End monster spawning


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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 01:07

End monster spawning

After a level is generated why continue to spawn monsters in it*? I don't see the need to ever put more monsters in a level than were there when it was made. It has no effect on games that are going fast, and just is annoying in games where you are resting a lot.

Why bother with spawning out of depth monsters to discourage people from grinding, when you can just remove the entire possibility of grinding?

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 01:15

Re: End monster spawning

You wouldn't be removing the possibility of grinding; players would still be encouraged to hunt down every last monster on the level after they finish exploring. That said the current OOD timer stops discouraging grinding as soon as you reach lair, so whatever.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 01:20

Re: End monster spawning

duvessa wrote:You wouldn't be removing the possibility of grinding; players would still be encouraged to hunt down every last monster on the level after they finish exploring.


Why lose piety and food to kill that single goblin when you don't even know it exists on the level? Suggestion in OP would completely solve the grinding problem.
I guess purpose of monster generation is to decrease player's control (you never know if a hydra is waiting for you when you are retreating upstairs) and to make game more "exciting".

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 01:29

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:
duvessa wrote:You wouldn't be removing the possibility of grinding; players would still be encouraged to hunt down every last monster on the level after they finish exploring.


Why lose piety and food to kill that single goblin when you don't even know it exists on the level? Suggestion in OP would completely solve the grinding problem.
You are a mummy/whatever and don't have a god yet. You are a mummy/whatever and have a god without piety decay. You learned necromutation*. Etc.

I mean, Jesus, I know I complain about crawl development a lot but you don't honestly think the super OOD timer was just added for no reason do you? Grinding monsters is a genuinely difficult-to-solve problem as long as Crawl has both moving monsters with rewards for killing them, and ways to get around the clocks.



*not that you could ever possibly grind enough experience to make learning necromutation anything other than a terrible mistake, but still, it's hypothetical

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 01:35

Re: End monster spawning

duvessa wrote:I mean, Jesus, I know I complain about crawl development a lot but you don't honestly think the super OOD timer was just added for no reason do you? Grinding monsters is a genuinely difficult-to-solve problem as long as Crawl has both moving monsters with rewards for killing them, and ways to get around the clocks.



*not that you could ever possibly grind enough experience to make learning necromutation anything other than a terrible mistake, but still, it's hypothetical


I am not sure you realized what Berder is suggesting. When you create a level, you put some monsters there. No monsters are generated on the level after that, ever. It is not important if you are Mu or not, you have nothing to kill after you have explored the whole level.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 03:08

Re: End monster spawning

I'm not sure why so much accounting for people being silly is required. The punishment for pudding farming is pudding farming, the punishment for exp farming is exp farming.
And after all, it's not like your imaginary score points won't suffer greatly if you spend 9000 turns on every floor to hunt down every single monster.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 03:46

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:
duvessa wrote:I mean, Jesus, I know I complain about crawl development a lot but you don't honestly think the super OOD timer was just added for no reason do you? Grinding monsters is a genuinely difficult-to-solve problem as long as Crawl has both moving monsters with rewards for killing them, and ways to get around the clocks.



*not that you could ever possibly grind enough experience to make learning necromutation anything other than a terrible mistake, but still, it's hypothetical


I am not sure you realized what Berder is suggesting. When you create a level, you put some monsters there. No monsters are generated on the level after that, ever. It is not important if you are Mu or not, you have nothing to kill after you have explored the whole level.


Monsters move around though. Even after fully exploring the level you might have missed some that wandered from non-explored areas into already explored areas, so that when you enter the former area, it's empty, but you didn't kill the monsters that spawned there. So if hunger/piety isn't an issue for you, you should walk through the whole level a couple times more to round up remaining monsters.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:30

Re: End monster spawning

i wish the english language possesed a word to capture how remarkably depressing both the concept of running around an empty level of a video game looking for the razor thinnest advantage and the fact that you people are taking that idea seriously are
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:36

Re: End monster spawning

Bloax wrote:I'm not sure why so much accounting for people being silly is required. The punishment for pudding farming is pudding farming, the punishment for exp farming is exp farming.
And after all, it's not like your imaginary score points won't suffer greatly if you spend 9000 turns on every floor to hunt down every single monster.

A fairly important part of crawl's design philosophy is that tedious activity should not increase your win-rate. In general, crawl's design does not take speedrunners into account, except insofar as the score system exists at all. (This is why breadswinging still exists.)

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:36

Re: End monster spawning

Arrhythmia wrote:i wish the english language possesed a word to capture how remarkably depressing both the concept of running around an empty level of a video game looking for the razor thinnest advantage and the fact that you people are taking that idea seriously are


I bet the Germans have a word for it.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:36

Re: End monster spawning

Arrhythmia wrote:i wish the english language possesed a word to capture how remarkably depressing both the concept of running around an empty level of a video game looking for the razor thinnest advantage and the fact that you people are taking that idea seriously are

This is why I only play Hoplite.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:39

Re: End monster spawning

cerebovssquire wrote:Monsters move around though. Even after fully exploring the level you might have missed some that wandered from non-explored areas into already explored areas, so that when you enter the former area, it's empty, but you didn't kill the monsters that spawned there. So if hunger/piety isn't an issue for you, you should walk through the whole level a couple times more to round up remaining monsters.


I can only repeat my old message:

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Why lose piety and food to kill that single goblin when you don't even know it exists on the level?

The only combo which does not care about food and piety is Mu of Chei/Ru/Gozag/Xom and not caring about time is kind of its main point.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 04:40

Re: End monster spawning

nicolae wrote:
Arrhythmia wrote:i wish the english language possesed a word to capture how remarkably depressing both the concept of running around an empty level of a video game looking for the razor thinnest advantage and the fact that you people are taking that idea seriously are


I bet the Germans have a word for it.


I'm afraid we don't. Probably because the idea of looking for the razor thinnest advantage by, in comparison, ridiculously hard work is exciting rather than depressing!

@Sandman: Pretty sure most characters don't care about food to the extent that this wouldn't be a good idea for them. Also, your argument is kind of based on the "single goblin" part. I don't think that accurately represents what is left over after autoexploring (though I admit I haven't tested that).

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 05:01

Re: End monster spawning

I think it still will be better than current situation when you can return to D1 after clearing D15 (especially since you claim food is not an issue for most characters). There is no significant difference between adjacent levels, otherwise we would not survive shafting that often. Also it would increase difference between combos, currently you spend more time resting with weak combos and it means you get more XP with them.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 05:03

Re: End monster spawning

cerebovssquire wrote:
nicolae wrote:
Arrhythmia wrote:i wish the english language possesed a word to capture how remarkably depressing both the concept of running around an empty level of a video game looking for the razor thinnest advantage and the fact that you people are taking that idea seriously are


I bet the Germans have a word for it.


I'm afraid we don't. Probably because the idea of looking for the razor thinnest advantage by, in comparison, ridiculously hard work is exciting rather than depressing!


overcoming a ridiculously hard challenge is one thing, but people doing this no challenge, this space that is empty of meaning, or fun, for an advantage so infintesimal that is the ghost of a departed ghost, and the fear of people actually doing this to be so great as to impact our descision making is, quite honestly, making me a little nauseous
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 05:04

Re: End monster spawning

it would be a mercy for the people who would do this to die
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 05:06

Re: End monster spawning

I think it still will be better than current situation when you can return to D1 after clearing D15 (especially since you claim food is not an issue for most characters). There is no significant difference between adjacent levels, otherwise we would not survive shafting that often. Also it would increase difference between combos, currently you spend more time resting with weak combos and it means you get more XP with them.


Yeah, I'm not saying the current situation isn't problematic (Lair in particular is very scummable).

At the very least, if there is no spawning of new monsters, you could do it like DoomRL, which gives the message "You feel relatively safe now" when the level is completely clear. It lets you check the amount of monsters left on the level too, which would be worth considering.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 12:49

Re: End monster spawning

cerebovssquire wrote:At the very least, if there is no spawning of new monsters, you could do it like DoomRL, which gives the message "You feel relatively safe now" when the level is completely clear. It lets you check the amount of monsters left on the level too, which would be worth considering.

That would be great.

But I want to ask: is it a bad thing that when you escape upstairs from a tough fight with low HP and/or MP to a previously cleared level, you might be spotted by a new monster while resting? Even otherwise pop-corn monsters can provide a challenge in this kind of situation.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 12:53

Re: End monster spawning

Sprucery wrote:But I want to ask: is it a bad thing that when you escape upstairs from a tough fight with low HP and/or MP to a previously cleared level, you might be spotted by a new monster while resting? Even otherwise pop-corn monsters can provide a challenge in this kind of situation.


Yes, it is bad as it increases chance of unavoidable death. I actually died to a spawned hydra while retreating upstairs to a previously cleared level.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 13:44

Re: End monster spawning

That seems more like evidence that it's good to me.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 13:47

Re: End monster spawning

wheals wrote:That seems more like evidence that it's good to me.


Why do we have monsters generated near stairs instead of near player then? More deaths more fun.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 14:33

Re: End monster spawning

Usually it just makes it take even longer to clear a level that was already taking a long time to clear. It's more annoying than dangerous.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 14:51

Re: End monster spawning

Sure, monster spawning after level generation does introduce some additional risk when, say, you are relying heavily on stairs and regenerating on the prior level multiple times while clearing out a tough floor. But this additional risk is very haphazard and inconsistent, I find, and even then it only really matters early on. However, monster spawns interrupt autotravel throughout the entire game, very consistently, and very annoyingly.

I mean, monster generation is deliberately calibrated in all normal branches to be slow enough that you are extremely unlikely to get much benefit from grinding cleared levels (even for a short period) on species that have to eat. This calibration also means that it is very difficult for subsequent monster spawns to present any challenge after a level is mostly cleared.

So, personally I would support and appreciate changes to the game that made it so that no monsters spawn after level generation. You could then do away with the out of depth timer and a lot of other opaque stuff that you see people asking about and worrying over, despite the fact that it very rarely matters much, unless you are doing very silly things.

It is funny when you are on your way back up with the orb and you one-shot gnolls and adders on D2 that had been giving your character so much grief hours ago, but that alone isn't worth the many non-interesting delays and nuisances that come with continuous monster spawning.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:06

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:Yes, it is bad as it increases chance of unavoidable death. I actually died to a spawned hydra while retreating upstairs to a previously cleared level.

I wouldn't call this kind of death unavoidable. It could have been avoided by retreating a bit earlier, for example. But I fully understand that this can happen (I don't play that carefully myself).

Also I agree with wheals that it's good that this happens. It's not that 'more deaths = more fun', but rather 'more tense situations and challenges = more fun'. For every death there's also a narrow escape to tell stories about.

and into wrote:However, monster spawns interrupt autotravel throughout the entire game, very consistently, and very annoyingly.

True. That is the worst thing about monster spawns, imho.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:10

Re: End monster spawning

Well okay, on further thought, monster spawning does meaningfully and fairly consistently (in my experience) add challenge while you are still "clearing" a level, since the enemies that spawn after level generation are already awake/roaming monsters. So perhaps it would be the best of both worlds if monsters continued to spawn on a level after generation, but for a much shorter period of time, depending on the size of the level, and calibrated (roughly) around an expected average turncount for exploring/clearing the level.

(It is my understanding that, currently, enemies do stop spawning on a level altogether, eventually, but it takes so long that this point is not going to be reached unless you are actively grinding, or making a stash and spending a lot of time there.)

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:13

Re: End monster spawning

Sprucery wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:Yes, it is bad as it increases chance of unavoidable death. I actually died to a spawned hydra while retreating upstairs to a previously cleared level.

I wouldn't call this kind of death unavoidable. It could have been avoided by retreating a bit earlier, for example. But I fully understand that this can happen (I don't play that carefully myself).


1) Would you change your opinion if my character died from full HP? (I don't remember that game but I often retreat/teleport/blink at full HP).
2) Why do we have guaranteed first move when entering a new level? Because you can be adjacent to 8 hydrae and should have some action to deal with that? Is it possible to be adjacent to 8 hydrae after retreating upstairs?

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:15

Re: End monster spawning

and into wrote:Well okay, on further thought, monster spawning does meaningfully and fairly consistently (in my experience) add challenge while you are still "clearing" a level, since the enemies that spawn after level generation are already awake/roaming monsters. So perhaps it would be the best of both worlds if monsters continued to spawn on a level after generation, but for a much shorter period of time, depending on the size of the level, and calibrated (roughly) around an expected average turncount for exploring/clearing the level.

(It is my understanding that, currently, enemies do stop spawning on a level altogether, eventually, but it takes so long that this point is not going to be reached unless you are actively grinding, or making a stash and spending a lot of time there.)


Is it good to stop monster generation when autoexplore tells "Done"?
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:22

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:1) Would you change your opinion if my character died from full HP? (I don't remember that game but I often retreat/teleport/blink at full HP).
2) Why do we have guaranteed first move when entering a new level? Because you can be adjacent to 8 hydrae and should have some action to deal with that? Is it possible to be adjacent to 8 hydrae after retreating upstairs?

1) Yes. Propably. Depends on what your actions were after you arrived upstairs. (Or if something else was dramatically wrong like starving and passing out.)
2) I'm pretty sure I've had a pack of monsters (deep trolls, for example) near the stairs after retreating up. This can be a really bad situation. Hydras don't come in packs usually though. But this is rare enough that I don't mind.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:25

Re: End monster spawning

Sprucery wrote:1) Yes. Propably. Depends on what your actions were after you arrived upstairs. (Or if something else was dramatically wrong like starving and passing out.)


What actions? I didn't have any actions, my last action was "<", I died instantly. Something like "You go upstairs. Hydra comes into view. Hydra misses you x3. Hydra hits you x6. You die..."

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:38

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:
Sprucery wrote:
Sandman25 wrote:Yes, it is bad as it increases chance of unavoidable death. I actually died to a spawned hydra while retreating upstairs to a previously cleared level.

I wouldn't call this kind of death unavoidable. It could have been avoided by retreating a bit earlier, for example. But I fully understand that this can happen (I don't play that carefully myself).


1) Would you change your opinion if my character died from full HP? (I don't remember that game but I often retreat/teleport/blink at full HP).
2) Why do we have guaranteed first move when entering a new level? Because you can be adjacent to 8 hydrae and should have some action to deal with that? Is it possible to be adjacent to 8 hydrae after retreating upstairs?

Actually I suspect the reason we have guaranteed player first move is that monsters are created with 0 energy, and it isn't until you take an action that they might gain some such that they could make a move. It would probably be possible to give monsters some randomized amount of energy when they were created, but that would be more work, and it doesn't seem like the effect of 'players get the first move' is a bad one, and hence worth the trouble of changing. (Even if it is weird and a little opaque)
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:40

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:
and into wrote:Well okay, on further thought, monster spawning does meaningfully and fairly consistently (in my experience) add challenge while you are still "clearing" a level, since the enemies that spawn after level generation are already awake/roaming monsters. So perhaps it would be the best of both worlds if monsters continued to spawn on a level after generation, but for a much shorter period of time, depending on the size of the level, and calibrated (roughly) around an expected average turncount for exploring/clearing the level.

(It is my understanding that, currently, enemies do stop spawning on a level altogether, eventually, but it takes so long that this point is not going to be reached unless you are actively grinding, or making a stash and spending a lot of time there.)


Is it good to stop monster generation when autoexplore tells "Done"?


No, because this then gives an incentive (depending on situation) either to *not* fully explore a level, but leave some tiny empty patch unexplored, or else to fully explore a level (cool, let's go kill all those plants that are blocking two unexplored and almost certainly empty tiles). That's bad for a whole host of reasons. Not fun.

No enemy generation on a floor except during level generation is definitely the cleanest change, in this sense, but I do think it would alter difficulty and game play in a way that may not be negligible. I understand why the devs aren't too quick to make changes to something so fundamental to the game, even when the gains in convenience (w/r/t autoexplore, etc.) would be very clear.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 15:45

Re: End monster spawning

It's my understanding that a majority of monsters a player actually encounters are actually not placed yet (outside of levels that have vaults with lots of monsters) on the turn you enter a level. So you're dramatically reducing monster count if you just make this change with no compensation.

It would of course be possible to compensate for this change, and there are good reasons to want to eliminate monster-generation-over-time, but the status quo is a small problem that would take a lot of effort to fix.

(If I could remember where I heard this (I'm pretty sure it was a dev) then I could say more)

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 16:10

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:What actions? I didn't have any actions, my last action was "<", I died instantly. Something like "You go upstairs. Hydra comes into view. Hydra misses you x3. Hydra hits you x6. You die..."

Ouch. Yes, I'd call that unavoidable.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 16:33

Re: End monster spawning

It's not okay to argue for rule changes after every single instant death. These are unfortunate, but the game would sloppier and worse if it tried even harder to be nice.

As I understand it, the complaints about monster spawning come from three directions:
  • Inconvenience: it is tedious to have autotravel stop because some completely trivial monsters happen to avoid extinction back then or has been generated just now. As I said elsewhere, I suggest that when re-entering a level, monsters (except for uniques) can be removed if the game considers them to be non-challenging. This has some implications for piety and food, all of which are good, in my opinion.
  • Opaque anti-grinding rules: this is about extra spawning to punish scummers. I don't think this is relevant in practice very often, but I agree that avoiding this by not-spawning monsters would be a minor improvement.
  • Sudden deaths from post-level generation spawned monsters: this is not a drawback, but a (rare) consequence of a very desirable goal. In fact, creating tense situations is what monster spawning (after level creation) is all about, in my opinion. We should strive to create such situations in better ways, not to remove it.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 17:19

Re: End monster spawning

It's pretty much completely impossible for post-level generation spawned monsters to cause unavoidable deaths, since, you know, you need to have spent time on the level already. Why is this even being brought up? Also, https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?p=191173#p191173

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 18:04

Re: End monster spawning

crate wrote:It's my understanding that a majority of monsters a player actually encounters are actually not placed yet (outside of levels that have vaults with lots of monsters) on the turn you enter a level. So you're dramatically reducing monster count if you just make this change with no compensation.

It would of course be possible to compensate for this change, and there are good reasons to want to eliminate monster-generation-over-time, but the status quo is a small problem that would take a lot of effort to fix.

(If I could remember where I heard this (I'm pretty sure it was a dev) then I could say more)

Is that really true? Somehow I had the impression that if a monster is sleeping when you encounter it, that means it was there when you first entered the level. When I play a stealthy character almost all monsters are sleeping when I first encounter them.

Anyway, if it is true, then it wouldn't be that hard to compensate for. Currently, after you've spent X turns in a level (whatever X is), monsters stop spawning altogether in that level. Just change X to the amount of time you typically spend in a level when you are going moderately fast (like an 80k turn 3 rune game). Then there wouldn't be any loss of xp if you're going moderately fast, and if you're going slow you don't get constantly annoyed by more and more monsters.
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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 20:01

Re: End monster spawning

dpeg wrote:[*] Opaque anti-grinding rules: this is about extra spawning to punish scummers. I don't think this is relevant in practice very often, but I agree that avoiding this by not-spawning monsters would be a minor improvement.

Perhaps we need to discourage scumming with something closer to hell effects / god wrath than with extra-deadly spawns. It would be much more clear, and give no extra benefit.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 20:18

Re: End monster spawning

Lasty wrote:Perhaps we need to discourage scumming with something closer to hell effects / god wrath than with extra-deadly spawns. It would be much more clear, and give no extra benefit.


What is scumming in this context? If I am a Mu (who has no access to regeneration/sublimation spell but bad defense and lots of HP/MP to restore) who always lures monsters back before fighting, always heals to 100% HP/MP before exploring and uses autoexplore for convenience, am I a scummer and should be punished with hell effects? Even partially using this approach, I often spend more than 1k turns per dungeon level.

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Post Wednesday, 11th March 2015, 20:50

Re: End monster spawning

Sandman25 wrote:What is scumming in this context? If I am a Mu (who has no access to regeneration/sublimation spell but bad defense and lots of HP/MP to restore) who always lures monsters back before fighting, always heals to 100% HP/MP before exploring and uses autoexplore for convenience, am I a scummer and should be punished with hell effects? Even partially using this approach, I often spend more than 1k turns per dungeon level.

Sure. Why make it easy for mummies to play a slow, tedious, safe game? Overall, it seems good to have something pushing you onwards towards the end of the game; food was supposed to do this, but doesn't.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 00:42

Re: End monster spawning

We could just have the DoomRL "You feel relatively/partially/a bit more safe now" message when original level monsters are killed, and still keep monster spawning, but at a reduced rate, and biased more to being easy/harmless, so that there would be no real point to grinding.

It adds flavour: (In the quest for the Orb, you shall never be truly 100% safe, etc.), and also discourages grinding by removing the reward of enough XP to be useful to anybody.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 01:35

Re: End monster spawning

Are there actually any figures on what one could reasonably expect to gain by reexploring an apparently clear level to find stragglers? I can't see this offering more than an extra 2 or 3 percent of experience...
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 01:50

Re: End monster spawning

I am against ending monster spawning. I think crawl loses something by having floors being sterile after they are cleared. I also don't want players with the completionist tendency going through the floor waiting for a "this floor is clear" message. Cuz they will, and they will staunchly defend their position to do so, and crawl will become more tedious for them. That is not a behavior crawl wants to foster.

Also, convince me scumming for xp or whatever the hell other reason someone wants to scum matters. If someone wants to sit on d1 waiting for their ogre instead of just going down to d3, I dunno what to tell them, and I don't think the game needs to change from its current state if they do. It would be different if the game encouraged scumming, but it really doesn't in its current form.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 03:22

Re: End monster spawning

There are actually a reasonable number of situations where you want to go sit in lair and kill respawns for a while, though admittedly this is less abusive for god wrath (the biggest time you'd want to do this in the past) than it used to be. But you barely lose any food if you have rpois, with some gods you don't lose piety (Fedhas and Chei don't have decay, possibly some others are slow enough), and you get to kill some dudes.

I don't think anyone actually does this (I have in the past, though I can't remember the name of the character where I did it; it was some HO of beogh (probably hopr) during I think dieselrobin) but that doesn't mean it's not beneficial. It just means that crawl is not so hard that you have to do everything perfectly.

This is less of a problem outside of lair where things that are dangerous can actually generate, but lair monster generation doesn't actually get any worse if you just sit there for 20k turns.

edit: remembered the character: http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/SIDES ... 002531.txt

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 06:14

Re: End monster spawning

Received a report saying, "This thread probs should be in GDD," and I was like, "Wait, this wasn't in GDD already?"

Anyway, now the thread is in GDD. Carry on!

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 11:16

Re: End monster spawning

1) Remove chunk-eating (ghouls aside). The tedious scumming problem should solve itself - there's a price for staying in one level too much.
2) Generate less monsters, but only generate those that game considers 'dangerous' or more. Autoexplore problem should be less painful - you're like "Free exp!" and at least it creates some tension.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 12:03

Re: End monster spawning

PleasingFungus wrote:A fairly important part of crawl's design philosophy is that tedious activity should not increase your win-rate.

The problem with the way this is handled is that anything involving strategy (as opposed to tactics) is interpreted as tedious. Many things in other roguelikes might seem tactically boring, but are in fact strategically interesting. This is the primary reason I still play NetHack -- it gives me my strategic roguelike fix.

kuniqs wrote:2) Generate less monsters, but only generate those that game considers 'dangerous' or more.

This is a problem with Crawl's combat rules, not with the monster spawning. When even the most harmless of enemies can take 20 turns to beat just because of bad rolls, you don't get the fun in squashing harmless enemies that would otherwise be there. If we make every spawn potentially dangerous, we get a manic-depressive dungeon. You're either completely safe, or you're in mortal peril.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 12:26

Re: End monster spawning

mechanicalmaniac: I disagree on both accounts. It is probably open to debate what "strategic" means. In the context of Nethack, I wouldn't see any of altar sessions, polypiling, wraith luring andwhathaveyou as strategic. Again, you may disagree -- these are definitely actions with a long-term benefit. For us, another property is relevant: little risk, definite gain, so we classify them as scumming/no-brainers and try to avoid them.
Strategy in Crawl is supposed to be about long-term choices a la skilling, god, branch order, item use (e.g. switching weapon type). It's okay if that's not enough for your strategical ambitions, but that's about what Crawl has to offer in this regard.

2) No. It is trivial to kill a rat that stopped me auto-travelling. The problem is that it takes some time and disrupts player focus for absolutely no gain (a gain would be a threat that at least has a chance to make the player spend consumables, or even threaten death). I have proved that I can kill rats on D:1, there is no need for me to prove it again, especially not during auto-travel, i.e. when revisiting levels. (A rat can be meaningful in a battle with many other monsters.) It is not entirely trivial to set up a decent threshold for "meaningless monster" but we can start very low and work up.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 13:43

Re: End monster spawning

I think the only people affected by the OOD timer punishment are those that intentionally wait that long. Mummyrobin (challenge) was a semi-popular meta for a bit and it actually is a fun/difficult challenge. (You aren't allowed to leave each dungeon floor until monster generation stops.) Means putting up with stuff like Ogre bands (Ogremage leading several two-headed and normal ogres), Mottled Dragons, Vampires and general late D stuff on D:1. With only what you have on D:1. It's actually an interesting (though nearly impossible) challenge. Those are probably (literally) the only people to stay there long enough.

As someone who once scummed HELL for XP (got the early Hell gate in Lair; decided to go in, couldn't beat what was in the vestibule ended up caught in a corner, went into Geh and scummed the Fiends and undead spawned by effects. (Melee character what was in the vestibule was too much at once; hand to hand with single fiend was fine; and staying in small room prevented too many spawns coming at once). If there is a way to scum it; people will scum it WHEN THEY HAVE TO. Scumming is really boring though and is probably it's own punishment without trying to come up with a system to prevent it. I mean does anyone say their favorite part of final fantasy was grinding trash mobs for XP? hah. Grinding hell can be somewhat efficient for the fiend spawns, if you have a way to deal with the rot and attribute loss. I suppose so can wandering the abyss or clearing pan floors. But the efficiency of trying to grind on the random spawns on a normal dungeon floor is WAY TOO LOW to be counted. You'd either need to go into the harder spawns sooner (now a feature instead of a punishment) or spawn the trash much more frequently to be noticeably anything other than a waste of time.

If you want to make random monster spawning more interesting, do it. But do it in such a way it affect the normal game and isn't some shadow 'punishment' that no one sees. I don't think it needs to be removed though. Wandering monsters and extra things showing up to make a battle more tense are interesting, not boring.
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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 13:57

Re: End monster spawning

mps wrote:Are there actually any figures on what one could reasonably expect to gain by reexploring an apparently clear level to find stragglers? I can't see this offering more than an extra 2 or 3 percent of experience...


I realize this is an unlikely case, but I strongly considered spending a few thousand turns in a recent game lingering around the Depths and Zot. I'd found a trove that needed a storm dragon armour to open. By the time I'd cleared my way to the Orb chamber, I'd slain a dozen such dragons, but found no hides. So yeah, that is a case in which scumming would've paid off; we currently have monsters that OCCASIONALLY drop items that are OCCASIONALLY key items.

Easy fix: All dragons always drop hides. I don't see why this matter should be a coin flip.

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Post Thursday, 12th March 2015, 15:28

Re: End monster spawning

bcadren wrote:I think the only people affected by the OOD timer punishment are those that intentionally wait that long.

The huge gnoll castle with the moat around it on like d4 can take a very long time to clear (and you gain about 3 XLs doing so). While you clear it at a reasonable rate, out of depth monsters can spawn. This has happened to me (got an ice giant or something, though I survived), and to another person who posted a YASD.
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