Value of translocation spells


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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 04:34

Value of translocation spells

roguelikedev wrote:I don't understand how the threat of Dispel Undead can be compared to that of torment; you may as well compare torment to bolt of fire or the possibility of stepping into a blade trap. Torment alone renders 9 of the game's 13 runes more dangerous to obtain than the orb of Zot, whereas Dispel Undead is just another damaging effect in the crowded late-game category between "deadly serious with 0 fighting" and a crisp hit from Cerebov.


AC, EV, and SH don't work against it, and neither do any other sources of damage mitigation work. You get the full Crystal Spear-level damage every round you're in range since it's the only valid attack the shadow fiend can use against you, and there's precious little you can do about it save kill the source or get out of range.

Torment, by contrast, is typically either coming from a fairly fragile monster (tormentor) or shares a spell list with several less-threatening effects (the four flavors of fiends). The AI is intentionally not smart enough to just spam Torment until they can one-shot you with something else. Those other attacks also have to breach your three cardinal defenses, which are likely to be rather high by this point.

roguelikedev wrote:This said, I don't think anyone's mentioned the real issues with it: no Regeneration (spell), no potions, no holy wrath. In short, it's a strong ability with serious downsides, i.e. interesting.


Agreed.

roguelikedev wrote:Controlled Blink, seriously? It's a strong spell, but it certainly doesn't belong in that company.


It is *the* ultimate perfect defense outside of divine abilities. It isn't quite as good as self-banishment or the Tomb card, but it's pretty close. It always puts you exactly where you want to go, and in two moves you will be completely safe from absolutely any situation that would otherwise be cause for concern. One cast is usually enough, but two is the absolute maximum. Since you can precisely move to a particular tile without any chance of error, you can simply shut down a dangerous enemy by moving out of sight radius, moving around a corner, or moving behind some less threatening monsters that will involuntarily tank for you.

Controlled Blink is as much better than semi-controlled Blink as semi-controlled Blink is over not blinking at all. It could be moved to 9th level and it would still be worth picking up. The control even works effectively in areas that specifically block control because controlled translocations makes them too easy.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 09:42

Re: New Transmuter spells?

KoboldLord wrote:
roguelikedev wrote: ... Dispel Undead ...

AC, EV, and SH don't work against it, and neither do any other sources of damage mitigation work. You get the full Crystal Spear-level damage every round you're in range since it's the only valid attack the shadow fiend can use against you, and there's precious little you can do about it save kill the source or get out of range.


It's certainly not every round; they can attack in melee or move closer. I seem to remember shadow fiend DU inflicting "notable threat" but not "instant panic" damage, maybe somewhere around 60 points, but I haven't brought Necromutation to Tartarus since at least 0.6 and my memory is crap. In any case, my argument was that DU is a more manageable threat than torment. Necromutation is cancelable (with a delay, granted), Hushed pointed out earlier that it requires line of effect (summon something), and, well, shadow fiends are a single monster that is only common in a single Hell whereas torment is continually present throughout all four Hells, the Tomb, and Pandemonium.

KoboldLord wrote:
roguelikedev wrote:Controlled Blink, seriously? It's a strong spell, but it certainly doesn't belong in that company.

It is *the* ultimate perfect defense outside of divine abilities.


It's a 7th level Translocation. That school has absolutely nothing else save Blink, which requires no investment whatsoever, and Control Teleport, which comes for free in the same box as Deflect Missiles and Haste. It also causes glow, which interferes with-- you guessed it-- Haste.

MarvinPA wrote:Dragon Form's "strong ability" is killing pretty much everything in one or two hits, is it not?


It is, and I emphasize your quote marks. Kill a yaktaur in one or two hits-- great, you lose a third of your hit points getting to him and another third as you chew your way through his pack. Kill an iron dragon in one or two hits-- well, no, you can't, but the breath weapon you've never noticed before because your character had 20 AC, 20 EV, and Regeneration up now hits you every time and does so much damage that you have to refresh Regeneration and wait in place before your flabby dough-sack of a hit point total recovers completely. I also emphasize hits, which is something my characters had a lot of trouble manufacturing in combat due to it being an 8th level fire/transmutation spell. I haven't tried it yet in 0.8 trunk, but I know for sure that in 0.7 neither fire, nor transmutation, nor spellcasting skill improved a character's ability to connect in melee combat; the unarmed combat skill did, though, and good luck scraping together the EXP for that when you're victory dancing everything into two completely unrelated spell schools in an attempt to get Dragon Form past that awkward "give self red glow on 5% of castings" phase that characterizes the entire transmutations school. (Not that I'm bitter, you understand.)

I'm going to try it with a draconian when the current character wins or dies, at which point my tune hopefully changes. I very much wanted to like DF, and still do.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 18:02

Re: New Transmuter spells?

minmay wrote:
roguelikedev wrote:That school has absolutely nothing else save Blink, which requires no investment whatsoever, and Control Teleport

Phase Shift, Teleport Self, Apportation, Portal Projectile, Malign Gateway not enough for you? Translocations has more "good" spells than transmutations, and you're not arguing that the latter is useless.


Phase Shift-- duration too low for normal use, does too little for emergency use.
Teleport Self-- duplicates a common item.
Apportation-- superb for speed runners, useless for those of us who kill everything.
Portal Projectile-- haven't used enough to comment. Sounds pretty strong.
Malign Gateway-- summon a creature at your current location which is never friendly and hits for distortion.

minmay wrote:
roguelikedev wrote:"give self red glow on 5% of castings" phase that characterizes the entire transmutations school.

Have you ever wondered why I recommend Sif Muna for transmuters? This is one reason.


Granted. I get around the problem by not playing transmuters.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 20:23

Re: New Transmuter spells?

roguelikedev wrote:Phase Shift-- duration too low for normal use, does too little for emergency use.
Teleport Self-- duplicates a common item.
Apportation-- superb for speed runners, useless for those of us who kill everything.
Portal Projectile-- haven't used enough to comment. Sounds pretty strong.
Malign Gateway-- summon a creature at your current location which is never friendly and hits for distortion.


I think this list reflects your opinions rather than facts about the game. Apportation is a handy spell no matter who you are. Sucking up a book from beneath the feet of a monster you do NOT want to fight is a good thing. Getting back some of your good ammo during a fight is also good. Grabbing some nearby corpses for Twisted Resurrection is a good thing. I almost think LimApport->Your imagination.

I think Phase Shift is still another useful spell. Sure it doesn't last forever, neither does Regeneration, but both are useful and usable during a battle. In my experience, by the time I was using Phase Shift regularly, it lasted about one normal battle. This is anecdotal, but I do remember seeing quite a few notes to the effect that something had just passed through me in those fights were I used it and I assume that this means Phase Shift, and not just normal EV, kept me from being hit.

I would say you have a better case with Teleport Self, however, in conjunction with controlled teleport, it becomes more useful (going around bad guys, Slime, Orc), to the point that you would use up your Tele scrolls if you teleported when it was convenient or desirable to do so.

I haven't used the Portal Projectile or Malign Gateway, so I can't comment.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 21:21

Re: New Transmuter spells?

minmay wrote:Haste-- gives too much glow for normal use, does too little for emergency use.


It gives just enough glow to ensure that you'll only cast it once per fight, rather than spamming it. If you survive that fight for awhile, you can still use it to escape without getting a mutation. After you escape, just rest the glow off.

If you want to sprint around the dungeon leading a chain of hostiles indefinitely, then yeah, it is a bad spell.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 21:41

Re: New Transmuter spells?

minmay wrote:
roguelikedev wrote:Phase Shift-- duration too low for normal use, does too little for emergency use.

Haste-- gives too much glow for normal use, does too little for emergency use. Come on. +8 EV is really good.


Yes, Phase Shift is good. I, for one, have never "turned a character 180 degrees" to cast it; if you're going for Controlled Blink, you'll absolutely keep Phase Shift memorized as well... until you need the slots for Deflect Missiles or Haste, of course.

minmay wrote:
roguelikedev wrote:Malign Gateway-- summon a creature at your current location which is never friendly and hits for distortion.

This isn't even correct. It always starts out friendly (turning hostile or neutral eventually), and it hits for chaos rather than distortion.


You got me. It also doesn't appear "at your current location," only in LoS. I originally tried it once or twice, saw it hit something for "looks unstable," and never used it again. (I still won't use it.)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 10th April 2011, 21:59

Re: New Transmuter spells?

I think the topic may have drifted a trifle. Is it worth starting a new thread?

roguelikedev wrote:Phase Shift-- duration too low for normal use, does too little for emergency use.


Improving your EV and SH gives better returns in terms of survivability the higher your EV or SH started. So if you have absolutely any EV-related build, Phase Shift is going to greatly extend your durability against any effect that doesn't simply bypass EV. It won't do anything significant for a low-EV character, though.

roguelikedev wrote:Teleport Self-- duplicates a common item.


And you can use it in every last fight, no matter how trivial. Gone are the days when running out of mp is a problem, because your last spell always takes you to a safe room where you can recover. Scrolls burn or get used up, a spell never does.

roguelikedev wrote:Apportation-- superb for speed runners, useless for those of us who kill everything.


I have used Apportation extensively in almost every 15-Rune game I've ever played. Trog is just about the only reason you might not choose to use it. Why would I want to spent fifteen minutes of real time killing Cerebov when I can be in and out of his castle in fifteen seconds instead? Earlier on, it'll save consumables from monsters and get dangerous objects out of their hands and into yours. Not the most awesome spell ever, but definitely worth the spell slot.

roguelikedev wrote:Malign Gateway-- summon a creature at your current location which is never friendly and hits for distortion.


You might try using the spell more than once before you pass judgment. Spells effects in Crawl are pretty randomized, so any particular casting can have underwhelming or superlative effects that it doesn't normally have.

roguelikedev wrote:I let one hit me with DU a few times. Damages:
23, 41, 51, 24, 44, 44, 25.

So, not very LCS-like damage after all, unless we're talking about one of minmay's transmuters taking advantage of miscast protection to cast LCS at ##........ power.


Maybe LCS-level damage is overstated, but an average of 40 is, like, a quarter of your hit points even if you've been training fighting. And your caster is probably an evasion monkey, so actual incoming LCS will miss almost every time, while Dispel Undead never will.

If you've been grinding Pan enough with your (non-necromancer, non-transmuter) caster that you have Necromutation castable AND you have fighting high enough that 40hp damage/tick is not a concern, then I don't really care about your experiences because you could have won that game hours and hours of real-time earlier.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 11th April 2011, 03:02

Re: New Transmuter spells?

KoboldLord wrote: I have used Apportation extensively in almost every 15-Rune game I've ever played. ... Why would I want to spent fifteen minutes of real time killing Cerebov when I can be in and out of his castle in fifteen seconds instead?


I've deleted two characters outright for failing to kill Cerebov. In no case does it take 15 minutes... if the encounter does stretch that long, it's because the character simply cannot kill him. That said, I'll give Apportation another shot... there are a lot of iPhone-like spells in the game, in that you can't think of a single use for the thing until you start bringing it everywhere.

KoboldLord wrote: ... any particular casting can have underwhelming or superlative effects that it doesn't normally have.


In Malign Gateway's case, berserking the titan you're in melee with? Pass.

KoboldLord wrote:If you've been grinding Pan enough with your (non-necromancer, non-transmuter) caster that you have Necromutation castable AND you have fighting high enough that 40hp damage/tick is not a concern, then I don't really care about your experiences because you could have won that game hours and hours of real-time earlier.


I'm shooting for my first full clear of a Ziggurat. For what it's worth, he did start as a necromancer... more to the point, I never said that 40 damage a round is trifling; no one can ignore that. But DU is not 40 damage a round. It's 20-50 damage interspersed with movement (or melee, if at melee range) and piddling cold bolts. That is not in the same ballpark as torment.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 11th April 2011, 03:37

Re: New Transmuter spells?

roguelikedev wrote:I've deleted two characters outright for failing to kill Cerebov.


Well, if you're going to bring conducts into things, I suppose it's natural that you're going to have odd-seeming ideas of what's useful. Cerebov drops nothing useful to any character and gives less xp per unit of real time than random Pan spawns on the next generic level. There is literally zero incentive to kill him, other than the privilege of saying that you have done so.

roguelikedev wrote:I'm shooting for my first full clear of a Ziggurat.


Then it's probably most practical to cast Tornado and continue to the next level. Ziggurat play is not relevant to the rest of the game because you can set your skills to whatever you want in advance, and thereby do things that can't reasonably be done outside of wizard mode.

roguelikedev wrote:For what it's worth, he did start as a necromancer... more to the point, I never said that 40 damage a round is trifling; no one can ignore that. But DU is not 40 damage a round. It's 20-50 damage interspersed with movement (or melee, if at melee range) and piddling cold bolts. That is not in the same ballpark as torment.


That part of my last post could probably have stayed in the other thread… Oh, well.

If you've got 120hp, 40hp thrown at you 50% of the time the thing is in range is worse than a Torment that is only cast 25% of the time, because the shadow fiend wastes more time on irrelevant actions that your EV blocks. The only hit point that counts is the last one.

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