Removal of monster spawns after level generation


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bel

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Post Friday, 8th September 2017, 17:25

Removal of monster spawns after level generation

This commit removes monster spawns over time.

The first paragraph of the commit notes two reasons for monster generation.
(a) Monster spawns can cut off retreat while luring or otherwise running away.
(b) OOD monsters have their own uses.

I am focusing on part (a) here. This is the reason given in the commit:
For monsters that complicate luring, retreating, and general movement
through cleared areas, generating some monsters initially awake can have
the same effect, and that will be addressed in a subsequent commit.

Perhaps I'm dense, but I don't see how this will help much, if it will at all. Suppose some player fights in a particular area and "clears" it. All awake monsters near the area will be attracted to the noise, and will be killed at the same time. The only ones who could theoretically wander into this "safe" area are monsters which are initially far away so that they didn't hear the noise, but through random walking, wander into the "safe" area. Also, for this to happen, the monster must wander into the "safe" area from the opposite side of the one which the player goes into, so the chance is further cut in, say, half.

This scenario is not at all the same as monsters spawning in "cleared" areas.

Besides, what exactly is the problem with monsters spawning over time, which needed to be fixed?

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VeryAngryFelid

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 00:22

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

bel wrote:Besides, what exactly is the problem with monsters spawning over time, which needed to be fixed?


Indefinite XP harvesting (especially with some hypothetical future removal of food). It seems to me that diminishing the XP value of spawns (to zero at the current OOD-clock-time) would also eliminate this problem but still allow spawns to mess you up sometimes.
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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 02:01

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

bel wrote:The only ones who could theoretically wander into this "safe" area are monsters which are initially far away so that they didn't hear the noise, but through random walking, wander into the "safe" area.

How do wandering monsters travel? I assume it isn't just drunkard's walking, but rather doing something like continually autoexploring?
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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 02:55

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

My impression is that old mechanics that don't serve any useful purpose but stay around anyway have to have some proponents who then have to come up with arguments for why they should continue to exist. These arguments become part of the negotiation when/if they're removed and you get riders like "well, we'll add more monsters and we'll make some of them start awake, which arguably does something like what spawns are claimed to do." I think you're overthinking it to get into the frequency with which that coincidence actually occurs. The bottom line is that spawns were bad and this is how something gets removed in the dcss process.
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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 06:09

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

Have devs provided any arguments why those spawns cannot be replaced with summons who give no xp/items/piety/food?
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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 06:27

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Have devs provided any arguments why those spawns cannot be replaced with summons who give no xp/items/piety/food?


That's what I'm in favour of - it would solve the problem of waiting forever on the stairs being discussed elsethread.

bel

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 06:31

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

damerell wrote:
bel wrote:Besides, what exactly is the problem with monsters spawning over time, which needed to be fixed?


Indefinite XP harvesting (especially with some hypothetical future removal of food).

As pointed out below by VAF (and elsewhere), this can easily be fixed by making the spawns durable summons, which yield no XP.

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 07:01

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

bel wrote:
damerell wrote:
bel wrote:Besides, what exactly is the problem with monsters spawning over time, which needed to be fixed?
Indefinite XP harvesting (especially with some hypothetical future removal of food).

As pointed out below by VAF (and elsewhere), this can easily be fixed by making the spawns durable summons, which yield no XP.

You did notice that "elsewhere" includes me in the post you were replying to, right?

bel

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 11:58

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

watertreatmentRL wrote:My impression is that old mechanics that don't serve any useful purpose but stay around anyway have to have some proponents who then have to come up with arguments for why they should continue to exist. These arguments become part of the negotiation when/if they're removed and you get riders like "well, we'll add more monsters and we'll make some of them start awake, which arguably does something like what spawns are claimed to do." I think you're overthinking it to get into the frequency with which that coincidence actually occurs. The bottom line is that spawns were bad and this is how something gets removed in the dcss process.

That's a pretty cynical view and I have no idea whether it's correct. Suffice to say that I do not think that the old mechanic was bad (and nobody has come out and argued it explicitly). And the "replacement" mechanic is nothing like the old mechanic, so it cannot be a replacement. If part (a) is to no longer be a goal, then it should be stated explicitly.

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 12:15

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

The "spawns are bad" position has a long history on tavern. There must be similar history in dev channels as well or there would still be spawns. I don't think it's cynical to recognize that decision processes in human institutions, like open source projects, involve negotiation and that people on ultimately losing sides of arguments often have residual effects that are there to allow people to save face, not get their way without getting pissed off, and so on. Or maybe dev consensus is just wrong about the need to replace this old removed behavior. I am speculating, I admit, but I don't think there's any way to understand some of the inertia with respect to certain mechanics without this line of thinking.

The point is that taking public statements about their reasoning 100% literally isn't necessarily going to help you understand what's going on. The old behavior wasn't good, so why interrogate how well the replacement replicates it?

edit: Important to emphasize, even if I don't agree with their decision on the particular issue you raise (and my disagreement is simply that I don't think it makes a significant difference, not that generating monsters awake is bad), they are absolutely correct on the overall point of removing post-generation spawns. This was an important and valuable change for dcss.
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bel

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 13:09

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

I am aware of how politics works. That does not mean that one should not look at the public statements and see if they make sense. I am not a dev, so that's the main channel through which I can discuss things here.

You might think that since the change was desirable from your point of view, the reasoning being faulty doesn't matter. I don't think so.

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Post Saturday, 9th September 2017, 13:33

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

njvack wrote:How do wandering monsters travel? I assume it isn't just drunkard's walking, but rather doing something like continually autoexploring?


As I understand it, they pick a random accessible tile somewhere on the dungeon level, and then they attempt to path to it. Choke points will get frequent travel from wandering monsters, while small cul-de-sacs will mostly be ignored. A longer tunnel that connects the same two endpoints as a shorter tunnel will only get traffic if there's a traffic jam in the shorter tunnel.

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Post Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 02:38

Re: Removal of monster spawns after level generation

watertreatmentRL wrote:The "spawns are bad" position has a long history on tavern. There must be similar history in dev channels as well or there would still be spawns. I don't think it's cynical to recognize that decision processes in human institutions, like open source projects, involve negotiation and that people on ultimately losing sides of arguments often have residual effects that are there to allow people to save face, not get their way without getting pissed off, and so on. Or maybe dev consensus is just wrong about the need to replace this old removed behavior. I am speculating, I admit, but I don't think there's any way to understand some of the inertia with respect to certain mechanics without this line of thinking.

GDD stands for Game Design Discussion, not Group Dynamics Discussion. While the topic of how games are designed by developers and players in an open source context is an interesting one, especially w/r/t Crawl development, please take it to S&C or CYC.

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