Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size


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Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 24th April 2014, 14:54

Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

In its current state Animate Skeleton is one of the few L1 spells that is valuable throughout the game and in fact gets stronger the deeper you go. It also requires minimal investment to cast so it's almost always a good idea to pick it up if it's available.

I propose that it has a 50% chance to fail on monsters of SIZE_LARGE (trolls/ogres/centaurs/nagas) and completely fail on anything larger (giants/dragons/etc.). Even if it fails it should still create chunks since that can be useful but it can give a message like "the skeleton sways and immediately collapses!"

This change would still give it some utility before a necromancer gets Animate Dead on line as you'd have a chance at getting an early ogre skeleton but would prevent the 1MP = iron dragon skeleton ally later in the game.

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Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 24th April 2014, 20:28

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

why not just tie the chance to fail on spellpower rather than just flat out make the spell useless lategame?

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 24th April 2014, 21:08

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

did you read the post or just the topic title? making the spell flat out useless lategame is the entire point of argonaut's suggestion

i don't like making size matter for more things though (i strongly believe that monster size should not exist at all), and it wouldn't really solve the problem anyway (lots of late game stuff is normal size or smaller) and the exact same problem exists with animate dead etc. so there needs to be a general solution for all these necromancy spells and also it needs to actually work which size wouldn't really

Snake Sneak

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Post Thursday, 24th April 2014, 21:46

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

If you didn't want it to depend on size you could change it so the animate * spells actually had spell power and would animate up to say pow/10 HD creatures. That way a max power (200) Animate Dead could get titans and a max power (50) Animate Skeleton would get ogres (but not ogre mages or two-headed ogres which might be hard to explain).

Checking size seems like a simpler path, at least for Animate Skeleton.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Thursday, 24th April 2014, 21:59

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

duvessa wrote:did you read the post or just the topic title? making the spell flat out useless lategame is the entire point of argonaut's suggestion

i don't like making size matter for more things though (i strongly believe that monster size should not exist at all), and it wouldn't really solve the problem anyway (lots of late game stuff is normal size or smaller) and the exact same problem exists with animate dead etc. so there needs to be a general solution for all these necromancy spells and also it needs to actually work which size wouldn't really

HD would be a better metric for a "stronger monsters are harder/impossible to animate" system, though it's still not perfect.

EDIT: as argonaut just beat me to saying >_>

Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:12

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

The notion that Animate skeleton is overpowered or that it needs such a hamfisted nerf is uncomprehensible to me. The spell is already quite useless, unless one is a Kiku worshipper, in many late game branches where nothing leaves a corpse.

Furthermore, what is with this hostility that some people have towards low level spells that remain usefull for the whole game. If no such spells were available, there would be no incentive to get any spellcasting at all on a number of characters.

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:25

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

do you have any idea how much damage a stone giant skeleton does

Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:35

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Using spellpower seems good to me.

If doing this, the mechanics should be changed: you get one attempt at Animate Foo for each corpse. (Just say the corpse is too damaged if the spell fails to do anything with it.) An alternative: each corpse is secretly generated with a random spellpower needed to animate it. In either case, we have to worry that players swap in wizardry items in order to raise skeletons/zombies.

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:46

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Wizardry doesn't affect spellpower, skills (Necromancy and Spellcasting), Int and enhancers (staff of death, robe of Archmagi, lichform and being a mummy of certain XL) do.
Last edited by Sar on Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:47

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Sar: sorry, my bad. There is still item swapping though.

Sar

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 10:53

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Yeah, sure. I also forgot potions of brilliance.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 13:01

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

I guess you could roll your necromancy skill against the monster's HD in some way.
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Spider Stomper

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 13:17

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

duvessa wrote:did you read the post or just the topic title? making the spell flat out useless lategame is the entire point of argonaut's suggestion

Yes i read his post and if you actually read mine you'd realize that. Why so hostile?
The whole point of my post was "Why make a spell just flat out useless when there are better alternatives".
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 14:07

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

KittenInMyCerealz wrote:
duvessa wrote:did you read the post or just the topic title? making the spell flat out useless lategame is the entire point of argonaut's suggestion

Why so hostile?


Spoiler: show
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On a less sarcastic note, I agree with animate skeleton being too powerful late game, for what it's worth. Not really sure what he best change would be though.
Last edited by Tiktacy on Friday, 25th April 2014, 14:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Arrhythmia, giovform

Snake Sneak

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 14:27

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Another thought for using spell power would be to limit the skeleton/zombies HD to min(HD, pow/10) so you could still get an ettin skeleton but it would be noticably weaker.

The intent really is to prevent getting strong allies from a minimal skill investment. I think Animate Dead is pretty fine as it is, especially since it works on all corpses with one cast.

Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 19:42

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

If DeadMonsterHD<=PlayerNecromancySkill then success else fail;

Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 20:13

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

I don't really like the idea of giving the spell a chance to fail. Tying stuff to HD, monster size, etc, it's all very obscure and hard to communicate. So I'd just keep it as it is and make it work on every skeleton like it does now.

Instead, I would weaken how strong skeletons can be. Put a cap on how much HD and melee damage a skeleton can have. The cap should depend on spell power. The numbers would be such that early game skeletons wouldn't see much of a nerf, but things like iron dragon skeletons would be really weak compared to how they are now. Not _useless_ (they'd still act as fodder at least), but more suitable for a level 1 spell. The spell description, and the description for enemy skeletons would also inform you that basic animated skeletons are the weakest form of undead.

This would apply to enemy skeletons as well, which really don't need to show up as regular enemies anyway, except in places like ossuaries (where their low stats would make them reasonable for an early portal vault).

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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 21:09

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

^ Sounds like a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Skeletons/zombies are as a group by far the least interesting enemies.

dck

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 22:07

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Uh, I think this is a pretty strange position.
I would much rather see animate skeleton changed (or gone) because of how extremely powerful (and silly) it is in the early game than changing how it affects corpses late into the game where it really is nothing that has any relevant impact in basically any situation that actually happens.
Taking iron dragon skellies and whatnot into account, I think it can't be really debated that the ability to have gnoll and orc skellies in D: 2 and D: 3 is much stronger than any number of iron dragons you may skeletize when you're in hell after playing a character for hours.

How "powerful" aniskloton really is does not depend on the power of the creature animated alone, but how it compares to the power of the caster. Early on a weapon wielding gnoll pretty much means you can kill everyone on the floor no matter what and that the gnoll can kill a significant amount of people on his own; even though Ne is a extremely strong start, aniskloton can create minions that are on par or sometimes stronger than the caster himself for the whole early D. To me that is sheer madness and matters more than theoretical animated iron dragons in Dis.

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duvessa, Sandman25
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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 23:14

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

dck wrote:Uh, I think this is a pretty strange position.
I would much rather see animate skeleton changed (or gone) because of how extremely powerful (and silly) it is in the early game than changing how it affects corpses late into the game where it really is nothing that has any relevant impact in basically any situation that actually happens.
Taking iron dragon skellies and whatnot into account, I think it can't be really debated that the ability to have gnoll and orc skellies in D: 2 and D: 3 is much stronger than any number of iron dragons you may skeletize when you're in hell after playing a character for hours.

How "powerful" aniskloton really is does not depend on the power of the creature animated alone, but how it compares to the power of the caster. Early on a weapon wielding gnoll pretty much means you can kill everyone on the floor no matter what and that the gnoll can kill a significant amount of people on his own; even though Ne is a extremely strong start, aniskloton can create minions that are on par or sometimes stronger than the caster himself for the whole early D. To me that is sheer madness and matters more than theoretical animated iron dragons in Dis.


+1 for clarity at the very least.

With that explanation though, doesn't that yred seem even more op since he gives you animate dead(not skeletons) right off the bat(literally ;) )? Or is there some hidden nerf to it in their somewhere?
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 23:26

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Well, dck's point still stands. He didn't say that Animate Dead was overpowered, and gods are allowed to be (much) stronger than lvl 4 spells. Even right out of the gate. The question is whether animate skeleton as a lvl 1 spell, particularly one in a starting book, is overpowered.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 23:42

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Tiktacy wrote:With that explanation though, doesn't that yred seem even more op since he gives you animate dead(not skeletons) right off the bat(literally ;) )? Or is there some hidden nerf to it in their somewhere?
yes, it is in fact possible for more than one thing to be overpowered!

dck

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Post Friday, 25th April 2014, 23:50

Re: Proposal: make Animate Skeleton depend on size

Uh, 1* yred is a really strong thing to have in D:1 as are all the other starting gods, but gods have a high opportunity cost and condition a fair bit of things about your game, so they're allowed to be ridiculous (I don't like the way Yred in particular chooses to be ridiculous but he's ridiculous nonetheless). Also he doesn't give anided until 3*.

I have no sympathy for minion-creating spells (and yes they're all ridiculously overpowered), but out of them all I don't like aniskloton because its level and being part of a starter spellbook means it tends to be a pivotal part of a character's progress in the part of the game where every advantage counts. I think things that are not mechanically sound shouldn't be put under the spotlight like that because it means players have to resort to them instead to other, better designed options.
The situation is of course not as bad as it could be because Ne are silly and can often ignore skellies if they so desire, but if the spell were to see any changes I would like for it to try and become a bit better overall.

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