Demonspawn Mutations


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 66

Joined: Thursday, 24th May 2012, 14:36

Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 17:21

Demonspawn Mutations

Any chance of allowing the player to choose mutations, or at least make an earlier message to indicate what mutations a demonspawn will end up with? Restarting a character again and again because I'm looking for a particular pair of tier 2 mutations is certainly not a 'fun' mechanic. Especially if those don't show up until way late in the levelling process.

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Last edited by Avigdore on Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 18:47, edited 1 time in total.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 17:27

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

I think the idea is to not farm for specific mutations. The game does let you know if you will be getting all the monstrous mutations in advance. It's random on purpose.

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Vestibule Violator

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 17:44

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

The only thing I would change about mutation information is making immediately clear which body slot you are losing. Have a 'your strangely shaped hands/feet/wtvr cannot wear gloves/etc' message in A, since game start.

About mutation choice, being able to choose 1 "mutation path" out of the many you get sounds interesting. I don't however see it as very implementable because of the amount of info the player would have to digest at character creation.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 18:34

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

TonberryJam wrote:I think the idea is to not farm for specific mutations.

Then include in the option of choosing your future mutations an option for 'random'. That allows people to not have to farm for the mutations that they're looking for, while still allowing the players who want a random set of mutations to get that, yes? The game's supposed to be about fun, why put in an option to spawn-farm a set of mutations knowing that some players are going to do that to try out a specific plan that they're trying to play?

Slime Squisher

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 18:53

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

Avigdore wrote:The game's supposed to be about fun


This seriously is not how DCSS' development works. While fun should be the overall goal, making individual decisions based on "this would be fun" is a great way to make a game that just collapses under its own weight. Allowing people to choose Ds mutations is pretty close to adding dozens of new species, and I can tell you right now: a game that has 50+ species to play is very intimidating and frankly not a whole lot of fun (sorry, SLASH'EM Extended).

If you're saying that people can do the same by startscumming now, then the mutations that people would startscum for need to be moved later.

Ironically, the problem you're noting - that people will realize what facets they're getting and want to restart to get a different one - didn't exist with ancient (pre-0.6 I think) Ds, which just got a mostly-random set of mutations (although it had some absolutely horrible spoilery skill-affected mutations, like you wouldn't get the ability to throw flame if you had Fire Magic skill).

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Shoals Surfer

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 19:05

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

The whole point of demon spawns is random mutations. If people could pick then it would be the same choices for the same builds, which would lead to severe nerfing or the removal of mutations all together to instead get a pre-set list of mutation somebody else will make; you might not ever get what you want then.

I don't really see that as a valid argument to "spawn-farm". I could in return say that if I don't get the exact branded weapon I want by dungeon:3 I will spawn-farm it. Why not have an option to include what I want, by when I want it?

But that's just my opinion because that's how demon spawn are in my mind. 1:100 tend to be uber enough to be dangerous. And, it never gets old.

Halls Hopper

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Joined: Thursday, 24th May 2012, 14:36

Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 19:28

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

The difference with that, TonberryJam, is that eventually I can still find the exact branded weapon I want. With DS mutations, when I get the 'wrong' one, I know there's no chance, ever, in the entire game, that I'll get what I need. Would you keep playing that character to finish the game, or would you feel encouraged to roll up the next character ?

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 21:06

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

If you feel you need a specific Ds mutation there's something very very wrong with your strategy

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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 21:18

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

I'd love to goof around with ER reduction just as much as the next guy, but it just doesn't work like that.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 21:39

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

The randomness is what creates novelty and makes the species worth playing. If you remove it, you will see the same cookie-cutter combinations. If you reveal it at the start, some of the quirky and fun combos people wound up playing will vanish. If anything, I'd like to see more mutations, either wholly new or variations on existing ones.

What IS annoying is when you don't get muts for 3 or 4 levels early on and you are like WHAT THE FUCK every time you level. A certain randomness is desirable in games but there is a reason we don't roll a 20-sided die to determine where to place Temple.

It's also unfun with the Ds xp apt when your muts are stacked super late. You get the meaningful levels of mutations that are fairly worthless before level 3 (like ignite blood, black mark, ice mail, hellfire) when you are done or practically done with the damn game.

I wouldn't mind the mutations built so you get them all by XL24 and there are no large gaps. This isn't FF3, people shouldn't have to grind XP to get their final powers. When I had a late-weighted game it was like I was playing a human with shitty apts and club feet, and that's not the Ds experience.

It would also be nice if you always got your body facet at XL2. Those show up enough times at XL2 as it is, and it's already easy to scum for claws if that's your thing. I could get behind that and I don't think it would comprise the essential nature of the Ds.

The ratio of time spent playing Ds to the amount of useful things I have to say about the race may be quite unbalanced, but those are my thoughts.

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Halls Hopper

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Joined: Thursday, 24th May 2012, 14:36

Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 00:07

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

duvessa wrote:If you feel you need a specific Ds mutation there's something very very wrong with your strategy

It sure is a good thing nobody mentioned requiring it for a strategy then, right?

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 00:55

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

Avigdore wrote:With DS mutations, when I get the 'wrong' one, I know there's no chance, ever, in the entire game, that I'll get what I need.

Halls Hopper

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Joined: Thursday, 24th May 2012, 14:36

Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 01:40

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

And the strategy is mentioned where?
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 03:24

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

You said "get what I need" not what I want, implying you NEED certain mutations.

Halls Hopper

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Joined: Thursday, 24th May 2012, 14:36

Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 04:07

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

If I am playing to win all the mutation options, do the mutations that I want = the mutations that I need? I suppose someone looking to win all races and class combos, and down to their last race/class combo could just pick the "! - Random character" choice at character creation and hope for the best too, right?

Slime Squisher

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 04:13

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

Crawl does not cater to completionists. No game should cater to completionists.

If you care that much about winning with every mutation combination, I'm pretty sure there are wizard mode commands for that.

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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 04:35

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

Why would you play to win all the mutation options? Far, far less important than different races/gods/backgrounds. Also even trying to win all race+background combos is way too large of a time investment to be reasonable, which is why the only accounts anywhere near that are accounts multiple people share

Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 14:47

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

Shard1697 wrote:Why would you play to win all the mutation options? Far, far less important than different races/gods/backgrounds. Also even trying to win all race+background combos is way too large of a time investment to be reasonable, which is why the only accounts anywhere near that are accounts multiple people share

As a side note...it gets far worse if you look at Ds mutations. Now, assuming my math is right:

There are 26 species and 24 backgrounds (as of 0.19). 26 species * 24 backgrounds makes for a rather impressive 624 species-background combinations. As you said, it's generally far too many for one person to win (or be obsessive enough to win), especially within a single version. And that's without getting into all the details of "Did X rune first," "Got Y runes," or "Did Z ziggurats."

Now consider Ds. 5 body-slot options * 13 scales options * 36 possible combinations of tier-2 facets * 5 tier-3 facet options + Monstrous Ds (2 head slot options * 2 boot slot options * 1 hand slot option * 36 possible combinations of tier-2 facets * 5 tier-3 facet options) gives you a whopping 12,420 possible combinations of Ds mutations. And that's without getting into little things like "background."

For bonus points, consider the time investment to win all of those mutation mixes. Even if you assume you win every game, and each game takes you no more than an hour, you're still looking at more than four years' of playing eight hours a day, every day.

Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 3rd April 2017, 15:05

Re: Demonspawn Mutations

ion_frigate wrote:If you care that much about winning with every mutation combination, I'm pretty sure there are wizard mode commands for that.


Specifically, you can re-roll Ds by changing species to Ds with wizmode &r, even if you already are one, and if you have debug mode on it will tell you what mutations you will have (and when you're scheduled to get them).

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