Food Clock


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

Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 21:25

Food Clock

Been reading stuff about the food reform, hive reform etc. and it's got me to thinking about the food clock in general terms.

What is the purpose of the food clock?
In my opinion, the food clock exists to serve two purposes which are in the "main design goals" and that is to limit grinding, and to create meaningful decisions.

Limiting Grinding:
Mummies, unhindered by the food clock can potentially stay on a level forever killing respawning monsters. To combat this, OOD monsters start spawning when you spend too much time on a level. Non-mummy races don't really have this issue because it's impossible to spend that much time on a level without starving to death. If you could, and there were no mechanisms to force you to move, the game would be a boring mess of players sitting on early levels, waiting out respawns, and powering up their characters to the point that future levels would be trivial.

Providing meaningful decisions:
Food comes into the day to day progress of a character in two major ways: Berserk for melee, and Spells for casters. Both melee characters and spell casters can get by without spending their food. Melee can avoid berserking, and casters can use less powerful spells that they have mastered. Using high level spells, or berserking, will generally make for a more favorable outcome in a battle, so to stop players from berserking for every encounter, or never using their mastered spells when they learn a new one, they have to decide whether it's worth the food cost.

So we have two somewhat distinct but related goals. We've also got other funny things like mutations and cursed items that play with hunger, but that's beside the point. Pre 0.10, we have two simple food types, chunks and permafood. I know things are up in the air post 0.9, but I'll focus on pre 0.10 for now.

Chunks are a bit funny because they're not always available. It's hard to find chunks in the abyss, or the crypt, it's easy to find them in the hive or the lair. Chunks will generally fill you up 1/3 to half nutrition, meaning you're constantly at risk of starving when relying on chunks.

Permafood is funny because it's random, with a large stash of it in hive and bee vaults. It will fill you right up but there's a limited quantity of it in the dungeon. Harpies will eat it and you'll curse their name. You can stash it but then you use up nutrition reclaiming it.

Something I notice about this system is that two separate problems are trying to be solved by a single solution. You need a renewable source of food to deal with ability use, and you need a non-renewable source of food to prevent farming. If food is completely renewable, you run into a situation where it's easy enough to farm forever. If food is completely non-renewable, using your abilities stops becoming a reasonable choice, and something to do only in last-ditch circumstances. Herbivores currently make poor berserkers. Currently though, chunks fill the renewable void, and permafood fills the non-renewable void. The issue is that they cross over a lot, meaning that you can avoid eating permafood by being careful about eating chunks. Gourmand makes this even easier.

What I think would make a good solution is to split the food system in half.
Half 1) Remove all chunks from your mind. Then remove spell hunger and berserk hunger. Permafood is the only food that exists, and turns are the only thing that exhausts it. This solves the farming issue. Manage permafood so that there's going to be enough to take you through the dungeon and extended content. Call this stat Nutrition instead of Hunger. Running out of nutrition will start to make your stats fall at a low level and eventually lead to starvation death.

Half 2) Reintroduce chunks and spell hunger and berserk hunger. But call this stat Energy instead of Hunger. Losing energy will not kill you, it will just make you sluggish at it's lowest level. Being low on Energy means you can not go Berserk or cast spells that use Energy. Eating chunks is the primary source of energy. Certain permafood might contain some energy as well.

Herbivore/Carnivore/Saprovore:
The herbivore/carnivore continuum would change up a little bit. The primary thing would be that carnivores would be more suited to eating chunks, so they would get more energy from them, meaning they would be more frequently able to use those high powered spells and abilities. On the other hand, Herbivores would be more efficient at eating permafood, meaning that they could simply spend more turns in the dungeon before running out of food, or being forced to the next level. Saprovore means you get to keep your chunks longer, giving you more flexibility with when you use those abilities, but not necessarily more opportunities.

Carnivore increases the limit of energy that you can eat chunks at from 2500 at 0 to 5000 at 1, 7500 at 2, and 10000 at 3, but reduces the nutrition you get from permafood by 10%, 20%, 30%. At rank 3 Carnivore, eating any vegetation makes you nauseated for a significant number of turns restricting you from eating chunks.

Herbivore decreases the energy that you can eat chunks at to 1750, 1000, and 250. However it increases the nutrition you get from permafood by 20%, 40%, 60%. At rank 3, eating chunks can cause you to become ill. While ill you have the chance to vomit, reducing nutrition by some amount and losing a turn. However, at rank 3 you also have the ability to gain energy from plants and fungus as well.

I think a split like this could alleviate some of the frustrating problems with the food clock. Currently the food minigame is "Always eat chunks, unless you're about to starve, in which case eat as little permafood as possible to find more chunks". Because of that, it's always frustrating every time you have to eat permafood, and something like gourmand makes the whole system pointless. A solution like this would change it so that you would always eat permafood. You could never get around the food clock by optimizing the chunk mini-game, so you'd have a very difficult time grinding. Decisions on how to eat permafood would be long term strategic decisions rather than punitive short term decisions. You're only going for a 3 rune ascension? You can spend some extra time in some levels as a carnivore because you'll need less food overall, carnivore will let you berserk and make things a bit easier. You're going for a 15 rune run instead? You need to start making good decisions, don't linger too much, don't put yourself in situations where you require a lot of healing time, skip certain vaults, maybe err towards a less hardy more vegetarian race.

You'd want to make most permafood into vegetables, and make some chunks edible by vegetarians. (Honeycomb would be a good example of energy food for veggies) but the whole idea is to never run into a situation where you ask yourself "Do I need to waste permafood, or can I find another chunk to eat" Permafood would be for something completely different than Chunks. And while permafood could maybe provide energy on occasion (it's OK to ask the player to sacrifice the scarce resource) chunks should never provide nutrition (it's less OK to allow players to save the scarce resource by replacing it with a renewable resource)

Anyways, this isn't really a suggestion or anything, I just needed a way to distract myself so I thought I'd write words on the Internet.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 22:35

Re: Food Clock

I like this idea, but I think it needs some polishing. I would change chunks to food only at the highest level of starvation, i.e. after you start suffering significant stat penalties. Incentive to eat permafood

Chunks would be used by ghouls, trolls, or other highly carnivorous creatures who can eat at them at a higher satiation level.

Most other creatures would only use them for Sublimation of Blood and simicl...the frost zombie spell.

You could make energy (for berserk and spells) recharge on its own timer and perhaps add potions of energy (and also let food restore some). Heck in that case you can add a sprint command for low energy usage characters to get some "mileage" out of it too.


Of course this is a kind of food shift that makes the last one look minor.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 22:52

Re: Food Clock

The quickest problem I see at first is the randomness of food. If this idea were to be used, species would need to start with, say, 3 loaves of bread rather than 1. That's not too bad really.

But the other problem would be that harpies' food eating becomes incredibly dangerous to low experience players. This could be solved by just reducing the % chance they eat food, though.

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 10th November 2011, 23:07

Re: Food Clock

zeidrich: I see where you are coming from but I am not convinced the split is called for. If you think that Gourmand trivialises the game, then why not nerf (or even remove it)? I think that the current version (which is drastically nerfed over what it used to be) is fine -- you are giving up your amulet slot, after all.

Here is how I understand your analysis:
It is true that the existence of chunks lessens the food clock. (For example, Rogue has permanfood and nothing else.) This is a drawback. The advantage is that we can use food as another resource (in Rogue, it'd be a clock and nothing else). This resource is used for longterm balancing of spells and berserk (MP and exhaustion are about immediate balancing these).

If splitting the two mechanics, you can just as well replace (your) Nutrition by some Corruption taking place (need another term since Lugonu already has it), or Insanity taking over. However, note that the playing lengths differ wildly. Good players reliably win 3-runers under 70k turns, slowpokes need more than 100k.

AtT

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Post Friday, 11th November 2011, 04:46

Re: Food Clock

minmay wrote:If you didn't pick a god before Lair, then you're still coming out behind because you won't have the advantage of starting D:14 and Orc with ****** piety on a useful god.

What about demigod scumming, then.
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Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 11th November 2011, 08:18

Re: Food Clock

they have a food clock.
Wins: DDBe (3 runes, morgue file)
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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Friday, 11th November 2011, 09:31

Re: Food Clock

I will resume the suggestion as I understand it :

Remove the whole food system then ,
Give the game a timer to finish the game, will randomly spread *EXTRA TIME* power up.
Give to the player another MP bar that only randomly regenerate accordingly to the kills.
Adjust existing game mechanics (herbi, sapro,carni) accordingly.

So :
Now the time given to finish the game is only a matter of randomness (how much I find) instead of a strategic tough (do I farm chunk, while risk to get starving in a big fight?).
This MP (or power or stamina) bar seems to duplicate the actual MP (magic and abilities) system.
The herbi/carni distinction seems to bring to a intense fast paced game/slow grinding experience model. Just look the spriggan that will live nearly as long as a mummy without eating, but would not be able to cast more than two tornado. (exaggerated...)

I disapprove this suggestion because it duplicate a system already implemented and reduce the food minigame to a food time trial. At this point, you could just show a clock *25 000 turn left* at the beginning of the game, then + 100d5 for each level discovered.

But I must admit that the food minigame isn't that interesting, nor challenging. The tactical starving is predictable, and the strategic starving only happen in a combination of bad luck and foolishness.

dpeg wrote:Here is how I understand your analysis:
It is true that the existence of chunks lessens the food clock. (For example, Rogue has permanfood and nothing else.) This is a drawback. The advantage is that we can use food as another resource (in Rogue, it'd be a clock and nothing else). This resource is used for longterm balancing of spells and berserk (MP and exhaustion are about immediate balancing these).


In fact, Crawl use food mainly has a clock resource. If you exept gods (fedhas fruits, and multiple corps donations) and some very specific magic (necro, evaporate), corps corps are almost like permafood. I think I like it as simple, but for food interaction Crawl is surpaced by Tome, Adom, Nethack [...] where you can gain intrinsic or die by eating too much or even use food as a weapon (cockatrice :D).
I like the way 1.0 goes, with the new permafood that give MP, and the Jelly that restore (but this one is far too common!).
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Post Saturday, 12th November 2011, 06:42

Re: Food Clock

There is no food clock. It's like... you're given 20 years to complete a 5 minute task and you're saying you're saying the clock is ticking.

Tying spells and other things to food was a bad idea... because everyone secretly wants to get rid of food altogether (pointless, annoying, adds nothing fun to the game, and so on) and the only reason it's still here is because it's used to balance things that really shouldn't relate to food at all.

Also mechanics unrelated to food are used to prevent scumming as to balance mummies so the "food clock" (if you can even call it that) has nothing at all to do, in any way/shape/form with scumming, the prevention of scumming, or anything relating to that. You are given near infinite time to scum all you want with the endless amounts of food scattered around every floor... all you have to do is survive the first few of them to kick things off. What does prevent scumming is out of depth monsters.

What food is really used to balance is, well, spells and berserk. Which again you're given near infinite food so I don't see why it even matters. Really food is almost never more than a slight annoyance to anyone beyond the first few floors and a few situations where people simply forget to eat while having a stash of 40 rations in the lair.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Saturday, 12th November 2011, 09:20

Re: Food Clock

Well I think it's like certain debatably coded stuff in C++, it's so entrenched in the language you really just can't get rid of it even if it could use improvement. So many things link to food, and on top of it you have metabolism AND herbivore/carnivore. Taking out food would throw things so out of whack. And food isn't altogether a non-issue that you make it out to be, I'm guessing you've never played a low int spellcaster or a non-carnivore berserker.

I suppose one think you could do is just make food "implied". Remove food from the game, call satiation energy and max it at whatever "full" is currently, and have energy rise over time rather than fall. But then you would have to rebalance every single species' energy rate, and food also gets completely tossed out as a strategic resource. Admittedly a strategic resource nobody would miss, though.
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Post Saturday, 12th November 2011, 18:25

Re: Food Clock

I love spriggans... my first win was a local game with spas of trog. That's about as bad as it gets with the food clock (constantly resting after every fight to get rid of exhaustion, no chunks, can't eat meat rations, and so on) and I still finished with more food than I knew what to do with. I think I skipped hive too because I didn't have poison resistance.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Wednesday, 16th November 2011, 10:35

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:There is no food clock. It's like... you're given 20 years to complete a 5 minute task and you're saying you're saying the clock is ticking.
...


somehow my impression doesn't really fit that - there are quite a bunch of areas where you DON'T have access to food, so unless you saved up alot beforehand, have necromutation (or similar) OR just go for a 3 rune win, you will run into food problems.
esp. when you stash alot throughout the game to avoid item destruction...

ofc you can completely ignore that and say labyrinth/abyss/hell/pan (and fricking harpy's) dont exist AND there's food everywhere!
or you play mummy for life... bleh

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 16th November 2011, 10:43

Re: Food Clock

dondy wrote:
snow wrote:There is no food clock. It's like... you're given 20 years to complete a 5 minute task and you're saying you're saying the clock is ticking.
...


somehow my impression doesn't really fit that - there are quite a bunch of areas where you DON'T have access to food, so unless you saved up alot beforehand, have necromutation (or similar) OR just go for a 3 rune win, you will run into food problems.
esp. when you stash alot throughout the game to avoid item destruction...

ofc you can completely ignore that and say labyrinth/abyss/hell/pan (and fricking harpy's) dont exist AND there's food everywhere!
or you play mummy for life... bleh


It's just that food problems are easily countered (sustenance, maaaaaaaasssssssssssive hive food) to the point that you really should have a horde of food saved up. Only race that'd burn through it in the end-game is a troll.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Thursday, 17th November 2011, 18:28

Re: Food Clock

greepish wrote:
dondy wrote:
snow wrote:There is no food clock. It's like... you're given 20 years to complete a 5 minute task and you're saying you're saying the clock is ticking.
...


somehow my impression doesn't really fit that - there are quite a bunch of areas where you DON'T have access to food, so unless you saved up alot beforehand, have necromutation (or similar) OR just go for a 3 rune win, you will run into food problems.
esp. when you stash alot throughout the game to avoid item destruction...

ofc you can completely ignore that and say labyrinth/abyss/hell/pan (and fricking harpy's) dont exist AND there's food everywhere!
or you play mummy for life... bleh


It's just that food problems are easily countered (sustenance, maaaaaaaasssssssssssive hive food) to the point that you really should have a horde of food saved up. Only race that'd burn through it in the end-game is a troll.


troll, bad spellcasting aptitude casters, centaur, ... not finding sustenance/gourmand/rPois until (too) late, very limited food sources by class/god/jigglypuffs etc. - dunnoh, how about a CeEE of Fedhas? meh, there's tons of possibilities to spend your food besides the waiting timer :p
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Post Thursday, 17th November 2011, 20:50

Re: Food Clock

My last win was with a berserker and I finished with 20+ rations in Trunk... which doesn't have hive.

I seriously don't know what you guys are doing if you have food issues. Every map generates food. You don't use food on every map. The logical conclusion is that the longer you play the more food you accumulate....

And trust me... I suck at crawl and always get the farming tag even when I'm trying to be fast. So I spend so much time on each floor that the game thinks I'm FARMING and I still finish with more than enough food. Think about that.

Ask anyone who's watched me play. I rest to full health after every fight, fully explore every floor (sometimes even the swamps!), like to spam crystal spears on my low int casters... and even use them on fungus that's in my way, even when they cost RATIONS, and STILL finish with so much food that it takes me 3 to 4 trips to move my stash.

Can you show me a game where you've died of hunger? I've never seen any other than suicides by invincible fire stormers who get bored and I'm curious to see one.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Thursday, 17th November 2011, 22:03

Re: Food Clock

I got close once with a OgFE with slow healing and increased metabolism. I didn't die of starvation, but I did have to enter Hive with like AC 3 and 10 evasion, which almost got me killed at the entrance. I.e dying of starvation is incredibly rare, but it can influence decisions.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 17th November 2011, 22:18

Re: Food Clock

I've never actually starved to death, but I have had a character get killed because he passed out due to starving. That was an exceptionally unlucky game though, just due to the lack of permafood & clean chunks and getting sick from all the chunks I did get.

More relevant to the question: I had to abandon my first 15-rune attempt after getting 8 because I ran out of food, and I've seen someone playing online come very close to starving on the orb run with 3 runes.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 17th November 2011, 23:15

Re: Food Clock

I've starved to death with a DDNE and came close a couple of times (some of which were my own fault, some were just due to high food costs).
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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 01:42

Re: Food Clock

So the RNG just jacks you on permanent food then, huh?

I'm guessing that's the issue here. That doesn't really have to do with the food clock... even if the amount of food in the game was doubled or tippled some people would still get jacked. There are ways to deal with that mind you... changing gods, for example. However the only thing that can really be done is to get rid of food altogether.

I'd be in support of that by the way. It would just... make the game more enjoyable for everyone. Those who don't notice the food clock (me) just find eating annoying, and those who do notice it (you I suppose?) probably hate it to death. I doubt anyone likes it.

As for balancing berserk and spells... trash the food system altogether and find something else to balance it with. It really can't be that hard.We have to take that first step at some point... and it'll probably happen eventually since no one likes food and it's really just a relic from the original Rogue that we for some reason dragged with us through the years.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 03:06

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:As for balancing berserk and spells... trash the food system altogether and find something else to balance it with. It really can't be that hard.


I like how you can propose we gut a core mechanic of the entire genre that touches on virtually every aspect of the game at hand at least indirectly and then wave off any expectation that we think of an alternative first with "It really can't be that hard." That takes some real chutzpah.

It obviously actually is that hard to come up with an alternative, because you didn't think of an idea and neither did anybody else. Slapping another coat of paint over the mechanic isn't much of an alternative even if it fools observers for a little while, because it's a whole lot of work for very little gain.
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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 04:52

Re: Food Clock

I've thought of quite a few actually... and so have the devs when they dealt with mummies. For one, scumming (the reason food originally existed in Rogue) has been dealt with by out of depth monsters and such. That just leaves spells, abilities, and item effects as the only things that rely on food. It doesn't touch on everything as you've implied.... just spells, abilities, and item effects. That's it.

Now... honestly ring of regeneration doesn't need a hunger cost to it. The same goes for evocables with the exception of channeling... the hunger cost isn't what keeps players from constantly evoking invisibility. The glow does.

Piety is already used to balance abilities from gods... so the hunger cost there is also irrelevant. Players wouldn't be using BIA any more if the hunger cost was stripped... just saying. Every god given ability that costs piety doesn't need a hunger cost... the hunger cost is simply redundant.

It's like... hunger didn't balance anything. At all. So additional balancing effects were added and we were given near infinite food to make the hunger costs irrelevant. The only things that hunger actually matters for, now, are channeling abilities, berserk, and spells. Everything else is balanced in other ways (scumming, other god abilities, and so on).

And does hunger balance these things? Not really. You're just given an infinite amount of food and the game calls it a day. You can literally berserk every fight in melee, or channel after every fight as a caster, and still have more than enough food to win with. Realistically "honeycomb" is the rule of thumb for spamming an attack spell... it's no so much that you don't have infinite food to spam "ration" costing spells all day (you do) but rather eating rations mid fight can be dangerous. And... if your spells cost rations then you usually have horrible success and such so you shouldn't be spamming them anyway.

I'd say right now if all hunger costs were removed and all food was removed nothing would become too overpowered. If anything needed minor tweaks after that, then so be it. Tweak them. Most hunger costs are simply irrelevant... and their existence doesn't change the way people play. No one considered the hunger cost of berserk before they fight Sigmund. No one is spamming crystal spears at "ration" because it's also at "very poor" and they can't cast it anyway so the hunger cost is completely irrelevant and doesn't effect gameplay at all. Hunger costs are just... irrelevant. That's all there is to say I guess. They don't change the way people play.
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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 05:08

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:They don't change the way I play.

FTFY.

Hunger costs are not supposed to keep people from using berserk/nuke spells for big fights. They are supposed to keep people from spamming berserk/nuke spells, and whatever you think, they do work for that. Most people do not spam Honeycomb-level spells, and the few races for which hungerless casting is conceivable (Deep Elves and Mummies foremost among them) have a significant advantage over everything else because they *can* throw Fire Storm at every rat they see. When a recent character of mine found an early Staff of Energy, it absolutely trivialized everything through Lair, Orc, Elf, Snake, V:1-7, et cetera. Allowing every character to spam high-level spells would be utterly broken.

The hunger cost is also significant, as you mentioned, for channeling abilities. You don't think free MP for everyone at the cost of a bit of evo/invo would be overpowered? One of the major advantages of mummies is hungerless channeling; if that particular cost didn't exist, MP would be much less of a concern for every character. Could you, conceivably, channel all the time anyway and not run out of food? Maybe. Nobody ever does, though, because it's tedious and worrisome to float around hungry/very hungry all the time.

Regeneration is another thing that deserves to be mentioned; without a food cost, there is absolutely no reason for everybody not to keep the spell regeneration up at all times. No more long rests after fights; you just rest right up.

You severely underestimate the power food costs have over player actions; they have a very significant role in keeping people from spamming (not using, but spamming) very powerful tools. Removing all food costs would require an absurd amount of rebalancing, and would serve only to solve something that wasn't broken in the first place.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 05:37

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:I've thought of quite a few actually... and so have the devs when they dealt with mummies. For one, scumming (the reason food originally existed in Rogue) has been dealt with by out of depth monsters and such.


That's what goes by the name 'Stalked by the Bell' in tvtropes-land, unless they changed it in the last several months. It's fundamentally the same pacing mechanic, wrapped in a different skin so it looks different. A Bad Thing is going to happen, and the only way to stop it is to follow the intended course of the game. As you play, you can stay ahead of it, but it's still behind you and will eventually catch up if you ignore it too long. It could be easy or hard to stay ahead, but the Bad Thing is something you want to avoid.

Crawl has multiple Bad Things that you're trying to outpace. Starvation is one of them, OOD spawns are another, and excommunication is a third. Your focus right now is on one guy, standing behind you poking you with a cattle prod, but there's a whole team of them back there and once your attention isn't being taken up by the Food Clock Guy the others will start taking up your attention, and therefore your annoyance. Take out Food Clock Guy and the status quo doesn't really change; you still don't have the leisure to fart around at your slightest whim like you do in a sandbox game. You'd just be here complaining about how you have to stop what you're doing to hunt down a specific type of enemy to build piety back up to keep from losing some ability or other that you need.

And yes, there is merit in those sandbox games that give you absolute freedom to do whatever you want, as long as you want. That kind of game is only a tiny fraction of the games that are possible to make, however, and the kind of game that Crawl is needs to put some restrictions on what you can do in order to function. Crawl isn't stealing your freedom to do what you want; you're offering a few hours of that freedom to it in trade because the fun Crawl offers is a fragile thing that will be crushed if you tread on it carelessly.

snow wrote:And does hunger balance these things? Not really. You're just given an infinite amount of food and the game calls it a day. You can literally berserk every fight in melee, or channel after every fight as a caster, and still have more than enough food to win with. Realistically "honeycomb" is the rule of thumb for spamming an attack spell... it's no so much that you don't have infinite food to spam "ration" costing spells all day (you do) but rather eating rations mid fight can be dangerous. And... if your spells cost rations then you usually have horrible success and such so you shouldn't be spamming them anyway.

I'd say right now if all hunger costs were removed and all food was removed nothing would become too overpowered. If anything needed minor tweaks after that, then so be it. Tweak them. Most hunger costs are simply irrelevant... and their existence doesn't change the way people play. No one considered the hunger cost of berserk before they fight Sigmund. No one is spamming crystal spears at "ration" because it's also at "very poor" and they can't cast it anyway so the hunger cost is completely irrelevant and doesn't effect gameplay at all. Hunger costs are just... irrelevant. That's all there is to say I guess. They don't change the way people play.


You would perhaps be more persuasive if you could resist the urge to exaggerate your position. I've played the game too, after all, and while the food clock could stand to be tightened up it does impact my play and change the decisions I make. In Lair, for instance, my casters want to use their big spells to take down elephants and death yaks. These spells are not yet hungerless. If I try to use hungerless spells to do the job, I get to play against an elephant relay and probably will not make meaningful progress. I need to manage aggro so that when I blow my hunger margin killing something, I have possession of some uncontested corpses at the end of that process. Not every initial placement of a pack will do; it is often better to lead them to more favorable territory, or flee and explore another part of the level.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 13:41

Re: Food Clock

I used to think like that too... waiting till my big guns were hungerless and using lesser spells, or even melee, to kill the smaller things. Then I realized there's no point to it... since you're given more than enough food... and I think now there's a learndb entry about me using iron shot on snakes as soon as I'm gifted the spell.

*looks it up*

Oh, it was using crystal spears on toadstools.

Might I point out that was on a low int spee who never had crystal spear anywhere close to hungerless. I simply disregard hunger altogether in all my games and usually eat perm food till engorged. There have been quite a few posts on this forum about food reform because of the very FACT that food is completely irrelevant past the very early game.

So really tell me how does something that's almost universally agreed upon to need reform for being completely irrelevant balance ANYTHING? It doesn't. There's are other mechanics in place to balance things (piety, out of depth monsters, etc.) and a food clock simply isn't needed.

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Post Friday, 18th November 2011, 21:32

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:So really tell me how does something that's almost universally agreed upon to need reform for being completely irrelevant balance ANYTHING? It doesn't. There's are other mechanics in place to balance things (piety, out of depth monsters, etc.) and a food clock simply isn't needed.


Yes, the food clock does have trouble once you're past Lair. There simply aren't enough permafood sinks to reasonably expect them to use up permafood spawns, and the methods of working around hunger costs are currently too effective, meaning there's much less incentive to use more than your chunk income for large parts of the game.

It is an overambitious leap of logic to conclude from these observations that the food system is inherently non-functional, however. It does work very nicely up until the end of Lair, assuming none of a handful of items show up. In another thread in this forum, I proposed a few measures in hopes of extending the Lair sweet spot, most particularly nerfing and/or capping the impact of spellcasting and intelligence on spell hunger.

Generally speaking, if we have a partially functional system to work with, it's usually going to be more effective and efficient to tweak that partially functional system to make it work better, rather than scrapping it and creating an entirely new system from scratch. Most often when a new system is created it passes through a number of iterations where it is only partially functional, and if we scrapped every system at that point we'd never get a functional one. The food clock has been way back on the back burner for a while, and it has only now been the focus of any developer attention at all. Why not let them try a few things before giving up?

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Tomb Titivator

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Post Saturday, 19th November 2011, 01:02

Re: Food Clock

Because eating is tedious and a no brainier. Tedious no brainers should be removed.

There would be no negative effects to outright removing this tedious no brainier since as you've admitted it does absolutely nothing balance wise past the lair. And what does it do before the lair? It randomly causes a very small portion of players to starve to death when they get jacked by the RNG. I think the removal of food will go down with the removal of the experience pool as the two major development milestones of this game.

Also... I'd like to point out that every time I suggest a troll to a new player they always mention how ungodly tedious eating is and refuse to give a troll a fair shot. Trolls have it extremely easy when it comes to food too... since they can eat till engorged they actually use up less permanent food than other species throughout the game. It's the sheer tedium of constantly eating that puts players off of them.

So you have a tedious no brainier that balances nothing past the lair, actually HURTS the game before the lair, and pushes new players away from a good portion of the playable species. There's just... no reason to keep it and a lot of reasons to remove it.
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Post Saturday, 19th November 2011, 12:16

Re: Food Clock

snow wrote:Because eating is tedious and a no brainier. Tedious no brainers should be removed.

Killing monsters is tedious and a no brainer, it should be removed.

You don't like the food system, we get it. But you've yet to give any solid argument. You're just stating facts which went from exaggerated to plain wrong. I suggest you take a brake from this discussion and come back when you've actually have something to say. You're using a lot of words, but you're not saying much.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

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