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[freeciv-ai] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#3973) Re: (PR#3977) [PATCH] Revis

[freeciv-ai] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#3973) Re: (PR#3977) [PATCH] Revis

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To: sam+civ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-ai] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: (PR#3973) Re: (PR#3977) [PATCH] Revised patch which creates new "novice" skill level
From: "rwetmore@xxxxxxxxxxxx" <rwetmore@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 17:41:38 -0700
Reply-to: rt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

There is usually a competition of interests and inclinations here, as
this is just one example of many such cases. It is maybe worthwhile
to consider the general case with some view to making a consistent
choice, or at least consistent set of rules for arriving at a choice.

If there exists a set of options, then one generally wants as many
controlling switches as the degrees of freedom in the set. Unless
there is a special reason (and there often is) it is often not a good
ploy to choose a complex linear combination.

But massive numbers of low level switches that often only make sense
in certain fixed combinations are usually best presented as simple
top level choices.

Generally, most users and especially novice ones just want a few top
level (pre-)selected choices, and only advanced users and nerd types
want every gory detail at their finger tips.

The usual way this is handled is to make a low-level interface of
switches that are functionally oriented and not necessarily user
friendly. One then presents them through a simple interface with an
advanced option that lets one drop down to the nerd level.

If you can't do the dual level approach, the competition sets in as
to which flavour to stress and how much of either to include.

In this case, a novice option that is a single preselected set has
a lot of appeal. How many other preset selections, and how many
individual switches that can subsequently change any of the preset
values for finer control is open for debate.


Reinier Post wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 18, 2003 at 03:00:10AM -0700, Per I. Mathisen wrote:
>>On Fri, 18 Apr 2003, Reinier Post wrote:
>>>I don't like the idea of having a "novice" level (or any other level)
>>>thatmagically sets some hidden variables. The original patch had the
>>>right interface, in my opinion. Better fix this in the other direction
>>>by making the "skill"-influenced variables real variables whose
>>>names start with "ai.".
>>Why? A simpler interface is usually better. How often does one really want
>>to fine tune the idiocy of one's AI opponents? I'm afraid those would be
>>another set of never-used server variables that just crowd up the server.
> I think the interface with meaningful variables is really simpler,
> because it makes more sense.  It also documents itself better.
> (You still need to explain to users what the levels do.)
> And even if the variables are rarely used, why would it hurt to
> have them?  They don't complicate the code.
>>  - Per

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