About Hunger


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

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 01:23

About Hunger

I built this resource for the topic on the Devour Food brand, and I thought I might split it off to request feedback about the hunger mechanic.

Hunger comes from:

The decrementation of satiation per turn via the following causes:

[*] A Ring of Hunger increases this value by 3.
[*] Being under the effect of Regeneration increases this value by 3.
[*] Being under the effect of Haste increases this value by 5.

The decrementation of satiation by a fixed amount via the following causes:

[*] The use of Evocations items (up to 550 hunger).
[*] The casting of spells (up to 1,000 hunger).
[*] The use of Invocations (up to 1,200 hunger).


The decrementation of satiation by a variable amount:

[*] Being hit by an enemy with the hunger brand (up to 3,000 hunger).


Hunger may be reduced by:



The decrease in decrementation of satiation per turn via the following causes:

[*] A ring of sustenance decreases total hunger by 60%.
[*] Worshipping Cheibriados decreases hunger per turn by 1.


The incrementation of satiation by a fixed amount via the following causes:

[*] Using the Vitalization Invocation (500 nutrition).
[*] Eating chunks (1,000 nutrition).
[*] Drinking potions (40 nutrition).
[*] The Porridge effect (6000 nutrition).

The incrementation of satiation by a variable amount via the following causes:

[*] Eating permanent food.


A player may have approximately 6,000 nutrition in food saved per level, if they are fortunate. This food may be stockpiled for use in dangerous situations, particularly for the casting of hungering spells or the use of rods.

The most common source of nutrition is chunks.


To increase the use of chunks:

[*] Acquire resistance to poison (gives access to nutrition from poisonous corpses, largely contaminated).
[*] Acquire the gourmand intrinsic (via an amulet of the gourmand).
[*] Acquire the carnivore intrinsic: via mutation. (Allows you to eat successively higher amounts of chunks.)
[*] Acquire the saprovore intrinsic: via mutation as a Demonspawn or increase in magnitude as an Ogre, Kobold or Hill Orc. (Allows you to eat rotting chunks up to the threshold of the carnivore intrinsic).

Decreasing the use of chunks:
[*] Nausea makes it impossible to eat chunks unless at Near Starving. This status is caused by eating contaminated meat. There is a 50% chance of acquiring this status. If a chunk is eaten at Near Starving and it would cause Nausea, it instead causes the Sick status.
[*] Paralysis prevents the eating of chunks.
[*] Being unable to eat prevents the eating of chunks.
[*] Having the Herbivore intrinsic at level 3 prevents the eating of chunks.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 02:04

Re: About Hunger

IMO, hunger works fairly well as-implemented. It keeps you moving through the dungeon, and puts a brake on big spells and channeling for non-mummies. It helps to keep spriggan conjurers from immediately being high-speed über-death machines.

Smart people have put a lot of work into trying to make it a more interesting mechanic, and run into significant resistance. I think this is going to be an area it's hard to get people excited about.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 02:19

Re: About Hunger

Hunger's just one of those things... few people are in love with the mechanic but there seems to be no better way...
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Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 02:21

Re: About Hunger

Food Reform was interesting.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 02:59

Re: About Hunger

In the food reform, smart people put a lot of work into trying to make hunger into a more interesting mechanic, and ran into significant resistance.

I don't think it's true that there's no better way at all, but that the Crawl/Nethack style of hunger is baked so deeply into Crawl's gameplay that making it "more fun" would be a huge amount of work and very possibly involve a lot of other changes to the game. I'd kinda imagine Crawl Light would take a stab at it sooner than Stone Soup -- though I know not the minds of the devs.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 04:26

Re: About Hunger

njvack wrote:In the food reform, smart people put a lot of work into trying to make hunger into a more interesting mechanic, and ran into significant resistance.

I don't think it's true that there's no better way at all, but that the Crawl/Nethack style of hunger is baked so deeply into Crawl's gameplay that making it "more fun" would be a huge amount of work and very possibly involve a lot of other changes to the game. I'd kinda imagine Crawl Light would take a stab at it sooner than Stone Soup -- though I know not the minds of the devs.

Crawl Light, last I checked, has no hunger at all and instead uses glow much more heavily than SS. Some people prefer this method; I'm not too fond of it myself.

dd

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 05:17

Re: About Hunger

I've always wondered why pretty much all roguelikes implement hunger, but almost none implement thirst. After all you can survive much longer without food than you can without water...
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 05:23

Re: About Hunger

dd wrote:I've always wondered why pretty much all roguelikes implement hunger, but almost none implement thirst. After all you can survive much longer without food than you can without water...

because food is yummy
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 06:14

Re: About Hunger

dd wrote:I've always wondered why pretty much all roguelikes implement hunger, but almost none implement thirst. After all you can survive much longer without food than you can without water...

Probably because it's real easy to tie food to monsters via corpses. So the food clock becomes a natural driver towards killing more things, and going deeper when you run out of things to kill. It's survival hunting- a very basic and fundamental concept.

You could do the same thing with dropped potions of water, but it doesn't have that same fundamental appeal, and mechanically all you've done is rename things. You could use static water sources that dry up, but then you're adding a new resource instead of using the ones you already have (which seems kind of like bad design). Plus, a constant steam of convenient wells that dry up pushes suspension of disbelief a little more than killing all the nearby prey.

Basically, there's no real way thirst ends up being better.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 07:16

Re: About Hunger

I think roguelikes use hunger instead of thirst so using water as terrain works more easily. Just skips the part where you have to explain to people why some water is drinking water and some isn't. Eating monsters doesn't really have much to do with it I think.

Halls Hopper

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 07:47

Re: About Hunger

njvack wrote:I'd kinda imagine Crawl Light would take a stab at it sooner than Stone Soup

The hunger clock is already an unfeature in Light, having been replaced by glow costs for most tactical things that cost hunger before. This has also had a few second-order effects, like necessitating Brogue-style monster chasing across levels and the removal of stat regen over time.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 08:15

Re: About Hunger

I don't like much hungerless channelling. How about removing it? The staff is described as "channelling ambient magical energy". Reflavour it as "channelling life force into magical energy", mummies, Lich and bloodless vampires cannot channel. Neither from staff nor Sif.
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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 08:35

Re: About Hunger

galehar wrote:I don't like much hungerless channelling. How about removing it? The staff is described as "channelling ambient magical energy". Reflavour it as "channelling life force into magical energy", mummies, Lich and bloodless vampires cannot channel. Neither from staff nor Sif.


Why don't you like it? Do you think they are overpowered? I'm not a very good player, but I do not. This change would remove variety from the game, and I do not see what design space will it open (it would only affect a minority of characters, and those characters will be more boring then before).

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 08:59

Re: About Hunger

It certainly is strong and somewhat abusable (see MuSu^S), but not gamebreaking IMO. It's a neat trick, and figuring it out feels good. It lets people feel like they cheated the system, but if they are careless they still die, so they didn't. I fully agree with sanka.

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 09:05

Re: About Hunger

I want to add a bit about MuSu: it is certainly overpowered, but that's mainly because of summoning and not free chanelling. I suggest nerf summoning first (cap the number of summons), see how MuSu works, and then think on nerfing free chanelling.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 09:10

Re: About Hunger

The main problem with free channelling is that it's free. Which makes it kind of a no brainer. So much of a no brainer that people ask for it to be automatic, or they macro aa to s. Which is a hint that something isn't quite right.
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Zot Zealot

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 09:21

Re: About Hunger

Well, it still costs a turn. Yes, in the current situation it would be nice to automatically channel instead of resting if it's free - but I still do not understand the problem: being free just turns chanelling to a "passive" ability instead of an active one. For mummies you may even remove the activation and change the description: "you regenerate mana much faster while resting" or something (so change it to a real passive ability).

It still have strategic costs: not choosing vehumet. (Or holding the staff of chanelling, but that's hardly cost too much food anyway.)
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 13:00

Re: About Hunger

It costs a turn, and to make it really worthwhile, it costs investment in Invocations or Evocations.

My feeling is kind of: if you want to take Sif for channeling on your hungerless undead, that seems OK -- that's a pretty big investment to make, and Sif isn't super amazing once you've enjoyed her gifts for a while otherwise.

The staff feels like a smaller investment, and I could more see it not working for hungerless characters.

There's the whole MuSu cloud of summons, but folks here have convinced me that's more of a problem with summons than channeling.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 13:26

Re: About Hunger

What about nerfing hungerless channeling so that it never improves, regardless of invocation/evocation skill level?

Slime Squisher

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 15:57

Re: About Hunger

In my experience, the higher end summons are pretty lackluster without any channeling to keep up critical mass, and too strong if channeling is free. Wucad is strong but rare and double-edged. Staff of channeling requires significant evo investment for so-so returns, and still has to be found.

I think the main musu problem isn't summons or channeling in general, but sif's guaranteed, incredibly cheap * ability.

Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 20:53

Re: About Hunger

dd wrote:I've always wondered why pretty much all roguelikes implement hunger, but almost none implement thirst. After all you can survive much longer without food than you can without water...

Dwarf Fortress implements both.
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Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 21:48

Re: About Hunger

Indeed it does, but it isn't a dungeon crawler, more like... whatever TES is. You just do stuff in the world.

I don't think thirst can be done in a fun way in a dungeon crawler.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 21:50

Re: About Hunger

The main reason musu is good is indeed the su part ... for what it's worth I think sesu is easier than musu! Anyway hungerless channeling is fine as far as I am concerned because the penalty is either that you are a mummy (the worst race by a considerable margin outside of a few things like sif channeling), or you are a vampire who is forced to stay at bloodless much of the time without kiku corpse drop or makhleb healing.

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 21:54

Re: About Hunger

Sort of irrelevant, but I've always thought that Sif channeling would be better if it behaved like Trog's Hand/Ambrosia: You activate it and start gaining MP at an accelerated rate.
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Blades Runner

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Post Thursday, 12th July 2012, 22:04

Re: About Hunger

I think I would prefer it to be passive then that, since your just going to use it every fight anyway. Or, well, maybe an activatable passive? Have it act like Regeneration where your metabolism is greatly increased when it is affecting you, but not when you are at max MP.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 14:59

Re: About Hunger

If starving by any mechanism is common, you're doing something really, really wrong. I've killed many hundreds of characters, but have never, ever starved.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 15:24

Re: About Hunger

I know I'm ignoring my previous warning about trying to redesign food, but here goes ;)

I've recently played a few games of Brogue, and actually like their food system quite a lot. In it, you can eat permafood. There are no chunks. There's little enough permafood that it keeps you moving.

So: what if characters (except maybe Trolls?) could only eat permafood? Maybe spawn slightly more meat rations in corpse branches to compensate.

Chunks stay useful for necromancy. It might make sense to slightly redesign a few necro spells to consume chunks, too -- regen comes to mind.

Thoughts?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 15:51

Re: About Hunger

I'm not seeing the upside. If there's a real problem to be solved, I'd favor tweaking the numbers behind the scenes (metabolism rates and nutrition gains) over sweeping changes like eliminating chunks as food.

dd

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 16:01

Re: About Hunger

I've starved a couple of times, but it takes really, really bad luck - like an amazing amount of consecutive no-corpse-drops while you're at level 5 or so and haven't had the chance to stock up on food... mostly, starving is a non-issue though.

dd

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 16:10

Re: About Hunger

njvack wrote:I know I'm ignoring my previous warning about trying to redesign food, but here goes ;)

I've recently played a few games of Brogue, and actually like their food system quite a lot. In it, you can eat permafood. There are no chunks. There's little enough permafood that it keeps you moving.

So: what if characters (except maybe Trolls?) could only eat permafood? Maybe spawn slightly more meat rations in corpse branches to compensate.

Chunks stay useful for necromancy. It might make sense to slightly redesign a few necro spells to consume chunks, too -- regen comes to mind.

Thoughts?


I don't think the change would add anything. I like the mechanics of chunks, it adds a feel of survival to the game, and I think it's something that's really essential to the Crawl experience... when I first tried Crawl back in the 90:s, all the other RL:s I'd played treated corpses as food rations that rot away, but Crawl added this element where you had to butcher your corpses, and you had to think and strategize a bit with them, since you couldn't just eat them at any time... It felt really fun, added a layer of immersion to the game, and I'd hate to see that taken away.

Besides that, removing chunks and replacing them with permafood wouldn't really accomplish anything - even if you consider butchering & chunk eating an annoyance, it'd only trade one annoyance to another - having to lug around all that permafood, stash it, fetch it, etc - you'd have to carry more permafood with you since you couldn't rely on chunks, so in effect, every branch would be like Orc... and I don't think that would be a positive change.
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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 16:17

Re: About Hunger

njvack wrote:I know I'm ignoring my previous warning about trying to redesign food, but here goes ;)

I've recently played a few games of Brogue, and actually like their food system quite a lot. In it, you can eat permafood. There are no chunks. There's little enough permafood that it keeps you moving.

So: what if characters (except maybe Trolls?) could only eat permafood? Maybe spawn slightly more meat rations in corpse branches to compensate.

Chunks stay useful for necromancy. It might make sense to slightly redesign a few necro spells to consume chunks, too -- regen comes to mind.

Thoughts?


In Brogue the food clock is extremely relevant - taking too long (exploring all levels fully is already well beyond "taking too long" by Brogue standards) will kill you by starvation rather often. It's also a short game so it's both easier to balance the limited availability of food (less variation in food item generation, also I suppose there could be some coding in place to permanently tilt it towards a certain amount - I know there are mechanics that do this with scrolls of enchantment so there's reason to believe there is something similar in place for food) and less harsh to eventually kill the player late in the game because of an strategical mistake he can't correct anymore after a certain point.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 17:58

Re: About Hunger

dd wrote:every branch would be like Orc...

Wait, what? I just eat the orcs and ignore the nausea.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 18:06

Re: About Hunger

ebarrett wrote:
njvack wrote:I know I'm ignoring my previous warning about trying to redesign food, but here goes ;)

I've recently played a few games of Brogue, and actually like their food system quite a lot. In it, you can eat permafood. There are no chunks. There's little enough permafood that it keeps you moving.

So: what if characters (except maybe Trolls?) could only eat permafood? Maybe spawn slightly more meat rations in corpse branches to compensate.

Chunks stay useful for necromancy. It might make sense to slightly redesign a few necro spells to consume chunks, too -- regen comes to mind.

Thoughts?


In Brogue the food clock is extremely relevant - taking too long (exploring all levels fully is already well beyond "taking too long" by Brogue standards) will kill you by starvation rather often. It's also a short game so it's both easier to balance the limited availability of food (less variation in food item generation, also I suppose there could be some coding in place to permanently tilt it towards a certain amount - I know there are mechanics that do this with scrolls of enchantment so there's reason to believe there is something similar in place for food) and less harsh to eventually kill the player late in the game because of an strategical mistake he can't correct anymore after a certain point.


Brogue has pretty stringent food generation mechanics. If you are at a certain hunger threshold and have no food, the next level is guaranteed to generate a ration of food.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 18:33

Re: About Hunger

Wait, so in theory you can game the food generation? Does it know if you're dropping your foodstuffs before entering the next level?
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 18:56

Re: About Hunger

danharaj wrote:If you are at a certain hunger threshold and have no food, the next level is guaranteed to generate a ration of food.

I don't think this is true, from looking at the source. If their comments aren't lying:

  Code:
// guarantee a certain nutrition minimum of the equivalent of one ration every three levels,
// with more food on deeper levels since they generally take more turns to complete


and I don't see anything about hunger. And this is in a post-item placement, "turning other items into food" step, so it's a minimum. I haven't gotten good enough at Brogue to die to starvation.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 20:12

Re: About Hunger

It's true that the food clock has a small presence in crawl. You can lose 15 rations to harpies and still be fine, and if you keep on the move in pan/abyss you find as much nutrition as you burn. My question is: do you actually WANT the food clock to matter more? Would you have more fun if you were measuring each casted spell or swung sword in rations? I'm willing to bet the answer is no.

I have my issues with crawl, but here I'd prefer if we left well enough alone.

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Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 13th July 2012, 22:51

Re: About Hunger

njvack wrote:I haven't gotten good enough at Brogue to die to starvation.

I've won at least three or four times, and have never starved to death. I've come close a few times, though, and lost one game because hunger pressure forced me to play recklessly; I consider Brogue's hunger clock well-designed and a good addition to that game.

eeviac wrote:It's true that the food clock has a small presence in crawl. You can lose 15 rations to harpies and still be fine, and if you keep on the move in pan/abyss you find as much nutrition as you burn. My question is: do you actually WANT the food clock to matter more? Would you have more fun if you were measuring each casted spell or swung sword in rations? I'm willing to bet the answer is no.

I have my issues with crawl, but here I'd prefer if we left well enough alone.

This, right here, is exactly why I removed the hunger clock from Light.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Tuesday, 17th July 2012, 01:15

Re: About Hunger

I mostly play spriggans and find the game much less enjoyable when I play any other race except kobolds. Hunting for chunks just becomes too much of a chore. I don't mind the clock, just the frequency with which it has to be wound.

My issue would be fixed if chunks were just more rare but more nourishing to compensate for that.

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