Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO


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Post Sunday, 1st June 2014, 22:54

Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

The new chunkless branch is up on CSZO and CBRO. I am sure almost everybody here knows how awful pressing "c" is, and we're finally close to removing it. Only Gh can eat chunks in the branch, and that might change soon to just eating corpses or some other change.

Major Changes:
    Only Gh can eat chunks. Vp keep their special mechanics.
    Amulets of the gourmand are gone.
    You start with 5 rations instead of 1.
    Monsters can drop perma-food on death.

Feedback on the branch is welcome, ideally covering the range of characters effected by the change. (Healers, Gozag worshippers, Berserkrs, caster backgrounds, Tr, Ko/Fe, species with normal diets etc.) Alternatively, just play the branch and don't starve :D
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Post Sunday, 1st June 2014, 23:02

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

1) Is food spawn rate increased at all?
2) So nobody can butcher except ghouls now? :3
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Post Sunday, 1st June 2014, 23:07

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Klown wrote:1) Is food spawn rate increased at all?

You get perma-food when monsters die now.
2) So nobody can butcher except ghouls now? :3

You can butcher, just that no one can eat chunks except ghouls.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 04:58

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I'd like to request a moment of silence for the real victim of this new design direction - the mutation roulette.

RIP in pieces, mutagenic chunks. We hardly knew ye.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 05:07

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why not make chunks not rot instead?
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 06:06

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

godzilla wrote:Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why not make chunks not rot instead?

1) You'd have to completely throw out/rework sublimation of blood, simulacrum, #anything else I'm forgetting
2) It would either be an inventory screw (infinite chunks that take up infinite different inventory slots due to having different names) or they'd have to compress to one slot. If the latter, it messes up simulacrum/etc. AND in such a case you may as well just make them drop permafood instead since that's what you've made it as generic as.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 06:56

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Patashu wrote:
godzilla wrote:Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why not make chunks not rot instead?

1) You'd have to completely throw out/rework sublimation of blood, simulacrum, #anything else I'm forgetting
2) It would either be an inventory screw (infinite chunks that take up infinite different inventory slots due to having different names) or they'd have to compress to one slot. If the latter, it messes up simulacrum/etc. AND in such a case you may as well just make them drop permafood instead since that's what you've made it as generic as.


Speaking of, while it's still possible to butcher in this particular branch, if chunks really are removed fully in a later version how will we handle Simulacrum? It spawns really shitty creatures with just regular food rations, so it'd need to be adjusted somehow to be worthwhile.

Sublimation of Blood will still be useful even if chunks are fully removed because you can still use it to convert HP to MP in a pinch - an important and useful design niche.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 08:58

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I assume butchering and chunks will not be removed so long as simulacrum and sublimation of blood (and anything else I'm forgetting) are in use. There are even monsters that use simulacrum to good effect (though is their apportation/simulacrum combo broken by corpses being apported, or do they break the rules?)
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 09:43

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Patashu wrote:I assume butchering and chunks will not be removed so long as simulacrum and sublimation of blood (and anything else I'm forgetting) are in use. There are even monsters that use simulacrum to good effect (though is their apportation/simulacrum combo broken by corpses being apported, or do they break the rules?)

Pretty sure that assumption is wrong; I think the idea is to remove chunks entirely.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 09:46

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Still will be there chunks when blowing monsters with desintegration wands, etc.? I like the giblets effect when exploding.

suggestion: let them still appear for a turn and then degrade to blood tiles
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 12:20

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I will note that on a couple Tr I splatted earlier, the huge hunger was making autoexploring levels awfully obnoxious. In chunk-filled Crawl, I'd just be engorged by D:2, and then I would never notice it, given that I would eat up to as-full-as-possible after every fight. It's possible this kind of thing won't be a problem after I get used to the new meta -- I assume you're better off eating as many of your jerkies as it takes to get to Very Full at all times -- and it's kind of hard to tell whether it's more annoying chopping up things to get engorged or just have a fat stack of permafood and getting stopped for hunger constantly.

I'm still totally on board with chunkless, and I think Tr and Fe both deserve more testing before incorporating corpse eating. It would help if I could get a character, any character, past Lair:1, though. I was a little worried that Lair would be a slog, but I see that any kind of enemy can drop rations now; this is weird flavour that I hope we can find some satisfactory solution for ("You lop off a choice looking cut of meat!"), but design before flavour.

e: yet another stupid splat (cheitrolls and hydra do not mix well/I can never remember to just hit aa because I am an idiot) but I think permafood generation really isn't so bad on Troll. Maybe a TrBe would be a better test.
Last edited by archaeo on Monday, 2nd June 2014, 14:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 13:56

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Currently it looks like chunks will be removed once we figure out how all the minor uses (Necromancy, Gh, etc.) will work without them. I wouldn't call it an urgent change but it'll probably happen eventually.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 15:33

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Proposal- all monsters drop one permafood item simply called "questionable jerky" (or "monster jerky" if you want to avoid any humor)
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 16:39

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

how does that work with Gozag?
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 16:54

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

No permafood drops with Gozag.

TeshiAlair wrote:Proposal- all monsters drop one permafood item simply called "questionable jerky" (or "monster jerky" if you want to avoid any humor)


That's already sort of the joke with meat rations. If you cast Simulacrum on a meat ration, you get something from a random selection of raven, yak, hog, sheep, elephant, or death yak.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 16:54

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Probably pretty well -- sounds like a straight buff.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 17:10

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I think Trolls should definitely be able to eat corpses off the ground. It's flavorful, the functionality already exists, and it's mechanically indistinct from the old implementation. I see no reason not to do it.

Kobolds should probably get the same ability, or a mutation that gives them hungerless casting or something. "Carnivorous with equipment slots and reasonable aptitudes" is kind of their whole deal.

Ghouls, on the other hand, do actually lose a little bit of mechanical depth from eating corpses directly, since it means they can't use chunks as a source of healing. Giving them a butchering 'a'bility might be worth it. Or attach the health restoration to meat permafood. Or at minimum give them rapid regeneration at high nutrition.

Simulacrum is the trickiest case. A few options I can think of:
1) Target a living monster to make a simulacrum of it. I don't really like this; it's too similar to any old boring summoning spell.

2) Target a corpse (preferably at range) to summon a bunch of simulacra. Better, but not being able to use it at the start of the fight kind of ruins the spell (or forces you to worship Kikubaaqudgha).

3) Mix of 1 and 2. Still loses the flavor of being a preparation-based spell and not a reactive one.

4) Casting the spell over a corpse destroys it and gives you an item in your inventory, a la Fulsome Distillation. Wielding and evoking the item triggers the summon and consumes the item. The item melts in the same amount of time it takes chunks to rot. This is a very complicated UI to special-case onto a spell, but it's no more cumbersome than butchering and doesn't require the command to exist. The one problem is mana costs. If evoking the item doesn't cost mana, it's a big buff to the spell. If creating and triggering the item both cost mana, "butchering" a corpse in combat to use immediately becomes very expensive (if that was ever a viable tactic). Still, I'd consider this the best option.

Option 2 would actually work pretty well for Sublimation of Blood, though. As long as it can target corpses at range.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 18:26

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

The hungerless casting mutation is a good idea for Kobolds and I think it could also work on Felids.
Corpse eating would be good for Trolls, I almost never play Ghouls, so I don't know what would be good for them.

For Simulacrum I would support a slight modification of option 4:
Casting simulacrum destroys a selected corpse ("Icy blades dissect the ... corpse, allowing you to study the structure of the body.") and gives you an ability to create the simulacra (the ability has no cost, but uses up 1 turn). The ability is lost when the chucks of the target would rot away, casting the spell on another corpse overwrites the previously memorized monster type.

For Sublimation of Blood, I think limiting it to one corpse on the player's square is a good idea, as it requires really reaching the corpse. Killing enemies in a chokepoint/in a slow retreat and sublimating the corpses under them would be probably too strong.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 19:00

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

About ghouls, what's wrong on eating rotting/fresh corpses provided that they can carry them since encumbrance has been removed?
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 19:22

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

The fact that you can't carry corpses anymore.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 19:32

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

When and why was it changed?

A ghoul should carry carrion.
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 19:37

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

http://s-z.org/neil/git/?p=crawl.git;a=commit;h=2371adb45923b9b02faa5c4fff65df3c535f7de4
  Code:
Make corpses and skeletons stationary items (minmay)

Moving corpses and skeletons to other levels or to other locations
within a level is tedious but may be optimal for corpse rot and god
abilities like Kiku's corpse prayer. This commit prevents the player
from picking up or apporting carrion. It generalizes the code used for
nets being stationary, and cleans up and documents various bits of
related item pickup code.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 19:38

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

nagdon wrote:The hungerless casting mutation is a good idea for Kobolds and I think it could also work on Felids.
Corpse eating would be good for Trolls, I almost never play Ghouls, so I don't know what would be good for them.

For Simulacrum I would support a slight modification of option 4:
Casting simulacrum destroys a selected corpse ("Icy blades dissect the ... corpse, allowing you to study the structure of the body.") and gives you an ability to create the simulacra (the ability has no cost, but uses up 1 turn). The ability is lost when the chucks of the target would rot away, casting the spell on another corpse overwrites the previously memorized monster type.

For Sublimation of Blood, I think limiting it to one corpse on the player's square is a good idea, as it requires really reaching the corpse. Killing enemies in a chokepoint/in a slow retreat and sublimating the corpses under them would be probably too strong.

Delayed Fireball-esque ability storage would be another viable alternative for Simulacrum, but it would probably require limiting the player to one stored summon at a time. Although any implementation that doesn't apply a mana cost to the actual summoning process is going to require some sort of limitation anyway, so maybe it would be a workable tradeoff.

Consuming chunks you saved from a previous battle has no positional requirement, so I don't think I like the idea giving a reformed Sublimation of Blood a strict positional requirement. Ranged spellcasters would find it largely unusable in combat if that were the case, and they're the ones who tend to need the spell the most.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 20:27

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Just remove the chunk interaction from Sublimation of Blood and call it good. A straight hp-for-mp swap is really good. It never did need to provide nigh-infinite mp as long as you can tolerate the chunk juggling. This may technically be a nerf, but the spell would still be good enough to be worth using on most characters so I don't see a problem.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 20:49

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

What this move does is nerf Necromancers.
No corpse travel between floors means not killing that Hydra on L2 and dragging it to L3 to reanimate to help.
Do simulacrum travel between floors or are they like typical undead?
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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 21:19

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

XuaXua wrote:What this move does is nerf Necromancers.
No corpse travel between floors means not killing that Hydra on L2 and dragging it to L3 to reanimate to help.
Do simulacrum travel between floors or are they like typical undead?

Necromancy is currently really strong so nerfing it is ok.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 21:33

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

XuaXua wrote:No corpse travel between floors means not killing that Hydra on L2 and dragging it to L3 to reanimate to help.

Yes, and that's a good thing. I don't think anybody actually likes the tedium involved with hauling corpses between dungeon levels.

To solve the issue with Simulacrum and a chunkless Crawl, I'd do one of two things - either tie Simulacrum to the dungeon level the player is currently on(using the same code as Summon Shadow Creatures, most likely); or simply tie the monster generated to spellpower. In either case, it would still require a meat ration as a reagent.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 21:35

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Why not let cast it on floor corpses? Get a kill/ask Kiku, cast Simulacrum. Probably should use the highest corpse in a given stack. Or even just the highest corpses in a stack you stand on. It's a nerf but hey, Simulacrum can take a nerf.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 21:39

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Sar wrote:Why not let cast it on floor corpses? Get a kill/ask Kiku, cast Simulacrum. Probably should use the highest corpse in a given stack. Or even just the highest corpses in a stack you stand on. It's a nerf but hey, Simulacrum can take a nerf.


This would also work, and yes, Simulacrum could stand a nerf. Making seven simulacrum from a single Titan corpse is a little ridiculous gameplay-wise.

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Post Monday, 2nd June 2014, 21:46

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I meant that you won't be able to grab all the chunks from Kiku drops, walk downstairs and start spamming. I don't think making several simulacra from one ground corpse would be excessive - simulacra are powerful, but frail, and well, it's a level 6 dual school spell, most of those are really great.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 02:30

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

TheArcanist wrote:
XuaXua wrote:No corpse travel between floors means not killing that Hydra on L2 and dragging it to L3 to reanimate to help.

Yes, and that's a good thing. I don't think anybody actually likes the tedium involved with hauling corpses between dungeon levels.


Tedium is subjective, especially considering one wouldn't have to swap equipment around anymore with weightless.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 15:26

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

XuaXua wrote:
TheArcanist wrote:Yes, and that's a good thing. I don't think anybody actually likes the tedium involved with hauling corpses between dungeon levels.

Tedium is subjective, especially considering one wouldn't have to swap equipment around anymore with weightless.

Well... with weightless, could a spriggan carry five dragon corpses? No more carrying carrion seems like a change that prevents much silliness.
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Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 15:48

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

njvack wrote:
XuaXua wrote:
TheArcanist wrote:Yes, and that's a good thing. I don't think anybody actually likes the tedium involved with hauling corpses between dungeon levels.

Tedium is subjective, especially considering one wouldn't have to swap equipment around anymore with weightless.

Well... with weightless, could a spriggan carry five dragon corpses? No more carrying carrion seems like a change that prevents much silliness.


With weightless you put in a size restriction for carrying; Spriggans can't carry anything they can't wield; no more Spriggans hauling javelins around.
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Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 17:45

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Patashu wrote:
godzilla wrote:Sorry if this is a stupid question, but why not make chunks not rot instead?

1) You'd have to completely throw out/rework sublimation of blood, simulacrum, #anything else I'm forgetting
2) It would either be an inventory screw (infinite chunks that take up infinite different inventory slots due to having different names) or they'd have to compress to one slot. If the latter, it messes up simulacrum/etc. AND in such a case you may as well just make them drop permafood instead since that's what you've made it as generic as.

Seems like i'm playing devil's advocate here, but chunkless Crawl does not seem to me as much different than making some tweaks to chunks we have right now: chunks don't rot anymore, and players can eat chunks at any stage of hunger. (Perhaps nutrition values of chunks also need to be adjusted to balance it out.) In either case, spells like sublimation of blood and simulacrum have to be reworked, but these spells need to be changed much more drastically to fit chunkless crawl. Chunks from the same enemy already stack, so it's not really an inventory screw. Plus, you will be eating them anyway, so they shouldn't infinitely pile up in your inventory. Of course, the solution to chunks endlessly piling up in your inventory is chunk rotting, and I don't quite understand what the problem with chunk rot is.

Also, monsters dropping permafood seems poor flavor, like if you killed a black mamba and it dropped a bread ration. Hopefully i'm not missing something on this chunkless debate.

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Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 20:08

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

The number of chunks the game produces greatly exceeds the number of chunks you can actually eat. Between rotting and the inability to eat chunks when not hungry, only a tiny fraction of potential nutrition provided by corpses is ever consumed. If chunks didn't rot, all players had free gourmand, and chunks were as common as they are now, you might as well remove the food clock entirely for everyone except Spriggans and Vampires.

Admittedly, the food clock already pretty much irrelevant for anyone who isn't using level 7 spells in typical encounters outside of a couple species-specific scenarios. The only reason it ever matters in typical circumstances is because the range between barely satiated and Very Hungry is very narrow when spellcasting hunger is taken into consideration. Narrow enough that a streak of bad luck can give you no chunks in that time. Simply making chunks permanent doesn't preserve that scenario.

Chunk rot is a problem because you waste time butchering corpses for meat that ends up rotting before you can eat it, and then you have completely unusable inventory slot for a few turns after that. So you wind up with 2-4 different slots dedicated to various states of meat unless you micromanage it. Removing the "rotted" state and just having chunks vanish instantly when their time is up would mitigate this somewhat, but you'd still often have multiple slots in use due to species variation a lot of the time. And if you eliminate species variance as well, there's minimal reason to keep the butchering mechanic, which is mild tedium at the best of times.

I believe the current implementation in the branch is that all fleshy monsters have a small chance to drop jerky-esque low-nutrition permafood (with rarity-to-nutrition ratios that roughly match current nutrition availability from chunks), so the scenario where snakes drop bread rations doesn't actually happen. I haven't played it yet, though, so I don't know how fair the current drop rate is.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 14:18

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Honestly, the whole food game isn't interesting in the first place. Between current crawl with chunks and chunkless crawl, we are choosing between the lesser of two evils, when neither actually solves the problem.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 14:27

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Sjohara wrote:Chunk rot is a problem because you waste time butchering corpses for meat that ends up rotting before you can eat it, and then you have completely unusable inventory slot for a few turns after that.


There are configurable settings in your init for that.
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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 16:31

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

so I apparently can't get a troll past Lair:1 to save my life this week, but I still have a couple more additional thoughts and then I'll shut up, because who knows if I'm being productive:

1) chunkless feels just like chunkfilled crawl, except instead of hitting c and then e until satiated, I have to hit e and then whatever letter jerkies are mapped to. Even with a troll, I found enough jerkies that I rarely needed a meat ration. If food just accumulated in some out-of-inventory stack and you could just hit e to eat something automatically (since there are no tactical foods anymore), that would be better.

2) But that just seems like part-and-parcel of the entire problem, inasmuch as everything in this branch makes hunger into a vestigial mechanism that only impacts play in the rare case where your killdudes option requires a lot of nutrition. If the branch really dialed back the amount of permafood it might be different, though I think this has other problems.

I hate to say "remove hunger" because I don't think it's popular among the devs, but I really do think it'd be the better solution and it's the one that comes to me inescapably when I play chunkless. I know some of the devs want to tighten the food clock and make it meaningful, just like some devs would like to juggle items so that the ID minigame becomes meaningful. But a tighter food clock doesn't strike me as even marginally desirable for the game; I fail to see how you accomplish a tighter food clock without a) inviting a lot more swingy RNG-cased starvation deaths which kill you long before you actually get a game over or b) making the food drops so tightly regimented that it changes the metagame entirely (I have this much nutrition per level, I can zerk/cast fireball x times per level, etc.) or just feels monotonous.

I'd be particularly interested in hearing a qualified defense of a tighter food clock, of course. This is a nasty little problem that I'm glad 0.15 is working toward solving, and I have every reason to believe the devs will figure it out.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 16:39

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

It's tricky, how do you balance food over the course of a game, where you don't know if the entity going through the game is a MiGl, who's only food cost is time, or a TrEE, who's got ravenous hunger, on top of spell hunger. With rotting chunks, amounts didn't matter too much, it was really about time between edible corpses. With a food supply that is essentially fixed (to the number of corpses generated throughout the game), I don't really see how you can keep any degree of pressure on the MiGl without totally screwing the TrEE.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 18:52

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I'm still really confused about the idea of this branch. If monsters are dropping food ... isn't that effectively identical to monsters dropping chunks? It saves keypresses, kind of, in that you don't press c on corpses--except it really doesn't even save keypresses: 1) you can actually automate corpse chopping (it takes lua, I believe, but you can do it if you want: Sky has done so, and obviously bots like qw and xw manage); 2) auto_eat and easy_eat make eating chunks take fewer keypresses than eating any sort of permafood, so you're actually making the player press more buttons now; 3) it does save inventory slots, except it doesn't because monsters drop more than one type of permafood, and the auto_drop_chunks option means you never have to take more than one inventory slot for chunks anyway, if it works like I think it does (I don't use auto_drop_chunks), so actually it does the opposite of saving inventory slots which is taking more slots. So ... where's the benefit? Oh, and you still have ghouls eating chunks and Vp drinking blood, which now seem like weird special cases, which seems bad to me.

I played a couple minutes of a troll in chunkless and it definitely made eating more of a burden on me: with chunks I just press c on corpses and then walk around and I automatically get to engorged. With chunkless I have to manually press e, and then I have to find my food letter in my inventory (I could autoinscribe food with @e1 or such, I guess, but it's still 2 keypresses), and I have to do this myself instead of just letting auto_eat do it. Of course Troll is the most extreme case (auto_eat does the most work, you do the least thinking about food in chunk-filled crawl, and you do the most eating in chunkless) but it still shows there are definite problems.

Obviously some of these are fixable, but they absolutely have to be fixed before this branch can possibly be considered an improvement. For what it's worth this makes food less relevant in-combat too since you'll always be walking around at Full or better, instead of at satiated/hungry (which means you have at least four times! as much nutrition between your normal walking-around state and Starving).

I had assumed that a chunkless crawl would disconnect finding food and finding monsters entirely, which actually does one thing that is good: it actually prevents scummy behaviour like sitting around in lair for 20k turns per floor (which in theory food existing is supposed to prevent).

So what's the real goal of chunkless crawl? Is the goal to make the interface less of a hassle? It doesn't accomplish that, at least not yet (it could in theory, but I don't really know if it's even much of an improvement). I don't see what other goal it could have since it doesn't change anything else (heck, chunks even still exist so it doesn't even help the situation where carrying them is actually annoying: the spells that use them!).

Oh! It does have one improvement: it finally gets rid of Zin's unbelievably annoying food conduct. So thanks for that, I guess. But you can do that in chunkful-crawl too.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 19:18

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I never did get Zin's weird food restriction. In the part of the game where that might have mattered(very early), Zin isn't even very helpful. After that, it's just an annoyance. But that annoyance is one of the reasons I rarely pick Zin, which is too bad, because he's pretty fun otherwise.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 19:27

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Can we add an option to automatically eat a ration if we're resting and no nutrition would be wasted? Would such a patch be welcome? (Not sure why I'm asking on tavern but I'm not going to go on irc at work.) It seems like there's no longer a reason not to do that, and by making it rations only, the tactical advantage of fruit can still be used when combat relevant. I just don't have to think about pushing buttons to eat when it's a no-brainer.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:05

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

crate: First of all, thank you for your excellent post.
crate wrote:For what it's worth this makes food less relevant in-combat too since you'll always be walking around at Full or better, instead of at satiated/hungry (which means you have at least four times! as much nutrition between your normal walking-around state and Starving).
By "for what it's worth", do you mean that tactical food is normally not relevant? That is the major reason it isn't preserved in chunkless. I have a commit which prevents most species from eating past Full, but I held it back because MarvinPA pointed out it was solving a problem which we couldn't be sure existed. Of course, even if this is a real problem, that cure might be worse than the disease.
crate wrote:I had assumed that a chunkless crawl would disconnect finding food and finding monsters entirely, which actually does one thing that is good: it actually prevents scummy behaviour like sitting around in lair for 20k turns per floor (which in theory food existing is supposed to prevent).
This was the original plan. Most of the dev team liked the current version better. If monsters dropping food doesn't work, we'll go back to a total disconnect. (or the 'chunk lite' proposal which is something different that keeps chunks).
crate wrote:(heck, chunks even still exist so it doesn't even help the situation where carrying them is actually annoying: the spells that use them!).
Changing spells (and also possibly Ghouls) to not use chunks is in the works.

The goal with chunkless (or at least my goal, it seems everybody has a different opinion on the matter) is to improve the interface, and also possibly set the stage for future changes to the food system. While your objections are very real problems which should be solved, it should be noted all 3 of them assume the player is using automation options, which the vast majority of the playerbase does not do.

johlstei wrote:Can we add an option to automatically eat a ration if we're resting and no nutrition would be wasted? Would such a patch be welcome? (Not sure why I'm asking on tavern but I'm not going to go on irc at work.) It seems like there's no longer a reason not to do that, and by making it rations only, the tactical advantage of fruit can still be used when combat relevant. I just don't have to think about pushing buttons to eat when it's a no-brainer.
A patch for this would definitely be welcome.
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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:10

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I think if the game is going to have a food clock it should actually serve to press the player onward in a meaningful way. Right now you are encouraged to:

1. Spot an enemy you can kill
2. Kite it back several steps after throwing something at it (in most cases, special cases aren't relevant to the argument)
3. Kill it
4. Rest up to full HP
5. Repeat

I would like to push the player into potentially more dangerous combat by adjusting the food clock in the following way (or just remove food entirely):

1. Remove chunks from the game.
1b. Simulacrum raises some number of simulacra from a corpse. May depend on power.
2. Remove all forms of spell/ability hunger. This may be controversial, but I think these abilities have other costs, and due to the abundance of food, the "hunger cost" is really just an annoyance cost. I don't think its necessary for magic, abilities, etc. need to have a hunger limit when they already have tactical costs.
2a. This includes hunger from regeneration items. Some people may feel that with a tightened food clock it will be necessary for hunger to be a cost for regeneration so as to prevent people from wearing it all the time and swapping it for fights without any drawback.
3. Remove any special cases of metabolism speed, like Trolls. I don't like the idea of trying to balance species using Hunger.
3a. Ghouls interact with corpses as follows: They don't have natural hunger, but can eat corpses to fix their Rotting.
3b. I'm not sure what to do with Vampires yet.
3c. Mummies of course have no food clock, but they are also Mummies which is enough of a punishment.
4. Add a ring of MP regeneration to complement the ring of regeneration.
5. Tighten the food clock significantly, so that the player is encouraged to proceed quickly and not rest up after every fight.

I doubt anyone will like the following:
6. Remove starving to death entirely. Instead, when a player is Starving, they suffer penalties to melee and do not heal naturally.

I forgot
7. I have no idea what to do about Ely.
Edit: Personally I hate Ely so I wouldn't complain if she were just removed. I don't think many people like playing Ely anyway.

If there is anything I missed that would need to be addressed that is in the spirit of this idea, please mention it. What do you think?
Last edited by tabstorm on Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:33, edited 3 times in total.
remove food

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:22

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

By "for what it's worth", do you mean that tactical food is normally not relevant?

I actually mean the opposite. It won't be relevant ever in current chunkless; it actually did matter reasonably often in the old system (especially for Elyvilon, but level 6+ spells also take a fair bit of nutrition!). Going from having 1500 nutrition available before starving to having 6000+ means eating in combat should be a thing of the past. This was in fact the often-underappreciated real effect of amulet of the gourmand: you never had to worry about eating during combat if you wore it.

I don't really have an opinion on that part of the change, but it's something to note.

While your objections are very real problems which should be solved, it should be noted all 3 of them assume the player is using automation options, which the vast majority of the playerbase does not do.

Well yes, but right now chunkless does not improve anything for players not using automation options anyway; it's a wash, since you replace pressing "c" on corpses with pressing "e" plus some letter that might change!! (Note that ee and ey will both automatically choose a chunk to eat if you are carrying some; this does not happen for permafood unless you use the numeric autoinscriptions, which we are assuming people are not using.) The time/mental burden involved in finding/remembering the appropriate letter for each character's food stacks is a real thing that does not exist with chunks, and in my opinion this outweighs the reduced amount of eating.

Putting this into crawl without also updating the relevant automation settings is definitely a step backward in terms of UI. Updating the options is certainly possible but takes work.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:29

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

I can't imagine how this change, as it's working now, will do anything except move food from mostly meaningless to 100% completely and totally meaningless. In the chunkless branch, how does one run out of food?

In chunky crawl, if I didn't eat any chunks at all, and cast a fair amount of hunger inducing spells, I could end up going through all my permafood. Unlikely to happen in practice, but it does mean sometimes when I don't get chunks for a while, I need to eat a permafood if I want to continue my crazy casting. If I refused to increase spellcasting as well, it's not inconceivable that I could actually run out of permafood, meaning, if nothing else, I'd need to curtail the spellcasting until I got some chunks.

What I mean is, rotting chunks create a feast or famine environment, where when I'm carrying 9 chunks I can cast like a madman, but once they rot I'm back on the low-carb spell diet until I get another pile of chunks.

It's questionable whether the current amounts of permafood allow there to actually be the kind of pressure I described in this scenario, but at least the possibility is there. When all food is permafood, there's no feast or famine mentality. And as I said before, I don't see how you can balance that to put any pressure at all on low-hunger builds, while not being brutally difficult for high hunger builds.

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 20:50

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Easiest way to removed chunks is to rename it to something like "meat".
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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 22:26

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

reaver wrote:
johlstei wrote:Can we add an option to automatically eat a ration if we're resting and no nutrition would be wasted? Would such a patch be welcome? (Not sure why I'm asking on tavern but I'm not going to go on irc at work.) It seems like there's no longer a reason not to do that, and by making it rations only, the tactical advantage of fruit can still be used when combat relevant. I just don't have to think about pushing buttons to eat when it's a no-brainer.
A patch for this would definitely be welcome.

Can someone explain why this is clearly better? If we have to actively automate a part of the game that we're claiming is a) vital for balance but b) so annoying we want the computer to take care of all the busy work, why do we bother to have that part of the game at all?

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 22:33

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Mostly for the sake of clarifying my own thoughts, I'm going to take a step back and look at what impact hunger currently has, with chunks included, across a general spectrum of character types:

1) You are a mummy. Food is irrelevant.

2) You have an Amulet of the Gourmand. Food is essentially irrelevant. You never need to use rations outside of chunkless branches, and you'll have a bottomless supply of rations by the time you get to them. Only the scummiest of mummy activities are prevented; for most practical purposes you have no food clock.

3) You are a Minotaur Fighter or somesuch. Food is essentially irrelevant. You'll get by on chunks most of the time, eating rations infrequently enough that you're at no risk of running out.

4) You are a Necromancer or corpse-sacrificer who occasionally has to choose between eating a corpse or using it in some other way. Food matters a little bit, but the balance is not tight enough to pose a meaningful restriction. Berserkers also probably fall into this rough category, since berserking isn't really something that's safe or necessary to do all the time.

5) You are a spellcaster with spammable, high-level spells (who may or may not worship Sif Muna) and no Gourmand. You can very easily go from the bottom of Satiated to Near Starving in the course of a battle or two. Chunk availability is streaky, and you will eat rations often. So often that the rate at which you are willing to go through rations can be a meaningful strategic factor governing how you choose to cast. Just the other day I had an OOD-casting HEAE of Vehument who was on Lair 3 with around five full-sized rations to her name who had some thinking to do (until she died in a Spellforged Servent-related OOD accident). Most of my characters have like 20+ rations by this point.

6) You are a Vampire, Ghoul, or Troll. Hunger is a minor factor most of the time, but you're suddenly given the middle finger when you try to do anything in the extended endgame.

7) You worship Elyvilon and are encouraged to spend hunger denying yourself chunks. You're faced with a tradeoff between piety gain and ration loss which is far more strict than a typical corpse-sacrificer's.

8) You are a Spriggan and are paranoid about hunger costs all the time.

------------------------

I would go so far as to say that nutrition, as a mechanic, is only interesting in cases 5, 7, and 8. Of those three cases, the only one where the particulars of chunk mechanics is relevant is case 5. The racial diets lumped under 6 are significant, but the only times they REALLY matter (chunkless branches) feel binary, arbitrary, and kind of unfair. And also largely irrelevant in a 3-rune game.

Taking a quote from the chunkless commit log:

Give monsters a chance to drop meat perma-food on death

A 1/4 chance to drop beef jerky or meat ration on death, strongly
weighted towards jerky, if the monster has normal intelligence or
higher, leaves a corpse, and the player isn't worshiping gozag.

This gives an average drop of 550 nutrition per monster able to
generate the food. It's a bit harder to estimate the average nutrition
previously received from chunks given the number of variables, but
assuming monsters drop 2 chunks on average, and assuming a nutrition
weighted toward contaminated chunks at 625 per chunk (3:1 contaminated
vs. not-contaminated), monsters drop 625 nutrition on average through
their corpse with a 50% corpse drop rate. This is probably an
underestimate of that average, but we certainly aren't dropping more
nutrition this way compared to what we did through chunks.


If those estimations are accurate, then chunkless is currently simulating players with Gourmand (the vast majority of potential monster nutrition is successfully ingested) much more closely than it's simulating players who don't (the vast majority of potential nutrition rots before it can be put to use). That means case 5 collapses into case 2 and nutrition as a mechanic becomes virtually irrelevant outside of a few race- and god-specific edge cases.

At some point you have to stop and ask what the hunger mechanic is actually for. Is it only a failsafe against the hyper-scummy grinding behavior that Mummies are prone to indulging in sometimes? Or are the strategic considerations of case 5 above considered integral?

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Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 22:41

Re: Chunkless experimental branch playable on CSZO and CBRO

Sjohara wrote:6) You are a Vampire, Ghoul, or Troll ... you're suddenly given the middle finger when you try to do anything in the extended endgame.
One of these days you should really try doing extended with a vampire, ghoul, or troll.
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