consumable drop rate too high


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 19:05

consumable drop rate too high

The drop rate of consumables after removal of item destruction still seems really high to me.
When I finish a game I have tons of stuff left and there is rarely a shortage of anything after lair.

I think this reduced the game difficulty a lot and I wonder whether it is supposed to stay that way.
Anyone an idea?

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 19:33

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Well, I often end up with a lot of consumables at the end of the game. However, since item destruction removal, I don't mind liberally using my consumables. I think some of the drop rates for really awesome consumables like !resist, !cancel, ?blink and ?fog are low enough to not have many of them by Zot:5.
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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 19:41

Re: consumable drop rate too high

For the really good consumables it is mostly true, although I rarely finish without blink or fog. Only cancellation is sometimes a problem if I haste a lot or pots of heal wounds if the char is a bit weaker.

But stuff like remove curse is ridiculous. Most of the time I finish with over 20 left and even in early game I rarely have below five and I liberally use-id weapons/armor/jewelry. With such a drop rate one could as well get rid of the whole curse mechanism. There is tomb, but even then you won't go short.

Same with curing or teleport.

Also with the current number of scrolls of acquirement and wand wishing you'll mainly end up with at least 2, but generally 3 wands out of tele/haste/heal. Then we have really too many scrolls of recharging imo and so each char also has an infinite source of those.

In the end the game has become a lot easier since 0.10 in my opinion due to some of above reasons. Not that I dislike the changes; the game got a lot nicer to play, but I would really love, if the difficulty could be increased a bit in other areas.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 19:48

Re: consumable drop rate too high

You finished with tons of consumables before, too, you just didn't carry them all at once.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 20:02

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Well, yeah, but at least theoretically, combined with the strength restrictions on carrying capacity, you could run out of some critical things in tactical situations.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 20:20

Re: consumable drop rate too high

mkraemer wrote:theoretically

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 20:55

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Your consumable supply is also more predictable now, too. Before, you could estimate your expenditures to approximately match replacement, but sometimes you would have an apparent haste or curing that would be removed from your supply without actually resulting in a haste or curing. This had the unfortunate impact of causing many players to hoard consumables, which is bad.

Now, however, if you have a given number of uses of haste in potion form you have exact knowledge of how many you are going to get. This is very good from the standpoint of getting the player to use their consumable buttons, since it is very nearly impossible to get caught by an unexpected shortage when you have perfect knowledge of your available supply, but on the other hand it is very nearly impossible for the game to result in a situation where the player has to deal with an unexpected shortage if the player has perfect knowledge at all times.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 23:14

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Wow, a player who feels the game is too easy. I wonder, what is the winrate of such a player.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 23:23

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Magipi wrote:Wow, a player who feels the game is too easy. I wonder, what is the winrate of such a player.


Well, I don't have a crazy winrate. I played mostly offline and with various accounts online. It should be around 5-10%.
Nowadays I only play random starts anyway. Would prob be higher if I kept playing MiBe to max streaks or stuff like that. :D

It's mainly that my winrate was perhaps 0.5% to 1% in earlier days and although I still play horribly most of the time it is now closing 10%.

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 23:31

Re: consumable drop rate too high

mkraemer wrote:It's mainly that my winrate was perhaps 0.5% to 1% in earlier days and although I still play horribly most of the time it is now closing 10%.

In this case, your game must have improved.

I don't have winrate statistics for the versions (wait for Minmay), but only for the tournaments: the 0.14 tournament had 1.31% winrate, the 0.15 tournament had 1.71%.
A nice increase, but not nearly the 10 times jump you are talking about.
And if I recall correctly, 0.10 and 0.11 had higher winrates.

Edit: typo

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Post Sunday, 30th November 2014, 23:56

Re: consumable drop rate too high

With quits and leaves excluded:
0.1: 0.38%
0.2: 0.43%
0.3: 0.81%
0.4: 0.67%
0.5: 0.61%
0.6-a: 0.54%
0.6: 0.41%
0.7-a: 0.46%
0.7: 0.44%
0.8-a: 0.89%
0.8: 0.50%
0.9-a: 0.84%
0.9: 0.55%
0.10-a: 0.87%
0.10: 0.66%
0.11-a: 1.31%
0.11: 0.60%
0.12-a: 0.83%
0.12: 0.90%
0.13-a: 0.70%
0.13: 0.80%
0.14-a: 0.68%
0.14: 0.85%
0.15-a: 0.92%
0.15: 1.05%
0.16-a: 1.49%

Hopefully just by looking at these you can see they are basically useless. An increasing winrate is also exactly what you'd expect if the game stayed the same difficulty, because - get this - the longer people play, the better they get at winning. Crazy, right?
I don't see any compelling evidence that Crawl is getting easier long-term; if anything, I think it's easier to win, say, 0.5 for the first time than 0.15. Obviously there are short-term fluctuations (anyone else played both 0.5 and 0.6?). I suppose 0.15 is probably easier than 0.14 if you don't use melee weapons.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 05:13

Re: consumable drop rate too high

also, variety in Swamp, Snake and Shoals is making the game harder, just by being less predictable. so is the new late game monsters.
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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 08:09

Re: consumable drop rate too high

I agree with duvessa, and would only add that (yet) another factor to consider in light of the changes in winrates is that only recently we've had more competitive online play than in the past, thanks to the extra tournaments initiated by WalkerBoh (and now organized by WalkerBoh + Moose).

Anyway, of all the things that have changed about the game over the past few versions, it seems really strange to single out item destruction removal as being a major factor in terms of game difficulty. Over the last few versions, the Vaults have been rune-locked and V5 layout has changed to make the level harder; corrosion is now actually dangerous rather than a nuisance; the addition of the Depths now means that the post-Vault section of the game is much more dangerous; Crypt is no longer 5 floors of basically free experience with a no-fee trove at the end; and a lot of enemies have been added to a number of branches, making them less predictable and significantly more dangerous for most characters. In the strictest possible sense, sure, no weight limit and no item destruction were "buffs" for the player, but mostly they just make game play smoother and (IMO) more enjoyable. The actual impact on game difficulty of those changes is preposterously tiny in comparison with other additions and reforms.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 08:37

Re: consumable drop rate too high

duvessa wrote:0.11-a: 1.31%
0.11: 0.60%

Is there any explanation for this?

duvessa wrote:0.15: 1.05%
0.16-a: 1.49%

And this? If anything, the game got harder for 0.16.

duvessa wrote:I suppose 0.15 is probably easier than 0.14 if you don't use melee weapons.

Why, what happened to melee weapons?

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 12:21

Re: consumable drop rate too high

There are two things I can think of that made the game easier for me:

One was the removal of victory dancing, which made the strategic game of putting your skills where you want them easier (especially training Fighting on a character that doesn't do much fighting.)

Secondly, at some time (around 0.10?) IIRC, XL1 characters got their starting HP increased a bit, which made D1 deaths less likely.

But IMO, this has been balanced out by things like the rune lock, changes to Lair branches and more dangerous late game monsters.
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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 12:45

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Magipi wrote:
duvessa wrote:0.11-a: 1.31%
0.11: 0.60%

Is there any explanation for this?

Newer players tend to (there are still plenty who play trunk) stick with stable versions, while a lot of veteran players play trunk.
except then the trend reverses and starts evening out again
the focus on winning combos in the last two-three tournaments (and some speedrunners stopping playing) has likely also helped increase the winrate of the later stable versions

and it should probably also be noted that some veteran players have started dropping out of trunk and sticking to stable versions
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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 13:44

Re: consumable drop rate too high

A recent huge nerf that people don't often bring up is that you can't find enchanted non-ego floor items anymore, and that most of the ego items are now just basic enchanted items. Meaning the power level of stuff found on the floor is dramatically lower than before.

I think there are too many of some consumables, like teleport, and maybe remove curse, and probably potions of curing, but overall I think most consumables are in a pretty good place.

On my last victorious game, I got 6 scrolls of blinking, and used every last one. I think 6 scrolls of blinking is probably just about right for a 3 rune game personally.
If there were 2 less scrolls of recharging, that'd feel about right to me, it does seem like there are a few too many right now.
Heal wounds potions seem fine, plus they sort of become obsolete on their own as the game progresses, at least in that they aren't really good as emergency healing items anymore.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 14:08

Re: consumable drop rate too high

I am pretty sure the change you are talking about just made all +1 and +2 aux items show up as glowing or runed without messing with their generation in any way.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 14:09

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Bloax wrote:
Magipi wrote:
duvessa wrote:0.11-a: 1.31%
0.11: 0.60%

Is there any explanation for this?

Newer players tend to (there are still plenty who play trunk) stick with stable versions, while a lot of veteran players play trunk.
except then the trend reverses and starts evening out again
the focus on winning combos in the last two-three tournaments (and some speedrunners stopping playing) has likely also helped increase the winrate of the later stable versions

and it should probably also be noted that some veteran players have started dropping out of trunk and sticking to stable versions


Can someone filter stats for only counting after winning games (as this makes it very likely the player wants to streak, i.e. win)?
Would be very interesting imo.
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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 15:40

Re: consumable drop rate too high

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 16:27

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Sar wrote:I am pretty sure the change you are talking about just made all +1 and +2 aux items show up as glowing or runed without messing with their generation in any way.



I suppose that's possible, but it really feels like +x on weapons and armor was a lot more likely previously. And it seems like artifact shops have a lot more plain +x items than actual branded items, like they used to.

If nothing else, this change made it harder to know if aux armor in an antique shop was branded or not.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 20:24

Re: consumable drop rate too high

damiac wrote:A recent huge nerf that people don't often bring up is that you can't find enchanted non-ego floor items anymore, and that most of the ego items are now just basic enchanted items. Meaning the power level of stuff found on the floor is dramatically lower than before.

I think there are too many of some consumables, like teleport, and maybe remove curse, and probably potions of curing, but overall I think most consumables are in a pretty good place.

On my last victorious game, I got 6 scrolls of blinking, and used every last one. I think 6 scrolls of blinking is probably just about right for a 3 rune game personally.
If there were 2 less scrolls of recharging, that'd feel about right to me, it does seem like there are a few too many right now.
Heal wounds potions seem fine, plus they sort of become obsolete on their own as the game progresses, at least in that they aren't really good as emergency healing items anymore.


Curing is a problem in its own class. We have a horrible monster status effect that is only still playable because we have a functionally limitless way to make it go away. Confusion without access to curing is not fun or interesting; just look at mummies. There's no realistic way to run out of curing in a normal game, but cutting the spawn rate enough to make it meaningful means you have a non-trivial chance to play an honorary mummy every time you roll up a character. I don't want that.

One solution would be to fix all status effects so curing is helpful but not essential. Mostly confusion, but resting off poison and rot is annoying rather than dangerous and that's bad too. An easier solution would be to make curing a bonafide unlimited resource, like an innate first aid command. Maybe it would take a turn and a half or two turns rather than just one. Then it would just be necessary to increase the damage of poison and rot so they are actually tactically relevant.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 20:46

Re: consumable drop rate too high

running out of potions because you used them all is not "playing an honorary mummy". It's great if this situation happens in game, and this includes being completely destroyed by confusion if you can't cure it. Play around confusion, or conserve your resources. If there really are too many curing potions the solution is to generate fewer curing potions, not "welp, might as well just make them infinite then".

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 21:26

Re: consumable drop rate too high

I would not want to play the game if curing generated about as often as cancellation does now. Sometimes confusion is dangerous, but every time confusion is annoying. If you get tagged in an easy fight, you are incentivized to waste playing time making random actions that you must carefully execute one at a time in case the situation changes even though they are individually trivial and they are unlikely to accomplish anything. If you get tagged in a hard fight, you burn a consumable or die. Confusion without curing is worse than paralysis because at least paralysis doesn't waste my time and can't be re-applied immediately.

Confusion with limited curing is potentially tactically interesting, granted, but it's a tactical challenge that leads to some game behavior that is not fun. Desirable tactical challenges lead to fun from both the success and the failure conditions. The status quo works mostly because curing is already functionally infinite.

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Post Monday, 1st December 2014, 23:17

Re: consumable drop rate too high

You can fix the problems re: confusion when you don't have curing by doing things like making it not last a billion turns (why this isn't already the case I don't really know).

Right now making confusion ever happen to a player when that player doesn't have curing is pretty ridiculously bad; people complain about paralysis, which is capped at 7 turns and gives temporary paralysis immunity when it ends. Remove that temporary immunity and multiply the duration by a factor of about 2-3 and also make sure that repeated casts stack duration, and that's confusion without curing.

But if confusion lasted, say, five-six turns on average, and couldn't stack duration, suddenly making curing a limited resource would make sense. You'd still prefer to cure it in a dangerous spot, but now you at least have the option of not doing so.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd December 2014, 03:48

Re: consumable drop rate too high

ever tried fighting a d:3 orc wizard before finding any curing and then the fucker goes invisible and confuses you like the sigmund knockoff they can be for whatever reason

yeah that's always a perma-confusion pleasure
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Post Tuesday, 2nd December 2014, 13:34

Re: consumable drop rate too high

mkraemer wrote:But stuff like remove curse is ridiculous. Most of the time I finish with over 20 left and even in early game I rarely have below five and I liberally use-id weapons/armor/jewelry. With such a drop rate one could as well get rid of the whole curse mechanism. There is tomb, but even then you won't go short.

Ashenzari would really suck without scrolls of remove curse. Early on one will need several to curse enough gear to get the piety going. Later on more are needed to switch gear.

As things are now, I've had some games where it took ages to be able to get sufficiently cursed in order to gain Ash's skill boosting abilities.
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Post Tuesday, 2nd December 2014, 14:08

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Ash can be easily rebalanced to work with less remove curse scrolls by giving more curse item scrolls per scroll sacrificed.

Although to be honest I think remove curse scrolls are in the right place when the player actually has a fair chance of having cursed items, which is in the early game. The reason you end up with so many late game is because you need to use them far less. Curses are only relevant when you're wear IDing, which is something you don't do much after the very early game.

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Post Tuesday, 2nd December 2014, 14:42

Re: consumable drop rate too high

damiac wrote:Ash can be easily rebalanced to work with less remove curse scrolls by giving more curse item scrolls per scroll sacrificed.

That could work. However, if the scrolls were more scarce, the issue would become finding even one to get any god abilities at all.
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Post Wednesday, 3rd December 2014, 02:51

Re: consumable drop rate too high

Sar wrote:I am pretty sure the change you are talking about just made all +1 and +2 aux items show up as glowing or runed without messing with their generation in any way.
No, it was the other way around, it turns all positively enchanted items that aren't glowing/runed into +0 items. It's part of why I qualified my statement about 0.15 with not using melee weapons; smashing 80% of unbranded enchanted items (other than aux armour) makes early melee weapon selection quite a bit worse. Along with reducing remove curse and enchant weapon...

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Post Wednesday, 3rd December 2014, 03:15

Re: consumable drop rate too high

A simplified model why some characters seem to have far too many consumables:

Let's imagine there's 100 difficult fights during an average 3 rune game. 70 of them you can still beat without consumables, 20 require a decent consumable (i.e. heal wounds), and the last 10 a major consumable (i.e. scroll of blinking). Your character used 20 heal wounds (charges or potions) and 10 scrolls of blinking.

If this character was slightly stronger, say you found a ring of robustness instead of the other character's ring of protection +4, those fights might look more like 85% no consumable, 10% healing needed, 5% blinking needed. It's now going to look like the game generated a huge stack of unneeded consumables based on a relatively small power difference in your character.

I'm fairly sure I could a win a game without any heal wounds or blinking on a very powerful combo (say CeHu) but balancing around the top characters makes most combos (relatively) unplayable. If you found good gear, or just used very careful tactics, you won't be burning consumables nearly as much and you'll end up with quite a lot at the end, RNG willing. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, though.

It's possible the numbers should be adjusted somewhat, but even if you do, you'll always have the case where a powerful or just well played character can escape still carrying 10 heal wounds and 8 scrolls of blinking.

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Post Wednesday, 3rd December 2014, 07:13

Re: consumable drop rate too high

I agree that lowering !curing spawn rate would be super frustrating. I've seen pretty wide variance in consumable drops. I am pretty conservative with my consumable use, but in some games I've only found 10ish curing potions and I've had games with no !cancellation after two runes worth of branches. I mean other games I'm drowning in potions, but to lower the spawn rate would screw the early game up a ton. You'll die to those adders in D:1 and 2, you have no MR so anything will confuse you.

This is an aside: I've had a game where I didn't find a remove curse scroll until I found the lair. I swear this is true. The worst part was I was an Ashenzari worshipper when the altar spawned at D:2 or something.
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Post Friday, 5th December 2014, 02:21

Re: consumable drop rate too high

mkraemer wrote:
It's mainly that my winrate was perhaps 0.5% to 1% in earlier days and although I still play horribly most of the time it is now closing 10%.


For what it's worth, I gave .10 a try and found it to be tactically very easy compared to .16. However, the tedium of constantly managing weight and item slots, managing missile stacks (ugh ugh ugh), IDing wands/potions/scrolls, dealing with item destruction...etc, made it seem harder. Well, it was harder, but it was not harder not in a fun way. Not wanting to invest the time and energy into playing very conservatively (such as not dropping potions and scrolls when not absolutely needed) can really hurt later in the game, making it harder to win. As an example, I was in Pan with preservation and all of my 4-5 recharge scrolls (for my wand of healing) and forgot about them when I fought Cerebov. I had 0 recharge scrolls afterward, and that hurt. I only discovered that when I was in Hell and really needed some more healing. Is that a good way to make a game harder? Haha your scrolls got burned up because you forgot to drop them before the fight. I don't think so. I am so glad that crap is gone.

And, fittingly,the character died of starvation after getting the 15th rune. Did I have food? Yes, but I had left most of it behind to reduce weight, and so when I got hungry I had to travel from Hell to get to it. I happened to die on exactly the turn that got me onto the tile with food. Really quite poetic, if you ask me. It sums up the old game quite nicely. There were choices to be made, but so many were related to the tedium of item management that, for me anyway, it was less fun.

One factor that may make recent versions seem easier is that that the knowledge base of the online community is much larger and higher quality than it used to be. It is easy to post a question online and get a fast and helpful answer from many sources. When I started playing, people were of course willing to help, but they were still figuring out how to play the game (and to deal with the myriad eccentricities). So the advice was not necessarily helpful.

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Post Friday, 5th December 2014, 17:34

Re: consumable drop rate too high

New item destruction: When you come within LOS of a consumable, if 9 or more already exist in the game, (ie, can be found with ctrl-f) then there is a 50% chance one of them will explode and cause noisy damage. It could be the one in your inventory, or the one at the edge of LOS, or the one back on D4.

Now there is an almost good reason to stash again, and there is less of a good reason to hoard.

Vaults can contain 9 potions of cure mutation so you have a good chance of seeing an explosion when you turn the corner.

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Post Friday, 5th December 2014, 17:59

Re: consumable drop rate too high

jejorda2 wrote:New item destruction: When you come within LOS of a consumable, if 9 or more already exist in the game, (ie, can be found with ctrl-f) then there is a 50% chance one of them will explode and cause noisy damage. It could be the one in your inventory, or the one at the edge of LOS, or the one back on D4.

Now there is an almost good reason to stash again, and there is less of a good reason to hoard.

Vaults can contain 9 potions of cure mutation so you have a good chance of seeing an explosion when you turn the corner.


I don't think it is necessary or good to put some soft (50%) limit on the generation of items beyond a certain number, but if you were going to implement something like this, then you should just have the 50% removal chance happen upon generation of the item in question, and it should happen quietly without any explosive damage. A hard limit (no generation after 9 of them are available) would be better, but I still don't think it is a good idea. If you play your character carefully and well throughout the game, and manage to get to Pan and the Hells on a Be without using any blink scrolls or !resistance, so you have a bunch of them saved up, then you deserve the 14 blink scrolls and 12 pots of resistance that you have. So it is with all the consumables.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Friday, 5th December 2014, 21:47

Re: consumable drop rate too high

If you manage to get through the early game without using any of the fun consumables, that means you didn't get to use any of the fun consumables. It should be optimal to do things that are fun. Having a big stack of items that are theoretically awesome but actually useless because you never use them is not a reward.

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