Sacrifices


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Post Saturday, 14th January 2012, 22:06

Sacrifices

It's not rare to find a new player asking which god to chose while adding that they don't want to chose a god requiring sacrifices because of the unbearable tedium. Sacrificing is supposed to be interesting as it gives for example a choice between food or piety... but really it just turns into sacrificing when you're not satiated and there are no interesting choices to be made. The same goes for gods that ask you to sacrifice floor trash. If you need it then don't sacrifice it. You never spend more than a fraction of a second deciding if you're going to sacrifice something or not. The interesting choices just aren't there.

Since sacrifices are so mindlessly tedious there have been requests for it to be added automatically to exploration... but really that's just beating around the bush. Sacrificing either needs an overhaul or needs to be outright removed. I'd like to point out that sacrificing money to Zin at an altar is interesting so sacrificing could possibly be implemented in an interesting way so an overhaul is a viable option.

Let's start with Trog since he's a very popular god. Trog requires corpses to be sacrificed and you basically just sacrifice what you can't eat. If piety on kills was increased and trog no longer required sacrifices nothing would really change. No extra nutrition would be gained (since you can't eat while satiated) so the food clock wouldn't be effected by the extra corpses lying about.

Nemelex is another popular god that requires sacrifices... and is the god hurt the most by them. It's optimal to just sacrifice everything and use up all your cards to gain more decks... so you're basically just left sacrificing what you don't need. There are no interesting choices here and you never spend more than a fraction of a second deciding if you're going to sacrifice something or not. Piety gain could be moved to just card use and exploration. Another possibility is that Nemelex could destroy items on the floor over time either everywhere or everywhere outside the temple.

There's no reason for tedious sacrifices to be required for optimal play as they aren't interesting or fun.

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Post Saturday, 14th January 2012, 22:08

Re: Sacrifices

A lot of games have an "auto sac" option. I think this game could do "auto sac while not hungry" option or something.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 00:11

Re: Sacrifices

My point is that if sacrificing adds nothing to the game other than tedium (no interesting choices, no fun situations, etc.) why bother even having it? Having it as something automatic in the background is rather pointless and it should instead be removed outright or redone completely.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 01:49

Re: Sacrifices

I've decided not to take a god because I needed corpses for distilled potions, zombies, or food. I've had characters who had trouble maintaining piety because they ate too much or distilled too many potions. I think it is good that corpse availability is something to think about when choosing a god, so I think that corpses still need to disappear even if the player no longer gets to decide which corpses disappear.

I'd vote for every corpse having a chance to be taken by the gods as an unavoidable sacrifice over having all the corpses stay and just giving piety for kills. I'd suggest factoring something like player hp at time of kill into the auto-sacrifice calculation (Makhleb demands your blood or the blood of your foe!), but that would invite gaming your hp in a tedious way.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 03:47

Re: Sacrifices

As already mentioned food isn't an issue. You sacrifice what you don't eat.

As for zombies and distilling... you're doing it wrong. Reanimation spells suck and you shouldn't distil every corpse you come across but even if you did you wouldn't run into problems anyway because the vast majority of your piety comes from killing and not sacrificing. So your argument about piety being hard to maintain doesn't seem right and I'm guessing it's caused by suboptimal play in unrelated areas... do you rest after every fight? That's what's causing your piety loss. Try memorizing regeneration. I think you'd have the same problems if you sacrificed every corpse anyway.

Also by maintaining piety I hope you don't mean full piety... even if you sacrifice every corpse you come across and never rest after killing you shouldn't ever be at full piety since the more piety you have the less you gain from killing, sacrificing, and such. If you do manage to reach full piety it's because you aren't using any of your abilities... which is wasteful in my opinion.

With that being said I can see how there's a psychological impact to sacrifices. Some players might not understand how piety works and piety gains and losses work so they might think it matters more than it does. In reality it's just this tedious thing that you don't have to do but end up doing anyway because it gives you slightly more piety at the end of the day.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 04:35

Re: Sacrifices

The main problem that I see with Sacrifices, is that it simply screws up Gods which are fully dependent on corpses (like Fedhas, for example), in the post-endgame phase. Here are the list of monsters that will drop corpses in Hell/Pan, which I can recall from memory (I may miss others of course):
1. Hell hounds
2. Hell hogs
3. Demonic crawlers
4. Hell knights
5. Necromancers
Abyss had the potential to spawn any monster, but have much lower monster density.

Of course, that may be a problem with the God itself (FEDHAS I'M LOOKING AT YOU).

Tedium etc is a non-issue for me. Why fix something if it ain't broken?
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:25

Re: Sacrifices

It is broken though. It's tedious and takes the fun out of the game. I don't think it can be any MORE broken than it already is. Also players have different thresholds for what they consider tedious. I absolutely HATE eating chucks but not everyone agrees with me there. Sacrifices on the other hand are something that almost everyone is a bit annoyed by (especially with Nemelex) but you can't expect everyone to be bothered by the same things.

Anyway you don't have to walk over every corpse with Fedhas so it's not as bad. Still Fedhas is a corner case and you do bring up a point about sacrifices being relevant in extended with him. To be fair though Fedhas could use a boost and getting rid of the sacrifice requirement doesn't seem imbalanced to me. Keep in mind any changes would be made on a case by case basis and done in steps.

The first step, clearly, would be to remove sacrifices for Trog, Oka, and Makhleb, and Lucy. Then, if needed, increase the piety gains on kills. Fedhas can be dealt with later... one step at a time, for testing, you know?

Oh also aren't Trog and Oka basically useless in extended? Most people go with TSO at that point. From the games I've never played through extended with a god requiring sacrifices because they basically all suck at that point so a boost wouldn't be so bad for balance reasons. I think it would still be optimal to swap anyway but not as much as a no brainer decision as it is now.
Last edited by snow on Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:29

Re: Sacrifices

While the issue is, in truth, there, there's several opinions here being stated as facts that have no business as such.

Here's the facts.

1. Corpse-sacrificing gods have harder piety gain in Extended in most cases. The ones that accept everything killed, no so much.
2. The following gods all take sacrifices in some form: Ashenzari, Beogh, Elyvilon, Fedhas, Jiyva, Lugonu, Makhleb, Nemelex, Okawaru, and Trog.
3. A few of these gods have sacrifices as a major part of piety gain. In particular, Jiyva, Nemelex, Fedhas, and Ashenzari.
4. Several gods have sacrificing for major flavor reasons. In particular, Beogh, Fedhas, Jiyva, Ely, and Nemelex.
5. To fix the tediousness of sacrificing, 3. and 4. have to be addressed, no exceptions.
6. Sacrifices can influence player choices. For example, a player may choose to go unarmed for Ely because of weapon sacrifices or a Felid for Jiyva for everything being sacrificed before they can see it.


Now back to opinions, I personally don't find sacrificing tedious. It's one extra key stroke and a simple decision. It's far less tedious than dealing with chunk sickness or carrying too much weight.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:39

Re: Sacrifices

I disagree with 6. Sacrificing one less weapon wouldn't ever matter and Jiyva's fine as is. I'm not suggesting changing every god in the same way... I'm talking about a case by case thing. Also flavour can be reworked as it has been with (for a recent example) Zin... it's been done so frequently that I don't know why you bring it up actually.

Let's talk about Nemelex though since his sacrifices are a big part of his flavor and piety gain. Recently Nemelex has been reworked so the vast majority of his piety comes from card use and not sacrifices so I don't know why we can't go all the way on this one. It's only one step further. And why does a gambling god of chaos care about floor trash? He's been reduced to a vacuum clearer god and that's just sad in terms of flavor. Furthermore players try to game the system to get decks of wonder (that's why his piety gain was changed originally I think so players couldn't do this) but players try anyway and it's just a bad situation no matter how you look at it.

Finally I think item sacrifices and piety decay only exist with Nemelex to prevent players from just standing in a corner and drawing cards all day. We can just introduce exploration and accomplish the same thing. And as for sacrifice weights they don't matter at all since you can get whatever deck you want by using up the decks you don't want so trying to game the system is wasted effort. And as previously mentioned you could just have items outside the temple disappear after so many turns if you want to keep Nemelex's horrible cleaning flavour.
Last edited by snow on Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:51

Re: Sacrifices

snow wrote:Nemelex is another popular god that requires sacrifices... and is the god hurt the most by them. It's optimal to just sacrifice everything and use up all your cards to gain more decks... so you're basically just left sacrificing what you don't need. There are no interesting choices here and you never spend more than a fraction of a second deciding if you're going to sacrifice something or not. Piety gain could be moved to just card use and exploration. Another possibility is that Nemelex could destroy items on the floor over time either everywhere or everywhere outside the temple.


I strongly agree with these Nemelex ideas, but I think sacrifices work ok with the other gods as is.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:56

Re: Sacrifices

Again each god should be addressed differently. Nemelex is the biggest offender, yes, but with Trog it's just so ridiculously pointless with absolutely ZERO interesting choices at all to be made.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 05:59

Re: Sacrifices

TwilightPhoenix wrote:6. Sacrifices can influence player choices.


jejorda2 wrote:I've decided not to take a god because I needed corpses for distilled potions, zombies, or food.



It influenced his choice. It's influenced mine (I'm one of those who've gone unarmed for Ely for weapon sacrificing, for example, since I like the god but dislike playing a pacifist conduct) and it's, of course, determined whether people take some gods into extended or not due to piety concerns. So, sacrificing can (note not always, but can) influence player choices. It's a fact. Disagreeing with it is like disagreeing that 2 + 2 = 4.

I bring up flavor because it's there and has to be addressed. Yes it can be changed and flavor has been changed in the past, but that's not the point of listing it. It's just simply stating that, for some gods, the flavor will probably have to change to remove sacrificing.


Anyway, Nemelex. It might have changed, but I remember reading somewhere that Nemelex just likes collecting random junk. Hence why he sacrifices everything. But, that's the easy part. Nemelex is tricky because sacrificing does multiple things. It determines deck weighting, how quickly you get decks, and, most importantly, getting those first few decks. Nemelex would need some major changes to remove sacrificing because, without it, you'd have no way to gain piety until you had enough decks you could spam them endlessly. Now, you could change his piety mechanics to include new conducts. You could have it to where he gifts you a new deck as soon as you join him and run out of decks. Of course, we still have the hard part of determining how decks are weighted as purely random wouldn't be entirely ideal. Gaming Nemelex's deck weightings is a big part of worshipping him (or, at least I think so). Whether you're doing it to try to gain only Summon and Escape or you're sub optimally only trying for Wonders, it's a big deal for him.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 06:11

Re: Sacrifices

You bring up a lot of good points but, really, you would go unarmed instead of sacrificing just one less weapon?

I think these choices are just uninformed mistakes. Such is definitely the case when you try to game Nemelex's sacrifices... sacrificing everything you don't want will give you the best odds of getting the deck that you do want. Again you bring up good points but I really don't think players making bad decisions because they don't know how sacrifices work should be the deciding factor in keeping sacrifices or not. Keep in mind I wouldn't mind sacrifices being kept and just changed a bit... so these choices matter more. At the moment, with Trog for example, you should always eat every corpse you can. I don't see how sacrificing 1 in 20 more corpses could ever matter unless you were penalized for not sacrificing a corpse. That is an option too if you want to go there.

A bit off topic: did you play Ely without pacifying? I've tried sacrificing everything and I just couldn't get all her abilities without pacifying dudes too. I did keep one weapon to myself though since the extra damage really helps in the early game. When you're sacrificing hundreds of weapons... how can 1 more ever matter?

Finally... I think the main reason people swap gods for extended is that TSO is awesome for extended. Kiku might be better though... I've done my extended games with Sif Muna and TSO mainly and the choice to swap has always been "which has better abilities for killing demons" and not anything about sacrifices. If the sacrifices were removed there would be MORE choices because less viable gods would be more viable, possibly even competitive.

If your argument is "this is not viable and should stay not viable because more possible choices and strategies are bad!" then I don't think we agree on a few fundamental issues.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 07:07

Re: Sacrifices

Well, I did do it, so the answer was yes. Was it the smartest thing? Probably not. Although even now if I was planning to play Elyvilon I wouldn't rely on missile weapons because, if you're doing it without relying on pacification, you need all the sacrifices you can get. I had a spellcaster of Ely who had top end abilities and max piety a majority of the time who lated converted to TSO (and died due to stupidity involving Cursed Skulls and Mennas shortly after). Sacrificing tons of stuff was pretty much mandatory since I did little pacification (Orc helped a lot here). All my other Ely characters never made it far enough to get max piety for any god.

I play Ely like that because I don't mind sacrificing stuff but I hate the whole pacification mini-game.

But, back to the topic at hand, sacrificing is really a small part of a bigger problem: too many gods have boring conducts. They either all like sacrificing bodies, killing people, or both. Looking at sacrificing probably would be a good excuse to fix at least pat of that bigger issue.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 07:12

Re: Sacrifices

If you play Ely in 0.10 you basically cannot get past 1* or maybe 2* piety by sacrificing weapons unless they are draining/pain/vampiric (this includes ammo, I think). It's only even worth bothering with to get that first star. You need to pacify to get piety. This is a change from previous versions.

In exchange you get more piety for pacification.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 09:41

Re: Sacrifices

I believe an auto_sacrifice_corpse option would be easy to implement and improve blood gods gameplay. No need to bother much with satiation level too. As I see it, after a fight, you would maybe eat/raise/distill some corpse, and after that, you would autoexplore which would automatically go to corpses and sacrifice them.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 09:45

Re: Sacrifices

That's a fair point, it's not like auto-pickup-chunks every annoyed me, except when using IOOD
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 13:33

Re: Sacrifices

An automatic sacrifice, as mentioned before, is just beating around the bush. It's like if we had to routinely polish our shoes for no apparent reason in game, and no one one liked it, so we just had them automatically polish with some auto_explore_polish sort of thing. The very fact that it's being considered for an automatic background thing shows how pointless it is. And yes, we can point out the trolls who don't wear shoes and don't have to polish them, but seriously... when all is said and done sacrifices need an overhaul or need to be removed.

While an automatic sacrifice thing would be helpful I really don't think it's the right way to go on this one.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 13:36

Re: Sacrifices

Still, auto sac sounds extremely easy to code, rebalancing every single god that uses sacrficing is not. Even if sac removal is a conceivable goal, I don't see how adding in auto sac is that harmful.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 13:45

Re: Sacrifices

I wouldn't mind if auto sacrifice was added. It'd take the tedium out of it. But... I don't see the point of, instead of removing a no brainer, having the computer automatically do it for you. Yes one is easier to code than another and that's why I was thinking of breaking down the problem into little problems and solving them each individually over time.

I'm afraid that if we keep beating around the bush like this with auto-this and auto-that we're going to have a game full of automated no brainers and you'll be able to win with o, aa, tab, tab, repeat.

Also auto sacrifice doesn't solve the problem with Nemelex.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 13:52

Re: Sacrifices

Keep in mind, as far reducing the game to o, aa, tab, tab, repeat is concerned, auto-X is no different from outright removing a feature. Both simplify the game, auto-X does it less so.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 14:15

Re: Sacrifices

It depends.

I think tab is useful because it shows ways the game can improve: if everyone tabs through an area maybe some monsters need to be made more interesting? Not all areas are tabbed through.

And auto explore is nice because we can have bigger floors without spending too long between fights. This leads to more vaults and such.

The game should be made harder to automate in my opinion. The fact that automated scripts have ascended shows that there's a lot of improvement that can be made. If we are going to keep sacrifices then automating them isn't the answer... making interesting choices is. The second is harder to do, yes, but if we're going with the first we might as well just remove what we can and deal with what we can't later.

A flat removal of corpse sacrifices and increased piety on kills doesn't seem to be much harder than adding an auto sacrifice.

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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 20:48

Re: Sacrifices

I agree that saccing corpses is tedious / Nemelex is OK in my book / haven't played Fedhas yet. Auto-explore-sacrifice is an excellent solution, if rebalancing all these gods isn't on the table.
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Post Sunday, 15th January 2012, 22:39

Re: Sacrifices

crate wrote:If you play Ely in 0.10 you basically cannot get past 1* or maybe 2* piety by sacrificing weapons unless they are draining/pain/vampiric (this includes ammo, I think). It's only even worth bothering with to get that first star. You need to pacify to get piety. This is a change from previous versions.

In exchange you get more piety for pacification.



Well, that sucks. I like Elyvilon, but I hate doing the whole "PACIFY EVERYTHING!" play style.
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Post Monday, 16th January 2012, 21:03

Re: Sacrifices

I think you should also take into account the view of newbies to the game... and the fun it is for them, once they got past an obstacle which may be a bit tedious, once you know how to handle it. I still remeber the time when almost every second of my characters was starving to dead because i couldnt find a chunk of meat or anything eatable. And still for me it is an interesting decision to make whether I sacrifice every single body I can find or wheter I always keep some meat in my inventory to avoid the danger or starving. And anyway making stupid decisions should be allowed. A game where you can only play the most efficient ways is boring.

I wouldnt care about adding an auto-sac, because then i can decide wheter I want to care about it or not. But removing sacrifices would be a big mistake in my opinion. Starving is one of the biggest dangers for new players and sacrifiying has major influence on this. Its more fun to die starving because I sacrified too many corpses than just starving for no reason, but there is just not enough food.
This is partly compensated by the fact, that using abilities granted by gods who make you sacrifice bodies also consume food. I'm not enough into the game to know wheter there is any case where a god makes you sacrifice corpses but doesnt offer a "must use" ability that consumes food.
However, sacrifices : i vote for keep 'em ;)

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Post Monday, 16th January 2012, 21:29

Re: Sacrifices

snow wrote:I think tab is useful because it shows ways the game can improve: if everyone tabs through an area maybe some monsters need to be made more interesting?

Tab is good because it's bad? =P
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Post Monday, 16th January 2012, 21:38

Re: Sacrifices

minmay wrote:I've honestly never seen someone run out of food without having a cursed blunt weapon wielded, and that circumstance is unrelated to sacrifices.


In what I recognize as a string of incredible luck, I've gone 3 full floors on a very young TRBE without a single food item or nonpoisonous corpse and starved to death.

The healer class also has considerable food issues which require good resource management over the course of the entire game.

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Post Tuesday, 17th January 2012, 17:33

Re: Sacrifices

minmay wrote:I've honestly never seen someone run out of food without having a cursed blunt weapon wielded, and that circumstance is unrelated to sacrifices.



I've starved to death with a DD healer, but that was not related to sacrificing anything.

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Post Wednesday, 18th January 2012, 04:51

Re: Sacrifices

Auto sac is a quick fix but this needs to be something rectified in the long term. Sacing as pointless and not even very flavorfull right now. At best it's a chore.

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Post Thursday, 19th January 2012, 13:50

Re: Sacrifices

As a temporary solution you could make it so that if you press "p" you would sacrifice everything on sight, that could reduce tedium a bit.

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Post Thursday, 19th January 2012, 15:27

Re: Sacrifices

betamin wrote:As a temporary solution you could make it so that if you press "p" you would sacrifice everything on sight, that could reduce tedium a bit.


That would be a bad idea if you worshipped Ely or Card God and pressed 'p' at your stash.

Or if you just had a big fight and perhaps wanted to eat 1-2 of the corpses.

Speaking of which, that is a plus for sacrifices. It prevents hostile casters from raising them to attack you again.

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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 01:25

Re: Sacrifices

Even in the abstract, saccing just seems like a questionable idea to me.

Take Makhleb or Beogh or whoever. Kill a monster (of a certain type, maybe), there's a % chance you gain piety.

Now take Okawaru. As above, and additionally when you kill a monster, there's a % chance they leave a corpse. If so, and if you aren't hungry, you have another % chance to gain piety.
Basically, if you're not hungry it acts the same as kill piety. Otherwise, you get jack.

So the second method is essentially the same, using different %s, except that it favors characters who get hungry less (or don't use corpses for food as often, anyway, like spriggans or vampires.) Food is really more important as a clock than a resource, partially because chunks rot so fast anyway, so there's little incentive to chop up a centaur when you know 5/6 of the chunks are going to be worthless before you get back to Hungry. I think Food works as is, but corpses are rarely useful for other purposes, and I honestly don't think that making corpse sacrificing gods less attractive to transmuters is worth the layer of complexity and tedium that affects every character who follows corpse gods. So I'd suggest just replacing corpse piety with kill piety.

Personally,I feel like Gods should have multiple ways to gain piety; one relatively easy way that offsets decay and gets your god abilities online, and one that rewards you more substantially for making use of those abilities. Nemelex sacrificing -> deck usage, Ely weapon sacrificing -> pacification , maybe Trog killing -> spellcaster killing/book burning. I think this is a good paradigm, personally, although I suppose it doesn't work with all the gods as they are now. Some Gods are interesting and make you change your playstyle to take advantage of them (Trog, ; some aren't (Okawaru, Sif Muna). But barring major feature/piety reform, I at least think switching to kill piety would remove a slightly tedious aspect of gameplay, and is marginally more elegant than autosac. Obviously gain would need to be readjusted, but it could be as simple as just giving you corpse piety for free most of the time when a corpse drops (maybe 95% for poisoned, 85% for sickening, and 75% otherwise) or whatever.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 12:13

Re: Sacrifices

One-Eyed Jack wrote:As above, and additionally when you kill a monster, there's a % chance they leave a corpse. If so, and if you aren't hungry, you have another % chance to gain piety.

What if there are other monsters around and you're wounded? Do you take the time to sacrifice the corpse before fleing or do you let it rot while you rest upstairs? The piety gain is usually to small to be worth taking any significant risk, but there's an opportunity for creating an interesting choice here.
That's why I'd rather fix the interface and keep the corpse sacrifice. And maybe even move some piety from kill to sac.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 12:45

Re: Sacrifices

You're referring to corner cases that never matter in the long run. If there are other monsters then you kill them first and if meanwhile the corpses rot then so be it. A few corpses don't really matter when you sacrifice so many in the long run. There really isn't a choice to be made here and if sacrifices ever become automated they might as well be removed instead. However... I'm for the idea of improving them. How could it possibly be improved though? It seems like the mechanic is broken on such a fundamental level.

Since so many corpses drop missing a few here or there should never be an issue and even if you try something like piety loss on corpses you don't sacrifice you're just breaking some areas, species that eat a lot, etc. I'm really not seeing any way to fix this without breaking a dozen other things. If only some corpses need sacrificing... then what choices are there really? You're making the same mindless decisions as before that might as well be automated or removed... just less often. Require sacrifices in tense situations? That's just so contrived it wouldn't feel right. Nemelex would be easier to fix than corpse sacrifices I'd think... just demand the sacrifice of all artifacts (or something similar) and if you disobey there are consequences. Now that's an interesting choice if the consequences are manageable.

The problem fundamentally with corpse sacrifices I think is that there's nothing lost in the sacrifice. Even if you did you lose a ton sacrificing you can usually get by just off kills without sacrificing at all. If you mess with the current piety formulas, though, you're breaking extended for gods that are already not that great in extended so you're really taking away more choices than you're adding. There really is no way to fix corpse sacrifices and automating them like a lot of people want just proves how pointless they are and that they should be instead removed.

I'm really, really, really trying to think of any way to possibly fix corpse sacrifices but the only ideas I can think of are so contrived and just not fun (for example carrying around a very heavy corpse so you can sacrifice on demand when Trog randomly demands it). What we don't want, most of all, is something even more annoying and tedious than what we currently have just because it might add a few more choices.

Oh and nausea sucks. I'm just throwing that out there. I don't think anyone wants sacrifices "fixed" the way chunks were "fixed." So please nothing like that.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 15:06

Re: Sacrifices

snow wrote:How could it possibly be improved though? It seems like the mechanic is broken on such a fundamental level.

Your posts are riddled with random statements like this one. If you want to turn your rants into discussions with other people, try backing them up with arguments.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 19:57

Re: Sacrifices

minmay wrote:Read all of the post you just responded to. This "random" statement is backed up by the following paragraphs.

If he had said that sacrifices are not important, then this might have been considered as arguments. However, when someone is stating that a feature is fundamentally broken, I expect a much more rigorous analysis of the underlying mechanisms.

snow wrote:The problem fundamentally with corpse sacrifices I think is that there's nothing lost in the sacrifice.

Let's try to open up a constructive discussion. A corpse is a temporary resource. Depending on the circumstances, it can be turned into some nutrition, some piety, a zombie, nutrition and a skeleton, a potion to evaporate, a miasma cloud, a simulacrum or an abomination (and all the stuff I forgot). Some hostile monsters can also use it against you by raising it as an hostile zombie or a crawling corpse.
It is a small resource, that can be used in a number of different ways. You never gain much, and you never lose much, but there's a lot of corpses in the game. In the end, all those choices add up, and a SpBe and A TrBe don't gain piety at the same rate for example. I don't see how sacrifices are fundamentally broken, or how reducing the number of ways to use a corpse would fix anything.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 20:34

Re: Sacrifices

I don't think Fedhas sacrifices are a problem honestly. For one thing you can sacrifice all corpses in LOS at once (so it's far less tedious than with other gods), and sacrificing makes toadstools which you can use to open a gap against other enemies so it's not just piety you get. You also have the choice of turning corpses into giant spores instead of toadstools + piety, and personally Reproduction is my favorite god ability in the game so I do this quite a lot.

I can see other gods' sacrifices being tedious but I don't have good ideas on how to fix them so no comment from me.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 21:11

Re: Sacrifices

minmay wrote:These three gods make up half the portion of the pantheon that accepts corpse sacrifices.

So, for those 3, it's just a choice between piety and food (and maybe evaporate, miasma cloud or MP (sublimation) for Oka)). And the other half still get the whole range of choices.
Anyway, nice nitpicking. How does it explains what's fundamentally broken about sacrifices?

galehar wrote:In the end, all those choices add up, and a SpBe and A TrBe don't gain piety at the same rate for example.

There has to be a better way to adjust Trog piety rates between species than making the player press 'p' thousands of times for no reason other than it gives them free piety.[/quote]
Oh really? Can you tell me about them?

I've already acknowledge about the tediousness problem, and offered a solution. When Darshan realized that exploring a 80x70 level was tedious, his solution wasn't to reduce it to a NH level size. The fact that something can be automated under certain circumstances doesn't mean that it's automatically a candidate for removal.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 21:49

Re: Sacrifices

I'm sorry if I'm not being clear.

Corpse sacrifices are broken on a fundamental level because corpses aren't a valuable resource and little to nothing is lost when you sacrifice them. Furthermore you are incorrect in implying a spbe gains piety faster than a trbe. The fact is that sacrifices don't matter that much and if you eat every single corpse and sacrifice none of them the difference is barely noticeable from if you sacrifices every single corpse and eat none of them:

20 milestones for * (spbe type=god.maxpiety): avg(turn)=22504.8
147 milestones for * (trbe type=god.maxpiety): avg(turn)=14800.33

Now granted a trbe actually gains piety about 50% faster than a spbe but that has more to do with not having to rest than anything else. My other point is that if you tried to fix corpse sacrifices you'd break too many other things. If something was lost when you sacrifice corpses then no one would sacrifice... if piety gain on kills was slowed then you'd break extended for gods that are already bad in extended (thus removing more choices than you're adding)... and finally just tossing on a troll hide apparently makes you gain piety 50% faster so really you're fighting an uphill battle by trying to making corpse sacrifices matter in the least.

Sorry if I am not being clear. I'm not very good at explaining my thoughts.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 22:01

Re: Sacrifices

snow wrote:Now granted a trbe actually gains piety about 50% faster than a spbe but that has more to do with not having to rest than anything else.

Also: TrBe is really, really, really good at killing things, especially in the early game.

if piety gain on kills was slowed then you'd break extended for gods that are already bad in extended (thus removing more choices than you're adding)

One possible solution to this is to make blood sac gods appreciate killing demons and/or undead more they appreciate killing living things.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 22:03

Re: Sacrifices

minmay wrote:
greepish wrote:Still, auto sac sounds extremely easy to code, rebalancing every single god that uses sacrficing is not.

Nemelex and Fedhas seem like the only remotely difficult cases to me, honestly.
Trog is overpowered in a 3-runer and as is, so just cutting sacrifices would probably benefit his balance there.
Okawaru, like Trog, is probably too weak in a 15-rune game, so increasing piety on kills would be a good thing if it meant the same amount of piety in a 3-runer.
For Makhleb and Lugonu this would probably just keep their balance the same (if this actually makes them disproportionately useful in extended they can just give more piety for killing enemies of natural holiness).
Elyvilon, just give minor healing at 0 piety and be done with it.

Ashenzari and Jiyva, as pointed out, have "sacrifice" mechanics that actually mean something and don't suffer from the same problem at all, so I'm not sure why they even enter into this discussion.

jejorda2 wrote:potions, zombies

I should point out that Okawaru, Trog and Fedhas hate zombies. Trog and Fedhas hate distillation.



This is actually pretty convincing, I've changed my mind. In addition, rebalancing the gods away from corpse sacrifice will hopefully make them more useful in extended, so it's killing two birds with one stone.
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 22:08

Re: Sacrifices

njvack wrote:One possible solution to this is to make blood sac gods appreciate killing demons and/or undead more they appreciate killing living things.



That's really bad flavor though... especially with Makhleb. And piety is easy enough to gain off kills alone already. As explained in my previous post sacrifices don't really matter at all. The problem is that for extended other gods are just better. I mentioned extended because if piety on kills was dropped (and thus it's no longer viable to maintain piety on kills alone) then already weak gods in extended would become even weaker.

Also I didn't bring up the trbe and spbe thing. I mentioned that in response to another post saying that spbe and trbe gain piety at different rates because of corpse sacrifices which is clearly false. The reasons for their piety gain differences have nothing to do at all with corpse sacrifices... as the numbers clearly show.

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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 23:32

Re: Sacrifices

minmay's first proposal has merits: gods take the corpses for themselves.

A radical version could go like this (we toyed with this idea when gods were systematically discussed on SF and there was a proposal to remodel Makhleb as a god of eternal hunger): one corpse god (say Okawaru [1]) takes *all* corpses for himself. You kil them, you see their corpse, next turn they're gone. This means corpse-less conduct. To make this bearable for trolls (say), they can *pray* for leaving the corpse on the ground. Okawaru will do as asked, if grudgingly (piety hit).
I believe that this approach reverses the interface strain: instead of pressing 'p' for every corpse, you only have to use the command when you need chunks. I would also hope that this creates some minor choices on the food front (this depends on the piety hit, of course -- there is a difference between miniscule piety gain for corpse sacrifices in the current game and more noticeable piety hits with the proposed system).
There is another gameplay change in that other corpse uses (zombies etc.) would be essentially out of the question; I guess that is okay for one god.

[1] Why Okawaru: Trog has oodles of flavour whereas Okawaru can need some. No zombies/skeletons jibes well with no allies. Keeping corpses for Trog keeps that god a troll's first love, as it should be.


If you want to keep the current system with as little change as possible, there is an old suggestion to make autoexplore include sacrifice-worthy items in its list of "interesting spots". So you'd automatically walk to corpses with 'o' and press 'p' or 'c' depending on the situtation.


Bottom line: it is true that the game's interface has become quite slick (for classical roguelike standards, nothing more). However, I don't think that the current sacrifice situation is unbearable and neither do I think it is the worst offender (that'd be the permanent 5-bashing for regaining HP and MP to me).
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Post Saturday, 21st January 2012, 23:42

Re: Sacrifices

I don't like the idea of penalizing players for butchering corpses. Players don't like being penalized.

The choice between sacrificing a corpse or not can't ever be an interesting one. No matter what changes are made it can just be automated (sacrifice if X conditions are met). Automation isn't bad for some things but for sacrifices it just seems like you're clinging to a mechanic that hasn't aged well and that we should just be removed. Really if sacrifices didn't already exist, and someone suggested adding them, it would probably be shot down fairly quickly because there are no interesting choices, it's hard to balance (extended, food, etc.) and it's just tedious, easily automated, and very pointless.

Now... item sacrifices can be interesting. Just not corpse sacrifices. So the two should be dealt with separately.

On an unrelated topic is there an option to move over every single item while exploring? It would be an extremely useful feature.
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