Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind


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bt

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Post Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 09:26

Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Currently using whirlwind outside Serpent Lash and Heavenly Storm is rarely a good play, because increase in damage output usually doesn't compensate for bad positioning. Also, in my opinion, Wu Jian as a whole if not exactly weak (Serpent Lash is all kinds of amazing) is a bit bland.

Suggestion:
Add some kind of defensive debuff to whirlwind attacks. Defensive nature is important to present some tradeoff for actively making your positioning worse. It's also important for the debuff to not interfere with enemy movement (as pin did) or give the player an ability to stab, since whirlwind is too low cost for that. In general debuff shouldn't be so strong, that it becomes the main reason to perform whirlwind, but rather it should be a reason to consider doing whirlwinds at all in a situation, where you can just fight enemies one on one instead.

Possible candidates:
1. Monster version of Vertigo: reduced accuracy, small chance to fail spellcasting (possibly checking to affect only enemies who can be silenced)
2. Redirection, disorientation: small chance for monster melee attack to target a random adjacent square instead of the player (my favourite, very Jackie Chan-esque, probably the hardest to implement)
3. Disarm: chance to drop weapons (maybe also shields?) for weapon weilding monsters, small damage penalty otherwise
4. Stun: holy word daze-like debuff that only affects attacks
5. Something else, suggestions are welcome

Also would be nice to have a stronger version of this debuff during Heavenly Storm, cause currently Storm is a bit lackluster.

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Post Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 14:10

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

When I play Wu I tend to wirlwind all the time, because you can deal damage whilst slowly backing away, and you can deal pseudo-cleaving damage. The only positional disadvantage is not being able to use kill-holes. TBH this does really hurt, taking 2x damage whilst dealing 1.6x damage isn't very good. The 20% damage reduction also hurts.

Most of my WU experience is in bcrawl where the 20% damage reduction was removed and Heavenly Storm is much cheaper. I noticed that any kind of vampirism is really good on Wu, because the difficulty isn't in killing enemies but in keeping your HP up. Making Heavenly Storm cheaper does solve the problem of it being lackluster, though I understand you're looking for other solutions.

I'll suggest another defensive debuff for wu: The player gets extra EV when using martial attacks. As a result monsters miss more often :) I recall the devs thought 15EV was too much (hence they blocked the amulet of the acrobat on wu-attacks) but maybe +8EV could be balanced. Also I'd like to see Wu give Acrobat as a passive, for extra EV on non-attack movement.

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Post Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 21:04

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Personally I think that the entire point of taking Wu Jian previously was for the old pin effect, without it, the god is worthless, and whirlwind is now not worth using ever.

I would just remove Wu Jian entirely, if pin was too powerful, then the god didn't work at all, and needs to go. There' s literally nothing that's not already as or more powerful as pin was that you could put in it's place that would ever make me take wu jian again (which is a shame, because I liked the god with pin for enchanters)
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bt

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 09:23

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

petercordia wrote:When I play Wu I tend to wirlwind all the time, because you can deal damage whilst slowly backing away, and you can deal pseudo-cleaving damage. The only positional disadvantage is not being able to use kill-holes. TBH this does really hurt, taking 2x damage whilst dealing 1.6x damage isn't very good. The 20% damage reduction also hurts.


Yeah, it sort of plays that way for me as well. That is, whirlwind is either incidental no-choice-required while backing away or irrelevant pseudo-cleave against tab-fodder, against dangerous stuff it's just a bad move that gives them multiple rolls against your char, not ideal with crawl swingy combat being what it is (same problem with the wall jump - extra damage isn't worth the extra risk).

petercordia wrote:I'll suggest another defensive debuff for wu: The player gets extra EV when using martial attacks. As a result monsters miss more often :) I recall the devs thought 15EV was too much (hence they blocked the amulet of the acrobat on wu-attacks) but maybe +8EV could be balanced. Also I'd like to see Wu give Acrobat as a passive, for extra EV on non-attack movement.


I tried to keep debuff monster side only to somewhat reward the player for hitting many targets at once, which currently is a no-no in ordinary circumstances. I really like your passive Acrobat idea (something like +10EV total, scaling with piety), very much on theme and can make WJC worth picking for tankiness on caster/ranged characters, though I don't think it should work with martial attacks, it would be quite strong as is.

Siegurt wrote:Personally I think that the entire point of taking Wu Jian previously was for the old pin effect, without it, the god is worthless, and whirlwind is now not worth using ever.

I would just remove Wu Jian entirely, if pin was too powerful, then the god didn't work at all, and needs to go. There' s literally nothing that's not already as or more powerful as pin was that you could put in it's place that would ever make me take wu jian again (which is a shame, because I liked the god with pin for enchanters)


I can see how pin would be the main reason to pick WJC (though serpent lash is very-very good, and IMO is an ok-ish reason to pick the god now), but I'm against the removal, since the whole martial arts theme has so broad an appeal, that it'll crop up again in one way or another. Might as well work with what we have currently.

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 09:35

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

bt wrote:
petercordia wrote:I'll suggest another defensive debuff for wu: The player gets extra EV when using martial attacks. As a result monsters miss more often :) I recall the devs thought 15EV was too much (hence they blocked the amulet of the acrobat on wu-attacks) but maybe +8EV could be balanced. Also I'd like to see Wu give Acrobat as a passive, for extra EV on non-attack movement.


I tried to keep debuff monster side only to somewhat reward the player for hitting many targets at once, which currently is a no-no in ordinary circumstances. I really like your passive Acrobat idea (something like +10EV total, scaling with piety), very much on theme and can make WJC worth picking for tankiness on caster/ranged characters, though I don't think it should work with martial attacks, it would be quite strong as is.


First you said that wirlwind needs a buff, and now you say that getting bonus EV from wirlwind would be too strong because wirlwind is strong enough as it is :?: Slightly confused. Surely there is some amount of EV for wirlwind that would be balanced, whether that be 0EV (no buff needed) or 10EV, or somewhere in-between.

Compare with Oka heroism, which easily gives a few points of AC, EV & SH whilst also boosting offence

bt

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 16:08

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

petercordia wrote:First you said that wirlwind needs a buff, and now you say that getting bonus EV from wirlwind would be too strong because wirlwind is strong enough as it is :?: Slightly confused. Surely there is some amount of EV for wirlwind that would be balanced, whether that be 0EV (no buff needed) or 10EV, or somewhere in-between.

Compare with Oka heroism, which easily gives a few points of AC, EV & SH whilst also boosting offence


Ah sorry, that's just me explaining myself poorly, I think EV from whirlwind is a fine idea, though it mostly does the same thing as applying accuracy penalty on enemies, and I think applying effects to enemies is preferable to applying them to player character, less possibility of degenerate things, like keeping a weak monster near you to buff your EV and such.

The passive Acrobat thing I assumed was not connected to whirlwind as such, so just for mechanical consistency and balance reasons it would be better that it didn't work with martial attacks IMO, remember there's also stuff like lunge and wall jump. I also think there is a value that will make it ok to work with them, but that value will probably be low enough to make it not very exciting to have the rest of the time. Like having +3 or +4EV Acrobat is ok, but not exciting enough for me :).

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 16:19

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

so my initial proposal dealt with both of these, so perhaps it wasn't clear enough. It was:
1. get 8 EV when using a wu-attack
AND 2. get 15 EV when moving (without wu-attack)
(of course numbers can be adjusted if they're too big)

this way: it's never encouraged to drag a weak monster along, and the free acrobat is large enough to be exciting

bt

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 17:45

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Ok, got it, numbers feel two times bigger than what I would think is sensible (+8EV is free ring of Phasing), and I still think debilitating effect on enemies is better than player buff. Though your idea has the benefit of being way easier to communicate to player and balance.

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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 18:00

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Wu is my favourite god because he can reset high danger fights to isolate, lash to stairs, lash to shops, and his fog takes one turn to block LOS rather than two. I think Wu is the strongest deity on naga casters, and significantly stronger than Vehumet because lash is equivalent to +2 cast range and causes less noise than power leap, allowing stealthies to isolate aggro :) One way to nerf Wu would be to halve the charges of all acid wands, lower the frost wand drop rate, increase the LOS on his clouds by a radius of 1, or - much as I love the risk-reward of saving gold to seek out rP/heal wounds/wands/haste with lash - to buff mimics.

Gozag gold should also scale less at higher HD, or reimpliment scaling potion costs. I would gladly pay 400g for a heal wounds consumable.

Basically Wu is a top tier god on anything that relies on mana, with lower variance than Sif. An alternative nerf would be for Wu to ban the use of ALL wands! Say, 100 piety loss per wand use. This could make Vehumet as viable than Wu. (Assuming optimal noise management and positioning.) Allowing long blade enemies to riposté, and the force lance changes would also nerf Wu. Causing the second charge of serpent's lash to timeout after 1aut would also nerf Wu where it counts.
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Post Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 19:15

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

FakerFangirl wrote:Wu is my favourite god because he can reset high danger fights to isolate, lash to stairs, lash to shops, and his fog takes one turn to block LOS rather than two. I think Wu is the strongest deity on naga casters, and significantly stronger than Vehumet because lash is equivalent to +2 cast range and causes less noise than power leap, allowing stealthies to isolate aggro :) One way to nerf Wu would be to halve the charges of all acid wands, lower the frost wand drop rate, increase the LOS on his clouds by a radius of 1, or - much as I love the risk-reward of saving gold to seek out rP/heal wounds/wands/haste with lash - to buff mimics.

Gozag gold should also scale less at higher HD, or reimpliment scaling potion costs. I would gladly pay 400g for a heal wounds consumable.

Basically Wu is a top tier god on anything that relies on mana, with lower variance than Sif. An alternative nerf would be for Wu to ban the use of ALL wands! Say, 100 piety loss per wand use. This could make Vehumet as viable than Wu. (Assuming optimal noise management and positioning.) Allowing long blade enemies to riposté, and the force lance changes would also nerf Wu. Causing the second charge of serpent's lash to timeout after 1aut would also nerf Wu where it counts.

Note that Wu *was* just recently nerfed (pin was removed from whirlwind) and there's not a really strong contingent that thinks [s]he's significantly overpowered at this point, so I don't know that [s]he needs to be nerfed further. (Also I'm not really sure why Gozag's relevant to this thread, maybe that was just something that crossed your mind while writing?)

And certainly serpent's lash is more of an advantage on characters with slow movement (as was pin). Veh's not really that impressive for anyone (Naga or not), overall [s]he's pretty lackluster (I would rather have Goz, Sif, Kiku, Makhleb, Fedhas, Ru, and probably some others that don't immediately pop into my head, for spellcaster-type starts than Veh).

I'm not sure how you draw the conclusion that Wu is top tier for "mana reliant" people than non, not to say your wrong, I just don't understand your argument from this tidbit (lash is good for literally anyone, as is the heavenly clouds, but they're both fairly piety intensive, so you can't use them super liberally)
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vt

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Post Thursday, 18th June 2020, 19:42

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

I just don't understand your argument from this tidbit (lash is good for literally anyone, as is the heavenly clouds, but they're both fairly piety intensive, so you can't use them super liberally


IIUC the code, Serpent's Lash is 2-3 piety. For comparison Heroism, which I often see regarded as pretty spammable, is 1-2 piety. I would call those both fairly cheap but I suppose sensibilities differ.

Regarding giving whirlwind an EV bonus: seems to me the game already asks you to trade off improved offense vs improved defense in many places (shields, harm, spells vs armour, casting in armour vs archmagi). I think it would be good if something were said about about how this proposal does something interestingly new.

I am having trouble articulating this to my satisfaction, but I also suspect this sort of decision makes more sense as part of long-term character-building than as part of turn-by-turn tactical decision making. It's easy to get a "feel" for the difference between wearing robes and wearing plate. OTOH I suspect the game doesn't give you enough information about monster accuracy and how it interacts with player EV to make intelligent decisions about when to make tradeoffs between EV and damage on a monster by monster basis. (Assuming the bonus is not so good you clearly always want to take it against monsters that check EV, which would effectively make it not a tactical decision. I certainly feel like *I* would be a bit at a loss; maybe I'm just being slow on the uptake.)

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Post Thursday, 18th June 2020, 20:42

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

vt wrote:IIUC the code, Serpent's Lash is 2-3 piety. For comparison Heroism, which I often see regarded as pretty spammable, is 1-2 piety. I would call those both fairly cheap but I suppose sensibilities differ.
Well, spammable-ness aside why is it particularly good for mana users? (Rather than say "people who like to attack at range" or "people in light armour" or any other category)

Regarding spammablility: 1.5 average piety cost vs 2.5 average piety cost is 60% more piety than heroism on average per use, and heroism takes one use per encounter, which might be several creatures, lash might be effectively employed more than once per *creature* unless you're using it "just very dangerous situations" or "just to escape" which isn't spamming it liberally, which is fine. I think specific situations it's more powerful than heroism, so that's totally justified, but not what I would call 'spammable' (I call something 'spammable' if you can use it in nearly any situation which it might be significantly helpful without running yourself out, which is what I feel like you get out of heroism)
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Post Thursday, 18th June 2020, 22:10

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

vt wrote:Regarding giving whirlwind an EV bonus: seems to me the game already asks you to trade off improved offense vs improved defense in many places (shields, harm, spells vs armour, casting in armour vs archmagi). I think it would be good if something were said about about how this proposal does something interestingly new.

I am having trouble articulating this to my satisfaction, but I also suspect this sort of decision makes more sense as part of long-term character-building than as part of turn-by-turn tactical decision making. It's easy to get a "feel" for the difference between wearing robes and wearing plate. OTOH I suspect the game doesn't give you enough information about monster accuracy and how it interacts with player EV to make intelligent decisions about when to make tradeoffs between EV and damage on a monster by monster basis. (Assuming the bonus is not so good you clearly always want to take it against monsters that check EV, which would effectively make it not a tactical decision. I certainly feel like *I* would be a bit at a loss; maybe I'm just being slow on the uptake.)

With the EV bonus, wu-walking around enemies would grant both increased offence and increased defence, whilst wu-walking around a single enemy would give increased defence at the cost of increased offence.

My experience with Wu is that fights are engaging and enemies keep dying but I slowly bleed health and eventually I have to disengage in a somewhat anticlimactic manner. The evasion bonus would allow you to keep going a bit longer. Getting acrobat might make running away feel better, because you're "using the God power".

Aesthetically, Wu worshippers shouldn't be be standing still. That is, it should be better to to dance around than to stand in a corridor. As a player, I'll play like this regardless of whether it is optimal, unless martial attacks are completely unworkable. As such, getting bonus evasion when moving would feel (to me) like just getting a defence boost and knowing I'll lose the boost when standing still. I suspect you would still be able to use your game-feel, because standing still would feel like not worshipping Wu (as it currently does too). When you're doing martial attacks you're a proper wu worshipper, and when you're standing still you're not. You have plenty of experience of what non-wu feels like, and if you follow wu and wu gives a certain bonus, then you also know what that bonus feels like. Like with Oka you know what Heroism feels like and you also know what you feel like without divine buffs. I have very little insight in what heroism actually does to hit-chance and damage etc, but I still know what Heroism feels like.

FYI the magnitude of 15EV was based on the idea of "getting an amulet power" like some other gods give +berserk or +repel missiles

vt

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Post Friday, 19th June 2020, 06:04

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Siegurt, I didn't mean to start a whole argument about what "piety intensive" means. I only wanted to clarify in case someone heard the phrase the way I did and would. If that's not you, that's fine.

> With the EV bonus, wu-walking around enemies would grant both increased offence and increased defence, whilst wu-walking around a single enemy would give increased defence at the cost of increased offence.

I was primarily talking about making that decision with one enemy. It's fair enough that with more enemies there is something different compared with shields/harm/etc, in that you're exposing yourself to more enemies to do more damage overall.

But I think I slipped into the other way of thinking because you rarely want to expose yourself to more enemies than you have to. If whirlwinding gave you a big enough ev boost to offset the lowered damage and increased exposure that's fine, but you'd still then be better off whirlwinding one enemy at a time than several at once, whenever you can manage it. And if the boost actually makes it worth it in the many enemies case, it's likely to make it worth whirlwinding instead of tabbing in the single enemy case too.

If the ability is meant to give incentive to expose yourself to multiple enemies at once, perhaps it should only work when you're actually doing that, or its penalty or boost should scale with the number of enemies hit. (But then one starts to worry about problems with kiting trivial enemies around....)

> it should be better to to dance around than to stand in a corridor.

This seems to be the picture someone had when designing Wu, but it seems to me hard to reconcile this with the constraints that heavy use of tab and autoexplore should not be systematically and frequently suboptimal (which iirc you can see a bit in the original discussions, and I assume is still wanted) and (apparently?) that the abilities should not have something effectively like a piety cost.

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bt

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Post Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:55

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

vt wrote:> it should be better to to dance around than to stand in a corridor.

This seems to be the picture someone had when designing Wu, but it seems to me hard to reconcile this with the constraints that heavy use of tab and autoexplore should not be systematically and frequently suboptimal (which iirc you can see a bit in the original discussions, and I assume is still wanted) and (apparently?) that the abilities should not have something effectively like a piety cost.


The o-tab constraint seems like such a weird thing. O-tabbing is probably the least interesting and interactive part of a run, and optimizing for it just doesn't sound right to me. I can see how the mechanic itself is inevitable in a game like crawl, where two characters can have a huge difference in power at the same point in the run, but it doesn't mean things should be balanced around it, IMO.

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Post Friday, 19th June 2020, 20:12

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

bt wrote:
vt wrote:> it should be better to to dance around than to stand in a corridor.

This seems to be the picture someone had when designing Wu, but it seems to me hard to reconcile this with the constraints that heavy use of tab and autoexplore should not be systematically and frequently suboptimal (which iirc you can see a bit in the original discussions, and I assume is still wanted) and (apparently?) that the abilities should not have something effectively like a piety cost.


The o-tab constraint seems like such a weird thing. O-tabbing is probably the least interesting and interactive part of a run, and optimizing for it just doesn't sound right to me. I can see how the mechanic itself is inevitable in a game like crawl, where two characters can have a huge difference in power at the same point in the run, but it doesn't mean things should be balanced around it, IMO.

Sadly the amount of popcorn enemies spawned in a game of Crawl is immutable...

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2020, 00:42

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

Siegurt wrote:Note that Wu *was* just recently nerfed (pin was removed from whirlwind) and there's not a really strong contingent that thinks [s]he's significantly overpowered


Wu is actually the one god for whom pronouns are unambiguous. As per lore, "The Wu Jian Council is a congregation of martial monks." So you can refer to Wu as they/them (the members of the council) or it (the council as a body)..

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2020, 01:29

Re: Add debuff to Wu Jian's whirlwind

monkeytor wrote:
Siegurt wrote:Note that Wu *was* just recently nerfed (pin was removed from whirlwind) and there's not a really strong contingent that thinks [s]he's significantly overpowered


Wu is actually the one god for whom pronouns are unambiguous. As per lore, "The Wu Jian Council is a congregation of martial monks." So you can refer to Wu as they/them (the members of the council) or it (the council as a body)..

Fair enough.
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