Forum:Does NetHack need a terminology cleanup?

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And more... Kufat (talk) 00:23, 30 December 2018 (UTC)

- The sickness/poison thing really ought to be changed IMO. "Potion of poison" would make more sense (that's even what the presumably inspirational D&D item is called). "Food poisoning" is more understandable, since that term is used in RL for pathogen-caused disease, but it's still weird since there are actually *poisonous* corpses (eg kobolds) too. NERVAFan (talk) 12:37, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

Examining how the game names these things internally:
Cancellation is, of course, used all over the place and quite properly in that it cancels things; "magic cancellation" isn't, it just defines an "a_can" name for that stat, which is only used a single place in the code. I haven't been around long enough to know what the origin of the term is, but it was evidently around back in 2006 and probably earlier. Regardless, "magic cancellation" isn't really a good name since it protects against a lot of nonmagical damage types, but I'm not aware of any other proposed name for it.
Player-style magic resistance is referred to as "Antimagic" internally, but of course the main item that provides it is named "cloak of magic resistance". Monster magic resistance is a stat called "mr" which the code also names as "(base) magic resistance". Unlike magic cancellation, though, it is indeed used solely for resisting magical effects. Some variants have tried to rebrand this as things like "magic saving throw" or "magic nullification", but with limited success.
The game uses "Sick" to represent your illness or disease, and most instances of "poison" actually refer to things that directly reduce Str, Con, or Dex (and poison resistance blocks them). And yes, food poisoning causes you to become ill. In this case, the problem isn't that we have two different things competing for the same name, it's that the game uses them really inconsistently.
I'm curious to know how you would carry out a "terminology cleanup", though - apart from getting the community to agree on a different name for magic cancellation, most of these problems would require the DevTeam to resolve the problems in the codebase themselves. --Phol ende wodan (talk)
My suggestion for a better name for magic cancellation would be special attack protection. Having "protection" in the name makes sense because the main ways to get MC3 in 3.6.x are the cloak of protection and the ring of protection. The phrase "special attack" serves to distinguish from the related concept of ordinary protection, without taking a stance on whether killer bee stings count as magical. The enlightenment message could be "You are warded/guarded/protected against special attack effects." Aaron Rotenberg (talk) 02:55, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Personally, I just refer to MC as the player's "saving throw", even though it's not called that anywhere in-game ;) --Bluescreenofdeath (talk) 13:23, 9 January 2019 (UTC)