That's why Ashenzari totally sucks


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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 07:12

That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

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Dungeon Overview and Level Annotations

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Dungeon (15/15)            Temple (0/1) D:7            Lair (8/8) D:9
 Shoals (0/4) Lair:6        Snake (3/4) Lair:3        Slime (0/6) Lair:7
    Orc (4/4) D:9             Elf (3/3) Orc:3        Vaults (0/5) D:13
 Depths (0/5) D:15       


  Code:
 R - a scroll of remove curse




Yeah you're a totally sucker man how can I worship you if I don't get any shit to use with. Fuck you!

(I actually don't remember the exact number of ?RC I've got, but I've read-id only one, used one only to remove one thing, and pray on most 4/5 other. And all I got one single fucking curse jewellery! And shitload of curse weapon. I need magic bind to cast in heavy armour, damned useless stupid Ashenzari and Rng. Fuck you!)
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 07:47

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Let's also add 4 levels of Vault provided the grand total of another ?RC.
The joy!
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 07:48

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Sounds like a ~fun~ and ~unique~ experience to me!
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 07:52

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Anyway ashenzari doesn't nothing at pre-temple, so you have to sacrifice pre-temple game.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 08:23

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Sar wrote:Sounds like a ~fun~ and ~unique~ experience to me!


Yeah especially funny to get all scroll shop who are short with ?RC too. A damned dungeon forsaken by some angry mummy, I guess.
But not too much unique for now as I've swapped in vault to: fuck heavy armour casting, I'll just hit things with my d:6 plutonium sword while using that +8 plate. :x
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 08:25

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

nago wrote:d:6 plutonium sword

You have no rights to complain about RNG! No rights!!!

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 09:00

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Lol true, I probably used all my luck on that floor :D

It has been a very nice and weird experience because it was inside that silly vault that place a good weapon (only sword, I think?) inside a 3x3 wall complex with translucent rock and humanoid guards around.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut... there was a wand of disintegration lying around on D:6 and a shitty trident randart with a convenient -tele propriety too. :o

It seemed to me more like an entire vault level than a very small one :lol:
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 12:49

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Just another update: after sacrificing 7 of my 8 ?RC, I've got the good amount of 0 ?curse jewellery, so I can't swap my meh rings with the better ones I've found before going in Zot, after 4 runes.
But yeah D:6 pluto sword so how can I complain :\\
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 13:20

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

This is why making all curse scrolls curse-anything would be good; it reduces the variance of the Ash experience. It still is quite dependent on RC drops, but not also dependant on another roll.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 13:57

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

This would be a problem if it occurred regularly. However, if it is only a freak accident, then just chalk this up under extreme variance and carry on: you are playing a unique Ashenzari game, and you perservered despite dearth of ?RC.

So no, I don't see why Ashenzari totally sucks from this anecdote.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 14:23

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Meh I once tried an early amulet on D1 D2 (I love early game risk taking) and it was cursed. Sure enough without even identifying it I know it was of inaccuracy. I decide to continue because ?RC aren't that uncommon and I'm not a big fan of start scum.
I made it to my first rune by teching to mephitic clouds (when venom mage was OP). Every time I saw a new kind of scroll I'd spend it and sure enough never found a ?RC...


Or that one time I clear orc, lair and dungeon up to vault playing Troll. I didn't have to use many potion but since you receive way more cure potion than others I thought my biggest stash of potion would be it so I didn't want to waste one just trying/ID. I decide to clear part of snake relying on pure DPS, regen and that potion stash if poison gets too bad since I didn't find rP. Sure enough I get severely poisoned, drink from my "obviously curing" potion just to find it was a ton of poison potions, try a few other might, invisibility... YASD. :roll:
(P.S. if I remember well it was called potion of healing back then)
Now I'd even try to clear vault instead of tackling snake (and now spider) without rP or summons.

Those weird RNG games are !!FUN!!. I still have to see the full hammer Yiuf vault though.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 14:25

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I've had similar. Getting all curse weap and curse armour as an octopode...geez I have eight ring slots to curse and don't even own any armour that fits me yet... >_<
I'm beginning to feel like a Cat God! Felid streaks: {FeVM^Sif Muna, FeWn^Dithmenos, FeAr^Pakellas}, {FeEE^Ashenzari, FeEn^Gozag, FeNe^Sif Muna, FeAE^Vehumet...(ongoing)}

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 14:42

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I can tack some confirmation bias onto the anecdotes; I find the surest way to prevent rc scrolls from spawning is to worship ash. I've been to the end of lair, having taken an early ash altar, with exactly 2 RC scrolls spawning
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 16:44

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:This would be a problem if it occurred regularly. However, if it is only a freak accident, then just chalk this up under extreme variance and carry on: you are playing a unique Ashenzari game, and you perservered despite dearth of ?RC.

So no, I don't see why Ashenzari totally sucks from this anecdote.

I thought the tradeoff of the curse conduct was that you gain Ash's benefits, but lose the ability to swap equipment willy-nilly -- and that this is justified as "interesting" by how it forces some differences in thinking about well-rounded kit, delaying equipment swaps, etc.

I don't see how that is improved by making it frustrating-to-impossible to even acheive the tradeoff or make any of those decisions whenever the RNG feels like being slightly more capricious than usual. The OP's example is only a little bit extreme, there are lots of Ash games in which there are too few ?RC overall, and/or not enough of a particular curse scroll despite praying through whatever stacks you've found.

Things could easily be improved just by weighting ?curseWeapon significantly lower, something like 20/40/40.

EDIT: To clarify, I don't agree that "Ash totally sucks", but I do agree that the experience could (and should!) be improved for a non-trivial fraction of games.
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 19:14

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:This would be a problem if it occurred regularly. However, if it is only a freak accident, then just chalk this up under extreme variance and carry on: you are playing a unique Ashenzari game, and you perservered despite dearth of ?RC.

So no, I don't see why Ashenzari totally sucks from this anecdote.

OP was half in jest I suppose. But I don't really see what is to be gained by adding a layer of randomness in between the generation of a remove curse and the generation of curse item. The basic tradeoff I see with Ash is that you are trading off strategic with tactical flexibility (by making item swapping impossible or at least hard). Except scry is tactical, but oh well, gods are fickle, right?

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 21:13

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Personally I think the easiest thing to do is just make it an active ability for Ashenzari to curse your items, remove the inventory clutter and management of 'but oh do I have enough slots filled and / or remove curse scrolls.

Maybe reduce the spawn rate of remove curse, especially later in the game when they become practically inexhaustible (for most players!)

Related, I had a game where heal wounds potions didn't show up until Swamp 3. I was a Vine Stalker so it didn't bother me, but yeah.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 22:26

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

another option would be to give Ash a piety-hungry ability that drops a single ?RC per use
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 22:48

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I agree that Ash has the most potential of the all the deitys to be of no use. Maybe one could get a few ?RC scrolls when joining him?
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 23:04

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

tedric wrote:another option would be to give Ash a piety-hungry ability that drops a single ?RC per use
Except you don't gain much piety until you already have a few.
I'm beginning to feel like a Cat God! Felid streaks: {FeVM^Sif Muna, FeWn^Dithmenos, FeAr^Pakellas}, {FeEE^Ashenzari, FeEn^Gozag, FeNe^Sif Muna, FeAE^Vehumet...(ongoing)}
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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 23:08

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Ash could always just automatically curse all of your equipment when you start worshipping him?

I feel like we've talked about alternatives to Ash's curse scroll paradigm a whole bunch without ever really getting anywhere, fwiw.

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 23:24

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

archaeo wrote:Ash could always just automatically curse all of your equipment when you start worshipping him?

I feel like we've talked about alternatives to Ash's curse scroll paradigm a whole bunch without ever really getting anywhere, fwiw.

I think this approach would have the least variance of all the proposals I've seen so far. I like it.

It's not like the lack of ?RC scrolls isn't a problem for other characters as well, just lost a DgTm whose first ring was a cursed ring of tele. Managed to get by until finally getting a horrible teleport in D:9 where I got petrified on the first turn on a Lair staircase level.
Spellcasting penalties, Armour skill, and strength
15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Post Wednesday, 23rd September 2015, 23:53

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

archaeo wrote:Ash could always just automatically curse all of your equipment when you start worshipping him?

I feel like we've talked about alternatives to Ash's curse scroll paradigm a whole bunch without ever really getting anywhere, fwiw.

Maybe Ash could even curse all weapons, armour, and rings when you pick 'em up? That way, one would use ?RC scrolls the same way that other dudes do: for uncursing things. This would make curse scrolls obsolete as well.
Spellcasting penalties, Armour skill, and strength
15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Post Thursday, 24th September 2015, 00:13

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

#1: Remove Curse scrolls removed from the game. Normal item curses are now removed by gaining xp, calibrated at perhaps a level's worth of xp for normal cursed items.
#2: Ashenzari grants an ability at conversion that allows you to voluntarily curse an item. This ability is free or nearly so.
#3: Ashenzari passively suppresses the xp-uncursing process, and grants an ability at * that allows you to choose a single item to uncurse. This ability costs a whole * of piety.

There's really no reason to continue using the kludgey scroll system currently in use. Curse foo scrolls were part of the original inspiration for Ashenzari, but that doesn't mean we need to keep them if she doesn't need them any more.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 08:48

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:This would be a problem if it occurred regularly. However, if it is only a freak accident, then just chalk this up under extreme variance and carry on: you are playing a unique Ashenzari game, and you perservered despite dearth of ?RC.

So no, I don't see why Ashenzari totally sucks from this anecdote.


As already others pointed out, this was kinda a joke topic, otherwise I've posted it in GDD.

Anyway, I'll try to give a more serious impression, as you have considered it more seriously than it was.

I'm fine with the mechanics of binding with Ash - you trade a normal ability (to quickly swap things to get an advantage in fights) for others (you get better in doing more things faster) - this often offer meaningful choices: early on it can be to choice between faster piety (and with Ash you need to get fastest piety) or using that blowgun which would trivialize anything until Lair. After, it could between rods and training more weapon skill, or having more magic support or swapping between some good jewellery you have.

However, Ash power depends totally on floor loot, case unique among gods. This dependency is furthermore aggravated by requiring three things together!

The first it's the gear: you need to find something at all, to be able to use Ash to some extend. And I'm not talking about end-game material, but shitty auxiliary armour slots, or basic jewellery. I had games where I found my first boots\helmet in slimes:6\vault:5, after the game was won, others where I cleared lair\orcs and perhaps even got the 1st runes and still hadn't jewellery on.
I don't think this is good at all - because it's a very strict requisite which isn't often easy to oblige and over which the player has no control - and especially offers no choice. It would be like Oka's offering finesse after the first Juggernaut kill, or TSO holy warrior for punishing your first 2. Why is this a thing?
This problem is much similar to very old chei - which was depending on equipment in a perhaps even worse way - and which was thankfully resolved time ago. Personally, I would be very happy if Ash could enjoy of something similar - like the ability to curse a slot without anything on - so if you find that +2 MR+ cloak hey you have to burn something to actually benefit of it.

The second problem is that Ash depend on ?RC and nowadays it's the only reason why ?RC and curses still exists. Again, I don't think this relationship had ever any reason to exist.
On one hand, most games have so much abundance of ?RC that after very early game - where most of time you can anyway curse only your weapon because you don't have other shit - this thing lose quickly any meaningful value. On other, there are very few games (like mine) where ?RC don't exist, players can't do a shit about it and there are again no real choices. I don't really believe there's a good middle-ground, because if you find something slightly better when low on ?RC you should anyway try to upgrade - because there's no sense either to way to find something much better in a random game like a roguelike. I can think the only case where it's meaningful it's when you're very close to getting something from your shop-list, or you're entering in end-branch with guarantee loot like Lair:8 or Orc:4 (and that upgrade you can do right now doesn't make difference between life and death).

Anyway, even this extremely corner case can be spoiled by the third problem: you don't only need to find the gear, the ?RC, but also hope you win the curse minigame no one knows why still exists. Like I've posted before, you can lose it even spending 6/7 ?RC.
Sorry, but here I can't really make the effort to write a proper argument: it has totally no sense, gives no real choices and so on all what you want. I can either get what I need, or don't. Stop, it's like playing slot machines with your ?RC.
Admittedly, I can definitely see some extremely corner cases where I can just de-curse some of the gear, losing big chunk of char abilities, if talking of things like ring of robustness, slay +6, rf+ for zot or like that.

To summarize: I don't think binding god's powers to rng loot works, in any way or case. I'd like much to see ?RC and gear game disappear, not because of this game but because it does not work - replacing with one of the proposals I've seen floating around, like allowing free binding of items, and making the ability to de-curse cost a * of piety of something like that. In that case, players would have a meaningful choice over which they have some sort of control: like do I get an immediate upper advantage (e.g. better ring) but losing for a significant time an amount of my abilities (e.g. casting higher level spell).
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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 08:52

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Ash is probably my favorite god in the game and I find the gear reliance to be pretty fun. I do agree that Ash isn't a good god, so if you want all gods to have similar levels of power the way he currently works is bad (even though, again, it's fun to me). However, if you want that there are worse offenders (Trog, Chei, I'll let you figure out which one is "too strong" and which one is "too weak" yourself).

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 08:57

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Sar wrote:Ash is probably my favorite god in the game and I find the gear reliance to be pretty fun. I do agree that Ash isn't a good god, so if you want all gods to have similar levels of power the way he currently works is bad (even though, again, it's fun to me). However, if you want that there are worse offenders (Trog, Chei, I'll let you figure out which one is "too strong" and which one is "too weak" yourself).


No, I'm totally fine power-wise with Ash, as it's a clear statement (which I agree with, btw) that gods shouldn't have the same strength nor power curve.
I think only that her mechanic doesn't work at all.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 11:29

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I think if you take Ash on an octopode, you are begging for it. Otherwise Ash is one of the more interesting gods with respect to actually having to make some choices. I agree that relying on curse scrolls is dumb: Ash is weak, it wouldn't overpower her in the slightest to give her a piety-dependent curse item ability, which would both remove RNG extreme variance problems and let curse-foo scrolls be scrapped once and for all.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 12:28

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

Hey, I see where you are coming from, and I understand that this (the proposal to give Ash a cursing ability) is supposed to make the god reliable. With such a power, you could pre-plan your Ash game -- the only randomness would be how early or late you come across an altar, and if you happen to find more scrolls, then you can speed up the process. However, I don't agree that gods should be reliable. [We have some extremely reliable gods, and I am not happy about that, and we probably all agree that Trog is too strong... guess we should do something about it.]

Slightly similar demands would be asking for Vehumet's spell gifts to be deterministic or pre-announced, or to give Fedhas a fruit-giving ability.

I think it's good if the character-god relationship can backfire, as long as that happens rarely enough. In my experience with Ashenzari, it's alright. This is subjective, feel free to disagree (I think I my frustration tolerance when playing Crawl is quite high). For example, I had a game where I was running around with a cursed ring of hunger and a (self) cursed ring of sustenance for a long time, because no other rings were found. I liked that.

I really like archeo's suggestion to start Ashenari worship with a curse gift. Many gods could have interesting baits, this one really fits (also makes switching more attractive).

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 12:37

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:Hey, I see where you are coming from, and I understand that this (the proposal to give Ash a cursing ability

The only reason not to give that ability would be to maintain the position that variance is somehow good, or necessary even. I don't agree with either of those.

Ash is too volatile, in a way that most gods are not, usually they start helping you soon after. Not Ash necessarily, because there's a random effect that isn't there with the other deites. I'd say any effort to make Ash more reliable is a good one. If it's a bunch of scrolls upon worshiping, or just making things cursed in the first place, would be better than potentially having her being the most useless God there is.
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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 12:38

daggaz wrote:Ash is weak

No.

Ash starts weak.

When you reached an Ash game at 5* and benefit from divinations and all skill buffs (weapon, armour, magic skills, evo) Ash is definitely strong - in mid game as well as in extended.

I noticed it recently again when I started a DsBe. It is well known that berserkers are easy in the early game. But when I compare Trog 5* to Ash 5* I already prefer Ash when I have some useful midlevel spells available. These spells (regeneration, ice beast etc.) are piety free while Trog's Hand or Brothers in Arms use piety.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 12:43

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

As people point out there are three different luck factors when playing ash:

1) Finding enough ?RC scrolls

2) Find enough loot to fill slots

3) Win ?RC prayer minigame by getting the right scrolls.


I think that 1) and 2) are fine and not a problem at all- Crawl is about the RNG, and most of the time it works out fine. The rare times where it doesnt make for an interesting game! And for the worst offenders of missing equipment slots - hats, naga/centaur bardings- there are solutions in the game (uniques, ?ACQ, the awesome hat vaults we have now.

I think that 3) is the main offender, and there are really simple solutions to it! Eg. When praying, have the game check which slots are equipped and not cursed, and only gift among those. If you dont have any more of those, gift randomly according to old formula. Problem entirely solved.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 13:05

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:Slightly similar demands would be asking for Vehumet's spell gifts to be deterministic or pre-announced, or to give Fedhas a fruit-giving ability.


The first example isn't pertinent: maybe you'll get throw icicle instead of meph cloud, and iron shot instead of bolt of fire - aka spells with big differences.
But you'll still get a good amount of things of the god works with: killing things with conjurations, just not in a foreseeable way on turn 1.
The example would have been right if Vehumet would gift one game every 100 the total of three charms spells, or in another five translocation's.

Fedhas is more pertinent, I didn't think of her because I never worship her. Still, I think fruits are nearly guaranteed in Lair, and there's also ?acq (that *is* a choice) so it's not totally the same. Plus, the most characteristic and important fedhas' power is mushroom, which is *guaranteed* and by the time you have oklob you should have also fruits (as I said, lair and ?acq) - although I agree this is an example of a god with a not 100% guaranteed power.


I think it's good if the character-god relationship can backfire, as long as that happens rarely enough. In my experience with Ashenzari, it's alright. This is subjective, feel free to disagree (I think I my frustration tolerance when playing Crawl is quite high). For example, I had a game where I was running around with a cursed ring of hunger and a (self) cursed ring of sustenance for a long time, because no other rings were found. I liked that.


I don't agree totally: I can understand when that it's "intrinsic" like Kiku gifting meh spells or the ones not wanted, or Nemelex giving bad decks. The player has still something of the god to work with. Many gods actually have a random component, which I also think is good, but most also reliably do at least something

Specifically, no one has all his characterization and powers based on something totally outside his sphere of actions and totally decided by loot floor.

It's not about reliably or not - for example, I like new nemelex, and it's a 100% unreliably guy - but you know for sure you'll get decks to use his powers.
On the other hand, in a situation like that game you don't have any choice or anything to work with. Just to keep exploring hoping to get the right ?RC and the right ?curse foo and boom you start actually getting piety and powers and so on, which I don't think works very well.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 13:39

Re:

Turukano wrote:
daggaz wrote:Ash is weak

No.

Ash starts weak.

When you reached an Ash game at 5* and benefit from divinations and all skill buffs (weapon, armour, magic skills, evo) Ash is definitely strong - in mid game as well as in extended.

I noticed it recently again when I started a DsBe. It is well known that berserkers are easy in the early game. But when I compare Trog 5* to Ash 5* I already prefer Ash when I have some useful midlevel spells available. These spells (regeneration, ice beast etc.) are piety free while Trog's Hand or Brothers in Arms use piety.



See, I would argue the opposite. Ash is nice if you luck out and can curse enough slots early to get an early-game skill buff. Then that buff is very valuable, but it starts to lose its luster the further into the game you get. You simply have more options by that point and you should already have solid skills such that a bonus is just a bonus, not a game-changer. Not to mention that experience is infinite so there are diminishing returns on its value. The clarity is ok but honestly, most characters its not an issue. The mapping/vault peaking is always nice, I'll give you that, but still a strong character and strong play style make it more of a tedium buster than anything else.i

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 13:48

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

nago: Not quite, in my opinion. Granted, all my Ashenzari wins have been with "casters", I think -- that means I didn't shy away from wielding cursed daggers to boost piety gain.

daggaz: The knowledge boost is incredibly strong, no matter which stage of the game.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 14:02

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

@re skill boost strength: its incredibly strong. This is most obvious on low-apt races like Mummy, still obvious on neutral races like Octopode, and with Minotaur it basically vanishes in the background of +2/+3 aptitudes. They are strong enough anyway due to massive XP leftovers and a lot more XP in form of skill boost really hit the margin so one is better of with a god that gives a different bonus, eg weapon gifting, allies etc.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 14:38

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

le_nerd wrote:I think that 3) is the main offender, and there are really simple solutions to it! Eg. When praying, have the game check which slots are equipped and not cursed, and only gift among those. If you dont have any more of those, gift randomly according to old formula. Problem entirely solved.

This won't work because often I want to remove curse a jewellery item and put something else on. I can't remove curse without knowing that I have a curse jewellery scroll.

The easiest way is to have a curse item scroll instead of "curse foo" scroll. That way, there are no drastic changes, and one layer of pointless randomness is removed. Since there is no apetite for larger changes, perhaps this can be implemented.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 14:58

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:nago: Not quite, in my opinion. Granted, all my Ashenzari wins have been with "casters", I think -- that means I didn't shy away from wielding cursed daggers to boost piety gain.


I don't understand to what are you answering or referring
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 17:48

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

One way to avoid the variance is to not convert to Ash if you don't have much loot worth cursing or haven't found any/many ?oRC. So if you haven't found more than a weapon and body armour, or any/many ?oRC by the time you get to temple, then maybe this just isn't the right time to go with Ash. Yeah, this means that you might have to go with a different god than you originally planned, but that's an interesting choice, isn't it? If you find an Ash altar on D:2, before you've had time to find much loot or ?oRC, then you're taking a chance if you convert right then, but you should realize that you're taking a chance.

I also like the suggestion of just having a generic curse item scroll. With that and some simple inventory checking before converting, Ash doesn't sound all that risky.

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 18:20

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

BugHunter wrote:One way to avoid the variance is to not convert to Ash if you don't have much loot worth cursing or haven't found any/many ?oRC. So if you haven't found more than a weapon and body armour, or any/many ?oRC by the time you get to temple, then maybe this just isn't the right time to go with Ash. Yeah, this means that you might have to go with a different god than you originally planned, but that's an interesting choice, isn't it? If you find an Ash altar on D:2, before you've had time to find much loot or ?oRC, then you're taking a chance if you convert right then, but you should realize that you're taking a chance.

I also like the suggestion of just having a generic curse item scroll. With that and some simple inventory checking before converting, Ash doesn't sound all that risky.

That's all interesting in theory, but if you find Ash altar early, you sort of have gamble on her. I'd say it'd be better from game design point of view, that this deity wouldn't have so much variance in it. There have been proposals in this thread to make Ash more reliable, like other gods, and I'd say any of those would make Ash better.
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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 18:22

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

@Bel:
This won't work because often I want to remove curse a jewellery item and put something else on. I can't remove curse without knowing that I have a curse jewellery scroll.


With the new rule you could be sure to get a ?Cjewellry. But sure, ?Cfoo works too.

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 00:53

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

dpeg wrote:Hey, I see where you are coming from, and I understand that this (the proposal to give Ash a cursing ability) is supposed to make the god reliable. With such a power, you could pre-plan your Ash game -- the only randomness would be how early or late you come across an altar, and if you happen to find more scrolls, then you can speed up the process. However, I don't agree that gods should be reliable. [We have some extremely reliable gods, and I am not happy about that, and we probably all agree that Trog is too strong... guess we should do something about it.]

Slightly similar demands would be asking for Vehumet's spell gifts to be deterministic or pre-announced, or to give Fedhas a fruit-giving ability.

I think it's good if the character-god relationship can backfire, as long as that happens rarely enough. In my experience with Ashenzari, it's alright. This is subjective, feel free to disagree (I think I my frustration tolerance when playing Crawl is quite high). For example, I had a game where I was running around with a cursed ring of hunger and a (self) cursed ring of sustenance for a long time, because no other rings were found. I liked that.

I really like archeo's suggestion to start Ashenari worship with a curse gift. Many gods could have interesting baits, this one really fits (also makes switching more attractive).


The problem isn't just that Ashenzari is unreliable; she's also unreliable in an extremely uninteresting way. If you get few fruits under Fedhas, for instance, you're still going to have some, so you're still making choices on how to spend the 15 fruits you have rather than the 50 fruits you expected. For Vehumet, you might not get the Bolt of Fire you wanted, but she will definitely throw you something workable and it can be fun to change elemental skills once you realize that's the best plan. Maybe you'll even discover the value of a spell that you had previously thought was worthless. Makhleb might decide to send a hostile demon instead of the summoned ally you wanted, but as long as you've prepared that occurrence makes the fight more interesting and memorable, not less.

In Ashenzari's case, you just have a slight random chance to get literally nothing. Yes, you can start grinding out piety with a cursed +0 dagger, but the skill boost isn't being applied to anything actually useful that you would consider altering your skill development to take advantage of. Choosing to wear two bad items in the early game for the magic boost is an interesting choice, while not spawning any scrolls is not a choice at all. Later in the game, the choice is even less interesting. Once your stock of consumables hits a minimum threshold, you can swap equipment whenever you feel like it.

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 04:32

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I think Ash's variance is at the crux of things. I've never played a game where Oka or Dith hasn't been helpful, but have played some where Ash is just useless until late mid-game. If one thinks gods shouldn't be reliable, then that'd mean that one should make most of the gods more unreliable, instead of evening the playing field by making this one particular god more like the others in a sense that one can actually use her abilities.

If one was able to switch gods at lesser cost, that'd make a nice tactical option. Having suddenly 0 piety is a huge cost by it's own. But who can survive Ash's wrath in mid-game?
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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 07:07

Thanks for the discussion about early game randomness with Ash. I know it a lot and just take it as it is!

Yes, 1) finding remove curse scrolls, 2) getting the "right" curse and 3) having items to curse is what makes early Ash game tricky. I don't want to discuss this point here but reply on one post.

daggaz wrote:See, I would argue the opposite. Ash is nice if you luck out and can curse enough slots early to get an early-game skill buff. Then that buff is very valuable

Right, and lets have a further look at the boost of magic skills.

With cursed jewellry you have easy access to midlevel spells, I mentioned regeneration and ice beast, but there are as well RMsl (lev 2), spectral weapon, ozo's armour (lev 3), animate dead, ice form, passage of golubria (lev 4) among others.

daggaz wrote: but it starts to lose its luster the further into the game you get. You simply have more options by that point and you should already have solid skills such that a bonus is just a bonus, not a game-changer.

In my opinion the boost is very useful in late game and extended as well. Consider e.g. silence, dispel undead, shadow creatures, blade hands (lev 5), haste, DMsl, simulacrum, death channel, statue form (lev 6) or cBlink (lev 7).

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 13:28

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I think the issue is the range of outcomes. Look at the other unreliable gods:

Nemelex:
Will drop something useful in some way. You have to adapt to what is given.

Okawaru:
Drops range from useless to splendid. But you have the core actives to guarantee SOME benefit from him.

Fedhas:
Oklobs may be quite limited, but you're guaranteed access to mushrooms, sunlight and rain.

Xom:
OK, he's actually got negative outcomes. But it's Xom, and a challenge god. Ash isn't a challenge god.

Yred/Kiku:
You can't guarantee what undead you get, but you have useful actives/passives/spells regardless.

But for Ash:
You aren't guaranteed any benefit at all from the god. RNG can (and does occaisionally) 100% screw you.

The issue isn't the average Ash power level; I think it's fine. The problem is that sometimes it's equivalent to running atheist, and in a roguelike that amount of variability is strictly non-optimal when you can worship almost any other god and have a better guarantee.
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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 21:12

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I don't even care about the power level. If I sign up for worship under the goddess of bondage, I expect some bondage. A goddess in a game shouldn't randomly have a headache tonight based on random generation of a particular arbitrary consumable.

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 02:09

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

I actually think Ash is pretty much the most reliable god in the game. BTW you don't have to pick your god instantly when you see a temple. You can read some id scrolls and maybe check out how many remove curse scrolls. This is fairly reliable. You can also just go with a good god if you have any doubt and are afraid of wrath.
So basically use zin/ely and find some not so crappy gear and then switch to Ash.

Ash's wrath I think is overrated. Its not that bad particularly if you switch to some powerful protective god like Fedhas. Its also an extremly predictable wrath. Oka IMO is far worse.

You have to be incredibly unlucky for ash to be bad but jiyva can make you think you have rpois and then suddenly you die to pois or various other resistance removal deaths.

Early Chei and your basically at the mercy of the RNG. A good portion of my chei deaths are caused by ridiculous OP player ghosts. Speaking of which I don't understand why player ghosts have to be so ridiculously over the top. They are not even reflective the players skill when they die... ie they might as well not be ghosts of the player but some random uniques.. I would rather more uniques but thats for a different time.

What I also find more unreliable is Trog and Oka gifting. You can have many games where you get some Vamp Axe early-mid D and others where Trog is gifting you greatslings.

Makhleb summons can go terrible wrong. Nemelex can gift you crappy decks. Zin's recite can suck randomly. Shadow stepping can still wake up monsters. Ru can give you tons of crappy sacrifices.... and finally there is mother of all boring unreliable suckage... Sif Muna... please sif I need transmute spells for my kitty goddamn it :)

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 05:49

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

What if ash lost the 'pray to convert RC scrolls to curse scrolls' and instead had a passive chance of cursing an worn or wielded item in your inventory on exploration (ash "gifts" you curses), that would mean he'd be unreliable in a different way (You couldn't choose what to keep uncursed) but then you'd have to rely on the RNG for more flexibility when changing equipment, but not for power activation.
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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 05:58

Re: That's why Ashenzari totally sucks

What if ash just drained and paralyzed you for removing/unwielding anything, then you could get rid of curses altogether and keep the god.

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