Food reform AGAIN


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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Monday, 10th October 2016, 11:21

Food reform AGAIN

1. Normal races can't eat chunks or butcher.
2. Ghouls can eat chunks and butcher.
3. Vampires can bottle blood.
4. Streamline food: there are now meat/bread rations, royal jellies and pizzas.
5. Fedhas gifts fruit.
6. Worshipping Gozag gives you fast metabolism.
7. All PC start with 3x more rations.
8. Food generation rate stays the same. Trash food (jerkys, fruits) get replaced by jellies/pizzas.
9. Train Spellcasting ya noob milksop.
10. Spriggans don't need rebalancing, as they still can't eat nearly half of the food that generates early/mid game.

About the 'stay in one place forever and fight wandering monsters only' - you do realize that's already optimal play with chunks? I'm not even talking about abusing high-level spells with low Spellcasting which is common.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 12:36

Re: Food reform AGAIN

What in the unholy six... why would you do that? Why would you give Gozagites Fast Metabolism?!
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 12:59

Re: Food reform AGAIN

1. remove food
2. add a doom/drain clock

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 13:02

Re: Food reform AGAIN

jwoodward48ss: No chunks is a "balancing" mechanism for Gozag. Even then 99% of the time I have more than enough food.

lethediver: Food is a doom clock already in the game. Remove chunks and it will work as intended.
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 13:07

Re: Food reform AGAIN

I doubt it since abyss/pan scumming is still possible.

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 13:35

Re: Food reform AGAIN

So kuniqs makes a discussion-worthy first posting, the first reply takes one aspects of it and produces a witty (?) one-liner, and the second reply manages a two-liner, containing a buzzword but no content. This is game design discussion on this forum, and it's not kuniqs' fault.

kuniqs: What you propose would work, and has actually been discussed in the devteam. Food changes stopped because it turned out that the vision was not clear (everyone agrees that there is too much tedium, but that's not enough). I think for easier parsing you could have headlined your proposal with "permafood only". Some comments on the individual points:

2. When I suggested something very similar, I also made an exception for Trolls (not just for Ghouls). I thought this might be thematically fitting, and with their innate gourmand, they have an easier time anyway (interface-wise).

5. I am absolutely against this: the whole deal of Fedhas and fruits is that you power your divine abilities through an external, limited resource. The god giving you the fuel for the engine is completely counterproductive. (There is proof for this within in Crawl: Nemelex.) Somewhat related: if you find a lot of fruit early on, then Fedhas is that much more attractive.

6. I don't understand this. The food->gold mechanic is not a balancing, or a "balancing", mechanism for Gozag. It is thematic, and was my take on chunkless game, which worked because if really needed, you can buy yourself out of predicaments. I've won a Troll of Gozag, and I don't think you know what you're saying when you suggest fast metabolism on Gozag. (In that sense, the first posting has some merit but... discussion on the forum.)

Yes, Spriggans show that permafood-only would work.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 14:00

Re: Food reform AGAIN

2. Yes, I forgot Trolls exist. Fuck trolls. Gourmad could be a Troll gimmick, like Sustab was a Demigod one.

5. Ditch fruits altogether and just grow oklobs from corpse-fungus for piety.

6. I was thinking about Cheibriados' slow metabolism when proposing this. I think losing dragon hides, corpses and high-tier weapons from Elf:2 is enough of a disadvantage for Gozag.

11. Remove amulets of gourmad, too.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 14:05

Re: Food reform AGAIN

@dpeg: The number of fruits you have has nothing to do with the attractiveness of Fedhas. What is important is the early game strength of your combo, how early the altar comes, and how serious you are about winning the game. The important thing Fedhas does is making mushrooms.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 14:12

Re: Food reform AGAIN

kuniqs wrote:1. Normal races can't eat chunks or butcher.
2. Ghouls can eat chunks and butcher.
3. Vampires can bottle blood.
4. Streamline food: there are now meat/bread rations, royal jellies and pizzas.
5. Fedhas gifts fruit.
6. Worshipping Gozag gives you fast metabolism.
7. All PC start with 3x more rations.
8. Food generation rate stays the same. Trash food (jerkys, fruits) get replaced by jellies/pizzas.
9. Train Spellcasting ya noob milksop.
10. Spriggans don't need rebalancing, as they still can't eat nearly half of the food that generates early/mid game.

About the 'stay in one place forever and fight wandering monsters only' - you do realize that's already optimal play with chunks? I'm not even talking about abusing high-level spells with low Spellcasting which is common.


1. Sounds good
2. Why? Ghoul rotting is almost never of any consequence and is pure flavor. This is not a suggestion to triple their rotting speed to make it more consequential. Being an undead melee-oriented race is what Ghouls are about.
3. The Vampire alive/dead mechanic is a huge hassle. It would be best to simply make them undead with rC+, Torment immunity, rPois, and bat form. You could even leave it at gargoyle-esque torment resistance to flavor them as being in-between life and death. These are the core features of the race. Whenever I watch some new player do Spider as a vampire and run out of blood it is absolutely miserable. No, this is not an "interesting situation". I have actually seen people run out of blood as a vampire. You're encouraged to leave places to farm blood later in the event of getting Spider.
4+5. You can probably just leave fruit as a Fedhas-only item.
6. No.
7+8. Sounds good
9. Implying people can starve from spell hunger without being totally clueless about nutrition (i.e. the existence of a nutrition cap at 5000 or whatever)
10. Spriggans aren't balanced anyway.

Almost nobody likes a seriously tight hunger clock, especially in a game that can often go to 6 hours. Yet a weak hunger clock just amounts to tedium. Rather than trying to get it just right, it would be preferable to use durable OOD spawns or timed Xom-like effects to force progression from floor to floor under a given amount of time rather than use a food clock that's intertwined with a number of other mechanics.
remove food

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 17:02

Re: Food reform AGAIN

Except that I don't see why I should get it up the ass (OOD/Xom BBC) to punish people who might theoreticaly abuse having no hunger clock. I want to get rid of chunks because they're the most tedious part of the game now. I don't care about 'optimal' tactics. People who do have Mummy to play with.

OOD spawns already have the problem of encouraging tedious play (exploring manually instead of autoexplore).
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 17:13

Re: Food reform AGAIN

If food is to simply be a turn-clock then I don't see why the player should even have to eat manually. Wouldn't it be possible to change all permafood to generic "rations" which don't even go in the regular inventory, but are just added to some kind of "food bar" (perhaps displayed just beneath your gold total) which constantly ticks down. Chunks/blood could still be retained for Ghouls and Vampires if needed.

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 17:16

Re: Food reform AGAIN

Could you add
11. emergency food: Everywhere in dungeon are mushrooms. When eating they cause random mushroom poisoning. Something like Ru s sacrifices but without benefit

starve to death is very boring.
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 17:55

Re: Food reform AGAIN

Dioneo wrote:If food is to simply be a turn-clock then I don't see why the player should even have to eat manually. Wouldn't it be possible to change all permafood to generic "rations" which don't even go in the regular inventory, but are just added to some kind of "food bar" (perhaps displayed just beneath your gold total) which constantly ticks down. Chunks/blood could still be retained for Ghouls and Vampires if needed.

Why do you have food at all if it's completely automated and has no impact on your inventory or play? Why not just have a turn clock?

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 18:09

Re: Food reform AGAIN

archaeo: We couldn't do it like this, but --as so often-- Brogue show how it can be done: There is a HUGE difference between "bling, death by turncount" and having a consumble item whose relevant for survival. For example, you always know how many rations you have, and when supply gets short, you explore less carefully, diving for another potion etc. It's an exciting Brogue situation to frantically hunt for that next ration.
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 18:13

Re: Food reform AGAIN

archaeo wrote:Why do you have food at all if it's completely automated and has no impact on your inventory or play? Why not just have a turn clock?


I'm not that invested in this issue personally so I'd be fine with that approach as well :P Although retaining food for this kind of turn clock could add some tension/context to the process. Starting the turn clock at a lower level and having it be replenished by food makes it much easier for the player to intuit how much time they actually have; they understand that they will quickly starve if they don't press on to find more food.

If you start the game and have a turn clock in the tens of thousands (or whatever it would be) it's difficult to know what that means, and it could also lead to situations where early timewasting could lead to a disappointing and unforeseen loss much later in the game, as in: "I spent too much time on the early floors but didn't realize it until the timer ran out 2 hours later". The food system is a more "localized" kind of clock (if that makes sense) and food generation can also be tweaked on a per-branch basis (or whatever) which lends it some extra flexibility.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 20:04

Re: Food reform AGAIN

dpeg wrote:archaeo: We couldn't do it like this, but --as so often-- Brogue show how it can be done: There is a HUGE difference between "bling, death by turncount" and having a consumble item whose relevant for survival. For example, you always know how many rations you have, and when supply gets short, you explore less carefully, diving for another potion etc. It's an exciting Brogue situation to frantically hunt for that next ration.


dpeg wrote:when supply gets short

This basically dosen't happen in Crawl. This kind of system will never work in Crawl. In Brogue there are unkillables (relative to your powerlevel) on many floors and exploring out of depth is extremely dangerous if the right items have not dropped. There is no experience in Brogue. In Crawl you are mostly mowing down popcorn after Lair with a few challenging vaults or uniques. Especially lategame, going a few floors out of your depth is of no real consequence. Also, Brogue takes an hour to play, maybe two. In Brogue, if you are starving, you have likely built a bad character or have gotten insufficient drops, and are in a death spiral due to too much resting. The feeling is not unlike playing a DD without Makhleb running low on MP.

Crawl can take 6-8 hours for a 3 runer. Do you really think people are going to enjoy dying 7 hours into the game when the RNG decides to not spawn any rations for a few floors? It's not as if you will be exploring areas far out of your depth when the latter half of the game is a victory lap. It will just leave players pissed off at the RNG.

Brogue is a game that basically accepts that a nontrivial percentage of characters will simply die because the items needed to build a winning character do not drop, or because there is a streak of floors without food. In Crawl, even if my drops are crap, if I play properly I can still win. I don't think my character should have to die because there were insufficient drops to win. If I want that in Crawl I can do a turncount speedrun.
remove food

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 20:08

Re: Food reform AGAIN

tabstorm: What's so hard to understand about "we couldn't do it like this"?
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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 20:11

Re: Food reform AGAIN

It's why I think a tight food clock would be bad in Crawl, no matter how it's implemented.
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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 20:13

Re: Food reform AGAIN

tabstorm wrote:Crawl can take 6-8 hours for a 3 runer. Do you really think people are going to enjoy dying 7 hours into the game when the RNG decides to not spawn any rations for a few floors? It's not as if you will be exploring areas far out of your depth when the latter half of the game is a victory lap. It will just leave players pissed off at the RNG.


+1.
Also when I realized that I cannot use autoexplore with Troll of Gozag and I will need to think about food and run from popcorn because I cannot afford spending in-game time to melee them (every melee attack has extra hunger cost also, why? to discourage Spriggans from using quickblade?), I just abandoned the god, I was not going to spend my real time on a character who can die to RNG anyway.
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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 20:52

Re: Food reform AGAIN

VeryAngryFelid wrote:every melee attack has extra hunger cost also, why?
it keeps breadswinging balanced

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 21:33

Re: Food reform AGAIN

dpeg wrote:tabstorm: What's so hard to understand about "we couldn't do it like this"?

FWIW, I'm pretty sure that dpeg meant that we can't do what Brogue does in having a very tight food clock. I think we're all vigorously agreeing with one another on this issue.

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Post Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 21:38

Re: Food reform AGAIN

archaeo: Yes, exactly. Brogue shows how far you can go with a tight clock (i.e. how many otherwise sloppy design decisions you can squeeze into a game), but that's not an option for Crawl's branched structure. That does not mean that a permafood-clock is out of the question for Crawl -- to the contrary, I'd love to try it out. Obviously, it wouldn't have very sharp teeth, but players would still die it, don't worry.

Some form of clock is necessary, I'm adamant on that one. It could be anything (for example, I was impressed as a kid with "The Killing Game Show", an Amiga platform game which flooded levels, this would also work for a roguelike), or a deus ex machina divine action ("You are so boring that the gods urge Xom to spice it up."), or ADOM's corruption. Food is just a very convenient metaphor.

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Post Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 10:57

Re: Food reform AGAIN

I'm in favor of a system like Infra Arcana's, where you basically have a timer (paranoia) that's refreshed on each new level. Time, spellcasting, and being injured all accelerate this timer, and going over causes a form of permanent damage (insanity) that will kill you if it happens too many times. It's good because it doesn't lead to unfun death spirals or force you to chase after one particular item type: instead, your "food" problems are (to a reasonable approximation) solved by simply playing better: needing to use fewer spells, needing to heal less, etc.

Obviously a ton of adaptation would be needed; for one thing, instead of refreshing paranoia on each new level, it should probably be refreshed gradually on exploration. Also, I don't think the increase in paranoia just from seeing unsettling monsters would work in Crawl. Definitely something would have to work very differently for Crawl's infinite areas, but overall I think it's a good approach to a timer that rewards good play and requires less micromanagement. Obviously the flavor would have to be changed from insanity and paranoia, but that's a bikeshedding issue.

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Post Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 13:36

Re: Food reform AGAIN

ion_frigate wrote:being injured all accelerate this timer... solved by simply playing better: ... needing to heal less


I don't understand why everyone tries to punish weak combos and make powerful combos even more powerful. A weak combo should mean it is more likely to die to monsters, not to hunger, insanity or other weird mechanic. Do you guys really think there is no other reason for players to avoid getting injured other than extra hunger from regeneration mutation or than insanity?

As long as autoexplore is in the game, there should no be any mechanic which is based on time. Yes, that includes piety decay, hunger, OOD, world end.
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Post Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 14:06

Re: Food reform AGAIN

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
ion_frigate wrote:being injured all accelerate this timer... solved by simply playing better: ... needing to heal less


I don't understand why everyone tries to punish weak combos and make powerful combos even more powerful. A weak combo should mean it is more likely to die to monsters, not to hunger, insanity or other weird mechanic. Do you guys really think there is no other reason for players to avoid getting injured other than extra hunger from regeneration mutation or than insanity?

As long as autoexplore is in the game, there should no be any mechanic which is based on time. Yes, that includes piety decay, hunger, OOD, world end.

perhaps excessively weak combos are a problem... the game can be as hard as you want depending on how much experience and how many items you want to accumulate. The scoring mechanic presumably exists for a reason.
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Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 12th October 2016, 19:00

Re: Food reform AGAIN

I split off the combo tangent; let's stay on topic, crawlers.

ion_frigate wrote:I'm in favor of a system like Infra Arcana's, where you basically have a timer (paranoia) that's refreshed on each new level. Time, spellcasting, and being injured all accelerate this timer, and going over causes a form of permanent damage (insanity) that will kill you if it happens too many times. It's good because it doesn't lead to unfun death spirals or force you to chase after one particular item type: instead, your "food" problems are (to a reasonable approximation) solved by simply playing better: needing to use fewer spells, needing to heal less, etc.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I think something like Spelunky's ghosts would work better. A very dangerous, high-speed monster that only appears after a significant and scummy amount of time has passed that makes it impossible to stay on the floor. We could even use the old Orb Guardian sprite for these. Or we could just have an OOD timer with more aggressive monsters; maybe actual Orb Guardians should start showing up when the player's scumming around.

The point being that, while global timers don't work very well in crawl, individual level timers might be able to be tuned to be tight without being unfair even for the harder combos.

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Post Thursday, 13th October 2016, 00:36

Re: Food reform AGAIN

FWIW I was envisioning a system where your average minmaxy 3-rune character would only hit like 30% or so on the insanity meter. The system is pretty adjustable: you can make background paranoia higher or lower for certain branches or species, or even make the paranoia - exploration calculation non-linear: certain game features have a paranoia value, and exploring reduces this. But, if you get a long stream of slight paranoia [i.e. by sitting around fighting easy monsters] without much exploration, that small incoming paranoia starts getting magnified.

The point is, you can adjust the system so as not to unduly punish weaker combos, without enabling scumming for the stronger ones.

But I also like the idea of super-dangerous monster spawns as well. I'd suggest basing them off the current character (think a Mara clone on steroids), so you're less likely to get players casually trouncing them, but also give earlier characters a *chance* to escape without getting one-shotted.

ker

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Post Thursday, 13th October 2016, 09:58

Re: Food reform AGAIN

Part of the problem with clocks in crawl (wherever local to a level or global) is that crawl has branches and you are expected to backtrack a bunch. A tighter clock will introduce a greater cost to going from branch to branch which might lead to players just sticking to the branch they are currently in. That's not necessarily a problem but does beg the question of what's the point of branches at that point?

(For my money, this is another problem with the branches structure and not with a food clock but I thought it worth mentioning.)

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Thursday, 13th October 2016, 11:04

Re: Food reform AGAIN

Backtracking is unmanly anyway. Linear structure with no upstairs ftw.

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Post Thursday, 13th October 2016, 11:33

Re: Food reform AGAIN

ker wrote:Part of the problem with clocks in crawl (wherever local to a level or global) is that crawl has branches and you are expected to backtrack a bunch. A tighter clock will introduce a greater cost to going from branch to branch which might lead to players just sticking to the branch they are currently in. That's not necessarily a problem but does beg the question of what's the point of branches at that point?


lethediver wrote:Backtracking is unmanly anyway. Linear structure with no upstairs ftw.

While the sheer amount of dev hours required to actually implement (a literal interpretation of) lethediver's post is prohibitively expensive, it is a nice thought for "if we were to make crawl from scratch today". Perhaps there's an intermediate solution which nudges the game towards this paradigm. Something like this kind of user experience:
- Go through Lair
- Pick up "Beacon to Snake" and "Beacon to Swamp" (they don't take up inventory space)
- Reach end of Lair
- Pick up and activate a "Return to D" beacon, step into one-way portal made by this action
- Emerge outside Lair branch entrance
- Activate "Beacon to Snake", step into one-way portal
- Emerge at "Vestibule to Snake" with 3 down stairs and nothing else
- Get told 'the only way out is to pick up Rune'
- Clear Snake
- Activate Snake Rune, step into one-way portal
- Emerge where you'd created Snake portal

* No such portal out of Zot: the orbrun itself remains unchanged

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