Ashenzari Reform


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 11:40

Ashenzari Reform

Edit: I'm placing a newer version of the proposal incorporating certain ideas from this thread here, at the top of the post. The full original post follows.

Revised Proposal: Ashenzari no longer gives the ability to curse items, but to bind equipment slots. Equipment cannot be equipped with, or unequipped from, a bound slot. Bonuses and piety gain from bound slots are the same as those for cursed items in those slots, with the following exception: the character gets a bonus to Unarmed Combat for binding the empty right hand, and a further bonus for binding the empty left hand, equivalent to current cursing of one- and two-handed weapons, respectively.

In addition to the unarmed bonus, binding unequipped slots allows a character to immediately gain piety by becoming moderately, seriously, or fully bound without having to wait for any aux armour or jewelry, at the cost of not being able to easily equip what they do find.

Ash-worshipping characters also gain the ability to unbind slots, which will have the same interface as reading a scroll of remove curse does for Ash worshippers now.

Binding a slot is free, but unbinding a slot has substantial piety cost. Again, the exact amount would need to be determined and balanced.





Below is the original post:


Background: Ashenzari has a unique mechanic and cool flavour: curse your own equipment in order to gain piety and knowledge and boost skills. Ash-worshipping characters play differently than any others.

There are, however, some significant drawbacks:
1. Ash's mechanic is based on item cursing, which is a generally useless and annoying feature. At this point it almost seems as if item cursing remains in the game only because of Ash's dependence on it.
2. The act of cursing depends on the scroll of remove curse which is again an almost useless item which players never need after the early game unless they worship Ash, in which case the scrolls have the habit of appearing much less often, or at least appearing to do so.
3. Cursing's apparently 'evil' status--the opposite of blessing--leads to the bizarre situation I just experienced (and which prompted me to write this post) in which an Ash character cannot curse, say, their great sword of holy wrath because it is a holy item and cannot be cursed at all. This points to the nonsense aspect of the intersection of current Ash mechanics and flavour--Ash is not an evil god, so why does Ash depend on an evil ability?--and its only mechanical effect seems to be to punish Ash worshippers.

Proposal: I propose that Ash's mechanic no longer depend on cursing but on "binding". "Bind item" replaces "Curse item" in the ability menu, and costs piety*. In addition, players gain a new ability, "Unbind items", which functions exactly like reading a scroll of remove curse does now for Ash worshippers: the player chooses which and how many items to unbind. This will also cost piety*. Bound items cannot be unequipped; they must be unbound first. Ash gives the ability to immediately bind 1d3 items upon worshipping. All other aspects of Ashenzari remain exactly the same, thus "god of divination and binding" rather than "divination and curses".

*I do not have the mathematical command of crawl mechanics to have any idea of how much piety these abilities should cost; the cost should more or less mirror the current availability of scrolls of remove curse, but probably be somewhat severe so that binding still represents a limitation.

Justification: Ash's "gimmick" is that the player gives up flexibility in equipment-swapping in order to access the god's boosts and abilities. This change preserves that mechanic while at the same time freeing it from its dependence on curses and scrolls of remove curse.

Potential issues/drawbacks/alternatives: As alluded to above, we wouldn't want a situation where a player could bind and unbind equipment limitlessly with no drawback. For this reason, the piety cost has to be large enough to discourage swapping equipment too frequently. If necessary, a 'hard cap' could be introduced in the form of a set number of binds and unbinds performable in the game, although I don't care for this idea. Another possibility would be that the player can earn bindings and unbindings through gaining experience.

Bonus: This helps pave the way for the elimination of curses in their entirety.
Last edited by monkeytor on Wednesday, 19th July 2017, 03:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 12:19

Re: Ashenzari Reform

This is a variation on another, in my opinion better, proposal. There is a slot locking proposal where instead of using curses on items to make things work, you "bind" equipment slots directly locking them so that you cannot change what's in them without unlocking them first. This would allow you to lock your slots empty. You would then have god abilities that lock and unlock with piety costs.

That said, I doubt anything is going to change on Ashenzari. After all, why now? Why not three years ago? The basic analysis on curses hasn't changed. The design is worse than you say. The holy wrath interaction is bad, but what about species with no body armor slot? What about unarmed combat? Why is it so damned complicated? Why have a second god that basically just boosts your skills? It cries out for the Pakellas solution.
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monkeytor

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 18:00

Re: Ashenzari Reform

To the original proposal:

I would suggest making binding free and available at ------, and make un-binding moderately expensive and available at *----- (maybe 30 piety or so, i.e. enough to reset piety to 0 if used immediately when acquired). So, a player could choose to bind everything immediately to maximize piety gain, but every time they wanted to switch a piece of equipment, they'd have to pay a big chunk of that. Alternately, they could take a more conservative approach and only bind items they didn't expect to swap for a long while, gaining piety more slowly, but keeping it.

To the previous comment:

Ashenzari isn't just about skill boosting (and retraining), but also about knowledge acquisition. The item identification can be written off as a mere convenience, but the passive trap detection is a unique benefit that can prevent very nasty situations. The scrying ability with the passive monster detection can also be quite useful in allowing players to dictate the timing and terms of engagements: swapping gear to suit a monster's arsenal before entering its line of sight, catching ranged threats unaware as they round corners, simply fleeing, etc. That information can easily have a bigger impact than a few bonus skill levels.

I do agree that Ash's current design is awkward, but not so awkward that deletion is necessary. Binding armour without a body slot would obviously fall into the dodging/stealth category, and the only species that can't equip at least 1 item each of weapon/armour/jewellery is felid. One species having an awkward interaction with a god's mechanics is not sufficient to delete the god... worst case scenario, that species could simply be forbidden from worshiping that god.

I also agree that the slot-binding proposal is better than the item-binding proposal, however, I'm sure it's also more difficult from an implementation perspective. But, I've occasionally wished there was a way to boost Unarmed Combat with Ashenzari, and the slot-binding proposal accomplishes that nicely.

Btw, the devs have made improvements to Ash's design, and recently. I think more is still warranted, but there's something to be said for the strategy of making adjustments in smaller, less disruptive steps and evaluating the effects of those changes before proceeding further.

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 18:43

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Try it with a draconian.

The recent Ash change is a marginal improvement. Marginal improvement when something bigger and systemic is required is bad because it creates a pretext to do nothing later. Often there is no tenable terrain between what exists and what would be good. Incrementalism is the most powerful opponent of change.

edit: regarding the divinations effects, in my opinion they provide almost no value. Knowing where monsters you haven't seen are makes almost no difference by the time those effects are available. Knowing where monsters you have seen but cannot currently see makes even less difference. Knowing where traps you haven't seen are makes still less difference. The portal effects are sometimes useful, but mainly in optional parts of the game. For example, they provide almost no value for finding timed portals because you have usually have magic mapping enough to deal with those few floors that have them.
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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 20:53

Re: Ashenzari Reform

I have; multiple times. Ashenzari can be a fine choice for sneak/caster Draconians. True, it takes 3 pieces of auxiliary armour to achieve partially bound and 4 for fully, but Wizards and Gladiators start with a hat, which solves their partially restricted equipment slot. The skill bonuses from armour help to offset Draconians' bad aptitudes for Dodging and Stealth, and 2-3 of the remaining item types can usually be found before the skill xp costs scale too high. The bigger obstacle, in my experience, is the occasional run without any early scrolls of remove curse to get piety gain started. Also, the skill transfer feature which I usually ignore is particularly well-suited to Draconians with their annoying aptitude bait-and-switch.

You and I have obviously had very different experiences with the divination effects and/or how long it takes to increase piety with Ashenzari. Which, really, is not that surprising, considering their usefulness is admittedly situational and varies quite a bit depending on play-style (e.g. alarm traps cause more problems for stabbers than conjurers), considering Ashenzari can completely fail as an early/mid-game god when the game is stingy with those remove curse scrolls, and considering it doesn't sound like Ashenzari is high on your list of priorities when choosing a god (though I don't mean this as a slight, as I wouldn't blame anyone for avoiding Ash if their first experiences were on the "miss" side of Ash's hit-or-miss nature).

The detect monsters is not just about knowing where the monsters are; it's also about knowing how strong they are, and knowing when to use Scrying (knowing which unique is lurking nearby while remaining in complete safety can be quite helpful, and while taking full advantage of that knowledge is not something Ashenzari is conducive to, it sometimes is well worth the cost). The item detection and terrain detection I consider to be more of a well-flavored convenience than anything, although never having to waste a wand charge or blind-equip equipment is marginally useful, and I do occasionally encounter a timed portal (or 2) before finding my first scroll of magic mapping. I wouldn't recommend sticking with Ash all the way through a 15-rune game, but I've been quite happy having Ash's help stealing the orb in some of my 3-rune games, largely because of the detection.

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 22:07

Re: Ashenzari Reform

My only real problem with Ash is it's all proactive, ash is *entirely* about setting up good situations, and avoiding bad ones, the skill bonuses/transfer are not even very important.

I think giving ash something directly useful when things are already pear-shaped would go miles towards making it a top notch god. Thematically there's lots of choices (I'd suggest something in the realm of preventing monsters from moving, without actually paralyzing them, would be interesting, or alternately petrification, if we want to make it a more powerful ability)

The lack of any sort of a 'panic button' is one of the reasons I don't play ash all that often (Not because the current set of abilities isn't powerful enough, but because it requires I pay more attention, and I like to play a lot of games more casually)

---

The OP is really "lets remove curses, here's a way to handle ash if we do so", I don't think the reason curses haven't been removed has anything to do with Ash, it seems like preserving the equipment flexibility-for-piety-and-bonuses aspect of ash is easy to do if we at some point choose to remove curses, and the mechanism for doing so isn't complicated, and *if you get the devs on board with removing curses* how to handle Ash isn't going to stop anyone from doing so (this is far from the first time something like this has been suggested)

There's presently disagreement over whether curses do, can, and should provide any interesting play. Assuming that there's a universal desire to remove curses, and that Ash is the only thing stopping us misses the mark.

Suggesting that holy weapons not have the weird 'prevent curses' thing is pretty reasonable, and has nothing whatsoever to do with whether we flavor them 'curses' or 'bindings' mechanically (If we changed 'cursed' to 'bound' and 'remove curse' to 'remove binding' with no other changes mechanically, it would no longer seem 'thematically appropriate' that holy prevents 'binding' but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of your proposal)

So breaking this down we have two proposals:
1. Reflavor "curse" to "binding" and remove the interaction with holy weapons.
2. Give Ash abilities to deal with cursing/binding irrespective of the presence of consumables for that purpose, with the intention of removing Ash's dependency on the curse/binding system, so that it can be removed ultimately.

I suggest that Proposal #1 is small, likely to be well recieved, and non controversial (subsuming theme to clear and unambiguous gameplay is usually well recieved)
I susggest that Proposal #2 is larger, and presently controversial, and if you can convince the wider audience that curses need removing, then how to handle Ash isn't a hard problem to solve, once the intiative to remove them is taken.

Note also that these two proposals are in no way dependant on each-other, either one could be implemented without reference to the other.

As an alternative to #1 I would suggest that if holy weapons can't be cursed, then *all* holy items should be uncursable (notably rings of positive energy, and any artifact with rN+ on it) I don't think that would be particularly good for gameplay, but it'd increase consistency.
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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 22:37

Re: Ashenzari Reform

I agree with the proactive assessment, but a side effect of avoiding bad situations is that emergency resources don't need to be used as often and therefore are more likely to be available if a crisis does occur. So, I don't really see a need for additional escape mechanics.

---

The way I read the OP, it doesn't propose to remove curses, but rather to decouple Ashenzari from curses. As I read the proposal, there would be 4 combinations of cursed/uncursed and bound/unbound on equipment, of which only "uncursed and unbound" items could be removed. Holy-branded weapons can't be cursed, but could be bound.

There is a note that a side effect of doing so would be that there would be one fewer obstacle to the potential removal of curses entirely, but that's clearly labeled as a bonus, rather than the main thrust of the proposal. Personally, I regard curses as a minor nuisance at best, and irrelevant fluff at worst, so I don't much care whether they're removed or not. However, regardless of that, I think Ashenzari definitely needs a way to curse/bind/whatever equipment without relying on random item drops, or at the very least decoupled piety gain from equipment status so that unlucky worshipers can at least get some kind of benefit.

Curse-immune rings of positive energy makes sense to me.

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Post Sunday, 16th July 2017, 23:34

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Nekoatl wrote:The way I read the OP, it doesn't propose to remove curses, but rather to decouple Ashenzari from curses.

Well, alright, but if the point of decoupling Ash from curses is to make holy weapons bindable, reflavoring curses to binding does so (or even removing the restriction without any flavor or explanation changes whatsoever), .

If the point of decoupling ash from curses is to pave the way for curse removing, then you need to have curse removing as the prerequisite goal.

If the point of decoupling Ash from curses is to *remove the reliance on the RNG dropping remove curse scrolls* and instead of having a random but limited number of uses, instead have an unlimited supply of them (Which is true for any amount of piety cost as long as there's not a limited supply of piety, which is problematic in it's own right, and if there's an unlimited supply of piety, but it requires a large amount to switch, then you subsititute one form of tedium (foraging through infinite areas for RC scrolls) for another (Foraging through infinite areas for more piety) so you don't actually change anything. If the desired effect is that you have a limited number of uses of the ability, then piety isn't the appropriate cost (some other permanant cost like max MP or something would be needed)

I personally think Ash equipment swapping being strictly limited based on RNG generated items is more interesting than Ash having a piety "battery" of equipment swaps available, I think it's more also more interesting than having a reliable, but limited number of equipment swaps (like if you were to use max MP or something)

None of that was really mentioned in the OP other than kind of an oblique reference to RC scrolls being useless past the early game for non-ash chars (mostly true) and being less likely to generate past the early game (I have no statistics on that, but I don't share that experience) I'm not sure how "Ash using an item that's otherwise not very useful" is something that's bad such that it's removal is a benefit. In short I reject the OP's notion that Ash's reliance on RC scrolls is a drawback from a game design perspective, obviously not having an RC scroll when you want one is a drawback for the player, but that's kind of the point.
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Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 00:00

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Perhaps Ashenzari binding should be permanent. Once you bind a slot, you can never equip or unequip the slot. This would be similar to a Ru sacrifice in terms of permanence. Some consideration would be needed about transformations and slot mutations.

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Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 03:45

Re: Ashenzari Reform

My personal motivation for a change like this is that I've long seen Ash's reliance on remove curse scrolls to curse equipment (but not necessarily to uncurse it) as a huge problem for Ash... especially in the early portion of games where remove curse scrolls aren't generated in the first 8-10 levels of the dungeon. Not only are there not any significant immediate benefits, but the player can't hardly even build piety in preparation for the eventual generation of a scroll. Picking Ash in a game like that is roughly equivalent to having to complete the early game without a god, as a species balanced around the assumption that they'll have god benefits (i.e. a non-demigod).

There's also an impact on the curse minigame for non-Ash characters, as the extreme difference in demand means that a single drop rate will tend to over-provide for non-Ash characters, under-provide for Ash characters, or both. If the curse minigame is ever going to be interesting enough to be worth keeping in the game for most characters, this problem has to be addressed.

As to your complaint, there's a big difference between being able to pay a piety cost an infinite number of times over an infinite number of turns and being able to pay a piety cost an infinite number of times over a finite number of turns. Put more practically, the impact on Ashenzari's usefulness as a god of not finding any remove curse scrolls in the early game is no longer a concern if a player manages to progress to the point of being able to safely scum the abyss.

Also, a piety cost is more impactful than the use of a remove curse scroll, because piety loss weakens (and in some cases revokes) divine abilities, whereas the use of a remove curse scroll has no impact on ability potency. Consider this example: an unreasonably patient player farms the abyss until they collect 15000 scrolls of remove curse. Now, they can uncurse, swap, and recurse their equipment hundreds of times in quick succession without so much as a dent in the effectiveness of Ash's support. Compare to the piety costs I suggested, and the player could do that swap routine at most 6 times in quick succession, and would temporarily sacrifice nearly all of the benefits of being cursed in the first place. It's not the same. In the former case, there's no need to strategically decide to leave certain pieces of equipment uncursed, but in the latter, there is (assuming there're multiple desirable pieces of equipment competing for slots, of course; otherwise the entire question is moot).

--------

Permanent bindings would be highly impractical at best, IMO. You'd have to choose between trying to complete the game using beginner equipment or postponing god benefits until you'd already found endgame-quality gear. Ash would become even more of a late-game exclusive god than Jiyva.

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Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 14:09

Re: Ashenzari Reform

The first thing you guys have to understand is that all the things you think are interconnected are actually totally unrelated and separate issues. They can be considered totally independently. Indeed, they have to be.

Now you may think it makes sense to do what you're talking about first, but in order to do that thing, you have to have this other particular thing in mind and that thing actually has to be done first. In fact, all the separate and unrelated issues above are also being considered here in the wrong order. The fact is to do any one of these things, you have to do another one first. If you really think it through, you'll find this whole thing is impossible.

Now if you want to get really serious about this, you're going to have to get buy in from a lot of different parties. The main thrust of what you're saying: Never gonna happen. No one is going to get on board with that. But this small piece I mentioned before? You may think it wouldn't actually amount to anything, but that will be a Strong, Well Received Move. And I know something about Strong, Well Received Moves.
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Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 16:17

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll respond to different points below.
watertreatmentRL wrote:This is a variation on another, in my opinion better, proposal. There is a slot locking proposal where instead of using curses on items to make things work, you "bind" equipment slots directly locking them so that you cannot change what's in them without unlocking them first. This would allow you to lock your slots empty. You would then have god abilities that lock and unlock with piety costs.

This is interesting. As far as I can tell, this would have only two significant differences from what I've proposed, both of them positive:
1. An unarmed fighter could lock one or both of their hands for piety and an unarmed bonus.
2. A player in the early game could choose to lock slots for which they haven't yet found equipment, allowing them to get piety faster (currently with Ashenzari, it can be a good idea to curse whatever's around in the early game and/or rely on not-too-detrimental precursed items).
Otherwise, the two proposals would be the same, i.e., locking a slot with something equipped would be functionally the same as cursing or binding an equipped item. I would support this proposal, but poetically I prefer "bind" to "lock".

watertreatmentRL wrote:Why have a second god that basically just boosts your skills? It cries out for the Pakellas solution.

It's a cliche on this forum that almost any proposal to reform anything will get a "just remove it" response. I think Ash is unique and interesting; as I said, playing with an Ash-worshipping character changes the game pretty substantially, even if it's not necessarily optimal. Other responses on this thread indicate that I'm not the only one who appreciates this dynamic. Maybe Ash just isn't to your taste? I'm the same way with Fedhas. I've found Ash especially helpful for hybrid characters who rely on melee to kill and want to branch into whatever support magic they find. You get to mindelay on a weapon as well as the various defense thresholds faster, and with fully bound jewelry it's trivial to get low- to mid-level spells online in a variety of schools. Anyway, it strikes me as a little strange that you call for removal after proposing such a nice modification to my proposal.

Nekoatl wrote:I would suggest making binding free and available at ------, and make un-binding moderately expensive and available at *----- (maybe 30 piety or so, i.e. enough to reset piety to 0 if used immediately when acquired). So, a player could choose to bind everything immediately to maximize piety gain, but every time they wanted to switch a piece of equipment, they'd have to pay a big chunk of that. Alternately, they could take a more conservative approach and only bind items they didn't expect to swap for a long while, gaining piety more slowly, but keeping it.

Thanks for this, this seems like precisely the appropriate piety cost-structure.

watertreatmentRL wrote:edit: regarding the divinations effects, in my opinion they provide almost no value. Knowing where monsters you haven't seen are makes almost no difference by the time those effects are available. Knowing where monsters you have seen but cannot currently see makes even less difference. Knowing where traps you haven't seen are makes still less difference. The portal effects are sometimes useful, but mainly in optional parts of the game. For example, they provide almost no value for finding timed portals because you have usually have magic mapping enough to deal with those few floors that have them.

In my opinion, this is the kind of means-ends logic that will eventually destroy the game. Let's just make the only species minotaur and the only god Trog so everyone can optimally gun for a win every time they play. If that seems absurd to you, it's the kind of conclusion you're headed towards when you think like this.

Siegurt wrote:I think giving ash something directly useful when things are already pear-shaped would go miles towards making it a top notch god. Thematically there's lots of choices (I'd suggest something in the realm of preventing monsters from moving, without actually paralyzing them, would be interesting, or alternately petrification, if we want to make it a more powerful ability)

This would be interesting to explore, although I question whether it's really necessary. I feel like a lot of Ash benefits (see my hybrid comments above) are good but "unsexy" in the same way that demigods are.

Siegurt wrote:The OP is really "lets remove curses, here's a way to handle ash if we do so"

I think you have it backwards, but maybe I'm insufficiently aware of my own motives. I had thought about reforming Ash before, maybe simply by allowing the player to curse 1d3 items on joining to alleviate the possibility of not finding scrolls, but as I said, what pushed me to write this was that great sword of holy wrath. This caused me to ask myself why curses existed at all; not finding a good reason, I guessed that Ashenzari was at least partly responsible. But the main thrust of the proposal is to improve Ashenzari, and I would want to see these improvements regardless of whether curses remained in the game or not.

Siegurt wrote:So breaking this down we have two proposals:
1. Reflavor "curse" to "binding" and remove the interaction with holy weapons.
2. Give Ash abilities to deal with cursing/binding irrespective of the presence of consumables for that purpose, with the intention of removing Ash's dependency on the curse/binding system, so that it can be removed ultimately.

I think this is basically accurate, except for your attribution of motive in 2. The more important thing for me is that Ash not have a good/evil association at all, because that's not consistent flavour, and that Ash's cursing/locking/binding abilities don't depend on consumables because it can lead to arbitrarily difficult situations with those trying to worship the god. Ash is good and cool and works but needs tweaking. Even 'optimized', I think Ash is destined to remain a niche choice, and as such we don't need to punish early Ash worshippers with the possibility of having useless god simply because of Floorgod's whim.

Nekoatl wrote:The way I read the OP, it doesn't propose to remove curses, but rather to decouple Ashenzari from curses. As I read the proposal, there would be 4 combinations of cursed/uncursed and bound/unbound on equipment, of which only "uncursed and unbound" items could be removed. Holy-branded weapons can't be cursed, but could be bound.

This is a reading of the proposal consistent with my own reading. Thank you for paying attention.

Siegurt wrote:None of that was really mentioned in the OP other than kind of an oblique reference to RC scrolls being useless past the early game for non-ash chars (mostly true) and being less likely to generate past the early game (I have no statistics on that, but I don't share that experience) I'm not sure how "Ash using an item that's otherwise not very useful" is something that's bad such that it's removal is a benefit. In short I reject the OP's notion that Ash's reliance on RC scrolls is a drawback from a game design perspective, obviously not having an RC scroll when you want one is a drawback for the player, but that's kind of the point.

My experience with Ash is what led me to reflect on the role of scrolls of remove curse more generally. I didn't mean to literally suggest that RC scrolls generate less after the early game; I tried (apparently ineffectively) to make a joking reference to the common crawl experience of confirmation in which you always find bardings except when you play a naga or centaur, or find sweet unrands that your character can't use. In the same way you always seem to have tons of scrolls of remove curse except when you worship Ash. I personally don't like when bad item-generation rolls totally handicap a god, as can happen with Ash and Fedhas, but of course you're welcome to disagree.

chequers wrote:Perhaps Ashenzari binding should be permanent. Once you bind a slot, you can never equip or unequip the slot. This would be similar to a Ru sacrifice in terms of permanence. Some consideration would be needed about transformations and slot mutations.

I don't like this; too similar to Ru, as you note, and too drastic.

watertreatmentRL wrote:The first thing you guys have to understand is that all the things you think are interconnected are actually totally unrelated and separate issues. They can be considered totally independently. Indeed, they have to be.

Now you may think it makes sense to do what you're talking about first, but in order to do that thing, you have to have this other particular thing in mind and that thing actually has to be done first. In fact, all the separate and unrelated issues above are also being considered here in the wrong order. The fact is to do any one of these things, you have to do another one first. If you really think it through, you'll find this whole thing is impossible.

Now if you want to get really serious about this, you're going to have to get buy in from a lot of different parties. The main thrust of what you're saying: Never gonna happen. No one is going to get on board with that. But this small piece I mentioned before? You may think it wouldn't actually amount to anything, but that will be a Strong, Well Received Move. And I know something about Strong, Well Received Moves.

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to here. If it's about the locking proposal, I hope you can confirm or deny my reading of it above. Otherwise, for now we're just talking. We haven't reached anything close to a consensus yet, letalone a will to try to organize politically to make the change happen. But if I do decide to agitate, I'll seek your counsel first, since you seem to be an expert.

Thanks again for the feedback! This has been a good discussion so far, and hopefully it can continue that way.

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Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 16:30

Re: Ashenzari Reform

I would like to reform Ashenzari into nothingness, but that probably won't happen. A good test for god removal is "if this wasn't in the game, would we introduce it?" and there's basically no way that Ashenzari would be brought into the game resembling anything like it's current form.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 303

Joined: Thursday, 16th June 2011, 18:36

Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 17:24

Re: Ashenzari Reform

I love Ashenzari. I hope to win with Ash someday. In particular, "Passwalling stabber" is a gameplay style that is unique to Ash. Improve as you will but please don't remove.
Won with: KeAE^Sif, NaWz^Sif, NaTm^Chei, SpEn^Nmlx, GrEE^Qaz, HOFE^Veh, MiBe^Trog, DrFE^Hep, FoFi^Zin.
In Progress: a FoFi of Zin, who ascended.
Long-term goal: complete the pantheon.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 329

Joined: Thursday, 16th February 2017, 15:23

Post Monday, 17th July 2017, 17:46

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Try it with a formicid.
*Lana Del Rey voice* , video games...

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1207

Joined: Sunday, 14th April 2013, 04:01

Post Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 18:17

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Ash is bonkers cool. The literal only issue is the cursing thing. That's replaced with binding. *shrugggggggg*
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Sunday, 11th September 2016, 17:21

Post Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 19:36

Re: Ashenzari Reform

Btw, Fedhas worshipers without fruits are not handicapped anywhere near as severely as Ashenzari worshipers without remove curse scrolls. All Fedhas worshippers really need to build piety or assert dominance over a floor are corpses; a stack of fruit just allows an extra boost of power or an alternative method of seeding when corpses aren't available.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 318

Joined: Thursday, 12th June 2014, 06:56

Post Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 22:57

Re: Ashenzari Reform

One possible idea re: piety costs for unbinding/uncursing: make it depend on how long (either time or XP-based) you've had the item/slot cursed/bound. The fundamental problem with a piety cost for uncursing is that it needs to be enough to make tactical swapping unsustainable, but not enough that it makes strategic swapping impossible. A decaying piety cost would accomplish that more easily.

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bel

Vestibule Violator

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Joined: Tuesday, 3rd February 2015, 22:05

Post Wednesday, 19th July 2017, 11:48

Re: Ashenzari Reform

I think Gods should have a basic theme. Ash's theme (which makes sense to me) is sacrifice some tactical ability (giving up item swapping) to gain strategic flexibility (skill boost, skill transfer) and generally strong character. Scry is a tactical ability, but one oddball ability is fine as long as it's vaguely thematic.

With this theme in mind, the OP seems a good proposal to me; as are other proposals made in the past. I think the scroll mechanic is more annoying than it needs to be, but remove curse scrolls are also plentiful enough that it mostly doesn't matter. The frustrating cases, where you don't find enough remove curse scrolls, can be mostly mitigated by spawning a remove curse scroll on Ash altars, or gifting one when you join, for instance. Nemelex gifts a deck almost immediately after joining, and Trog altars sometimes have a book with apportation, so there's precedent for this kind of thing.

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