What in Crawl isn't fun?


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

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 18:25

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

coyo7e wrote:
KoboldLord wrote:
XuaXua wrote:I hate, HATE portals that disappear over TIME or if you leave the level.

Look, I get it, you want the player to address the level at or around the time it appears, but this can be more challenging than you think.


Unfortunately, that's exactly the point. The portals aren't supposed to be treasure piñatas that you can loot at your leisure.


I would like to see some slight balancing done to portal despawns based on where they appear, maybe.. I had a Bazaar on Elf 2 or 3 the other day and I had to roll around the entire level clearing elves and demons and shit, and the portal crumbled about 50 turns before I found it


If it was, as I proposed, experience-based instead of time-based (portal disappears after you gain X or more experience points after it is discovered), you could run/teleport/sneak/blink around the level (or jump up and down the 3 stairways) avoiding fights while trying to locate it. Possibly kill a couple things in your way, but not too much or poof.

Heck, I just found a treasure trove on level 10 which requires a Horn of Geryon to enter. Is that portal going to disappear? Not sure. Am I going to get that horn before it does, if it does? Very unlikely.
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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 18:29

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

XuaXua wrote:Heck, I just found a treasure trove on level 10 which requires a Horn of Geryon to enter. Is that portal going to disappear? Not sure. Am I going to get that horn before it does, if it does? Very unlikely.

It won't disappear.
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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 19:38

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I think all chunks should provide nutrition. That creates an interesting choice if you are starving - this chunk could save me, but it will give me rot / mutations / poison.

It's not as if rotting nutrition giving chunks would be "too good" of an item ...

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 22:38

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

danr wrote:I think all chunks should provide nutrition. That creates an interesting choice if you are starving - this chunk could save me, but it will give me rot / mutations / poison.

It's not as if rotting nutrition giving chunks would be "too good" of an item ...


Do all potions provide nutrition or just potions of healing?
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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 22:45

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

The food minigame could be better, no question about that. What was written up-thread about sickness etc. is true. Proposals welcome! As far as I know, no-one ever bothered to come up with a completely new system. (There have been the proposal to make poisonous and contaminated independent properties, and to make poisonous food convey some nutrition.)

Regarding temporary portal vaults: The idea behind being temporary means, no matter how generous we are, that you may miss it. Of course, we're not that generous (although the timer system has been relaxed, in favour of the player). For announced ones, it is clear that we want to grab the player's attention, and dictate the pace of the game for a bit. Relaxing here is out of the question.
One of the consequences of non-announced portal vaults is that stair dipping may be less simple than it used to be. It is an option to make more portal vaults announced, but I don't really having all of them be announced.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 01:14

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

coyo7e wrote:I would like to see some slight balancing done to portal despawns based on where they appear, maybe.. I had a Bazaar on Elf 2 or 3 the other day and I had to roll around the entire level clearing elves and demons and shit, and the portal crumbled about 50 turns before I found it, since I'd gone looking in the wrong corner to begin (mottled dragon stickied up all my mapping scrolls). I was rolling around the level at half hps and mps the entire time, desperately trying to find it, but simply was not able to. And I was definitely not on the level for 1000 turns.


The announced Labyrinth and Bazaar portal vaults have a shorter timer than Sewers, Ossuary, Wizard Labs, and others. Labyrinths and timed Bazaars start their short countdown the moment you step onto the level, and they're intended to be more difficult to get into than most portal vaults. The others mostly have an extremely generous timer that switches over to a shorter timer the moment you step close enough to them. These other ones are about forcing your way through the swarm of monsters in front of them within the time limit, and you usually won't miss them just by exploring carefully.

Troves and silent Bazaars don't disappear at all.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 09:24

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

TwilightPhoenix wrote:Also, why do Merfolk lose all Transmutations when in water? I can understand most forms, but Ice Beasts can swim and Blade Hands affects only your hands, not your tail. Kind of annoying you cannot combine Merfolk's great transmutation aptitude with their swimming ability.

I fixed that in trunk months ago.

danr wrote:I think all chunks should provide nutrition.

That's probably a good idea but it makes eating contaminated chunks even more of a no-brainer. So it needs a more harsh contaminated effect to counterbalance.

coyo7e wrote:I would like to see some slight balancing done to portal despawns based on where they appear, maybe.

What would be more interesting with announce portal is to tell the player the direction from where the sound is coming. We would need to reduce the timer significantly since it makes finding it much easier. I think the race to it would be more fun that way. Also, while we're at it, we could always tell the player the direction from which sounds are heard ("You hear shouts coming from the north-east!").
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 09:35

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

galehar wrote:
danr wrote:I think all chunks should provide nutrition.

That's probably a good idea but it makes eating contaminated chunks even more of a no-brainer.


To the degree that eating a contaminated chunk is a significant decision, it's an annoying, tactical one that isn't very entertaining. It also comes up way too often - in a heroic fantasy game like crawl, you don't want to make "decisions" about food every 30 seconds, especially since the decision is always the same (eat the contaminated food unless you're fighting or poisoned or have a better chunk - at least the game handles the last case automatically). Then you play a little roulette, and if you lose you get a minor annoyance. Minor annoyances every two minutes add up.

Edit: decision tree:

  Code:
1.  You're hungry: Do you have a fresh chunk?
    * Yes -> eat it
    * No -> 2. Do you have a contaminated chunk?
      * No -> Go hunting, then go to 1 (or eat permafood if that's not possible).
      * Yes -> 3. Are you poisoned, or in a serious encounter?
        * Yes -> Wait until it passes, go to 1.
       *  No -> Eat chunk. If sickness, go to 1. and wait until healthy afterwards.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 09:48

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Vintermann: We have listened, we have understood. Now it is time to bring some fresh <del>corpses</del>ideas to the table. Complaining alone won't improve anything.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 12:43

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

OK then, dpeg, some suggestions.

My overall vision: Remove most food sickness except from acts of desperation (which are still meaningful tactically, unlike most of today's food choices). Tweak herbivore/carnivore/saprovore to make differences more meaningful and interesting - herbivores should have to dip into permafood more often (instead of just grabbing all 5 yak chunks as today), and carnivore should not be instant gourmand.

Carnivore mutation should be changed to a real gradient: just because you can eat meat doesn't have to mean you can totally stuff yourself with raw meat. One level of carnivore could let you eat until full, two levels until very full, three levels until satiated (as a single level allows today). Herbivorous mutation could work the other way; one level eat only at very hungry or less, two levels at near starving and should always give sickness (act of desperation!), three levels no meat at all. To compensate, herbivores should get more nutrition from non-meat food (I know they get a little more currently, but they'd need a good deal more), and slower digestion - the current benefit from slow digestion mutation should be split between itself and herbivore. Otherwise they'll be practically as dependent on permafood as spriggans, and that's going too far.

Brown chunks should not cause sickness, but count as one worse on this scale (with no mutations, you could eat them at "very hungry" or worse). They should also give less nutrition.

Saprovore could work slightly differently: with no levels, can eat rotted chunks at -1 quality level, but rotted food always gives sickness and 1/3 regular nutrition. With one level, can eat rotted as brown meat, brown as regular.. With two levels, eat rotted and brown chunks like regular. With three levels, brown or rotted count as one better on the quality scale (but still only one better if it's both).

Corpses should produce fewer chunks on max. That will make no difference to most, but will make it slightly harder for carnivore casters to be perpetually stuffed to their limit.

This is how I envision the races under the new system:

* Orcs should have one saprovore like today (basically same digestive system as humans, but less picky!)

* Kobolds should have two carnivore and two saprovore (they'll eat anything a dog will eat, but they don't have all that big stomaches)

* Centaurs should get one level of herbivore instead of fast digestion. They have a horse's stomach, slow and efficient, but only their athrophied human stomach can handle meat at all (their spellcasting aptitude might be slightly increased for balance, as this change hurts food-hungering casters).

* Ogres should get back one level of carnivore (that they lost when they merged with Ogre Mages) but lose saprovore - like old Ogre Mages, Ogres are a little picky. They can keep their slightly fast digestion.

* Trolls and Spriggans should be as today: they're already at the far ends of the spectrum, we want to mess with their gameplay as little as possible. Maybe reduce troll hunger one point if corpses produce less chunks.

* Ghouls are still a special case: they have 3 saprovore, and technically 3 carnivore but since they never reach full, it makes little difference from one or two.

...Got to go now but would love feedback, and feel free to copy this to the wiki if it helps discussion.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 16:18

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

That covers clean / contaminated chunks quite well, but what about poison / rot-inducing / mutagenic chunks?

I think it would be interesting if the situation could arise where you are on the brink of starvation (or hungry and not able to berserk) and these are your only food options. Then you have an interesting choice: do I a) eat the chunk and get poison / rot / mutations but then I can berserk, or b) risk fighting this monster without berserk?

In this scenario, poison chunks should be equivalent to a potion of strong poison, because poison is often just a nuisance that you have to wait out.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd February 2011, 18:46

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Vinter has some nice ideas, but I'd also extend the sickness to Carnviores eating herbivore food. Carni 1 just gets less nutrition. Carni 2 can get sick from fruit and vegetables but not bread (just much less nutrition there). Carni 3 can't eat fruit or vegetables and get sickness and little nutrition from bread.

Sickness itself could also use some adjustment. Right now it's really not that big of a threat. I'd say make sickness much more rare (most chunks are clean). Sickness should give equivalents to "Your body is deteriorating", "Your are frail", and "Your magical capacity is low" mutations. Except, of course, not as mutations but rather part of the status effects. Yellow sickness effects are equivalent to rank one of the mutations, light red to rank 2, and dark red to rank 3. The effects, except deteriorated stats, should be healed as you recover. Sickness should also be harder to get rid of. Potion of Healing still works and maybe Royal Jellies too. Time can help get rid of the effects, but it can take a long while. Perhaps eating food speeds up the sickness clock (no insta-curing it this way) since you need to eat and keep your energy up to fight off the illness. A Potion of Porridge could perhaps work like food, but at double effect as it's basically a warm, hearty soup. You could rest and munch a bunch of perma food if you wanted to get over illness fast. Or you could go kill stuff and eat their chunks when you get hungry, conserving your perma-food at the cost of more risk.

Unintended, but consequently Komodo Dragons and sickness inducing Ugly Things become much more threatening.
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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 18:12

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

vintermann wrote:OK then, dpeg, some suggestions.
[snipped]

Awesome. That's a very good concept. You can do me a favour by moving it to the wiki.
There are some really interesting ideas in there. In case this does not end up in the wiki, I'll try to do it some time.

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Post Thursday, 24th February 2011, 18:36

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Just a vote thrown in for leaving portals the way they are, I think they are perfect right now. If changed, could there be an init file change available

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Post Friday, 25th February 2011, 08:32

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

dpeg wrote:
vintermann wrote:OK then, dpeg, some suggestions.
[snipped]

Awesome. That's a very good concept. You can do me a favour by moving it to the wiki.
There are some really interesting ideas in there. In case this does not end up in the wiki, I'll try to do it some time.


Thanks for the feedback! It's not worked through, I had to abandon that post a little too early - ideally, I want a system that is easy to define with respect to both food quality (fresh/brown) and degree of taint (untainted, rotted, necrophagic).

I'll copy it to the wiki. What I want to know is, if I develop a patch for this, will the devs consider it/try it out?
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Post Friday, 25th February 2011, 12:53

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

vintermann: You have my support. A patch would be highly appreciated, but the proper approach would be this: (1) Move your concept to the wiki. (2) Mention it in ##crawl-dev (I can do that), so that developers know what's planned. (3) Submit patch. ==> universal joy etc. :)
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Post Friday, 25th February 2011, 13:21

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

vintermann wrote:if I develop a patch for this, will the devs consider it/try it out?

Of course, patches are welcome! I'll even say that your idea has a much higher chance of making it into the game if you code it yourself. Read the files in docs/develop and post in the code forum (or come on ##crawl-dev) if you have any problem.
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 05:53

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I don't get it? Somebody complains about food. One of the things they complain about is that people don't want to spend all day worrying about eating every 30 seconds when they are playing a game. Then we get a very complex food system to replace the current broken system?

Food in crawl is broken. It does not serve its stated purpose. If you want to fix it you should address that first and foremost. If you want food to serve as an anti-scumming device then you need to get rid of eating chunks all together outside of a few racial/mutation situations. If you want to make food less time/mind consuming then you need to get rid of the numberous, inventory-slot-filling, pointless different foodstuffs. It could all easily be trimmed down to 3 types of food. Big food (ration), small food (bread), and fruit (choose your favorite). And the only reason you need fruit is because of one god.

So with this most characters can't eat chunks. Kobolds, orcs, trolls, ogres, and ghouls still can. Characters with any level of carnivore can (different levels determine when exactly always/hungry/starving). Sprigans can only eat small food and fruit. Everybody else lives mostly off of big food. Now you finally have a food system that does what it was intended to do that also does not waste precious game "real estate".
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 10:18

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I really need to invent a scoring system for this kind of post:

- mock incredulity - 1 point
- sweeping statement that a major game mechanic is "broken" - 2 points
- radically different proposal without any real explanation of how it will actually be better - 1 point
- giving impression that everyone else's ideas are crazy, and that no one around here is bright enough to see the truth that is so plain to you - 4 points.

Let's see - 8 points! Well done!

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 12:33

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Don't give me negative points for being able to see some lights in acvar's post. :p

But you're crazy, acvar. :D

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 14:45

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

minmay wrote:The food clock isn't really just there to prevent farming levels (mummies work fine now with the OOD spawns). It serves as a limiter for spells and abilities.


No it doesn't. It would do that if players couldn't just butcher and eat whatever they killed, but that is not how it works. Like it or not this mechanic is broke. It does not function as it is intended. Just saying that is what it does does not make it so.

danr wrote:I really need to invent a scoring system for this kind of post:

- mock incredulity - 1 point
- sweeping statement that a major game mechanic is "broken" - 2 points
- radically different proposal without any real explanation of how it will actually be better - 1 point
- giving impression that everyone else's ideas are crazy, and that no one around here is bright enough to see the truth that is so plain to you - 4 points.

Let's see - 8 points! Well done!


Ahh yes a strictly ad hominem attack. How many points is that worth?

1. I did not mock. I showed my frustration.
2. It is broken. It does not function as intended. Sorry I will not allow people to lie to themselves.
3. Simplifying overly complex systems is radical? So the entire game concept of crawl is radical? Opinions different from you are not radical.
4. You got me here. Most people don't have the abilities to do good design work. That is just a fact of life. Very few people are good at design.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 15:23

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

minmay wrote:
acvar wrote:No it doesn't. It would do that if players couldn't just butcher and eat whatever they killed, but that is not how it works.

This is only the case in areas with abundant corpses. Not all areas have abundant corpses, and Pandemonium barely has any at all.

acvar wrote:[rest of post]

I'd say something about not stooping to your level but that would be stooping to your level. So I'll just do it anyway: vaguely ad hominem attacks in response to vaguely ad hominem attacks in response to vaguely ad hominem attacks are still vaguely ad hominem attacks.

Removing temporary food would probably work fine, but it would strip a distinctive feature from dungeon branches.

(Please try to remain calm, escalating this serves nobody. This is not addressed only to acvar.)


So to make certain late game optional areas have a unique feel to them we need an overly complex system that adds nothing but distractions for the vast majority of the game? Sorry but that is a prime example of bad design. The food system either needs to be streamlined or it needs to be removed. It is a negative in the game. People do not play this game because they think finding the right food to eat is fun. They play the game because they want to bash things over the head, or cast cool spells at them. Food just adds more unwanted tedium to the game without serving any "real" purpose.

Now having said all that. Although streamlining the current food system would be preferable to the current system it is not without its warts. I know many people back in the day that dismissed rogue because it had a strict food system. They got tired of dying to starvation and just stopped playing. That is the reason modern roguelikes have much more lax food requirements (eating corpses). Thats the problem however. That is why I say most are not good at design. When the developers of Nethack determined that they and their consumers did not like worrying about food they should have just removed food from the game, but instead they chose to keep it, make it more complex and cumbersome while at the same time pointless. Why? Why have other roguelikes continued it? Why has it become such a sacred cow?
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 17:21

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I think your posts would go over much more easily if you added a couple "in my opinion"s in there. I don't agree with you on many of your points, and your strident attitude isn't helping to sway.

I think the food system is an interesting part of the game, gives it a quickening feeling. It's not perfect but it's hardly fundamentally "broken"
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 17:45

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

acvar is one hell of a radical dude, but not in a bad sense. :)

acvar, have you considered these?
1. We're playing DCSS which isn't an original game, but instead a "child" of Linley Henzel's DC.
2. DCSS hasn't even reached it's 1.0 version yet.

You shouldn't say the food system is broken if you haven't even thought about those points.
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 17:50

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Well, I hope the interesting proposal above makes it to the wiki and beyond. Nuff said, unless it needs more hashing out here.
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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 18:11

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

As I understand it, acvar's idea is basically removing temporary foods for most races, while keeping the hunger system intact. Maybe if acvar's idea gets implemented, we can see a lot more permafoods littering the dungeon, to make up for the lost of tempfoods for most races.

Maybe...?

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 18:55

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

pratamawirya wrote:As I understand it, acvar's idea is basically removing temporary foods for most races, while keeping the hunger system intact. Maybe if acvar's idea gets implemented, we can see a lot more permafoods littering the dungeon, to make up for the lost of tempfoods for most races.

Maybe...?


Yes this is the "temporary" solution, but as I said it is not without its warts, and in the end I am sure it could all be done better without food. How? That is more then a 1 man job. Knowing that there is a problem is not the same as knowing the solution. But here are some thoughts.

In the end there are only a few real resources in crawl. Actually just 2 that matter time and items. Mana and hitpoints are just time banks. Food/hunger should serve as limiting factor on those banks (if you don't collect enough items you can't spend as much time). Increasing wandering monster generation helps keep the time banks in balance. Most other forms of hunger such as spell hunger are in the game to prevent spamming those abilities. They currently mostly fail to do this and yet they still are not a problem. This means that simply removing them would also not be a problem. Spell hunger in the game but meaningless due to an overabundance of food < removing spell hunger from the game all together. Anti-spam-hunger can be easily replaced with several mechanics already in the game (mana cost, Hp cost, timeouts, negative statuses). That just leaves us with a few to fix. The big one being regeneration. I don't know the best way to fix this. I am all ears. Best I can come up with is trading mana for HP. Then again is regeneration in its current form broken before the extended endgame? I would say not which means once again its food cost is not really a factor.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 20:01

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I don't understand why acvar thinks the food system doesn't do anything. Whenever I play a caster, a good part of the midgame involves delicately balancing my hunger status. I need to kill stuff fast enough to get chunks, but not so fast that I burn through my margin of hunger faster than the local monster pack runs out. Elephant packs in Lair regularly force me to use permafood, because my hungerless popguns don't kill them fast enough to make progress, and my big guns drop me into starving before I can wipe out an entire pack. If food was a non-issue, pack monsters would be much less interesting because I could just nuke the lead one and then run for the stairs before the others could catch me.

While the system isn't perfect, I would think that moving in the opposite direction by removing the gourmand amulet and the staff of energy would be better than simply removing food. Those two items are desirable because they nullify the food clock. Removing them makes the food clock relevant all the time.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 20:31

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

But those packs really don't push you. They just push you to use permafood which you have an abundance of. Lets get real. When was the last time anybody died from starvation that was not a spriggan and not in one of the "food light" areas? When was the last time you actually decided not to cast a spell because you thought you might starve? Not you might have to dig into permafood, but that you might starve? I just have not experienced this. I seldom play spellcasters anymore. I can't stand all the victory dancing, but the last one I did play was an air elementalist that I tested to see just how busted tornado was as a single school spell. I got it castable at a very early stage in the game thanks to 3 wizardry items. Its food cost was rediculous. I spammed it at pretty much anything that wasn't a single monster pushover and never worried about food. Just kill things and eat, and occasionally down one of my 20+ pieces of permafood. On my way to tornado I leaned on airstrike and summon elemental, and again never had any food problems. What are you doing different?

From my perspective those two items make the game less tedious, not easier, and that is why they are desirable. I shouldn't need special items to make a game I play for fun less tedious.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 21:10

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Yes. Yes, I totally worry about resource depletion. No, I don't usually actually run out of resources because it is a very slow-moving train and I can take steps to avoid it, but I definitely do feel pushed to take those steps. Honeycomb spells are very costly, even with the Hive cleared, and even choko spells start to add up as you go through the extended endgame where permafood is your entire food supply since there are no reliable sources of chunks. Getting an item that mitigates the food clock, such as a gourmand amulet or staff of energy, will have a massive impact on a spellcaster's power level because the level of spell that they can casually throw around in arbitrary quantities jumps up by two or more spell levels.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 21:35

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Woe, woe, woe, Stop. I completely agree the extended endgame is a different animal, but quite frankly I ignore those areas because they are nothing more then scum-lands for those that enjoy scumming. If that is your cup of tea fine, and the developers should allow that style of play for people that do enjoy it, but those areas should not force the developers into bad decisions in the game proper. There is a reason it is called the "extended" endgame. I don't do Pan or the Abyss if I can avoid it because I do not enjoy scumming for power, and I should not be plagued by a tedious mechanic that does nothing in other areas just so those scummable areas have some sort of limit to them. Either find other limiting factors or understand that those areas are scum-lands and accept them for what they are.

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Post Saturday, 26th February 2011, 23:05

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I usually rush through them. I am aware that it is technically possible to scum them, but with no post-post-endgame content there's not much point.

I'm not sure how mid-Lair is scum land, which is when the food crunch starts showing up as a consideration. You can't feasibly kill packs of elephants with Throw Flame or equivalent; the injured ones run away and the others get in the way of chasing them down. By the time you get them all running, the first injured ones are fully healed and back for more. If you rapid-fire Bolts of Fire, though, you need to eat between each pack, and if another monster comes along while you're low on mp then you have to dip into permafood. The margin between full and starving is only enough for about one and one-half mana bars, if you need to spend it on honeycomb spells.

A threat doesn't actually need to kill you to be relevant as a strategic concern.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 02:03

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

But having to eat permafood between the occasional elephant pack in the lair is a far cry from the food clock actually being relevant. Its not like you are burning through all your food or even getting close to really putting a dent into them. The fact that eating permafood at all is a concern to you shows that it does not happen enough for food to really be considered relevant. Again I have never had any real concern about where my next meal would come from playing anything other then a spriggan.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 02:29

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Pre-Hive, pre-gourmand, pre-staff, eating one ration is something like one tenth of my entire supply, assuming I didn't get lucky with shops. Removing the amulet of gourmand and the staff of energy is something that I've clearly agreed I'd be okay with. Hive is already on the chopping block.

Even if there's a likelihood of getting more rations in the future, eating four rations to get through the last two levels of Lair is going to be worrisome if that means I have only six left.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 03:28

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

(@acvar) You're claiming that the lack of players regularly starving is evidence of the food system's worthlessness.

Players aren't starving because they obey the constraints imposed by the food system. We train spellcasting to reduce hunger rates, boost int at level up, wear int items, and moderate our use of higher level spells to conserve food, so that we specifically don't starve! The food system enforces a long term strategic management of food, where violations of this conduct (casting bolt of fire to get at a pack of elephants) will dip into your permanent supply. This leads to a lot of interesting choices and micromanagement.

To respond to your point about corpses ruining the mechanic - to halt the food timer for most builds, you've got to stay in a dangerous limbo at the "hungry" level. Here, you have a very thin buffer from "starving" if you decide to cast hunger intensive spells, and risk having to eat permafood in the midst of battle if things go wrong. Managing this condition is itself very interesting (although fairly annoying I'll admit, since it does require constant manipulation of chunks). Just because you managed to break the food system with an overpowered spell (single school tornado) in the development version of the game doesn't mean that the interesting balance of staying at "hungry" doesn't exist.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 03:33

Re: What in Tavern isn't fun?

I'm starting to think this thread isn't fun. The subject has a very negative orientation and this thread seems to be a hotbed for that certain special type of post.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 07:01

Re: What in Tavern isn't fun?

danr wrote:I'm starting to think this thread isn't fun. The subject has a very negative orientation and this thread seems to be a hotbed for that certain special type of post.

This.

I love having a place to talk shop about a fun and complex game. I love hearing about new and interesting improvements. I like passing around ideas for improvement- both serious and deliberately ridiculous.

I really don't like what I see as maliciousness bashing. I pretty much turn away as soon as someone describes anything as broken. I really don't understand the mentality that because the game is still in development, that you have the right to have everything your way. The fact that we still have a dev team working on this game means we can look forward to continuing new content, and gradual refinements and improvements of the existing system. Not total rebuilds to fit someones whims. I honestly feel kinda privileged to have a found a game I like still under active development- but I've read a lot that seems to treat it like a right.

And I mean, come on, this is unseemly! We are rougelike players. We play some of the most sadistic, challenging, unpredictable and unwinable games for fun. When I try and explain this genre to an outsider, the first thing I do is tell them, with pride, that the difficulty is such that my mortality rate in Nethack exceeds 100% (due to the folly of scumming). It just doesn't seem right then to turn around and complain that such and such aspect of our unforgiving torturer isn't the way it should be.

Not that I think there's anything wrong with trying to contribute to the improvement of the game. I just wish there didn't have to be so much bitching involved. It's beneath us, people. :roll:

Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 08:48

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Most non-fun for me is the way autoexplore decides which stuff on the floor is worth a visit. Why do I have to hope the kobold with the shiny dagger leaves an otherwise useless corpse, just to make autoexplore go there? I would prefer to waste some turns going to much more stuff, corpses, special looking gear, missiles I carry a launcher for, ... ideally with an ingame way to turn some of them off. Or some setting to visit all except specified.


A really minor annoyance is the way one enters the character name at the beginning, always overwriting the previously used one. I like to number my chars, so I have to edit the name on every new game, even if just changing one digit. Maybe the current forced delete is natural to console users; having to retype the whole to make a minor change is my first challenge of a new game, every other time i forget to memorise the current number and have to restart the game.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 13:02

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Players aren't starving because they obey the constraints imposed by the food system.


This simply is untrue. Even new players who have no clue about spell hunger and all the other types of hunger are not dying to starvation. New players might die to starvation if they don't know about eating corpses, but if they do know about butchery they almost never die due to lack of food. They die to the kobold shoving a glowing dagger between their ribs, or the ogre crushing their skull with a giant club. Those things represent real challenges. The food system is just an annoyance. I know this because when I first started playing crawl I knew nothing about the food system. I knew nothing about spell hunger. I was always playing spellcasters. I started playing deep elf air elementalists and wizards. I moved on to playing sludge elf transmuters which is where I first learned about spell hunger not that it was of any real concern. I then moved on to high elf and merfolk crusaders. In all that time literally hundreds of games I never starved to death by my recollection. Then I started playing spriggans. In the 50 or so spriggans I played I died twice to starvation. Both times were due to me taking on something big (gnoll vault) before I did the hive. Both were due to the fact that I had no respect for the food system because up to that point I did not need to have any respect for it because it had no real effect on my characters because thanks to butchery food was for all practical intents a limitless resource. Until I played a race that could not butcher I had absolutely no concern for the food system and all its complexities. They were nothing more then an annoyance. Just a fly buzzing in the background.
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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 19:08

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

Question then, acvar. I've never staved to death, yes. But I've never drowned. I've never fallen into lava. I've only died to stat-death once out of my several hundred characters. I've been killed by steam once. I've only died due to rotting once (and, at the same time, a shining fountain). I've never died to a trap and or a Zot trap. I've never been killed from mishandling evocable items. I've killed myself with a miscast all of once and only suffered miscast effects a few times. I've only been killed by poison a few times. Should we remove all of that too? If not, why are those threats while starvation isn't?
The best strategy most frequently overlooked by new players for surviving: not starting a fight to begin with.

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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 21:04

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

acvar wrote:When was the last time you actually decided not to cast a spell because you thought you might starve? Not you might have to dig into permafood, but that you might starve? I just have not experienced this.

Acvar, "I didn't" does not equal "anyone didn't". For me, it's mostly early-game berserkers, but I recall having a well-established SpVM who had to Poison-Arrow-blast his way through three uniques and an ogre-mage pack close to the stairs concentrated on one edge of the level. By then, I simply had to think about whom I have to kill and whom I could outrun to deal with later.
For one and IMHO, I consider the food system of Crawl to be balanced very well, even in spite of exepriences like the one I mentioned before. Such experiences even tend to add to the game's worth for me.
... and forgive us our YASDs,
As we forgive our developers,
And lead us not into the Abyss,
But deliver us from Sigmund,
For Thine is the Roguelike,
the Orb and the Victory,
now and forever.
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Post Sunday, 27th February 2011, 22:41

Re: What in Crawl isn't fun?

I'm going to lock this thread. I have no issue with the ideas being thrown around here, I just think it would be more productive if instead of on long rambling thread that is constantly highjacked by the latest "not fun" comment, we just had individual threads each focused on a specific constructive suggestions.
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