Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care


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Post Sunday, 29th June 2014, 21:53

Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

The good gods hate a lot of actions that are considered evil. Dithmenos hates light and fire, Yredelemnul hates holy items and turning into statues. Fedhas hates you attacking plants and fungi. Cheibriados hates speeding up. Jiyva hates you attacking slimes. Trog hates spellcasting period. All of these gods add some sort of interesting restriction.

However the rest of the gods (except for Xom) play pretty much the same as no god at all when it comes to restrictions. I understand that Vehumet just wants to blow stuff up, Makhleb wants to cause pain, and Lugonu wants to spread his/her corrupting influence. Kikubaaqudgha seems to not have any preferences at all except for killing living creatures from time to time.

Are there any flavorful restrictions that can be given to any of these gods? Surely there is something that you can do short of abandoning them that ticks them off.

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Post Sunday, 29th June 2014, 22:08

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

kiku dislikes eating dragonfruit and undercooking poultry

there, that's "flavor"

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Post Sunday, 29th June 2014, 22:58

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

At the moment, DCSS seems to be going in a direction of simplification and getting rid of anything that can be seen as tedious or annoying and I think god conduct is seen as one of those things that is 'tedious'. I do believe the gods need more flavor and differentiation however, because they've become just a set of abilities rather than something that affects playstyle.

A few ideas into the pot:
Kiku could hate demons and disallow any demon summoning, allying, enslavement or being demonspawn.
Lugonu could hate beneficial mutations or potion boosts (as they are always 'good').
Vehumet could hate intelligence modifiers as they are not 'pure' power.
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Post Sunday, 29th June 2014, 23:42

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

EntropicMage wrote:The good gods hate a lot of actions that are considered evil. Dithmenos hates light and fire, Yredelemnul hates holy items and turning into statues. Fedhas hates you attacking plants and fungi. Cheibriados hates speeding up. Jiyva hates you attacking slimes. Trog hates spellcasting period. All of these gods add some sort of interesting restriction.
Out of those I think only Trog and Chei have restrictions that really make a difference to how you play. The others either do very little (how often do you find yourself wanting to attack non-hostile immobile objects that block enemies but not you?) or just tell a certain character build to fuck off ("I guess my FE can't go Dith").

(although banning undead characters from certain gods for nutrition reasons does make sense)

Bim wrote:At the moment, DCSS seems to be going in a direction of simplification and getting rid of anything that can be seen as tedious or annoying and I think god conduct is seen as one of those things that is 'tedious'. I do believe the gods need more flavor and differentiation however, because they've become just a set of abilities rather than something that affects playstyle.
It's nothing to do with tedium, and more that tacking conducts onto gods doesn't really do anything other than reduce player build choice or annoy the player. For example your Kiku proposal just means that you can't have a Ds of Kiku, while the other two are just very minor nerfs that make the player act as if certain items didn't generate. None of them actually make the gods more interesting.

For what it's worth I think that gods should only have conducts if
1. The conduct is needed to prevent a broken combination (eg Ely excludes undead because Pacification is balanced by nutrition) or
2. The conduct is a core gameplay aspect of the god, and the consequences of the conduct were carefully considered when it was being designed

You wouldn't just randomly add an ability to a god after its been made without considering the reasons for doing so, and I don't see why people regard conducts differently (see: Dith, whose proposal contained no conduct).

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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 13:50

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim wrote:It's nothing to do with tedium, and more that tacking conducts onto gods doesn't really do anything other than reduce player build choice or annoy the player. For example your Kiku proposal just means that you can't have a Ds of Kiku, while the other two are just very minor nerfs that make the player act as if certain items didn't generate. None of them actually make the gods more interesting.

For what it's worth I think that gods should only have conducts if
1. The conduct is needed to prevent a broken combination (eg Ely excludes undead because Pacification is balanced by nutrition) or
2. The conduct is a core gameplay aspect of the god, and the consequences of the conduct were carefully considered when it was being designed

You wouldn't just randomly add an ability to a god after its been made without considering the reasons for doing so, and I don't see why people regard conducts differently (see: Dith, whose proposal contained no conduct).


My ideas were just to get the ball rolling, but I cannot in any way agree that gods can't be changed, as most have been many times in the past!!

At the moment, a good half of the gods are just a set of abilities that you gain after killing a number of monsters. That to me seems rather boring when there is scope to do much more!

Not everything needs to be a cog of perfection on the mechanical road to Zot - as with all gods from any mythology, they can have the most bizarre scruples and similarly interesting flaws. Similarly, conducts don't necessarily need to be restrictions in a 'banning of items' way.
For an example (and only an example) they could be for instance related to branches:
Chei could for instance hate the quick spiders, so give you a gift upon completing the Spider Nest.
TSO (not that he needs it really) could give you a gift/ally for each branch of hell you clear.
Lugonu could corrupt random levels clearing the abyss/tomb

Or pretty much anything else. All in all, I just think that gods could stand being made a bit more interesting than just a list of abilities.
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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 14:06

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Those new suggestions are just (really over-specific) abilities though? I don't mind the idea of gods with conducts, but if you want them you either need to 1) create a new god with a conduct or 2) make a serious attempt to rework an existing god so that its conduct is meaningful. Jamming on "conducts" (I'm seriously struggling to see how any of the new suggestions qualify, if they do then at least half of the existing gods have conducts under your definition) that have basically zero gameplay impact just needlessly complicates gods for no benefit at all.
Last edited by Leafsnail on Monday, 30th June 2014, 14:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 14:06

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim, flavor is good and desirable, but only when it works to enhance the game experience in some way, and it's not clear to me that any of the suggestions you made would do this: Chei's hatred for spiders is already more elegantly and effectively carried out by 1) Slouch, and 2) gaining more piety for killing fast things.

Further, once you add a piece of flavors like "Chei hates the spiders so much that he gives you a gift for getting the gossamer rune", things get weird: does Chei punish you for getting the serpentine rune, since Chei likes nagas? How about the golden rune, which lives in a timeless sanctuary that you just tore apart? What about Slime and Swamp, both of which contain a lot of monsters faster than the players? Why doesn't Chei just start giving you gifts whenever you gain piety, since you're by definition killing things Chei hates? Once you start making flavor for flavor's sake, you 1) start making a lot of weird cases and exceptions that need to be memorized, and 2) have to ensure that everything follows that flavor consistently throughout the whole game, or else the flavor feels arbitrary and forced.

Good design can come top-down by starting with flavor or bottom-up starting with mechanics, but that doesn't mean that all flavor leads to good design.

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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 14:27

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

I completely agree, they weren't serious suggestions for implementations, just ideas of non-item based conducts/flavor. Making gods less mechanical is what I'm wanting really. They currently just give piety for something simple and then give you rewards triggered by pressing a. I don't feel that gods should be so mechanical, and that they could do with more to differentiate from one another.

The suggestion of branch rewards was based on a desire to have the gods be more involved with the player in some way. Chei is probably one of the more interesting gods with the whole fast/slow mechanics and killing slow monsters, but as this thread started off by stating - Kiku's rather lacking in this regard, as are some of the other gods to varying degrees.

Even just adding in a few random god acts (Chei could slow down an enemy for you occasionally for instance, Vehumet could strike something or whatever) would spice things up a bit, as would rewarding you for doing some great feat or another.
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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 15:03

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

I like Gods that don't whine like babies when you do something.
eg: Dithmenos summoning shadow god-demons if you use a wand of flame; or The Shining One if you do anything.
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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 15:55

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

gods ususually do that, is their thing.
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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 23:22

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim wrote:I completely agree, they weren't serious suggestions for implementations, just ideas of non-item based conducts/flavor. Making gods less mechanical is what I'm wanting really. They currently just give piety for something simple and then give you rewards triggered by pressing a. I don't feel that gods should be so mechanical, and that they could do with more to differentiate from one another.
So just to be clear, what you're requesting is increased complication purely for the sake of increased complication? I also find this new "turn every god into Xom-lite" suggestion even more confusing than the previous ones.

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Post Monday, 30th June 2014, 23:44

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Leafsnail wrote:
Bim wrote:I completely agree, they weren't serious suggestions for implementations, just ideas of non-item based conducts/flavor. Making gods less mechanical is what I'm wanting really. They currently just give piety for something simple and then give you rewards triggered by pressing a. I don't feel that gods should be so mechanical, and that they could do with more to differentiate from one another.
So just to be clear, what you're requesting is increased complication purely for the sake of increased complication? I also find this new "turn every god into Xom-lite" suggestion even more confusing than the previous ones.


By that logic, every spell in the game is complicated for the sake of being complicated and should be changed into 'cloud', 'bolt' or 'buff'. Seriously, I feel as though this forum is made up of people determined to reduce every suggestion to some sort of logical extreme, mixed in with petty snipes. It never used to be like this, and I can't see how it does anyone any favors.

The only thing I'm suggesting is that gods become less mechanical and have more of a will of their own. That in no way means more complicated, other than that they're slightly more interesting than 'kill monsters, press a' - If you really are worried about further complexity and not just being belligerent, the random acts/whatever could be clearly signposted.

One of the reasons why Xom is so fun/popular is that he seems to have some personality and some actual input into your journey, rather than just being a set of abilities. I feel that could be done with others as well; Sif could stun a troll for it's lack of intelligence, Vehumet could blast an enemy sorcerer and TSO could grant you a servant for the great task of capturing a rune. Nothing game breaking, just moments of interest where the gods get involved - you are supposed to be their prized avatar after all.
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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 00:18

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Different gods are different. Wooo. :)

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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 00:26

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Kiku hates your laziness. All she asks is that you go to work, but no, you sit on your lazy butt waiting for her to bring you some pizza*. You never even say thank you. She didn't go into this business for this kind of treatment! She slaves and slaves and all she asks in return is for one little pile of corpses, and does she get one iota of gratitude? Never. Absolutely never. She has needs too, you selfish jerk. If you don't get back to work right away, she's going to leave you for somebody else, and then you'll be sorry.

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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 11:34

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim wrote:By that logic, every spell in the game is complicated for the sake of being complicated and should be changed into 'cloud', 'bolt' or 'buff'. Seriously, I feel as though this forum is made up of people determined to reduce every suggestion to some sort of logical extreme, mixed in with petty snipes. It never used to be like this, and I can't see how it does anyone any favors.
You have not understood my argument. What you are saying is that the gods are too "mechanical" (which as far as I can tell means "simple, easy to understand"), and using that (and that alone!) as your justification to complicate them. It's ok to have more complicated spells or mechanics providing there is a clear gameplay justification for having them, and not just "complexity is inherently good". Otherwise you're just giving new players (even) more to learn for no benefit.

Bim wrote:The only thing I'm suggesting is that gods become less mechanical and have more of a will of their own. That in no way means more complicated, other than that they're slightly more interesting than 'kill monsters, press a' - If you really are worried about further complexity and not just being belligerent, the random acts/whatever could be clearly signposted.

One of the reasons why Xom is so fun/popular is that he seems to have some personality and some actual input into your journey, rather than just being a set of abilities. I feel that could be done with others as well; Sif could stun a troll for it's lack of intelligence, Vehumet could blast an enemy sorcerer and TSO could grant you a servant for the great task of capturing a rune. Nothing game breaking, just moments of interest where the gods get involved - you are supposed to be their prized avatar after all.
If I wanted my god to do random things without any input from me then I would play Xom. There it has the advantage that his random acts will sometimes cause you to deal with unexpected situations, rather than just occasionally give you a meaningless boost. I'd also seriously question whether Xom is actually popular, and even if he was I'd ask if the popularity of a given god is justification to make all other gods similar to them.

The gods already do get involved - they can give you gifts, save your life, passively help you and respond to your calls for aid. They do this very effectively. I don't see why they need to take independent action on top of that, they're already giving you plenty of help, and if they do so in an easy to understand way that means there's less for a player to learn about that god before they can start thinking about actual tactics and strategy.

Lastly, I must again take issue with the examples you've provided. How would Vehumet and Sif Muna attacking your enemies randomly prevent them from being "kill monsters, press a"? They would still be that (well Vehumet wouldn't because he doesn't have any active abilities), the only difference would be that the game would be a bit easier. The TSO one is a bit different, in that I think it's an actively bad idea to turn TSO into a perma-ally god (particularly since it would encourage you to not pick up any runes until your switch to TSO).

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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 14:23

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Xom randomly acts in ways that can be beneficial or harmful. The ways Bim is describing are random acts that are always good. As such, these acts are effectively the same as having a set of beneficial abilities that you can only trigger by performing tedious actions (kiting or whatever) until the ability randomly triggers. They're also unequivocally a power boost to the player, since they're all new and all upside.

Bim, if you want to have a proposal like this succeed, you need to at minimum come up with a version that's fully thought out to create interesting gameplay and not to promote spoilers (under what circumstances does each god do its random actions and what do they randomly do?) and not to promote grinding (kiting a circumstance until it triggers a god action). You can say, "I propose that we do what I said but without grinding and without being spoilery", but it's not enough to just say it -- you need to come up with a plausible proposal to address the issues.

Put another way, there are obvious problems with your proposal that you haven't taken the time to address in the proposal itself, and your responses to people commenting on the problems is a mix of new proposals that also have the same types of issues and hostility that others aren't delighted by your ideas.
Last edited by Lasty on Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 18:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 15:28

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim wrote:Seriously, I feel as though this forum is made up of people determined to reduce every suggestion to some sort of logical extreme, mixed in with petty snipes. It never used to be like this, and I can't see how it does anyone any favors.

Speaking of petty snipes...
But in all seriousness, we just don't like your ideas, most of which seem to be about adding mechanics for flavor reasons and not because they are good mechanics. If you want a game filled with flavor and spoilery mechanics, I suggest you play Nethack.

Now if you can come up with an idea that adds a good mechanic and it is nicely flavorful, I will be all for it.
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Post Tuesday, 1st July 2014, 21:56

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Even he doesn't deserve that. I played Nethack once and ended up clawing my own eyes out.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd July 2014, 00:14

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

I guess I'm completely at odds with the direction DCSS is going these days so I'll not bother posting anything further.

I will say though that the attitudes of people on this forum are extremely off putting - I've seen the state of this community complained about on other forums, and its really not doing DCSS any favors. GDD used to be a moderately friendly place with at least some acceptance of alternative view points, but now it seems that there's been a massive decline in numbers, and just left the same few people sniping at opinions they don't agree with.

As a closing remark from a long time Crawl/DCSS player, I'd humbly suggest the mods to clean up the behavior of some members a bit and that the devs take on board (to a limited extent) the views of people not entirely satisfied with the direction it's going, because as your blog comments show, it's not just me that thinks like this.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd July 2014, 00:59

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim, you know that friendly is not identical with agreeing with what you say, and that when someone disagrees with you in a constructive way, you should not find that offputting, right?

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Post Wednesday, 2nd July 2014, 04:27

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

Bim wrote:I guess I'm completely at odds with the direction DCSS is going these days so I'll not bother posting anything further.


There are a couple of things you should probably understand.

First, when looking at, for example, this discrete proposal, the problem is not just to do with the "direction DCSS is going these days" nor with 'the attitudes of minmay & etc.' Maybe there is a trend towards removing complex or arcane elements (ignoring the multiple gods and species recently added that constitute legitimate content instead of bloat/cruft) but they don't have much to do with Kikubaaqudgha. Regardless, the problem with the quote-unquote proposal provided is that it does not meet what are supposed to be the standards of this subforum. I assume you've read the post titled unambiguously "You Must Read This Before Posting in GDD." Grimm is no longer an administrator for reasons complex and irrelevent, but you probably understand that the fact that the forums administrators stickied that thread means that they tacitly support it. That page proclaims, among many other things, that design proposals must explain their own generative conditions (i.e. why they ought to happen) and be in line with crawl's design philosophy. In a minimal way, I guess the OP supplied these things. It also asks one to, quote, "Work hard on your proposal. Provide details, and flesh out ideas as much as possible. Consider special cases and how your proposed changes interact with the rest of the game. Provide numbers and formulas when you can. Try coding at least some of your proposal." I personally see no evidence of this in the original post (nor any of the follow-up.) It reflect a surface-level dissatisfaction with the incongruity of some elements of crawl with some others. This might be an appropriate sentiment to casually voice in, for example, ##crawl or even ##crawl-dev, but this subforum has a different set of standards. Incongruity is not a fundamental problem and is, in fact, a source of tactical and strategic richness. So if there is a reason to alter it, that reason ought to be rooted in an attempt to increase legitimate complexity and crawl's main goal - the opportunity for the player to make interesting and important decisions - and not just to emulate whatever other tropes are related to deities.

Second, you must understand that I (I can only speak to my own motivations) was not sarcastically dismissing the OP because I don't think the kind of game he or she was vaguely gesturing towards ought to exist. I was sarcastically dismissing it because the proposal was vapid and useless. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is an open-source project. This means that anyone can use anything that has been developed or released for their own means. They can make their own edits or alterations for personal use or dissemination. See, for example Crawl Light. There has, incidentally, been a collaborative effort between a large number of contributors, whom we call "devs," to make a certain kind of game out of the code given to use by Linley. This comprises a broad developmental community of people who want, largely, to make a certain kind of game. What kind of game? The kind of game that is envisioned in the crawl design philosophy and that is approached asymptotically by every good and legitimate alteration made to the game as it is (that is, the game compiled and released by the dev team.) That is, axiomatically, what "crawl" as it is generally discussed is about. It is a very specific kind of game. If you don't like it, don't play it. If you like it but disagree with certain aspects of its fundamental complexion, feel free to take what you like and change them at your leisure, or maybe develop another community that is organized along whatever lines you wish the game followed. Please do not, however, enter into a discussion predicated explicitly on certain foundations if you disagree with them, explicitly or tacitly. "Alternate viewpoints," if they are not in line with what are explicitly identified (and I use "identified" here in the strongest sense) with design goals, then they have no place here.

Third and regarding specifically the tone of responses in GDD, there are multiple caveat emptors in the "You must read this" post. E.g.
When (not if) someone criticises your idea, accept it. Listen. Adapt your proposal. Admit when you're wrong. Do not belligerently make the same case over and over. Basic etiquette and the forum rules still apply. If you feel a criticism is personal or unwarranted, use the report button or pm a moderator. Be advised that the forum benefits from a certain amount of astringent criticism of new proposals, and that whining on your part will weaken or destroy your case.

and also
Anything posted here will receive criticism that is sometimes quite harsh, so be prepared. If you want to minimise your chances of being criticized and increase the chances that your idea will be taken seriously, spend plenty of time familiarising yourself with other proposals both successful and failed, and read and understand every point in the list that follows.

The degree of hostility in GDD is tame compared to, for example, most business environments or academia. My impression is that it (the former) stems largely from people who well understand the game and its philosophy being dissatisfied with people who do not appear understand those things. This strikes me as being, given the context, a more legitimate a source of dissatisfaction than the kind of reactive hostility that usually responds to it.

(This is not directed completely at you but towards a general sentiment among some players and posters in this particular subforum)

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Post Wednesday, 2nd July 2014, 07:57

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

khalil wrote:I played Nethack once and ended up clawing my own eyes out.

(sorry for OT) 20 years ago, Nethack was the greatest roguelike (I've ascended all classes and then some). Unfortunately, its development stopped 10 years ago.
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Post Wednesday, 2nd July 2014, 13:19

Re: Kikubaaqudgha Just Doesn't Care

One-Eyed Jack wrote:The degree of hostility {...} stems largely from people who well understand the game and its philosophy being dissatisfied with people who do not appear {to} understand those things.


Trimmed to a TL;DR, highlighting the relevant part based on observations.
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