rolls another die, this time 1DN_NC, where N_NC is the number of noncombats in the zone that pass the above cut (for the ballroom this would be either 1 or 2, you can always get curtains, and sometimes you can get curtains and the quartet). The adventures have numbers, and whichever number is rolled is the choice moving forward.

4) Checking the Queue: But it doesn't end there, thanks to the queue. The queue is a list of the 5 most recently seen noncombats or combats, and every zone has both a combat and noncombat queue. A given c or nc can be in the queue multiple times. What does the queue do? If the chosen adventure is in the queue, it rolls a 1D4, and if the number rolled isn't a 4 it rejects that c/nc and rolls again among the possible c/nc choices (but still in that particular type). If the adventure is not in the queue, this step is skipped.

Ok, that might have been confusing (look at the flowchart if you're having a hard time, it's much better at displaying this info). Now for an example.

Example 1: You've just opened the ballroom and are looking to set the song. You've spent a few turns looking for it, and have already hit Curtains a couple times. So your queue looks like:

[Curtain,Curtain,_,_,_] (where the underscores are empty spots).

The next time you get a nc, the game builds up the noncombat list. Let's say you haven't met the conditions for the song yet, so there's only 1 possible NC, so the game picks it. It still checks the queue, and let's say it rolls a 3. It rerolls the 1D1 (useful!) and picks curtains. It rolls the 1D4 again, this time it's a 4. You get a curtains.

Example 2: You keep adventuring, and the game rolls you another noncombat. This time you meet the conditionals for the song, so it rolls a 1D2. It picks curtains and goes to the queue, then rolls a 2, so it rolls the 1D2 again. This time it picks the ballroom song. Yay! It's not in the queue, so you get it. You set it to -combat, and move on.

Combats: All right, so that's how noncombats are chosen. But combats are trickier since you now need to factor in things like olfaction and banishers. Let's go through that now.

2) Building the List: Combats by and large follow the same structure. Once you've rolled a combat, the game builds up the list of available encounters. The first difference is that when you're building up the list you have to take into account olfaction. If a monster is olfacted, 4 times as many copies are added as normal (so if there is typically 1 monster, there are 4, if there are normally 2, there are now 8, and so on). The second difference is that any banished monster isn't added (unless it's olfacted, you can't banish olfacted monsters). Additionally, if you've banished every encounter in a zone (for some reason), they all become available again. Conditions are checked in the same way as ncs.

3) Choosing an adventure: Then the game rolls the 1DN_C, where N_C is the number of combats in the list. This is the same as for noncombats.

4) Olfaction check: The final difference comes in the olfaction check. If the rolled combat is currently olfacted it skips the queue entirely, and that's your combat.

5) Queue: After that it proceeds with the queue checks, as in noncombats. For a combat that's in the queue, 3/4 times the combat is rerolled, and 1/4 times it proceeds and that's your combat. I illustrated most of this above, so I'm not going to go through an example here. If you're confused look at the flowchart, it should make things pretty clear.


All right, we're almost done. There is one more thing to worry about, and that's what happens if the game rolls a noncombat but there's no suitable adventure. For instance, let's say you're on the poop deck looking for O Cap'm, and let's say you've already unlocked belowdecks. The game rolls a noncombat, but you haven't spent enough turns yet to pass the conditional. It builds up the list for the noncombats, checks O Cap'm's conditionals and it doesn't pass, then check's Swordfish's conditionals and it doesn't pass. It's finished building the list and there are 0 entries, so now it tries to switch to a combat. In this zone there's no problem with that, so you get a combat. This is believed to only happen going from noncombat to combat.

There are some zones (such as the Boss Bat's Lair, only one known) where the game will throw an error when checking its list of available encounters because none match. Usually you're not able to banish every monster in a zone (try it in the goatlet, or some other small-N_C zone), this is a special confluence of events.

So that's it. That is how the game determines which adventure you get, from beginning to end.

Post Reply