Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency


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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 24th June 2017, 23:09

Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

The change to !mutation was an enormous late-game player buff, and in combination with the availability of mutagenic corpses (you can even farm respawns for them) guarantees that every non-Gh/Mu/Zin/Jiyva character ends up with a ridiculously good mutation set, at least if they're willing to play the mutation minigame. Additionally, it almost completely nullifies malmutate as a threat. Late-game player characters did not need to become even more powerful, especially in a way that entails so much tedium (boy, I sure do love manually eating 100+ mutagenic chunks every game).
Mutagenic corpses should be replaced with inedible corpses. This will constrain non-Xom mutation sets to a more reasonable size, which will constrain them to a more reasonable power level as well, although with the current !mutation spawn rate, every character will still end up with strong mutations.
The frequency of !mutation should be greatly reduced if malmutation is supposed to be meaningful. This would have the secondary effect of nerfing player mutation sets as well. That said, getting rid of mutagenic corpses is more important.

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Post Sunday, 25th June 2017, 00:02

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

I thought mutagenic corpses played by different rules than mutation potions?
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Post Sunday, 25th June 2017, 00:11

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

You can use mutagenic corpses to get a large amount of mutations, which are skewed towards being good, then refine those and further skew them towards being good by using some of your huge pile of !mutation.

If you got rid of the corpses and reduced the amount of !mutation, it would still be a good idea to quaff some !mutation in a normal game to get a few good mutations, since malmutate has basically no presence until Zot, Hells, Pan, and autoexplored Slime. You just wouldn't get the piles of 10+ good mutations that you get now.

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Post Sunday, 25th June 2017, 04:55

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

I do think that purple chunks, despite being fun in the past and present, are problematic under the new mutation potion system. In the past it was always a gamble without a stockpile of cMuts, and definitely not worth doing when playing optimally for win rate. Now, it is incredibly easy to flush a bad roll and try again on the next ugly thing horde. I agree that the big mut sets should probably just be a perk of Xom and Jiyva, changing Jiyva to (almost) never remove mutations if possible.

I disagree with reducing !mut drop rate because I still think that Malmutate is an awful mechanic that should be tossed in the trash heap with item destruction and old corrosion. Reducing !mut drop rates just bring the game back to the same issues as the mutation metagame post-rMut removal: save every single !cMut/!mut in order to not have to play at maximum tedium levels in the late/post game around every single potential malmutator. If the game is too broken in the player's favor with high !mut drop rates or removing Malmutate, then just cut the whole mutation system down to temp muts for most players and permamuts for Xom/Jiyva/Ru/species muts (like how Nem decks are now only for Nem worshippers), because that's essentially what the period between rMut removal and new !mut was.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 14:33

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

duvessa wrote:The change to !mutation was an enormous late-game player buff, and in combination with the availability of mutagenic corpses (you can even farm respawns for them) guarantees that every non-Gh/Mu/Zin/Jiyva character ends up with a ridiculously good mutation set, at least if they're willing to play the mutation minigame. Additionally, it almost completely nullifies malmutate as a threat. Late-game player characters did not need to become even more powerful, especially in a way that entails so much tedium (boy, I sure do love manually eating 100+ mutagenic chunks every game).
Mutagenic corpses should be replaced with inedible corpses. This will constrain non-Xom mutation sets to a more reasonable size, which will constrain them to a more reasonable power level as well, although with the current !mutation spawn rate, every character will still end up with strong mutations.
The frequency of !mutation should be greatly reduced if malmutation is supposed to be meaningful. This would have the secondary effect of nerfing player mutation sets as well. That said, getting rid of mutagenic corpses is more important.


Alternatively, and I've said this a few times on this board so far, make the average potion of mutation be net-equal or net-positive in the number of mutations they bestow. There is almost no downside to playing any part of mutation roulette.

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 19:22

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

other than robust, mr+ and maybe clarity i dont see anything worth gambling for. whats the deal? i guess it could be also worth for naga to scum for poison breath mutation
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 19:37

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

kroki wrote:other than robust, mr+ and maybe clarity i dont see anything worth gambling for. whats the deal? i guess it could be also worth for naga to scum for poison breath mutation

Um resistances are useful too. Also blinking, wild magic (for casters)
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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 19:49

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Also you can try to get a huge list of mutations so that you get protection from further malmutates (to avoid blurry vision etc.).
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 26th June 2017, 21:53

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Option 1: eat chunks and get some extra AC, and/or +10% HP, and/or +15 spellpower, and you can cure anything bad because you have 5+ !mut
Option 2: dont eat chunks and get nothing

It's not a gamble if it's impossible to lose because you can just cure any bad mutations. It's like a roulette wheel where if the ball lands on red you win, and if the ball lands on black or 0 you get your money back.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:14

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Idea: change all mutation sources to be more likely to increase the number of mutations than decrease them. Current !mutation does "strip 2-6 mutations, add 1-3 random mutations, then add one good mutation". You could change this to "strip 1-4 mutations, add 2-5 mutations, and add one good mutation".

This would make it impossible to reduce your level of mutation. Mutating yourself would become more risky, because as you get more mutations the chance !mutation will remove the bad mutation you care about decreases.
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 00:42

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

After testing, my proposed change didn't really change anything. Here's something which does:
!mutation potion removes 1-2 random mutations, adds 2-3 random mutations, and adds one bad mutation

You're still quite likely to get a good mutation, but it's no longer guaranteed. The reduced mutation clearing rate means you need to use more potions to clear a specific bad mutation, which increases your overall mutation level.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 01:20

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

I'd rather not decrease the number of potions just yet. There's plenty for 3 rune games, but it can be a lot easier to run out if you're going for a 15 rune game. Maybe that's an intentional difficulty increase of extended, but in my experience old cure mutation stacks lasted longer than the current mutation stack does when you're going through extended.

That being said, removing mutagenic chunks seems like a fairly clear net positive. If someone wants to gamble on mutations they can use a mutation potion or two, that way it at least has some cost. Chunks are too plentiful.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 02:11

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

chequers wrote:After testing, my proposed change didn't really change anything. Here's something which does:
!mutation potion removes 1-2 random mutations, adds 2-3 random mutations, and adds one bad mutation

You're still quite likely to get a good mutation, but it's no longer guaranteed. The reduced mutation clearing rate means you need to use more potions to clear a specific bad mutation, which increases your overall mutation level.
I don't think I would ever quaff this, since net positives would be nearly impossible (on average, you get 2 bad mutations for every 1.5 good ones and the bad one comes at the end) but I guess that's still an improvement over the status quo.
I like that the current !mutation design removes more mutations than it adds; it prevents it from giving you huge mutation sets. I don't even think it's that big of a problem, in itself, that the potion is biased towards good mutations - !mut has been biased towards good mutations for over a decade, albeit not as strongly, and it wasn't OP in 0.5 or anything. But either adding mutations or removing them has to be difficult*. If there's a common way to add mutations (mutagenic chunks) and a common way to remove them (!mut), then you end up with the current situation: you can add a lot of mutations, and if you like the resulting set you can keep it, and if you don't you can just cure it and try again. As long as you have a few spare !mut, you can do this many times without a statistically significant risk of actually getting stuck with negative mutation set.
If you cut out mutagenic chunks, and leave !mut as it is, then players will still have positive mutation sets, but:
1. they won't have really long positive mutation sets, since their mutations are effectively capped at around 5
2. you "only" get to attempt to add like 50 mutations per game instead of 500, and they're added in clusters instead of one at a time, so your chance of ending up with a specific great mutation like robust or wild magic, without a bad mutation to go along with it, is a lot lower
So they'll be positive mutation sets, but not extremely overpowered ones, unless you have incredible luck. And you can adjust the quality of this mutation set by turning some relatively simple knobs: potion spawn rate and bias towards good mutations. Mutagenic corpses are a lot more resistant to analysis and adjustment, especially when you can straight-up farm for them by waiting around in several branches.

*The thing reining mutations in in old versions was that it was hard to remove them. If you had some !cmut, then it was a good idea to eat some mutagenic chunks since, similar to now, the end result would be either good mutations or no mutations (because you cured them) - but !cmut was rare, so most characters would just avoid mutating for most or all of the game, since you didn't want to get stuck with frail or subdued magic or slow movement (rip). This is why the increase in !cmut spawn rate after "rMut removal was so significant to me: suddenly eating mutagenic chunks and quaffing !mut was much more attractive, and I'd end up doing it in most games, because in most games I'd end up with a stack of !cmut.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 05:00

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

I think the point of those should be to cure really bad mutations so yes, they should not be attractive for most characters
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 11:47

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

chequers wrote:After testing, my proposed change didn't really change anything. Here's something which does:
!mutation potion removes 1-2 random mutations, adds 2-3 random mutations, and adds one bad mutation

You're still quite likely to get a good mutation, but it's no longer guaranteed. The reduced mutation clearing rate means you need to use more potions to clear a specific bad mutation, which increases your overall mutation level.

As an average player that does not play mut roulette, I am not a big fan of that idea. I only use !Mut to get rid of nasty ones, it seems that with your fix I have a real risk to exchange blurry vision with a whole set of bad mutations. It is like a slippery slope that that can only get worse once you misplayed.
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 12:42

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

That's exactly the point. The current system makes malmutation a non-issue, since it's essentially free to fix bad mutations.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 16:58

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

chequers wrote:That's exactly the point. The current system makes malmutation a non-issue, since it's essentially free to fix bad mutations.

Surely there is a middle ground between stoping abuse on mutation roulette and having to finish the game as an avatar shub niggurath. My vote would go on duvessa's proposal.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 17:42

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

What if mutation *chunks* specifically were "overall bad" (Something like chequers's proposed remove 1-2 bad, add 2-3 random, add 1 bad) but potions were as in .20?

So overall chunks would mutate you negatively (although they stood an ok chance of removing a specific bad one) but mutation potions had an overall positive effect?

Farming for more chunks would only be useful if you had a specifc bad mutation that you wanted to get rid of, and you'd likely have to get several bad ones to replace it with, so it'd be much less optimal than using potions for that purpose.
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 17:57

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

That's really no different from removing mutagenic chunks, except that you make them into a newbie trap.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 18:29

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Mutagenic chunks are fun. I specially enjoyed them as a new player.

I don't consider them a newbie trap, even a new player understands its a gamble that can turn out badly. It makes the game more fun if you usually never get too far and it will actually provide an advantage some of the time. Its also fun to have them be "loot" from monsters as opposed to them being yet another potion to identify

If chunk scumming is an issue lategame, just remove infinite sources of those chunks by removing monsters that spawn them from infnite branches. Its that simple.
Last edited by Pereza0 on Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 18:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 18:29

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

duvessa wrote:That's really no different from removing mutagenic chunks, except that you make them into a newbie trap.

Well, my assumption is that at some point we can reduce the generation of !mut down to the point where it's plausible that given non-optimal play, you'll end up running out, and be desperate enough to start eating the chunks, maybe that's not worth preserving as a possibility, it did strike me as a plausible compromise if there's sufficient resistance to removing mutagenic chunks altogether (I do think removing them is probably the simplest solution though)
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Post Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 18:36

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Pereza0 wrote:Mutagenic chunks are fun. I specially enjoyed them as a new player.

I don't consider them a newbie trap, even a new player understands its a gamble that can turn out badly. It makes the game more fun if you usually never get too far and it will actually provide an advantage some of the time.

The specific proposal we're discussing is where eating chunks would nearly always be to your disadvantage, I suspect we could put a 'are you sure you really want to eat this mutagenic chunk? (Y/n) in front of it and it'd sufficiently deter people who weren't aware of the consequences, but be that as it may, actually eating them with the intention of getting some benefit other than removing a partcularly nasty bad mutation *with the system I proposed* would be a bad idea. and hence a newbie trap.
Pereza0 wrote:If chunk scumming is an issue lategame, just remove infinite sources of those chunks by removing monsters that spawn them from infnite branches. Its that simple

You do realize that (presently) monsters can spawn on cleared floors in the regular dungeon, which includes monsters that can generate mutagenic chunks, don't you? Removing mutagenic chunk-spawning creatures from infinite branches would just make the process of scumming for them take longer and be more annoying, rather than having any literal impact on the result. Also many of the staple "chaotic" monsters which are popular in the abyss/pan generate mutagenic chunks, we could make those same monsters not generate mutagenic chunks, but at that point we might as well go whole hog and remove them altogether.
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Post Thursday, 29th June 2017, 15:34

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

I don't know where this conversion is going but I feel a bit uneasy with the idea that mutation should not be "clearable" at all.

It seems that one goal of the game was not to permanently handicap your character: permanent corrosion has been removed, drain, stat degeneration or rot can be recovered from.

In a rather short release cycle, we got removal of rMut, then removal of clear mutation and I find the new, more random, system better. But I would still prefer if !Mut where slightly biased towadr removing one mutation on average.

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Post Saturday, 1st July 2017, 18:25

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

The problem I see with the current mutation system is that mutations can be divided into 2 categories: discrete and gradual. Gradual mutations are annoying/beneficial, but not very game changing (-2 to stat, stat deterioration, 1/2 AC etc.) but discrete ones are so bad that I don't try to 'game' 0.20 !oMutation (blurry vision, tele/berserkitis, horns/antennae) or chunks at all. Even late game, I don't spend any of the 10+ !oMutation, just so I can be sure to cure one of the discrete bad mutations. Even frail is not as bad, since it does not take 1 action to completely screw you over by teleporting you into a fray wounded or berserking you in a hairy situation. Good discrete mutations are rarely worth it, since items duplicate their functionality, but there's no item that will counter 1.5 blinking delay.

Please remove discrete mutations, both good and bad ones, and make !oMutation remove 3-4 random mutations and add 3-4 random ones.
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Post Monday, 3rd July 2017, 17:12

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Mutations have been annoying for a long time. Getting a bad one when they were so hard to remove could be fatal. Now, I see complaints that they are overpowered because players can more easily get rid of bad ones. Why don't we just reach a point to agree that permanent mutations are kind of stupid? They are intended to what, prevent scumming? They hardly accomplish that.

I think that all mutations should just wear off after a certain amount of time or other condition (xp, etc.), unless you worship Jiyva. Worshipping Zin should cause them to vanish more quickly than normally.

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Post Monday, 3rd July 2017, 17:43

Re: Remove mutagenic corpses, reduce !mutation frequency

Painting any mutation as "fatal", even slow movement back when you could get it randomly, is a harmful exaggeration. There are mutations that are really annoying, and there are mutations that noticeably reduce your character's power (subdued magic, slow movement), but if you have 10 bad mutations it's still your fault if you die. And even if the mutations are enough to somehow directly cause your death, there are always Jiyva and Zin, the latter of which has existed for a very, very long time.
The mutation system has never had teeth. Back in 0.5 and earlier, you could end up with a few bad mutations if a monster got a wand of polymorph other, and from orbs of fire, but the mutations were annoyances at worst (you weren't going to get level 3 of slow healing before orbrun) and it's not like it was impossible to cure them. However, it was also hard to end up with good mutation sets except via Xom or potions of gain stat (after they got turned into mutations), because there wasn't much !cmut and the only mutagenic corpses were shapeshifters, shining eyes, and guardian nagas. Overall, the mutation system was not constructed to favour the player in my opinion.
Since then, the number of mutagenic corpses in the game has creeped up: ugly things got mutagenic corpses and the game now spams ugly things at you at every turn, sky beasts got added, ghost moths got added, apocalypse crabs got added, Aizul got added, guardian serpents are probably more frequent than guardian nagas are. And of course there was that period where you could use Fulsome Distillation + ugly things to get a stack of 100 mutation potions. At least we don't have that anymore.
And then the number of !cmut creeped up, and now !mut is basically a better version of !cmut that's also really common.

Admittedly, it's not really clear to me what the mutation system is trying to do - in most older versions, it was pointless for the good mutations to exist because you'd never get them outside of Xom unless you were playing mutarobin; intentionally mutating was a bad idea. But the bad mutations are just as pointless if you never mutate at all, or can easily cure mutations - the latter being what we have now (characters can obviously still decide to never mutate but it's suboptimal). I think it's safe to say that it's intended for players to be required to interact with mutations, but I doubt "enter Zot with a strictly beneficial mutation set every time" is the desired form of interaction. Hence the proposal in the OP, where most characters will still want to quaff some mutation potions, keeping good mutations meaningful, but not allowing huge mutation sets and making strictly beneficial ones harder to get.

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