Are amulets of harm worth it?


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Lair Larrikin

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 10:54

Are amulets of harm worth it?

If so, on whom?

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:00

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

So far I have read no opinion calling the amulet good.

I could see some uses for characters that can do damage out of LOS, like with Ball Lightning or Firestorm, or less good on characters that can do damage on the edge of LOS, like with a bow or xbow.

Mostly the downside isn't worth it, especially considering that there are some very good amulets available.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:04

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:So far I have read no opinion calling the amulet good.


viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21135&p=285344#p285344
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:43

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Well, there is a first for everything. That said, it's not clear to me if PF was ironic. With only three words, no punctuation and no context, it's just impossible to say.

harm is bad

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:47

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I remember a thread where Lasty listed about 10 his victories where he used harm all game. It depends on player I guess.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:48

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

It's for the harm challenge...

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 11:50

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Not really. I found that post.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21895&p=296196#p296196
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 12:01

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Imo it should be clear that an amulet which increases the damage done more than it increases the damage received is good for some characters. But personally I fear damage spikes too much to try to estimate when harm would be good so I just never use it. Granted, if I found an otherwise great artifact amulet of harm I could try it.

Maybe there should also be an amulet that decreased damage both ways...
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 12:13

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Sprucery wrote:Imo it should be clear that an amulet which increases the damage done more than it increases the damage received is good for some characters.


Let me try to prove that harm is always bad.
If a character wins with amulet of harm, it means it would never be at low HP without amulet of harm. This means the character has great defense and HP (or just was lucky to win when it might die easily), it cannot rely on killing monsters first (we all know how unreliable accuracy and damage in crawl are, don't we?). It has already been proven that such character with great defense and HP does not need any extra damage, it can win as pure melee with a +5 vorpal spear, so amulet of harm introduces unnecessary risk.

Now let me try to prove that amulet of harm is good :)
It makes game more fun because all fights are over sooner, you don't need to attack with spear 21k times in a 3 rune game.
Last edited by VeryAngryFelid on Friday, 11th August 2017, 12:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 12:18

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:If a character wins with amulet of harm, it means it would never be at low HP without amulet of harm.

Not necessarily. Killings things faster, which the amulet does help with, often redues HP loss. Without the amulet, it might take longer to kill certain dangerous monsters, who could get an extra LCS, Troment, Hellfire Damnation off.

This is not to say that I would wear harm. I wouldn't, unless it's an otherwise amazing artifact on an already very powerful character. And even then, I might just use something more conservative.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 12:22

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Not necessarily. Killings things faster, which the amulet does help with, often redues HP loss.


No, it does not work, I specifically mentioned how bad accuracy and damage are in crawl. You can spend 17 attacks to kill a monster which is expected to die in just 2 attacks according to fsim (I created a thread about it but I am too lazy to find it now).
Now assume that you can have this type of bad luck in every encounter and you will see why I was talking about either great defense/HP or luck.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 13:06

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

If amulet of harm is always bad, how about an amulet that decreased damage both ways? Would it be always good?
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 13:11

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Sprucery wrote:If amulet of harm is always bad, how about an amulet that decreased damage both ways? Would it be always good?


The question is already answered :)
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18527&p=252952#p252952
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 13:26

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Not necessarily. Killings things faster, which the amulet does help with, often redues HP loss.


No, it does not work, I specifically mentioned how bad accuracy and damage are in crawl. You can spend 17 attacks to kill a monster which is expected to die in just 2 attacks according to fsim (I created a thread about it but I am too lazy to find it now).
Now assume that you can have this type of bad luck in every encounter and you will see why I was talking about either great defense/HP or luck.

Crawl does have a number of attacks that don't suffer from accuracy problems: Fireball, Freezing Cloud, stabbing, etc.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 13:34

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Crawl does have a number of attacks that don't suffer from accuracy problems: Fireball, Freezing Cloud, stabbing, etc.


"Let's use an amulet of harm as stabber" would be a nice addition to "famous last words" thread IMHO. Fireball/freezing cloud still can deal 0 damage due to AC/resists/low damage roll. Anyway I have yet to see a character who kills everything with fireball/freezing cloud or a character who does not feel sorry about using amulet of harm when Ironband Convoker, Guardian Naga or Draconian Shifter use their specials.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 14:01

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I'm not actually defending amulet of harm, I'm just saying that killing things faster is good. I doubt anyone really disagrees with that.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 14:11

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:I'm not actually defending amulet of harm, I'm just saying that killing things faster is good. I doubt anyone really disagrees with that.


I disagree. Taking more damage is worse than dealing more damage, at least when we are talking about real amulet of harm (+20% and +30% correspondingly).
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 14:31

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I strongly feel that we are having a misunderstanding, so I'll leave it here.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 15:04

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

The analysis that even minor increases in damage the player takes create far more risk than the extra damage can offset is pretty much incontrovertible. The fact that players have won while using amulets of harm for a significant part of the game means absolutely nothing. So yeah, harm is bad.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 15:18

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

watertreatmentRL wrote:The analysis that even minor increases in damage the player takes create far more risk than the extra damage can offset is pretty much incontrovertible. The fact that players have won while using amulets of harm for a significant part of the game means absolutely nothing. So yeah, harm is bad.


There was a thread about 'can any amount of damage done offset any amount taken' regarding harm at some point, i think it kind of trailed off to nowhere.

But would a hypothetical amulet of harm that increased incoming damage by 1% and outgoing by 50% be worth wearing? If so, and if an even split (say 20%/20%) is definitely not worth it, then where is the tipping point? 5/20%, 10%/30% etc?

Presently iirc it is 20%/30%, if the damage taken was lowered to 15% would it be worth it? 10%? 5%?

I dont have an answer, but the question seems worth asking.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 17:49

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I don't think a ratio totally sums it up; if there was something that increased incoming damage by 200% and outgoing damage by 2000% I wouldn't touch it because I'd worry about getting killed in like a turn and there's no reward for overkilling monsters.

I agree, though, that whether harm is good, bad, or situationally good is purely a matter of numbers.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 18:13

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

njvack wrote:I don't think a ratio totally sums it up; if there was something that increased incoming damage by 200% and outgoing damage by 2000% I wouldn't touch it because I'd worry about getting killed in like a turn and there's no reward for overkilling monsters.

I agree, though, that whether harm is good, bad, or situationally good is purely a matter of numbers.

Yes, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the ratio of good:bad was the key, each bit "good" and "bad" has a different impact, and different implications, I was only trying to suggest that the amulet itself would be "good" or "bad" based on the numbers in question.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 18:24

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Might be worth chewing on a related question, which can be answered with available data: How often does a death from a large amount of damage become not a death if you reduce the amount of damage taken by 20%? My guess is that the answer is "Pretty damn often."
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 19:26

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I think it does not prove much. Many characters die to a single almost dead monster in view which would be dead with amulet of harm
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 20:42

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I think amulet of harm's design is outstandingly bad in pretty much every possible way, and that it is very unpleasant to use, but I don't think it is useless. I think it is only slightly weaker than faith/spirit/rage, and much stronger than the rest of the amulets for most characters.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 20:46

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I think it does not prove much. Many characters die to a single almost dead monster in view which would be dead with amulet of harm


That's a good point. I think that's how I usually die.
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 20:48

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I was doing pretty good 'till Jory got me for 114 damage with crystal spear.

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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 20:54

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

duvessa wrote: , and much stronger than the rest of the amulets for most characters.


Well it isn't hard to be better to something which does nothing
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Post Friday, 11th August 2017, 22:41

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

It's certainly better than inaccuracy.

But joking aside, in what kind of situations do people here have good experience with it? Or would at least consider it an option? At a guess it would be a situation where taking damage is unlikely, or impossible.

I've killed quite a few enemies with portal projectile in a corridor full of butterflies. Harm would speed things up and preserve some MP. It's probably not usually necessary though.

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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 03:39

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

For starters, you don't need to wear it all the time. You can wear some other amulet most of the time and swap to harm when needed, because the unequip penalty only happens when you unequip it. It improves your outgoing/incoming damage ratio so it's benficial in the situations where you are actively doing damage, at the expense of being bad when you're taking but not dealing damage. If you want to teleport or run away you can unequip it in 5 aut and the drain is tiny enough that it doesn't really matter unless you do it several times in succession.

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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 05:18

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I instantly get into red draining after unequiping harm. Is losing 3 levels in weapon skill tiny?
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 06:44

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Yes.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 08:48

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I think that harm is interesting as a way to increase your damage output with UC, when you can't just get a brand or enchant your weapon. However, I never use it, unless I am very low level and get stuck with it, or unless it's part of a very good randart and I have a ton of HP.

It's a bit like old mut roulette, it can help you or it can kill you, with the difference that, while mutations are stable, harm danger depends on fluid situations.

As others have already noticed, harm makes bad situations worse, and good situations better, so it does the exact opposite of what can be considered useful -- it helps you when you don't need help, and kicks you when you need help. I guess it's good if you stairdance a lot, or if you go for uniques, or are fast? Ce could probably do great, boring things with it.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 12:11

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I don't have a lot more to add really, but I've been loving it on well-equipped, heavily armored characters, particularly those with big Slaying bonuses stacked up. Ideally with a very good set of ranged attacks too.

I don't know if I'd ever want to risk it in extended with so much castery/debilitating effect/torment stuff going on. Maybe with some torment immune undead, but I dunno.

Hill Orc with +6 to +9 slay takes harm through most of Zot. One of my smoothest games ever, before dipping into extended later.
(This particular harm amulet had a nagging Str -4, but then it also had rC+++, shrugs.)
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 12:25

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I instantly get into red draining after unequiping harm. Is losing 3 levels in weapon skill tiny?

I don't generally swap it on and off myself and i would say, not exactly "tiny" in general no...

Although by around lower Vault or Depths, many of my characters have trained enough extra weapon skill to partially or sometimes wholly offset that. On the assumption that some shadow dragons or the like are liable to show up in those areas and probably drain you anyway (particularly if you don't have a lot of rN available). Of course one could argue that those are going to happen on top of any draining you bring upon yourself, but the point remains that you can prep train above the minimum delay level (and similarly for other choice skills) to reduce the relative impact of draining. You can also train more to avoid some drain impact, and try more tactically to avoid sources of draining from mobs if things are going generally well.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 19:39

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I never really like that draining is so much more damaging in the early game than later. Being unlucky with a few wraiths or taking off an amulet of harm is delibating early on, whilst later on multiple shadow dragons or death mages don't really seem to affect skills that much.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 20:17

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Higher damage output in exchange for higher damage intake - isn't that exactly what you get when you choose to go with a two-handed weapon, and without a shield? I suspect that many who have said here that they would never touch an amulet of harm have no inhibitions to go two-handed. Maybe this intake-output rate when going two-handed is the sweet spot that others have asked for earlier, and the amulet could be modelled along these lines, if it isn't already.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 20:20

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Well, let's put on our thinking caps here... How much does a shield change the maximum damage you can take on a given turn? Now, how about an amulet of harm?
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 20:25

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

watertreatmentRL wrote:Well, let's put on our thinking caps here... How much does a shield change the maximum damage you can take on a given turn? Now, how about an amulet of harm?

I wouldn't know without testing.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 20:41

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Well, I can tell you. If the shield provides no AC, which would be include the majority of shields, then it has no effect on maximum damage intake at all. If it provides nonzero AC (for example shields with the protection ego or some artifacts) and you have nonzero GDR, it may reduce your maximum damage intake on a turn by up to 2 points per source of melee damage. The amulet of harm always increases your maximum damage intake by 20%.
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Post Saturday, 12th August 2017, 21:05

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I'm not sure I'm tracking. When a shield blocks an attack, I don't take the resulting damage. That can be a lot more damage avoided than the 2 pips you are talking about. In that sense, shield-based damage reduction would have to be determined as an average in rounds of combat, and it will be very different depending on what shield you wear, but I would not be surprised if it scratches the 20% with a well-enchanted large shield at high skill. Therefore, I for now don't see how the maximum damage intake from a shield you are calculating for me is relevant to the comparison of damage intake between shield and non-shield.
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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 00:43

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I think that the largest difference between shields/2h and harm/no harm, from a play experience point of view, is skilling and XP allocation. While, in abstract, shields slightly change positioning and monster danger scale, in practice they are not reliable, so it's optimal to have them and pretend not to have them. However, you need to account for them with skilling, especially if you want magic. You also need to think of species, and assume that some items have better synergy with them than without them (regen, reflect), then there is 1h min delay...
Harm doesn't interact much with anything else. Optimal play is still the same -- hiding behind a diagonal elbow turn in the corridor and killing whatever comes forth to the only visible tile if you are slow, or kiting if you can. Maybe you can account less for regen, since fights are very fast? Otherwise, I can't think of much in terms of synergy leading to different choices.

By comparison, cleaving looks much better to me from a gameplay perspective, compared to harm. Cleaving goes in the opposite direction of "optimal", but it works wonders in the many situations in which you can't play optimally. It also interacts well with slower species and characters.

It seems to me that harm is a lot like Cheib (getting a bonus from a source that will likely kill you), with the difference that Cheib is much funnier because each move counts and you can't reset, while harm gives you many more reasons to reset, and doesn't take you away a way to reset.

Personally, while I don't like elemental weaknesses much, I'd like it if it were substituted with an elemental enhancer amulet working for all 4 that causes rC- or rF- when hit. Sure, it would require much concentration, but it also would give an understandable power up. It's difficult to tell the difference of the effects of harm from a slay or strength bonus, or from wearing a worse armour.
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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 01:24

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Average damage tells you something about long term dynamics of combat, but it tells you nothing about whether you can die this turn. This is what maximum damage tells you. Whether or not you can die on the current turn is probably the most important question in crawl combat.
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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 05:00

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

watertreatmentRL wrote:Average damage tells you something about long term dynamics of combat, but it tells you nothing about whether you can die this turn. This is what maximum damage tells you. Whether or not you can die on the current turn is probably the most important question in crawl combat.

To die or not to die in the next turn neither matters to you when you equip harm, nor when you go two-handed. It is a long-term-dynamics decision, which can get you killed in a fight going bad.
Maɟaŋ

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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 05:28

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

I suspect good players almost never die to a string of average hits, they just don't engage in such fights. It's max damage that matters.
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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 06:02

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Majang wrote:To die or not to die in the next turn neither matters to you when you equip harm, nor when you go two-handed. It is a long-term-dynamics decision, which can get you killed in a fight going bad.


Is this going to be another one of these threads where you repeatedly fail to understand what the discussion is about but nevertheless reply over and over again as if you're right about it anyway?
*Lana Del Rey voice* , video games...

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duvessa

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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 12:42

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

This thread was a mistake.

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mikee

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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 15:46

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Schillernde wrote:This thread was a mistake.

Why?

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 16:08

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

Threads where people disagree are usually the most interesting and most useful!

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duvessa

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Post Sunday, 13th August 2017, 18:05

Re: Are amulets of harm worth it?

'
watertreatmentRL wrote:Is this going to be another one of these threads where you repeatedly fail to understand what the discussion is about but nevertheless reply over and over again as if you're right about it anyway?
you are also ignoring majang's argument (and other similar arguments in this thread) with your responses. Could an unswappable harm-like item that increases the max damage you can take on a turn ever be good? Of course. It's also ridiculous to totally disregard 'average damage' when considering defenses.

You aren't always able to be killed on any given turn. Sometimes the best way to prevent yourself from getting into a situation where you may be killed is by killing the things that could hurt you quickly and from range.
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