learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes


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Dungeon Dilettante

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Post Friday, 16th November 2018, 22:59

learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

Is this something I should be doing ever, or in what situations is it a good idea?

For instance here is my current character, just picked up Blink which I think would be a useful spell. I would train spellcasting and translocations to learn it, but the last time I did this I died shortly after it became feasible to cast. Is the lair considered too early to start diversifying my skills?

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  Code:
everene the Severer (Minotaur Fighter)             Turns: 11642, Time: 00:27:37

Health: 117/117    AC: 18    Str: 22    XL:     13   Next: 7%
Magic:  12/12      EV: 14    Int:  5    God:    Makhleb [*****.]
Gold:   406        SH: 18    Dex: 14    Spells: 12/12 levels left

rFire    . . .     SeeInvis .   K - +7 war axe "Xurun" {drain, rN+ MR++}
rCold    . . .     Gourm    .   c - +0 shield
rNeg     + . .     Faith    .   M - +0 plate armour
rPois    .         Spirit   .   (helmet restricted)
rElec    .         Reflect  +   L - +0 cloak
rCorr    .         Harm     .   (no gloves)
MR       +++..                  z - +0 pair of boots
Stlth    ..........             p - +5 amulet of reflection
HPRegen  0.29/turn              q - +6 ring of evasion
MPRegen  0.13/turn              J - ring of protection from magic

@: no status effects
A: retaliatory headbutt, horns 2
a: Minor Destruction, Lesser Servant of Makhleb, Major Destruction, Greater
Servant of Makhleb, Renounce Religion


You are on level 4 of the Lair of Beasts.
You worship Makhleb.
Makhleb is extremely pleased with you.
You are not hungry.

You have visited 3 branches of the dungeon, and seen 15 of its levels.

You have collected 689 gold pieces.
You have spent 283 gold pieces at shops.

Inventory:

Hand Weapons
 a - a +5 halberd
 C - a +0 broad axe
 D - the +11 flail "Hatuhyi" {holy, Str+4}
   (You found it on level 9 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It has been blessed by the Shining One to cause great damage to the undead
   and demons.
   
   It affects your strength (+4).
 I - the +0 trident of Conflict {pierce, Str+3}
   (You bought it in a shop on level 6 of the Dungeon)   
   
   It inflicts extra damage upon your enemies.
   
   It affects your strength (+3).
 K - the +7 war axe "Xurun" (weapon) {drain, rN+ MR++}
   (You found it on level 6 of the Dungeon)   
   
   A truly terrible weapon, it drains the life of those it strikes.
   
   It protects you from negative energy.
   It affects your resistance to hostile enchantments.
Armour
 c - a +0 shield (worn)
 z - a +0 pair of boots (worn)
 L - a +0 cloak (worn)
 M - a +0 plate armour (worn)
Jewellery
 b - an uncursed ring of positive energy
 p - a +5 amulet of reflection (around neck)
 q - a +6 ring of evasion (left hand)
 F - a +3 ring of protection
 J - a ring of protection from magic (right hand)
Wands
 j - a wand of acid (16)
 m - a wand of polymorph (13)
 o - a wand of enslavement (11)
 G - a wand of digging (9)
Scrolls
 e - 5 scrolls of amnesia
 h - 3 scrolls of identify
 i - 3 scrolls of fear
 k - 7 scrolls of teleportation
 t - a scroll labeled MACSEDI COKENG
 u - 2 scrolls of remove curse
 v - a scroll labeled CAHIGO DIYFOEKHLUB
 w - 4 scrolls of enchant weapon
 x - a scroll labeled WIDDAS SICYSCH
 y - a scroll labeled RARGHE WEHUNNYMOUZ
 E - 3 scrolls of magic mapping
 H - 3 scrolls of blinking
 Q - a scroll labeled VOUKID GAIGH
Potions
 d - 2 potions of might
 g - a murky black potion
 l - 9 dark potions
 n - 6 potions of heal wounds
 r - 2 fuming coppery potions
 s - 5 potions of flight
 A - 2 fuming black potions
 B - 3 smoky emerald potions
 N - 2 fizzy brown potions
 P - a bubbling purple potion
Comestibles
 f - 27 rations
 O - 17 chunks of flesh


   Skills:
 + Level 11.8 Fighting
 - Level 15.9(16.0) Axes
 - Level 0.2(10.7) Polearms
 + Level 11.2 Armour
 + Level 3.7 Dodging
 + Level 13.3 Shields


You have 12 spell levels left.
You don't know any spells.
Your spell library contains the following spells:

 Spells                   Type           Power        Failure   Level  Hunger
 Freeze                   Ice            #...         100%        1    ##.....
 Blink                    Tloc           N/A          100%        2    ###....
 Ensorcelled Hibernation  Hex/Ice        #.....       100%        2    ###....
 Shroud of Golubria       Chrm/Tloc      #.........   100%        2    ###....
 Throw Frost              Conj/Ice       #.....       100%        2    ###....
 Confuse                  Hex            #.......     100%        3    ####...
 Gell's Gravitas          Tloc           #.........   100%        3    ####...
 Lesser Beckoning         Tloc           #.........   100%        3    ####...
 Ozocubu's Armour         Chrm/Ice       #.......     100%        3    ####...
 Teleport Other           Tloc           #.......     100%        3    ####...
 Ice Form                 Ice/Tmut       #.......     100%        4    #####..
 Passage of Golubria      Tloc           N/A          100%        4    #####..
 Summon Ice Beast         Ice/Summ       #.......     100%        4    #####..
 Summon Lightning Spire   Summ/Air       #.......     100%        4    #####..
 Throw Icicle             Conj/Ice       #.......     100%        4    #####..
 Bolt of Cold             Conj/Ice       #.........   100%        6    #######
 Darkness                 Hex            #.........   100%        6    #######
 Freezing Cloud           Conj/Ice/Air   #.........   100%        6    #######


Dungeon Overview and Level Annotations

Branches:
Dungeon (10/15)            Temple (1/1) D:5            Lair (4/6) D:8
 Spider (0/4) Lair:2     
 Swamp: Lair:2-4    Shoals: Lair:2-4       Orc: D:9-12     

Altars:
Ashenzari
Cheibriados
Dithmenos
Elyvilon
Fedhas
Gozag
Hepliaklqana
Kikubaaqudgha
Makhleb
Nemelex Xobeh
Okawaru
Qazlal
Ru
Sif Muna
Trog
Uskayaw
Vehumet
Wu Jian
Xom
Yredelemnul
Zin
The Shining One

Shops:
D:6 %[*   D:10 (*([%?

Annotations:
D:7 exclusion: 2 doors


Innate Abilities, Weirdness & Mutations

You reflexively headbutt those who attack you in melee.
You have a pair of horns on your head.

Zot Zealot

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Joined: Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 15:03

Post Friday, 16th November 2018, 23:09

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

The aptitudes themselves do not matter as much as the plate armour and having 5 intelligence.

With plate and 5 IQ I personally would not train spells for a long time, if at all. (There are some exceptions, where it actually worth it, like animate skeleton, because you do not need to wear the armour to cast it, but it is stupid that you can take off your armour and put on wizardry to cast spells and I usually ignore this possibility).

Note that it is possible to cast lower level spells in plate in a 3 rune game (if you have high enough str, which this char has), but in general it is hard to give advice when they worth it, there are too many factors. Animate skeleton for example is so strong and only level 1, that it may worth to learn it later even if you do not plan to take off your armour every time you cast it.

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Saturday, 17th November 2018, 04:36

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

For this character specifically, I think fighting, axes, armour, dodging and shields skills are more valuable at this moment than spending xp on blink. I wouldn't bother getting spells at all, would train the previously mentioned skills until the end. Evocations/invocations are also an option if you feel like they would help, but not at the moment of the dump because this char currently needs more direct melee strength rather than diversification.

In general whether it's good to diversify in Lair or not depends on the character so it's hard to give a definitive answer. But with melee characters than don't have anything unusual going on I train melee skills and nothing else at that point in the game.
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Barkeep

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Post Monday, 19th November 2018, 21:33

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

Some low-level spells are cheap enough to get and so blindingly useful (animate skeleton, apportation, summon butterflies, etc) that it's worth learning them unless you absolutely can't.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 13:21

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

Similar question but didn't want a new thread for it: is Int still the go-to dump stat for levelups? Like, if you ever plan on casting spells at all? Last time I remembered, Str was useless aside from encumbrance rating for armours, and Dex was... still useful for dodging I guess? So I guess if you start Trog->go Dex, if you plan on even casting Summon Butterflies at any point in your life, go Int always?
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 14:16

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

STR is useful in a bunch of scenarios. You'd always want ArmourEncumbrance+2 amount of STR to nullify penalties. Also, STR transfers to Slay (I don't remember exact values, probably something as 5STR = 1 slay). I'd like STR on characters that melee/throw more than I would like DEX. And I think STR is most important on unarmed characters.

Zot Zealot

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 14:56

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

I am pretty sure that ArmourEncumbrance+2 STR does not nullifies the penalties.

I have no idea why you think that STR is more important on unarmed characters.

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Snake Sneak

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 15:39

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

sanka wrote:I am pretty sure that ArmourEncumbrance+2 STR does not nullifies the penalties.


http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Encumbrance_rating
While you are technically correct, the formula is so complicated that it's reasonable to say "match your STR to your encumbrance + some, to get rid of penalites". It's not strictly true, but it's true enough to make sense to players in an intuitive way and trying to hold the formula as holy canon is kind of unreasonable.

sanka wrote:I have no idea why you think that STR is more important on unarmed characters.


Because unarmed attacks are the fastest attacks in the game and scale primarily on STR (among other factors like skill level and Fighting), so in order to raise your damage output, you raise your STR and because you throw out so many attacks at once you get a net damage output bigger than the one you get from, for example, putting the same skill and stat points into swinging a mace. One should also take into account the idea that weapons can get brands and enchantment levels, where fists do not, so the STR scaling is a more major part of your damage output than it would be otherwise. An unarmed fighter needs STR to deal damage more than an armed one does.

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 16:48

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

PseudoLoneWolf wrote:http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Encumbrance_rating
While you are technically correct, the formula is so complicated that it's reasonable to say "match your STR to your encumbrance + some, to get rid of penalites". It's not strictly true, but it's true enough to make sense to players in an intuitive way and trying to hold the formula as holy canon is kind of unreasonable.


More strength will always act to reduce the encumberance penalty, however the more you have, the less effect another point has, but it's never actually zero, while "ER+{some amount}" is a reasonable goal to have, it's by no means 'eliminating the penalty' and in fact, even if you were to claim that at a given slope the curve was 'no longer worth investing in strength to get the encumbrance reduction' the exact amount of strength more than the encumberance penalty would change slightly with the ER (It increaases slightly, if you want to compare (ER+2) in leather to other armours, the equivalent point (in terms of the percentage of the penalty reduced) in scale mail is something like ER+3 and in platemail is something like ER+4.

While it is true that more strength is needed to reduce the same amount of penalty, and as such "your body armour's ER + some" does constitute a reasonable goal for someone looking to split up their stat choices, the actual point picked is pretty arbitrary, as more strength will always do *something* and whether that something is an amount of change worth the investment is a judgement call.

There's definitely no break point as your phrasing implies but as long as you introduce it as "about here is probably a good stopping point, as you get diminishing returns" rather than "this is the place at which you will eliminate penalties" your advice is both sound and correct.

PseudoLoneWolf wrote:Because unarmed attacks are the fastest attacks in the game and scale primarily on STR (among other factors like skill level and Fighting), so in order to raise your damage output, you raise your STR and because you throw out so many attacks at once you get a net damage output bigger than the one you get from, for example, putting the same skill and stat points into swinging a mace. One should also take into account the idea that weapons can get brands and enchantment levels, where fists do not, so the STR scaling is a more major part of your damage output than it would be otherwise. An unarmed fighter needs STR to deal damage more than an armed one does.


That's a mis-perception, for all percentage-based brands (fire, cold, vorpal, holy etc.), or non-damage brands, strength helps damage exactly as much, percentage-wise, for unarmed as it does for weapons.

(That is to say a given amount of strength will increase your unarmed or armed damage by the same percentage on average, except that strength doesn't effect the damage from non percentage-based brands, like elec and pain)

Also, unarmed attacks actually are not the fastest attacks in the game (that would be the quickblade, or demon whip of speed) There are actually several weapons which match unarmed's fastest speed (non-speed versions of whip, demon whip, dagger, spear, short sword) but of course none of those but the demon whip is really a decent weapon.

Also skill level has a larger impact on unarmed damage than strength (Although comparing skill levels and stat levels really is comparing apples and oranges, there's no equivalency there at all.)
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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 16:52

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

nosrepemos wrote:Similar question but didn't want a new thread for it: is Int still the go-to dump stat for levelups? Like, if you ever plan on casting spells at all? Last time I remembered, Str was useless aside from encumbrance rating for armours, and Dex was... still useful for dodging I guess? So I guess if you start Trog->go Dex, if you plan on even casting Summon Butterflies at any point in your life, go Int always?
It's not all about Str or Int.
Other things that impact your % spell failure (when wearing armour heavier then an robe) are Armour skill, Spellcasting skill, appropriate spell school, so you need to balance those too, depending on which armour you are wearing and which spell you want to cast.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 17:11

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

nosrepemos wrote:Similar question but didn't want a new thread for it: is Int still the go-to dump stat for levelups? Like, if you ever plan on casting spells at all? Last time I remembered, Str was useless aside from encumbrance rating for armours, and Dex was... still useful for dodging I guess? So I guess if you start Trog->go Dex, if you plan on even casting Summon Butterflies at any point in your life, go Int always?


Strength is now always better than Dex for attacking damage (and has a bigger impact than it used to), and is sometimes better than Int if your priority is being able to cast spells and sometimes is better than Dex for EV purposes. Back when strength was worthless, stat damage bonus was really really small and was split up between dex and strength depending on the weapon. Now only strength contributes to damage (and only dex contributes to accuracy) and the damage bonus from stats is larger than it was. Also the amount of penalties that Strength could eliminate from armour was capped, which it's not any longer.

Dex doesn't have a lot of use, since it's worse than strength for attacking with weapons, and worse for stabbing than int (even if you are in robes, you want the int for hex spellpower) I suppose if you did damage with non-spells and non-weapons (god abilities or evocations?) and you were at the point where more strength didn't help your EV, then Dex would be the only thing that would help you,(Although if you're not using spells, and can wear heavy body armour, you probably should, so Dex wouldn't help much even if you already have high Strength) If you're not using body armour, and relying nearly completely on EV for defense, and/or are small Dex can help your EV by some margin, so if you want to improve your defense, Dex might possibly be the way to go in some circumstances. If you are doing some kind of weird build that stabs with non-spells (blowguns maybe?) Dex is probably the only helpful thing too.

If you're with Trog, you almost certainly want strength all the way down, it's much better than it used to be at contributing to damage done with attacks than it used to be, and since you're not casting spells, you probably want heavier armour, meaning it's probably going to help with your EV more than Dex will (in the form of reducing body armour penalties)

If you're very spellpower-y, you probably want int, but might want to switch gears to a heavier armour and get some strength to offset that (particularly if you want to use weapons to offset MP use) as for a lot of setups more strength will effect your percentage success rate with spells more than int will (in most medium or heavier armour at least)
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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 19:37

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

Siegurt wrote:Strength is now always better than Dex for attacking damage
Strength has always been better than Dex for attacking damage. Even when str weight was a thing, strength still improved damage more than dexterity for all weapons except quick blades and blowguns (for which the two stats had an equal effect).

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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 20:02

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

duvessa wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Strength is now always better than Dex for attacking damage
Strength has always been better than Dex for attacking damage. Even when str weight was a thing, strength still improved damage more than dexterity for all weapons except quick blades and blowguns (for which the two stats had an equal effect).


If you mean "damage per hit" then that's absolutely correct, however Dex has always improved accuracy more than strength, improved accuracy does also improve your average damage done per unit time. Formerly both effects were ultimately insignificant, now Strength has a reasonably noticeable effect on your net damage, Dex's net effect, while improved, is still insignificant. Maybe inside the realm of "nearly useless" strength used to be slightly less useless than Dex.

FWIW time time frame I'm comparing the present to, is the much older version before the str/dex bonuses were improved, rather than the immediately previous iteration when the bonuses were increased, but strength weighting was still a thing (I base that time frame on the responded-to question being framed in a way that makes me think it comes from the olden days when strength weighting was a thing, but both strength and dex did pretty much nothing for attack damage.)
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Post Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 20:27

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

Ok, strength has always been better than Dex for damage per time, and even when str weight was a thing, strength still improved damage more than dexterity for all weapons except quick blades and blowguns (for which dexterity had a slightly greater effect than strength).
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 00:35

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes



That page is incredibly funny.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 03:20

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

tealizard wrote:

That page is incredibly funny.
I like how it suggests a "rule of thumb" of str = ER, immediately after pointing out that the actual breakpoint is at str = ER-2.

As it happens, even a "rule of thumb" of str = ER-2 would be bad because the important armour penalty is the spell success penalty, which has no breakpoints and is nonlinear as Siegurt pointed out. Not to mention that this particular thread is explicitly about spellcasting in armour.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 03:53

Re: learning magic on characters with poor aptitudes

I find the mechanics it describes funnier than the advice (the graphs are a great touch), but it's all good material.
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