Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes


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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:27

Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Radical, I know, but hear me out. I've been thinking of it for a while, and I may have a notion how it could work out. Please read through all of the proposal before you raise objections. I know I'm proposing a major overhaul of a core mechanic, but it is a mechanic that sucks (at least more than it has to) and I honestly think we can make it better.

I propose the following—I think all would have to be implemented together, though some things that I'm less sure of have been qualified with "if necessary" etc.

Anyway, here we go.

MAIN PROPOSAL

1.) Only permafood provides nutrition. Eating chunks for satiation purposes is removed. You can still force your character to eat chunks, so (e.g.) mutagenic chunks are still a thing, as are rot-inducing chunks, you just never eat any chunks for satiation purposes.

EXCEPTIONS: Ghoul, Vampire, Mummies, [EDIT: and *Trolls*]. They all do their normal thing. (Any changes to them should be considered separately.)

2.) Corpse generation remains (as currently implemented) for sacrificial purposes, raising undead, etc. Butchering remains (as currently implemented) for chunk-generation for sublimation of blood and simulacrum, and for purposes mentioned in the first point. Hide generation (troll, dragon, animal skin, etc.) remains, you do it through butchering as always. Butchering and chunk-juggling for *eating* purposes however becomes unnecessary for 99% of characters. (Ghouls being the exception, and Vampires with their pseudo-chunk potions of blood.)

3.) Hunger still exists. However, hunger from waiting/resting is *DRASTICALLY* reduced, or else *removed entirely*. Hunger is incurred primarily, or entirely, from the hunger costs of spells, evocables, etc. The out of depth timer remains in effect, of course, as this is what *actually* prevents scumming (not per-turn food cost).

EDIT: Of course there has to be a small non-eliminable (outside of lich-form) hunger cost for melee, firing ranged weapons, throwing, etc.

*If necessary, an interactive display similar to hunger can let a player know when *REALLY* out of depth monsters become *likely* (not just possible) to spawn on a level. This can easily provide a way to let players know that, unlike some other roguelikes, you can't just sit around on D1 forever. (If people think a display is necessary this can be implemented I'm sure, it is not like it will be any more intrusive than having HUNGRY pop up a million times per game.)

4.) Spell hunger is put on a different type of scale, such that level 1 spells have a much lower spell hunger, level 2 spells have significantly less, level 3 spells have less... etc. Level 6 and above (or maybe 5 and above) can stay about where they are now. Evokable items' food cost can, I think, stay where it is now. Ditto with most invokable abilities, *except* the heal other ability you get at the start from Elyvilion should have lessened food costs. This is so that bad luck with permafood generation on levels 1 to 7 doesn't become a major source of frustration, as you can't eat chunks for satiation.

* Perhaps in this arrangement, Sif Muna's channeling ability should have food costs reduced *a bit*, but this kind of minor tweaking can be done afterward, I think much with hunger costs can remain the same or close to the same, with the exception of lower leveled spells and starting god abilities. Because early game is the only time when lack of permafood might be a problem.

5.) Hunger cost of berserk is lowered. Hunger cost of breath abilities and spit poison probably should be tweaked (i.e., lowered) too. All the other costs (exhaustion, slow for berserk, breath timeout for break abilities) remain as they are now, as these are the mechanisms that *actually* balance these abilities in the first place!!

6.) Regeneration has a flat nutritional cost per turn, during those times when it is actually helping you. (I.e., you are damaged and it is regenerating you. If you are at full HP there is no hunger cost.) So can other effects or transmutations, etc., if deemed necessary. Necromutation has same effect it does now with respect to food—it eliminates all hunger costs.

7.) For nearly all characters, you just eat permafood when you get hungry. End of freakin' story.

8.) As for Centaurs, Kobolds, Hill Orcs, Halflings, Spriggans, Demonspawn who get the Saprovore mutation, etc.: This is handled with varying degrees of "fast metabolism" or "slow metabolism" mutation (intrinsic or acquired or demonspawned) which has a *new and different effect entirely*: It either increases or decreases hunger *costs* by a certain percentage, applying to all hunger costs, with 3 tiers in either direction (fast or slow), plus "normal" in the middle. Obviously fast metabolism increases nutrition cost, slow metabolism decreases nutrition cost.

9.) Ring of satiation can decrease all nutrition costs by a small amount, amulet of the gourmand (name change might be in order!) can decrease all such costs by a large amount, and staff of energy can decrease all food costs of *spells* by a large or very large amount or entirely negate them.

10.) If necessary, permafood nutrition is increased +X% across the board, and the elasticity of hunger categories (starving, near starving, very hungry, hungry, satiated, full, very full, engorged) is expanded by +X% as well. If *additionally* necessary, the weight of all permafood is *decreased* by Y% across the board.

I hope the rationale behind this sweeping set of reforms is clear enough.

No race should be distinct on the basis of being less tedious to play. Hunger costs should be a tactical consideration, not a chore, and differences among species metabolism should be reconsidered in that light. The poor "C" and "E" keys on your keyboard should not wear out so quickly.

I know, there is a lot of tweaking necessary, and the devil may well be in the details. But I think there is widespread sentiment that, with victory dancing gone beginning with 0.9, managing trivial hunger costs from walking around and autotravel and resting when no enemies are nearby is probably the most tedious, uninteresting aspect of Crawl gameplay.

I imagine many people will worry about balance issues, and yes this might introduce balance issues, but people had the same worries about victory dancing. I think the only way a qualitative change for the better is going to happen with food is if we do what we did with skill training: Get a *good* mechanism in place, *then* balance. Otherwise we won't get anywhere.

Seriously, the removal of victory dancing in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.9 was the dawn of a new era. Let's make 0.13 the same!

Death to all tedium. Long live Crawl.
Last edited by and into on Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:32

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

How does hunger from melee attacks fit in? Eliminated?

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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:35

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Okay, upon further reflection, Trolls would have to be tweaked slightly I think, as also for melee only characters. A couple quick addenda:

+ Fighting in melee or firing a ranged weapon could have a nominal small nutrition cost, while resting and walking do not. So yes attacking, throwing things, firing ranged weapons, would have a very small but non-eliminable (outside of lich form) nutrition cost.

Then, for Trolls:

+ Trolls, and trolls alone, hunger as they normally do right now, and *can* eat chunks as they normally do. So they would join Ghouls, Mummies, etc. as the exceptions. Trolls are no longer described as having a fast metabolism, but as being "ravenous," a mutation that Trolls and Trolls only have, and no one else gets.
Last edited by and into on Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 00:37

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Ugh. We're arguing about this again?

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 01:27

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

and into wrote:Ditto with most invokable abilities, *except* the heal other ability you get at the start from Elyvilion should have lessened food costs.


The better fix would be getting rid of Elyvilon altogether. Having finally played a healer I think it's the worst mechanic in Crawl and it's not close. (Maybe at some point I'll write a manifesto.)

Also, reducing the food cost of low level spells seems silly. Those are the ones that nearly everybody can eliminate with like 10 levels of Spellcasting. If you're concerned about the early game, just start with an extra ration or two and the problem is solved.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 01:40

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

and into wrote:Seriously, the removal of victory dancing in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.9 was the dawn of a new era. Let's make 0.13 the same!


Too close to release. Not enough lead time. Any change this radical would likely go into 0.14 or higher.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 02:02

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

This is all well and good, and definitely a step in the right direction, but in my opinion you should just remove hunger cost and eating altogether. Replacing it with a contamination system like for Djinn is an interesting way to go about it, and I'm sure there are other ways that are even better. But there's no reason to be half-assed about it, because you're 100% correct that hunger is uninteresting and tedious.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 02:13

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

XuaXua wrote:Too close to release.


This month? :)

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 03:11

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

^^ I like the contamination mechanic but it's weak in effect (I've heard several people say that temporary mutations are a joke). We also need to consider whether having spells give only contam will remove an important distinction (between spells that we want to discourage people from spamming in a small timeperiod (eg haste, invis), and spells that we want to discourage people from using too frequently in general (firestorm, tornado etc)).

Also, contamination is somewhat like reversed MP cost (reduces over time from not casting the offending spell, vs increases over time from not casting spells). That suggests to me that contamination as it is needs work. Perhaps rolled per-spell cooldowns? Would be an effective limiter for many common situations and would vary how closely you could space casts of a given spell. Only type of abuse I can think of is staggering casts of Haste and Invis such that one of the two effects would be active at any given time.

@ Azreal:
Chunks are tedious, and therefore anti-Crawl. Until chunks become non-existent or non-tedious, expect discussion to continue.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 04:46

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

XuaXua wrote:
and into wrote:Seriously, the removal of victory dancing in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.9 was the dawn of a new era. Let's make 0.13 the same!


Too close to release. Not enough lead time. Any change this radical would likely go into 0.14 or higher.

I am not a Crawl developer.


Well, very glad to be wrong about the time line in that case—looking forward to 0.13! But yes, you are right then, this would be 0.14 at the earliest.


ackack wrote:
and into wrote:Ditto with most invokable abilities, *except* the heal other ability you get at the start from Elyvilion should have lessened food costs.


The better fix would be getting rid of Elyvilon altogether. Having finally played a healer I think it's the worst mechanic in Crawl and it's not close. (Maybe at some point I'll write a manifesto.)

Also, reducing the food cost of low level spells seems silly. Those are the ones that nearly everybody can eliminate with like 10 levels of Spellcasting. If you're concerned about the early game, just start with an extra ration or two and the problem is solved.


Elyvilion is interesting. It is a very unique way to play Crawl. I don't care much for it either, personally, as a player. But in terms of design it should definitely stay. Taking out chunks (for satiation) but keeping the nutrition cost of heal other ability the same would make early game for healers really badly frustrating.

Yes, maybe food costs wouldn't actually need to be tweaked for many things, perhaps[ a couple extra rations starting out would do it. Plenty of spell casters start out having to spam their level one spell though.

WalkerBoh wrote:This is all well and good, and definitely a step in the right direction, but in my opinion you should just remove hunger cost and eating altogether. Replacing it with a contamination system like for Djinn is an interesting way to go about it, and I'm sure there are other ways that are even better. But there's no reason to be half-assed about it, because you're 100% correct that hunger is uninteresting and tedious.


Well, perhaps, but "replace it with a contamination system" is not really a proposal. Not pretending my proposal was perfect or anything, but I tried to address things like, for instance, the fact that certain species are distinguished by hunger mechanics, and that's part of the intended design of those species. How you eat can be changed, but if those differences aren't also maintained in some way, there's going to be a lot of babies going out with the bathwater. I don't think making all species act like a Djinn does much for varied game play, even if I do think *how* hunger works is needlessly frustrating as currently implemented.

Something like what I proposed is less radical than "out with hunger, in with contamination," but I think it might actually be workable and not *too* difficult for someone to implement in the next version or two. Part of the reason why earlier threads on hunger reform went apart and, ultimately, did not go far enough (IMO) is because nearly everyone doesn't like how hunger works now, but there seems to be little agreement about what type of system would be perfect. I don't think what I suggest is perfect, but I also do not think, as the cliche goes, that the perfect should be the enemy of the good.

I probably had too many little fiddly things in my initial proposal, though, about tweaking spell hunger. I do think that there are probably more direct, less nitpicking ways to work around that.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 05:54

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Am I the only person who's never really had a problem with having to eat chunks? I think it adds an interesting bit of tension to the game at times; yes, I need to heal, but I also need to eat something *right now*. I guess chunks might get more tedious when you're keeping well-fed, but I never really have a problem with that; I just make sure to remember to chop up a corpse every so often so I can eat the next time I'm hungry.

Basically, I'm not sure why everybody thinks the chunk-eating system is tedious and unnecessary.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 06:45

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

you can also easily tweak init so that you only need to press "c" once and that's it.

confirm_butcher = never
auto_eat_chunks = true
easy_eat_chunks = true

I think this will get rid of most of your problems with eating chunks.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 06:54

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Well, I personally don't think it adds much tedium (At very least it's *way* below my threshold) to the game, but in it's current state it also doesn't add anything *else* to the game. So while I would file it in the "adds nothing but tedium" column, I would also say it's not much tedium, so for me personally, it's just not something that I think is worth the hassle of removing.

Perhaps a worthwhile question is: while this proposal eliminates having to hit 'c' every so often, it doesn't eliminate having to hit 'e' Does that eliminate enough of said tedium?

Also: Has anyone made an attempt to make chunk-eating more interesting? Is there some level of interesting play we can get out of chunk eating we've overlooked? Like what if eating different kinds of chunks had a chance of curing specific statuses would something like that make chunk-eating more interesting or more degenerate?
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 07:02

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

and into wrote:Not pretending my proposal was perfect or anything, but I tried to address things like, for instance, the fact that certain species are distinguished by hunger mechanics, and that's part of the intended design of those species...

But species are not really differentiated by hunger mechanics. I agree that ghouls have an interesting chunk-based system that should be kept - it really doesn't relate to hunger though. Mummies and vampires are unaffected, they remain as they are. Centaurs, trolls, and spriggans are already distinguished by many other things than hunger; in fact I would argue hunger is the least important distinction among them. You touched on this briefly when you were talking about the costs of berserk, etc. It's not solely hunger that balances/differentiates things - if it was, that'd be really boring.

and into wrote:I don't think making all species act like a Djinn does much for varied game play, even if I do think *how* hunger works is needlessly frustrating as currently implemented.

Well the Djinn thing was just an example of one already implemented solution, not a suggestion for how to replace hunger mechanics universally. Contamination itself is also frustrating, though certainly more interesting than hunger. I don't have a great alternate solution - it's a hard problem that takes more creative minds than mine. And I understand the purpose behind your proposal. My point is just that instead of spending time addressing the symptoms, why not just address the source? I.e., instead of removing the tedium of eating chunks but keeping the tedium of eating permafood, why not work on removing the tedium of eating period?

Just a little food for thought.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 11:32

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Amnesiac wrote:you can also easily tweak init so that you only need to press "c" once and that's it.

confirm_butcher = never
auto_eat_chunks = true
easy_eat_chunks = true

I think this will get rid of most of your problems with eating chunks.


Thank you, I do appreciate your readiness to help. However, if the most enjoyable way to play the game requires entering stuff into init as a workaround, doesn't that fact itself point to a problem in design? Isn't that worth addressing? It's that problem in design I wanted to address, which is why I posted it here. But I am glad for anything that, in the meantime, makes the current hunger system more streamlined.

WalkerBoh wrote:But species are not really differentiated by hunger mechanics. I agree that ghouls have an interesting chunk-based system that should be kept - it really doesn't relate to hunger though. Mummies and vampires are unaffected, they remain as they are. Centaurs, trolls, and spriggans are already distinguished by many other things than hunger; in fact I would argue hunger is the least important distinction among them. You touched on this briefly when you were talking about the costs of berserk, etc. It's not solely hunger that balances/differentiates things - if it was, that'd be really boring.


I agree hunger mechanics is not the *main* differentiation, and perhaps it is not a good one, but it is significant. I probably should have been clearer—I'm not talking about Halfling's slow metabolism 1 versus Centaur's fast metabolism, which makes playing them a bit more or less convenient but is extremely minor in most cases. Not just Mummies and Ghouls, but Kobolds, Spriggans, and Trolls have relationships to the whole eating mechanic that differ from each other and from the usual hunger mechanics of the other species. If we do change the hunger mechanic, which (if any) of those differences should be retained in some form is a question to consider.

WalkerBoh wrote:And I understand the purpose behind your proposal. My point is just that instead of spending time addressing the symptoms, why not just address the source? I.e., instead of removing the tedium of eating chunks but keeping the tedium of eating permafood, why not work on removing the tedium of eating period?


Yes, alternately, one could just cut the Gordian knot, so to speak, and remove all forms of eating for satiation purposes. Things like royal jellies, ambrosia, and mutagenic chunks could remain. I think a similar but parallel and distinct mechanic to glow should then replace spell hunger, which would then balance ability use along with MP cost (for most abilities or spells) and failure rate based on an experience investment. You drain yourself of energy as you use these abilities, or if you fight too much for too long without resting, and if you get too tired you can pass unconscious etc., similar to starving now. Resting *quickly* recuperates your energy so you cease being tired. This could be used for melee as well. Glow would still only apply to invisibility, haste, etc. Certain races are more resilient than others, so they get tired faster or slower, though how quickly you tire out due to spell casting is also based on spellcasting skill level.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 11:42

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Siegurt wrote:Also: Has anyone made an attempt to make chunk-eating more interesting? Is there some level of interesting play we can get out of chunk eating we've overlooked? Like what if eating different kinds of chunks had a chance of curing specific statuses would something like that make chunk-eating more interesting or more degenerate?


Pardon the double post, but... More degenerate, surely.

Chunks matter to Kobolds sometimes, for example, because basically intrinsic gourmand lets them abuse (for instance) channeling. But, even if kobolds are going to have the ability to berserk a whole lot and abuse channeling, etc., having those abilities mediated through chunk use is needlessly clunky. Having a chunk-eating mini-game with sundry types of chunks with various effects, sounds much worse.

Again, I think it is fine for Troll, Ghoul, Vampire, Mummy to keep current system, because (whether good or bad) their basic relationships to chunks and to the whole eating mechanic are in fact unique and meaningful.

Drawing from the above schema, kobolds can be (for instance) more energetic than other races, meaning they don't tire out as easily from the exhaustion costs that would replace nutrition costs of many actions. Overall energy increases with character level, and spell casting and Int help reduce exhaustion cost of spells.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 11:56

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

and into wrote:Thank you, I do appreciate your readiness to help. However, if the most enjoyable way to play the game requires entering stuff into init as a workaround, doesn't that fact itself point to a problem in design? Isn't that worth addressing? It's that problem in design I wanted to address, which is why I posted it here. But I am glad for anything that, in the meantime, makes the current hunger system more streamlined.

I just don't see much problem here. You can say the same about adjusting your options menu in any other game. I think eating chunks is a unique part of the game and sometimes it makes you think about the right time to eat them or wait for them so it's fun for me, personally. It may be tedius for some people(a lot of it will go away with the above options, though) but it's just a part of the game along with item destruction, mutations and other nasty stuff.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 12:04

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg already mentioned he would like to remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes if it's possible, and some of the other devs seemed interested. There hasn't been a proper proposal as far as I remember, so it's interesting to read your thoughts on this.

I haven't read the thread because it's very likely to be really annoying, but here are some comments about the first post:

and into wrote:1.) Only permafood provides nutrition. Eating chunks for satiation purposes is removed. You can still force your character to eat chunks, so (e.g.) mutagenic chunks are still a thing, as are rot-inducing chunks, you just never eat any chunks for satiation purposes.

Chunk types could probably be simplified. Possibly to the point of just "chunk" and "rotted chunk" without any further qualifiers, even for races that would still butcher. Internally species and freshness would still have to be stored, but all chunks could just stack and spells could automatically chose based on freshness or HD. I don't think edibility and inedibility of the various monsters would be worth keeping at this point.

and into wrote:2.) Corpse generation remains (as currently implemented) for sacrificial purposes, raising undead, etc. Butchering remains (as currently implemented) for chunk-generation for sublimation of blood and simulacrum, and for purposes mentioned in the first point. Hide generation (troll, dragon, animal skin, etc.) remains, you do it through butchering as always. Butchering and chunk-juggling for *eating* purposes however becomes unnecessary for 99% of characters. (Ghouls being the exception, and Vampires with their pseudo-chunk potions of blood.)

I'm a bit worried about hide discoverability for new players. Maybe they should just generate on kill.

and into wrote:3.) Hunger still exists. However, hunger from waiting/resting is *DRASTICALLY* reduced, or else *removed entirely*. Hunger is incurred primarily, or entirely, from the hunger costs of spells, evocables, etc. The out of depth timer remains in effect, of course, as this is what *actually* prevents scumming (not per-turn food cost).

This is one point I don't agree with. Hunger from waiting has some nice effects, and while crawl probably shouldn't have a very strict food clock, having a real food clock would counteract a lot of stupid shit. In my opinion if something is to be removed it would be better to remove the OOD timer.

and into wrote:4-6: tweaks to the hunger cost of various abilities and spells

I think all of this can actually be tweaked once a first implementation exists. Don't fix it if it isn't broken. Probably best to have a first balancing pass in a branch instead of trunk, but I believe thinking too much about these things before actual playtesting is pointless.

and into wrote:7.) For nearly all characters, you just eat permafood when you get hungry. End of freakin' story.

:D

and into wrote:8-10: tweaks to various mutations and items, including permafood

Again, this can be done later. Saprovore can probably just be removed. What can be done with sustenance and gourmand depends on the implementation of course.

One further thing that needs to be considered is food generation. It doesn't need to be the same every game, randomness is good. But there should always be enough to get you through the game if you don't dawdle and adjust your character development to food availability.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 14:26

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

I've recently been playing w/ gods that don't require corpse sacrifice, and when I go back to ones that I do, I remember how much I dislike it. If chunks for satiation is removed, then gods that require corpse sacrifice could just auto-sacrifice any corpse that's generated.

Alternately (and maybe better), we could just change all sacrificing gods to sacrifice everything in LOS, ala Fedhas.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 14:37

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Galefury wrote:Chunk types could probably be simplified. Possibly to the point of just "chunk" and "rotted chunk" without any further qualifiers, even for races that would still butcher. Internally species and freshness would still have to be stored, but all chunks could just stack and spells could automatically chose based on freshness or HD. I don't think edibility and inedibility of the various monsters would be worth keeping at this point.


We jump through all kinds of hoops to allow "different" potions of blood to share the same slot, and it would have to be done differently if we store species. Also, simulacrum would still be an issue---players might not want the "best" creature according to the game's ranking (HD, XP, or whatever), so would be encouraged to do things like inscribing individual chunks to track what kind of monster they came from.

Simulacrum could be made to use corpses, of course.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 14:47

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

neil wrote:players might not want the "best" creature according to the game's ranking (HD, XP, or whatever)

Fuck them. :P
More seriously, having to switch to a new stack of chunks for Sublimation is pretty annoying. OTOH sublimation from chunks could just be removed, because it's really not very interesting, and would be even less interesting if chunks did nothing at all instead of very little. And simulacrum could indeed use corpses. Corpses are pretty heavy though, so it should then also work from the floor like other reanimation spells.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:03

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Since I have been referenced I should probably chime in. galefury captured my opinions quite well, but I have to say that it's just my private assessment and I haven't seen if officially proposed anywhere. I'd do it, but at the moment I am busy proposing other things. :)

I have a lot of sympathy for and_into's suggestion but I think it is too complicated. Here is what I have in mind:

1) As with the OP, including exceptions: Standard stomach species eat permafood only; trolls, ghouls, vampires use corpses as now.

2) As with the OP: hides, corpses as reagents for spells, corpse sacrificing as now [*].

3) Not like the OP! I say that hunger should stay as it is, no modifications at all. Instead, increase permafood generation. The major reason is to make the change mechanically as small as possible: we all have a feeling for the food cost of casting spells or travelling between branches. We keep going with that, and also keep eating, just that there's only permafood available. Because of this, 4)-10) do not apply to my suggestion.

The next one is not necessary at first, but I always had in mind for later:

4) Remove ring of sustenance and amulet of gourmand. The staff of energy is better in this regardand can stay.

It is trivial to over-generate permafood and that may actually be not such a bad idea. Once we're all sure the game can be won without chunk eating, permafood generation can slowly be reduced, if desired.

[*] I know that many will take this discussion (and already have) to ask for removal of corpse sacrifices. There are good reasons for this, but each such change implies other changes (e.g. piety gain for kills) and I really think it is better to focus on one mechanic.

EDIT: use Crawl terminology for the ring :?
Last edited by dpeg on Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:09

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

I'm not sure more permafood spawning is even necessary. After all Spriggans currently work pretty well. One thing that should probably be done is start everyone with one or two rations (for example meat unless herbivorous). Other than that an easy first step would be to increase the nutritional value of all food by 50%, and remove the positive effects of herbivore. This keeps spriggans about the same they were before, everyone else gets what the Spriggans get, plus meat (but without the slow metabolism). Carnivorous species might need adjustments, currently they need to care about hunger even less than other species. Maybe the negative aspects of carnivory could be removed, and the positive ones doubled.

Also more food vaults at lower depths could be added, or more food could spawn in general. For example a minimum amount of generated nutrition per 3 dungeon levels (the last two, plus the one currently being generated). Spriggans make do without these things, but it may be too hard and too random without slow metabolism. If this turns out to be the case metabolism in general could be slowed a bit, but not to spriggan levels. I think this should not be done in the initial implementation, to see what effects a relevant food clock has on gameplay.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:13

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Galefury: I concur. I am being particularly mellow here to make the change more palatable for others :) In general I have learned that it seems to be easier to be too generous at the start and then nerf, rather than being too harsh early on and then nerf.

You know that spriggans have slow metabolism 3, although I agree that they show a permafood-only game is very much possible.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:15

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Is chunk eating that bad? I'm quite used to it by now and I think it's ok.

Anyway if you are going to increase the amount of permafood at least just increase stacks, so the whole dungeon wouldn't be covered by food, or just increase the satiation from food.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:16

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg wrote:4) Remove ring of satiation and amulet of gourmand. The staff of energy is better in this regardand can stay.

I have no ideas for the ring of sustenance, but would propose putting Gourmand on a new unrand: the amulet to Amulet of the Troll and adding Hunger+ and a regen effect.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:21

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Galefury wrote:Other than that an easy first step would be to increase the nutritional value of all food by 50%

Yes, that's the best knob to tweak to balance the chunk eating removal. More nutrition from food means less eating. And it's easier to tweak than item generation.

Agreed with dpeg, best to keep all food costs untouched at first.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:21

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

I also suggest that if permafood be the only food source, since we have to carry more of it around, that it be lighter than it is presently. Low-strength casters who need lots of food just can't carry much permafood, presently chunks make a nice "meal on wheels" but without chunks you need to be able to carry pretty much all the food you find in the dungeon (Or you have to make regular trecks back and forth)
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:23

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Siegurt wrote:I also suggest that if permafood be the only food source, since we have to carry more of it around, that it be lighter than it is presently. Low-strength casters who need lots of food just can't carry much permafood, presently chunks make a nice "meal on wheels" but without chunks you need to be able to carry pretty much all the food you find in the dungeon (Or you have to make regular trecks back and forth)

^this... DEWz has 4str and he, as all mages, needs permafood the most, especially without chunks.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:31

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

It's good that you can pick strength on levelup then! Also, permafood wouldn't pile up as much as it currently does, because you would have to eat it.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 15:32

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

amnesiac: With every change, there are winners and losers. If DEWz becomes a little bit more challenging (not really clear to me at this stage that it would...), then so what?

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 17:31

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

The problem is not that they become challenging, its that they become *grindy* and *boring* you have to trek back and forth to your food caches, pick up as much as you can carry, venture until you've burned through all your food, then come back, pick up more food, rinse, recycle, repeat. That's a heck of a lot more tedious than eating chunks.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 17:35

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Siegurt: I am absolutely not convinced, especially as the back-tracking requires nutrition on its own. Perhaps DEWz becomes unplayable, but perhaps they'll have to priorise food items over wands or books, or maybe they'll have to pick a point of Strength or two?

I am very sure that getting rid of the chunk micromanagement is a gain far beyond the kind of tedium you announce here. A player in a winning game probably chops up hundreds of corpses, and drops a number of rotten chunks. Getting rid of that is worth a lot.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 17:50

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

I'm a bit worried now... I like how food works now and you might not believe me but I'd even want nausea to stay, because it used to make you think "should I eat that chunk and risk sickness, or wait for some clean chunks and hold back some spells". I just hope it doesn't get more boring or unbalanced.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 17:54

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Amnesiac wrote:it used to make you think "should I eat that chunk and risk sickness, or wait for some clean chunks and hold back some spells"

All it made me think was "fuck" and "at least it's not sickness anymore", to be honest.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 17:57

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

well, it's not the only time when you think that, that makes you think how to avoid that in the future, isn't that the point?

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 18:12

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg wrote:A player in a winning game probably chops up hundreds of corpses, and drops a number of rotten chunks.

This process is very nearly automated. What Siegurt describes is not. It may be, as Galefury says, that you'll be going through food fast enough and finding enough that you'll always have a few rations close to hand, but if it plays anything like the way it works now, food will still pile up and need to be dropped. Also, if there's no incentive to wait until you're hungry to eat, then you may as well engorge yourself rather than have to devote inventory space to rations. The next consequence will be people trying to figure out exactly at what point they can eat something without wasting nutrition, which introduces yet another kind of tedium.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 18:40

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

+1 to Siegurt, I just spent a lot of time doing what he describes with a SpAr and it was terrible, vastly worse than any of my chunk eating characters in .13

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 19:03

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg wrote:amnesiac: With every change, there are winners and losers. If DEWz becomes a little bit more challenging (not really clear to me at this stage that it would...), then so what?


Another loser, in my opinion, would be Centaurs with any hunger-inducing mechanic. It's been a while (0.12), but I played a series of Centaurs and the game was agony until I found an amulet of gourmand. They burn through satiation fast enough on their own, but in an effort to round out my build, I would add a diety such as Yred. Eating chunks was far less tedious than having to excessively manage my hunger. I needed the satiation benefits of chunk eating to keep up with my gameplay. I suppose I would have the same problem with an ogre, too. Or a berserker.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 19:50

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

BlackSheep wrote:
dpeg wrote:A player in a winning game probably chops up hundreds of corpses, and drops a number of rotten chunks.

This process is very nearly automated. What Siegurt describes is not

I'm not sure what your point is. That we shouldn't try to remove chunks because having to backtrack for permafood is too tedious? Or that we need to solve the hypothetical inventory issues of DeWz preemptively?
Permafood drops are more evenly spread than chunk availability, so I doubt there will be much backtracking. Maybe occasionally if your diet changes suddenly. Otherwise, you just eat the food you find and drop some when you have to much of it.
If your point is that getting rid of chunks is a false route and that we should go straight to removing eating, then I disagree. And I have yet to see a convincing proposal for a no-food crawl (certainly no Dj). If you think otherwise, then feel free to try a proposal, but please make it its own thread.
This proposal (in a simpler version than the OP) is realistic and promising. Please don't spam it by pretending that it's much worse than some hypothetical reform or removal which hasn't been formalized but yeah, I'm sure it's very easy to do.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 20:02

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg wrote:I am very sure that getting rid of the chunk micromanagement is a gain far beyond the kind of tedium you announce here. A player in a winning game probably chops up hundreds of corpses, and drops a number of rotten chunks. Getting rid of that is worth a lot.


Which is why i simply suggest lowering the weight requirement for permafood, in particular rations. The problem is that as-is a typical fully equipped DeWz with a normal amount of consumables has space for maybe 3-4 rations at a time in their inventory, If they're being particularly stingy about not carrying things. Which is plenty... if you can eat chunks.

Because of the nature of random generation, you'll encounter some areas where you'll get a bunch of food, but you won't be able to carry that food, so you'll be forced to leave it behind, then you'll encounter other areas where you *don't* get a bunch of food, and you'll be forced to go back and get the food you left behind. If the perma-food was uniformly distributed throughout all levels this wouldn't be a problem, but of course that doesn't happen with random generation. I have had plenty of games where I've gotten 6-10 rations in 3 levels then not gotten any for 10, then gotten another large stash, etc. It doesn't seem very evenly distributed to me. Corpses I seem to find pretty much everywhere through the dungeon, lair, orc, and vaults, which is where this is particularly important.

Lowering the weight of rations would allow you to remove the tedium of chunk eating *AND* the tedium of going back and forth to food stashes, Rather than removing one to make the other worse.

I'm not suggesting that removing chunk eating is a bad thing, rather that there are some edge cases where it causes some possible trouble, and I happened to notice and point out one and make a suggestion for a rather simple way to make that edge case go away.
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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 20:03

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

galehar wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:
dpeg wrote:A player in a winning game probably chops up hundreds of corpses, and drops a number of rotten chunks.

This process is very nearly automated. What Siegurt describes is not

I'm not sure what your point is. That we shouldn't try to remove chunks because having to backtrack for permafood is too tedious?


Following the thread of the conversation,

-- Siegurt (correctly!) points out that inventory management of permafood can be quite obnoxious and lead to behavior far more tedious than chunk management for low Str characters. Proposed remedy: lighter permafood.

-- dpeg disagrees because loss of nutrition from backtracking is "interesting," apparently.

-- BlackSheep disagrees with dpeg's response, the point being that what Siegurt describes does suck.

I wonder how many people have actually needed to do Ctrl-F and go back multiple levels multiple times in a game because they didn't feel like carrying every bread ration ever seen instead of actually useful items. It really breaks flow and is horrendously irritating but introduces zero difficulty. I am under the impression that avoiding this type of behavior is one of the highest goals for Crawl development.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 20:07

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

The only rationale I've read so far for dropping chunk eating is that chopping/eating is too tedious. My point was that the current process is fairly well automated and that having to search for food, travel to it, and travel back to the front sounds more tedious than the status quo. If there's some other reason for removing chunk food, please share.

And I know that we're now supermoderating GDD or something, but calling discussion about in-thread references 'spam' is really condescending.

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Post Monday, 9th September 2013, 23:54

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

BlackSheep wrote:The only rationale I've read so far for dropping chunk eating is that chopping/eating is too tedious. My point was that the current process is fairly well automated and that having to search for food, travel to it, and travel back to the front sounds more tedious than the status quo. If there's some other reason for removing chunk food, please share.

And I know that we're now supermoderating GDD or something, but calling discussion about in-thread references 'spam' is really condescending.


I don't think it was spam. I totally agree that my original post was too finicky about many things, I agree with dpeg and Galehar and Galefury there. I think it is ok to lower weight of permafood, I had that in the original post, but of course it was probably easy to miss amid all the teenie things like ring of regeneration that I was concerning myself with. I do think STR stat should matter more (even after the armour boost it got—definitely step in right direction), but in my opinion the way to make STR matter is not to make it boring to flit between your stash and the current level you are exploring in order to drop valuable strategic stuff and pick up permafood.

I'm not worried about *whether* a DEWz becomes harder, but if *how* he becomes harder has to do with extreme amounts of backtracking, that would be a problem in my view.

My problem with eating chunks is that even if it is well-automated in current version, it is nonetheless not interesting and does not present meaningful choices. (Please people, don't respond with *other* things in the game that also do not present meaningful choices and are boring at present. Crawl is imperfect; it is imperfect in places other than food issues. Let's try to fix the food issues. Then we can address those other things.)

The recent changes to how chunks work have gotten us *almost* there, pushing a little further into all permafood (for all but the excepted species) would be splendid.

Again, the change from victory dancing to current skill system did not happen overnight, it did not even happen over one version. I say, let's get a good (but imperfect) fundamental mechanic in place, then things like weight and spawn rate can rather easily be balanced to perfect it.

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 00:09

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

In games with a strict food clock backtracking for food is simply not feasible for various reasons, one of which is the strict food clock. Crawl cant have that because of the branching dungeon which requires occasional backtracking, so maybe it's going to be a problem. I think that problem can be addressed if it turns out to actually exist, and making food lighter may very well be a good solution. Another way to address it would be simply spawning a bit more food.

The only real solutions would be unlimited inventory or a strict food clock, neither of which is going to happen for various reasons. So probably some players who value the marginal amount of power picking intelligence two times over strength offers them more than the tedium of backtracking they could otherwise avoid are going to suffer. TBH I don't really care. One can only nudge people towards having fun with a game so much. Also these are going to be the same people who stash excessively, so they are going to starve anyway. If a change actually makes the game less fun for a lot of players who were previously enjoying crawl, someone is going to do something about it. Maybe not right away, but I'm convinced you can trust the dev team to solve such problems eventually.

BlackSheep: someone posted a good summary of what chunks do a while ago, if you are interested you can look for it. Most of the chunk effects were pretty irrelevant, and cutting away irrelevant bullshit is a good thing IMO. Another reason for getting rid of chunk eating is that having a food clock strongly discourages a lot of tedious behavior. So I'm pretty sure that even if people have to backtrack for food it's going to lead to less tedium overall. Note that Spriggan has slow meta 3, so the food clock is relaxed for them. Other species are going to have to pay more for backtracking. OTOH optimizing branch order to waste little food is not really interesting either, but I think it's a lesser evil.

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 00:33

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

Galefury wrote:OTOH optimizing branch order to waste little food is not really interesting either, but I think it's a lesser evil.


The thing is, there isn't an optimal branch order for all characters, and in a weird way the current way it is, where the branches are intentionally out of order to an extent (but not crazily so), this actually cues the player in to the fact that branch order is variable, to a certain extent. What you can do, and what it is best to do (not the same thing) will *both* vary to a certain extent. A few god choices make that vary to a large extent, but even in less drastic cases you can be pushed pretty hard in a certain direction just by virtue of a certain kind of luck with item drops.

But here I am in danger of derailing the very thread I started.

Blacksheep: Let's agree that average backtracking time for food should not *increase* after this food reform. Then it is pretty simple, we do this food reform, then we tweak the numbers so that average backtracking roughly equals what it was before. Of course we won't get it exact for all character types, but I'd bet a twenty that we can get it very close.

To be completely honest, I *very rarely* have to backtrack for food as it is now. When I do make a dedicated stash somewhere, I nearly always have to go back for reasons of encumbrance if my character is relatively low strength. If I am playing a high strength character I can carry around so much goddamn food I *never* have to go back for rations, and in that case I only backtrack when I've reached the dreaded 52 item cap. I think this is how things play out for the vast majority of people.

Those new to the game are maybe not so good with chunk management. They are the ones who really have a harder time *as things currently are*. With this food reform, that problem will be alleviated too. They won't have to learn to juggle butchering and sacrificing and worry about, "Oh shoot I'm at 101% weight—now, were those chunks from the quokka or from the bat fresher?" These decisions don't *really* matter. But new players inevitably will think they do. And regardless, "optimal play" (ugh) is very tedious in many situations thanks to chunks, and this should be avoided even if the optimal play in this case involves rather silly marginal gains.

Those who came after 0.9 did not need to learn tricks for victory dancing. Bully for them! Hopefully those who come to the game in 0.13 (I'm an optimist!) will never learn to do the sad fingertip-tap-dance to manage their chunks, and will regard as "quaint" those in the crawl community who once subjected themselves to this silliness.

Those who currently suffer the most with food management (new players who are still getting familiar with chunks) and are probably backtracking the most, will actually benefit the most from this reform.

I don't doubt that any of the "old hands" at this game could play in a completely non-tedious way with any of the food systems in place since 0.3, but the game is not (and should not be) tailored to them.
Last edited by and into on Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 00:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 00:38

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

I like everything you guys say here, and I'm happy to see so much support. But! This is definitely not 0.13 territory :) Design is a long-term process... I'm happy when I can be more or less sure a feature will come, I then don't bother too much whether it will be 0.13 or 0.15. Crawl has been around for so long, who cares about years?

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 00:44

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

dpeg wrote:I like everything you guys say here, and I'm happy to see so much support. But! This is definitely not 0.13 territory :) Design is a long-term process... I'm happy when I can be more or less sure a feature will come, I then don't bother too much whether it will be 0.13 or 0.15. Crawl has been around for so long, who cares about years?


Okay, you are right. I guess I got over-excited when Galehar mentioned that this could be implemented with ease. But he is probably speaking relatively, I have zero sense of how much work is actually required for these sorts of things. (But I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for those who do that work!)

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 01:05

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

ackack wrote:-- dpeg disagrees because loss of nutrition from backtracking is "interesting," apparently.

I would appreciate it very much if you didn't tell me what I didn't say. No thanks.

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Post Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 01:13

Re: Proposal: remove chunk-eating for satiation purposes

About the potential encumbrance problem of permafood: how about simply goldifying it? That would also emphasize the fact that food is a resource to be spent.
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