Buff Sif a little


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

User avatar

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1192

Joined: Friday, 18th April 2014, 01:41

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 20:06

Buff Sif a little

Sif Muna is sort of lame in my opinion, for a few reasons:

1. Channeling is kind of bad (except maybe on the very first few floors of the dungeon once you get Sif) when compared to other methods of MP recovery like CBoE or Vehumet. It's a little more reliable, sure, but unfortunately you have to waste turns doing it, unlike how you can cast spells for positive MP with Veh. A low-moderate evo CBoE is probably better. It's not the most exciting use of invo ever, but to me that sort of thing is forgivable if it's a good enough effect. It's also not great because almost all characters should train evo a good amount so it's sort of more "natural" to use something like a CBoE than it would be to train invo.
2. Book gifts are too slow.
3. Piety gain is sort of awkward because you need to train spell schools a lot to start getting gifts when you should probably be training fighting and evasion instead, this is related to (2.)

Here are some ways in which I think this could be improved:

1. Add a double channeling ability at 6* that channels with 2d( 2 + invo/4) or whatever the formula is with a cost of 1-2 piety. This should put it on par with other sources of MP regain at least and give you something to do with your piety besides forget spells.
2. Instead of 1., make Sif not use invocations at all and just scale channeling with piety.
3. Sif gives you a boost to INT that can be invoked for piety, sort of like vitalize. This is sort of stepping on Zin's toes I guess but I don't think a whole lot of people go with Zin to be able to boost their INT.
4. Instead of 3. just make it passive depending on piety, this steps on Chei's toes but I don't care because Chei sucks.
5. You could probably sort of improve the gifting system by doing away with book gifts and having a "spell library" system, where sif adds spells to your library, and one may also pray over books in LoS to add the spells in that book to their library, destroying the book. You will get all spells in the game available much sooner this way so it's quite a buff. But I think it's also neat and less clunky than the book thing especially if you walk around with a full inventory and don't want to drop stuff to pick up a book gift repeatedly.
6. At max piety allow the player to receive a single staff of their choice as a gift (excluding energy maybe). People will probably just choose their elemental staff or |conj, but there are some times where they may want |wiz I guess.

Hopefully this improves sif's powers a bit while avoiding the "Sif's design space is that of a simple magic god so we don't want anything complicated" problem.
remove food

For this message the author tabstorm has received thanks:
Octopode-monk-of-XOM

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 21:06

Re: Buff Sif a little

I don't think that demanding Invo train to use Sif's ability is that much of a bad thing. A lot of gods use Invo to power their abilities, that's the purpose of a skill. Also isn't CBoE kind of dangerous to use? I think I used it once a couple of years ago and didn't like it that much. Anyway, I remember there were some highscores with Sif, so I guess it's not all that bad?

Personally, when I think about Sif weaknesses, I think of the gifts that are received very late and require training magic skills, sometimes overtraining them. I think I had a character who followed Sif and didn't receive first book until Orc.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 21:08

Re: Buff Sif a little

Sif's biggest problem, in my opinion, is that you have to repeatedly spam aa to activate her only real invocation, which is strong enough that you should definitely spam it a whole lot. She should either be completely passive, like Vehumet, or she should have abilities that are actually meaningful decisions to use, like Kiku. No matter what else you have to say about her, channeling that even remotely resembles the current model must go. I'd probably recommend a completely passive mp regen effect that just works all the time.

Her book gifts are also decidedly inelegant. She dumps dozens of books that make for a lot of inventory clutter to sort through, and after you've accumulated enough gifts this isn't different than just having at-will access to all spells except there's more inventory management. There's a largish delay before you get the first gift, and before that point the only thing she obviously gives you is her awful, awful channeling ability that you're obligated to spam, and once the floodgates open you never care about new spellbook drops again because you probably already have them all. Neither state is good for gameplay. Bullet point 5, above, is probably a workable bandage for part of the problem, but Vehumet's and Kiku's spell gifting systems are already both vastly better for gameplay.

Now that I think about it, the game probably wouldn't suffer if Sif Muna was just retired completely.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8775

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 21:23

Re: Buff Sif a little

Sif gifts are by far my favourite gifts. They're much easier to understand and have a smoother interface than Vehumet gifts, they aren't super spoilery and repetitive like Kiku gifts, they actually have an impact on your game unlike Okawaru gifts. Pre-antimagic Trog gifts might have competed, I suppose.
User avatar

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1192

Joined: Friday, 18th April 2014, 01:41

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 21:24

Re: Buff Sif a little

Sar wrote: Also isn't CBoE kind of dangerous to use?

Not really if you train evo and have escapes, |energy, or melee.

Sar wrote: Anyway, I remember there were some highscores with Sif, so I guess it's not all that bad?

Old summons

Sar wrote: Personally, when I think about Sif weaknesses, I think of the gifts that are received very late and require training magic skills, sometimes overtraining them. I think I had a character who followed Sif and didn't receive first book until Orc.


Yes this is a bigger gripe than channeling being bad, I just happened to write about that first. But channel could still be better I think.

@KoboldLord: I don't think channeling existing is a problem. But currently I don't think its as effective as other types of MP regen in actual combat past the first few floors of the dungeon once you get 1* to the point where if I attempt to play a Sif character I keep thinking about how much I would have rather taken Vehumet.
remove food

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

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

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 22:18

Re: Buff Sif a little

Sif mana channeling, while annoying to use, is very effective and helpful, and risk free. The idea of a better channel that costs piety is an interesting idea, and currently there's nothing at all to do with the piety.

Changing sif to just give piety on exploration would be a better model than the skill training I think. But I don't agree at all that Sif is so bad as to deserve removal from the game. Sif is much better for guaranteed MP pre-extended than vehumet.

I'm certainly not opposed to the 'aa' channeling method to be replaced with something passive, but that might just serve to make the god even more bland. Earlier book gifts would be nice.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Saturday, 20th September 2014, 22:34

Re: Buff Sif a little

duvessa wrote:Sif gifts are by far my favourite gifts. They're much easier to understand and have a smoother interface than Vehumet gifts, they aren't super spoilery and repetitive like Kiku gifts, they actually have an impact on your game unlike Okawaru gifts. Pre-antimagic Trog gifts might have competed, I suppose.


They are too few when a character is a relatively young character, such that you don't get useful things when you actually need useful things, but they are far too many after you have your character's basic needs covered. I'll grant that they're very easy to understand, since you just end up with a mountain of extra mostly-random spellbooks to put next to the ones that generate naturally, but if Sif Muna is supposed to give you the choice of every spell in the game you might as well just get to pick your choice from every spell in the game without having to sort through hundreds of items.

I wouldn't have expected you of all posters to come out in favor of more inventory management.

tabstorm wrote: I don't think channeling existing is a problem. But currently I don't think its as effective as other types of MP regen in actual combat past the first few floors of the dungeon once you get 1* to the point where if I attempt to play a Sif character I keep thinking about how much I would have rather taken Vehumet.


When I rest to recover mp with a non-Sif character, I press 5 and I'm done. It burns in-game time and I am at elevated risk of having monsters wander to my location, but my personal real-world time only gets used for a second or two and then I can continue playing. When I rest to recover mp with a Sif character, I press aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa… Every time I have to pause and take stock of my surroundings, because even though channeling is wildly superior to normal resting with no mechanical drawback, it doesn't have the automatic interrupt when a dangerous monster wanders into LOS like normal resting does.

This is a bad thing. If Sif Muna channeling only worked in combat somehow, it would actually be less bothersome because then at least it could be construed as vaguely interesting to sneak in a channel whenever it is as safe as possible to do so, but in practice it is optimal to mostly use it by mashing buttons in a situation where you have absolute safety.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks:
Arrhythmia
User avatar

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1192

Joined: Friday, 18th April 2014, 01:41

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 00:46

Re: Buff Sif a little

tabstorm wrote: I don't think channeling existing is a problem. But currently I don't think its as effective as other types of MP regen in actual combat past the first few floors of the dungeon once you get 1* to the point where if I attempt to play a Sif character I keep thinking about how much I would have rather taken Vehumet.


KoboldLord wrote:When I rest to recover mp with a non-Sif character, I press 5 and I'm done. It burns in-game time and I am at elevated risk of having monsters wander to my location, but my personal real-world time only gets used for a second or two and then I can continue playing. When I rest to recover mp with a Sif character, I press aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa… Every time I have to pause and take stock of my surroundings, because even though channeling is wildly superior to normal resting with no mechanical drawback, it doesn't have the automatic interrupt when a dangerous monster wanders into LOS like normal resting does.

This is a bad thing. If Sif Muna channeling only worked in combat somehow, it would actually be less bothersome because then at least it could be construed as vaguely interesting to sneak in a channel whenever it is as safe as possible to do so, but in practice it is optimal to mostly use it by mashing buttons in a situation where you have absolute safety.

Why would you channel to recover MP in situations where there are no enemies onscreen unless you are trying to minimize your turns? Prevent piety decay I guess? And it does work in combat at least for summoners sort of, but it's just not as good as other methods of MP restoration currently beyond the earliest floors of the dungeon.
remove food

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 00:59

Re: Buff Sif a little

tabstorm wrote:Why would you channel to recover MP in situations where there are no enemies onscreen unless you are trying to minimize your turns? Prevent piety decay I guess? And it does work in combat at least for summoners sort of, but it's just not as good as other methods of MP restoration currently beyond the earliest floors of the dungeon.


Because there are other monsters, and once they've woken up by the shouts of the orcs I just killed or the detonations of my Fireballs, they are going to sometimes randomly find me while I'm still low on mp. As a Sif Muna character, mp is life, and with an active ability that gives me mp at no meaningful cost there's no reason to be sitting around with only partial life if I don't have to be.

I mean, other than the tedium, what's the cost of channeling back to full after a fight? Chunks?

Dungeon Master

Posts: 582

Joined: Sunday, 9th June 2013, 17:13

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 01:57

Re: Buff Sif a little

KoboldLord wrote:They are too few when a character is a relatively young character, such that you don't get useful things when you actually need useful things, but they are far too many after you have your character's basic needs covered.


I'm not sure where you got this idea. Sif gifts are useful precisely when you actually need useful things. When you arrive at 6* you are likely just able to actually use the highest level spells in your starting book reliably. And since Sif does not accept your worship until you have memorized a spell, the vast majority of all Sif games occur through a book start. Characters that use Sif are going to use spells a lot early on and will need to train spell schools just to cast them. There are really no book starts that might logically use Sif which don't give the player sufficient spells to get to Lair:8, should it take that long to get a gift.

That Sif gifts you such a wide range of spells is definitely part of the appeal of the god, and I agree with duvessa that Sif's gifts are the most interesting in the game wrt affecting progress without being spoilery/predictable. The claim that there's some kind of management hell is just not true, since you can forget any spell you like at any time and can be carrying spells you'd like to learn in the short or near-term with only the most basic level of inventory management. The idea of a "Sif Library" might have some merit, but there is a plan to have a separate inventory screen for infinitely many strategic items that might obviate the need for this. I'm sure there are more creative ways Sif might help the player get access to spells in terms providing of ash-like skill bonuses, an Int bonus, or wizardry, but miscast protection is already an interesting way of doing this.

Sif gifting earlier seems only interesting to me if we drop the requirement that the player has a spell memorized, since then it might open up the god to non-book starts.

I like that Sif provides MP on demand as opposed to completely passively like Veh. The contrast between the two Gods there is good in my view. The interface is not ideal wrt resting, and for that problem in particular there was a proposal to have 5 use Sif channel or |energy/|wucad first if those are available. In combat there's really not a problem with the interface since with a trivial macro for aa you can hit a single key a few times just like you would Tab or a movement key.

I take Tabstorm's point that in combat Sif channel is not ideal tactically or at least inferior to Veh's mp-on-kill for non-summoners. One direction for channel I could imagine is to make the channel ability still invocable but give high mp-regen for a duration. It would have to be something akin to ambrosia so that the mp became available in a few turns, but might need to be of very short duration, possibly with a short cooldown. With some reduction of hunger cost it might be changed to give less mp in a given number of turns compared to current Sif channel, but you'd stay above starving for longer.

A piety-using higher-* ability to get mega version of current channel is workable I suppose, but not great design. We generally like the god abilities to be well-differentiated from one another.

For this message the author gammafunk has received thanks: 2
archaeo, Arrhythmia

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 03:56

Re: Buff Sif a little

The spell library should just be available for all characters, there's a clunky version available with "ctrl+f book". I really hope that strategic item screen happens, since it would fix it.

For this message the author johlstei has received thanks: 2
Arrhythmia, Sandman25
User avatar

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1192

Joined: Friday, 18th April 2014, 01:41

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 04:25

Re: Buff Sif a little

gammafunk wrote: I'm sure there are more creative ways Sif might help the player get access to spells in terms providing of ash-like skill bonuses, an Int bonus, or wizardry, but miscast protection is already an interesting way of doing this.


Well it's pretty bad in comparison to all of those so it's quite interesting in the same way that mummies are an interesting race. I'm not really thrilled by the prospect of miscasting a level 6-7 conjuration 2-3 times before it finally works and convincing myself that it's like I really have wizardry. I wish miscasts didn't exist but then people would sit and try to cast haste repeatedly at 90% fail until it worked or something. I think basically any spell where you fear the miscast more than not getting the effect (or basically there is any value to be gained from trying to miscast repeatedly) probably works better as an item than as a spell.

gammafunk wrote:
Sif gifting earlier seems only interesting to me if we drop the requirement that the player has a spell memorized, since then it might open up the god to non-book starts.



Yes not requiring a book start or awkward skill training on warrior-mage starts would be a good thing if one wishes to use sif for some reason on one of those characters.

gammafunk wrote:One direction for channel I could imagine is to make the channel ability still invocable but give high mp-regen for a duration. It would have to be something akin to ambrosia so that the mp became available in a few turns, but might need to be of very short duration, possibly with a short cooldown. With some reduction of hunger cost it might be changed to give less mp in a given number of turns compared to current Sif channel, but you'd stay above starving for longer.


I don't understand why you want to nerf the MP/turn, but a pseudo-ambrosia effect is at least preferable to channeling manually tactically and I at least will know if I need to eat mid-fight or something because all the hunger will come at once, while we still are pretending that hunger costs are something that one must beware of. You could just scale it with invocations or piety or whatever.
remove food

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 06:05

Re: Buff Sif a little

gammafunk wrote:I'm not sure where you got this idea. Sif gifts are useful precisely when you actually need useful things. When you arrive at 6* you are likely just able to actually use the highest level spells in your starting book reliably. And since Sif does not accept your worship until you have memorized a spell, the vast majority of all Sif games occur through a book start. Characters that use Sif are going to use spells a lot early on and will need to train spell schools just to cast them. There are really no book starts that might logically use Sif which don't give the player sufficient spells to get to Lair:8, should it take that long to get a gift.


That's certainly the theory. In practice, most spellbooks generated by any means are junk, even if a player started with a book background. Sometimes Sif Muna decides to give you a useful mid-level upgrade to what you've already been training or a book of useful support magic for her first gift, but frequently you get several copies of way-too-high-level stuff, starting gear for some other book background that is redundant with you already have, or upgrade spells for the wrong spell skills that are too impractically expensive to train up from scratch.

In theory, Sif Muna's random gifts are probably intended to make you adjust your build according to what she gives you. Unfortunately, their randomness draws on too large of a pool, and any re-build a player might consider has to be considered in competition with the melee weapons and launchers that are guaranteed to be found littering the Dungeon floor by this point. If you started a summoner, picking up melee weapon training is definitely going to be a superior option to diversify your starting options compared to picking up conjurations or transmutations or something. If Sif Muna's first few gifts aren't summoning spells or a subset of the available charms, translocations, and necromancies, odds are they're worth less for that build than the +0 halberd you got off a gnoll on D2. Probably a summoner should just plan to diversify with melee weapon training from the start, and pick a deity that helps with that rather than one that might not help at all except for an exceptionally annoying mp-channeling ability.

In contrast, Vehumet and Kiku's gifts are taken from a narrow subset that are reasonable possible to plan for from the start of the game. Sometimes you won't get exactly what you want, but your options will at least be relevant to your build unless you made a spectacularly and obviously bad choice in converting in the first place. If nothing else, by picking the deities for conjurations builds and necro builds you are guaranteed that you'll be able to keep conjuring and necroing all through the mid-game.

gammafunk wrote:That Sif gifts you such a wide range of spells is definitely part of the appeal of the god, and I agree with duvessa that Sif's gifts are the most interesting in the game wrt affecting progress without being spoilery/predictable.


I got my first win with Sif, and I stuck with her for a long time before I started dabbling with other deities. To my relatively unspoiled evaluation, she seemed the safe option because I would definitely get the spells that the wiki said were good. I never bothered to diversify my build or try out unfamiliar spells, because Sif would provide my full Ascension Kit eventually if I just stuck it out. While I eventually did win because Sticky Flame was something like range 6 in those days, it was in spite of Sif and not because of her. For at least some users, I think she teaches and reinforces bad habits. Near-guaranteed full access to all spells is not a carrot that needs to be offered to new players.

The channeling ability is also pretty counter-intuitive for a new player. It has a big, scary hunger cost, so a newbie who doesn't understand the power of chunks might think it should be reserved for emergencies. Emergencies are, in fact, a terrible time to use channeling, and in the event that you run out of mp under fire the correct tactical decision was most likely to have done more to separate the pack beforehand or started the fight with a consumable buff. The fact that channeling will occasionally rescue a bad decision by letting a new player throw one last spell at the injured monster that is about to kill them actually weakens their learning process by diluting the natural consequences of their poor planning.

gammafunk wrote:I like that Sif provides MP on demand as opposed to completely passively like Veh. The contrast between the two Gods there is good in my view. The interface is not ideal wrt resting, and for that problem in particular there was a proposal to have 5 use Sif channel or |energy/|wucad first if those are available. In combat there's really not a problem with the interface since with a trivial macro for aa you can hit a single key a few times just like you would Tab or a movement key.


A basic macro won't do the job. You still have to pause after every turn to manually check if any dangerous monsters have appeared, a job that the built-in rest command takes care of automatically. If channeling happened automatically during resting it wouldn't be such a problem, so that's certainly a viable fix if it's decided to go that way.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks:
all before

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 06:10

Re: Buff Sif a little

fwiw I like Sif, I think Sif channeling is stronger than Veh mp-on-kills, and I think infinite amnesia is underrated by a lot of players
User avatar

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1192

Joined: Friday, 18th April 2014, 01:41

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 06:30

Re: Buff Sif a little

crate wrote:fwiw I like Sif, I think Sif channeling is stronger than Veh mp-on-kills, and I think infinite amnesia is underrated by a lot of players


Why do you rate channel above passive MP (unless you are hiding behind summons)?

Also what is an application of infinite amnesia that is really useful? All I can think of really is maybe ignite poison in Lair branches which is useful for a short time and then mostly useless. But in my experience I have never really been wanting for spell levels between amnesia and ripping up books.
remove food

Dungeon Master

Posts: 582

Joined: Sunday, 9th June 2013, 17:13

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 07:16

Re: Buff Sif a little

KoboldLord wrote:That's certainly the theory. In practice, most spellbooks generated by any means are junk, even if a player started with a book background.


I really don't get where you're coming from saying most spellbooks generated "by any means" are junk, given that only Sif gifts are relevant here. The player is very likely to get a useful spell from Sif within the damage school they train within the first two gifts; this is not theory, and it has been my experience over many, many games with Sif. Yes, you can fail to get a useful spell on the first and sometimes even the second gift or third gift, but as I said the books starts are very strong in general and can certainly keep the player alive in the rare instances when it takes Sif longer to land a winner. These instances are not all that different from Trog users sometimes having to wait longer to get an appropriate weapon upgrade as a gift. MP channeling at 1* helps quite a lot to stretch those L3-L5 spells in these rare situations.

KoboldLord wrote:In theory, Sif Muna's random gifts are probably intended to make you adjust your build according to what she gives you. Unfortunately, their randomness draws on too large of a pool, and any re-build a player might consider has to be considered in competition with the melee weapons and launchers that are guaranteed to be found littering the Dungeon floor by this point. If you started a summoner, picking up melee weapon training is definitely going to be a superior option to diversify your starting options compared to picking up conjurations or transmutations or something.


Sif's gifts are sometimes totally outside of the schools you train, yes, but if players to decide to focus on weapons and defenses for a while until the next upgrade comes along, that is in fact a good thing. A very large majority of the time with Sif you will have an upgrade well before you absolutely need it.

KoboldLord wrote:If Sif Muna's first few gifts aren't summoning spells or a subset of the available charms, translocations, and necromancies, odds are they're worth less for that build than the +0 halberd you got off a gnoll on D2. Probably a summoner should just plan to diversify with melee weapon training from the start, and pick a deity that helps with that rather than one that might not help at all except for an exceptionally annoying mp-channeling ability.


Exceptionally annoying is a completely subjective judgement, but someone who casts summons spells is well situated to use channeling while in combat, and the ability is hardly very annoying to use then. The more relevant issue is probably loss of XP, something intrinsic to use of allies itself, but a Su is likely to either kill things more or less exclusively with summons, in which case channel is incredibly vital during combat, or more optimally try to kill with summons mostly as supplement to melee as soon as good defenses and melee are developed. In the latter case, channeling is still very good in all sorts of relatively dangerous fights where more summons than usual are necessary.

KoboldLord wrote:If nothing else, by picking the deities for conjurations builds and necro builds you are guaranteed that you'll be able to keep conjuring and necroing all through the mid-game.


I'm not sure what your definition of midgame is here, but you just complained that Sif gifts you every spell in the game, yet now Veh/Kiku are being praised for "keeping you conjuring and necroing". What Sif character was ever unable to keep conjuring/summoning all through the mid-game?

KoboldLord wrote:The channeling ability is also pretty counter-intuitive for a new player. It has a big, scary hunger cost, so a newbie who doesn't understand the power of chunks might think it should be reserved for emergencies. Emergencies are, in fact, a terrible time to use channeling, and in the event that you run out of mp under fire the correct tactical decision was most likely to have done more to separate the pack beforehand or started the fight with a consumable buff. The fact that channeling will occasionally rescue a bad decision by letting a new player throw one last spell at the injured monster that is about to kill them actually weakens their learning process by diluting the natural consequences of their poor planning.


My use of the word spoilery was not a statement that Sif is good because it's the ultimate spellcasting tutorial god. All of the aspects you mention are just the process of learning how to play the game properly. Emergencies can be a terrible time to use berserk, so new players shouldn't use Trog because it encourages bad habits? Veh's gifts are ultimately more predictable, and follow a stricter set of rules (first gift is always an L1 spell, you get 15 spells total, the last three spells all come at the same time, the last three spells are all L8 or L9). It's to the player's advantage to know these rules ahead of time. Again that's not a bad design and does offer good contrast to Sif's more randomized gifting, but the wider gifting range is precisely why I like Sif's gifts more.

KoboldLord wrote:A basic macro won't do the job. You still have to pause after every turn to manually check if any dangerous monsters have appeared, a job that the built-in rest command takes care of automatically. If channeling happened automatically during resting it wouldn't be such a problem, so that's certainly a viable fix if it's decided to go that way.

gammafunk wrote:In combat there's really not a problem with the interface since with a trivial macro for aa you can hit a single key a few times just like you would Tab or a movement key.

Your complaint was about resting (which I addressed), and I am talking about combat here.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 07:26

Re: Buff Sif a little

I rate Sif channel above Veh mp-on-kills for the same reason that I think Ely healing is much better than Makhleb healing: it happens when you choose for it to happen. To me this benefit (it is an enormous benefit) outweighs the drawback that it takes a turn to happen.

edit: also in my experience Sif spellbook gifts are fine. I think that there is a sizable subset of players that expects more from the gifts than you are likely to get--and a lot of that is you are pretty unlikely to get any specific spell within a quick timeframe. But in my experience you are almost certain to get some useful spells. One of my favourite things about worshipping Sif is that I very nearly never know beforehand what magic schools I will end up actually training: I choose based on what Sif gives me. If you are not the kind of player who does this, then you will find Sif gifts much less useful.

I do think that Sif is probably weak compared to other gods, and certainly out-of-battle channeling could use sizable interface improvements, but the OP (and this thread in general) doesn't really address the real reason Sif is weak (which is more that most gods in Crawl provide some sort of really powerful effect, and while channeling is good I don't think anyone would mistake it for berserk or mushrooms or bros or angels or...).

(As an aside I also think Vehumet is pretty weak compared to other gods--I think he's very comparable to Sif overall, in power level--and this plus the fact I find Veh less fun than Sif is why I basically never worship Vehumet any more.)

edit again: If you use the repeat command you can safely channel when no monsters are around (it interrupts the repetition if a monster moves into view), but I have not found a way to make the repeat command thing (0) work in macros. It's possible I'm missing something though. (If it did work in a macro then you can just make a macro to channel out-of-combat.)

For this message the author crate has received thanks: 2
and into, duvessa
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1891

Joined: Monday, 1st April 2013, 04:41

Location: Toronto, Canada

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 08:29

Re: Buff Sif a little

Since we're griping about Sif interface issues, I wish she would stop gifting if you've already got a copy of every spell. Like, oh wow, my fifth copy of monstrous menagerie, thanks bby, I'm totally not going to gift this back to the in-laws the next time we so much as make eye-contact
take it easy

For this message the author Arrhythmia has received thanks:
crate

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 17:59

Re: Buff Sif a little

gammafunk wrote:I really don't get where you're coming from saying most spellbooks generated "by any means" are junk, given that only Sif gifts are relevant here. The player is very likely to get a useful spell from Sif within the damage school they train within the first two gifts; this is not theory, and it has been my experience over many, many games with Sif. Yes, you can fail to get a useful spell on the first and sometimes even the second gift or third gift, but as I said the books starts are very strong in general and can certainly keep the player alive in the rare instances when it takes Sif longer to land a winner. These instances are not all that different from Trog users sometimes having to wait longer to get an appropriate weapon upgrade as a gift. MP channeling at 1* helps quite a lot to stretch those L3-L5 spells in these rare situations.


If Sif Muna has an 80% chance to give you a useful spellbook gift in her first two gifts, you should probably have picked a deity that has a 100% chance to give you something useful instead. Most of them do.

Gifting is one thing with Trog and Okawaru and Vehumet and Kiku. Even if all your gifts are crap, or you find an excellent non-gift item on the floor that upstages all your gifts and renders them irrelevant, all of these other deities give you useful, fun, and interesting abilities that mean the gifts were just a sideline anyway, not the whole reason you converted. With Sif, channeling and gifts are the whole package she gives you, and that means that if gifts are unreliable and channeling is tedious, the whole package she offers you is bad.

gammafunk wrote:Sif's gifts are sometimes totally outside of the schools you train, yes, but if players to decide to focus on weapons and defenses for a while until the next upgrade comes along, that is in fact a good thing. A very large majority of the time with Sif you will have an upgrade well before you absolutely need it.


What? If you focus on your weapons and defenses for a while, you're not going to get another gift from Sif. She gives piety for training magic skills, which means if you've filled out your initial spellbook and not gotten a useful upgrade you can only gain a gift from her if you sink more xp into skills that you can't currently benefit from raising rather than ones that you can.

gammafunk wrote:I'm not sure what your definition of midgame is here, but you just complained that Sif gifts you every spell in the game, yet now Veh/Kiku are being praised for "keeping you conjuring and necroing". What Sif character was ever unable to keep conjuring/summoning all through the mid-game?


One single choice spell on Lair 2 is worth more for the chances of a specific character's survival than a pile of spellbooks with all the spells in the game on Zot 1.

Vehumet and Kiku gifts are a sideline that exists because a design decision was made that elemental conjuror and necromancer are two archetypes that should be reliably playable. Normally the floor provides, but the specific gifts of these two pick up the slack if the floor does not smile upon the player. Either way, Vehumet still gives her range bonus, wizardry, and mp extension, and Kiku still provides unlimited undead minions and on-demand Torment. These abilities are still worth a character's god slot in terms of both power and fun even if the gifting doesn't work out. If they never had gifts from the start, they would still be strong choices in some circumstances.

If Sif's gifts don't work out, well, I hope you like aa.

I think gifts should be intentionally geared towards being an early-game crutch, because a late-game character doesn't need them and the late-game play experience actually suffers if there's too much loot available. Sif isn't reliable enough in the early game and doesn't know when enough is enough. Okawaru and Trog should probably also stop gifting eventually, but in those cases I can at least ignore the extra junk and enjoy the benefits of Finesse or Brothers.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks:
nago

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8775

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 19:32

Re: Buff Sif a little

KoboldLord wrote:With Sif, channeling and gifts are the whole package she gives you
selective amnesia and miscast protection have been mentioned in this thread

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 22:17

Re: Buff Sif a little

duvessa wrote:selective amnesia and miscast protection have been mentioned in this thread


I know. I excluded them on purpose.

Miscast Protection is not completely worthless because there are some spells you can cast outside of combat, but for the vast majority of spells the worst part of a typical miscast is the fact that you spend the mp and don't get the spell effect. Sif doesn't protect you from that.

Selective Amnesia is completely worthless on every level because there are more scrolls and spellbooks to use in a typical game than a player could ever reasonably use. The ability is a vestige of flavor that has no game impact.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1221

Joined: Thursday, 10th March 2011, 19:45

Post Sunday, 21st September 2014, 22:30

Re: Buff Sif a little

KoboldLord wrote:Selective Amnesia is completely worthless on every level because there are more scrolls and spellbooks to use in a typical game than a player could ever reasonably use. The ability is a vestige of flavor that has no game impact.


Definitely disagree with this. I've had lots of games recently where I've had to delay memorising spells I wanted for a long time because I did not have enough spell slots and the necessary scrolls/books to forget them did not exist. Leading me to overtrain Spellcasting to get more slots.

Maybe there are more scrolls and books in a "typical game", and they did eventually show up, but like with everything in Crawl the random distribution will often work against you meaning you don't have these things when they would actually be useful.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 284

Joined: Friday, 20th December 2013, 00:43

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 02:04

Re: Buff Sif a little

Amnesia+books is really good because i lets me juggle my spell list at will for whatever situation. If I worship sif i'll typically rather different spell lists for the different areas. It's a strategy I can't do with any other god that's both fun and effective, to put most of my xp in conjuration, then switch between whichever bolt/cloud/shot is most appropriate.

Also, sif really has a special place in sprints because of books+amnesia.

As for miscast protection it's really boring but useful because all those level 6+ spells at 5-10% can be cast without risk of awful miscast.

For the thread as a whole I can't agree to change much of Sif since every part of that worship works well and leads to interesting decisions, but I can certainly agree that the interface could be improved by a good amount.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 209

Joined: Friday, 12th April 2013, 15:00

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 02:48

Re: Buff Sif a little

IMO we have to changer her aa so that we dont have to repetitively button mash

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 35

Joined: Friday, 31st December 2010, 20:12

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 04:53

Re: Buff Sif a little

For buffing sif a little, I would rework the miscast protection to additionally refund half of the spent mana whenever it triggers (round down). Because sif is the master of channeling magical energy, it makes sense that she would be able to help you get back some mana from a failed spell.
For channeling magical energy (and potentially for staff of energy too), I would rework the ability so that using it starts a channel that gives back mana each turn. However, doing any action other than waiting breaks the channel, sort of like searing ray. Maybe this would be more interesting then the current system, maybe not.

For this message the author eliotn has received thanks:
Floodkiller

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6344

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 05:14

Re: Buff Sif a little

Well, what if he just passively increased your regen rate instead of giving you channeling, proportional to how low you were (so he would give you more MP regen if you were at 0 mana than he would if you were close to full)
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

Dungeon Master

Posts: 582

Joined: Sunday, 9th June 2013, 17:13

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 05:24

Re: Buff Sif a little

KoboldLord wrote:If Sif Muna has an 80% chance to give you a useful spellbook gift in her first two gifts, you should probably have picked a deity that has a 100% chance to give you something useful instead. Most of them do.


Sif gives you a very strong ability at 1*, and gives you miscast protection on top of this. Because you're annoyed with how channeling behaves wrt resting doesn't mean you can also say it's not useful. Yes it's not useful if you refuse to use it for whatever reason!

KoboldLord wrote:With Sif, channeling and gifts are the whole package she gives you, and that means that if gifts are unreliable and channeling is tedious, the whole package she offers you is bad.


The idea that Sif gifts are unreliable is silly. The criteria for reliable in an rng-based game should not be that Sif gifts you the exact spell you want 100% or 95% of the time by early Lair. I get a good spell upgrade from Sif within two gifts well above 80% of of the time over many games with Sif, and its very amusing to hear of this fictional world were the god just gifts you apport 50% of the time. There certainly are gods that are more powerful and that "do things 100% of the time", but that's not the point here. I could get mushrooms from fedhas guaranteed 100% of the time and go tearing through the game, which is better than Vehumet probably but not always gifting me iron shot on my EE, but I don't then claim that Vehumet is not sufficiently reliable.

KoboldLord wrote:
gammafunk wrote:Sif's gifts are sometimes totally outside of the schools you train, yes, but if players to decide to focus on weapons and defenses for a while until the next upgrade comes along, that is in fact a good thing. A very large majority of the time with Sif you will have an upgrade well before you absolutely need it.


What? If you focus on your weapons and defenses for a while, you're not going to get another gift from Sif.


I'm not using focus to mean that you stop training magic schools. You know, change from spellcasting + summoning to weapon + summoning for a while? Sif is still pretty happy with you if you do this.

KoboldLord wrote:One single choice spell on Lair 2 is worth more for the chances of a specific character's survival than a pile of spellbooks with all the spells in the game on Zot 1.
...
These abilities are still worth a character's god slot in terms of both power and fun even if the gifting doesn't work out. If they never had gifts from the start, they would still be strong choices in some circumstances.


It's a good thing then that Sif can gift you a single choice spell on Lair:2. If you fully explore and train magic schools with 50%+ of your experience, you're not unlikely to get that spell in that timeframe, and the deal is similar with Vehumet.

KoboldLord wrote:I think gifts should be intentionally geared towards being an early-game crutch, because a late-game character doesn't need them and the late-game play experience actually suffers if there's too much loot available.


No I think the starting book should generally be the early-game crutch, for Sif in particular as long as the god requires that you know spells in order to worship. Vehumet fills the "early spells" role already. With Veh you'll often have to ignore several of these early gifts if you use a book start, but that's part of the design of the god, and as I said is a nice contrast with Sif's gifting system.

Anyhow I won't take part in any more debate with the premises that Sif gifting is wildly out of line or that channeling is a completely lost cause. The book gifting might see some adjustment and we're considering ideas for how to reduce the problems with channeling. I agree with crate that Sif's power level is actually very comparable with Veh for the book starts. Howeever the dev team has been talking about how we might add more abilities to Sif. While I don't think such addition(s) are necessary in terms of the god's power, they will make Sif more popular, at least.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 270

Joined: Sunday, 23rd March 2014, 23:51

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 13:36

Re: Buff Sif a little

eliotn wrote:For buffing sif a little, I would rework the miscast protection to additionally refund half of the spent mana whenever it triggers (round down). Because sif is the master of channeling magical energy, it makes sense that she would be able to help you get back some mana from a failed spell


I like this idea; giving miscast protection (or making it a different passive, I don't know) the ability to refund MP on a failed spell would help with the early/mid game, where a failed spell often means I would just retreat to channel/reset the encounter. Vehemut keeps you sustained through kills, Kiku (through Sublimation) offers MP through HP, and Sif could ensure the reliability of your current MP to plan things out more carefully.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

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

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 16:57

Re: Buff Sif a little

Miscast protection is pretty nice when it's the difference between a 12% fail chance level 6 spell being usable or not. I'm not casting a red fail spell if I"m not a sif follower. I'll gamble on the 12% chance to waste my turn, but not to waste my turn and do something terrible to me.

Amnesia just sorta goes with the book gifting, especially since it makes sif mad if you destroy books. It's a nice little benefit, but not a main selling point.

Channelling is absolutely great, I'd rather waste 2 turns to get some MP in combat than waste 2 turns swinging a crappy weapon, after which I still have no MP. My first winner, a DEFE cleared zot5 using nothing but firestorms, OODs, and lots of channeling, I just sat on the stairway in, blasting anythign that came into view, and channeling until the next guy showed up. If I needed to controlled blink out of a bad situation, but my mp was low, one channel got me enough MP.

Sif is pretty much the only way to play a true 'Pure Blaster' character, since you're never really out of mana. That's not to say 'Pure Blaster' is a smart way to play necessarily, just that Sif makes it work.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 17:37

Re: Buff Sif a little

Ah there's another possibility for a bonus: Sif could give you a bonus to your maximum MP, maybe something like Piety / 10, or +(piety / 5)% or something in-between.

Regarding the channeling channeling idea, rather than making it activated, you could simply have it kick in every time you hit '.'. Maybe the more you wait, the faster the regeneration gets.

I'm curious how important it to the balancing of channeling to have the hunger cost and the actual time spent doing nothing. Is just having a passive 2 MP regained per turn (probably depending on piety and/or invocations) too powerful for an ability?

I am somewhat worried about the passive version drastically changing the character of things: if it's too low, you've effectively nerfed the ability to regain mana mid-fight, but if its too high, it might make Sif worshippers silly strong to be able to spam spells for a long time and then regain MP while falling back or meleeing things.

And I fear that "too low" and "too high" actually overlap.

For this message the author Hurkyl has received thanks:
Igxfl

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 18:01

Re: Buff Sif a little

I feel like 2/turn is in the "silly strong" camp there but I kind of like the idea in general.

Blades Runner

Posts: 578

Joined: Thursday, 12th January 2012, 21:03

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 18:16

Re: Buff Sif a little

Yes, I'm sure that passive channel would work very well given the right function of piety or Invocations.
Wins: DsWz(6), DDNe(4), HuIE(5), HuFE(4), MiBe(3)

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1601

Joined: Sunday, 14th July 2013, 16:36

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 19:07

Re: Buff Sif a little

Although for comparison, with channel energy today, 12 invocations lets you average 3 MP every time you invoke it. So once your MP runs dry, regenerating 2 MP/turn wouldn't let you spam Iron Shot any faster: it just gives you the ability to do other things than standing in place.

Some other alternatives to channeling:
  • Reduce the cost of spells
  • Activate a buff that gives you large MP regeneration (e.g. 2MP or more) but at the cost of making your spellcasting slower; e.g. 1.5 aut per cast. (or maybe make all actions slower)
  • Sif lets you cast spells even if you don't have the MP, it just takes longer to cast the spell.

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 20:00

Re: Buff Sif a little

Hurkyl wrote:Although for comparison, with channel energy today, 12 invocations lets you average 3 MP every time you invoke it. So once your MP runs dry, regenerating 2 MP/turn wouldn't let you spam Iron Shot any faster: it just gives you the ability to do other things than standing in place.

Some other alternatives to channeling:
  • Reduce the cost of spells
  • Activate a buff that gives you large MP regeneration (e.g. 2MP or more) but at the cost of making your spellcasting slower; e.g. 1.5 aut per cast. (or maybe make all actions slower)
  • Sif lets you cast spells even if you don't have the MP, it just takes longer to cast the spell.

Yeah and I think that's a huge benefit, walking backwards and getting mp back is way stronger than standing still and getting mp back against almost every monster.

I always thought there should be a non-haste way of casting spells faster but I never had a real suggestion, giving sif users the ability to cast at 9 aut delay might be cool.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 202

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 05:01

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 23:00

Re: Buff Sif a little

Sif's long been viewed as a boring and bland God compared to others who have active and punchy invocations that really make the choice of following them to feel visceral and meaty. Her design space and theme are very established, and, IMO, fit very well in the pantheon. However, virtually all prior suggestions for giving Sif new abilities involve her directly making the player a stronger caster (doublecast, spell haste, etc), instead of sticking to her theme of giving the player tools to succeed at magic. I believe any proposals for Sif abilities should be very strictly in keeping with the idea that Sif Muna is more interested in knowledge and capability than anything else. The God of magical skill and aptitude is indifferent towards direct power.

Thus I propose giving Sif a piety-costing capstone invocation that makes the next spellcast guaranteed to successfully cast.*

Simply knowledge of a spell will give you the actual ability to cast that spell using Sif's blessing. This would make Sif more distinct: Sif would actively gift you books, recharge your mana, freely edit your mental library of spells known, and allow you to "preview" spells long before they'd be normally castable. I believe this to be in keeping with her theme of knowledge and favoring magical skill/technique over sheer power.

Abusability is low if the piety cost is priced correctly. Characters who aren't planning on investing in magic both won't have the spell power to really pump up a spell, and will have a difficult time gaining Sif piety. Taking Sif just to have a few casts of, for example, Death's Door as an "investment-free" emergency button is a large opportunity cost, and tying it to high Sif piety (4*? 5*?) means they need to commit to worship of Sif Muna.

This gives Sif a strong and flavorful active midgame ability, allowing players to get a few shots of powerful spells granted to them early on that could end up saving their lives. It also gives actual purpose and use for Sif piety beyond gating gifts and determining the strength of her miscast protection. As the player becomes a more experienced spellcaster, they'll have less and less need for this invocation, so it shouldn't affect her strength in the late- or post-game.

*: If necessary for balance/design, replace her passive miscast protection with this ability. I'm, as always, indifferent towards balance. In general, I prefer active god abilities/effects rather than silently passive buffs to background numbers.

For this message the author Brannock has received thanks:
nagdon

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1221

Joined: Thursday, 10th March 2011, 19:45

Post Monday, 22nd September 2014, 23:20

Re: Buff Sif a little

In parallel with Vehumet's wizardry bonus for offensive spells, how about if Sif gave a wizardry bonus for all spells except offensive ones? (Maybe not necromancy either since that is more Kiku's thing.)

Also, what if channeling used Spellcasting rather than Invocations to determine the amount of MP regained. It wouldn't help with the interface issue, but would mean you would be using a skill you were already likely to be training rather than have to divert XP to something else.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 35

Joined: Friday, 31st December 2010, 20:12

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 00:03

Re: Buff Sif a little

Brannock wrote:Thus I propose giving Sif a piety-costing capstone invocation that makes the next spellcast guaranteed to successfully cast.*

Simply knowledge of a spell will give you the actual ability to cast that spell using Sif's blessing. This would make Sif more distinct: Sif would actively gift you books, recharge your mana, freely edit your mental library of spells known, and allow you to "preview" spells long before they'd be normally castable. I believe this to be in keeping with her theme of knowledge and favoring magical skill/technique over sheer power.

Abusability is low if the piety cost is priced correctly. Characters who aren't planning on investing in magic both won't have the spell power to really pump up a spell, and will have a difficult time gaining Sif piety. Taking Sif just to have a few casts of, for example, Death's Door as an "investment-free" emergency button is a large opportunity cost, and tying it to high Sif piety (4*? 5*?) means they need to commit to worship of Sif Muna.

This gives Sif a strong and flavorful active midgame ability, allowing players to get a few shots of powerful spells granted to them early on that could end up saving their lives. It also gives actual purpose and use for Sif piety beyond gating gifts and determining the strength of her miscast protection. As the player becomes a more experienced spellcaster, they'll have less and less need for this invocation, so it shouldn't affect her strength in the late- or post-game.


Damn, that abiity sounds really awesome and fitting with Sif Muna's theme. I would definitely find it useful.

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 746

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 04:01

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 07:50

Re: Buff Sif a little

I definitely like the guaranteed cast ability. It makes the infinite amnesia much more interesting, and solves the "many characters don't have enough spell schools trained for every spell in the game and amnesia to be as useful as it should."

The piety could also scale with the level of the spell, so you can use it as an emergency button for something like Shatter, Tornado, Death's Door, Bjorg's, or cBlink, or for a strong-but-situational-enough-to-not-be-worth-training for mid level spell like, say, ignite poison for Spider or Snake.

I don't know if it would play out as interesting in practice or if it would turn out most spells aren't worth piety for a single cast and it usually just becomes a Death's Door button, but it's a neat concept that would make Sif much more appealing for me. Personally, I think the ability to alter your spell library at will with spellbook gifts and infinite amnesia is awesome in theory, but I've been extremely underwhelmed with it in practice.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 107

Joined: Saturday, 25th February 2012, 10:49

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 15:51

Re: Buff Sif a little

I also support the guaranteed cast ability, it would make Sif much more interesting. I suggest the following properties:
  • The ability is gained at ***** piety and it costs only piety (plus the original mana/hunger cost of the spell). The piety cost could be something like 8+random2(5) (similar to Summon Divine Warrior, Slouch, Corrupt, Kiku's Torment). Note that while several high-level spells may be a bit more powerful than these effects, Sif piety is relatively hard to gain, and a high-level spell also uses up lots of known spell slots and casting it without the usually neccessary skills gives it low spellpower and high hunger cost.
  • The ability itself could have a nontrivial failure chance based on Invocations (for example 50% failure at 0 invoc linearly decreasing to 0% failure at ~10-13 invoc) to make training invocations with Sif a bit more useful. (Or alternatively remove the Invoc dependency of Channel Energy).
  • Guaranteed cast replaces passive miscast protection. We don't need two abilities giving so similar things, and this allows guaranteed cast to be a bit more powerful. Book gifting could start at a bit lower piety, as it is no longer the last ability gained.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 66

Joined: Tuesday, 10th December 2013, 09:17

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 17:43

Re: Buff Sif a little

Guaranteed cast's piety cost should probably scale from the level of the target spell. The skill on that spell's school should also lower the piety cost. This means that if you only need to get for example 20% failure chance off from Firestorm (so you have actually trained fire magic), you would not pay the full piety cost. The piety cost of Guaranteed cast should be very high for spells where you have little to no skill.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 107

Joined: Saturday, 25th February 2012, 10:49

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 20:53

Re: Buff Sif a little

I think it would be better if Guaranteed cast ignored the normal success chance of the spell, because
  • It is simpler, and a fixed piety cost (with the limited piety gain of Sif Muna) can already balance this ability.
  • This ability shouldn't be spammable because it requires selecting a spell after its usage, and this requires a second menu after the ability menu. This is not problematic alone (Transfer Knowledge requires two skill selections), but if it is spammable when used on a spell with for example 5-10-20% faliure chance, then this may become tedious.
  • Making an almost castable spell castable is already provided by several effects: potion of brilliance, ring/staff of wizardry, Vehumet's aid for destructive spells etc. I think even the current miscast protection is a better source of it than cheaply Guaranteed cast-ing it.
  • Making extremely uncastable spells available (for a high piety cost) is a really unique thing. The most similar thing is probably gods giving active invocations -- the TSO follower summons angels, the Sif follower casts Summon Horrible Things with Guaranteed cast; the Qazlal follower uses Disaster Area, the Sif follower casts Shatter with Guaranteed cast; the Dithmenos follower uses Shadow Form, the Sif follower casts Necromutation with Guaranteed cast etc. -- but the set of existing spells is already different from the set of existing invocations. The player can adapt to the current branch by replacing the known high-level spell via Selective amnesia and this is a unique effect, too.

Another mostly unrelated suggestion: when calculating the spellpower of the Guaranteed cast spell, use Invocations in place of its spell schools (unless the normal spellpower is higher). This would make both this ability and training Invo with Sif more useful, while not strictly requiring Invo to use Guaranteed cast. For example, the player can freely use Guaranteed cast CBlink with 0 Invo, and can also Guaranteed cast a high spellpower Tornado with 27 Invo and 0 Air.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 21:16

Re: Buff Sif a little

fwiw I would rather see Sif move toward more passive instead of more active since
1) passive is simpler and Sif is expressly intended to be a simple god
2) she's already a very passive god
3) literally every improvement to the channeling interface would be making Sif a more passive god

So I don't like the idea of a guaranteed success invocation at all (I think it might also be problematic in other ways such as allowing guaranteed Borg/ddoor with no investment at all, but I don't want to think about silly interactions right now).
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 202

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 05:01

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 21:31

Re: Buff Sif a little

Borgnjor's with minimal power carries a significant HP cost (10% of maximum health), and Death's Door with minimal Necromancy and no Kikubaaqudgha piety puts you at single-digit health. Usable, but hardly ideal. Not to mention the low chances of finding the Necronomicon without following Kikubaaqudgha (at which point you'd be investing in Necromancy anyway) before switching. There's also the opportunity cost of using Sif to guaranteed-cast those spells instead of being actually able to cast those spells and following other gods. I was, too, concerned about the potential for abuse with this proposal. I think CBlink or other spell-power-independent spells is probably more ripe for abuse. Adjusting costs, however, should take care of any likely problems.

I'm more interested in making gods distinctive and memorable than I am about sticking to passiveness/activeness. I'm not quite sure Sif succeeds at this right now, and I have yet to see any passive ability proposals that stay in line with Sif's theme and design space of giving her followers increased capability to cast, rather than stronger casting.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 202

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 05:01

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 21:37

Re: Buff Sif a little

This just occurred to me, but guaranteed success invocation also mirrors Okawaru like many of Sif's other abilities already roughly mirror Okawaru's. Heroism and Finesse allows the player, briefly, to fight as a much more experienced and powerful warrior than they actually are. Guaranteed Success would let the player, momentarily, cast as much more experienced caster than they actually are.

As a "starter" god, letting newer player get a taste/preview of what it's like to cast Fire Storm or Orb of Destruction, even at weak power, long before they'd normally be able to cast it is a great way of getting them hooked on the game. "This could be you one day!"

Snake Sneak

Posts: 107

Joined: Saturday, 25th February 2012, 10:49

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 21:53

Re: Buff Sif a little

Vehumet is already the passive caster god, I think moving Sif towards more active abilities would be a good change. Making Invo more useful is also a good idea -- too many Invo-ignoring gods make the Invo aptitude completely unimportant. I think using Invo in *some* abilities is the best version -- if you follow Makhleb you get HP form kills, and if you also have Invo you can call demons; Invo-independent book gifting and Invo-based Channeling and Guaranteed Cast would be a good balance for Sif Muna.

Giving "trial version" of spells for new players is also a nice side effect of this ability.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4055

Joined: Tuesday, 10th January 2012, 19:49

Post Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, 21:53

Re: Buff Sif a little

Well I also don't really agree with the premise that Sif actually needs changes, either (except for interface improvements to channeling). Personally I'd rather change Veh or Kiku since for various reasons I dislike them more than Sif anyway (both from design and gameplay standpoints) but they're not necessarily bad design.

For this message the author crate has received thanks:
duvessa
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 202

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 05:01

Post Wednesday, 24th September 2014, 00:29

Re: Buff Sif a little

crate wrote:Well I also don't really agree with the premise that Sif actually needs changes, either (except for interface improvements to channeling). Personally I'd rather change Veh or Kiku since for various reasons I dislike them more than Sif anyway (both from design and gameplay standpoints) but they're not necessarily bad design.


I think Sif is "fine" as she is right now -- she's strong, popular, well balanced -- but wouldn't it be nice if Sif was more than just The Channeling God (who also gives you books)? I agree Vehumet has issues as well.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Wednesday, 24th September 2014, 00:47

Re: Buff Sif a little

I would definitely agree that interface improvements to channeling is the most pressing issue with Sif, and if only that got fixed the rest wouldn't be worth worrying overmuch about.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8775

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Wednesday, 24th September 2014, 02:02

Re: Buff Sif a little

Well Veh is just the better conjurations god, and fedhas is just the mushrooms and oklobs god, and okawaru is just the heroism and finesse god, and...

For this message the author duvessa has received thanks:
archaeo
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 202

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 05:01

Post Wednesday, 24th September 2014, 03:38

Re: Buff Sif a little

duvessa wrote:Well Veh is just the better conjurations god, and fedhas is just the mushrooms and oklobs god, and okawaru is just the heroism and finesse god, and...


Mushrooms and oklobs, and the rest of Fedhas's myriad abilities, are far more impactful and appreciably flavorful than Sif's single channeling ability (which is duplicated by several items). Okawaru has his own problems, as does Vehumet.

Nearly every other god has some significant, extremely notable mechanic or flavorful ability that affects gameplay in a significant way. 1's halo, cleansing blast, and angels. Zin's Recite and imprisonment. Qazlal's passive clouds and active Cataclysm. Ashenzari's cursing, foresight, and Scrying. Xom's random effects. Lugonu's corruption, Makhleb's demonic magic, Yredelemnul's army and enslaved souls, Trog's brothers and berserking...

Is it so much to consider a memorable, iconic ability for Sif Muna that fits within her design?

For this message the author Brannock has received thanks:
Bloax
Next

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

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