Why does piety decay still exist?


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Post Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 20:18

Why does piety decay still exist?

What purpose does piety decay serve in .23+?
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Post Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 20:25

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Rast wrote:What purpose does piety decay serve in .23+?


Rest is for the weak. :)
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 20:31

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

On a serious note, probably another mechanic to discourage people from avoiding combat/exploration when there's no point in doing so. Like that OOD timer did. Gifts, divine help and other stuff are mostly there to help with surviving/thriving to the point of getting the Orb. IRL waiting/pondering doesn't take up turns.
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Post Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 21:23

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Crawl requires timers, linked to forward progression, for its gameplay to not degenerate into a bunch of wait-spam. Piety is being used as one of those timers in DCSS.

(There's no hard reason that god abilities have to be used in this way, but that's what Stone Soup is doing, and if you wanted to do something different with your timers, you'd find that god abilities would still need a limiting system for gameplay reasons, as they've been designed to be impactful, often get-out-of-jail-free cards.)

The DCSS team has held the view that soft timers, designed to weakly nudge the player forward, are preferable to hard timers, that could be very punishing or game-ending. This may be partially due to implementation inertia from ancient Crawl design decisions. The fact that no player wants to lose a game to something they did hours ago (but could not see the timer impact of until later) probably also factors into this preference for soft timers.

In my opinion it has been shown across multiple Crawl forks (and separate games) that harder timers create more compelling gameplay. The existing soft timers in DCSS are ineffectual at preventing waitspam/kiting/stutter-stepping -- for this, if nothing else, Stone Soup's timers need to be replaced or reworked.

(I realize this turned into a minor rant about Crawl timers in your piety decay thread, but, y'know, it's relevant.)

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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 05:38

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Yes, there is a fundamental mistake in thinking about "timers" in crawl (and in other roguelikes). Kiting and camping are more problems of space than time. You'll never solve them adequately with timers.
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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 07:10

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Probably another purpose is to reduce difference between strong and weak characters.
Or to encourage using low piety cost invocations because this way you can actually earn piety sometimes (when extra resting loses more piety than the invocation does).
Or to make some gods clearly superior to others when you don't like rushing.
Or just to troll players (Mu of Gozag does not care about food/spell hunger/piety decay and can use any degenerative tactics it wants).
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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 07:53

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

tealizard wrote:Yes, there is a fundamental mistake in thinking about "timers" in crawl (and in other roguelikes). Kiting and camping are more problems of space than time. You'll never solve them adequately with timers.

If you have a good approach to preventing the player movement abuses that occur in a clockless turnbased roguelike descended from Crawl, please share it. This topic has come up many times over the years, and I'm always curious to hear new takes. If your ideas are interesting enough, someone might even code a branch for them.

You will note that staircases and floor size are not the topics currently being discussed. Overall dungeon layout is a linked, but separate problem.

The question at hand is how to redesign Crawl's positional gameplay to prevent non-movement (or worse, backwards movement) often being the strongest move, while limiting the scope of your kludge as necessary to minimize sweeping rewrites. One notable wrinkle is that some degree of backwards maneuverability is generally seen as desirable by the community. Multiple attempts have been made to address this, each with their own flaws. (This, too, is part of why things like Piety and Hunger still exist in Stone Soup. The existing systems have been the status quo for years, despite the gameplay thereby engendered being absolute garbage. I will also note here that some part of the playerbase vigorously defends(!) this degenerate status quo, because that's how DCSS has been played.)


If tealizard-crawl has a vision to fix things by manipulating the available combat space, I would very much like to hear about it.

(Your above post parses to me as a low-quality hot take that barely understands the problem and is unlikely to be paired with a cogent solution. I would be glad to be wrong about this.)


I'm disinclined to discuss my own opinions about how to address Crawl's movement incentivization problems in this thread, this has been done to death years ago and a forum search would probably return the major points. I would, however, like to quickly mention Doom (2016) as a somewhat-recent example of a game that got forward movement incentivization very right.

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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 08:10

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I do have a full length take on this, but it's proprietary information. You'll need to ask nicely, for starters.
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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 08:17

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Thought so.

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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 18:08

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

A disappointing exchange.
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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 18:13

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Kiting, camping, Abyss-grinding, etc are their own punishment.
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Post Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 22:02

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Hellcrawl removes hunger and piety decay and adds in a Doom Timer. If you spend n turns on a level (5000 in normal mode), you start rotting every turn until you descend. You're given 1000 turns countdown warning before this happens.

This would be harder in vanilla Crawl, since it expects you to re-traverse levels, and some levels intentionally take longer than others. But it's a good approach.
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Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 01:35

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

So about the hellcrawl doom counter, it's good and better than anything that will ever appear in dcss, at least as timers or other mechanics that address this circle of problems go. The question is really how to go beyond what hellcrawl has done. (Or at least that is the interesting question, even if it is not the topic of the thread. The answer to the OP's question is simple: There is no particular reason to have or not have piety decay in dcss. It has little effect on the game and to the extent that it solves any problems, they are marginal and better addressed by other means.)

I play a lot of hellcrawl and I camp. The timer does not prevent tactical waiting. The problem is not that the timer is too generous either. It's just about right to allow "normal play" as understood in dcss. Getting more aggressive with the timer would be intrusive.

I think it's weird that we're going back over the non-movement issue here, which I thought had been addressed on this forum long ago. Non-movement is not really the issue. I've come to see the usual "tedium" arguments as dealing in low standards as well. The real issues, as I've come to see them are the following:

1. If you can win an encounter with a monster or group of monsters through kiting or waiting, you've cheezed the encounter by creating your own, usually pretty homogeneous, artificial context for the encounter -- in other words, you've eliminated the random quality produced by dungeon generation and monster placement, you've subverted core game mechanics. (Of course, the problem is that the game lets you do it, not that you're a bad guy for doing it.) The tedium of execution people talk about is downstream of this issue. On that view, it would be good enough to automate kiting and camping.

2. Kiting and waiting are effective in this sense on timescales that are too small to discriminate using a timer tied to something like floors, as in hellcrawl, or whatever the hell the dcss timers are supposed to be based on, some combination of exploration and killing things, I guess.

Now I don't want to say I have the only answer to this, but I will say that if you're open to dcss-style backtracking and free range dungeon levels, you can't solve these problems. The player needs spatial constraint.
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Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 22:52

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Implojin wrote:
tealizard wrote:Yes, there is a fundamental mistake in thinking about "timers" in crawl (and in other roguelikes). Kiting and camping are more problems of space than time. You'll never solve them adequately with timers.

If you have a good approach to preventing the player movement abuses that occur in a clockless turnbased roguelike descended from Crawl, please share it. This topic has come up many times over the years, and I'm always curious to hear new takes. If your ideas are interesting enough, someone might even code a branch for them.

You will note that staircases and floor size are not the topics currently being discussed. Overall dungeon layout is a linked, but separate problem.

The question at hand is how to redesign Crawl's positional gameplay to prevent non-movement (or worse, backwards movement) often being the strongest move, while limiting the scope of your kludge as necessary to minimize sweeping rewrites. One notable wrinkle is that some degree of backwards maneuverability is generally seen as desirable by the community.

Worship Cheibriados. I'm not kidding. It is the most elegant solution to this problem, and it's already implemented.

If you want a more general solution I'd suggest making 'average' monster movement speed 11 or 12. This wouldn't require a sweeping rewrite of code, but it would require balancing monsters around being faster than you, which might be just as much work. It would still be ideal to reposition before fights, but you limit how far you can run in order to find favorable positions. I reposition with Chei all the time, but you're generally looking for the best position within a range of 3-4 tiles, because you can't really run 10 spaces back while taking hits. If you were still speed 10, and monsters speed 12, you'd have more of a range to look for chokepoints, but would still not want to go extremely far away.

I fear this is getting to the point where it's only tangentially related to OP, though.

There is no particular reason to have or not have piety decay in dcss. It has little effect on the game and to the extent that it solves any problems, they are marginal and better addressed by other means.)

Chei used to have no piety decay, and a version or two ago got normal piety decay like most gods. You can notice the difference in play, you do have less piety now than you used to. It isn't a huge difference, though. But if they did just flat out remove piety decay, it'd be a buff to players overall.
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Post Thursday, 21st February 2019, 22:58

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

This sort of thinking ("just make everything at least speed 11! etc.") was popular a while ago. It will not work. Instead, the player will be encouraged to preposition, hug stairs and favorable terrain, manually explore, and use noise to lure things from beyond FOV more. The things that you need to do to address these problems are not even on the radar. The only glimmer of hope I see is that there is some general understanding that shafts are good.
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 07:23

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

To be fair, I don't even really disagree with your criticism, it's a likely outcome. That said I think slow, cautious play will always be the choice of people trying to play safe and maximize win rate; that's already the case. I don't think it would necessarily require play so tedious that it would be a significant downside for most players, though. I mean, just look at the games of anyone who plays a naga or chei character now...they still move forward about the same as everyone else.

Hell I just 15 runed a VSGl of Chei in 58k turns in the tournament (I'm so humble), and that isn't even really speedrunning that much, I just made an effort to keep moving forward while taking advantage of VS's huge regeneration to cut out resting. I like to call it "speed walking". I still autoexplored almost all of it.

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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 07:55

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I am sure shaft traps are bad for standard crawl game. Those players who like situations which are created by shafts can already play zig sprint, it's basically the same thing: you get into a level without path to retreat, you have overwhelming amount of monsters in view and now you need to use your tactical skills to survive because teleporting on a new level is a really bad idea. But those players who like to make decisions like 1) should I fight those monsters or just re-enter the level and risk being killed while using different downstairs 2) should I enter that new level to escape from dangerous monsters I am running from 3) am I strong enough for D:14 or should I enter Orc without MR instead etc. now have no choice, they are forced to play "zig sprint" too.
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 08:26

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I am 100% sure that perspective on crawl will continue to animate dcss development for a long time to come. There is a lot of people who don't want to see any real changes, who want to continue to cheez the game the way they always have, and want to feel very clever about their 100% winrates. It's just an extension of the attitude newer players have where they'll evaluate every minor change primarily in terms of whether they feel more or less confident about winning some day with the new rules.

For me, the situations that unfold immediately after being shafted or in hellcrawl on entering a new level, doing vaults 5, and on the orbrun are what crawl is all about. These are the situations that bring out the possibilities of crawl. It's only these situations where the player is not in control that show the potential of random dungeon generation and monster placement. There is uncertainty, risk, every action counts, every detail matters. The game comes to life in a way that the good dcss player makes sure it never will.
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 08:45

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Do you like/play zig sprint?
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 08:56

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I do not play sprints. They are bad and this argument you're making about sprints is also bad.
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 09:06

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I am surprised that you call zig sprints bad while you like zig sprint play style.
"It's only these situations where the player is not in control that show the potential of random dungeon generation and monster placement. There is uncertainty, risk, every action counts, every detail matters. The game comes to life in a way that the good dcss player makes sure it never will."
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 09:12

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I think I'm done entertaining this discussion of how actually what I'm talking about is a series of square rooms.
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Post Friday, 22nd February 2019, 10:37

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Sure, moving to a corridor is so innovative and interesting tactics that it deserves turning crawl into "zig sprint in non-square rooms".
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Post Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 01:06

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

I play crawl because I like to tab. Tab is cruise control for cool. I'm only half joking. Dealing with emergencies as they come up is interesting, but I tend to prefer the strategic power growth and staying ahead of curve more than I really want to be presented with a horribly tough "solve the next 3 turns" problem.

My solution for 90% of "solve the next 3 turns" emergencies is "just attack the thing and see if I get a roll high enough to survive". This works some of the time, and leads to plenty of splats other times.

My apologies to Rast (OP of this thread) but I don't think this thread has been terribly productive. I don't think piety decay is going away anytime soon.
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Post Monday, 25th February 2019, 05:19

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Hypothetically speaking, without decay or hunger or OOD spawns, a player might do doomrl-waiting, as in, you camp in a good spot for thousands of game-turns and wait for monsters to move into a favorable position, so that you do not waste resources (as you do not regenerate in doomrl).
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Post Monday, 25th February 2019, 18:08

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

tabstorm wrote:Hypothetically speaking, without decay or hunger or OOD spawns, a player might do doomrl-waiting, as in, you camp in a good spot for thousands of game-turns and wait for monsters to move into a favorable position, so that you do not waste resources (as you do not regenerate in doomrl).

Do mummies of Gozag do this?
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3DsBeTr, 15DsFiRu, 3DsMoNe, 3FoHuGo, 3TrArOk, 3HOFEVe, 3MfGlOk, 4GrEEVe, 3BaIEChei, 3HuMoOka, 3MiWnQaz, 3VSFiAsh, 3DrTmMakh, 3DsCKXom, 3OgMoOka, 3NaFiOka, 3FoFiOka, 3MuFEVeh, 3CeHuOka, 3TrMoTSO, 3DEFESif, 3DsMoOka

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Post Monday, 25th February 2019, 20:21

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

After that ood spawn was removed yes, theorically the best - aka safest - way for them to clear every level would be to shout and wait on the stairs until virtually everything was lured and killed.
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Post Monday, 25th February 2019, 22:06

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Shtopit wrote:
tabstorm wrote:Hypothetically speaking, without decay or hunger or OOD spawns, a player might do doomrl-waiting, as in, you camp in a good spot for thousands of game-turns and wait for monsters to move into a favorable position, so that you do not waste resources (as you do not regenerate in doomrl).

Do mummies of Gozag do this?
http://crawl.berotato.org/crawl/morgue/minmay/morgue-minmay-20180920-082900.txt

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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 10:48

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

What really surprises me is that that game isn't longer than some of mine. That's six hours, right? I had always assumed that such a thing was impossible without becoming absurdly long.
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3DsBeTr, 15DsFiRu, 3DsMoNe, 3FoHuGo, 3TrArOk, 3HOFEVe, 3MfGlOk, 4GrEEVe, 3BaIEChei, 3HuMoOka, 3MiWnQaz, 3VSFiAsh, 3DrTmMakh, 3DsCKXom, 3OgMoOka, 3NaFiOka, 3FoFiOka, 3MuFEVeh, 3CeHuOka, 3TrMoTSO, 3DEFESif, 3DsMoOka
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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:02

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Well, it doesn't take a lot of real time to press '5'.
...{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz
{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMo
HuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu
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Post Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:32

Re: Why does piety decay still exist?

Yeah, the most simpleminded way to break levels into a series of 1v1 encounters is repetitive, but not wildly slower in real time than careful but otherwise normal play. It's debatable whether this is more tedious than highly optimized manual exploration and luring. That takes much fewer turns, it's much more interactive, probably equally repetitive, and roughly the same in terms of winrate with correct execution. It is way too fast to be constrained by any clock in dcss, though it is limited in some cases by the hellcrawl doom clock.

Again, the real problem with both "doomrl-style scumming" and highly optimized crawl luring is that the player does not engage with the randomized content in a normal way. The specifics of monster placement and dungeon generation are largely irrelevant to a player using these techniques.
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