Monstrous Menagerie?


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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 02:15

Monstrous Menagerie?

So, I just played (and stupidly lost) my first summoner in a long time. One of the spells I didn't ever understand was Menagerie -- it's level 7 and summons one (or a few) monsters that are basically late-D or early Depths. Harpy packs are nice, sphinxes are OK, but these dudes don't generally tear up the level.

Constrast this to Shadow Creatures, which can summon basically whatever's troubling you at one level less. Or Summon Hydra, which has its challenges (real short duration) but is a fair bit more predictable.

Am I missing something?
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 04:19

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Yea I was unimpressed by MM, Mana vipers were pretty good, shadow creatures are nice, but expensive. My favorite are demons, but having them turn hostile is a bitch, generally I hoped for abjure to handle it, but sometimes I did have to run. Actually didn't get to greater demons, but I imagine it's the same as Makhlebs and those kick ass.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 05:37

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Shadow Creatures and Summon Hydra have really low durations. Monstrous Menagerie does not, and it has a separate summon cap. Also, harpy packs certainly do tear up the level. Perhaps you don't understand how batty monsters work? The faster your own actions are, the more effective harpies (both friendly and hostile) will be.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 05:46

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Have you actually tried it against enemies? Monsters are not players, and this has important effects on which monsters are good against monsters.

Harpies demolish pretty much everything.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 13:31

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

If I always (or even usually) got harpies, it would be great. But quite often it's not harpies. Even sphinxes seemed surprisingly ineffective. Manticores were not great.

Knowing that harpies are improved by hasting myself helps, even though it's weird. I think I don't actually understand how batty creatures work.

Anyhow, thanks all. I don't think I'll be rolling another summoner soon, but I'll give MM another chance if I do.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 13:43

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Looking at the code, you get sphinxes half the time if your spell power is over 60... if harpies are better than sphinxes, the spell is better at lower power?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 14:07

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

I don't know, but what you said alone is not enough to say. Harpy group > sphinx > manticore/lindwurm in general, so if the sphinxes just replace manticores/lindwurms then higher spellpower is an obvious improvement. You also get more harpies when you do get harpies at higher power.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 14:34

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

The logic is
  Code:
    if (random2(pow) > 60 && coinflip())
        type = MONS_SPHINX;
    else
        type = random_choose(MONS_HARPY, MONS_MANTICORE, MONS_LINDWURM);

    if (player_will_anger_monster(type))
        type = MONS_MANTICORE;
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 16:35

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

random2(pow) gives a random integer between 0 and pow - 1, inclusive.

If pow < 62, you never get a sphinx.
If pow >= 62, you a sphinx with probability
p = (pow - 61) / pow * 1 / 2.

Your general point is correct that harpies are more likely at lower spellpower (probabilty 1/3 at pow < 62, probability (1 - p) / 3, with p from the equation above, if pow >= 62).

Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 16:41

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

duvessa wrote:Perhaps you don't understand how batty monsters work? The faster your own actions are, the more effective harpies (both friendly and hostile) will be.


njvack wrote:Knowing that harpies are improved by hasting myself helps, even though it's weird.


Can anyone explain this? I thought batty just meant "moves away after hitting" and I don't see how these would follow from that.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 16:44

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Ever been attacked by a caustic shrikes or harpie zombie?
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 17:38

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

When a batty monster attacks it starts moving randomly until the next player action, then resumes normal monster behaviour until its next attack. So if player actions are more frequent, batty monsters waste fewer actions on moving randomly.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 17:54

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

OK so the reason hydra zombies hit so hard is that they *aren't* batty, they're just fast and hit hard.

@duvessa: So, if you've summoned harpies and want them to killdudes most efficiently, would it be best to hang out and swap weapons over and over or something?
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:02

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

njvack wrote:OK so the reason hydra zombies hit so hard is that they *aren't* batty, they're just fast and hit hard.

@duvessa: So, if you've summoned harpies and want them to killdudes most efficiently, would it be best to hang out and swap weapons over and over or something?


:lol:
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:13

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

no I am actually serious, batty monsters have always been slightly mysterious to me and I want to know if I'm getting smarter or dumber

edit: also time in Crawl is really weird; it seems normal until you really think about it and then whoah
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:19

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

I think you're correct njvack. You can study this in relative safety with some actual bats.

Also, imagining a batty hydra is quite amusing.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:42

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Yes, weapon swapping would make your harpies more effective, although it might still be a better use of turns to keep casting spells/moving/attacking/whatever. I just thought I'd mention it in case you were playing a summoner of chei or something.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:45

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Well, if I'm understanding things right, battiness wouldn't make a hydra more dangerous; being fast would... battiness on normal speed creatures would just make them move away from you after attacking. Which I guess would be kind of funny for hydras...

oh god a summoner of chei
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 18:49

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

njvack wrote:OK so the reason hydra zombies hit so hard is that they *aren't* batty, they're just fast and hit hard.

Just in case, you know, it wasn't obvious where the hydra came from. (As usual, it was loitering by the stairs, with intent...)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 19:01

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Yes, the reason harpy zombies often have higher damage output than harpies is that they aren't batty.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 19:02

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

My typos know NO BOUNDS.

Yes, I meant harpy zombies.
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Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 20:20

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Death scarab zombies/simulacra are hilariously powerful, I've had those 2v1 and I think even 1v1 greater mummies.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 20:58

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

FR: all summons and mindless undead are batty. :)
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 21:19

Re: Monstrous Menagerie?

Siegurt wrote:FR: all summons and mindless undead are batty and very fast. :)

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