Let players choose their god at character creation


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 15:01

Let players choose their god at character creation

This includes the option "no god, yet" so that temple and random altars may still be used for those who choose to do so, or those who want to switch their god.

Reason: Its has been a while since major changes to the game have came into the shape of a new god, while other changes are being accommodated into existing gods(decks only exist if you worship nemelex, mercenary card got removed, you have to worship Hep or make a beogh orc for perma allies, mutation potions now prevent mutation accumulation so you have to worship xom or jiyva for the mutation minigame and i see mutations being completely removed outside those two gods eventually). Some gods have a major playstyle impact, its not just a matter of whats better or worse, some gods have high novelty. In any case, they are not just a "buff" that you pick, there is a huge difference between being a fire elementalist of vehumet and fedhas.

Counter arguments:

It decreases variability.

Its a variability not worth having anymore. If you were forced to start every game as a human wanderer until you reached a "race temple", or had to pick a "race altar" that showed up earlier such as troll or centaur, or a race based on what equipment you started with or found so far you would have more variability.

It brings interesting decisions.

Does it, though? How many games have been won versus how many games have ended due to this "interesting choice". How many times has this decision been actually made? Was it a decision worth making?
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 15:22

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:How many times has this decision been actually made?

I make the choice in basically every game when I see the first altar. So I'm definitely against this proposition. That doesn't matter, of course, but I'm also pretty sure the devs would never implement this.
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 15:42

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Sprucery wrote:I make the choice in basically every game when I see the first altar. So I'm definitely against this proposition.

This proposition doesnt prevent you from doing that, its the "no god, yet" option. Unless you consider yourself a optimal player who would be unable to worship random gods otherwise and that, somehow, you think picking the first altar is a optimal decision.

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 16:31

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:you think picking the first altar is a optimal decision.

It often is clearly the correct choice. And when it isn't obvious, well, you have an 'interesting decision' to make.

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 16:40

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

amaril wrote:It often is clearly the correct choice. And when it isn't obvious,

If its not always its not optimal and if its not clear then how can you tell if its optimal? Just want to make it clear Sprucery said he picks the FIRST altar, so thats not even much a decision as its just the way he CHOOSE to play. Its like me saying "picking ash everygame is a interesting decision".
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 19:23

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:Just want to make it clear Sprucery said he picks the FIRST altar,

No, I said I make the decision when I see the first altar. The decision is then either take it or leave it. It is almost always an interesting decision (exceptions: Xom (I only play Xom as CK) and Trog (I only play Trog as Be)).
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 20:05

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Pretty bad OP, but the argument that there would be more "variability" in the sense that god selection supposedly brings if you always started as a human and later transformed to some other species by making a choice exclusive of others along the lines of crawl religion strikes me as obviously correct.
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 20:43

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Sprucery wrote:No, I said I make the decision when I see the first altar. The decision is then either take it or leave it.

And if the decision is "leave it" you have to make another decision on the next altar. You are in the mindset of "how deep do i wanna go without a god until i find the one i want or pick the one i dont want", which is what happens when you start getting good at the game. Experienced players can get away with picking the god they want no matter how deep it is and consistently turn it into a win, meanwhile the casual player just keeps hitting the reset button, which i would pick anyday over this "chain" of decisions you put yourself into.

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 21:15

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:Reason: Its has been a while since major changes to the game have came into the shape of a new god
0.14: Dithmenos
0.15: Qazlal
0.16: Gozag, Ru
0.18: Pakellas
0.19: Hepliaklqana, Uskayaw



One advantage that hasn't been mentioned: by moving god choice to the character selection screen, and removing abandonment and altars, it'd be much easier to dismiss Gozag etc. wins as essentially cheating like we do for DD/Ce/etc. wins, since you can no longer obfuscate your god choice by e.g. converting on orbrun.

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 21:36

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:You are in the mindset of "how deep do i wanna go without a god until i find the one i want or pick the one i dont want"
But there is not just one god I want. I pick the first one that is suitable for my character.

meanwhile the casual player just keeps hitting the reset button, which i would pick anyday over this "chain" of decisions you put yourself into.
So are you saying that the casual player has decided on a single god before starting the game? I think the whole point of the randomly placed altars is to make you adapt to what you find.
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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 22:48

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Making people decide something else before the game starts is bad UX imo. This would be especially overwhelming for newbies.

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Post Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 22:55

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

chequers wrote:Making people decide something else before the game starts is bad UX imo. This would be especially overwhelming for newbies.


Seems to militate toward the start as human wanderer view tho.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 00:23

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

duvessa wrote:by moving god choice to the character selection screen, and removing abandonment and altars, it'd be much easier to dismiss Gozag etc. wins as essentially cheating like we do for DD/Ce/etc. wins

chequers wrote:Making people decide something else before the game starts is bad UX imo. This would be especially overwhelming for newbies.

I'm reminded of a goodcoolguy (or someone) post arguing for a single character selection screen with a few predetermined combos: vsas hune hofi etc. which would be a far less overwhelming take on character creation than our current 1586 options (not an exaggeration) and would allow for easier comparison of different games/winrates/etc. The goodcoolguy model could of course be expanded to include gods with minimal additional convolution.

Removing some of the superficial strategic decisions from the game would benefit the tactical game immensely, and allow for the easier improvement of crawl's crippling pacing/balance issues. It would also make 'improving' at crawl a more intuitive, tactics-based process than it currently is given the sheer number of overlapping mechanics a player must internalize in order to effectively play the game.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 06:03

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

I think there is a balance point to be found between "too many choices before game start" and "bland and no fun". Incidentally, we are at that balance point right now imo. It's fun to select a species and a background. A human wanderer start every time would be very boring. And removing most species-background combos would be terribly unfun.

Of course the number of recommended combos could be heavily reduced and the character selection screen could be somehow made to more heavily emphasize the recommended starts.

Comparing games and winrates is irrelevant imo.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 06:43

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Counterpoint: Choosing among over 600 possible combos somehow manages to be both "too many choices before game start" and "bland and no fun."
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 06:52

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:Counter arguments:

It decreases variability.

Its a variability not worth having anymore. If you were forced to start every game as a human wanderer until you reached a "race temple", or had to pick a "race altar" that showed up earlier such as troll or centaur, or a race based on what equipment you started with or found so far you would have more variability.

It brings interesting decisions.

Does it, though? How many games have been won versus how many games have ended due to this "interesting choice". How many times has this decision been actually made? Was it a decision worth making?


I don't think those are valid counter-arguments. Players still may choose "no god yet" and play as before, of course it will be the default and we can even have a new setting option with again default value which doe snot even show god selection menu. So only players who change their init.txt file will see option to select a god.
Or we can require player to win a god before s/he can start a game with it. I love campaign mode in games and I hope I am not the only one who does. Crawl really lacks feeling of progression, at least off-line where you cannot easily see what species/backgrounds/gods you have already won with.

A valid counter-argument is "but then people will choose strong gods during tournaments and also for speedrunning" but I believe we should not care about it. It is a single player game after all and I don't see:
1) how starting with a god is less fair than luck with finding Trog/Chei/whatever on D:2. All speedrunners already know their god before starting a game
2) how speedrunning can be compared at all keeping in mind there are huge differences between 0.11 and 0.21, for example.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 08:12

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

I think we have too many options on start already yes, but my point in this thread is that more options would be very bad. A game of DCSS should start constrained and have opportunities open up as it proceeds. Turn zero decisions are not good.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 10:24

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

chequers wrote:I think we have too many options on start already yes, but my point in this thread is that more options would be very bad. A game of DCSS should start constrained and have opportunities open up as it proceeds. Turn zero decisions are not good.
Why? Game should be fun, nothing more. If I want to have fun with DECj of Vehumet, why should I search for altar or enter wizard mode? As mentioned before, gods make different experience. What is more different - HoGl/MiGl or DEWz of Trog/Vehumet?
Turn 0 decisions are good because you don't depend on rng and instantly choose what you want.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 10:29

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

If I want to have fun with DECj of Vehumet, why should I search for altar or enter wizard mode?
This logic is bad. You could equally say: "If I want to have fun with Powered By Death/100 dex/Scythe of Curses, why should I have to scum Ds/use wizmode/scum Zigs?"

There are a lot of things players want. It's not in the interest of the game to give all of them to you on a platter. Currently, some things are given on a platter (species) and some things are given by RNG (altar placement). Moving something from RNG to platter needs justification beyond "RNG makes it hard to get the thing I want", because that is the point of RNG.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 10:42

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

I would quite like to get a background to make a really custom start, including god, weapon, consumables, books, spells, etc. Perhaps all these things could be weighted. So Trog costs too much to also get a good weapon or armour, etc.

If nothing else it would lead to a lot of amusing guides.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 10:57

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Weekly Zealots:

Each week a different random zealot or two is available. This feature is disabled during the tournament. This provides a means of players learning new gods and experimenting, responds to a clear demand of the player base, while maintaining the novelty and non-standard status of zealots.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 12:00

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

chequers wrote:There are a lot of things players want. It's not in the interest of the game to give all of them to you on a platter. Currently, some things are given on a platter (species) and some things are given by RNG (altar placement). Moving something from RNG to platter needs justification beyond "RNG makes it hard to get the thing I want", because that is the point of RNG.


God is closer to species/background than to mutations/weapons. I would rather play a Vehumet game and get lots of different spells every game than play the same Cj background again and again. Justification is easy: choosing god on turn 1 will make some players have more fun while other players who don't want it will continue to play old way and won't even notice any changes.
Could you please provide a justification why you don't want to make some players more happy when it does not cost anything to you? That's assuming I can provide patch if needed.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 12:42

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

In short, I disagree with the idea that a new option does no harm to those who skip it. Human brains don't work like that.

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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 12:53

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Technically you are right but I am sure there are less important options in options_guide, so we can just replace one :)
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 15:01

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

duvessa wrote:One advantage that hasn't been mentioned: by moving god choice to the character selection screen, and removing abandonment and altars, it'd be much easier to dismiss Gozag etc. wins as essentially cheating like we do for DD/Ce/etc. wins, since you can no longer obfuscate your god choice by e.g. converting on orbrun.

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On topic: I'd be fine seeing Zealots get cut and just making this how Monks work: choose a god instead of a weapon and get some Invo skill (or whatever skill the god uses for abilities, or more Fighting if the god uses nothing) and starting piety.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 16:42

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Floodkiller wrote:I'd be fine seeing Zealots get cut and just making this how Monks work: choose a god instead of a weapon and get some Invo skill (or whatever skill the god uses for abilities, or more Fighting if the god uses nothing) and starting piety.

Generally a good idea, but, as I said elsewhere, I'd see problems with the balancing of stats, as monk's stats wouldn't make it worthwhile to choose certain gods. It wouldn't be fun to worship Vehumet with mediocre INT, or Trog with mediocre STR. Somehow you'd also need the option to tweak your stats a bit, maybe with the simple question in the pre-game menue as to what should be your strongest stat.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 17:01

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Majang wrote:
Floodkiller wrote:I'd be fine seeing Zealots get cut and just making this how Monks work: choose a god instead of a weapon and get some Invo skill (or whatever skill the god uses for abilities, or more Fighting if the god uses nothing) and starting piety.

Generally a good idea, but, as I said elsewhere, I'd see problems with the balancing of stats, as monk's stats wouldn't make it worthwhile to choose certain gods. It wouldn't be fun to worship Vehumet with mediocre INT, or Trog with mediocre STR. Somehow you'd also need the option to tweak your stats a bit, maybe with the simple question in the pre-game menue as to what should be your strongest stat.

You could probably automate stat distributions based on the god; the special casing probably wouldn't exceed Wanderer start code. It also wouldn't be that different from background stats anyway.
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Post Wednesday, 16th August 2017, 17:53

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Floodkiller wrote:On topic: I'd be fine seeing Zealots get cut and just making this how Monks work: choose a god instead of a weapon and get some Invo skill (or whatever skill the god uses for abilities, or more Fighting if the god uses nothing) and starting piety.


Very bad if you want to use spells. You can't rely on finding books early. Some magic gods give you spells, but many generalist gods don't, and you would have to wait a long time.
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Post Friday, 22nd September 2017, 16:15

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Hopefully this isn't thread necromancy -- it's only been a month. Still, this is a topic I've thought a great deal about during my play, and didn't want to bother with a new thread.

I think Monks should be adjusted to give "well-rounded but mediocre" stats. Like, +3 Str, +3 Int, +3 Dex; Less bonus to weapon skill (it's currently one of the highest background boosts to weapon skill a +3), spread it out to spellcasting (no specific school bonus, though). Give a bit to armor and shields maybe.

The idea for Monks would be that they would be a generally weaker start than most choices, getting less/worse gear and kinda bleh stats, but have the bonus of starting with the God of their choice, and maybe even a pip of piety as well like Zealots (starting with ** piety seems a bit much for D:1, but could work). Essentially, Race and God would become dominant players with this background. Overall, I think that could work well and be implemented easily.

If you wanted to have a really strong emphasis (say, DE caster with Sif/Veh/etc) then you'd have to take the gambles of the usual Altar placement.

Monks also could convert, ofc, and all altars/temple would function as normal anyway for all characters. You could still have Zealot classes with specific builds (Be is always going to be melee heavy), meaning that Trog, Xom, and Lug players would probably want those classes instead of monk. Still, we don't have a really good "generic" class aside from Wanderer (which is TOOO generic, imo), and Monks that start with a god could be a cool addition.

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Post Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 02:30

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

@Alphaeus Thats very off topic, you should create your own.

As for what i read here: Why do you consider "choosing how you wanna play the game" a zero turn decision? Races, backgrounds, gods, they only exist to add novelty to the game. Experienced players already demonstrated how irrelevant those decisions are when it comes to winning the game, MuTm is a combo that is allowed to win the game like any other combo. Doing sacrifice everything then abandon Ru run, pacifist run, low level run, all god's wrath run.

Execution and luck are the biggest factors in winning a game and some gods influence execution a lot, only for the sake of novelty, because most of the execution made in this game is degenerative, so why tie god choice to luck? Because some gods are stronger than others and that influences the player's decision based on which one shows up when? Then why have fedhas instead of "double okawaru" that is twice as powerful as normal okawaru? You made convoluted to learn gods that play very differently, you restricted to these gods mechanics that were once acessible at any time through any games so that the player didnt had to bother learning to use them, but then you want the new players to go through a bazillion different gods on subsequent runs and learn them all before they have even won once?

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Post Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 06:03

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

ezero wrote:MuTm is a combo that is allowed to win the game like any other combo.
are you sure about that

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Post Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 13:18

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

duvessa wrote:
ezero wrote:MuTm is a combo that is allowed to win the game like any other combo.
are you sure about that

It has been won.

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Post Monday, 25th September 2017, 08:04

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

It was removed as a playable combo several versions ago.

I know this because I was looking for some easy highscores...

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Post Monday, 25th September 2017, 23:27

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Sorry if this is off topic, but I really gotta ask: why is pairing Tm with the worst species in the game an easy win? It's not like hunger matters, so what am I missing here?? Or if hunger does matter for some really cheasy tactics, why Tm? I cant figure this out.
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Post Monday, 25th September 2017, 23:39

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Easy highscore is not the same as easy win. Easy highscore is a combo which is rarely played and not a typical combo for speedrunners I think.
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Post Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 08:14

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

Yes, the current highscore isn't even a 15 rune win, if I recall correctly. It might have been version 0.9 or something.
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Post Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 01:42

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Yes, the current highscore isn't even a 15 rune win, if I recall correctly. It might have been version 0.9 or something.

the current high score is due to a bug, the "real" highscore is a 15 rune vsmo^chei in 0.17.

on the topic of the OP, it would be nice to have this as a game mode somehow, even though it would never happen. i just want to be a snail knight :^(
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Post Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 06:02

Re: Let players choose their god at character creation

tabstorm wrote:the current high score is due to a bug, the "real" highscore is a 15 rune vsmo^chei in 0.17.

4H2A was referring to the MuTm highscore, which is version 0.9 with 8 runes.
HOFEMDHeHuReMDHuHOCjDsHuNaCjHuHuSENeGEFEMDBeDDFiHOWzVpVMHuEE{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCj,GhMo,HuVM{HaAM,BaEn}{HuMo,HOWn},DsWz

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