Proposal: Hijamseh, the Blade Collector


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 19:15

Proposal: Hijamseh, the Blade Collector

EDIT 1: Thanks to feedback, I changed the frequency at which weapon upgrades happen to be proportional to the size of your collection. Having less weapons in your collection won't mean anymore that they upgrade more often.


Hijamseh, the Blade Collector

I've been thinking about a hypothetical god that would enforce collecting good weapons (not hoarding them mindlessly though) and switching between different weapon types, even in battle. I love the weapon variety in Crawl, and when I get two awesome unrandarts on the same run I think I'm missing out on the fun. So Hijamseh would attempt to fill that niche :).

I haven't thought much about the flavor, but suffice to say Hijamseh is a divine collector of melee weapons, and despises ranged combat of any description, considering it cowardly. By joining him, you vow to help him increase his collection of exotic weapons, and in exchange he will grant knowledge and fighting technique, as well as occasionally lending you weapons of tremendous strength, and helping safeguard your own personal collection.


Piety gain
Killing while in Trance.
Training melee weapon skills.
Adding weapons to your Collection (the bigger it is, the more piety you gain through the other two conditions).

Piety loss
Inactivity
Using ranged attacks, spells, or evocables.
Breaking or losing a weapon granted by Hijamseh (breaking an artifact granted by him will land you in penance).

Prayer
Praying over a weapon will make it vanish and add it to your personal "Collection", which is safeguarded in his vaults. Your collection is a hidden inventory (you have no direct access to it, ever) that contains every weapon you sacrificed. It may contain up to three of each weapon type, with weapons of different handedness counting as a different type (for instance, a collection may have up to 3 daggers, 3 two-handed swords, 3 one-handed swords, 3 polearms, etc...). Shields can also be added to the collection. Trying to add more than the maximum will not be permitted, except when using Blade Dance, in which case you may temporarily surpass the maximum of that kind by one, but not more.
  Code:
Hijamseh will not store any more daggers for you.


You may indirectly access these weapons later on, through Hijamseh's active powers. Using these (mostly Blade Dance, which doesn't cost piety) you will be drawing random weapons from the collection constantly. There's a small chance to get a weapon you've never seen before from it (it can be branded, artifact, or a terrible -7/-7 weapon, anything goes). These weapons are from Hijamseh's own collection, and you may consider them a gift and add them to yours, throw them away, or do as you please with them. There is a minuscule chance that Hijamseh will grant you an unrandart or a super-artifact weapon, one with an impossible combination of brands or ridiculous amounts of power. If so, Hijamseh will sooner or later ask you to relinquish it. That, however, can be a good moment to give up worship, if you can live with the consequences of stealing from the supreme collector...

  Code:
Your +6, +7 Captain's Cutlass vanishes from your hand. You are now empty-handed.
Hijamseh grants you a weapon from his own collection!
You are now wielding -5/-5 club (weapon).
You enter a deep trance.


Followers of Hijamseh will often fall in a Trance state. Trance is a short duration condition in which the follower is infatuated with his current weapon, and is unable to unwield it or cast Blade Dance to send it back to the collection, and must remaing using it until the trance ends (although Steel Orchestra makes you able to swap it with others, and Shattering DIssonance to get rid of it, both at a price). Trances wouldn't last more than a few turns.

Powers

Piety level (-) "Steel Connoisseur"
  • Training a melee weapon skill trains every other weapon skill at 30% rate (0 piety, passive)
Piety level (*) "Edge Dancer"
  • Blade Dance: You send your currently equipped weapon (or weapon + shield) to your collection, and receive a random weapon from your collection in exchange. You are affected by the Trance state, which increases all your skills and reduces weapon delay for a small amount of turns. You can't use Blade Dance again or unwield your weapon while in Trance. The positive effects from Trance are proportional to the size of your collection (small food, 2 MP , active).
Piety level (**) "Weapon Collector"
  • Hijamseh may tinker with weapons you have added to the collection. Every now and then (measured by exp gain) Hijamseh will notify you that one of your weapons has been improved (higher enchantment, new brands, and very rarely improvements to randarts too). The chance is proportional to collection size, so having more weapons will mean more frequent improvements. (0 piety, passive)
Piety level (***) "Blade Conductor"
  • Steel Orchestra: Three random weapons from your collection are summoned as if affected by Tukima's Dance. There are two differences with Tukima's Dance: At the end of the duration, these weapons will vanish and rejoin the collection. Also, walking over an animated weapon will make you grab it out of the air, leaving your previous weapon behind (under the effect of this modified Tukima's) and renewing your Trance. This is the only way to switch weapons while in Trance (medium piety, medium food and MP, active).
Piety level (****) "Sword Virtuoso"
  • Shattering Dissonance: You unleash a powerful attack on an enemy, destroying your weapon in the process. The attack deals roughly 5 times normal damage, and in case of proc brands, it may proc them up to 5 times as the weapon shards pelt the enemy. A new weapon from your collection will appear in your hand. Be careful not to use this with weapons of Hijamseh's property, or you will incur in penance (medium piety, medium food and MP, active)
Piety level (*****) "Blade Maestro"
  • Steel Recital: Like with Blade Dance, your current weapon is sent to the collection and, in exchange, this time Hijamseh lends help in the form of an extremely powerful artifact weapon. That weapon, of a random type, is guaranteed to have a superb enchantment level (higher than what is normally permitted), and may have multiple brands at once and other impossible combinations. After a certain number of turns Hijamseh will request his weapon back. If you are unable to provide it (either because you lost it or broke it) you will incur penance. (High piety, food and MP, active).


Wrath:
Hijamseh has, so to speak, two levels of wrath. One is the normal wrath, which involves the following:
  • Paralyzing you or randomly decreasing your combat skills.
  • Summoning animated weapons to attack you (which will vanish when destroyed).
  • Corroding your weapons.

And then there's the second, super-pissed wrath, which will happen if you quit and keep one of his artifacts. This wrath will never completely disappear, and punishment won't stop until you leave the weapon behind. It will involve a more powerful version of all previous effects, including sending artifact weapons against you.


Notes on design:
I tried to think of mechanics that enforced a balance when it comes to weapon collection. It may seem optimal at first to fill it as soon as possible, but not really. Having a small collection lets you pick and choose the best of the best, so it will mean better random weapons. Less weapons means you can concentrate on a subset of weapon skills; it should be possible to play a dagger/sword/2hsword follower of Hijamseh with the 9 corresponding blades and 3 shields. However, going for many weapons greatly improves the effect of Trance, compensating the lack of weapon skills and making you more dangerous, and also helps gain piety faster, enabling you to use the active powers more. Lastly, the more weapons in your collection, the more likely Hijamseh will improve them.

Trance is designed both as a buff and as a way to force you to use what you've been given for a few turns at least, countering the tedium that would come with cycling weapons until getting the one you want. However, if you are completely screwed (such as Hijamseh lending you a rusty -5/-5 short sword) it is possible to use Steel Orchestra and grab another from the air, in exchange for some piety, or to shatter it (Hijamseh won't care if it's not an artifact he wants back).

I first thought of having you sustain the collection yourself by carrying the weapons on your inventory, but I think this method is more elegant and less fiddly. You never have direct knowledge of what lies in the collection, and I think it adds mystique that way. Of course you can write down what you add to it, but since Hijamseh can tinker with the weapons at will, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Lastly, I first thought of having Hijamseh immediately take away any weapon you have borrowed when you quit worshipping, but I think it's much more fun if you are able to steal from him, and have him relentlessly pursue you through the game until you give up the weapon.

So, what do you think? Does the idea have merit? Thanks!
Last edited by Steel Neuron on Thursday, 5th June 2014, 16:28, edited 2 times in total.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 20:25

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

It seems really wild and crazy, but that's a good thing for a god proposal.

Also seems like since he's improving your weapons, and you don't actually have to give him a lot of weapons(although that does slow your piety gain), it would seem optimal to just give him a weapon you want upgraded, and swap that periodically with another good weapon you want upgraded. So as you go through the game, he's just slowly upgrading these two weapons for you. I know that's what I would do, rather than watering it down by giving him tons of weapons. Maybe that could be addressed through piety gain mechanics though.

The extra severe wrath on stealing weapons is certainly unique.

This seems like a pretty well thought out proposal, and it's very unique from what I can see. Only problem is Gozag stole the G slot, so you'll need a new name for your god. How about Hrongar?

For this message the author damiac has received thanks:
Steel Neuron

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, 20:32

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

damiac wrote:It seems really wild and crazy, but that's a good thing for a god proposal.

Also seems like since he's improving your weapons, and you don't actually have to give him a lot of weapons(although that does slow your piety gain), it would seem optimal to just give him a weapon you want upgraded, and swap that periodically with another good weapon you want upgraded. So as you go through the game, he's just slowly upgrading these two weapons for you. I know that's what I would do, rather than watering it down by giving him tons of weapons. Maybe that could be addressed through piety gain mechanics though.

The extra severe wrath on stealing weapons is certainly unique.

This seems like a pretty well thought out proposal, and it's very unique from what I can see. Only problem is Gozag stole the G slot, so you'll need a new name for your god. How about Hrongar?


Thanks! The idea was to enforce bigger collections both through piety mechanics, and through the scaling of the Trance buff. If you have a big collection, your Trance is better, so you get greatly increased weapon skills and lower min delay. The idea is that, if you have a big collection, you can't realistically have very high weapon skills for everything, so Trance compensates somewhat by boosting your weapon skills. Obviously, there would be a lot of fine tuning so both ends of the spectrum are viable, (the one you propose having a very small set of weapons, and having a full-to-the-brim collection). It's also a possibility that Gijamseh may get bored if you don't add new weapons, and tend to grant you crappy white weapons more often to spice it up.

I wasn't sure if Gozag was going to make it, so I went for the G, but of course it can be changed :). What's the backstory on the name "Hrongar?"

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 09:07

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

Maybe this is an unimportant detail, but I was thinking of Blade Dance being castable when empty handed too, so you get a weapon but don't store any.

This would make it more consistent with casting Blade Dance when your weapons can't be stored anymore, in which case they will stay un your inventory, unwielded, and you will only get stuff from the collection.

Any more feedback on the proposal? :)

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 832

Joined: Wednesday, 17th April 2013, 13:28

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 10:07

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

My first reaction to this idea was that it's too fiddly. Now, I don't want to be dismissive - it's obvious that you spent a lot of effort to make it less fiddly (e.g. with the virtual collection), but IMO having to deal with so many items makes it unavoidably fiddly (see old Nemelex). Speaking of which, this god seems a lot like melee Nemelex (as a random effects god), which seems kind of interesting actually.

Steel Neuron wrote:I tried to think of mechanics that enforced a balance when it comes to weapon collection. It may seem optimal at first to fill it as soon as possible, but not really. First, the passive bonus from piety level (**) will improve a random weapon from your collection, so having less weapons means it's more likely for the same ones to be improved (which would already be your best picks) so having a small collection would lend itself to more powerful arms overall. Less weapons means you can concentrate on a subset of weapon skills; it should be possible to play a dagger/sword/2hsword follower of Gijamseh with the 9 corresponding blades and 3 shields. However, going for many weapons greatly improves the effect of Trance, compensating the lack of weapon skills and making you more dangerous, and also helps gain piety faster, enabling you to use the active powers more.


Stuff like this seems particularly bad, IMO. Seems like you'd need a lot of micromanagement in order to get your desired weapon improved. Also, have you thought on how to communicate this entire paragraph to the player? It doesn't seem intuitive to me (it seems to me that maintaining a small, strong collection is always best?)

Some other points:
* You might be interested in the xtrain branch, described here. It would probbaly go into trunk at some point.
* Trance should totally use Obsidian axe's mesmerise
* Tukima's is getting changed so that it works more like Haunt. So repurposing old Tukima's to this god seems ok to me.
* "Weapon as fuel" i.e. Sword Virtuoso seems kind of spammy (as you say, collect a bunch of crap weapons just to use as ammo)
* I'm not convinced Steel Recital is a worthy capstone ability. Well I guess it depends on what you mean by "extremely powerful artifact weapon". In general, weapon power means high base damage + high slaying. So unless Steel Recital regularly gets you Plutonium Sword or similar, it might not be stronger than your regular endgame weapon.
* Getting your weapon replaced by a -5 club seems very Xom-ish. I don't think this god should do that. In any case, you'd just use piety to make it go away.

Overall, it's a great theme though.

For this message the author DracheReborn has received thanks:
Steel Neuron

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 12:17

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

Thank you DracheReborn! That's a lot of useful feedback. I'll go point by point :)

DracheReborn wrote:Stuff like this seems particularly bad, IMO. Seems like you'd need a lot of micromanagement in order to get your desired weapon improved. Also, have you thought on how to communicate this entire paragraph to the player? It doesn't seem intuitive to me (it seems to me that maintaining a small, strong collection is always best?)


I agree that enforcing, even indirectly, the idea of having a small collection doesn't fit with the theme, so I'm reworking that part of the proposal completely. Now the frequency of weapon upgrades will be directly proportional to collection size, so there's no point in keeping a small collection to focus upgrades on one or two weapons.

The balance between big and small collections will simply be decided by the quality of the weapons that the player gets (obviously, a smaller collection will tend to consist of the best picks, while a bigger one will have to lower the quality bar). Trance will still scale with collection size.


DracheReborn wrote:Some other points:
* You might be interested in the xtrain branch, described here. It would probbaly go into trunk at some point.


I should check that out! I do program in C++ a lot lately, but to be honest I've never got into the development side of crawl. Maybe I should read on it a bit...

DracheReborn wrote:* Trance should totally use Obsidian axe's mesmerise


Would it be balanced though? Sounds a little too dangerous.


DracheReborn wrote:* "Weapon as fuel" i.e. Sword Virtuoso seems kind of spammy (as you say, collect a bunch of crap weapons just to use as ammo)

Well, Shattering Dissonance's piety cost could be tweaked until it's not worth spamming it. Also, unless you want to have exclusively crap weapons in your collection, which doesn't seem like a good idea, you can never know if your Blade Dance will give you one of the good weapons, in which case you have to stop spamming or you will lose valuable stuff :).

DracheReborn wrote:* I'm not convinced Steel Recital is a worthy capstone ability. Well I guess it depends on what you mean by "extremely powerful artifact weapon". In general, weapon power means high base damage + high slaying. So unless Steel Recital regularly gets you Plutonium Sword or similar, it might not be stronger than your regular endgame weapon.


Regarding that, I'm not sure whether it is in line with the game philosophy, or even if it's possible mechanics-wise, but the idea was for Gijamseh's artifact weapons to outright cheat. I'm talking weapons with enchant levels higher than +27, and with multiple offensive brands at once. There could also be a couple unique base weapons that can only appear through Gijamseh's collection, but in any case artifacts obtained through him should be much stronger than terrenal weapons, considering they're designed to be a temporal boost (Gijamseh wouldn't let you borrow one for more than 20 or 30 turns). Also, they must be good enough to present the player the dilemma of spending the entire game under wrath, in order to have that weapon permanently.

DracheReborn wrote:* Getting your weapon replaced by a -5 club seems very Xom-ish. I don't think this god should do that. In any case, you'd just use piety to make it go away.

Overall, it's a great theme though.


Yeah, I'm not sure about that either. It should definitely be able to give you bad weapons (like vanilla whites) but maybe terrible enchantment levels are too much of a dick move.

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback, I'm going to rewrite the bit about smaller collections focusing the upgrades more.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 14:41

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

I like the idea, but I'd really have to try it out to see how fiddly it is in practice. The biggest thing though, is that this is totally unique. There's really nothing like this in crawl, so that should get it some consideration.

I suggested Hrongar for two reasons. Neither of them are really great reasons, I admit
1. I can't think of an existing god with an H name
2. It sounds sort of viking-ish, which seemed to sort of fit the theme.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1217

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

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 15:08

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

Suggestions:

Only weapons of at least +2/+2 quality and/or have a brand can be added to the collection, to prevent hoovering. This condition should also be applied to Sword Virtuoso

Hijamseh autoid's weapons on sight with the eye of a collector.

Blade conductor is cool as HELL but I'd make it so that grabbing a new weapon puts the old in your collection to avoid spacial weirdness.

Blade Dance should cost some piety, it is just too strong otherwise.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 16:27

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

TeshiAlair wrote:Suggestions:

Only weapons of at least +2/+2 quality and/or have a brand can be added to the collection, to prevent hoovering. This condition should also be applied to Sword Virtuoso

Hijamseh autoid's weapons on sight with the eye of a collector.

Blade conductor is cool as HELL but I'd make it so that grabbing a new weapon puts the old in your collection to avoid spacial weirdness.

Blade Dance should cost some piety, it is just too strong otherwise.


Thanks for the feedback!

I'm not sure about the +2/+2 restriction, but mostly because I'm not sure how hoovering would be beneficial? Yes, you could fill the collection with bad weapons right away to speed up piety gain, but that would mean you're likely to get crappy random weapons all the time, so it's a trade off. Also, yes, you could spam Dissonance more, but the damage wouldn't be great and you'd be sacrificing a lot of piety to do so. I don't know, I guess it would require testing to see if it's really an issue, but if more people see it that way...

About Hijamseh... Was that a typo? Because I love it! I'm going to change the name to Hijamseh to avoid the potential conflict with Gozag. I wanted it to sound kind of between arabic and egyptian, and hijamseh works perfectly.

What do you mean about spatial weirdness? Inconsistences in movement? I figured it would be a non-issue because mechanically it would be the same as switching positions with a minion, except the weapon changes "shape" too in the process (as you're leaving the former weapon in your spot), but if there is an issue with that, it can be changed no problem. It would also make sense to have the drawback of weapons going back to the collection in exchange for the benefit of being able to pick them from the air.

Lastly, about Blade Dance and piety, I wanted to actually enforce constant switching of weapons. I believe that if it was given a piety cost, the player would just stick to the strongest weapon and use Hijamseh for the passive weapon improvement and the last two skills. The idea was for the risk of drawing a bad weapon to weight against the benefits obtaining from using Blade Dance, but again, I'll think of it. Still, I'd rather reduce the benefits of trance than having a piety cost.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 221

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 09:40

Post Thursday, 5th June 2014, 21:27

Re: Proposal: Gijamseh, the Blade Collector

DracheReborn wrote:Getting your weapon replaced by a -5 club seems very Xom-ish. I don't think this god should do that. In any case, you'd just use piety to make it go away.


Yeah, why would the god of weapon collecting have absolute crap in his collection?
You hear the distant roaring of an enraged eggplant.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Friday, 6th June 2014, 08:39

Re: Proposal: Hijamseh, the Blade Collector

Yeah that's a good question... I tried to justify it with some sort of emotional value. The crap weapons would have something in their name that explains why Hijamseh has it laying around, such as "Ornate club", "Beautiful decorative spear", or something in the description alluding to the weapon being from an ancient civilization or property of a legendary hero.

Then again, it's true that you shouldn't get abysmal enchant levels from this. I'm thinking of the bare minimum at a +0/+0 white weapon. However, I think it's good to have the contrasting possibility of drawing a not-ideal weapon every now and them, without the god going all the way into Xom territory.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Monday, 7th January 2013, 08:22

Post Monday, 23rd June 2014, 08:58

Re: Proposal: Hijamseh, the Blade Collector

I've been out for a while so forgive the necro-bump.

Seeing as this god hasn't gotten terrible feedback so far, I figured I would ask for some more opinions, and see if it can be improved as a concept. So far the major issues seem to be with the possibility of wanting small collections being undesirable (which I think got fixed when I removed the incentive to get a small collection due to weapon upgrade frequency being constant), and randomness, including but not limited to Hijamseh giving you crap weapons.

I don't mind Hijamseh being a little chaotic. He's no Xom, but I see him closer to Nemelex in some way, he loves all his weapons and doesn't see them as a punishment or a dick move to the player in any case. That said, I agree that negative enchantment weapons are too harsh, so these are out of the question. I'm keeping him being able to gift you +0/+0 whites though, but with some flavor touch to make it plausible that Hijamseh is keeping them around (such as "ornate club"). Also, he could weapons with very strange base types (good excuse to revive the Katana), but this should be rare.

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.