Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming


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.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 02:27

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 00:36

Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

The debate about this no doubt happened a year ago, but I wasn't around when it happened, so a couple of thoughts about the Ziggs and Pandemonium changes since 0.17:

* Pandemonium is no longer for farming. This is my first impression from having attempted it several times, since coming back. I know there was a push to shorten Pandemonium. That's fine. But the side effect is that Pandemonium is no longer a viable farming target in 15 rune games. In a sense, it never was - after all, you mainly farm Pandemonium to prepare your character for a 15 rune run, and the fact that you might run into a special rune level while farming, before you're ready, could kill that run completely. But previously, it was still possible to pull off risky farming and to maybe give up 1 or 2 runes while doing it. Now, it's simply not viable, since you will most likely run into every special level within the first 10 maps. Thus, your character must be ready for the rune levels the moment you step into Pandemonium.

* Ziggs is also no longer for farming. This goes with the above. Ziggs were the premier farming targets for extended prior to 0.18, because you could always do a Ziggs, abandon it, then hope to find it again diving Pandemonium. Now, while you could still use it to prepare for extended, the moment you get into trouble and have to abandon, the door is effectively shut forever, since the only way back into Ziggs is Tomb 3 and that's basically a death sentence for any character that's not already ready to win extended.

* The Abyss is now the only place to farm, and it sucks. Logically, the two changes above make the Abyss the only viable place to farm, now, and certainly, I've seen many people do it. But, for the lack of a better word, farming the Abyss sucks ass. It's not much fun at all. Most monsters don't give that much experience, large packs are rare, treasure is rare, so it takes longer, and is more painful. You could still do it, and it probably is still mandatory for many of the slower learning races, but it isn't enjoyable like Pandemonium and Ziggs farming was.

* Consequently, extended is now a lot harder and more random. Because you can't farm Pandemonium, and you can't farm Ziggs, going into extended now requires a lot more luck about what you find in the first dungeon, Vaults, Depths, Mines, Halls, and the two easier rune branches. And it heavily favors characters that require less experience to get ahead. It's no longer possible to simply grind it out with a weaker character. Well, I take that back - it IS still possible to farm the Abyss for however many hours it takes, but the Abyss sucks and it isn't enjoyable. So effectively speaking, a lot of characters will need to just settle for 3 or 4 runes.

* Gods and builds now play a much larger role in whether you can do extended. For tournaments, I could see the benefit of removing farming. No longer do we have hours upon hours of Ziggs diving before a player is willing to make a run for it. It's more exciting, less safe. But it seems to also have the effect of limiting the types of characters people are willing to ascend. Since I've been back, I noticed much more limited build choices for those aiming for an extended victory. This makes sense, because the margin of error is much higher now that you can no longer effectively farm; but it also reduces the variety in the game.

Is there a compromise between these two options? I don't know. But I do think making Abyss the sole option for farming is a bad idea. Abyss is a terrible branch. It was designed to be. People should want to get the fuck out of the Abyss, not dive it endlessly because they can't find any other way to farm. In case there isn't enough experience in the game before Hell and Pandemonium to support most builds, then perhaps the game needs either more branches or more levels in Depths. Either way, the addiction to the money god for success in extended is kind of dumb. People are infinite farming Ziggs by abusing bribe level and I don't think that should be the standard strategy for extended.

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 738

Joined: Friday, 6th January 2012, 12:30

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 01:56

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

I'm not a fan of the Pan change either. The reason Pan was shortened is for those who wanted to get the runes but had to go through too many random levels to get the special levels.
Therefore, here's an idea that keeps Pan fast for those who want fast runes and simultaneously restores Pan to how it was before the special floor chance increase change:
Pan stairs can spawn in two types.
1. The first type is normal Pan stairs. The chance to get a special level when entering normal stairs is the old chance that we had before the chance increase.
2. The second type is stairs to a "special level" that brings you to a random unvisited special level. These stairs spawn on a Pan floor with the same frequency as the chance to get a special floor, currently. (or a higher chance to account for having to find the stairs. Aiming to keep Pan completion time the same as it is now basically. Maybe have a message about stairs being present on the level.)

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 802

Joined: Monday, 29th September 2014, 09:04

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 03:04

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

I think you need to better define what "there isn't enough experience in the game before Hell and Pandemonium to support most builds" means.

The game gives players a certain amount of XP before extended. Different builds require a different amount of experience to safely complete extended. Crawl doesn't want every build to be viable, and it doesn't want only one build to be viable. This is pretty uncontroversial.

But you're also asserting that a) there is meaningfully less experience now compared to "when I was last around", b) the missing experience has ruled out some builds, and c) the ruled out builds are ones crawl should support.

Can you describe the builds you think are affected?

PS, your terminology is weird. People generally mean "the 4th-15th rune" by "extended". You seem to be including Zigs and farming, which is unconventional.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8389

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 03:15

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

I don't think there was a debate about this, because this is the first time I've ever heard of farming extended-game branches in order to prepare for extended-game. I don't think the behaviour you describe would ever improve a character's chances, frankly.

For this message the author duvessa has received thanks: 2
Rast, Stairdancer

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1654

Joined: Tuesday, 13th March 2012, 02:48

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 04:03

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

If you are determined to farm, farm the first level of a hell branche, whichever one has the least tormenters. Never step off the up-portal.

However, even that is dumb. If you are too weak to do extended without farming, that is nature's way of telling you not to do extended.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8389

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 04:37

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

Rast wrote:If you are too weak to do extended without farming
Do these characters actually exist? Extended isn't that scary. You don't need to kill any of the hell/pan lords, controlled blinks work, you have all the XP and items from depths and vaults. Even for formicids, a reliable escape option is one god switch away at worst. Doing newtomb without spells is often fishy but there's plenty of xp to get spells without farming.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 306

Joined: Tuesday, 14th April 2015, 19:56

Location: France

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 05:42

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

By the way, preventing getting a power boost for tedious play (aka preventing farming) is literally one of the stated design goals of DCSS :
In-game manual section N wrote:Major design goals
  • challenging and random gameplay, with skill making a real difference
  • meaningful decisions (no no-brainers)
  • avoidance of grinding (no scumming)
  • gameplay supporting painless interface and newbie support

Don't be surprised if you devs make changes in that direction.
3 runes : MiMo^Ru, HOFi^Beogh, TrMo^Yredelemnul, GrFi^Ru
4 runes : DDFi^Makhleb
5 runes : GrEE^Vehumet
15 runes : MiFi^Ru, NaWz^Sif Muna
I mostly play offline or online on CXC

For this message the author Fingolfin has received thanks:
duvessa
User avatar

Zot Zealot

Posts: 923

Joined: Monday, 15th April 2013, 15:10

Location: Augsburg, Germany

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 06:42

EtadanikM wrote:But I do think making Abyss the sole option for farming is a bad idea.

Well, there's another idea if you mean "more XP" with farming. You can do Zot 1-4 after you have collected three runes.

This should be doable for most chars, especially if you have sources of invisibility (draconians can't see invisible). There can be tough fights of course but from my experience you often get 2 XL and lots of XP without taking too many risks.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 02:27

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 17:53

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

chequers wrote:I think you need to better define what "there isn't enough experience in the game before Hell and Pandemonium to support most builds" means.

The game gives players a certain amount of XP before extended. Different builds require a different amount of experience to safely complete extended. Crawl doesn't want every build to be viable, and it doesn't want only one build to be viable. This is pretty uncontroversial.

But you're also asserting that a) there is meaningfully less experience now compared to "when I was last around", b) the missing experience has ruled out some builds, and c) the ruled out builds are ones crawl should support.

Can you describe the builds you think are affected?

PS, your terminology is weird. People generally mean "the 4th-15th rune" by "extended". You seem to be including Zigs and farming, which is unconventional.


Every build is affected, but not fairly across the board, because certain builds require less experience than others. It is impossible to list them all, but in personal experience, the worst affected builds are those that receive experience penalties, like summoners and necromancers. But I've noticed mage builds being worse in general because they need a combination of spell power, sustain, and survival, while for fighting builds, there's no such concept as sustain.

The challenge in extended is, however, not always experience but specific spell or equipment requirements. Controlled blink has been mentioned, but there's no guarantee that you'll find it before extended, unless you worship Sif Muna, but that limits your god choices significantly. For fighting builds, resist negative 3 and resist fire 3 are often critical. You can get it from a god or your species, but again that limits your options.

As for vocabulary, extended is anything past 3 runes, yes, but generally, extended refers to doing Hell, Pandemonium, and possibly Tomb. When people post extended victories, it's rarely just "I did Abyss" or "I did Slime." They're usually 10 to 15 rune games. But for the record, I'm talking about Hell and Pandemonium runs, just so people aren't confused.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 02:27

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 17:58

Re:

Turukano wrote:
EtadanikM wrote:But I do think making Abyss the sole option for farming is a bad idea.

Well, there's another idea if you mean "more XP" with farming. You can do Zot 1-4 after you have collected three runes.

This should be doable for most chars, especially if you have sources of invisibility (draconians can't see invisible). There can be tough fights of course but from my experience you often get 2 XL and lots of XP without taking too many risks.


Solid advice. This is what I've been doing in my extended attempts. Most of Zot isn't all that dangerous. It's mainly a few specific enemies, most commonly OOF, that are a problem. But even doing Zot, I've found that it's hard to get enough experience and treasure to do Pandemonium and Hell runs except with very specific builds. Can usually get to 27 in Zot, though, which is important, as I'm consistently not getting 27 from Vaults and Depths any more.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 02:27

Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 18:08

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

duvessa wrote:I don't think there was a debate about this, because this is the first time I've ever heard of farming extended-game branches in order to prepare for extended-game. I don't think the behaviour you describe would ever improve a character's chances, frankly.


Ziggs was and still is fairly common for people to farm, though the lack of Ziggs entrances in Pandemonium now encourages people to not tackle the branch until they're confident of being able to go deep into it.

Pandemonium, however, now throws you into special branches almost right off the bat. In my most recent run, I was hit with two special branches back to back. No chance to really get more experience or more piety, which is important for certain gods. It's almost like a boss run.

There's relatively easy ways to "fix" this, for example making it so that special branches don't disappear forever as long as the rune's still there, like it works with demonic. But for this to happen, people would need to actually be convinced that making Pandemonium a boss run isn't conducive to the long term enjoyment of the game. There are arguments both ways, so I'll attempt at an argument later.

Dis Charger

Posts: 1980

Joined: Saturday, 2nd February 2013, 09:52

Post Saturday, 29th September 2018, 08:46

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

EtadanikM wrote:you mainly farm Pandemonium to prepare your character for a 15 rune run, and the fact that you might run into a special rune level while farming, before you're ready, could kill that run completely. But previously, it was still possible to pull off risky farming and to maybe give up 1 or 2 runes while doing it. Now, it's simply not viable, since you will most likely run into every special level within the first 10 maps. Thus, your character must be ready for the rune levels the moment you step into Pandemonium.


Okay, so the logic here is probably this: if you "give up 1 or 2 runes" (and finish with 13 or 14) that still counts as a 15-rune game, but if you give up 4 (and finish with 11 runes ) that "kills that run completely".

I don't know what to say to that. This is just too weird, my brain hurts.

For this message the author Magipi has received thanks: 2
duvessa, nago

Zot Zealot

Posts: 1049

Joined: Friday, 16th January 2015, 20:20

Post Saturday, 29th September 2018, 20:19

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

Zot:5 has a fuckton of XP: I clear it before extended unless I'm super worried about malmutations (and not with Zin).

And, of course, I clear Crypt, Elf, the Vestibule of Hell, Vaults:5, and Slime and collect the Abyss rune before extended, i.e. Pan, Hells, & Tomb. I also try to clear Tomb as early as I can because the loot is so good. Same goes for Elf:3 at an earlier point in the game. Crypt:3 loot can be good, too, randart rings, especially.

In the other hand, in my current game, I got abyssed into a rune vault full of malmutators and stupidly walked over and grabbed the rune and ended up with like 10 malmutations. I've been grinding Pan for potions of mutation as a result... My personal crawl ethics don't allow me to dip into a Zigg without completing it or die trying.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 276

Joined: Sunday, 6th November 2016, 19:19

Post Saturday, 29th September 2018, 22:35

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

The game should be difficult and non-tedious, I don't see why 'farming' being removed is a bad thing.

Difficulty is not a bad thing, the player should feel challenged, so why give them the option of blunting that challenge in areas that are ,ostensibly, the hardest in the game?
16/26 on the way to GreaterOctopode (Win all backgrounds as an Octopode)

Progress so far : OpFi, OpGl, OpWn, OpAr, OpCK, OpMo, OpBe, OpHu, OpVM, OpAM, OpWr, OpFE, OpEE, OpNe, OpTm, OpSk

For this message the author Vajrapani has received thanks: 5
duvessa, nago, Rast, Shard1697, svendre

Halls Hopper

Posts: 71

Joined: Thursday, 16th August 2018, 21:19

Post Sunday, 30th September 2018, 12:13

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

I think it is entirely fair that if you are weak and need to farm, you can't get a 15 rune victory.
I actually like the possibility of farming, even though I have never done it, because it makes me less stressed about losing xp.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 311

Joined: Thursday, 25th October 2012, 03:19

Post Sunday, 30th September 2018, 20:12

Re: Ziggs, Pandemonium, and Farming

Sorry, but I think pretty much all of the reasoning here is not true. The only thing I can sort of agree with is:

"Gods and builds now play a much larger role in whether you can do extended"

But not for the reasons you stated, and it also has not changed that Gods play a large role in extended.

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.